What is a Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) cable?

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Shielded Twisted Pair

IBM invented the shielded twisted pair (STP) cable for token ring networks, including two independent wires coated in a foil shielding that prevents electromagnetic interference and speeds up data transmission.

  • STP cables are protected with additional foil or copper knitting jackets to help protect cable signals from interference.

  • STP cables are more expensive than UTP cables but can transmit data at higher prices over longer distances.

  • Electromagnetic interference does not seep out of or into STP cable because of the additional coverage

  • Ethernet networks, particularly fast-data-rate Ethernets, frequently use STP cables.

  • The efficiency of the additional covering depends on the following features of the shielding substance

    • Frequency

    • Thickness

    • Electromagnetic noise field type

    • Discontinuity in the shield

    • Grounding exercises

  • Unlike UTP cables, specific STP cables feature a thick copper braided cover, making the wire thicker, heavier, and thus far more difficult to install.

Other standard STP cables, also known as foil twisted-pair cables or screened twisted-pair cables, have a minor outer foil barrier. These cables are thinner and less expensive than braided STP cables, but they're also more challenging to install. These thinner cables may be torn during the installation procedure unless the maximum pulling tension and minimum bend radius are appropriately adhered to.

Applications of STP

Shielded Twisted Pair copper telephone wiring is a type of copper telephone wiring utilized in some commercial applications.

  • The shielded twisted pair cabling is most commonly used in frigid temperatures. The extra layer of outer covering makes it perfect for withstanding such temperatures or preserving the inner parts. As a result, it's ideal for research in environments where temperatures drop below zero, rendering traditional wires worthless.

  • In a similar vein, these wires can be employed in heavy industrial applications that generate a lot of heat. The same rationale that makes these cables suitable for usage in cold weather also applies in this situation.

  • Shielded twisted pair cables are equally good under high-radiation conditions.

Advantages of STP

Shielded twisted pair cable (STP) has the following advantages −

  • Lowers crosstalk and provides interference protection.

  • It has superior electrical properties to unshielded cables.

  • A modular connector can be used to link it to the rest of the system.

Disadvantages of STP

Shielded twisted pair cable (STP) has the following disadvantages −

  • It is more expensive per foot of wire.

  • STP cable shields must be correctly grounded or behave as an antenna and pick up undesired signals.

  • Costlier than UTP.

  • It's challenging to set up and keep up.

  • Much thicker and less flexible in diameter.

  • It has a high rate of attenuation.

  • Despite its thicker and heavier structure, there is no improvement in segment length while utilizing this cable.

Despite all of these drawbacks, one thing is clear: the protected twisted pair can tolerate various externalities but is vulnerable to internal disturbances. If they are to be used, one must ensure that internal disorders do not interfere with the functioning or purpose. When this is considered, the insulated twisted pair of wires can be as beneficial to us as building blocks were to the primitive man.

Updated on 05-Nov-2021 11:22:17