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Major Types of Twisted Pair Cable
Twisted pair cable is available in
two primary varieties: Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) and Unshielded
Twisted Pair (UTP). The difference between the two varieties is
the degree of shielding against outside interference that is provided
by the covering over the wires. Unshielded does not contain
any special shielding, whereas Shielded does.
Figure 13: Unshielded Twisted Pair
UTP (Unshielded Twisted
pair) cable is usually 4 pair, or 8 wires. The outer
covering of the wires may be PVC or in more expensive cable,
a plenum outer jacket.
Plenum is typically required by fire code when cable is run in enclosed areas such as walls or ceilings. This type of material does not produce poisonous fumes in a fire.
STP (Shielded twisted pair)
is just like its cousin, however it has a metal layer before
the outer jacket. IBM Token Ring networks typically require
this type of cable.
Figure 14: Shielded Twisted Pair
A media filter can
be used to make a Token Ring network, talk
using UTP. The media filter removes the noise induced
by the lack of a metal shield.
A device called a media filter is used to make CAT cable usable for IBM Token Ring networks. This device makes up for the lack of shielding on CAT (UTP) cable.
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