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12: Cabling - copper cable (intro) part 1

For data to be transmitted, devices must be connected by means of either cables, or wireless. Covering all kinds of cabling is beyond the scope of this lesson, for cabling is a broad and large field of study. There is not only one type of cables, but rather there are a plethora of cable types and standards. Copper cable,  fiber optics, and coaxial cable are the major sort of cables through which data is transmitted nowadays. However, each of which has unique characteristics and special using settings. Cabling process including copper cabling, fiber optics cabling, and connectors used on them are all defined at the physical layer.

Copper cable
Copper cable is the most used medium for data transmission in LANs. This technology has so greatly developed that it becomes part and parcel of almost every designed network. It is used to link hosts to devices such as switches, routers, hubs, bridges etc.  If a network installer to utilize copper in a given LAN network, several elements must be taken into consideration. The first element is the type of copper cabling. One should be careful when choosing the type of copper to be used, for a variety of copper cabling standards exist. Bandwidth of the communication should also be given due regard. A large network containing a vast array of devices must be devoted high bandwidth ; that occurs by choosing sophisticated technology. Furthermore, type of connectors cannot also be overemphasized. Each type of copper has special connectors that are peculiar to it ; as such selecting the appropriate connectors is a step of paramount importance.

Significantly, the network installer must be aware of the pinout and color codes of each type of media connection. For example, the arrangement of colors within a connector for connecting a computer to a router is not the same order used to link a computer to a switch ; nonetheless, the process has become much easier with the recent manufactured devices. The final thing that the network installer should pay regard to is the maximum distance of media.  Long distances need different types of copper ; however, in distances larger than 100 meters other types cabling, rather than copper, is opted for.

Thus far copper is the most pervasive media in use because of many advantages. Nevertheless, copper has also some drawbacks or limitations. Because of the fact that it conducts electrical signals and that data makes its way along the cable as small low pulses of voltage, thus data signals can be easily distorted by being subject to outside interference and signal attenuation. This latter implies that a signal loses energy as it travels long distances. Such outside interference or noise affects the timing and voltage values and consequently corrupts data signals. There are many sources of noise such as electric motors, signals of other devices or cables, radio waves to name but a few.

Notwithstanding all such outside noise sources that badly influence data signals in copper, this medium has evolved in such a way that data can now be said to travel along the cable safely with less effects of interference. Enhancing copper cabling is not the merely solution to keep the noise away from it, but network installers or architects should pay enough heed to the area where the cables are put. This means that the cables should be located far from any systems that generate electromagnetic interference.

After introducing copper as a type of cabling system, it is time to provide the available sub-types within it with a view to make the reader closer to copper. The most common types of copper cable are Unshielded Twisted-Pair (UTP) cabling, Shielded Twisted-Pair (STP) cabling, and coaxial cabling.

See the next lesson from here
12: Cabling - copper cable (intro) part 1 Reviewed by BOUFTIRA on 7:13:00 AM Rating: 5

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