Tuesday, June 25, 2024

The Complete Guide to Telephone Cables

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Though they might seem like there aren’t many uses for them, telephone cables are still quite necessary in the telecommunications world. Telephone cables work to connect circuits to a particular system, often joining PCs or landline telephones to some form of telecommunication network.

Telephone cables are still used in more ways than you could have realized. Consider this your guide to telephone cables, what they can be used for, the different connector types, and anything else you could need to know.

Current Uses of Telephone Cables

Let’s start with the question that everyone is asking: “What are telephone cables used for?” There are two main uses, both of which are quite common. The first is a digital subscriber line (DSL), which transmits data using telephone lines. DSL can be delivered alongside a standard landline telephone service since it operates at a higher frequency. With DSL, upload speeds are far slower than download speeds, making it an ideal connection for domestic and business customers.

The other use is for wired networking. Though wireless is quite popular, a wired connection tends to be much more stable and reliable. Ethernet cables, a type of telephone cable, are used to create a local area network (LAN) that can connect a slew of devices in a single area.

Telephone Cable Connector Types

When talking about telephone cable, it helps to know what kind of connector is required to reach the preferred destination. The connection must be compatible with the intended socket or it won’t be possible to make a connection. There are two main types of phone line connectors.

Registered Jack (RJ)

There are two types of telephone cable connectors in the tech world. The first is an international telecommunications standard using a modular design known as Registered Jack (RJ). The most commonly used is RJ11, though there are larger variations like RJ14 and RJ25. The connectors are made from transparent plastic and have a number of different pins or contact points. RJ11 connects single telephone lines while RJ14 and RJ25 can work with two and three lines, respectively.

British Standard (BS) 6312

The rival to the RJ standard, this type uses a combination of extension boxes and square junctions in order to grip cable firmly with any rectangular, flat BT phone connectors. There is a side hook involved to prevent any potential disconnection. There are extension kits that combine sockets, cables, and connectors to make for an easier installation.

Telephone Cable Pairs

You may hear about ‘pairs’ when it comes to telephone cables. Each conductor in the cable is twisted together with a different unit that is color-coded. Those are then grouped with other pairs within that single cable in a process known as stranding. If you hear about two- and four-pair external telephone cables, the difference is straightforward. A two-pair has two sets of two connectors, a four-pair has four sets.

The goal of the twisting is meant to reduce interference – also known as crosstalk – and induction (excess electrical current) between each of the individual conductors. Both of the strands in a single pair are required for a telephone socket but communications equipment requires a variety of connections. That requires multiple paired conductors in your average telephone cable.

In some instances, there are some connections that require an extra yet unneeded pair of wires. The purpose here is that it allows for the prospect of additional telephone lines to be added to the mix. There are also a number of cores within each of the cables. This is critical for transferring different forms of data across cabling.

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