OT: What's in a USB cable?

Mike O'Dell mo at ccr.org
Sun Jan 6 14:10:31 CST 2013


A most impressive catch!

I don't remember ever hearing "triboelectric effect" outside a history 
of science
discussion of early experiments with static electricity. but that makes
complete sense now that you point it out.


On 1/6/13 10:39 AM, John Teller wrote:
> USB cable by itself is a nice low-capacitance shielded cable - it's 
> ideal for audio and low-signal use.  However, like Mike said, that 
> doesn't prevent it from picking up stray signals when one end is left 
> unconnected.  Despite the shielding, the cable is subject to the 
> triboelectric effect and can actually produce enough voltage to drive 
> the USB receiver.  You can see this if you connect one of the twisted 
> pairs to the input of a scope and then flex the cable.
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