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Network Cables

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Definition

  • A cable consists of one, two or more wires which connects input and output devices to the system via ports and connectors.

Types

Twisted pair cable:

  • Consists of two copper wires insulated from each other by plastic.
  • Each wire has two or more copper wires stranded together.
  • This reduces sensitivity to EMI and tendency to radiate radio frequency noise.
  • Twisted pair cables are of two types - shielded and unshielded.
  • Shielded cable are enclosed in foil wrap and woven in copper shield.
  • Unshielded cables are not enclosed.
  • Commonly used in telephone network.
  • Are less expensive and easy to install.

Cat 5 Cable

  • Consists of four pairs shielded twisted color coded copper wire.
  • Green, blue, orange and brown are four pair colors.
  • Each pair has common color between them, where one wire in the pair is solid in color and other being a white color with a colored strip. E.g.: orange for solid color wire and white/orange for the striped wire.
  • Supports 100 MBPS speed with length limit of 100 meters.
  • Starting and ending points of the cable are joined by RJ-45 connector.
  • Most commonly used in computer networking and are low in cost.
  • Cat 5e is enhanced Cat 5 cable supporting 1000 MBPS speed with length limit of 350 meters

Co-axial cable:

  • Replaces multiple wire lines by solid copper core.
  • Inner (Central) conductor is solid copper wire or stranded wire.
  • Outer conductor forms a tube surrounding inner conductor called as shield, which is made-up of braided wires, metallic foils or both. This serves as a ground and protects inner conductor from EMI.
  • An Insulator layer separates the outer and inner conductor.
  • Jacket made-up of plastic protects cable from damage.
  • Widely used in connecting PCs.
  • Cost is high compare to twisted pair cable.

Fibre-optic cable:

  • Light waves can be efficiently conducted through transparent glass fiber known as fiber-optic cable.
  • Center conductor consists of fiber optic tube which is highly refined glass or plastic.
  • Fiber optic tube is half the diameter of human hair.
  • Fiber is coated with cladding to reflect signals back to avoid signal loss.
  • Plastic sheet (Jacket) protects from damage.
  • Transmits data using beams of light at light speed.
  • Extremely high bandwidth supporting data transfer speed in GBPS.
  • Less sensitive to EMI.
  • Cost is high compare to co-axial cable.

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Tip Box

Did you know RJ 45 cable is also called as Ethernet cable or CAT 5 cable.


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