Flat Cord Phone Wire Vs. Round Cord Wire

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Since Alexander Graham Bell patented the first telephone on Jan. 30, 1877, people have been using telephones as their primary means of communication all around the world. Though wireless phone use has recently outgrown land line use, a large portion of the population continue to use wired landlines.

Basic Telephone Phone Wiring

  • Wiring for you phone service is not as difficult as you may think. There are generally only two wires involved.

    One wire carries the tone while the other carries the ring, commonly known as ring and tip. These are color coded in pairs and connected to a NID (network interface device) that is attached to the side or back of the home. In rare cases they are inside the home. All of the phone lines at a residence are run to the NID or from the NID to a connection block.

    Wiring generally comes in two forms: round and flat.

Flat Phone Cord Wires

  • Flat phone wires are normally used for the connection from the wall jack to the phone base. If they are too long they can get entangled in their environment rather easily.

    Flat phone wiring is set in small plastic ducts inside the wire housing. This makes it difficult to work with in terms of wire splicing and cutting. Also, the colored wiring is multi-filament, made of of several extremely thin and fragile copper wires. It's only meant for voice data transmission over relatively short distances.

Round Phone Cord Wire

  • Round phone cord wire is used to wire the inside of homes. The two popular standards are CAT 3 and CAT 5 (CAT meaning category). CAT 3 monofilament wiring is made to carry voice and data information. Both look the same physically with CAT 5 having more wire pairs. However, CAT 5 is created to carry more data than CAT 3.

STP And UTP

  • Telephone wiring can come in as STP or UTP. STP (shielded twisted pair) is surrounded by an aluminum foil like outer coating with another plastic coating to shield it from crosstalk and general electrical interference. It's more expensive but has better transmission than UTP (unshielded twisted pair). However, UTP wiring is much easier to work with than STP wiring and is far more widespread because of it.

Other Phone Cord Wires

  • Spiral telephone wiring is used almost exclusively from the handset to the phone base. It prevents an inordinate amount of wiring that can get tangled and twisted in the nearby environment. The idea is that it's supposed to spring back to its original position when the handset is put back on the cradle.

    The reality however is that it normally gets tangled in itself. This is because of the unconscious turning of the handset when answering the phone. A quick way to remedy this is to rotate the handset itself until the cord is at its normal state.

References

  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Bahador Jamshidi
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