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Faraday cage effect in wires

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jfrachioni

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so the other day i let my rabbit have free range of my room for a few hours as i was doing my webassign, and after a while the mouse i was using for my computer stopped working. i checked the plug, and to my confusion it was still plugged in. as i attempted to diagnose the problem i looked below my desk for a moment, finding my rabbit with a mouthful of copper and plastic. tasty. unfortunately he had not only chewed through my mouse cable, but also that of my webcam, among others. i got out my soldering iron and strippers, and as i removed the insulating tubing from each wire i found something interesting. on the mouse wire i removed the insulation to find only the four wires typical of a usb cord, however as i peeled back the insulation on the webcam wire, there was a second layer of braided wire and foil around the center four wires. at first i thought this may be an other data-carrying wire, or possibly a ground, which wouldnt make sense since usb uses very low voltage. i then realized it was just a conducting shell there to block interference with the webcams image quality from outside radio noise using the faraday cage effect. i hypothesized that my mouse didnt have this extra layer because the location of a mouse pointer is somewhat arbitrary on the small scale, so blocking this small ammount of interference would not be cost effective for the company that made it. moral of the story: faraday cages can be pretty useful.

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Very cool! I had no idea. Maybe the bunny was just making discoveries in the name of science!.. Or he was just hungry. *shrug*. Chords are low in fat, you know.

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