The importance of the American Wire Gauge (AWG) for Ethernet patch cables

American-wire-gauge

The American Wire Gauge (typically known as AWG) is an index that species the diameter, electrical resistance and measurement of electrical wires.

Gauge helps users to know the current-carrying capacity of round, solid, nonferrous, electrically conducting wires by using the cross-sectional area of the wire as a defining aspect.

As its name suggest, the American Wire Gauge is a system used in North America and has been around since 1857. It is also known as Brown and Sharpe wire gauge.

The system is counter-intuitive, which means the lower the AWG number, the thicker the conductor.

Here’s why

Every time a metal blank is pulled through a wire die, it gets a little bit thinner and longer.

Therefore, the AWG refers to the number of sizing dies a metal needs to be drawn through to get the accurate diameter, which means a 24 AWG wire has been drawn through 24 sizing dies.

The AWG system is based on 44 standardized wire sizes and ranges from 0 to 40, but it also contains 00,000 and 0000 gauges, referring to the thickest wires.

Why does the AWG matter?

Given that cable’s gauge indicate the thickness of the conductor through which electrons flow, the cable’s conductor must be increased in order to reduce resistance and allow a better transmission.

The TIA 568-C.2 standard specifies that Ethernet patch cords should consist of four balanced twister-pairs of 22 AWG to 26 AWG (0.4039 to 0.6452 millimeters) solid or stranded conductors.

Patch cords with smaller gauge are not suggested for Power over Ethernet (PoE) equipment and devices because of their conductor resistance produces a lot more heat, which can cause the conductor to exceed the cable temperature and reduce power.

twisting-rate-and-high-quality-copper

Sadly...

Though the cable’s gauge is really important, is not the most significant aspect when it comes to category cables’ performance.

What’s the most important element of a cable?

Well, there are two significant aspects:

  • The twisting rate
  • High-quality copper.

What you have to keep in mind when buying cables and thinking about the American Wire Gauge is that they comply with the 22 AWG and 26 AWG TIA standard.

However the AWG is useful when you want to know characteristics like the wire resistance or frequency transmission.

AWG

Diammeter (Inches)

Diammeter (mm) Area (mm2)

Resistance (Ohms/1000 ft) 

Resistance (Ohms / km) Max Current (Amperes) Max frequency (for 100% skin depth) 
0000  0.46 11.684 107 0.049 0.16072 302 125 Hz
000 0.4096 10.40384 85 0.0618 0.202704 239 160 Hz
00 0.3648 9.26592 67.4 0.0779 0.255512

190

200 Hz
0 0.3249 8.25246 53.5 0.0983 0.322424 150 250 Hz
1 0.2893 7.34822 42.4 0.1239 0.406392 119 325 Hz
2 0.2576 6.54304 33.6 0.1563 0.512664 94 410 Hz
3 0.2294 5.82676 26.7 0.197 0.64616 75 500 Hz
4 0.2043 5.18922 21.2 0.2485 0.81508 60 650 Hz
5 0.1819 4.62026 16.8 0.3133 1.027624 47 810 Hz
6 0.162 4.1148 13.3 0.3951 1.295928 37 1100 Hz
7 0.1443 3.66522 10.5 0.4982 1.634096 30 1300 Hz
8 0.1285 3.2639 8.37 0.6282 2.060496 24 1650 Hz
9 0.1144 2.90576 6.63 0.7921 2.598088 19 2050 Hz
10

0.1019

2.58826 5.26 0.9989 3.276392 15 2600 Hz
11 0.0907 2.30378 4.17 1.26 4.1328 12 3200 Hz
12 0.0808 2.05232 3.31 1.588 5.20864 9.3 4150 Hz
13 0.072 1.8288 2.62 2.003 6.56984 7.4 5300 Hz
14 0.0641 1.62814 2.08 2.525 8.282 5.9 6700 Hz
15 0.0571 1.45034 1.65 3.184 10.44352 4.7 8250 Hz
16 0.0508 1.29032 1.31 4.016 13.17248 3.7 11k Hz
17 0.0453 1.15062 1.04 5.064 16.60992 2.9 13k Hz
18 0.0403 1.02362 0.823 6.385 20.9428 2.3 17k Hz
19 0.0359 0.91186 0.653 8.051 26.40728 1.8 21k Hz
20 0.032 0.8128 0.518 10.15 33.292 1.5 27k Hz
21 0.0285 0.7239 0.41 12.8 41.984 1.2 33k Hz
22 0.0254 0.64516 0.326 16.14 52.9392 0.92 42k Hz
23 0.0226 0.57404 0.258 20.36 66.7808 0.723 53k Hz
24 0.0201 0.51054 0.205 25.67 81.1976 0.577 68k Hz
25 0.0179 0.45466 0.162 32.37 106.1736 0.457 85k Hz
26 0.0159 0.40386 0.129 40.81 133.8568 0.361 107k Hz
27 0.0142 0.36068 0.102 51.47 168.8216 0.288 130k Hz
28 0.0126 0.32004 0.081 64.9 212.872 0.226 170k Hz
29 0.0113 0.28702 0.0642 81.83 268.4024 0.182 210k Hz
30 0.01 0.254 0.0509 103.2 338.496 0.142 270k Hz
31 0.0089 0.22606 0.0404 130.1 426.728 0.113 340k Hz
32 0.008 0.2032 0.032 164.1 538.248 0.091 430k Hz
33 0.0071 0.18034 0.0254 206.9 678.632 0.072 540k Hz
34 0.0063 0.16002 0.0201 260.9 855.752 0.056 630k Hz
35 0.0056 0.14224 0.016 329 1079.12 0.044 870k Hz
36 0.005 0.127 0.0127 414.8 1360 0.035 1100k Hz
37 0.0045 0.1143 0.01 523.1 1715 0.0289

1350k Hz

38 0.004 0.1016 0.00797 659.6 2163 0.0228 1750k Hz
39 0.0035 0.0889 0.00632 831.8 2728 0.0175 2250k Hz
40 0.0031 0.07874 0.00501 1049 3440 0.0137 2900k Hz

Related Posts

Older Post / Newer Post