Monoprice Cable - OK?

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Avery

Occasional Visitor
I have a large remodel, and will probably pull 1000-2000' of Ethernet cable, as there are some runs that might go 60-80'.

What I've purchased already is 1000' of Monoprice UTP Cat6a CMR rated solid cable. I've seen a few references to making sure you are using quality cable.

Does this qualify?

I later read about the PITA and cost associated with the Cat 6A terminations. For a second roll, should I go with Cat 6 or is it kludge running 6 and 6a in the same install? Or should I just stick with 6A across the board and suck it up? I would definitely run Access Points, LAGs, as 6A.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
I would use the same wiring throughout the installation. The quality of the Monoprice cable is not something I am familiar with. Others will voice their concerns, if necessary.
 

Trip

Very Senior Member
Cat6 will do 10Gb up to 55 meters (~180 feet), and quality, verified solid core will be almost as power-efficient while carrying PoE as Cat6a. 6a will give you 10Gb beyond 55m and potentially more thermal performance for higher-power PoE (Type 4 / 802.3bt), but will only be more expensive for likely no real benefit in your use-case, more of a pain to terminate and thicker/heavier (unless you go with a 24AWG slimmer product like Belden 10GXS, but that would be a small fortune). IMHO, for your project, Cat6 is all you need.

As far as Monoprice goes, just another Chinese whitelabel that has happened to fall into the graces of the "good enough" school of over the past few years. Make no mistake, though, it's not TAA/BAA, nor is it certified/verified, but the price is reflective. That said, it usually works well enough for most, but it's not without its faults. Here's a September recall on 10,000+ spools for crappy CMR jacketing that couldn't pass the fire test. If I had to guess, they got a bad batch of chemicals (which can happen to anybody) but clearly it missed QA/QC.

IMHO, I'd rather pay a bit more for a commercial-grade, domestic product that's individually verified. The usual suspects would be Belden, Berk-Tek, General, Mohawk, Panduit, Superior Essex, Vertical Cable, etc. You should be able to source at a local commercial electrical supplier, online at a place like FalconTech or discounted surplus on eBay.
 
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Avery

Occasional Visitor
Ok, thanks for the thoughts.

Aside from 6/6a, would you go so far as to sell the unused Monoprice on craigslist and order US made?

Previously I have always used CMR, as I have gone between floors in my current and past houses. Is CMR correct for my application?

Edit: Falcontech did point out one Mohawk Cat6 CMR that they carry (just not listed that way on their site).
 
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coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
I would use US made cable while you have your house apart in the remodel. You hate to have to replace the cable after put your walls back. It sure will be a big problem later on.
 

Trip

Very Senior Member
@Avery - If you sense you can get decent dollar for it, yeah I'd probably dump it in favor of Mohawk GigaLAN or Berk-Tek LANMark, either of which are right around $150 for 1000 feet at Falcon, which is a smoking deal as far as I'm concerned.

Re- jacket type, for multi-floor runs, definitely CMR over CM, and as long as you're not routing through any air ducts with active flow, you shouldn't need CMP (plenum). That said, if you're in doubt and/or don't mind the premium, going all CMP eliminates any second-guessing, plus fewer types of stock to juggle if you plan on doing more cabling later. Also, no harm in being over-spec'd when it comes to electrical/fire code. (It's for those reasons that I only keep plenum on hand for my consulting work). Presuming no routing in airflow cavities, though, CMR should be just fine.
 
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sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
What I've purchased already is 1000' of Monoprice UTP Cat6a CMR rated solid cable. I've seen a few references to making sure you are using quality cable.

Does this qualify?

It's fine - you'll be good to go...

If you're pulling cable - do yourself a favor and pull two to each drop...
 

Avery

Occasional Visitor
@Avery - If you sense you can get decent dollar for it, yeah I'd probably dump it in favor of Mohawk GigaLAN or Berk-Tek LANMark, either of which are right around $150 for 1000 feet at Falcon, which is a smoking deal as far as I'm concerned.

First off, happy thanksgiving to anyone in the US!

@Trip - I was getting ready to order one of the products you mentioned, and am not sure I have the right product.

What Falcon stocks around that price is the CMR Mohawk 6 LAN (not GigaLAN) and the BerkTek LANmark 6 (not the LANmark 1000). Based on their sites, these seem like the lower end products, though I don't have knowledge about the practical implications of a lower end cat6 product versus a premium cat6 product.

Are these products solid for the long haul and good for the PoE spectrum, or should I be looking for a higher grade product within these manufacturers? I see, for instance, that they don't have any stiffener in the center of the cable.
 
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Trip

Very Senior Member
@sfx2000 - No debate Monoprice wouldn't work. But if TAA/BAA true commercial-grade matters to you (no judgement if it doesn't), then Monoprice is a non-starter.

@Avery - Entry-level solid-core UTP usually has simpler construction and lighter-grade materials, resulting in frequency, cross-talk and attenuation-to-cross-talk ratio numbers that clear spec only by a safe minimum, and tend to be on the lighter-duty end of thermal and PoE ratings. At the high end, you'll typically see additional materials like "+"-shaped splines and/or polymer sheaths around the pairs, which yield characterized frequency levels that approach higher category grades altogether (for example: 550Mhz Cat6 cable, which is actually well into Cat6a territory), and/or add additional levels of NEXT/PSNEXT and ACR/PSACR clearance above that of baseline spec. The additional frequency rating ensures a higher chance of carrying faster data rates at longer distances, while additional dB of NEXT/ACR clearance ensures higher levels of transmittance, thermal performance and PoE delivery.

Using Berk-Tek as an example, if you look at the spec sheets for LANMark-6 and LANMark-1000 CMR, you can see that 1000 is certified for 802.3bt PoE, versus 6 at only 802.3at. That doesn't mean 6 won't work with 802.3bt (quite frankly it probably would in most cases), but it does mean that 1000 is purpose-engineered and verified to do so up to 100m in real-world scenarios. That said, it's up to you to decide whether that level of certified capability is worth roughly double the cost. Falcon does carry both grades (Blue CMP examples: 6 and 1000).

As a side note, there's an interesting duality happening with PoE-powered endpoints/APs, in that power draw has been increasing as performance requirements have done the same, but generational improvements in power efficiency have been driving TDP down, so one might argue 802.3at is all we may need for some time to come... It will also be interesting to see if 802.3bt switches continue to come down-market at lower-price points.

Hope that helps shed some light.
 
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Avery

Occasional Visitor
@Trip - thanks, very helpful. My thoughts around PoE is that while efficiency is going up, more application that may be power hungry are increasing. For instance, take a residential PoE security camera. @ higher power, they may actually include security lights in the future. I would think that with the lower power certified cable, you may see more thermal energy loss, as well -- though how much - who knows. The places I am probably most concerned about network cable quality is the cable going to the AP's. Maybe I use the Monoprice for the cameras and one line to the AP's, and use a good quality 6 for a second run to the AP's and the rest of the destinations.

You previously mentioned buying surplus on Amazon. Have you see any counterfeit products for cable, such as Berk-Tek or Mohawk? I do see a spool of LANMark 100 CMR on eBay that looks a bit beat up, but don't know if these things can be counterfeit. Has anyone ever heard of eaccu-tech.com, as they seem to have good prices, but am not sure they are legitimate.

Lastly, I have previously pulled from box, but some of this is available on a reel. Is either notably easier to pull cable from?
 

Trip

Very Senior Member
You could mix brand/category, but I'd opt to keep it simple and run the entire job using one kind. Either sell the Monoprice and go with a higher-end 550Mhz commercial Cat6 product like those we've been talking about, or double down on Monoprice and buy however much additional you might need, then get it done.

Also, I wouldn't bother with dual runs per AP. Backhaul pipe is best increased via multi-gig (and eventually 10Gb) over a single higher-spec wire, versus having to pull more runs and introduce LAG/LACP. That does provide a link redundancy, but it's less realized in an AP backhaul application that it is in switch-to-switch or switch-to-server scenarios.

Regarding surplus, I don't believe I referenced Amazon as a good source, but regardless, I'd either look on eBay (from a reliable seller only) or at local electrical wholesalers/warehouses, maybe Craigslist if the seller is verifiable.

Re- eaccu-tech.com, that's the e-commerce presence of Accu-Tech out of Rosewell, GA. They appear to be an IT supplier rep firm with a pretty wide line card, so they're probably legit, albeit specialized and they may only do B2B sales. Perhaps reach out to them and see.

Re- box vs. reel, box is usually a lot more convenient for cutting many short runs inside of 1000 feet, whereas reels are best for de-spooling longer runs quickly. You'll need a cable stand for a reel. Either will work; I'd go with the box method for your use-case, though.
 
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Avery

Occasional Visitor
Thanks, Trip. I know you mentioned eBay and not Amazon - just came out wrong when I was typing :)

I'm running a bunch of electrical, so have a cable stand, but it sounds like the box is generally just as easy, so I'll go that route. That's one of those things that is hard to tell unless you've done it before.

OK, I'll just go with the Cat6 and ditch the 6a. Appreciate all the guidance!

Fired up the first Ruckus 510 yesterday - super simple to bring up and configure! Great recommendation. For the moment, as I'm crazy in construction at the moment, will use the prior RT-AC68 as the firewall/DHCP and come back to figure out the firewall later.
 

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