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!