Fundamentally, cables provide a medium for the transmission of signals and electric current. However, their uses vary with each type of cable. Whether they are cables meant for communication or electricity, different cables have a variety of specifications depending on where they are used and what they are used for. Let us explore what are the types of cables that are being used today:
The first category of cable consists of cables used for telecommunication.
Twisted Pair Cable
There are two kinds of twisted pair cable that can be used – Shielded Twisted Pairs (STP) and Unshielded Twisted Pairs (UTP). The STP cable is characterized by multiple pairs of twisted wires, with each pair being covered by a foil. There will then be a second foil or braided shield that covers the 4 twisted pairs altogether as a group. This double shielding characteristic helps to bring down the rate of interference.
The UTP cable lacks the foil cover that each pair of twists has in a STP cable. Two single wires are first twisted with each other to form an individual pair. The individual pairs will then be twisted again together as a group to form the UTP cable. The tighter the twist, the better the transmission. Due to the absence of a foil or braided shield cover, it is more susceptible to signal interferences known as noise. However, this cable is highly popular globally, especially for use in school networks and comes as a cheaper alternative to STP cables.
This cable contains a wire at the core, which is surrounded by an insulating material. There is a braided shield that protects the cable from noise and interference. There are two types of coaxial cable; thinnet and the thicknet.
Fiber Optic Cable
The fiber optic cable consists of the single mode and the multi-mode fiber optic cable. It is made up of a center core made of glass or plastic where light beams are transmitted through reflection in this channel. The fact that it transmits signal through a light beam makes it less susceptible to interference.
The core is covered by a plastic insulation layer, which makes it resistant to breakage.
It is suitable for building-to-building connectivity due to its ability to transmit signals at a high speed and over long distances. A fiber optic cable is highly resistant to moisture and light. It is also efficient in transmitting teleconferencing video content. However, its installation and modification may be difficult.
The second category of cable consists of cables used for electricity.
The electric cable comprises of a core and one or more strands where current is passed through.
When installing an electrical cable, you should consider the amount of voltage that will be passing through it. If the voltage is more than the maximum the cable can withstand, then the cable insulation will break down, causing a short circuit.
There are environmental factors that affect the effectiveness of a cable within a certain area. One example would be the temperature of the surrounding. Therefore, it is best to use one with suitable temperature rating for your environment. In the case of extreme temperatures, you should use special cables meant to tolerate extremely high or low temperatures.
The proper insulation of a cable should be observed to prevent anyone from getting an electric shock. Observe the colours of the cable during installation. Black represents negative, red represents positive while green or yellow represents an earth wire. If you are confused by what you need to know about these cables, approach a cable supplier in Singapore and find out more.