You’ve seen it before; bundles of drooped, sagging data and communications cables barely supported by clamps, straps or wire. Today’s voice and data cabling practices not only impact cable support, but the performance of the entire system.

Whereas cable tray offers continuous support and maintained cable bending radii, straps and clamps provide only intermittent support. This can lead to the cinching and kinking of sensitive cables, often resulting in performance loss.

This year’s ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-A. Telecommunications Wiring Standard specifies cabling practices in the following way:

“Cabling management precautions that should be observed include the elimination of cable stress as caused by tension in suspended cable runs and tightly cinched cable bundles”.

These stresses in the cable can effect the attenuation, NEXT, return loss and dc resistance. Sagging cable bundles that are only supported every 5 feet or whenever there is a building support, often reduce transmission performance. The cost savings claimed by cable clamp suppliers might only be seen when one or two small cables need to be supported. A typical cable bundle often requires the continuous support of a trough-type cable tray. If some spacing of support points is acceptable, try a ladder-type or spine-type cable tray, as explained in ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-A.

Cable trays offer these advantages over clamps and straps:

  • Cable support frequency is not governed by existing support point opportunities.
  • The Easy In/Easy Out feature of cable tray is perfect for accommodating future needs.
  • Cable trays can be used as a grounding path, in accordance with the National Electrical Code.
  • There are a variety of cable tray types to choose from that create a controlled system that can be specified.

Clips and straps may work well for one or two cables. However, be aware that your state-of-the-art voice and data telecommunications cable bundle is properly, continuously supported by cable tray.