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Disadvantages of Twisted Pair Cables

Twisted pair cables solve many problems in wiring, making modern telecommunication possible. Factors, such as signal range, speed and precision, are significantly enhanced with this wiring method that eliminates electromagnetic interference and other "noise". Still, twisted pair cables have a few disadvantages.

The source of disadvantages

It is because of the wire's differing magnetism that the terminal destination is able to recognize and convert them into information. Problems arise when environmental "noise" interferes with the signals. Crosstalk, for instance, is a situation where two signals of close proximity interfere with each other, skewing or cancelling the signal. Twisting two wires containing opposing signals creates a balanced pair, canceling this interference and reducing the effects of electromagnetic radiation, which would normally reduce the signal's range.

Specificty and fragility

Most cables, including those that transmit ethernet signals, can consist of thousands of twisted pairs wires. In this case, twisted pairs of equal cancelling effects are bound to lie next to each other, effectively undoing the benefits of twisting. Therefore, each pair's pitch, or twist rate, must vary. Variations are complicated to produce given the natural fragility of wires- there is a limit to how much they can bend and stretch. As a result, installation is extremely complex and, therefore, expensive. These disadvantages limit twisted pair cable's use.

Signaling delay

Especially in video transmission, signals are often skewed due to crosstalk between twisted pairs of similar pitch. This results in signaling delays and, though it is frequently countered by using delay wires, calculating the exact lengths and pitch of the wires is tedious, complicated and dependent on multiple factors.

Twisted pair cables have revolutionized telecommunication, but present disadvantages. Though most problems are solvable, their resolutions only complicates wiring making this technique impractical for certain applications.