Ethernet cables are the lifeline of any Internet connection and one of the most common types of cables used today. Since its invention in 1974, Ethernet has come a long way as technology has advanced and upgrades have been developed. As these advancements are implemented, older versions of Ethernet are phased out for newer models. But a lot of older Ethernet cables are still in use and work well enough, so it is important to know the difference between the different varieties on the market today.
While some Ethernet cables are better than others, simply
Like any piece of hardware out there, cables can suffer from wear-and-tear as time marches on. Even if cables keep running perfectly as the years go by, they will get to the point of being outdated. Some cables are also more prone to needing replacement than others. Knowing when to replace a cable can make electronics run better, save on your electric bill, and even prevent potential safety issues. But what exactly you need to look for when thinking about replacing something is going to depend on which type of cable we are talking about.
Ethernet – Now or the near-future
Cables to Keep Around the House
Spring is here and a lot of us are going to use that nicer weather to get a little cleaning done. If your house is anything like everyone else's, there is probably a junk drawer somewhere with a big mess of old cables. After untangling all the knots, you will want to look at each cable to see what you should keep and what can be tossed.
Keep: Micro USB 2.0
Many electronics have to be connected to a monitor before you can use them. Even devices with their own screens like smartphones and laptops have that option so users have the option of using bigger displays like televisions and projectors. Over the years, many new video cables been introduced and gradually replace the old as technology continues to grow. Modern high-def TVs have come a long way from the black and white TVs of old.
1956: Composite RCA is introduced, becoming a common standard for televisions, VCRs, LaserDisc, video game consoles, computers, and more for the next several decades. Each cable can only send a single signal, paving the way for multi-signal cables to eventually replace RCA in the future.
Hooking up a computer monitor is not terribly complicated but there are a few different types of cables that can be used to get the job done. Before even purchasing a monitor, start by checking the computer itself. Look at the back to the machine to see what kind of video ports are on there. Ideally, you will want the same type of connection on the monitor and computer. If you find yourself with a mismatching monitor and computer, you can use an adapter or converter to change one type of connection to another.
When making your selection, there are five main types of connections built onto modern monitors: VGA, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB.
Coax cables are capable of transmitting radio frequency (RF) signals and have served as the backbone of communications technology for decades. From radios to telephones to televisions to computers, coax cable has seen continued use even as the technology it supports continues to evolve. Stretching back over 100 years, the origins of coax cables begin towards the end of the 19th century.
Oliver Heaviside, the grandfather of modern coax cable
1880: The original coax cable was created by English inventor
Coax cables are fairly simple to assemble, but there are a few different ways to go about doing so. Having a good coax signal is heavily dependant on installing a connector correctly. If you are unsure about how to install a coax connector, see our installation guide here.
Whether crimp, solder, compression, and twist-on is the best option will depend on the exact setting the cable will be used in. Consider questions such as:
- Is the cable low- or high-voltage?
- Will it be used for field-work or factory-work?
- How experienced are the individuals working with the cable?
- How long is the cable expected to last?
- What is the budget?
- Will the cable be in a hazardous environment (extreme temperatures,
Null modem, also called crossover, is a term associated with serial (RS-232) cables. A standard serial cable, also called an AT cable, has the wires inside the cable running straight through. Take a DB9 cable as an example. Pin 1 on one end of the cable would be connected to Pin 1 on the other end. Then Pin 2 to 2, 3 to 3, and so on. Null modem cables are serial cables that use an alternative pinout for different functionality.
NEMA and IEC are the two most common standards for power cords used in North America. NEMA connectors are on the side of the power cord that plugs into an AC wall outlet. IEC connectors are the side that plugs into devices like computers or TVs. By and large, NEMA and IEC are compatible with each other. There are many similarities between NEMA and IEC standards, but they are not quite the same.
NEMA is an acronym
Cables are the backbone of most modern technology. From simple ethernet cables keeping office computers online to heavy-duty power cables running hospital equipment, cables are involved with every aspect of technology. Even wireless devices like cell phones and tablets can only work by connecting to other devices like modems and routers that use cables themselves.
With cables being so critical, it is important to think economically when making purchases. However, once prices get too low it should set off a red flag. If something seems too good to be true, it usually is. Where cables are concerned, that can mean counterfeit cables that do not meet industry standards. These cables are unsafe and can damage themselves, the equipment they are connected to, and people unfortunate enough to be handling them.
Identifying Counterfeit Cables