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  Terminology

Wires The wires that carry these electronic services are a lot different than the electrical wires that feed electricity to outlets around your house. Think of these wires as the highways that allow information to travel within your house.

 
Bandwidth The professionals at OnQ Technologies have helped us understand the concept of bandwidth. A wire carries information like a pipe carries water. Just as a bigger pipe can carry more water, a wire with a broad bandwidth can carry more information into your house than old-fashioned wiring. Old-fashioned phone wires (known as "Category 3") were designed to only carry voice conversations. A phone line consists of two thin strands of insulated copper that are twisted around one another to form a single line. Phone lines are prone to interference, while modern-day wires are better shielded to avoid interference.

Structured wiring systems utilize two types of broadband wire, called Category 5 and RG6 Quad Shield.

 
Category 5 Wire Cat 5 wires carry all telecommunications information - phone, fax, modem and computer networking. There are actually eight individual strands of copper inside a Cat 5 wire, twisted into four pairs that are then wrapped around one another to form Cat 5 cable.

This design gives you four separate phone lines within the Cat 5 cable. Each individual phone line in the Cat 5 wire has a high resistance to interference from the other lines. This happens because each phone line (made of two twisted strands of copper) has a "twist rate" different from the other three lines. One of the four pairs will have a high number of twists per inch, one will have a low number of twists per inch, and the other two will have twist rates somewhere in between. That difference in twist rates prevents signals from bleeding across phone lines. Cat 5 wires have more than twice the bandwidth of old-fashioned Category 3 copper phone lines.

 
RG6 Quad Shield RG6 Quad Shield coaxial cables handle all video traffic, including cable TV, digital satellite, whole-house video distribution and cable modem service - that's a new form of ultrahigh speed Internet access provided by local cable companies over coaxial cable lines. RG6 works as a super-video cable that can support hundreds of channels of cable TV, digital satellite signals, cable modem and high-speed interactive video services. RG6 will give you a much clearer TV signal than standard coax cable, because the jacket that surrounds the cable utilizes the best available shielding technology.

Professional installers run wires in bundles from the central hub to each room in your house. They use color-coded wires to keep track of the variety of services they'll run to each room. OnQ Technologies uses thick black RG6 wires to bring satellite and cable TV signals into the house from the outside. Then they run wires from the central hub to all the rooms in the house. They use blue RG6 wires to carry video; blue Cat5 wires for low-voltage lighting control; green Cat5 wires for phone lines and yellow Cat5 wires for data transmission and computer networking within the house.

 
Outlets Outlets work as the off-ramps that let information exit the electronic highways in your house (the wires) and arrive at your computers, TVs and telephones. If you're lucky, the house you're in now may have a single coaxial outlet in each room for a cable TV hookup. Structured wiring professionals offer multi-port outlets that can provide access to services in any combination (phone lines, data, video and audio) to meet the specific needs of every room in your house.

   
 
 
Creative Data Wiring • 117 Harvard Ct. • Glenview, IL 60026 • P: 847.513.6660 • E: info@creativedatawiring.com
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