What is AWG (American Wire Gauge)
You will most likely see a AWG when looking at ethernet cables. The AWG you see stands for American Wire Gauge. AWG (American Wires Gauge) is a standardization of the sizing system of cables in North America. It provides a standard reference for comparing all types of conductor materials.
The AWG is used to show the number of steps involved in the process of wire drawing. As a result of that the AWG number and the size of the wire have an inverse relationship.
- The smaller the AWG numbers means that the wire are larger. So for example a 22AWG cable has larger wires than a 28AWG cable.
- The larger the AWG numbers the smaller the wires. So in reverse a 26AWG cable will have smaller wires than a 24AWG cable.
It is also worth mentioning that stranded cables generally have slightly larger outside diameters than solid conductors because of the addition of the cross sectional area between the strands.
Using the AWG size on the cable can be a helpful reference when deciding what connectors to use such as modular RJ45 plugs. If your cable is 23 AWG you want to match up the gauge size with the same AWG connectors. So 23AWG cable will match up with 23AWG RJ45's. Just make sure to also match up the correct type (Unshielded, Shielded, Solid or Stranded).
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