Cabling Chronicles

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

Know the Punch Line

Installers have been punching down copper twisted-pair cable for decades and still do so for terminating cables to IDC towers on jacks, patch panels and connecting blocks. While the practice hasn’t changed, punchdown tools have come a long way, and you now have some options at your fingertips. So how do you choose? Let’s take a closer look.

July 23, 2019

AV over Twisted-Pair: What Do I Need to Test For?

Whether it’s video conferencing or digital signage, many of you are likely facing requests from your customers to deploy cable plants that support audio-visual systems.

Many of these applications utilize twisted-pair cabling, and technology advancements now make it possible to deliver power to video displays simultaneously with these video signals over the same cabling. When it comes to deploying and testing cable plants required to support these AV systems, it’s important to understand best testing practices to ensure your customers get the perfect picture they expect.

July 17, 2019

Not Exactly in the Limelight – Yet

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about OM5 multimode fiber, and despite its lime green color and being added to the ANSI/TIA-568.3-D standard in 2016, it hasn’t exactly been in the limelightbut it looks like that won’t always be the case.

July 10, 2019

Cabling Chronicles’ 4th of July Reflections

The 4th of July is always a time to reflect on our history, where we come from and the dedication of our founding fathers. But it’s also a time to look ahead, learn from past mistakes and progress towards a better future.

Our industry has a lot of history as well as traditional practices that we still use today simply because they work. But we also know that there are new ways of doing things, new parameters and new applications that are driving positive change.

July 1, 2019

Channel, Permanent Link, Patch Cords, MPTL, E2E… Oh My!

With the addition of the modular plug terminated link (MPTL) configuration to the latest ANSI-TIA 568.2-D standard, and now end-to-end (E2E) configurations getting some attention in ISO/IEC standards (and likely soon TIA as well), you might be overwhelmed with the choices and be wondering what you’re supposed to test and when. Let’s take a look.

June 26, 2019