Beware of Copper-Clad Aluminum Cable

He begins by discussing copper-clad aluminum cable, and the differences between it and cable made with pure annealed copper. As a demonstration, he weighs a box of Black Box Category 6 cable, commenting that a 1,000-foot box of Cat 6 should weigh between 27 and 30 pounds. He then weighs a “no-name” box of cable that he says came from an unidentified “dot-com” source. That box weighs 22 pounds. “This cable is made with a lot less components not only in the jacket,” Schmeltzer says, “but the cable conductors are made of copper-clad aluminum.” He says that copper-clad aluminum conductors are more brittle and can lead to significant performance degradation.

Simple solution to detect counterfeit cable… weigh it!



About Matthew Peterworth

I currently work as a Technology Specialist at Henderson Engineers in Kansas City – a Mechanical-Electrical-Plumbing (MEP) design firm. Prior to that I was a Project Manager for Information Technology Services (ITS), the central IT department at the University of Texas at Austin. As of July 2008 I am a Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) through BICSI. And as of June 2011 I am a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in the great state of Texas. Please follow me on Twitter @mpeterworth.

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