Custom cable assemblies are generally comprised of several different parts, including the actual wire, a jacketing portion to shield the wire and possibly necessary insulators or conductors. It seems rather straightforward, but it can become quite confusing when considering the many different types of wiring options available. Of the many varieties existing on the market today, there are five generally common types of cables. They differ based on function and durability, as well as the materials of which they are comprised.
A heliax cable is a type of coaxial cable arrangement. In a coax cable, there are three layers within a jacket, beginning with a sold core inner conductor. This inner conductor is surrounded by insulation. In a heliax configuration, the insulation is wound in a helix, or a spiral, around the conductor. It has a semi-rigid composition, but performs quite well. Unfortunately, the rigidity of the wire makes this custom cable assembly limited in its uses.
Molded Cable Assembly
A molded cable structure is a method for creating the system you need. Generally, molding introduces the use of hard shield connectors within a cable system to maintain continuity. Often, these are pin-like in their formation. Molded cables can prevent the exposure and failure of wires to the outside elements. This custom cable assembly is ideal for different situations in which protection against the environment is essential.
A mast cable is used mainly for radio and communication systems. It is set up as a tall mast, or stick, in the air. A sleeve protects a mast custom cable assembly; it is usually vinyl in nature, and it keeps the wires within safe from environmental elements, like sunshine and rain. Mast systems generally have great structural integrity and can be used for a variety of functions but are most often seen on ships, in military installations, and on top of radio towers.
Sensor cable structures have experienced some break-through technology recently, as more researches are coming together to study possible uses and exciting evolution of its capabilities. Generally, a sensor is based on magnetometers that are incorporated within a jacket or shield. These types of custom cable assemblies can be used above or below ground and report any physical disturbances through vibrations and communicative symbols.
A ribbon wire is a flat, wide piece of cable that, of course, resembles a ribbon. They are generally used for transmitting data and are often found within computer systems. An interesting component to ribbon cable is that very frequently, ribbon cable is color-coded to avoid incorrectly identifying individual conductors. These are optimal for tight-spaces, as ribbon cable is easily pliable.