A network is a collection of electrical signaling
circuits, each carrying digital signals between pieces of equipment. There
are power sources, conductors, and loads involved in the process. The
power source is a network device that transmits an
electrical signal. The conductors are the wires that the
signal travels over to reach its destination (another network device). The
receiver is the load. These items, connected together,
make up a complete circuit.
In the computer world, the electric signal transmitted by an energy source
is a digital signal known as a pulse. Pulses are simply
the presence of voltage and a lack of the presence of voltage, generated in
a sequence. These pulses are used to represent a series of ones and zeroes
and ones (the presence of voltage being a 1, and the absence of voltage
being a 0). These zeros or ones are called bits. Many years ago, computer
engineers began using groupings of eight bits to represent digital “words,
” and to this day, a series of 8 bits is called a byte. These terms are
used everywhere in the computer fields.
The key to successful signal transmission is that when a
load receives an electrical signal, the signal must have a voltage level
and configuration consistent with what had been originally transmitted by
the energy source. If the signal has undergone too much corruption, the
load won’t be able to interpret it accurately.
A good cable will transfer a signal without too much
distortion of the signal while a bad cable will render a signal useless.