Cat6A for infrastructure wiring


I’ve just purchased a 30m Cat6a patch lead, which was less expensive than buying cat6a by the metre, off a large roll of cable.

I’m planning to use it for extending the ethernet in my home and hope that the patch lead, isn’t different to standard cat6a cabling. The cable will be routed inside the wall cavity and roof void etc.

I intend to remove the end ‘plugs’ from the patch lead and use flush mounted wall sockets with jack plug sockets.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t source 6a versions and was informed by the retailer, that CAT6 keystone jacks (RJ45?), would be fine.

Will this configuration be okay, or have I erred? :grinning:

In essence you have erred, in that a patch lead is very often stranded wire which is almost impossible to get into plugs, you might get lucky, but I doubt it.

FWIW cat5e is far easier, far cheaper and totally fine in a domestic scenario

Not all patch cables are stranded, but most are, so Gary is probably right.
Another issue to consider is that if you are running a cable through walls, UK building regs require you to use low smoke cables (usually designated LSOH). A patch cable may or may not conform to this.

Cool … I can return the long patch cable (which is solid core)!and swap it out for a standard cat6a cable which presumably needs to be solid core :smile:

Will the cat6 sockets still be okay or do I need to try and source cat6a too?

I went for cat6a because I thought that was the latest recommendation here for infrastructure and cat5e for patch leads … otherwise I would have gone cat5e for the whole lot.

Once again, I can swap the lot for cat5e if necessary… and appreciate advice from those in the know’ :smile:

I haven’t opened any packaging yet… so it can easily be exchanged.

When I built my home network, I was informed that my network would operate at the speed of the slowest component, and it is best to match the speeds (cats) of all components.

On that basis, using Cat6 jacks would effectively downgrade your cable to Cat6 in terms of speed.

That sounds fine…
Cat 6A is indeed usually intended for infrastructure wiring… and as such shall be solid core as per the TIA standards.
Patch leads, should be stranded as recommended by the standards, that is where movement may occur in the lead.
With regard to infrastructure wiring… you may want to future proof by running ducting to lay the cable in, or run two lots of Cat6A in parallel.
This allows link aggregation and resilience when connecting to suitable switch equipment.

You don’t need to match the Cat types, indeed it is valid and indeed a compliance requirement in some scenarios to have a hybrid cable connection from host equipment to switch equipment.

So Cat6A for infrastructure and Cat 6 or Cat 5e for flexible patch leads… the jobs a good ‘en.

Thanks Simon, do I really need cat6a sockets for the 6a cable or will the cat6 sockets Ive been sold, be okay on the cat6a cable?

Really appreciate your advice :smile:

The RJ45 sockets are typically interchangeable except for some specific exacting applications… the only real consideration is the wire gauge size they are intended to connect/crimp to.
Find out the wire gauge of your cable and if the Cat6A and Cat 6 cable is the same gauge you know the sockets are interchangeable. You could of course trial and error as well.

Awesome … good to know that it isn’t going to restrict the data itself :grinning:

Thanks again, very much appreciated.

No… none of this will affect you … you are good to 1gbps … and 10gbps with some considerations.

Thank you for your reassurance :grinning:


Having gone back to the ‘drawing board’, I’ve now got some F/UTP Solid Core Cat6A 4PRS 23AWG LSZI 500MHZ cabling for the infrastructure.

Each end (one upstairs and one downstairs) will be terminated using a wall mounted socket, into which I will plug the standard Cat5e patch leads for the equipment (switch, streamer etc).

Should I use standard plastic jack plug unshielded sockets or the metal Cat6A (shielded?) ones … or doesn’t it make any difference?

Someone suggested that the patch leads should have metal connectors at one end for earth grounding, but this might be incorrect.

For the patch leads I would highly recommend you purchase them ready to go. In my experience Excel cables or Lindy cables are good. Don’t get the cheapest ones you can find, equally don’t pay silly money because it has shiny ends and a fancy sleeve.

I have a couple of patch leads with metal ends, I dont really understand what purpose they serve and I most certainly have not ‘heard’ and difference with them.

In short when you connect if your mac or pc says 1gb connection you are probably golden

It’s not normally considered necessary to use shielded cable for home networks, but the cable you mention has a foil shield. As this will be terminated on site, you have the option to connect the shield, or not. If you choose shielded patch cables, they will have metal plugs to carry the shielding through.
Either way, I’m sure it will work just fine. Maybe, just maybe, there will be a subtle audible difference to the sound, but I wouldn’t worry about it.

There is also the option of going the route of running a fibre optic (twin) cable. Yes it is more expensive but, very possibly, superior?



Chris summarises it above. Get a standard shielded and non shielded patch lead, they should only be a few pounds each… use the one that ‘sounds’ best.
I use a shielded patch lead with my NDX2 streamer going into a Cisco 3560 layer 3 switch.


I really would not recommend Fibre for runs less than 100 metres with current a Naim streamers… the Naim devices don’t support fibre, so you would need to add an inline media converter, and these can be sources of PHY serial clock noise and cross talk… in the direction that can impact the streamer… sure you might like the effect iof added Ethernet noise… but there are probably more reliable ways of adding noise.
Sure if you have a very long run, say over 100 metres, then do use fibre, but I would terminate the fibre into a quality switch like a Cisco Catalyst device or similar, and then run twisted pair from the switch to the streamer.

You’ll note I’ve used the word possibly. I’ve been reading a couple of articles in which the author was certainly convinced of the benefits.

On the basis it would seem that ethernet cables DO impact on the SQ then using fibre optics will certainly eliminate electromagnetic influences?

I’ve already ordered TP-Link MC200CM converters, I’ve changed my switch out for a Netgear GS108T - 200, I’ve ordered and fitted BJC Cat 6a cables and have ordered new face plates to accommodate the fibre cables.

I’ll also be ordering a linear power supply (superreg) from Sjöström Audio to power the router, switch and Synology DS218j NAS.



OK, I regret pulling that sort of stuff into a simple infrastructure questions, apologies everyone.