Thick Net

Thick Net

Thick net, alternatively known as 10base5 is a coaxial cable that is made up of a solid copper core surrounded by and insulator.  The copper core and the insulator is then wrapped by a braided wire and then another insulator layer is wrapped around the braided wires.

The thick net coaxial cable is also known as Radio Grade 8.  This cable’s specifications conform with the Xerox Ethernet specifications.  The diameter of the cable is one half inch.  This cable has a very low bandwidth of 10 Mbps.

This technology is obsolete by today’s speeds standards.  Fiber optics have given rise to up to 100 Gbps data transfer rate.  However there are some thick net networks still in existence today though they are rare.

Thick net cables employ a connection method called vampire connecting.  This connection is made by the connectors physically piercing the cable to connect and interact with the internal wires.  This form of networking is known for being expensive and difficult to work with.  There is a problem with signal reflection.

In order to avoid this problem, each segment must be terminated with a 50 ohm terminator.  There is also an issue with the physical lines actually breaking.

The expense of using thick net not only comes from the cable purchase itself, but from the added cost of the external transceivers.  These are also known as access unit interfaces.  These interfaces connect the cables to the correct ports on the network interface cards.

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