West Penn Wire Blog

Solid Vs. Stranded Cable

Posted by Samantha Flannery on May 23, 2019 10:02:00 AM
In low voltage cabling, we hear the terms solid and stranded on a regular basis. When these two terms are being discussed it generally goes back to the copper material within the cable and how it is arranged.  The main, distinct difference between these two is t he overall flexibility.  In the article below we will be looking at some distinct differences between the two. 
 
Stranded cables are made from several thinner wires that are woven together into one cohesive bunch and are insulated. These cables are used in situations where the wire is installed in cramped space. This cable can also be used when the wire needs to be highly flexible and in areas with a great deal of vibration.  In a low voltage system, a stranded conductor may consist of 7, 19 or even more strands to make an AWG size.  For example, a 7-strand of 26awg will give a DCR of an 18AWG.  Other factors to consider for stranding is skin effect.  Skin effect is a phenomenon where the electrons in a conductor become stimulated and travel on the outside surfaces of the conductor. A stranded conductor compared to a solid conductor of the same AWG has more surface area hence a better, quicker signal.
 
Advantages:
  • Highly Flexibility
  • Easier to Route
  • Can withstand large amounts of repetitive motion
  • Replaced less often
Disadvantages:
  • Expensive
Solid cables use one solid copper wire per conductor and they  should not be bent or twisted repeatedly. They are traditionally used as a backbone cable in walls, conduit, ceilings, where a great amount of flexibility is not needed. This cable is more rigid and transmits signals well over long distances. Also, solid cables are cheaper to manufacture so they are considered  to be more cost-effective. 
 
Advantages: 
  • Cost-Effective
Disadvantages:
  • Cant withstand large amounts of repetitive motion
  • Not highly  flexible
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Topics: Low Voltage Cables, bulk cable, Solid Cable, Stranded Cable

When to Use Fiber Optic Cable?

Posted by Samantha Flannery on Apr 8, 2019 10:00:00 AM

As fiber optic cable has become more affordable and data rates are growing, many project managers and IT professionals are starting to ask, "When should I use fiber optic cable?"

Below are some questions to ask to help understand when to potentially switch to/use fiber optic cable:

 

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Topics: Low Voltage Cables, Fiber Optics Assemblies, Fiber Optic Cable, Fiber Optics, Fiber, Fiber Optic

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Installing Networking Cable

Posted by Samantha Flannery on Mar 13, 2019 2:00:00 PM

When a new installation is taking place or an update is needed, some potential mistakes may be overlooked. Often, trying to get a project done as easy and cost-effective as you can, can sometimes a few areas may be overlooked. If a project is rushed and not properly planned from the beginning that could result in a company facing hidden costs and slower network performance.


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Topics: Low Voltage Cables, networking, network

Differences Between Wire and Cable

Posted by Samantha Flannery on Dec 5, 2018 3:00:00 PM
Although wire and cable are referred to as the same thing, they are different with separate characteristics. Both wire and cable are used in the communication and security world, and are designed to carry a message from one point to another. So what are the differences between the two?
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Topics: Low Voltage Cables, Fiber Optic, cable construction, coaxial cables

Benefits of LED Lighting

Posted by Samantha Flannery on Nov 16, 2018 1:00:00 PM

 LEDs have become increasingly popular and it's easy to see why since they offer many benefits over traditional lighting. They have greater lifespans, use less energy, safer alternatives and much more! The following are seven advantages to consider when switching to LED lighting:

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Topics: Low Voltage Cables, LED Cables, Lighting, LED Lighting

Category Cable Comparison: Cat 5 vs. Cat 6 vs. Cat 7

Posted by Samantha Bante on Oct 31, 2018 1:10:00 PM

Category cable or, Networking cable, is essential for networking or multimedia installations in projects such as higher education, government, corporate, conference rooms, healthcare, houses of worship, digital signage, hospitality and large venue applications. This article will go over the most common and different types of category cables.

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Topics: Low Voltage Cables, Category 7 Cable, Category Cable, Cat7, Category 6A Cable, networking, Category 5e

6 Different Types of Fire Alarm Cables

Posted by Samantha Bante on Sep 13, 2018 1:00:00 PM

Fire alarm systems are very important for any business, school, facility, home and much more. They protect us when alerts arise and deliver notification of potential threat and harm. In previous blogs, we have discussed how fire detection systems work and the differences between conventional vs. addressable fire alarm systems.

Today, we will go over the different types of fire alarm cables with both power limited and non-power limited fire alarm cables. So, let's begin... 

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Topics: Low Voltage Cables, fire alarm cables, fire alarm, fire alarm systems

Understanding Fiber Optic Wavelengths

Posted by Samantha Bante on Aug 10, 2018 3:34:21 PM

Fiber optic cables have many advantages over traditional copper cables to help with ease of installation. When fiber optic cabling is discussed other terms such as attenuation rates and wavelengths are mentioned to understand how light effectively transmits through the cable. 

We examined discussed in length about fiber optics in previous blog posts, but in this particular article, we will dig deeper into wavelengths and how they affect the strength of the fibers.

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Topics: Low Voltage Cables, Fiber Optic Cable, Fiber, Fiber Optic Connector, Fiber Optic

Common Causes of Electrical Fires

Posted by Samantha Bante on Jul 24, 2018 9:00:00 AM

As a business or residential owner the last thing that you need is an electrical fire. Yet, these are common in older buildings and can be severely dangerous. With fall and winter months just around the corner, we are at great risk of electrical fires from increased usage of lights and heaters. To make sure you are prepared, view the top causes of electrical fires below:

 

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Topics: Low Voltage Cables, fire alarm cables, fire alarm

Future of Fiber Optic Cable

Posted by Samantha Bante on Jul 12, 2018 10:30:00 AM

Fiber optic cable continue to integrate and revolutionize the spectrum of the cable capabilities in varying industries and will continue to trend forward. Although most understand standard copper cable more, fiber is the cleanest and faster for transmitting communication and data signals. It also can offer the highest capacity of connection for any network.

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Topics: Low Voltage Cables, Fiber Optics Assemblies, Fiber Optic Cable, Fiber, Fiber Optic

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