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Cat3 Cable Overview:

Short for Category 3, Cat3 Cable is an unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cable designed to reliably carry data up to 10 Mbit/s, with a possible bandwidth of 16 MHz. It is part of a family of copper cabling standards defined jointly by the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).

These days, cat3 cable isn’t used very often for networking. Cat3 was a popular cabling format among computer network administrators in the early 1990s, but fell out of popularity in favor of the very similar, but higher performing, Cat 5 and Cat5E standard. Presently, most new structured cable installations are built with Cat 5E or Cat 6 cable. Cat 3 is currently still in use in two-line telephone systems, and can easily be adapted to run VoIP as long as a dedicated LAN for the VoIP telephone sets is created. While Cat 5E or higher is often recommended for VoIP, the reality is that the 10 Mbit/s bandwidth a Cat 3 network can provide is far more than the 0.08 Mbit/s a VoIP phone needs at full load, and Cat 3 is even compatible with 802.3af PoE.

Note that unlike Cat 1, 2, 4, and 5 cables, Cat 3 is still recognized by TIA/EIA-568-B as its defining standard.

The seldom-used 100BASE-T4 standard, which achieves speeds of 100 Mbit/s by using all 4 pairs of wires, allowed older Cat 3 based infrastructures to achieve a much higher bandwidth.

Cat3 Cable Types

Amphenol Type Cable – A telco cable, also known as a Telecom cable or Amphenol cable, is a thick cable used for connecting multiple voice or data lines for LANs or telecommunications. The ends use 25 pairs of polarized pins (50 pins total). This cable handles up to 25 data channels or phone lines. The name Amphenol comes from the company that first manufactured it.Most large phone systems use this type of cable. We carry Female to Female, Male to Male, and Male to Female.

Cat3 Plenum - A type of inside cable intended for use in plenums. While plenums are convenient places to run cables, they also are conducive to the spreading of fires within buildings, as they are primarily intended to support airflow. Therefore, the National Electrical Code (NEC) specifies that the insulation on plenum cables must be fire retardant, low-smoke and low-toxicity.

Cat3 Solid Multi Pair Cable – is sold in pairs of 2, 3, 4, 25, 50, 100. This means that within the CAT 3 cable there are 2 to 100 pairs of a solid cable.

Cat3 Cable Products and Accessories

Cat3 Keystone Jacks – A typical cat3 jack has 6 positions for 110 punchdown contact. Our keystone cat3 jacks are made with nickel-plated punchdown contacts and gold-plated RJ11/12 contacts, ensuring exceptional performance and durability.

Cross Connect Wire – When wiring a telco block, such as a 66-block and a 110-block, cross connect wires are used to connect lines and cross-connect lines, allowing telephone connections to connect to internal lines as well as external lines.

RJ11, RJ12, and RJ22 Plugs – RJ11, RJ12, and RJ22 are used in nearly every telephone and data network. RJ11 is the most common of the three types. RJ12 utilizes all six position whereas RJ11 and RJ22 only uses four. RJ22 plugs are almost always for handset-to-phone connections.

Telco Blocks – Installers use telco blocks, 66 blocks and 110 blocks, to interconnect phone and data systems. They make connecting multiple phone lines very simple.

Telecom Tools – From cutting and stripping to connecting and testing, telecom techs and do-it-yourselfers must be prepared for a wide range of technologies. With quality in mind on all of our products, Primus Cable carries the telecom tools to install, maintain, and troubleshoot both your existing and newly built network. We hope you will find the information you need, and the tools you’re looking for.