Cabling Chronicles

Three New Innovative Products and Maybe a Future One?

If you dropped by the Fluke Networks booth at the Fall BICSI Exhibition on Las Vegas this week, you had a chance to see three winners of the Cabling Installation and Maintenance Magazine’s Innovator’s Awards, and a possible candidate for a future award.

October 4, 2019

Different Plugs, Same Test

Several vendors offer field-terminated plugs – both crimp style and modular insulation displacement. These plugs can be terminated to category twisted-pair cable to create patch cords or for use in a Modular Plug Terminated Link (MPTL) where horizontal cable is terminated on one end to a field-termination RJ-45 and plugged directly into a device, eliminating the outlet and patch cord at the end device.

September 17, 2019

TRC Results: Why You the Owner Should Care

In addition to individual link insertion loss and length results, a LinkWare Live report includes plenty of other useful information, including the date and time of the test, the test limit selected based on the application and the cable type.  And there’s one other bit of information that as an owner and operator you shouldn’t overlook – the TRC verification results. While you may be focused on the individual link results of your test report, all your links could be suspect if the TRCs fail.

September 11, 2019

Lighting the Way for Visible Light Communications

Lately it seems that there is a lot of attention surrounding digital lighting and the ability to power and control LED lights over the network infrastructure using Ethernet-based technologies like TCP/IP and PoE. While the benefits of LED lighting are becoming well known – energy efficiency, reduced installation and maintenance costs, and integration with IoT – there’s yet another benefit looming on the horizon.

September 4, 2019

101 Series: Set Your Reference Like a Wizard!

When it comes to testing fiber systems, connector loss refers to the loss of a mated pair of connectors – it’s actually impossible to measure a single connector.  To test the loss of the first connector, it must be mated to a similar, known quality connector. That’s where Test Reference Cords (TRCs) come in.

August 27, 2019

101 Series: Stranded vs. Solid Patch Cords

You’ve likely heard copper patch cords referred to as being constructed of either “stranded” or “solid” cable, but do you know the difference and which to choose when? 

Just like the name implies, stranded four-pair cables are cables where each of the eight conductors of the four-pair cable are constructed of multiple “strands” of wires wrapped around each other, while solid cables are constructed with just one solid copper wire per conductor.

August 21, 2019

7 Reasons to Certify

When it comes to testing a cabling installation, there are essentially three choices--verification, qualification and certification. Verification is great for troubleshooting as it will tell you if your cabling is connected correctly and can help you find breaks, connectors and splices. Qualification lets you know if your cable under test will support a specific application, making it great for small moves, adds and changes or determining if an existing cable plant can support an application (think 2.5/5GBASE-T testing over an installed base of Cat 6).

August 13, 2019

Short-Reach Singlemode Puts Reflectance on the Radar

Most of us are well aware that insertion loss budgets have gotten tighter as we have moved from 10 to 40/100 Gig for multimode fiber applications. One would think that we can’t say the same for singlemode applications that have historically meant larger loss budgets – 6.3dB for 100 Gig over singlemode (100GBASE-LR4) versus just 1.9dB for 100 Gig over multimode (100GBASE-SR4). But that’s no longer the case with new short-reach singlemode applications.

August 6, 2019

101 Series: Ethernet Back to Basics

It’s been more than 40 years since Bob Metcalfe published this simple diagram explaining his invention for interconnecting computers and printers at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center in California. His patented multipoint data connection system with collision detection later became known as Ethernet.

July 31, 2019