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Pop Quiz: August 2007

Test your knowledge of cable applications.


  1. Plenum cabling does not require use of conduit.
  2. With coaxial cable, stranded wire offers better attenuation performance than solid center wire.
  3. There is no such thing as “digital cable.”
  4. The best way to remember the difference between a “plug” and a “jack” is that “Jack” is a man's name, and therefore the jack is the male connector.


1. TRUE. Plenum cables are coated with a fire retardant that also reduces its smoke-producing characteristics. However, it's still advisable to check with local inspectors to confirm that they'll allow use of plenum-rated cabling in plenum spaces without conduit.

2. FALSE. A solid center will give the best attenuation performance, but will be stiffer (less flexible) than stranded wire.

3. FALSE. For digital video signal transmission, there is a difference between a “digital” cable and an “analog” cable. A cable intended for digital video signals is likely to have a bandwidth capability of up to 750MHz and a higher operating frequency — both important factors for image quality of a digital video signal.

4. FALSE. Think of the woman's name “Jacqueline,” and you'll stay on the right track. A “plug” is the male (probe) connector, and a “jack” is the female (receptor) connector.

Sources: Belden, L-com.

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