If you’re new to specifying and installing cable and wire in your facility or on your machines, it can be confusing to know what type of cable should be used where. I was curious to see what type of information was available to give users a simplistic look at designing with all types of cable, from copper to fiber and flat to round. While I didn’t find much, a few companies and individuals offer some basics to get you started.
The first is from Digi-Key, which offers PowerPoint style training with audio available, highlighting hundreds of components including cable designs from manufacturers such as Cicoil, General Cable, Alpha Wire, and more. Some are product specific, but others are more introductory, such as “Basics of Wire & Cable” from AlphaWire to “Cable Basics-Composition, Construction & Proper Use” from General Cable. Search for topics at Digi-Key’s Product Training Module Library.
Another option I stumbled upon was actually on YouTube, with Mercy Salinas of DiscountLowVoltage.com giving a rundown on hundreds of topics. Salinas also a blog that offers some technical basics as well. While most of the topics are geared towards low-voltage users and very product specific, many just offer a good basic look at the technologies available, such as a six-part series on fiber optic cable, terminating and splicing cable and wire, comparisons between CAT3, CAT5, CAT6, and where to use them and why, and more.
Other companies offer some basic PDFs for reviewing on their website, including one titled “Technical Training Workshop: The Basics of Wire & Cable” from AlphaWire and several resources from Lapp USA, which provides in-depth PDFs for its product lines.
Finally, Fiber U from The Fiber Optic Association offers some brief overviews of fiber cable, with modules offering guidance on stripping, splicing, terminating, and testing fiber optic cables.