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jacket

  1. Making & Mending - DIY Telephone Cables

    Modern telephone cords have been in use for a long time, with little change since their invention in the 1970s. Finding phone cords in the store can be tricky today; many stores have stopped carrying telephone cables since so many people only use cell phones now. This rings especially true for coiled handset cords. With these cables becoming rarer, sometimes it is better to repair rather than replace them. Other times, users may just need a cable not available in a standard length.

    There is a bit of variation with different connectors available, as well as different wiring schemes (called pinouts) for the smaller wires inside the main cord. This guide will cover how to attach a connector to the end of bare phone cable and the difference between wiring pinouts.

    Step 1: Gathering the Supplies

    There are a few simple supplies that will be needed for an installation or repair. The key components are the bare phone cable and the correct type of connectors. There are three main types of connectors that can be used. RJ12 is the most common, being used on flat line cords that connect the base of a telephone to the wall. RJ11 is an older version of RJ12, and they are the same size. The difference is that RJ11 uses four internal wires (called conductors) while RJ12 uses six. RJ12 is backwards compatible with RJ11, but RJ11 will not work with RJ12.

    Coiled handset

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  2. Cable Jackets

    There are a few key terms that apply to all cables, one of the main ones being the type of jacket a cable uses. The jacket is the exterior of the cable and can be made from a variety of materials. It is important to ensure that any cable has the appropriate jacket for the location it will be installed.

    PVC

    PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), also called CMR (Communications Multipurpose, Riser), cable is the most common cable jacket. This is the type of jacket on a standard cable that you could find off-the-shelf at a store. They are designed with a degree of fire resistance to stop flames from traveling along the cables and spreading through buildings in the event of an emergency. Beyond that, PVC has no special features.

    Plenum

    Plenum cables adhere to more strict fire codes than PVC. Commonly used inside walls, ceilings, and floors, plenum cables let off non-toxic smoke when they burn. Fire safety codes often require plenum cables for commercial buildings. If you are unsure whether you need plenum cables, check with your local fire marshall.

    Outdoor

    Outdoor-rated cables are designed to be used outside, as the name implies. Used in areas such as rooftops and the sides of buildings, these cables are built to hold up against conditions that indoor cables cannot withstand, such as UV radiation (sunlight) and rainwater. If you are putting any type of cable outside, you must use a cable

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