Coaxial cable has two conductors contained in the sheath. One conductor is inside the other. A copper core runs through the center of the cable that transmits the electrical signals. The core is solid copper or made of intertwined copper strands. A layer of insulation is around the core, and surrounding that is the second conductor, which is made of braided copper mesh.

The second conductor serves as the cable’s ground. The framework is encased in an insulating sheath made of PVC or Teflon. Here are the two types of coaxial cable:

  • Thick Ethernet: Ethernet cable is known as Thick Ethernet cable, and is also called 10Base5 graded as RG-8. A station is attached to the main cable by a vampire tap that attaches to the cable. Vampire tap derives from the metal tooth that pinches the cable. The tap connects with an external transceiver with a 15-pin AUI connector to which you attach a cable that connects to the station. DIX is an acronym for the companies that worked on this configuration: Digital, Intel, and Xerox. A second option is the N-series connector. The N connector is a male/female screw-and-barrel configuration. A CB radio uses the PL-259 connector, and is similar in appearance to the N connector.
  • Thin Ethernet: Thin Ethernet, known as Thinnet or 10Base2, is a thin coaxial cable. It’s smaller in diameter than the coaxial cable. Thin Ethernet coaxial cable is RG-58. With Thin Ethernet, BNC connectors are used to attach workstations to the network. The BNC connector is locked securely with a slight-twist motion.

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