Monthly Archives: October 2018

  1. Cable Management - Cable Prep

    A little cable prep can go a long way towards keeping your work area tidy. Anytime you use more than a few cables, they can quickly become a tangled, jumbled mess. Using a few cable prep tools can keep cables safe, secure, and neat.

    Cable Labels

    When lots of different cables are all hooked up right next to each other, it can be hard to remember where each cable goes. One of the simplest ways to keep track of each cable is with some simple labels. These labels come with templates and are on sheets the size of a standard piece of paper, allowing them to be printed on any standard printer. The individual labels are also available in multiple sizes to ensure a fit regardless of

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  2. American Wire Gauge (AWG)

    American Wire Gauge (AWG)

    What is American Wire Gauge (AWG)?

    American Wire Gauge (AWG, sometimes called the Brown & Sharpe wire gauge) is the standardized wire gauge system used to measure the size of electric conducting wire in the United States since 1857. AWG refers to wire made with a solid metal core. It is represented as a simple number that is calculated by finding the radius of the wire, squaring that number, and multiplying it by pi (AWG = πr²). The smaller the number is, the thicker the cable will be.

    Stranded wire is also commonly referred to using AWG, but it a little more complex. Because standard cables are made using multiple wires instead of a single solid core, they can be given multiple numbers. For example, a c

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  3. Speaker Wire

    Speaker wire is one of the most common types of audio cable. While it looks simple at a glance, there are a fair number of factors that come into play. Some speaker cables have connectors while others are blunt (ending with bare wire). The AWG (American Wire Gauge) of speaker wire comes in a few different varieties with different types having advantages and disadvantages depending on the application.

    Speaker Wire Connectors (or Bare Wire)

    Most speakers (and some similar equipment) do not come with the speaker wire they need. The first step in selecting one is deciding how you the wire will be connected to the speaker. Many speakers have the option to insert the bare wire, eliminating the need for a connector. Bare wire does provide the best sound quality since there is nothing between the wire and speaker

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  4. Power Cables

    Power cables are incredibly varied, with different types of cables and standards being set by their use and the country they are used in. In the United States alone, there are over a dozen types that are commonly used. Each type of power cable connector has its own name, so most power cables will have two names associated with them. There are two main standards for power cables in the US, NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission).

    Types of NEMA connectors include:

    • 1-15
    • 5-15
    • 5-20

    Types

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  5. Fiber Optic Cables

    Fiber optic cable is the newer, faster way to transmit data. These send data signals using light (lasers) instead of electricity. Light signals can travel faster for higher bandwidth, suffer from less signal loss, and degrade less from electrical interference. Fiber optic cables come in a few different varieties with multiple types of cable as well as multiple connectors.

    Types of cable include:

    • Single-mode
    • Multi-mode
      • OM1
      • OM2
      • OM3
      • OM4

    Types of connectors include:

    • FC
    • LC
    • SC
    • ST
    • MTP/MPO
    • MTRJ

    Fiber Cables

    Single-mode

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  6. Coaxial (Coax) Connectors

    Along with the many types of coax cables there are to pick from, there is also an assortment of different coax connectors. When selecting a connector, you need to make sure you select one rated for the cable you are assembling. The back end of the connector that attaches to the coax cable needs to be the right size for installation. If the connector is too small, it will not fit. If it is too big, the connector will not secure properly and can be pulled off or even just fall off.

    The type of connector you need will be determined by the equipment used with the coax cable. A television coax connection, for example, uses an F-type connector as the industry standard. Not every connector can be used with every type of coax cable, but all types of coax cables do support multiple types of connectors.

    Every

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  7. Coax (Coaxial) Cables

    Coax (coaxial) cable is one of the oldest types of cables, having been in use for over 100 years. Like ethernet, coax cables come in both solid and stranded versions, although they are usually solid. Only a few types of coax, namely RG58 and RG8, are available as stranded.

    Most coax cables fall into one of two categories, RG (Radio Guide) and LMR. No one is 100% sure what LMR actually stands for. It could stand for a term, someone’s name, or just be random letters. There are many rumors and theories for what LMR may mean but nobody really knows for sure.

    RG cables are labeled “RG#” with the number formerly standing for the diameter of the cable. For example, RG59 cable originally had a diameter of .059”. While these measurements have changed over the years, the names of the cables have stuck. There are many types o

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  8. Telephone Cables

    Telephone cords are one of the more basic types of cables. Phone cables have remained mostly the same over the years with a few small changes here and there. There is a little terminology to know that will tell you a bit more about your phone lines, such as how they are wired and what type of plastic connector is on the end of the cable.

    Phone cords come in two varieties, flat cords used to connect phones to the wall and coiled cords used for handset receivers. Flat cords will use either an RJ11 or RJ12 connector. These two connectors are the same size and look the same on the outside. On the inside, RJ11 will have four metal contacts for the internal wires inside the cable while RJ12 has six contacts. Since they are the same size, RJ12 is backwards compatible with RJ11. However, since RJ11 is the older of the two it is not compatible with RJ12.

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  9. Audio & Video Cables

    Audio and video cables go hand-in-hand, often being paired together. Some cables can even transmit audio and video on just one line. Over time a lot of new audio and video cables have been introduced, so the cable you need will often depend on the age of the equipment you are using. Most TVs, computers, and other devices can use multiple types of audio and video connections, so it is good to be able to identify them and know your options.

    Audio-only cables include:

    • 3.5mm
    • 2.5mm
    • ¼”
    • Optical Toslink
    • XLR
    • SpeakOn
    • MIDI

    Video-only cables include:

    • S-Video
    • DB9
    • VGA
    • DVI

    Audio/video cables include:

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