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Question by Donti Twine posted 22 Sep 2006
| CAT5 and Fiber|
|What is the major difference between CAT5E plenum and PVC? Also, how do I determine the amount of Fiber strands that is needed for an installation?|
Answer by Dmitri Abaimov posted 23 Sep 2006
The main difference between those two types of cable is the materials the jacket and the internal insulation are made of. In a nutshell, the plenum cable almost does not burn. As such, it does not spread the fire and therefore is considered safer. Problem is: it emits very toxic fumes in high temperatures. So, you still have a chance at getting poisoned if this cable is involved in a fire, but the fire will not spread as quickly.
You might want to read more about plenums here:
As far as your second question goes, the amount of fibers depends on the equipment you anticipate using that fiber plus a reasonable extra. As a bare minimum I would use a 6 strand fiber cable, then go to 12 if 6 does not give enough room for future growth end so on. There is no precise formula on how much spare is enough. You just have to make a good guess.
Dmitri Abaimov, RCDD
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