The Separation Between a Communications Cable & Power Cable

Written by richard asmus
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The Separation Between a Communications Cable & Power Cable
Any cable carrying a signal can act like an antenna to transmit an unwanted signal. (twisted pair cable image by Aussiebloke from

Electronic equipment connects with two main types of wiring: signal or communication cables and power cables. Communication cables carry voice, video or data signals, and power cables carry either alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC) electricity.

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Cables as Transmitters

As electrical current or electronic signals travel along a wire, they create unwanted electromagnetic waveforms that emit in parallel to the cable. These signals decrease in strength with distance.

Cables as Receivers

These same cables also act like receiving antennas. Any signal that crosses them can be induced into the conductors.

Separating Communication and Power Cables

Since the power of unwanted transmitted signals from a cable decrease with distance, the farther away another cable is, the less power will be induced. Always separate communication and power cables as far as possible, in parallel runs, to prevent unwanted signals from entering.


Installing cables in a grounded metal conduit reduces the amount of unwanted signals they can either transmit or receive. When you can't separate cables far enough, try installing them in a conduit.

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