Twisted Pair Cable

Data communication applications typically make use of twisted-pair cable as their primary method of electrical wiring.

Twisted pair cable serves as the foundation for the majority of the telephone wiring found within offices. VGM is an abbreviation that stands for voice grade medium. In its most basic form, VGM is employed in the transmission of human voices.

A twisted-pair cable is made up of two identical wires that are coiled around each other in a spiral fashion to form a double helix.

Problems can arise between the pair as a result of differences in the electrical characteristics, such as the length, resistance, and capacitance of the two components. Consequently, as a consequence of this reason, LAN applications will typically make use of a cable with a higher quality known as DGM (which stands for "data grade medium").

Although there are numerous varieties and classifications of twisted pair cable, they all share the following two characteristics in typical fashion:

  • The wires come in pairs.
  • The pairs of wires are twisted around each other.

Crosstalk can be reduced by winding the wires in a spiral. Crosstalk in this context refers to the transmission of a signal from one wire to another, which can result in the signal becoming corrupted and leading to errors in the network.

Not only does twisting the wires protect the signal from internal crosstalk, but it also protects it from other forms of signal interference that come from the outside.

Types of Twisted Pair Cable

Twisted pair cables can be roughly divided into two categories, which are as follows:

Unshielded Twisted Pair Cable

Unshielded twisted pair cabling, also known as UTP for short, is utilized for many different types of electronic communications.

The unshielded twisted pair cables have a maximum segment length of one hundred metres that they can support.

The unshielded twisted pair cable is available in five categories. All are described in the table given below:

UTP Type Description
CAT1 Voice-grade communications only. No data transmission
CAT2 Data-grade transmission upto 4Mbps
CAT3 Data-grade transmission upto 10Mbps
CAT4 Data-grade transmission upto 16Mbps
CAT5 Data-grade transmission upto 1000Mbps

Shielded Twisted Pair Cable

The shielding of the individual wire pairs that are contained within shielded twisted pair (STP) cables provides an additional layer of protection against interference from the outside world.

It is possible for shielded twisted pair cables to have a maximum segment length of one hundred metres.

Advantage of STP over UTP Cable

Because of the shielding, shielded twisted pair (STP) provides a higher level of protection against interference and crosstalk than unshielded twisted pair (UTP). This is the primary advantage of STP over UTP.

However, shielded twisted pair cable is more expensive than unshielded twisted pair cable, in addition to being more cumbersome and requiring additional grounding at both ends.

Advantages of Twisted Pair Cable

The following is a list of the primary benefits that come with using twisted pair cable:

  • simple
  • easy to install and maintain
  • physically flexible
  • has a low weight
  • can be easily connected
  • very inexpensive

Disadvantages of Twisted Pair Cable

The following is a list of the most significant drawbacks associated with twisted pair cable:

  • Due to the fact that it has such high attenuation, it is not possible for it to carry a signal over long distances without the assistance of repeaters.
  • Because of its limited bandwidth capabilities, it is not suitable for use in applications that require broadband.
  • Without conditioning, it supports data transfer speeds of up to 1 Mbps, while conditioning boosts those speeds to 10 Mbps.

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