Video Blog: Solid vs. Stranded Center Conductors

July 27, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

All cables have either a solid and stranded conductor, no matter if they’re Cat5e, Cat6 or any other category rating. To figure out whether a solid or stranded cable will work best for your application, you’ll need to look at the advantages and disadvantages of both.

 

A solid cable’s conductors are made of solid metal, usually copper, making the cable more rigid.  Solid cables are typically used as infrastructure cabling in walls, ceilings and conduit where flexibility isn’t necessary because the cables aren’t moved after installation. They are also cheaper and transmit better over long distances with lower attenuation than stranded cable, but they are more likely to break if bent repeatedly.

 

Stranded cables are much more flexible because their conductors are made of thin metal wires that are twisted together to create a larger, thicker conductor. These cables are frequently used as patch cords and in shorter network cable runs that need extra flexibility.  Stranded cables are typically more expensive than solid cables, but they work well for shorter distances and can stand-up to repetitive bending without breaking.

 

There are other factors to take into consideration when choosing a cable. For more information on which cable type is best for your application, watch our video blog.

 

All Contacts are Not Created Equal

March 9, 2017 at 8:00 AM

 

Certain contacts work best on certain types of cable. Here, we’ll take a look at how to determine which type of contact is best for your application.

 

First, you need to determine which type of cable you’re using – solid or stranded. All cables will fall into these two categories no matter if they’re Cat5e, Cat 6 or otherwise. 

 

A solid cable’s conductors are made of solid metal, usually copper, making the cable more rigid.  Solid cables are typically used as infrastructure cabling in walls, ceilings and conduit where flexibility isn’t necessary since the cable is put into place and left alone. They are also cheaper, transmit better over long distances (lower attenuation than stranded cable), but they are more likely to break if bent repeatedly.

 

Stranded cables are much more flexible because the conductors are made of thin metal wires that are twisted together to create a larger, thicker conductor. These cables are frequently used as patch cords and shorter network cable runs that need extra flexibility for bending.  Stranded cables are typically more expensive than solid cables, but they work well for shorter distances and can stand-up to repetitive bending without breaking.

 

Now that you’re clear on solid versus stranded cables, we can take a look at the types of contacts that are available for RJ45 plugs that are used on Ethernet cables.

 

Each contact is designed for a specific cable type and not all plugs will work on all cables. 

 

The diagram below outlines that main contact designs that are available. Some contacts can be used on both solid and stranded cable. Always check the manufacturer’s datasheet to determine if the plug/contact can be used with your cable type.

 

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