Cat5e issue FREE cabling and networking Helpdesk
 Question by Tom Toth posted 17 Mar 2003
 Cat5e issue
cat5e (200mhz) says it will run to at LEAST 300 feet. I make 300 foot cord.. Cable tester says it within acceptable limits and paired correctly, I hook between machine and switch, I get a link light, but machines will NOT communicate, there is not interference what so ever! The switch is 3 years old.. Could it be it doesn't transmit 'loud' enough??
 Answer by Dmitri Abaimov posted 18 Mar 2003
Dear Tom,

There might be several things wrong with it.

1. 295ft link length limit assumes that this is a solid-conductor cable. When you say cord, although you did not specify, it implies that you might have used a stranded-conductor cable, the type that's typically used to create flexible cords. If this is the case, bear in mind that stranded-conductor cable is allowed by the standards to have greater attenuation (roughly 20% more) than a solid-core one. Therefore, you will be limited to 236FT of "guaranteed" distance.

2. Link light means that the device senses carrying voltage on the pair, it does not tell if the Ethernet signal is present. It is important to make sure that both devices have Link light on. Otherwise, there is a problem with one of the pairs, and the communication will never be established.

3. If both Link lights are on, and this is a solid-conductor cable, then there is still a chance of bad contact inside the plugs themselves. Here is what also might have happened: the plugs must also match the type of the cable, that is - solid conductor plug for solid conductor cable and stranded conductor plugs for stranded conductor cable. Stranded conductor plugs are more common, so there is a chance that you picked up wrong plugs, and reliable contact cannot be established with crimping.

4. Make sure the cable (cord) is not over-bent, kinked, flattened, stapled or otherwise physically affected. All of these may cause signal degradations large enough to prevent reliable link between the devices.

Hope these notes will help you to pinpoint the problem.

Dmitri Abaimov, RCDD

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