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How audio cables work

Introduction

A cable is one or more strands bound together. Electrical cables may contain one or more metal conductors, which may be individually insulated or covered. An optical cable contains one or more optical fibers in a protective jacket that supports the fibers. Mechanical cables such as wire rope may contain a large number of metal or fiber strands.

Electrical cables may be made flexible by stranding the wires. The technical issue is to reduce the skin effect voltage drop while using with alternating currents.In this process, smaller individual wires are twisted or braided together to produce larger wires that are more flexible than solid wires of similar size. Bunching small wires before concentric stranding adds the most flexibility. A thin coat of a specific material (usually tin-which improved striping of rubber, or for low friction of moving conductors, but it could be silver, gold and another materials and of course the wire can be bare - with no coating material) on the individual wires. Tight lays during stranding makes the cable extensible (CBA - as in telephone handset cords).

Bundling the conductors and eliminating multi-layers ensures a uniform bend radius across each conductor. Pulling and compressing forces balance one another around the high-tensile center cord that provides the necessary inner stability. As a result the cable core remains stable even under maximum bending stress.

Cables can be securely fastened and organized, such as using cable trees with the aid of cable ties or cable lacing. Continuous-flex or flexible cables used in moving applications within cable carriers can be secured using strain relief devices or cable ties. Copper corrodes easily and so should be layered with Lacquer.

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Interference protection

In applications powering sensitive electronics, keeping unwanted EMI/RFI from entering circuits is important. This can be accomplished passively with shielding along the length of the cable or by running the cable in an enclosure separate from any other wires which may induct noise. It can also be actively achieved by use of a choke designed to restrict the cables' ability to conduct certain frequencies.