Twisted pair

Twisted pair simply refers to the 2 copper wires that are twisted together to provide voice and data communications. They’re twisted to minimize crosstalk or electromagnetic radiation. Twisted pair has been around a while—it was invented by Alexander Graham Bell. Here’s what led to his Twisted Pair concept. Early telephone calls used telegraph lines, which were individual wires. This worked OK until cities began installing trams for electric streetcars, which created circuit noise, the bane of the telephone call. But it wasn’t until utilities began stringing wires for electricity across the same poles that the circuit noise became unbearable. In fact, there were many lawsuits filed by frustrated customers against the telephone provider as a result. Initially, the copper was twisted every 3 to 4 feet. It worked pretty well, but Bell had this brainstorm–make the twists closer. It worked and worked well. Twisted Pair is still used the world over—you’ll probably use some today. Imagine, closer twists helped make Bell an icon—and a billionaire. Next up, Unshielded Twisted Pair.