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SEE OUR COMPUTER GLOSSARY!!

[CLICK HERE FOR CONNECTOR PHOTOS]

[CLICK HERE FOR CAT DEFINITIONS]

[CLICK HERE FOR SATA/IDE COMPARED]

CLICK HERE FOR A DISCUSSION OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ELECTRICITY, MAGNETISM AND BINARY COMPUTERS

[CLICK HERE FOR WIRING DIAGRAM]

[CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN CABLES]

CABLE DEFINITION

REMEMBER, cables aren’t wiresWires are inside cable, just as cables are found inside conduit.  The individual wires which make up a cable can be of varying numbers (e.g. Cat 5 has 8), thicknesses (“gauges”), compositions (solid, braided), materials (copper, nickel), types (teflon, XT (internal), AXT (external)) varying numbers of twists (which reduce crosstalk and interference).  Always use the correct term to avoid confusion.

cable vs wire

CAT (“Category”) Cable

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Note more twists in 5e - less crosstalk, interference

utp-stpcable

UTP (unshielded) vs. STP (shielded) cable - Cat 5, 5e standard; 6 thicker & more shielding, Plenum = fireproof

Category-7-Cables
Cat 7 2

Cat7 Cable

ETHERNET - 4 pr. twisted (CAT 5, 5e, 6, 7); RJ45 Connectors (8 pins) - Used for computer networks.  All wires are solid 24 AWG - Same as for Cat 3 (telephone, below), but CAT 3 has 4 straight untwisted, unshielded wires.

T568B wiring diagram

T568B wiring configuration

RJ 45 network Connector

RJ 11 phone connector

NOTE - Although each cable has 8 colored wires, ethernet is actually color blind.  For proper network operation, it is only necessary that Pins 1,2,3 and 6 (the left side of the connector being Pin 1) be connected, regardless of the color selected.  Crossover cables - direct between only two computers - switch over pin 1 to pin 3, pin 3 to pin 1, pin 2 to pin 6 and pin 6 to pin 2. The TIA/EIA 568 specifies two wiring standards for 8-position modular connectors such as RJ45.  T568B is the most common standard, having been used by AT&T for years (shown above).  T568B is used by the U.S. Gov’t since it matches USOC cabling for pairs 1 & 2, which allows it to work with 1/2 line phones. 

Telephone Cable

RJ (“Registered Jack”)

TELEPHONE (“POTS”) - RJ 11 connectors for single line, RJ 14 for two lines. Although most telephones use 4 contact connectors (or 6 contact), standard telephones only use two of the wires. Single-line telephones are designed to use the 2 center contacts in the phone connector. On a 4-contact connector the outside 2 contacts are not used and on a 6-contact connector, the outside 4 contacts are not used.  Most homes are wired for two phone lines even if only one line is in use. It’s very common when ordering a second phone line for the phone company to simply activate the second line remotely without ever coming to your home.
 

Satin Silver cable
Satin Silver 2

Old Style “Satin Silver” flat telephone cable

Cat 3 cable

Cat 3 telephone cable (Note no twisted pairs)

Cat 5 & 6  cable (4 twisted pairs)

WANNA SEE HOW COPPER CABLE IS MADE?  CLICK HERE FOR AN INTERESTING VIDEO!

Coaxial Cable

RG-59 male “F” connector

female coax connector

RG-59 female connector

Twin Lead Antenna Wire

Twin-Lead Antenna Wire, Predecessor to coax

arrow08_sideways-rCoax elements, from bottom to top:  center (usually) copper core; plastic dielectric insulator; metallic shield; aluminum cover; plastic jacket

COAXIAL (“COAX”) CABLE PRIMER:  Used for television and cable modem connections since its invention in 1929, essentially unchanged.    The designations RG (“Radio Grade”) and RF (“Radio Frequency”) refer to the versions of coax and their diameter and internal characteristics (i.e. amount of shielding and attenuation).  In actuality, the numbers (e.g. RG-59, RG-6) have absolutely no meaning and were originally arbitrarily assigned by the military. 

Today, most TV and computer modem cables are designated RG-59, although in some older buildings the previous and thinner RG-6 can be found.  Since all coax is 75 ohm resistance, the primary difference between them is the gauge of the copper center wire (RG-59 is 22 AWG, while RG-6 is 18 AWG; RG-6 may be a braided core, while RG-59 is solid core; RE-59 uses a braided shield, while RG-6 may use plain flat aluminum).  Commercial buildings may use the thicker RG-11, which can carry a signal distances greater than 200 feet and may also be “Plenum” rated, meaning it can be used inside a wall where fire safety is a concern, as it will not produce toxic gas when it burns. 

Connectors can also be manufactured in varying quality, just like home theater components, some of which are actually gold-plated.  Most are referred to as “F” connectors (short, I believe for “RF”), which took the place of the older twin-lead flat antenna cable.  [While it is not used very often, very small coax uses SMA (“Sub-Miniature Version A”) connectors.]  Today, most connectors are compression fittings and not the earlier screw-on or crimp types.  The TV and computer connections are divided off the main incoming cable using a “tap” or a “splitter” [click HERE to learn how they work] which creates two separate coax cables, one for each signal, TV and computer cable modem. 

If you are not purchasing pre-made cables, but are making your own (see below), quality parts and perfect assembly are essential, as are professional stripping and crimping tools.  Poorly constructed cable connections will cause signal “leak” causing distortions (known as “ingress”)  such as vertical lines, horizontal dash lines or “beats” (little white random dots).  These can occur from improper crimping, nicking the copper core or cutting the shield.

Fibre Optic Cable

WANNA SEE HOW FIBRE OPTIC CABLE IS MADE?  CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO!

Drive Cables

SCSI Cable

Parallel Port Cable

IDE Drive Cable - 40 and 80 Pin

SATA Drive Cable

eSATA cable1

eSATA Drive Cable

Legacy BNC Cable

Example of BNC cabling in use.

A

C

B

D

BNC CONNECTORS - USED WITH COAX - PRIMARILY IN OLDER COMPUTER SYSTEMS, USED WITH MALE/FEMALE CONNECTORS (A), COUPLERS (D), Ts (C), TERMINATORS (B), ETC. (ONLY 10Mbps)

THESE ARE MOSTLY LEGACY CONNECTORS, DUE TO THEIR SLOW (10Mbps) SPEED, BUT ARE OFTEN STILL USED WITH CAMERAS


HOW TO WIRE TEL, COAX AND CAT CABLES

FOR HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN CAT CABLES, CLICK HERE

cABLES1

NEED PHONE/COAXIAL/COMPUTER CABLE RUN? WE CAN DO IT RIGHT!  WE HAVE THE EXPERIENCE AND EQUIPMENT TO DO A FIRST CLASS JOB!  CALL US!

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PLUS, WE NORMALLY LABEL CABLES AT EACH END AND ON EACH DEVICE, AND PROVIDE OUR CLIENTS WITH A MAP OF THE WIRED NETWORK!

PROFESSIONAL, HASSLE-FREE INSTALLATION OF ALL TYPES OF CABLE, HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE FOR YOUR NETWORK   CALL US FOR A QUOTE . . .

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