Fixing Dodgy Cabling; why NOT to twist and sticky-tape Data and Phone wires

Everyone knows that if you strip wires and twist them together, the circuit (whatever it may be) will be completed. This is fine for hobby and educational electronics basics (such as connecting a small battery, switch, an LED or 3V DC motor), but when it comes to transmission wiring such as your phone line or data cabling, this is a quick and nasty termination that fixes nothing and always ends up causing more problems.

Joins / Terminations are Weak Points

If you were building a carport, you would naturally go and buy pieces of material (wood or steel beams) that could span the width of your vehicle, and install them from post to post. But what if you bought two smaller lengths because they were cheaper, and glued them together... would you be confident that the beam could still hold up the roof, and not collapse?

The joint would be a weak point in the structure; it would not have the same structural properties as the one single piece of material. Even in the human body, when thinking of injuries, you are more likely to damage joints before breaking bones.

Electrical circuits and transmission lines are quite similar, but from an electrical point of view rather than structural. The cabling inside your home could potentially last for decades, as the metallic wires inside are all protected by insulation... that is, until the cable is damaged or cut, stripped, and terminated. This allows moisture to attack the metal wires, and oxidization occurs (rust and corrosion), which causes all kinds of havoc on the line; earth faults, short circuits, crackling noises or even loss of dial tone, ADSL drop outs, data packet loss, the list goes on!

Sticky Tape doesn't protect anything!

You may think that tightly binding some wiring in half a roll of Sticky Tape (aka. Electrical Tape, Lekky Tape) would stop air and moisture getting in... but it doesn't. Sticky tape is a temporary fix, used for holding bunches of cables together during installation, and to write labels on black cabling (such as white tape on black coaxial cable for Foxtel and Digital TV - a tech's tip there!). The tape's material becomes brittle and porous and the adhesive becomes less sticky over time (especially when open to the elements like rain and direct sunlight). And don't think that simply soldering the wiring before taping it will help either; the electrical connection may be better, but the wiring is still open to oxidation/corrosion.</p>

Experienced phone technicians - such as the friendly staff at Cabled After Hours - not only know and understand the proper procedures of terminating and joining cabling (there are ways of joining cabling and making them waterproof and oxygen free), but they can further offer advice and solutions based on their expertise (following Australian Standards) to not only fix the problem, but to resolve it once and for all.

If you suspect dodgy phone or data cabling in your home or business, contact Cabled After Hours if you're in Sydney NSW to get it sorted, or try a Google search for a phone or data technician in your area.

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