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Shielded Ribbon Cables That Are Stackable to Provide Signal Conductors and Ground Conductors in an Array of Selected Spacing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000036544D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-29
Document File: 2 page(s) / 14K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Johnson, RA: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Some ribbon cables have signal conductors and associated ground conductors spaced apart a suitable distance for plugging into a receiving structure. The ribbons are made stackable so that the conductors can be located in a grid with spacing for plugging into a rectangular array of receiving connectors.

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Shielded Ribbon Cables That Are Stackable to Provide Signal Conductors and Ground Conductors in an Array of Selected Spacing

Some ribbon cables have signal conductors and associated ground conductors spaced apart a suitable distance for plugging into a receiving structure. The ribbons are made stackable so that the conductors can be located in a grid with spacing for plugging into a rectangular array of receiving connectors.

One embodiment uses a ribbon of conventional coaxial cables. Each coaxial cable of the ribbon has a signal conductor, a surrounding spacer of a material having a low dielectric constant (for high speed signal propagation), and a conductive braid that forms a shield. Conventionally, an outer dielectric jacket covers the shield. This jacket is removed or the ribbon is formed without it to expose the shielding braid. The cables are initially circular in cross section, and the ground conductors are located near one flat surface of the ribbon, in the space of triangular section between adjacent dielectric spacers. Each ground conductor contacts the adjacent shielding braids. Filaments of metal or plastic are woven around the individual cables and their ground conductors to provide the mechanical support otherwise provided by the outer jackets. This structure is suitably encased in a plastic strip. The ribbon is lightly compressed to flatten it sufficiently to make it stackable.

In a second embodiment, each coaxial cable and ground conductor of a ribbon cable is conventionally encased in a plastic strip. The ground conductors have an outer braid that contacts the braids of the adjacent coaxial cables at many points. The ribbons are stitched along their length between the coaxial cables with a fine plastic filament to support the stack.

In a third embodiment, the dielectric spacers for the signal conductors are somewhat flattened along what will become the top (arbitrarily) of the ribbon. The spacers are otherwise conventionally circular in cross section. The conductive braid follows the flattened shape of the spacer. The individual coaxial cables of a ribbon are spaced apart (their braided shields do not touch) over a generally flat ground braid with electrical contact between the flat ground braid and the outer braided shields of the coaxial cables. Ground conductors are located on the lower side of the flat braid, equally spaced between the coaxial cables. The ground conductors each have an outer braid that makes electrical contact with the...