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Ribbon & Flat Cable

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Sycor Technology Inc.’s ribbon cables provide a nice, clean aesthetic look in areas where you need lots of connections without a huge mess of wires. Also known as multi-wire planar cables or flat cables, ribbon cables are most often used for the internal wiring of computers. Sycor’s ribbon cables come in a variety of configurations designed to fulfill the needs of various applications.


The primary benefit of ribbon cables is their flat construction, which allows them to be compressed into a limited amount of space. This fact attests to their popular use inside computers. Ribbon cables are also advantageous because they may be laid under carpeting and hidden out of sight. The only drawback here is that they must be used in straight-runs, as their flat constructions do not allow for them to be bent sideways. 


Ribbon cables are measured by pitch and ways. The pitch references the measure of distance between the parallel conductors and is most often set at “0.050” or 1.27mm. The ways describe the number of conductors (usually between 4 and 80 conductors) in the ribbon cable. For example, a ribbon cable with 10 conductors would be described as a 10-way ribbon cable.


Ribbon and rainbow cables were originally invited in 1956 by the Cicoil Corporation, which is located in Chatsworth California. The earliest model of ribbon cable was manufactured for the mainframe computer industry, card readers, tape machines and card punching machines. The ribbon cable early on was preferred over alternatives because of the simplicity, low cost and their low profiles, which is why the ribbon cable has been used in many electronic devices like computer and printer throughout the years. The ribbon cable is a very useful tool being beneficial in a number of industries. A ribbon cable is typically used in the electrical manufacturing industry because of its size, convenience and overall price in comparison to the alternatives with a higher price and worse performance.


From a technical standpoint, ribbon cables are the ideal product for connecting 2 devices. In 1980 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) banned ribbon cables for broadcasting applications involving antennas as the signal interfered with a wide range of TV signals, causing “snow” static to appear on customers receiving end. Now ribbon cables reside in many electronic devices and when connecting to devices together the intended application must be grounded.


Ribbon cables are popular because of their ability to mass terminate, specifically for IDC connectors. Ribbon cables have 5 designated types of connections that are typically used inside applications:

  • BT224 Connectors
  • D-subminiature Connector
  • DIN 41612
  • PCB Transition Headers
  • DIL Headers

Outsourcing Ribbon Cable Assembly to Experts 

Each type of connection provides the designated ribbon cable application with different advantages and disadvantages, which is why being well knowledged about the ribbon cable category is important and very beneficial. Sycor provides custom cable assembly for ribbon cable in order to meet unique and difficult applications. When you choose Sycor for your ribbon cable you don’t just benefit from our competitive pricing or fast delivery time, you get over 35 years of in-depth expertise. Ribbon cables require precise dimensions and a team that’s well knowledged with moderate expertise in order for large qualities of ribbon or rainbow cable to be created correctly and efficiently. 


Have a question about ribbon cables or if they are right for your application? Give us a call!  Sycor’s knowledgeable and friendly sales team are eager to lend their expertise and help find the right cable for you, whether it be a ribbon cable or another product altogether.  Request a quote online, email, or call us today!