Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Understanding a Steel Cable


Steel Cable

By Anne Ahira

There are different types of cables that have their own productive uses to help accomplish certain tasks. Ordinary cables are generally flexible and quite durable for them to be used for all sorts of occasions.

When there is a need for added durability and toughness, a steel cable could be used instead and depending on the type, the steel cable may be flexible as well just like any other cable or rope.

Also known as a wire rope, these steel cables have a long history and have evolved to be useful in many ways.

History of a Steel Cable

Steel cables had European beginnings way back in the 1600s, but they were put to use a few centuries later. Prehistoric techniques served as an inspiration to the way these steel cables are actually made.

Albert Ropes practiced on making these steel cables by hand, but had problems in the flexibility at first. The primary use during those times was to use them for hoisting to replace the unstable chains and deteriorable hemp ropes.

Through succeeding years, the construction of the steel cable changed and even patents were filed for certain techniques and strands used to make the steel cable. Steel remains as the primary material in making these cables replacing the previous material which was wrought iron.

Understanding the Current Specs of a Steel Cable

When browsing through steel cables in online retailers like, each item is usually listed as a title that indicates the material type and some numbers like 1×7 or 7×7. These numbers are important for the tasks that the steel cable can handle.

The first number is the number of strands used to compose the rope while the second number is the amount of wires that compose each strand. Every steel cable being sold also has a length and strength measured in pounds.

Buying Guide

Always look at both the screenshots of the steel cable and the specifications. If the cable will be used for a very critical task, be sure to ignore all steel cables being sold that have lacking specifications. Titles that try to squeeze in all the details are good links to click first.

See if the material type is listed along with the exterior finish to determine the overall quality. Then Look at the standard construction, breaking strength, and diameter to get an idea of how tough the cable is.

If the steel cable will be used for hoisting heavy objects, the breaking strength must be greater than the weight of the object that will be lifted. Galvanized steel is a good material as it is highly resistant to rust.

Amazon is a great place to get steel cables because the price is low and shipping costs are usually free.

Things to Know Before Buying a Bulk Cable


Bulk Cable

By Anne Ahira

There are a lot of different types of cables being sold in hardware and computer stores. Some of the cables being sold can have massive lengths just by looking at the way it is coiled and how big the coiled cable is.

If each end of the cable has 4 twisted pair wires in the jacket, the cable is most likely a Cat 5 (Category 5) or Cat 5e bulk cable. Consider this small checklist before proceeding to buy a bulk cable especially if it’s online like in


Understand its Uses

Cat 5 and Cat 5e cables look alike in screenshots so be sure to differentiate the two and ultimately know their primary uses. Cat 5 cables are primarily used for 100 Mbit/s networks like the 100BASE-TX Ethernet.

Cat 5e cables are the enhanced version of the Cat 5 and are absolutely better with no known drawbacks when compared to the Cat 5. What is even better is that the prices of the cables are similar, so go for the Cat 5e especially if the type of network is a Gigabit network to enjoy the 1000 Mbit/s and for protection from far end crosstalk.

See if it is Worth the Installation

Many Amazon customers place a bulk cable, crimping tool, and a pack of Cat 5e RJ45 modular connectors in their shopping cart as these are the materials needed to create a standard Ethernet cable.

It is a must to understand how to use the crimping tool to properly setup an Ethernet cable. There are several online tutorials that provide decent explanations on how to use them.

The Network Cable Installation Crimping Tool Kit found in Amazon is also good for starters as it includes a wire cutter and stripper as well. If the process of crimping proves to be too much, getting a standard Ethernet cable on Amazon is more reasonable.

Know the Advantages over Purchasing Standard Ethernet Cables

Buying a bulk cable is much cheaper than buying individual Ethernet cables that total the same length. Bulk cables can be as long as 1000 ft which should be more than enough to make dozens of cables that will be used to link a network of dozens of computers. The RJ45 jacks can be purchased at low prices as well.

Since the bulk cable will be safely stored after all the crimping, there is no need to buy additional Ethernet cables until the bulk cable is depleted. This means that it isn’t a good idea to buy a long bulk cable just for a small home-sized network to be interconnected.

Always remember that the Ethernet cable is limited to a maximum of 328 ft or 100 m. It is a good habit to go under that limit (usually 90 m) for patch cable. Once the crimping is mastered, bulk cables are the way to go for setting up large wired networks.