What are the advantages of thin/flat cables?

06.02.2018

Why are almost all of the cable manufacturers bringing "thin" cables onto the market now?

Cables with a smaller outside diameter are being added to the product range by an increasing number of well-known cable manufacturers. There are several reasons for this.

Thinner cables are not only easier to handle when placing them inside a cabinet, but they also take up less space. You’re probably familiar with those 19" cable guides that become so packed you're left without any room to fit in additional cables. Thinner cables work to counteract this. When less space is taken up by cables, especially in the case of vertical cable routing, critical air circulation needed to cool active components inside the cabinet is improved. Most active components have fans on the sides. Optimal cooling can no longer be guaranteed when they’re blocked by bulky cable harnesses with high packing density. System failures and lengthy servicing become inevitable.

Why does PATCHBOX® use flat cables?

Primarily, flat cables allow for a much smaller bending radius than their round counterparts. The PATCHBOX® has been designed to improve inner cabinet space. For this reason, a 2RU version was considered during development, but was not implemented, even though it would have provided the necessary bending radius for round cables. However, the 2RU version would not have saved more space over conventional cable management and therefore the idea was scrapped.

In addition, our flat cables only occupy about a quarter of the space that a round cable would need. This optimizes air circulation while making it easier to find and handle cables since everything remains visible.

Are flat cables even standard compliant?

If you look at the standard for network cables (ISO 11801), it states, among other things, that a network cable must have twisted pair wires. This applies to the cables we use, commonly known as "twisted pair". The only considerable difference between our flat cables and the round ones is that the pairs are no longer wound together, but are rather guided in parallel.

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When you ask the world market leader among manufacturers of measuring instruments, when does a cable meet the standard, you will get the following answer: when it passes the appropriate test with a metering device. This is the case for all of our cables. Each individual cable is tested in production with the latest Fluke metering devices to ISO 11801 standard. Not only does this ensure the highest quality in terms of our choice of materials, but also their performance as well, surpassing most suppliers in the market. Only a few well-known manufacturers carry out a 100% test due to time and cost restraints.

Our cables do more than just meet the Cat. 6 standards and they are even suitable for bandwidths up to 10Gbit/s making them absolutely future ready. 

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