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Old 03-13-2012, 03:47 AM   #1
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Question Any communications cable experts in here? Question about extra conductor.

I have a four conductor shielded cable that I have a question about. Basically the device I am using this cable with has five prongs it. Data "Tx + and -", data "Rx + and -", and "shield". Well the cable I am using has a fifth uninsulated conductor in it. But itís not made out of copper, I think it may be steel cable, but I am not sure. I am wondering if I should connect this fifth conductor to the "shield" prong on my device. Or is it for structural support? What is it designed for? Also, there are some yellow fibers in my cable, what are those for?

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Old 03-13-2012, 05:50 AM   #2
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Default Re: Any communications cable experts in here? Question about extra conductor.

Not totally sure, but some cables have a bare steel or silver metal core for tearing the cable jacket back. i.e. you pull it downward and it slices the cable jacket.
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Old 03-13-2012, 07:06 AM   #3
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Default Re: Any communications cable experts in here? Question about extra conductor.

It's a ground wire. If you ground it on both ends it's supposed to help shield out hum and EMI. On connectors like a DIN style that has a metal barrel, it's soldered to the tab back along the strain relief tab. When done on both ends the barrel comes in contact with a pin in the socket and grounds both devices to each other.
Although it can be used to split open the jacket, that's not it's purpose. Cable makers will put a string or floss in the jacket to assist in splitting it open. Split the jacket open length wise and you'll probably find those fibers are from a string in the bundle.
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: Any communications cable experts in here? Question about extra conductor.

grounding both end creates a ground loop though.

sure it's not meant to be grounded at just one end?
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