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The Computer and other telecommunication

devices use signals to represent data. These

signals are transmitted from one device to
another in the form of electromagnetic energy.
Electromagnetic signals can travel through a
vacuum, air or other transmission media.
Electromagnetic energy, a combination of
electric and magnetic fields vibrating in
relation to each other.
Guided Media, which are those that provide
a conduit from one device to another. A
signal traveling along these media is
directed and contained by physical limits
of the medium.
Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) cable is the most
common type of telecommunication medium in
use today. Its frequency range is suitable for
transmitting both data and voice. It support a
frequency band of 100Hz to 5 MHz.
A UTP consist of two conductors (usually copper)
each with its own colored plastic insulation. The
plastic insulation is colour banded for
STP Cable has a metal foil or mesh covering that
encases each pair of insulating conductors. The
metal casing prevents the penetration of
electromagnetic noise as a result STP is less
susceptible to noise. It support a frequency band
of 100Hz to 5 MHz.
Both UTP and STP uses a snap-in-plug connector
like that used with telephone jacks. These
connectors are known as RJ (Redundant Jack)
The various RJ connectors are
RJ-11 (4 Pin)
RJ-13 (6 Pin)
RJ-45 (8Pin)
Coaxial cable also known as coax carries signals of
higher frequency ranges than twisted pair cable.
It support frequency range from 100 KHz to 500
MHz. Instead of having two wires, coax has a
central core conductor of solid copper wire
enclosed in an insulating sheath, which is in turn,
encased in an outer conductor or metal foil. The
outer metallic wrapping serves both as a shield
against noise and as a second conductor, which
completes the circuit. This outer conductor is
also enclosed in an insulating sheath and the
whole cable is protected by a plastic cover.
Different coaxial cable are designs are categorized
by there radio government (RG) ratings. Each
RG number denotes a unique set of physical
specification, including the wire gauge of the
inner conductor, the thickness and type of inner
insulator and the size and type of the outer
casing. The few various types of coaxial cables
(Bayonet Network
Up until this point, we have discussed conductive (metal)
cables that transmit signals in the form of current. Optical
fiber on the other hand, is made up of glass or plastic and
transmits signals in the form of light. To understand
optical fiber, we first need to explore several aspects of
the nature of light.
Light is a form of energy that travels at its fastest in vacuum
at speed of 300,000 kilometers/second or 1,86,000
miles/second approx. The speed of light depends upon
the density of medium through which it is traveling (the
higher the density, slower the speed)
Light travels in a straight line as long as it is
moving though a single uniform substance.
If a ray of light traveling through one substance
suddenly enters another (more or less dense)
substance, its speed changes abruptly, causing
the ray to change direction. This change is
called refraction.
A beam of light moving from a less dense into a
more dense medium is bent toward the vertical
axis. The two angles made by the beam of light
in relation to the vertical axis are called, i for
incident and r for refracted. The beam travels
from a more dense medium to a less dense
medium bents away from the vertical axis.
If a beam of light move from high dense medium
to less dense medium, the direction of beam
changes. It forms two angle with vertical axis,
angle of incidence i and angle of refraction r.
If i r also increases, like this if we go on
increasing the angle of incidence a point will
come when r = 90o, at this point angle of
incidence is also known as Critical angle c. If
we further increase i than greater than c than
a new phenomenon occurs called reflection.
Light no longer passes into the less dense
medium at all. In this case i = r.
Optical Fiber uses this reflection technique to
guide light through a channel.
This cable consist of a fiber core made of
glass or plastic surrounded by a cladding
of less dense glass or plastic. The
difference in density of the two material
must be such that a beam of light moving
through the core is reflected off the
cladding instead of being refracted into it.
Fiber core is covered by a buffer layer that
protects it from moisture. Finally the entire
cable is encased in an outer jacket.
Advantages of Optical Fiber
a) Noise resistance
b) Less signal attenuation

Disadvantages of Optical Fiber

a) High Cost
b) Installation and Maintenance difficult
c) Fragile