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Assembling and Cabling Cisco Devices

October 28, 2012


A network consists of many computers connected together. In addition to computers, there are additional devices that enhance data transfer in terms of speed and quality. These devices are connected to each other using cables. Cabling is of three. The choice of a cabling medium and device in a network depends on the factors, such as organization requirements, cost factor, and type of data to be transferred.


Computers in a network are connected using cables. The cables act as a medium for transferring data over the network. A network can use multiple types of cables. The type of cable that a network uses depends upon the topology, protocol, and size of the network. There are three types of cables available:

  • Coaxial
  • Twisted Pair
  • Fiber-optic

Coaxial Cables

Coaxial cables are not normally used today since they are difficult to install. Some of the older networks may have a thinnet coax cable. Coaxial cable consists of a copper conductor covered with a concentric channel. An insulation sheath is present between the two concentric layers. Multiple coaxial cables can be placed in a singe outer insulation sheath for transmitting data over large networks. You can classify coaxial cables depending upon the flexibility of the outer sheath as:

  • Rigid : Consist of a solid outer insulation sheath
  • Flexible : Consists of a braided sheath
  • Thinnet : Consist of thin coaxial cables about 0.25 inches thick. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standard 10 base-2 for cables provides the specification for thinnet cables. The network segment length that the cable supports is 185 meters. Thinnet cables are used for small networks, such as schools and small organizations. The thinnet coaxial cable appears

  • Thicknet: Consist of thick coaxial cables about .5 inches thick. The IEEE standard 10 base-5 provides the specification for Thicknet cables. Thicknet cables support a maximum length of 500 meters. The core wire in thicknet cables is thicker than thinnet cables. Thicknet cales have a protective plastic sheathing that prevents moisture from the core conductor. Thicknet cables are used for transmitting data over long network segments.

Twisted Pair cables

Twisted pair cables consist of two insulated wires twisted together. The twisting of cables reduces electromagnetic interference and crosstalk among the cables. Crosstalk is the phenomenon where signals from adjacent wires interfere with signals of other wires.

There are two types of twisted pair cables:

  • Unshielded twisted Pair
  • Shielded Twisted Pair

Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP)

UTP consists of four pairs of twisted wires within an outer insulation jacket. Each pair is further twisted to reduce interference. UTP cables use the IEEE 10 base T Ethernet standard. The Maximum length for the network segment using UTP is 100 meters.

Shielded Twisted Pair (STP)

STP has an outer shield or casing made of high quality copper than UTP. In addition, STP uses  foil wrap around the wires and between the wire pairs. This minimizes electrical interference.

Fiber Optic Cables


Fiber optic cables use light signals for transmitting data instead of electronic pulses used by copper wire. A transmitter accepts information in the form of electrical pulses from copper wires. The electrical pulses are converted to light pulses using a light emitting diode. A lance enables to transmit the light pulses over the network.

                                                     Fiber Optic Cables                                      

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