5.2 10BASE-T Components
While the 10BASE-T system is designed to use voice grade telephone cable that may already be installed, many sites choose to install higher quality Category 5 cables, connectors, and wire terminating devices to provide data service to the desktop. These higher quality components work well for 10BASE-T and also provide the best possible signal carrying system for the 100-Mbps Ethernet media systems. This approach makes it a relatively straightforward task to increase the bandwidth of your network system when it becomes necessary to accommodate increased network traffic.
There are twisted-pair Ethernet cable testers available that allow you to check the electrical characteristics of the cable you use, to see if it meets the important electrical specifications. These specifications include signal crosstalk, which is the amount of signal that crosses over between the receive and transmit pairs, and signal attenuation, which is the amount of signal loss encountered on the segment.
The 10BASE-T media system uses two pairs of wires, which are terminated in an eight-pin (RJ-45 style) connector. This means that four pins of the eight-pin MDI connector are used.
The transmit and receive data signals on each pair of a 10BASE-T segment are polarized, with one wire of each signal pair carrying the positive (+) signal, and the other carrying the negative (-) signal.
While an eight-pin connector is specified in the standard for making connections to a 10BASE-T segment, you will also see 50-pin connectors used on some 10BASE-T hubs. The 50-pin connector, also called a "Telco" connector, is designed to support the voice grade wire in common use in the telephone industry, and provides a more compact way to connect a set of twisted-pair wires to a 10BASE-T hub.
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