General Question

squirbel's avatar

Do flat Ethernet cables degrade the signal more than their round cousins?

Asked by squirbel (4292points) May 21st, 2008 from iPhone

I’ve seen many opinions on this, and the sum is that no one knows. I am appealing to those in the Fluther who are familiar with the mechanics of wiring and signal loss.


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9 Answers

klaas4's avatar

I don’t know but we have round ones here…

robmandu's avatar

[ tangent ]:

Audiophiles can’t tell the difference between Monster Cable and coat hangers

My take away from that article is that, apparently, cable manufacturing in general is more art than science.

pattyb's avatar

unlike analog a digital signal does not have any strong or weak signals, just a signal period. Its the same signal if going thru a $300 piece of gold plate or a $10 walmart cable. So flat or round should not make a difference either. Many audiophiles will argue, but it has been proven many times.

b's avatar

This is not an audio question, but a network hardware question. Flat ethernet cables are just a slimmer profile than the round ones. As long as the manufacturers made the correct number of twists in the pairs I think the signal loss and cross talk should not be much less than standard ethernet cables. In a home networking environment I doubt that they would make much of a difference.

paulc's avatar

I agree with b. If the pairs are arranged side-by-side there’s less chance for one wire to significantly affect more than two others. In a bundled arrangement, one wire could affect potentially many others. All that said, I think that most ethernet cables don’t suffer terribly from signal interference internally – I’m pretty sure they’re shielded individually though I could be wrong about that.

chaosrob's avatar

The pairs of wire in UTP cabling are supposed to affect each other. The twists are done at specific fequencies to both minimize crosstalk between pairs and to create a sort of RF-minimized environment for the pairs most commonly used for signal traffic, sort of a pseudo shield. Flat cables don’t have these twists, so they don’t get the benefit of this kind of RF protection. So, flat cables are only suitable for much shorter runs than round UTP cables.

b's avatar

Actually, they do have twisted pairs.

squirbel's avatar

Thanks, and thanks for the link for looooooong cable since that’s what I need.

chaosrob's avatar

Flat UTP? Cool. Nice find!

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