Category: Info

Why Your Network Cable is Slowing You Down

We were recently perusing facebook and came across an article written and shared by our friends over at Blue Jeans Cable, entitled, “Is Your Cat 6 Cable a Dog?”. We were pretty shocked to discover that 80% of the cables they tested didn’t pass rated spec. So, we shot an email to Kurt Denke, President of Blue Jeans Cable, requesting to do an interview on the topic of network cables, quality control, and how it all relates to home theater consumers and customer installers.

While we have covered the difference between HDMI and speaker cables to death, we have never really thought about or written anything about network cables. However, with the advent of Baluns that use network cables to transmit all types of AV signals over great distances, and the promise of wide HDbaseT support in the near future, we figured it was time to jump into the facts and fiction surrounding yet another cable type. Network cabling is now an integral part of any modern AV system, but there is a lot more to it than most people think. Read on to see what one of the most reputable cable manufacturers has to say on the topic.

 

AH: First off, Can you tell us the differences between Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat6a cables?

Kurt: Well, on superficial physical examination, there’s very little difference at all, other than that 6 and 6a typically have higher twist rates and a pair-separating spline; but electrically, there is a big difference and it all has to do with bandwidth.  The more data you want to shove through a cable, the higher the frequency of the signal is, and a data pair whose dimensions and spacing are consistent enough to handle ten Megahertz won’t necessarily do at a hundred Megahertz because the materials and dimensions become increasingly critical at higher frequencies.  It’s all about tolerances.  Cat 5e cable has got to meet specification requirements up to 100 MHz; Cat 6 takes the spec tighter AND increases that to 250 MHz; and Cat 6a takes it out to 500 MHz.  To handle 500 MHz well on a balanced feedline like that is quite a trick.

AH: Is there any kind of licensing organization or governing body for regulating network cable quality?

Kurt:  Oddly enough, no.  There are two versions of the specification–one from TIA and one from ISO–but there is no enforcement organization or licensing involved.  There’s nothing to prevent somebody from labeling cable with any “category” he wants to label it with, and people do; we see cable that badly fails 5e labeled as 6.  We’re also seeing a lot of Nigel Tufnel-ism in cable labeling–cable labeled Cat 7 with RJ-45 connectors, which aren’t Cat 7 compliant–but just as 11 is higher than 10, I suppose 7 is higher than 6.  The question people forget to ask is the question Nigel Tufnel forgets to ask: what does the higher number mean, and is the thing it labels actually better?  Our testing suggests that more effort sometimes goes into the jacket lettering than into cable quality.  

 

AH: In basic terms, what does it mean if a cable fails the test?

Kurt: A cable fails, usually, for one or both of two reasons.  Either the crosstalk, which is the tendency of signals on the various pairs to interfere with one another, or the return loss, which is the loss associated with impedance instability, are too high.  Where crosstalk is one pair interfering with another, return loss is more like the signal on the pair bouncing around and interfering with itself–it’s a rather counterintuitive notion for people who are not used to thinking in terms of high frequencies and transmission line theory, but in these types of applications it’s very real and it will really mess with the signal.  With enough crosstalk or return loss, data become unrecoverable from the signal.    

 

 

AH: What kind of effects would a failed cable have in real world use?

Kurt: At the outset, you’re going to have dropped packets which devices will have to resend, so network bandwidth is getting eaten up by repeating information that didn’t get through the first time.  If there are enough dropped packets, what most network devices will do is turn down the data rate, since a network that fails to work well at full speed may work just fine at a slower speed.  Either way, the network runs slower and/or less reliably. 

Last week I had an interesting conversation with a technical rep at Fluke, who explained to me that under some conditions, it can be much worse.  I didn’t quite grasp all the details, but the essence of it was that if network switches are set up correctly, a bad link will have its speed turned down but the rest of the network will run full speed.  If they’re not–which he seemed to think was not terribly unusual–the switch can turn down the speed of every line due to one bad link.  So, one guy puts a lousy patch cord in to his computer, and his whole node slows down.  

 

AH: What if you spend more on network cables, does that indicate any better quality?

Kurt: Mostly no, but a qualified yes, which I’ll have to explain. 

We have always said, and this is true for Ethernet as well as for other products, that price is a very, very poor proxy for quality.  When we went out to test Ethernet cables, some of the most expensive ones we bought were the absolute bottom of the barrel–as were some of the cheapest.  There seemed to be no dependable pattern except that, at all price levels, performance was mostly horrible.

Now, price does come into it in one sense.  The cheapest spec-compliant cables cost more than the cheapest non-compliant cables.  But trying to find quality by searching price is a fool’s errand, because most of the expensive cables aren’t compliant, either.  You’ve got to buy from somebody who actually tests each assembly, and tests it properly. There are a number of vendors who do, but many or most people reading this interview will not have heard of any of them.  Their products don’t normally sell at retail stores or through popular web merchants, but are found at large electronic distributors catering to such markets as the commercial integrator, data center, and broadcast markets.  They don’t have a lot of interest in the consumer market, largely because these commercial customers often buy thousands of cables at once while you and I are likely to buy one or two.  

 

AH: Is there anything a consumer or custom installer can do to ensure they are buying quality network cables?

Kurt: You’ve got to know your vendor’s quality control practices.  All of the quality vendors test every assembly; we’re the only one I know of who stick the test report on the bag, but if you’re dealing with somebody like, say, Belden (NOT to be confused with Belkin!), who supply us our cable stock, they will tell you that they do test every assembly.  We’ve tested their patch cords, and sure enough, they are consistent, high quality patch cords, in part because they do test every assembly; but again, you won’t see their product anywhere you’re likely to shop. 

Even on vendor quality control, regrettably, you’ve got to be specific.  My Fluke contact tells me there are vendors who will sell what they call “channel-compliant tested” cables.  What this means is that the cable was tested to the “channel” standards in the spec rather than to the patch cord standard.  It’s a complicated subject, but the summary is that the channel standard is not the applicable spec, and is much, much, much easier to pass.  A cable with RJ-45 connectors on each end that doesn’t pass the patch cord spec is non-compliant, period, end of story, without regard to whether it would pass the inapplicable channel test.

 

AH: We’ve noticed that you can buy stranded or solid network cables, you do you have any advice?

Kurt: Impedance stability’s a bit easier to achieve in solid conductors, but stranded conductors will give the cable higher flexibility and flex-life.  However, the flex life of solid copper conductors is excellent, so unless you’ve got a constant-flexing sort of application like a robot arm or you need what they call “tactical” cable, which is high-flex and high-durability, we generally recommend solid conductors. 

 

AH: What about bulk cable and connectors?

 

Kurt: At this point we haven’t tested bulk cable available from hardware stores and the like, but our test results on patch cords were so horrifying that we would be surprised if the Cat 5e and 6 cable at the hardware stores turned out to be up to spec.  I have been assured by engineers who have tested bulk cable that there is a lot of 85-ohm network cable out there; that is. it’s widely off the specified 100 ohm impedance, and will fail no matter how well it’s installed and/or connectorized.   Again, there are vendors who make the good stuff.  In the USA there’s Belden, whose cable we use; there are some others that are well regarded, such as Gepco; but I would stay away from the kind of generic Chinese stuff the hardware stores carry unless and until I could have it validated through testing.  The good stuff doesn’t have to be particularly expensive; Belden 1583A is quite economical standard Cat 5e, for example, and it’ll cost more than the hardware store stuff but it really does meet spec. 

AH: When making your own cables, are there any best practices to follow (MBR, crimping, unfolding at crimp, strain)?

Kurt: Assuming that good quality cable and connectors are being used (a big, important assumption!), the termination practices make all the difference in the world.  The most important thing to do is to try not to have to untwist a lot of length of wire, because untwisting excessively will cause return loss and crosstalk issues.  You also want the jacket to extend up into the back crimp area so that stress on the cable is carried by the jacket.  Try to confine the un-twist region to the visible cable (that is, don’t allow the untwist to “propagate” up under the jacket), and try to get that as short as you can.  Some types of connectors use a “load bar” which makes this much easier to do.

On MBR (minimum bend radius), the main thing is not to kink the cable; a little over-bending won’t usually destroy cable, but you don’t want to bunch it up and when you have to shorten it, it’s better to do it in a round coil than any other configuration.  Some cables from Belden use bonded pairs, which are nice because they are a bit more stable when flexed–that’s what we use for most of our assemblies.   

How successful you will be at making compliant cables depends not only on your practices but also on the “category” because how critical termination is varies quite a bit.  Our experience, validated by our experience and the tester, runs like this:

  • Cat 5e: good cable and connectors, plus good termination practices, means you will almost never make a bad cable.  Even without a tester to guide you, you’ll probably hit 100% compliance.
  • Cat 6: good cable and connectors, plus good termination practices, will not get you to 100% compliance unless you can test cables and learn from the feedback the tester gives you.  However, once you do learn how to make compliant cables, you will be close to 100% compliant and rarely have to reterminate a cable.
  • Cat 6a: for the uninitiated this can be a vale of tears.  Good cable and connectors, and good termination practices, are no guarantee and even after you have learned best practices you will still make some bad cables and have to reterminate.  Without a very sophisticated tester, you won’t know which ones are bad, and without the feedback you get from such a tester, you may well never make a compliant cable at all. 

 

AH: Do you have any opinion on EZ RJ45 (pass-through) connectors vs standard RJ45 ends.

Kurt: If by this you mean the RJ-45 connectors where the conductors feed through and are cut off, those can be handy if you’re making Cat 5e patch cords from high-flex stock, which otherwise can be surprisingly difficult due to the tendency of the conductors not to stay in order while sliding into the back of the connector.  But the tiny bit of extra wire, though it may look like nothing, presents a big impedance bump and reflection point for high-frequency signals and I wouldn’t ever use those for anything beyond 5e.  A better way to go, if you need easy termination, is a connector with an internal load bar which allows you to line the conductors up very close to the termination point. 

Edit: After the interview, I remembered that we still have (we don’t use them any longer) some of the pass-through type RJ-45 plugs for Cat 5e.  I made two cables, each five feet long, using Belden 1700A (Cat 5e bonded pair cable); one used the pass-through plugs and the other used our standard plug.  The pass-through cable passed 5e testing, but with only 0.4 dB of clearance on near-end crosstalk (NEXT), which is within our tester’s margin of error–that is, the tester says it passed but it’s too close to be completely sure.  The conventional connector passed by 3.0 dB — more than seven times the clearance, and well outside the tester’s margin of error.  That’s not a small difference, and it does indicate that one is giving up a bunch of headroom, at least, using the pass-through type connectors.  Now, to make this a statistically valid test I’d have to build a bunch more and compile all the results together–but this is what engineers whose judgment I trust have told me about these, so I suspect it’s fairly representative.

 

AH: Apart from spending $12,000 on test equipment like you, what can an average person do to test cable compliance or quality?

Kurt: Very little, unfortunately.  There are cheaper test appliances such as the ones Fluke calls “qualification testers,” but those do not run the tests required to fully certify compliance, and they’re still very pricey.  The only really affordable testers are the continuity-and-short checkers, but those tell you nothing whatsoever about high-frequency performance–they just tell you that all the wires are hooked to the right pins. 

You’ve got to know, as I said, your vendor’s quality control practices.  Most of the online vendors of data cabling simply don’t have any idea whether their cable is compliant, or even know how to check.  They bid this stuff out to Chinese factories and the whole process of product selection winds up being highly price-driven rather than quality-driven.  Even a good assembler like us cannot guarantee that every assembly we build will be compliant–but what we can do is test every assembly before it goes out, and fix or discard the bad ones, so that we can guarantee that every assembly we sell is compliant.

 

AH: Do you have anything else you would like to add?

Kurt: To me the most surprising result of our testing was that not only did the Cat 6 cables we tested routinely fail Cat 6 standards, but just over half of them failed Cat 5e standards, in some cases quite badly.  We know how easy it is to make compliant Cat 5e cables–I could teach anyone in fifteen minutes–and so we had assumed that even if these cables failed their stated standard, they’d certainly at least pass Cat 5e.  That they do not is frankly shocking.  It shows that quality control must not be merely lax, but must be nonexistent, at many of the Chinese factories where these assemblies are being made.  The upshot is that people who are paying extra for Cat 6 and 6a assemblies, and who think that they are paying that little extra for the sake of “future proofing,” not only are not getting the future-proofing they’re paying for but are in many cases getting cables so bad that they may be choking the customer’s existing Cat 5e network.  Not one vendor we tried had consistently passing scores, and well-known brands failed as badly as less-known ones. 

The United States is still the world’s greatest manufacturing nation when quality, and not just price, is at issue.  My commitment to keeping manufacturing jobs in America isn’t just based upon national pride; it’s about having quality goods we can stand behind, made by employees who are skilled at what they do and who earn a true living wage.  Many people buy Chinese goods because they assume that the quality is acceptable despite the low price.  For some kinds of goods that may be true; for Ethernet cable it is demonstrably false.   

reference: https://www.audioholics.com/audio-video-cables/bjc-cat-network-cable-quality-interview

Benefits of Structured Cabling

Every year, our world becomes more connected through advancements in technology. Businesses are always looking for the best solutions for their telecommunications systems, which need to be effective, yet low-maintenance. Traditional point-to-point systems not only create a jungle of wiring, but they also can’t carry ever-increasing data at high rates. That’s where structured cabling systems come in. They are the foundation of your company’s communications infrastructure and their benefits cannot be ignored. A structured cabling system ensures all of your communications needs — for telephone networks, video surveillance, etc. — are met efficiently, streamlining your entire IT network in a way that the traditional point-to-point system simply cannot do. So what are the major benefits of structured cabling systems? We’ve got five answers.

1. It’s Simpler to Manage

You won’t need to continually call on a big team to keep your data center cabling under control, as it can be administered and managed by minimum staff. When changes do need to be made to the system, they can be done in a faster, more efficient way, with minimal disruption.

2. Your Company Will Get a Higher Return on Investment

A structured cabling system unifies your IT network for data, voice and video. That unified structure reduces the need for updates and lowers your maintenance costs. Additionally, any additions, moves or changes can be made within the system with ease, saving your company both time and money.

3. All IT Infrastructure Will Be Better Prepared for Expansion

Structured cabling comes with a high bandwidth. That means it will be able to support future applications your company may decide to add, such as multimedia or video conferencing, with little interruption to your current system. As a result, you can rest assured knowing your system won’t become dated after just a few years. Instead, your system’s vast infrastructure will adapt with your telecommunication needs.

4. You Will Have More Flexibility Within Your System

Multiple wiring systems can be a headache. A structured cabling system, however, consolidates your wiring system into a single infrastructure that transfers data in multiple formats. This flexibility also makes the system easy to dismantle and move to a new location if needed.

5. Structured Cabling Is More Aesthetically Pleasing Than a Multiple Wiring System

Aesthetics matter, too. Structured cabling creates a cleaner, less cluttered look than a point-to-point cabling system. A cabling system plagued with wires left and right can slow functionality, but a unified system is more efficient and easy to use. The benefits of structured cabling simply can’t be underestimated when looking for the right telecommunications network for your company. If you want a simplified system with room to grow, one that maximizes functionality and saves your business both time and money, structured cabling is the way forward.

 

reference: http://www.abcomllc.com

CAT5e, CAT6, CAT6a and CAT7 Category Cable

For cabling and communications manufacturers, knowing the difference between different category cables (CAT5e, CAT6, CAT6A and CAT7) is easy. For those that are looking to use category cable to wire a home, office, data center or business, the performance ratings and variances between the cables can be confusing. To help Vericom Volt customers better understand the differences, we will review the capabilities of each category to help choose the right category cable for your installations. For each of the category cables we are referencing, the standards related to a maximum installation length of 100 meters (roughly 328 feet).

CAT5e:

CAT5e category cable supports speeds up to Gigabit (1,000 Megabits per second) Ethernet at 100 MHz. An enhancement of the previously released CAT5 cable, CAT5E (the E designates Enhanced) cable is similar in specifications to CAT5 cable, but has been enhanced to minimize crosstalk. In addition, CAT5e category cable is best suited for installations in networks that change frequently, such as servers with patch panels, home and business installations where you are plugging patch cord connections from computers into wall ports and other similar uses.

CAT5e is available in different configurations, including solid copper wire vs. stranded wire, as well as in shielded vs. unshielded variations. Shielded CAT5e is often used in situations where there may be a great deal of electromagnetic interference (EMI) from other devices in a home or office situation.

CAT6 and CAT6a:

Similar to CAT5e, CAT6 and CAT6a supports speeds over a Gigabit (1,000 Megabits per second) Ethernet, but the main difference from CAT5e is that CAT6 and CAT6a runs at a bandwidth of 250 MHz, which makes CAT6 and CAT6a ideal for business use. For homes and businesses that are looking to offer high performance connections, upgrading to CAT6 or CAT6a can help minimize issues with crosstalk and EMI on networks.

For those looking to offer a sense of “future-proofing” their home or business, CAT6 and CAT6a offer advantages over CAT5e. The higher bandwidth of these category cables can keep your networking setup at high performance levels as service providers offer continually higher speeds. In addition, CAT6 is suited for more permanent installations in home or offices, due to the ability for the

CAT6 and CAT6a are also available in solid copper wire vs. stranded wire, which offers different advantages. Solid cable consists of a single piece of copper for electrical conduction, while stranded cable use numerous copper wires stranded or twisted together for conductors. Stranded wire is best used for applications where flexibility is important, including desks and other areas of frequent movement, while solid cable is a better option for permanent installations, including walls and outdoor, where the durability of solid cable offers longevity versus flexibility.

CAT7:

The next iteration of category cable, CAT7, offers even higher levels of speed for users, with support up to 10 Gigabit (10,000 Megabits per second) Ethernet, with a bandwidth of 500 MHz. CAT7 cables offer exceptional data speed. CAT7 is designed to bring the highest possible speeds for business and server applications, while adding better resistance to EMI, high power ratings and less loss of voltage. For home use, CAT7 can also be beneficial for smart home installations related to whole home technology solutions.

WireXpert Approval Letter

https://itnetworks.softing.com/us/fiber-cabling/vendor-approvals/Commscope-psiber wirexpert 4500 approval letter

WireXpert VS Fluke DSX-5000

TEST FREQUENCIES

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHYSICAL COMPARISONS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOUCH SCREEN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADAPTER RANGE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAINTENANCE

WireXpert
– Low cost for replacement
of PL test cords only
– Live and phone technical
support included
– Rugged industrial design
to reduce impact damage
DSX-5000
– High cost to replace PL
test cords with adapter
– Only with Gold support
plan
– Fragile and delicate
parts may crack after
multiple impacts

PC SOFTWARE

eXport for WireXpert
ref: eXport v7.1.292
– No previous Certiers
– Multilingual
– Supports *.PRX (native),
*.SOR (OTDR)
– Exports to *.PDF, *.CSV
– Exports to compressed
*.PDF les for small le size
– Supports inverted Y-axis
plots
– Supports re-certication
– Supports cable pairing
conversion between
T568A and T568B
– Supports remote display
for presentation purposes
– Generates customisable
hierachical based labels
for list based testing
(Bld/Fl/Tel/Rk/Pn/Prt)
– Generates labels for
point-to-point for
connections
(eg. a1/b2 to a5/b5)
LinkWare for DSX-5000
ref: LinkWare 9.3
– Backward compatible to
previous Analyzers
– Multilingual
– Supports *.FLW (native),
*.TST (native)
– Exports to *.PDF, *.CSV,
*.TXT, *.XML
– Does not compress
*.PDF le
– Does not support
inverted Y-axis plots
– Supports re-certication
– Does not support
conversion
– Does not support
remote display
– Generates basic
sequencial labels
(eg. a1-b5)

WireXpert alternative to Fluke

Psiber WX4500 WireXpert Cable and Network Analyzers

Certify your data center and enterprise installations in the shortest time The WireXpert with its unparalleled 2500 MHz measurement range is the first cable certifier with capability to certify the highest performance cabling systems in enterprise networks and data centres. Cable installers make significant gain in productivity with WireXpert‘s industry leading test speed and ease of use. With certification testing up to Class FA and CAT8 copper cabling as well as MPO SM and MM fiber optic cabling WireXpert is ready for 40G and beyond.

Dual control system allows engineers to control the tester and view or save results from both main unit and remote this makes it possible for one engineer to carry out tests reducing the time spend on site testing. Wide range of fibre optic test modules so the WireXpert is truly versatile tester with Psiber Data continually developing new products for example being the first manufacturer to develop MPO fibre testing for Data Centres using a standard cable tester.

Key Benefits

  • Permanent link adaptors have a replaceable permanent link cord so when the plugs are worn you do not have to replace the whole unit just the lead. Which means less down time and saves money  reducing the overall cost of ownership
  • Dual control system allows installers to control tester and view or save results from each end this makes it much possible for one engineer to carry out tests reducing the time spend on site testing
  • Tests Cat6A in under 9 seconds on Autotest reducing the amount of time spent testing on site allowing your engineers to be more efficient
  • Protects your Investment: Beyond 10G with CAT8 ready cable tester currently the only tester available that do this!
  • Approved by over 20 major cable companies worldwide including Commscope Brand-Rex Nexans and Excel
  • Wide range of fibre optic test modules so the WireXpert is truly versatile tester with Psiber Data continually developing new products for example being the first manufacturer to develop MPO fibre testing for Data Centres

Cabling systems are evolving rapidly with CAT8 standard for copper cabling on the horizon and rapidly growing use of MPO and Single Mode cabling for 40G Ethernet and beyond.  The powerful measurement engine of WireXpert 4500 performs the most complex cable certification tests accurately and in a matter of seconds you will know the answer to “PASS or not?” WireXpert 4500 is your best and probably the only investment in test instrument.  With a large number of application specific detachable test adapters you can test many different types of cables and components.

WireXpert 4500 has test adapters for all categories of copper patch-cords multi-mode MPO cables simplex multi-mode and single-mode links industrial Ethernet cabling systems (1G and 10G) coaxial cables and more. WireXpert 4500 even offers a range of specialised adapters for lab testing.  In fact some of the most reputed cable vendors use WireXpert 4500 in their research labs to qualify newly developed cabling components. We welcome you to experience the speed of testing accuracy and simplicity of WireXpert 4500!

Two Important Methods for Fiber Optic Splicing

Fiber optic splicing is an important method of joining two fiber optic cables together. It is a preferred solution when an available fiber optic cable is not sufficiently long for the required run. Besides, splicing is designed to restore fiber optic cables when they are accidentally broken. Nowadays, fiber optic splicing is widely deployed in telecommunications, LAN (Local Area Network) and networking projects. Typically, fiber optic splices can be undertaken in two ways: fusion splices and mechanical splices. This paper firstly illustrates the specific process of fusion splicing method and mechanical splicing method, then makes a comparison of the two methods for your reference.

Fusion Splicing Method

Fusion splicing is a permanent connection of two or more optical fibers by welding them together using an electronic arc. It is the most widely used method of splicing as it provides for the lowest loss, less reflectance, strongest and most reliable joint between two fibers. When adopting this method, fusion splicing machines are often used. Generally, there are four basic steps in fusion splicing process as illustrating in following one by one.

Step 1: strip the fiber

The splicing process begins with the preparation for both fibers ends to be fused. So you need to strip all protective coating, jackets, tubes, strength members and so on, just leaving the bare fiber showing. It is noted that the cables should be clean.

Step 2: cleave the fiber

A good fiber cleaver is crucial to a successful fusion splice. The cleaver merely nicks the fiber and then pulls or flexes it to cause a clean break rather than cut the fiber. The cleave end-face should be perfectly flat and perpendicular to the axis of the fiber for a proper splice.

Step 3: fuse the fiber

When fusing the fiber, there are two important steps: aligning and melting. Fist of all, aligning the ends of the fiber within the fiber optic splicer. Once proper alignment is achieved, utilizing an electrical arc to melt the fibers to permanently welding the two fiber ends together.

Step 4: protect the fiber

A typical fusion splice has a tensile strength between 0.5 and 1.5 lbs and it is not easy to break during normal handling. However, it still requires protection from excessive bending and pulling forces. By using heat shrink tubing, silicone gel and/or mechanical crimp protectors will keep the splice protected from outside elements and breakage.

Mechanical Splicing Method

If you want the splices to be made quickly and easily, the mechanical splice is a better choice. A mechanical splice is a junction of two or more optical fibers that are aligned and held in place by a self-contained assembly. A typical example of this method is the use of connectors to link fibers. This method is most popular for fast, temporary restoration or for splicing multimode fibers in a premises installation. Like fusion splice, there are also four basic steps in mechanical splice.

Step 1: strip the fiber

Fiber preparation here is practically the same as for fusion splicing. Just removing the protective coatings, jackets, tubes, strength members to show the bare fiber. Then ensuring the cleanliness of the fiber.

Step 2: cleave the fiber

The process is the same as the cleaving for fusion splicing. It is necessary to obtain a cut on the fiber which is exactly at right angles to the axis of the fiber.

Step 3: mechanically join the fiber

In this step, heating is not used as in fusion splice. Simply connecting the fiber ends together inside the mechanical splice unit. The index matching gel inside the mechanical splice apparatus will help couple the light from one fiber end to the other.

Step 4: protect the fiber

Once fibers are spliced, they will be placed in a splice tray which is then placed in a splice closure. Outside plant closures without use of heat shrink tubing will be carefully sealed to prevent moisture damage to the splices.

Which Method is Better?

Both fusion splicing and mechanical splicing method have their advantages and disadvantages. Whether choosing fusion splice or mechanical splice depends on the applications.

The fusion one provides a lower level of loss and a higher degree of permanence than mechanical splicing. However, this method requires the use of the expensive fusion splicing equipment. In view of this, fusion splice tends to be used for the long high data rate lines that are installed that are unlikely to be changed once installed.

The mechanical splicing is used for applications where splices need to be made very quickly and where the expensive equipment for fusion splices may not be available. Some mechanical fiber optic splice easily allows both connection and disconnection. In this way, a mechanical splice may be used in applications where the splice may be less permanent.

are share from: http://www.fiber-optic-solutions.com/two-important-methods-for-fiber-optic-splicing.html

Test Method Fiber Optic

Choose a Test Method.

Once the test cords are verified, you may test the fiber link. There are three options for setting an optical reference between a source and power meter. These options may use 1, 2 or 3 jumpers, or Test Reference Cords. The method used is determined by your regional or vendor-specific requirements. A couple of things should be noted. Optical Loss Test Sets (OLTS) typically have a source and meter at EACH end so they measure two fibers at one time. For simplicity and clarity the graphics here are only showing a simplex setup – one light source to one power meter (except in testing setup with 2 reference cords, that shows both links). When the term “test reference cord” is shown this means a cord with “reference grade connectors”. These are connectors that provide much lower loss than “standard” connectors. Test reference jumpers are more expensive than regular patch cords. A couple of final notes on referencing: Regardless of vendor or model, all optical sources should be allowed to warm up for about 5 minutes prior to performing a reference. On most Optical Loss Test Sets designed for Tier 1 certification, there will be a setting for “reference method”. The physical configuration used to perform the reference MUST match the setting on the test device or your test margins are invalid. So if you set your test setup to do a three fiber reference but what you actually physically do is a one fiber reference, you have a completely invalid test result, especially your test margins are going to be completely invalid. NEVER disconnect the test jumper from the transmitter after a reference is performed – this will destroy the reference – you will need to do it again. Always check your reference by connecting the source test jumper to the power meter test jumper and perform a measurement. There is some variation in what you would expect to see when checking your reference – based on the quality of your test jumpers and the reference method used, certainly below 0.3 dB. One thing you want to watch for when checking your reference is ‘gainers’ – where your test set shows a loss with a positive value, +0.2 dB for example. That is also an indication that you’ve got a bad reference and you’ll need to redo your reference. It is a good practice to save your reference check to have proof that a good reference was established prior to testing. If during the course of testing you question your results, simply check your reference again and re-reference if needed, save the result and carry on testing.
referenece: commscope SP3802 training

Reasons Structured Cabling is Important for Business Phone Systems

Here are 5 reasons why structured cabling is essential for your business phone systems:

1. Faster transmission

When your team is on the phone waiting for an irate customer’s record to appear, every second can feel like an eternity. You’ll want to move data to the point of use as fast as you possibly can. Category 6A cable supports up to 10-Gigabits per second, while Category 5e supports 100 mbps. Most experts no longer recommend Category 3 for data transmission because of its slow speed and high volume of noise. Don’t slow down your business phone system and important data by using cables that won’t support the speed you need.

2. Less Noise

All twisted pair cable is susceptible to some degree of noise from nearby electronic equipment, but Category 5 is far superior to the older Category 3 at noise resistance. Category 5e, Category 6 and Category 6A each offers a big leap in noise reduction over its immediately preceding standard. Fiber optic cabling offers the best resistance to noise of any other cable system. Noise causes static and poor connections during phone conversations and corrupts data. Excessive noise slows down your network because the system has to resend corrupt data repeatedly until it gets through uncorrupted. It is a false economy to go with a lower quality cable, because you pay more in the hidden costs of slow response times and irritated customers.

3. Longer runs

The higher the quality of the cable that supports your business phone system, the longer the runs it can support without errors and artifacts creeping in. There are no restrictions on the length of fiber optic cable runs, and its superior noise resistance and speed make it an excellent choice for a business phone system or data center. Category 5 or category 6A wiring can support runs of up to 100 meters without noise, which gives you more flexibility in laying out your facility and reduces the number of repeaters or data hubs you’ll need to install. Eliminating hubs and repeaters as much as possible makes your network more reliable and reduces the investment in necessary equipment. Its reasonable cost coupled with the superior noise resistance over long runs makes Category 5e or Category 6A the cable of choice for Houston business phone systems.

4. Lower cost of maintenance

Fiber optic, Category 5e or Category 6 cables rarely go bad. On the rare occasion that they do, having a properly installed and carefully marked cable structure can make it faster to identify the problem and easier to replace the cable. Downtime equates to lost revenue, so you want to maximize uptime for your enterprise phone system in every way possible. In addition, instead of spending time tracing cables, your tech support or IT team can spend their time on more strategic initiatives than ensuring the integrity of your cables.

5. Position for growth

When they install NEC phone systems, Houston companies are making an investment in their future. By upgrading the structured cabling system that supports the digital phone system and the company’s data at the same time, these companies position themselves for growth with infrastructure that supports fast, error free transmission of voice and data. Houston business phone systems supported by fiber optic cables or the highest possible category of cable provide companies with superior speeds and voice quality that helps the company compete better in their industry. Better quality cabling is a better investment, because it will serve the company well for far longer than cheaper cabling, and it will be far less troublesome during its entire useful life.

Companies should install the best and most up-to-date data cabling they can afford to ensure that they get top performance from their digital phone system. Good quality cabling can reduce maintenance costs, increase data transmission speeds and improve voice quality.

Reference: http://www.ttihouston.com/blog/bid/324395/5-Reasons-Structured-Cabling-is-Important-for-Business-Phone-Systems

Why should keep your cable rack organize

One of the most challenging aspects of data center cabling is cable management. The concept is simple – dress the cables nicely and leave them that way. However, the data center environment is extremely dynamic and there are extremely short windows of time to work with the cables.

Plus, there are typically budget constraints that leave your installation team with very few options to get the job done properly.

We help you implement it. One of the benefits to a structured cabling system is the ability to keep a clean-looking data center and get rid of messy spaghetti cabling.

Our data center architects and infrastructure design specialists have years of first-hand experience and are always up-to-date on the latest standards. And we offer products that are built to last.

Because the environment is so dynamic, cables are unplugged and plugged in frequently. This type of activity can break many cables, but not ours.