Copper Media

The most used media for data communications is cabling (copper media); that uses copper wires to send data and also control bits between network devices. Cables use for data communications generally consists of a series of individual copper wires; that from circuits dedicated to specific signaling purposes. 

There are three main types of copper media used in networking:

  • Unshielded Twisted-Pair (UTP)
  • Shielded Twisted-Pair (STP)
  • Coaxial

The above cables interconnect computers on a LAN and other devices such as switches, routers, and wireless access points. Each type of connection and the associated devices has cabling requirements specified by physical layer standards. The physical layer standards also specify the use of different connectors for different. Physical layer standards also specify the mechanical dimensions of the connectors and the acceptable electrical properties of each type.

Unshielded Twisted-Pair Cable (UTP)

Unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cabling is the most common networking media for voice; and data communications. UTP cable consists of four pairs of color-coded wires that have been twisted 

copper media

together and then encased in a flexible plastic sheath that protects from minor physical damage. The twisting of wires helps to decrease electromagnetic and also radio-frequency interference induced from one wire to the other.

UTP cabling terminated with RJ-45 connectors for interconnecting network hosts with intermediate networking devices Just like switches and routers.

In the figure, you can see that the color codes find the individual pairs and wires and help in cable termination.

Shielded Twisted-Pair Cable(STP)

Shielded twisted-pair (STP) provides better noise protection than UTP cabling. However, compared to UTP cable, STP cable is more expensive and difficult to install. Like UTP cable, STP uses an RJ-45 connector.

The extra covering in shielded twisted pair wiring protects the transmission line from electromagnetic interference leaking into or out of the cable. STP cabling often used in Ethernet networks, especially fast data rate Ethernet.

Shielded twisted-pair (STP)  cables also combine the techniques of shielding to counter EMI and RFI, and wire twisting to counter crosstalk. To put on the full advantage of the shielding STP cables also terminated with special shielded STP data connectors. If the cable is improperly grounded the shield may act as an antenna and pick up unwanted signals.

Coaxial Cable

Coaxial cable is called “coaxial” because of the fact that there are two conductors that share the same axis. The outer channel serves as a ground. Many of these cables or pairs of coaxial tubes placed in a single outer sheathing and; with repeaters, can carry information for a great distance.

As shown in the figure, coaxial cable consists of:

  • A copper conductor used to send the electronic signalscopper media.
  • A layer of flexible plastic insulation surrounding a copper conductor.
  • The insulating material surrounded in a woven copper braid or metallic foil; that acts as the second wire in the circuit and as a shield for the inner conductor. This second layer or shield also reduces the amount of outside electromagnetic interference.
  • The entire cable has covered with a cable jacket to prevent minor physical damage.

There are different types of connectors uses with coax cable.

Although, UTP cable has essentially replaced the coaxial cable in modern Ethernet installations, the coaxial cable design:

  • There are many types of coax cable that we can use in different ways following is the table of different types of coax cable

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