Bollide: "CCA Cat5e Is A Great Economical Cable" - Yes Or No?


Copper clad = garbage. 

I agree that it "is a great economical cable", but if it says anything after that other than "to roll up and throw away in a dumpster." it is BS.  I don't allow it in jumpers, patch cables or anywhere near our network.

As undisclosed #1 states, CCA is pure unadulterated garbage. 

I ended up with some by accident one time.

After discovering that it was aluminum, I did some testing.

Not good for POE long distances, voltage drop.

If you bend the conductors a few times they break.

I won't use it.

This shouldn't even be a question.... NO.

I would not rely on aluminum cable (~60% as conductive as copper) for the transmission of any data, especially not security nor life safety systems.  CCA failed to pass certification in any scenario we tested in the report John linked to.  I agree with the comments above from U1 and Ross.

Let me play trunk slammer advocate. If I am selling $47 cameras to a person who wants a $400 all-in 4 camera system in their 1,000sqft business, how much risk does this place me under?

 

1000' of Cat 5e CCA we recently tested cost $45, while Windy City Wire cost $95.  If the place is ~1000 sq ft, even using 500' of cable that meets standards is only $25 more to do it right (likely less than 500'/ $25).

I would not want to risk having a dissatisfied customer, or have them find out I am using cable that does not meet standards / pass certification tests. 

I would also advise them that it may wind up costing them more in re-terminating the cable, dragging new drops if damaged, low level troubleshooting (attenuation / packet loss / re-transmission / slower network). 

Windy City seems to be a premium cable from what I gather.

 

We use a different cable but standard copper Honeywell CAT5 cable is ~$70 at ADI if memory serves me right.

 

If installing 4 cameras for $400 there are probably a lot more issues to worry about than the CCA cable..

 

I would not rely on aluminum cable (~60% as conductive as copper) for the transmission of any data...

Though aluminum is a hella-lot more conductive than a vacuum.  And we still use wireless ;)

CCA cable... so the one and only time we used it one of our purchasing guys thought he got a good sale price on CAT5e and bought a skid for a job. Job was an office complex with ~250 wall jacks, none of them certified for GIG. 90% needed to be revisited to re-punch a wire that hadn't connected. How loud can you scream?!!

The theory of CCA is sound, but it’s typical implementation is suspect.

The idea is that since high frequency AC currents tend to travel along the edges of a conductor, replacing the copper core with a cheaper, less conductive one made of aluminum won’t affect performance significantly.

Counter-intuitively, one would expect CCA cables to work better at higher speeds, as the higher the frequency, the more of the current travels on the edge.

Known as the skin effect:

Unfortunately, in the case of ethernet pairs, problems will occur when the pairs are not manufactured identically, or if one gets too greedy in the Cu/Al ratio.  Since the idea is to save money, both those are in question.

In addition, cameras use POE, which is DC and therefore has no skin effect, and so the aluminum’s higher resistance causes greater heat and voltage drop.

So probably not the best for security cameras...