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fiber termination



The cabling youll

need for the IoT

PoE and the

NEC collide. What
happens next?

Why not my job

is not acceptable

w w w.c a b li n g i n s t a ll .c o m
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What Does the Future of Data Centers Look Like?

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cabling system for your data center, now offers EDGE8 solutions. Combining the best-in-class
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With EDGE8 solutions, less really is more.

2015 Corning Optical Communications. LAN-1975-AEN / July 2015

1611CIM_C2 2

10/21/16 10:35 AM


N O V E M B E R 2 016
vol. 24, no. 11


As fiber-termination technology
has evolved, ensuring
termination integrity has
become a less-burdensome
effort. Photo: Shutterstock.

Group Publisher Alan Bergstein

Chief Editor Patrick McLaughlin
(603) 891-9222;
Senior Editor Matt Vincent
(603) 891-9262;
Art Director Cindy Chamberlin
Production Director Mari Rodriguez
Senior Illustrator Dan Rodd
Marketing Manager Joni Montemagno
Audience Development Manager Stephanie OShea
Ad Traffic Manager Glenda van Duyne


Cabling infrastructure for
the Internet of Things

Twisted-pair connectivity
evolves to support latestgeneration technologies

Old school meets new school
in fiber connectivity

The intersection of remote
powering and the 2017 NEC


What is ALSNR and why

should you care?


1611CIM_1 1



Chairman Robert F. Biolchini

Vice Chairman Frank T. Lauinger
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mark C. Wilmoth
Executive Vice President, Corporate Development
and Strategy Jayne A. Gilsinger
Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial
Officer Brian Conway

Senior Vice President & Publishing Director

Christine A. Shaw



Not your problem?

Coaxial cable assemblies


Tel: (847) 559-7330; Fax: (847) 763-9607; e-mail:


Cabling Installation & Maintenance

61 Spit Brook Road, Suite 401, Nashua, NH 03060
Tel: (603) 891-0123, Fax: (603) 891-9245

Cabling Installation & Maintenance (ISSN 1073-3108), Volume 24,

No. 11. Cabling Installation & Maintenance is published 12 times a year,
monthly by PennWell Corporation, 1421 S. Sheridan, Tulsa, OK 74112.
Periodicals postage paid at Tulsa, OK 74112 and at additional mailing
offices. SUBSCRIPTION PRICES: USA $74 1yr., $110 2 yr.; Canada/Mexico
$86 1 yr., $130 2 yr.; International $108 1 yr., $160 2 yr. POSTMASTER:
Send address corrections to Cabling Installation & Maintenance, P.O. Box
3425, Northbrook, IL 60065-3425. Cabling Installation & Maintenance
is a registered trademark. PennWell Corporation 2016. All rights
reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Permission, however, is granted for employees of corporations licensed under
the Annual Authorization Service offered by the Copyright Clearance Center
Inc. (CCC), 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, Mass. 01923, or by calling CCCs
Customer Relations Department at 978-750-8400 prior to copying. We make
portions of our subscriber list available to carefully screened companies that
offer products and services that may be important for your work. If you do
not want to receive those offers and/or information via direct mail, please let
us know by contacting us at List Services Cabling Installation & Maintenance,
61 Spit Brook Rd, Suite 401, Nashua, NH 03060. Printed in the USA. GST No.
126813153. Publications Mail Agreement no. 1421727.

10/21/16 10:30 AM








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Category 8 testing
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1611CIM_3 3

What is ALSNR
and why should
you care?
In September the IEEE ratified the 802.3bz specification, widely known as "2.5 and 5GBASE-T." BZ's
primary value proposition is that the installed
base of Category 5e and Category 6 will support
2.5- and 5-Gbit/sec operation. To that end, the bz
standard references a TIA document, TSB-5021,
titled Guidelines for the Use of Installed Cabling
to Support 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T. As of late
October TSB-5021 was in the standards-creation
step known as default ballot. While it would be an
exaggeration to say the default ballot process is
a formality, it would be appropriate to say that all involved have a high level of
confidence that when the default balloting closes on December 2, TSB-5021 will
be ready for publication.
In the meantime the NBASE-T Alliance, the prime mover of the 802.3bz specification, produced a technical paper titled NBASE-T Performance and Cabling
Guidelines. It provides guidelines on how to evaluate the readiness of existing
Category 5e, 6 and 6A copper cabling infrastructure for 2.5 and 5G. Specifically,
the paper states in part, "Certification of category cabling requires measurements of 'internal' parameters such as insertion loss, return loss, and crosstalk. These standards use the Category 5e internal cabling specifications for
2.5GBASE-T, specified to 100 MHz. Cabling requirements for 5GBASE-T extrapolate these requirements to 250 MHz, which is within the frequency range specified for Category 6. This means that Category 6 cabling supports the internal
parameter requirements of both 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T. It does not mean
that 5GBASE-T cannot operate over Category 5e, only that additional testing
may be needed for assurance. Assessment of Category 5e channels for the internal cabling requirements of 5GBASE-T may require retesting, or if originally
measured to 250 MHz or above, those results may be reevaluated."
The paper introduces and describes alien limited signal to noise ratio
(ALSNR), which is "a calculation that combines insertion loss, alien NEXT and
alien FEXT to estimate the response of the PHY. This determines if the channel has adequate SNR for supporting the new data rates under worst-case
The paper also discusses factors such as installation quality and cable bundling that can affect performance, and mitigation steps that users can take to
reduce the risk of existing cabling links failing to support 2.5 and 5G.
Cabling Installation & Maintenance


10/21/16 10:30 AM

Optical Fiber
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10/21/16 10:30 AM


Cabling infrastructure for the

Internet of Things

Enabling infrastructure for loT

Designing the physical layer infrastructure to


support IoT requires several considerations.

Connected devices


The world around us is changing rapidly

as technology becomes increasingly intertwined with our day-to-day routines.
With advancements in technology, not
only have we become smarter thanks to
the wealth of information at our fingertips, but so have the devices we rely on.
Smarter devices are enabling a new type
of infrastructurean intelligent network
built on the Internet of Things (IoT).
Simply defined, the Internet of Things
is a network of uniquely identifiable endpoints (or things) that contain embedded technology to sense, collect and act on
data locally or with external environments,
without human interaction. IoT is making
an unprecedented impact on how commercial buildings are managed and operated.
In a building network environment, IoT enables workers responsible for various operations to be more effective and efficient
through better delegation, faster responses
and improved quality and control. In fact,
according to Gartner, IoT can help reduce
the cost of energy, spatial management and
building maintenance by up to 30 percent.
With an IoT-ready building design, the cost
of system integration is greatly diminished,
new hardware requirements are minimal and leading-edge apps or web-based
software are becoming the norm. We are

1611CIM_5 5

getting closer to the holy grail of facility

management with more functional and efficient buildings.
Helping empower this change in
building design is the use of the Internet
Protocol (IP) as the communication protocol of these new devices. IP convergence will be especially important within
the next-generation commercial building, an ecosystem of ubiquitous heterogeneous devices, people and systems, which
interact in real time. As we migrate toward an inevitable fully IoT-enabled
building, we will see the convergence of
power, light and data over a common cabling system for a variety of applications.

Connected devices and

enabling infrastructure
When we start to look at this new building environment we will need to take a
closer look at two terms to better understand the design impact the Internet of
Things will have.
Connected devices can refer to a wide
variety of things such as smart thermostats, telephones, security cameras, access
control systems and more. These devices
support various applications by collecting
useful data with the help of various existing technologies and then autonomously

The term connected devices can

refer to a wide variety of things, such
as smart thermostats, telephones,
security cameras, access control systems
and more. Connected devices often
leverage IP and many can be powered
and networked using a single cable.

communicating the data between other

devices to make enhancements to the surrounding environment without human interaction. Connected devices often leverage the IP and many are already able to
be powered and networked using a single
cable with existing Power over Ethernet
(PoE) technologies.
Enabling infrastructure refers to the
structure beyond the things that make
the IoT philosophy possible. It includes the
platforms that facilitate a common language for all devices to communicate freely,
the collect and act scenarios that are the
essence of the IoT movement and the enablers, such as PoE, wireless access points,
gateways and edge devices. The cabling infrastructure that makes up the physical
deployment of the IoT installment is at the
core of these systems. A structured cabling
infrastructure provides the required foundation to support these applications.

Convergence of power, light and data

Data: Enabling an IoT infrastructure with EthernetWith devices and

Cabling Installation & Maintenance


10/21/16 10:30 AM

Cabling infrastructure for the Internet of Things continued

IEEE 802.3af 2-pair PoE

Watts from Power Source Equipment

Up to 15.4W

IEEE 802.3at 2-pair PoE Plus

IEEE 802.3bt (Type 3) 4-p air PoE

Up to 30W
Up to 60W

Cisco UPOE

Up to 60W

IEEE 802.3bt (Type 4) 4-pair PoE

Power over HDBase-T (PoH) Draft IEEE 1911 standard*

Up to 100W
Up to 100W

802.11n WAPs, access control, thin clients, IP phones,
fixed IP cameras
PTZ IP cameras, alarms, video IP phones, RFID readers
Access control, PTZ IP cameras, 802.11ac WAPs,
point-of-sale readers
Access control, PTZ IP cameras, 802.11ac WAPs,
point-of-sale readers
Televisions, desktop computers
Televisions, computers, projectors

*Active IEEE working group on ratification of HDBase-T as an approved IEEE standard. The full working group and active projects regarding HDBase-T are
available at the IEEE website under HDBT5-HDBaseT5Play Working Group.

viable power pathApplications converging over IP allow communications to

occur over Ethernet, a common standard
that has evolved to support both data and
low-voltage power over industry-standard
category cabling. Many of the applications
mentioned previously are also leveraging
devices, or things that have become more
power-efficient. With these devices having lower power requirements, they are
now able to be powered using low-voltage direct current (DC)
over a single twisted-pair
IoT application data and power requirements
cable. The IEEE sets the
High data
standard for Power over
High data
High data High power
Ethernet (PoE), which alLow power 10 Gain XP CAT 6A
lows for the simultaneCAT 6A, 6EX, 6+
ous transmission of data
PTZ cameras

and low-voltage power

power Video phones High-def A/V
over twisted-pair cabling. There are also other
solutions in the market
LED lighting
Low-def. A/V
that support transmis Alarm
sion of power and data,
Digital signage
including Ciscos UPOE
Low data
Low power
(Universal Power Over
CAT 6, 5E +, 5E
Low data
Ethernet) solution and the
High power
Low data
Powerwise CAT 5E
AV industrys Power over
HDBase-T (PoH).
When deploying IoT applications that use twisted-pair
Current IEEE stancabling, it is important to consider the mix of power
dards allow for devices
and data that a device requires. The quadrants in this
under 30 watts to be powillustration show applications that range from low
ered and networked usdata and low power requirements, to high data and
ing a single category cahigh power requirements.
ble. This power and data

applications leveraging IP for communication and Ethernet providing a standard method for delivery, we are seeing
the convergence of connected devices
over Ethernet. This allows for IoT networks to be designed and managed
alongside existing and evolving industry
standards, including TIA and IEEE, to
ensure safe and consistent operation of
devices on a common infrastructure.
PoE: Ethernet cabling system a

1611CIM_6 6


Cabling Installation & Maintenance

delivery allows for the convergence onto

traditional structured cabling infrastructures that are already being used in many
commercial buildings today. Voice over
Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones found in
most offices today are already being powered using this method, in which a single cable is providing both voice (data)
and power. With the upcoming ratification of 4-pair PoE, 802.3bt, the latest IEEE
standard will allow up to 100 watts of
DC power to be delivered from the power
source equipment alongside data transmissions in a single category cable.

Increased power, increased heat

With the upcoming IEEE 802.3bt standard for 4-pair PoE, the increase to 100watt power delivery through twisted-pair
cabling will place additional requirements on the cabling and infrastructure
used to support IoT applications.
With an increased power load, heat
dissipation must happen efficiently to
ensure proper performance of the cable.
The ambient temperature of the pathway, as well as cabling temperature ratings, must be taken into account.
The Telecommunications Industry
Association (TIA) recommends that a single cable delivering power and data not
exceed an increase of 15 degrees Celsius
temperature from the ambient temperature around the cable. The number of cables bundled together has a direct impact

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10/21/16 10:30 AM

Cabling infrastructure for the Internet of Things continued

Centralized infrasturcture approach

loT devices
to the data center
Storage, analyzing,
and auctioning

A centralized deployment model uses a

central location where analysis, storage
and computing take place. IoT devices
are individually connected back to the
central location.

on the temperature rise. When evaluating your category cable, ensure it can provide enough temperature headroom in
most cable bundle sizes to not exceed the
15-degree Celsius limit when 100 watts of
power is being delivered.

When deploying IoT applications that

use twisted-pair cable, its important to take
into consideration the mix of power and
data that a device requires. Applications
like LED lighting require higher power, but
low data bandwidth. In contrast, applications like multi-band and multi-antenna
wireless access points require high bandwidth and high power throughput.

Centralized and decentralized designs

When deploying connected devices that
leverage the structured cabling infrastructure for communication and power, two deployment modelscentralized and decentralizedshould be considered to ensure
proper performance and reliability of the
overall system. A centralized approach uses
a central location where analysis, storage
and computing take place. IoT devices are
individually connected back to the centralized location, most often through a telecom

room, although a cloud service or remote

data center can also be used. With the
number of connected devices growing on a
rapid scale, the central location will need to
grow as well. Additional racks may need to
be deployed to support these growing number of connections, with the opportunity to
segregate out racks dedicated to different
IoT applications and functions.
The majority of networked applications today use this approach and it
is considered the proper deployment
method for wireless access points. Some
emerging LED lighting systems are also
using this method in deploying their PoEpowered lighting nodes. Centralizing
data center functions in a single location
allows for easier management of the active equipment, but may make it difficult
to run new services and devices after the
initial deployment has finished.
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Cabling Installation & Maintenance

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Cabling infrastructure for the Internet of Things continued

Decentralized infrasturcture approach

Transferring information
to the gateway
loT devices
Transferring unique and
critical actions/information
only in the data center
Record and
backup only

A decentralized approach, sometimes

referred to as a zone approach, employs
the use of distributed equipment, often
located in ceilings or wall enclosures,
throughout the building to analyze, store
and process data from nearby IoT devices.

referred to as a zone approach, employs

the use of distributed equipment, often located in ceiling or wall enclosures,
throughout the building to analyze, store

and process data from nearby IoT devices. This contributes to decisions being
made at a much more efficient rate with
less distance to travel, as well as distributing workloads. Each zone may have one or
more enclosures that house the networking, processing, storage and power components of that zone with only a single or few
connections being sent back to the floors
telecom room. This reduces the number
of long cable runs and makes it more efficient to add or remove devices from zones.
The distribution of the active equipment lends to shorter cable runs for applications that require greater power delivery and efficiency. The shorter the cable
run, the more power that cable is able to
provide to the end device. Intelligent LED
lighting applications, security cameras
and more can benefit from this model.
A hybrid approach uses both deployment models and is a more likely scenario.

For example, wireless access points run on

a centralized model and applications with
more connected devices, like PoE lighting,
benefit from a decentralized approach.
Many disparate services and applications operate in the commercial office and
building network today. With advancements in technology and evolving standards we are witnessing a change in the
supporting network infrastructure of the
building. A future where we witness the
convergence of lighting, security, HVAC,
telephony, occupancy and more applications over a single cabling infrastructure
is not that far off. New demands are going
to be placed on the infrastructure and it is
important to understand those demands
and plan accordingly.
Jason Finnegan is in product marketing and
Justin Baillargeon is in advanced marketing with Legrand (

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Cabling Installation & Maintenance


10/21/16 10:30 AM


Twisted-pair connectivity
evolves to support latestgeneration technologies
Technological development is evident in product design
and in the methods of terminating cable to connectors.

As other articles in this issue detail,

twisted-pair copper cabling systems
are becoming the transmission media
for increasing amounts of direct current power. This trend has several implications, one of which is that the end-toend cabling system must be physically
capable of supporting the specified
power and data throughput levels.
Many discussions on the topic of
power-over-twisted-pair-cabling justifiably center on the cables capabilities. Nonetheless, a systems connectivity remains crucial to successful
transmission. This article will discuss some recent developments and
evolution in connectivity technology that affect the installation and
use of twisted-pair cabling systems as
the infrastructure for both data and
power transmission.

Creating an arc
In a technical paper, Siemon explains, Unmating a jack-plug connection while transmitting PoE power
(i.e. unmating under PoE load) produces an arc within the spark gap as


1611CIM_10 10

the current transitions from flowing

through conductive metal to air before becoming an open circuit. While
the level of current associated with
the arc poses no risk to humans, the
arcing creates an electrical breakdown of gases in the surrounding environment that erodes the plated jackplug contact surfaces at the arcing
location. When spark gap erosion occurs in the area of the fully mated position on an RJ45 connector, the result is an unreliable connection due to
the contact surface damage. This can
cause degraded network performance
and increased bit error rates.
In the paper, titled The effects of
spark gap erosion caused by unmating under PoE load, Siemon continued,
Some connecting hardware manufacturers have succeeded in ensuring that
arc location during the unmating cycle is separate from the fully mated position. While this may hold true for jack
contacts, their contact geometry does
not ensure that erosion on plug contacts is also away from the fully mated
position. Erosion on either the jack or

Cabling Installation & Maintenance

plug contacts results in an unreliable

In that document and others,
Siemon points out its Z-Max, Max
RJ45 and TERA jacks are constructed
to deliver reliable plug-jack connection for superior support of the latest
PoE applications. The company incorporates a curved, or crowned, contact shape for its modular jacks. John
Siemon, vice president of global operations and chief technology officer for
Siemon, said, Only Siemons patented
crowned contact geometry places arcing damage to both the plug and jack
contacts away from the fully mated
position. This allows our customers to
connect and disconnect to the latest
PoE applications with zero risk over
the lifetime of the system.
The companys jacks have been thirdparty tested and certified to be in compliance with IEC-60512-99-001, which
specifies the maximum allowable resistance change that mated connections
can exhibit when subjected to insertion
and removal cycles under PoE load.

High-speed, high-power support

Levitons Atlas-X1 connectors are
available in shielded and unshielded
options. The shielded connectors support Category 5e to Category 8 specifications, and the unshielded connectors support Category 5e to Category
6A. They all feature a tool-free

10/21/16 10:31 AM

termination process, and all connectors across the platform, from

Category 5e to Category 8, incorporate
the same termination process. They
also can be reterminated.
The company explained that following the launch of Atlas-X1 in early 2015,
as the market looked toward new technologies and the need for a robust jack
in special applications, Leviton continued to put the connector through rigorous testing.
Atlas X-1 connectors were found
to exceed current and developing performance standards for higher wattage PoE, the company noted. Atlas-X1
connectors outperformed standards requirements for higher temperatures, including the IEC 60512-5-2 Connectors
for Electronic Equipment standard.
Leviton found that using a solid
metal body, instead of commonly used
ABS plastic, creates a 53-percent improvement in heat dissipation, it noted.
With greater heat dissipation, the connector can minimize the potential negative effect of heating on transmission performance in high-wattage PoE
The company says that in addition
to minimizing temperature rise, its
Atlas-X1 connectors are designed to
prevent arcing damage in the critical
contact-mating zone between the plug
and connector. When a patch cord is unplugged while the connection is charged
under PoE loads, arcing damage can occur to the connector and plug interface Leviton designed the geometry
of the Atlas-X1 connector so that arcing occurs at an area different from the
point of contact during data transmission, so any damage will not affect the
electrical performance of the connectors
within a channel.
Leviton adds that its Retention
Force Technology, which maintains constant contact force at the

1611CIM_11 11


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Electro-polished contact designs to accommodate

solid and stranded conductors

Performance levels from CAT3 thru CAT6a
Wire management systems to improve plug assembly
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10/21/16 10:31 AM

Twisted-pair connectivity evolves to support latest-generation technologies continued

connector and plug interface, provides an additional layer of protection

against PoE arcing damage by preventing inadvertent intermittent disconnects caused by vibration or operational movement of the plug in the
connector and plug mating region.

Installation innovation
When Belden introduced its
REVConnect connectivity system in
September, the company said it addresses a critical market need for reliable and easy terminations that support
IP convergence over a range of applications, from wired LAN to wireless access points, high-definition displays,
security cameras and building automation sensors.
REVConnect uses a single termination method and a universal termination
core for all Category 5e, 6 and 6A RJ45

connectors. The connector platforms

name includes the acronym REV, which
stands for reliability, ease, and versatility. Versatility is embodied by the systems universal core, Belden explained.
Contractors can terminate a jack or plug
onto the same core interface. This means
that field-terminable plugs, which support Category 6A and high PoE performance, can be terminated just as quickly
and easily as a jack.
When describing the process by which
the REVConnect platform was developed, Belden explained that among the
requirements was for PoE performance to
reach 100W. With todays emerging applications and devices, achieving 100W
was not just a cable-only requirement,
but a system requirement. REVConnect
has been tested and shown to support
100W devices, such as LCD monitors
and next-generation security cameras

with PTZ functionality. Belden has also

added direct-connect installations to our
approved warranty list, meaning that
REVConnect installers can terminate the
10GX Field-Mountable Plugs directly onto
horizontal cable and receive a 25-year
warranty to support their system.
Selecting appropriate cabling to
support power and data delivery is a
many-faceted assignment. While the
performance properties of twisted-pair
cables are currently being examined
closely by creators of standards, codes,
and specifications, the performance of
connecting hardware also plays an important role. As the examples in this article indicate, manufacturers continue
to develop and refine connecting hardware to ensure it successfully supports
data and power transmission.
Patrick McLaughlin is our chief editor.

Direct Connect with

The Field Mountable REVConnect Plug
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1611CIM_12 12

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Direct use of horizontal
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10/21/16 10:31 AM


Old school meets new

school in fiber connectivity
As optical fibers capabilities and workloads

proper amount of touch and feel to prevent breaking a fiber and scrapping the
connector along the way. Even with the
installers use to terminate the medium.
difficulty, there are still many field-polishing kits in service today in the hands
of elite craftspeople who have achieved
mastery over the course of many years
and many thousands of terminations.
But the difficulties in masterHave you ever considered how
ing an epoxy-and-polish termimuch more information and what
nation method have led to alteran increase in tools and technolnative methods for optical fiber
ogy the average person today has
termination that in many ways
to have and effectively use versus
are simpler, faster and more cost
20 years ago? After all, today aleffective. These include splice-on
most anyone can learn the skills
connectors and pigtails as well as
necessary to complete almost any
no-epoxy, no-polish connectors.
task, from growing tomatoes in
Although all of these optical teryour back yard to replacing a part
mination methods result in simion the family car. All it takes is a
lar outcomes, it can become cumfew searches of the internet via
bersome because there are many
smartphone or computer, then
vendors and termination kits,
watching and reading the volume
which lead to a somewhat diverse
of articles and videos that cover
and proprietary landscape of opthe subjects. Technology and inShown here is Cornings UniCam Kit. It included
tions. While this diversity is cerformation delivery have clearly ex- a simple score-and-snap cleaver and a basic
tainly good for competition, it
panded our ability to take on and
mechanical assembly tool.
presents a challenge to installers,
successfully complete new and
contractors and end users.
novel tasks. In many cases, it is not only correctly. This was particularly true if
During extensive voice-of-customer
a convenience to have these abilities,
the job involved terminating fiber-optic
activities that we at Corning Optical
but in most fields today it is a necessity.
cables with optical fiber connectors.
Communications have conducted, inSeveral years ago, we might not have atIn the early days of fiber optics, fistallers and contractors have repeattempted many tasks or jobs without
bers were terminated with complicated
edly called for simpler, easier-to-use
some type of normal training or appren- epoxy and polish products using proceand more-intuitive product installation
ticeship. This training or apprenticeship, dures that had a difficulty somewhere
procedures and practices. There is also
while often costly and time-consumbetween assembling a piece of furniture clearly a desire to standardize on one
ing, was the only way to effectively gain
and painting a Picassoa balance of fol- installation method. The use of differthe proficiency necessary to do a job
lowing many steps while applying the
ent toolkits for different applications is

have evolved, so too have the means

1611CIM_13 13

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10/21/16 10:31 AM

Old school meets new school in fiber connectivity continued

proficiency with the ep- which created a glow of the translucent

oxy-and-polish connec- cam on the connector. If the fiber inside
tor. Chris Jordan with
the connector was installed correctly,
MTS Services recalls
the cam glow would dim significantly
the original UniCam
upon activation.
kit: UniCam was an avThis was a game-changing innoenue to get more peovation because it was the first time a
ples hands on fiber. It
no-epoxy, no-polish connector kit could
made fiber a more-level provide real-time feedback that the conplaying field so that finector was properly installed at the
ber wasnt as much of a
point of installation. The use of the
specialty and more peo- CTS was the biggest thing because with
ple could be trained to
the light I knew when I cammed it that
do it. When I started
I wouldnt have to open up the housing
in 1999 we had two
during testing. The light gave me immeThe Continuity Test System (CTS) version of the
trained fiber techs; todiate confirmation that the connection
UniCam kit was introduced in 2000. It includes a visual
day we have at least
was good, said MTSs Jordan.
fault locator coupled into the connector being installed. 30 technicians that
The CTSs main value for the cuscould do it.
tomer was in providing real-time feedcounter to these requirements and often
Even with the early success of that
back; however the value was limited
requires a fiber technician to be proficient with several different termination
methods, each with its own training
requirements, to become proficient.
Furthermore, this proficiency must be
maintained over time even though it can
be weeks or even months between fiber
installations for many fiber installers.
We used this voice-of-customer feedback and also focused on other drivers
to evolve the installation toolkit for our
UniCam high-performance connector.
The kit leverages technologies brought
about by the smartphone revolution to
deliver customer value. The original kit
With the UniCam High Performance Toolkit, the VFL, CTS
was basic; it included a score-and-snap
adapters and jumpers were integrated into the tool and a
cleaver and a basic mechanical assemphoto detector was added. This reduced subjectivity because the tool could make
bly tool that simply turned the locka determination of whether or not the cam glow was diminished sufficiently and
ing cam of the connector and provided
provide a pass-or-fail indication to the installer via a red or green LED.
a flip lever for the final crimp step of
the process.
Although very basic, the kit prono-epoxy, no-polish connector, there
by the subjectivity in visually judging
vided just what was needed at that time was clear value in making the terminawhether the VFL cam-glow had dimmed
in the evolution of fiber connectivity.
tion process even easier. In 2000 a kit
enough when the connector was actiThe then-current fiber-connector techwas introduced that included a contivated. In an effort to reduce the subjecnology was quick and easy to install
nuity test system (CTS). This system
tivity, the VFL, CTS adapters and jumpwithout the expense of a fusion splicer
used a visual fault locator (VFL) couers were integrated into the tool and a
or the extensive training required for
pled into the connector being installed,
photodetector was added. This reduced


1611CIM_14 14

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1611CIM_15 15

10/21/16 10:31 AM

Old school meets new school in fiber connectivity continued

that problems are identified early and do not complicate final system testing.
The introduction of a latest-generation type of toolkit continues to deliver value
by bringing the connector
installation kit into the age
of the smart device. The new
The High-Performance Toolkit 2
uses basics like colors, shapes
and symbols to simplify the
termination process. One
example can easily be seen in
the photo of the installation
tool. The tool uses color contrast
of black-on-yellow to create a
runway. The installer lays the fiber
into the runways V-groove and pushes
the fiber into the connector.

subjectivity because the tool could make

a determination of whether the cam
glow was diminished sufficiently and
provide a pass-or-fail indication to the
installer. This innovation not only provided instant confirmation that the fibers were properly mated inside the connector, but it also provided a compact
handheld tool that could be used in tight
work environments where no work surface was possible. Travis Atwater with
Intellicom Inc. commented, Toolkit
changes have led to a faster process and
makes it easier to move from job to job.
I like the handheld tool because you can
use it when you dont have a table.
Focus on the installer and contractor drove further enhancements, to create a toolkit that is simple, easy and
intuitive to use, reduces the amount
of initial and ongoing training required for proficiency and provides real-time feedback to the installer so


1611CIM_16 16

intelligence in
the form of sensors, software, microprocessors and videos to guide the installer through the entire installation
process. Gone are the days of forgetting
the connector boot on the first connector of the job. The installation tool has
become the trainer itself. When powered on, the newest-generation installation tool immediately conducts a status
test. With a combination of position
sensors and switches within the tool,
and onboard software and processing, it immediately knows if a connector is loaded, what type of connector is
loaded, and the current step in the installation process. With this information, the installation tool provides the
appropriate feedback via onboard video
and a display built into the assembly
tool to guide the installer on what to do
next. This onboard guidance results in
several key benefits for the contractor
and installer.

Cabling Installation & Maintenance

One tool fits all

An example of a toolkit on the leading
edge of capability is Corning Optical
Communications UniCam HighPerformance Toolkit 2. This one kit
can be used to install all three of the
most common connector types (LC, SC,
ST) and all fiber types. This capability
greatly simplifies fiber termination operations for contractors and allows them
to purchase, train and maintain one
kit for all fiber terminations. We try to
pick the right products for the application, and UniCam fits a lot of applications, said George Demartz of Premiere
Communications. The tool does not
need to be modified in any way when
the installer changes from one connector type to another, or from one fiber type to another. Using onboard sensors, the tool automatically knows what
connector and fiber type is being installed when the connector is loaded
into the tool. This allows the tool to adjust internal parameters and videos
to ensure that the installer completes
all necessary steps to ensure a passing connector.
When it comes to ease of use, no-epoxy, no-polish connectors have always
been at the forefront. With the new
High-Performance Toolkit 2, the level of
intuitiveness and ease of use is so high
that the installation tool does virtually
everything but install the connector for
you. The design process of the high-performance tool relied heavily on feedback
from installers and specifically understanding where installers were having
difficulty with existing toolkits. Aspects
of the installation as fundamental as
where to put the connector in the installation tool were not very intuitive
and required some level of dexterity.
The new installation tool uses basics
colors, shapes and symbolsin intuitive ways to make the connector installation easier.

10/21/16 10:31 AM

Old school meets new school in fiber connectivity continued

The three most common installer requests concerned connector loading,
fiber insertion, and VFL adapter selection. For connector loading, a combination of shape and color results in
a connector load adapter that not only
matches the shape and color of the connector load area in the tool, but also
the same shape and color combination
could be used for all connector and fiber
types. Color and shape also ease fiber
insertion into the connector. The high
color contrast of black-on-yellow creates
a runway that consists of a precision
V-groove, allowing the fiber simply to be
laid into the V-groove and then pushed
into the connector, which is held in
alignment by the tool itself. Finally, VFL
adapter selection is simplified with the
addition of a VFL adapter toggle that
is clearly marked according to connector type, and allows one to switch between the LC connector and SC/ST connectors as easily as flipping a switch.

Training by doing
During feedback sessions, we learned
from owners and senior managers of
contracting firms that their workforce
of technicians was changing. Instead
of having one or two technicians that
were fiber-qualified, they prefer to have
fiber-termination capability across
nearly all of their workforce. This gives
the contractor the ability to flexibly deploy technicians across a wide variety
of jobs, whether the optical fiber termination component is small or large.
Having this flexibility in the workforce
relies not only on an installation process
that is easy and intuitive, but it also relies on a process in which the initial and
maintenance training is not cumbersome to the organization. When asked
about the way training requirements
have changed over the years, Premieres
Demartz said, Training is a lot simpler today due to UniCams simplicity.

1611CIM_17 17

You can sit with a tech with intermediate skills and in four hours they can
complete UniCam installations with
the best of them. Seventeen years ago
it would have taken a solid one to oneand-a-half days to train. The internet
has changed training in a good way; the
guys learn a lot from watching the videos on YouTube before they even get any
sit-down training.
Cornings philosophy regarding
training using our High-Performance
Toolkit 2 is that the toolkit itself should
provide all the training necessary to be
proficient at installing optical connectors. This is accomplished by first taking advantage of the intuitiveness built
into the tool functionality and controls,
and second providing instructional videos, linked to the installation process by
the onboard sensors and played directly
on the installation tools built-in display.
The tool not only knows where the installer is in the installation process, but
also prompts the installer on what to do
next. It does so from the moment the installer presses the power button, and
continues until all connectors are installed or the unit is powered off.
Another key to self-training capability is an interactive video display that
is incorporated into the toolkit case.
This video display allows the installer
to reference detailed installation videos
and tips, even when no internet access
is available.

Performance is key
It also became apparent to us that the
connector toolkit is not simply a tool to
get connectors on the ends of a cable; it
is a business-enabler. How well the toolkit does depends on one attribute: performance. Optical fiber connector performance is typically measured in terms
of installation time, scrap, and insertion loss. With the built-in guidance of
the High-Performance Toolkit 2, scrap


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Cabling Installation & Maintenance



10/21/16 10:31 AM

Old school meets new school in fiber connectivity continued

connectors resulting from

initial training and initial startup at a new jobsite
are greatly reduced, if not
eliminated, because missing steps such as installing the boot on the fiber or
failing to crimp the connector should not occur.
Additionally, the fiber-insertion runway on the tool reduces scrap associated with
damaging a cleaved fiber or
breaking a fiber on insertion into the connector.
Another key aspect of
performance, which you will not find
on a specification sheet, is what we call
link yield. An optical fiber link loss
budget or maximum is calculated by
adding all the components contributing
to loss in an optical link. For example,
in a simple link it may be the attenuation of a length of fiber plus the attenuation of the connectors on the ends of
the fiber. In more-complicated links,
there could be splices or attenuators.
The point is, the real measure of performance is how well the final optical link
attenuation test compares to the calculated maximum link loss budget; the
percentage of links that test within this
budget is called the link yield. Of course,
higher link yield is better. While low insertion loss of individual connectors is
important, link yield is a better measure
for the performance of an installation
method. The reason is that it is straightforward to isolate and repair connectors
that test out-of-spec during installation,
but once the connectors are installed in
a link and those connectors are plugged
into an adapter panel in an optical-fiber
housing, it becomes much more difficult
to troubleshoot, isolate and repair a connector in a link that doesnt pass the link
attenuation test.
For this reason, the built-in CTS


1611CIM_18 18

installed link. The new installation tool incorporates

several improvements to the
built-in CTS. First, the placement of the photodetector is
optimized to ensure the VFL
light from the connector is
more tightly and uniformly
focused onto the photodetector. Second, the voltage
The UniCam High-Performance Toolkit 2
set point within the tool can
can be used to install all three of the most
now be optimized to the concommon optical connector types (LC, SC,
nector type and fiber type
ST) using a single tool.
being used. Furthermore,
this set point is software-desystem is critical. As previously menfined and automatically set based on the
tioned, in the older-generation tool a
connector being installed.
VFL was used to illuminate the conThe result: By ensuring high-loss connector and a photo detector was used
nectors are identified and fixed during into measure the light emitted from the
stallation, less time will be expended and
glowing cam area of the connector. The
fewer connectors will be scrapped in troulevel of light focused on the photo debleshooting and repair of links that test
tector then would induce a voltage
high during the final certification test.
level across the device, which was comSpeed of deployment, which is
pared to a factory-set voltage level in
closely tied to installation time, has
the tool. If the voltage level was below
always been a key differentiator
the set point, the tool would provide
among fiber-optic connectors. When
a green LED, indicating that the VFL
we first introduced the UniCam, its
glow dimmed sufficiently to conclude
typical installation time was about
that the fiber stub in the connector and
two minutes. With the introduction of
the cleaved field fiber being terminated
the handheld installation tool, typical
were in continuity, or physical contact,
installation time was approximately
following activation of the connector. If
one minute, and even less than a minthe voltage level was above the set point, ute with particularly skilled installthe tool took this to mean that the VFL
ers. While speed is important, many
light did not dim sufficiently and that
contractors have told us that two minthe fiber stub and field fiber were not
utes is a very fast and acceptable inin contact. This was indicated by a red
stallation time. So we chose not to foLED in the tool.
cus on the fact that in lab tests our
While the CTS system did a great
newest tool is about 15 percent faster,
job ensuring continuity within the concertainly providing sub-one-minute
nector, the voltage level set point reinstallation time. When it comes to
mained the same regardless of the conspeed, everyone knows the fastest way
nector type or fiber type being used.
is to do it right the first time.
Consequently, the tool was very good at
Ray Barnes is manager of LAN market develensuring continuity within a connecopment for Corning Optical Communications
tor, but not as good at ensuring that the
connector would pass when tested in an

Cabling Installation & Maintenance

10/21/16 10:31 AM


The intersection of remote

powering technologies and the
2017 National Electrical Code
The technology widely referred to as Power
over Ethernet continues to evolve; the 2017
NEC addresses heat and bundling issues.

The 2017 edition of the National

Electrical Code includes several new
articles that directly relate to the use
of twisted-pair communications cables to carry direct current (DC) to
power networked devices. An article we published last month (Data/
comm cables and the 2017 National
Electrical Code, October 2017, page
22), authored by Stanley Kaufman,
PhD of CableSafe, addressed a number of changes made in the 2017 NEC.
Dr. Kaufman is a member of the
National Fire Protection Associations
NEC Code-Making Panels 12 and 16 as
well as being a member of the NFPA
Technical Committee on Electronic
Computer Systems.
This months article focuses on
just a couple of the topics covered in
Dr. Kaufmans article. It is based on
a web-based seminar delivered by
Cabling Installation & Maintenance
on September 29, 2016. That seminar
will be available for on-demand viewing until March 2017 at cablinginstall.

1611CIM_19 19

Remote powering
Many in the industry use the term
Power over Ethernet to refer to any
type of remote poweringtechnology
that permits the carriage of DC over the
conductors of a communications cable.
In a vast majority of cases, the products
and systems that provide this ability do
so in accordance with the IEEEs 802.3af
or 802.3at specifications. Officially
this set of specifications is called Data
Terminal Equipment Power via Media
Dependent Interface, or DTE Power via
MDI. Nowhere in the standards official
title will you find the term Power over
Ethernet or PoE. Nonetheless, references
to these specifications almost always include the term PoE.
The IEEE does not own the term
PoE. And just because a product says
PoE or Power over Ethernet on it,
does not indicate that it complies with
either the existing or forthcoming specifications that we very frequently refer to as PoE.
Under the original IEEE standard,
802.3af, the power sourcing equipment

(PSE) injects between 44 and 57 volts,

with 48 being typical, at 350 to 400
mA. In total the power sourcing equipment emits 15.4 Watts and by the time
it reaches its destination of the powered device, 12.95 Watts are available
to the PD. 802.3af uses two pairs of a
four-pair cable.
The at standard, commonly referred
to as Power over Ethernet Plus, injects
50 to 57 volts (50 is typical) at up to 600
milliamps. Its worthwhile to point out
that the IEEE established that 600-milliamp limit for its 802.3at standard based
on a 50-degree Celsius ambient temperature. Generally cables are rated to 60 degrees Celsius, meaning they can operate
up to that temperature without degradation to their performance characteristics. Through collaboration between
a group in the TIAs TR-42 cabling standards committee, and the IEEE, it was
determined that sending power over
twisted-pair cables at 600 mA per pair
could account for as much as a 10-degree Celsius rise in temperature.
A couple points to note from these
facts. 1) The notion that sending power
at certain amperages over twisted-pair
cables will cause temperature rise is not
new. The 802.3at specification was finalized in 2009 and it accounted for
the fact that there would be temperature rise in some cables that were carrying this current. 2) The IEEE and the
TIA collaborated extensively as the PoE

Cabling Installation & Maintenance



10/21/16 10:31 AM

The intersection of remote powering technologies and the 2017 National Electrical Code continued

Plus standard was developed, for exactly

reasons like this. That collaboration has
continued over years.

Reason for caution

But as mentioned earlier, the term PoE
does not necessarily equate to compliance with IEEE 802.3af or 802.3at
specifications. In our October 2014 issue we published an article authored
by Steve Carlson, representing the
Ethernet Alliance, addressing this issue. In that opinion article he observed,
Unfortunately, the success of PoE led to
products that took shortcuts with the
standard, or simply ignored it. Most of
the products did not come from mainstream networking vendors who followed the standard. Rather, they frequently came from companies that
were not in the networking business,
or no-name producers. Its too bad
that the IEEE didnt trademark Power
over Ethernet. It might have saved a lot
of future trouble. Many cheap PoE injectors appeared on the market. These
units did not have any of the IEEE standardized features, and were frequently
a power supply inside a box that interrupted the idle pairs and placed permanent voltage on them. In many cases
this voltage was not the correct IEEE
standardized voltage, or the power supply could be switched between different

output voltages. The current supplied

frequently far exceeded those specified in the standard, leading to possible damage of remote devices or the
network cabling. These non-standardsbased devices were frequently marketed as Power over Ethernet, causing
potential market confusion regarding the integrity of the IEEE standards-based solutions.
Carlson authored that article in
201411 years after the IEEE 802.3af
standard was published and 5 years after 802.3at was. That long after the completion of the IEEEs standards, rogue
devices continue to exist in the market.
While justification exists to use
caution when considering deploying
power injectors that do not comply with
802.3af or 802.3at, some non-IEEE powering technologies can be deployed
safely, without concern about harming network electronics or cabling. One
example is the Power over HDBase-T
(PoH) specification, developed by the
HDBase-T Alliance. The PoH specification is backward-compatible with
IEEE specifications. PoH calls for 95 to
100 watts of power over twisted-pair
cabling. In a technical paper titled
Introduction to Power over HDBase-T,
the HDBase-T Alliance notes, PoH enables the PD [powered device] to identify
the cable length/resistance and draw

more power, as long as the overall power

consumption does not exceed 100W.
PoH is fully backwards-compatible with
the IEEE 802.3at-2009 specification, including the section 33.7.1 mandate that
all power sourcing equipment (PSE) conform to IEC 60950-1:2001 and be classified as a Limited Power Source (LPS)
carrying no more than 100 volt-ampere
(VA) per port without the need for special over-current protection devices.
PoH also does not infringe on any of the
mandated PoE safety requirements.
Additionally, Cisco introduced proprietary technology that it calls UPOE
Universal Power over Ethernetin 2011.
UPOE is a 60-watt technology that has
been successfully and safely deployed
in the years since its introduction. Also,
as a historical note, UPOE is not Ciscos
first remote-powering technology.
Before there was an IEEE 802.3af specification, Cisco served the market with a
working remote-powering system that
primarily was used to power Voice over
IP phones. As it turned out the 802.3af
specifications did not precisely match
Ciscos technology, but nonetheless, safe
and effective remote powering predates
IEEE 802.3afs publication in 2003.
Its possible that sometime in 2017
the IEEEs next-generation remote powering specification, 802.3bt, will be published. The standard will specify two

Table 725.144, Ampacities of Each Conductor (in Amperes) in a 4-Pair Class 2 or Class 3 Data Cable,
Based on Copper Conductors at Ambient Temperature of 30C (86F) with All Conductors in All Cables
Carrying Current, 60C (140F), 75C (167F) and 90C (194F) Rated Cables

Numberof 4-Pair Cables in a Bundle



Temp Rating


Temp Rating


Temp Rating


Temp Rating


Temp Rating


Temp Rating

Temp Rating














































































































Note 1: For bundle sizes over 192 cables, or for conductor sizes smaller than 26 AWG, ampacities shall be permitted to be determined by qualified personnel
under engineering supervision. Note 2: Where only half of the conductors in each cable are carrying current, the values in the table shall be permitted to be
increased by a factor of 1.4. Informational Note: The conductor size in data cables in widespread use are typically 22-26 AWG.

20 NOVEMBER 2016

1611CIM_20 20

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The intersection of remote powering technologies and the 2017 National Electrical Code continued

different remote-powering methods, referred to as Type 3 and Type 4 (802.3af

technology is referred to as Type 1 and
802.3at technology is referred to as Type
2). Both powering types specified in
802.3bt will send power down all four
pairs in a twisted-pair cable. Based on
the standards current draft, Type 3 will
specify wattage levels up to 60 and Type
4, wattage levels up to 100. Type 3 will
employ 600 mA, like 802.3at (Type 2)
does. Type 4 will employ 960 mA.
There is general acknowledgement
that for 802.3bt Type 4, heat dissipationthe heat generated by the cable
carrying power at the specified current of 960 mArequires attention.
In that vein, the Telecommunications
Industry Associations TR-42.7 subcommittee, which deals with twisted-pair communications cabling systems, initiated work on an A revision
of its TSB-148 specification. The original
TSB-184 document is titled Guidelines
for Supporting Power Delivery Over
Balanced Twisted-Pair Cabling. It was
published in 2009the same year as
802.3at Type 2/PoE Plus remote powering specifications. Work on TSB-184-A
began in 2014 and, through collaboration with the IEEE, the document has
progressed in parallel with 802.3bt.

The 2017 NEC

As previously mentioned, an article in
our October issue addressed several
revisions made to the 2017 National
Electrical Code that relate to remote
powering over communications cables. The National Electrical Code is published by the National Fire Protection
Association (NFPA). Its document number is NFPA 70. On its website, the NFPA
explains the NEC is the benchmark for
safe electrical design, installation and
inspection to protect people and property from electrical hazards. The association also states, The NEC addresses

1611CIM_21 21

the installation of electrical conductors,

equipment, and raceways; signaling and
communications conductors, equipment
and raceways; and optical fiber cables
and raceways in commercial, residential
and industrial occupancies.
As is often the case, the 2017 edition
of the Code includes cross-references
that span multiple articles and sections
of the publication. To some extent that is
the case with cable temperature ratings.
Most communications cables are
rated to 60 degrees Celsius. As of the
2017 Code, temperature rating requirements are consistent for all communications and data cables. All cables have
to be rated to at least 60 degrees C. Any
cable with a rating that exceeds 60 degrees C must have that rating marked
on the cable.
Section 310.15(A)(3) of the 2017 NEC
requires that conductors will be installed and operated so they dont exceed their temperature limits. In some
previous editions of the Code there was
some gray area about certain cable types
and whether or not this requirement applied to them. Those gaps or loopholes
were closed in this edition of the Code.
So every cable has to have a temperature
rating of at least 60; if the cable is rated
above 60, that rating must be marked on
the cable; and in every case, a cable has
to be installed and operated so as not to
exceed that rating.
Section 725.144, titled Transmission
of Power and Data, is new in the Codes
2017 edition. It is like other sections of
the Code in that it addresses conductor heating through an ampacity table. As Dr. Kaufman explained in his
recent article, the term ampacity is referenced in the NEC Style Manual as the
current-carrying capacity of conductors
only. It doesnt include the current limit
of the 8P8C connectors used with cables.
But Section 725.144 has a requirement
that the current in a power circuit does

not exceed the connectors current limitations. So the maximum current that
can be carried by each conductor in a
LAN cable often will be determined by
the connectors current limit.
And speaking of conductors, the conductor sizes in twisted-pair cables represented new territory for the NEC. The
ampacity tables that have existed in the
Code over many revisions consider conductors that are 18 AWG or larger. (The
smaller the AWG number, the larger the
size of the conductor.) With twisted-pair
cables, 22 AWG represents the large end
of the spectrum, down to pairs as small
as 26 AWG. So the code-making panels were in new territory here. To determine ampacity tables for conductors in
this size range, they turned to information that came from a fact-finding investigation carried out by Underwriters
Laboratories and commissioned by
SPI, the Plastics Industry Association.
The ampacity table developed as a result of the investigation, and included in
Section 725.144, is included in this article, on the opposite page.
The table is a matrix of conductor
sizes, bundle sizes, and temperature ratings. Based on those three variables,
the table dictates the cables ampacitythe maximum current that a conductor can carry continuously under
conditions of use without exceeding its
temperature rating.
Section 725.144 introduces a cable classification called LP, which
stands for Limited Power. Underwriters
Laboratories offers the LP certification program, through which cables can
achieve the LP rating for specific ampacities. The 2017 NEC permits an unlimited number of LP cables to be installed
in bundles and carry the amount of current to which the cable is certified.
Article 840 of the NEC is titled Premise-Powered Broadband
Communications Systems. It has a

Cabling Installation & Maintenance



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The intersection of remote powering technologies and the 2017 National Electrical Code continued

new part in the 2017 edition, Part VI:

Premises Powering of Communications
Equipment over Communications
Cables. A new section, 840.160 Powering
Circuits, requires compliance with
Article 725.144 when the power supplied
to a circuit is greater than 60W.

Appeal denied, but

After the 2017 NEC was finalized at the
NFPA annual meeting, an appeal was
filed to the NFPA Standards Board specifically related to Section 840.160. The
appeal said there was insufficient specificity in that sections reference to more
than 60 watts. The basis for the appeal
was that Section 840.160 did not specify an ampere limit. By not specifying an
amp limit, the appeal contended, it does
not prohibit the types of rogue and potentially unsafe powering devices that
have existed in the market for years. The
appeal requested that specific language,
to include amperage, replace the existing language in 840.160.
The appeal was heard in August and
was denied. The language in Section
840.160 is not going to change as a result. But in its decision, the NFPA
Standards Council wrote that it acknowledges there may be value garnering additional input on Ethernet communications to inform future changes
to NEC. The Standards Council also directed a correlating committee to establish a task group that should specifically include representation of
those with knowledge and experience
in telecommunications and Ethernet
As of the time this article was written, this author was unaware of any activity related to the task group, such as
its formation, makeup, objectives, or
timeline for activity. We will follow this
activity and continue to report on it.
These changes to the NEC have
been a topic of great interest and much
22 NOVEMBER 2016

1611CIM_22 22

conversation among professionals in the

structured cabling industry. This author attended BICSIs Fall Conference in
mid-September, where several formal
presentations and many private conversations explored the subject in detail. An overriding issue is how to ensure
that a new cabling installation complies
with the Codewhich is law in the jurisdictions in which it is adopted. And
an overriding best-practice recommendation has been to get in touch with the
authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) as
early in the process as possible in an effort to ensure compliance.
The section of the NEC that addresses
enforcement states, The authority having jurisdiction for enforcement of the
Code has the responsibility for making
interpretations of the rules, for deciding
on the approval of equipment and materials, and for granting the special permission contemplated in a number of
the rules. By special permission, the authority having jurisdiction may waive
specific requirements in this Code or
permit alternative methods where it is
assured that equivalent objectives can
be achieved by establishing and maintaining effective safety.
The AHJ can be any number of entities, depending on the jurisdiction. It
may be a building inspector, fire marshal, municipal or other government
agency, or any number of other individuals or agencies.

Application support
As stated by the NFPA and quoted earlier in this article, the NEC concerns
itself with safety and installation.
Sections 725.144 and 840.160 of the 2017
NEC came into being because of safety
concerns about the heating of communications cables that carry power. As a
benchmark for safety, the NEC does not
consider whether or not a power source
complies with any IEEE specification,

Cabling Installation & Maintenance

Power over HDBase-T, UPOE, or any

other similar specifications. Hand in
hand with that, the NEC does not consider whether or not a twisted-pair communications cable is going to be able to
successfully carry a signal from a transmitter to a receiver.
Despite that fact, professionals in the
structured cabling industry must consider all those possibilities. Network
end-users count on their internal IT departments and/or their cabling contrac-

The NEC does not consider

whether or not a twisted-pair
cable is going to be able to
successfully carry a signal from
a transmitter to a receiver.
tors to ensure that a physical layer cabling infrastructure will successfully
support the travel of a signal from its
transmitter to its receiver.
In that regard, when the TIAs TSB184-A specification ultimately is completed, it will provide guidelines for
that type of assurance. As of the early
October meeting of TIA TR-42.7, TSB184-A remains a work in progress. As
mentioned previously, work began on
the document approximately two years
ago. In the meantime, the 2017 NEC
particularly including the ampacity table in Section 725.144has taken hold.
TR-42.7 is addressing that reality, and
some of the groups current work on
TSB-184-A is related to bundle sizes,
conductor gauge sizes, and cable temperature ratings. While there is no official projection for the completion of
TSB-184-A, the industry looks toward
the finalization of that document as another piece in this puzzle.
Patrick McLaughlin is our chief editor.

10/21/16 10:31 AM







DOCSIS 3.1-compliant jumpers, connectors and cables

White Sands Engineering products meet or exceed all current DOCSIS 3.1 standards, the company says,
ensuring users have speed and throughput to provide gigabit-speed service throughout a network.
Quad Shield Mini Headend RG59 cabling is available in 1-, 4-, 8-, 10and 12-pack configurations and is approved for use with all major headend equipment manufacturers. The updated quad-shield connectors have
enhanced connectivity features in both crimp and compression styles to
meet DOCSIS 3.1 system demands. These connectors meet or exceed
23-dB return loss at 1.2 GHz for use with the Cisco cRB-8 DOCSIS 3.1
specifications as well.
The new cables and connectors are used to create DOCSIS
3.1- compliant cable assemblies. White Sands Engineering will customengineer and manufacture assemblies based on user specifications.
All White Sands products are available through TVC Communications.

TVC Communications, a Division of WESCO Distribution,

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10/21/16 10:31 AM

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10/21/16 10:31 AM





News, products and trends for the communications systems industry


Matt Vincent

ci m pick s @ pen n well . com

1 Center will be the smartest and

most connected venue in the world,
providing a seamless and intuitive
experience for our fans and attendees, said the Sacramento Kings chief
technology officer, Ryan Montoya. We
believe connectivity is critical to the
venue experience of the future, and
CommScopes network technology
was the best choice to make that a reality.
As described by CommScope, wideband multimode
fiber is a technological advancement of signal transmission
capacity in fiber-optic cables, which, in combination with
wavelength division multiplexing, allows for a reduction in
the number of fibers needed and an increase in total chanINSTALL ATION

nel capacity. WBMMF optimally supports the use of multiple wavelengths, reducing parallel fiber counts by at least a

CommScope deploys wideband

multimode fiber to Sacramento
Kings Golden 1 Center

Telecommunications Industry Association in a specifica-

CommScope recently completed what it called the

tion known as TIA-492AAAE, and is also approved for use

in the future, 200 Gbits/sec.

WBMMF fiber was recently standardized by the

worlds first installation of net-

in cabling by the emerging revision of the North

work capacity-boosting wide-

American structured cabling standard known

band multimode fiber (WBMMF)

as ANSI/TIA-568.3-D. In addition, CommScope

at the Golden 1 Center, the

recently received third-party certification of its

future home of the Sacramento

measurement bench used to determine bandwidth

Kings franchise of the National

compliance of LazrSpeed 550 WideBand fiber over

Basketball Association.

the full target wavelength spectrum.

CommScopes LazrSpeed 550

CommScope is the only supplier of WBMMF

WideBand Multimode Fiber forms

for Golden 1 Center. In addition to WBMMF,

the cabling backbone in the are-

CommScope also supplied other important ele-

nas data center and, along with

ments of the communication infrastructure net-

other equipment, will support all

work, including more than 900 miles of the com-

wired and wireless communica-

panys TeraSpeed ZWP singlemode fiber and

tions within the stadium. Golden

Systimax GigaSpeed X10D copper cabling,

1611CIM_25 25

factor of four. For example, it supports two-fiber Ethernet

at 40 Gigabits per second (Gbits/sec), 100 Gbits/sec, and

Cabling Installation & Maintenance



10/21/16 10:31 AM

supporting more than 3,000 outlets, along with the companys iPatch
panels for future deployment of its
imVision automated infrastructure management system.
With CommScopes comprehensive


Adjustable floor box kits

enable flush-to-floor receptacle

fiber and copper connectivity solutions,

Golden 1 Center is ready to support

Arlingtons new line of UL Listed adjust-

massive fan traffic and is well-equipped

able floor boxes are billed as a low-cost

to support future technology evolution.

way to install electrical receptacles into

CommScope is heavily involved in fiber-

floors. For new or retrofit work, the kits

optic standards development, helping

drive advancements like wideband multimode fiber from conception to implementation, said David Redfern, senior
vice president, CommScope connec-

fit varying floor heights up to 2 inches.

tivity solutions. We congratulate the

Round and rectangular gasketed covers

Sacramento Kings on this first deploy-

prevent water intrusion; threaded plugs

ment of wideband multimode fiber and

or flip lids protect the boxes. Non-

expect it to be the networking founda-

metallic covers are available in five

tion for an exceptional fan experience

colors, as well as with metal-in-brass or

for years to come. u

nickel-plated options. u


TE Connectivity says ultra-installable FullAXS Mini connectors

target harsh OSP, wireless, industrial applications
TE Connectivity (TE), a global specialist in connectivity and

needed. The new connectors are 23 percent smaller than TEs

sensor technology, has introduced its FullAXS Mini connec-

current FullAXS products and can be placed almost anywhere

tors, billed as one of the easiest connector sealing systems

on the box due to their flexible sealing system. The FullAXS Mini

to install in rugged outdoor environments. The company con-

connector sealing delivers a watertight seal up to IP67 and IP65

tends that the FullAXS Mini connector sealing system is one

levels, uses UV material to meet F1 rating UL 94-V0, and with-

of the only products available that enables one-handed, blind

stands all applicable lightning strike requirements, making them

installs from many angles. With 3-sense (visual, audio and

ideal for many harsh outdoor environments, including wireless

tangible) locking feedback, floating connections and a twist

and microwave equipment, industrial, robotic, and aerospace

angle of only 30 degrees, these products can be installed by

and defense applications.

field engineers of all levels of experience in virtually any location, added a product press release.
Space on wireless and other outdoor rugged applications
is at a premium, and engineers are designing smaller
boxes as a result, continued the TE release.
Smaller boxes necessitate using connectors
wherever possible. TEs FullAXS Mini connec-

Outdoor wireless and industrial equipment is getting

smaller while needing to deliver more functionality, and connectors on that equipment must be smaller and more
versatile, says Stefan Borgas, manager, product management, TEs data and devices business unit. TEs FullAXS Mini connector sealing
system delivers the small size, ease of instal-

tors deliver the small size and scalability to

lation, and ruggedness necessary for todays

design-in power and signal connectivity where

wireless and industrial equipment designs.

26 NOVEMBER 2016

1611CIM_26 26

Cabling Installation & Maintenance

10/21/16 10:31 AM


Sumitomo unveils
3456-fiber count
ribbon cables for highdensity data centers


Sumitomo Electric Industries has released

Wireless mesh networking module

simplifies connectivity for home/
building automation, connected
lighting, smart metering, security
systems, other IoT platforms

a new series of ultra-high-fiber-count ribbon

Silicon Labs has introduced its new

cables designed especially to meet the

family of Wireless Gecko chip mod-

growing need for high fiber density in data

ules, focused on mesh network-

centers. The new cables are available in

ing applications with support for

fiber counts of 1152, 1728, and 3456 and

ZigBee and Thread software. The

feature a slotted configuration for easy

new MGM111 module is the first

handling and quick fiber identification.

in this comprehensive family of

Among the series, the highest-fiber-count

multiprotocol modules based

cable accommodates 3456 fibers in an

on the Mighty Gecko system-

outer diameter of 34 mm while withstand-

on-chip (SoC) device. The com-

ing direction-free bending, and thus allows

pany says the modules combina-

for easy installation in a 2-inch duct space.

The companys pliable ribbon technol-

tion of onboard stacks, antenna

and KC (Korea).

options and RF regulatory certifica-

The MGM111 module gives

ogy enables the 12-fiber ribbon to easily

tions helps developers reduce cost,

developers a rapid on-ramp to the

conform to small diameters and to be

complexity and time to market for

IoT, says the company, enabling

spliced with a conventional 12-fiber mass

an array of wireless mesh network-

them to bring mesh network-

fusion splicer. The cables are available in

ing applications including home and

ing products to market quickly

two types: with a steel strength member

building automation, connected light-

and easily with minimal engineer-

or an all-dielectric strength member in

ing, smart metering, security sys-

ing and certification costs. Mighty

the center of the cable.

tems and other IoT platforms.

Gecko modules and wireless SoCs

Also featured is a dry water-block-

The MGM111 module combines

have similar technical features and

ing tape that requires no cable flood-

a 2.4-GHz Mighty Gecko SoC, high-

application programming inter-

ing gels, thereby eliminating the clean-

efficiency chip antenna, crystals,

faces (APIs). This hardware and

ing and blocking preparation associated

and RF matching and shielding into

software compatibility makes it

with standard gel-filled cables. The use of

a complete, ready-to-use mesh net-

easy to migrate from modules to

a completely dry cable speeds up over-

working module supporting ZigBee

SoCs while enabling developers

all installation, termination, and splicing

and Thread protocol stacks. This

to preserve their investments in

while significantly saving customers time

high level of integration frees devel-

tools and software with little to no

and costs, notes the company.

opers from complex RF/antenna

system redesign.

These new cables are a part of a

design and testing and allows them

full ultra-high-density data center solu-

to focus on their end applications.

compact 12.9 mm x 15 mm package

The MGM111 module comes in a

tion from Sumitomo Electric, includ-

The MGM111 module complies with

that is footprint- and pin-compatible

ing fiber-optic cabinets, closures, and

the IEEE 802.15.4 standard used

with Silicon Labs BGM111 Blue Gecko

preterminated hardware. The com-

in ZigBee and Thread stacks and

module, supporting Bluetooth low

pany showcased the new cables at the

will be precertified for compliance

energy technology. This compatibility

BICSI Fall Conference in San Antonio,

with the following regulatory require-

eases migration and enables develop-

TX from September 11-15, and at

ments: FCC (North America), IC

ers to support multiple wireless proto-

DatacenterDynamics Europe in London

(Canada), CE (Europe), RCM (AU/NZ)

cols with a common system design. u

from November 1-2. u

1611CIM_27 27

Cabling Installation & Maintenance



10/21/16 10:31 AM


Software divisions of GE, Bosch

collaborate on open source
Industrial IoT platform development
GE and Bosch announced that the


companies are working together to

and platform inte-

shape the connected world through

gration through

a collaboration between the soft-

GEs Predix

ware divisions of both organiza-

operating system and the Bosch IoT

an open source-based technical IoT

tions, GE Digital and Bosch Software

Suite. GE Digital and Bosch Software

core and jointly grow a larger eco-

Innovations. The companies have

Innovations intend to make comple-

system around this technology stack,

signed a memorandum of understand-

mentary software services available

which IoT platforms can be built upon.

ing under which GE Digital and Bosch

on the other companys cloud plat-

Key engagement is within the Eclipse

Software Innovations will further facil-

forms to enhance the overall value of

Foundation, one of the major global

itate openness and growth of the

each cloud offering and provide solu-

open source software communities,

Industrial Internet of Things (IoT).

tions to a wider customer base.

where both companies are members.

The agreement focuses on technology

Both companies intend to establish

Rainer Kallenbach, CEO of Bosch

Software Innovations, commented, In
order to tap the full potential of the
Industrial Internet, global organiza-


tions need more than ever to cooper-

Magnetic modular jacks deliver 2.5

GbE, 30W over 2-pair PoE in single
Molex has introduced its 2X2 PoE

The PoE 2.5 GbE Multi-Port

ate closer and within open standards.

Customer benefit in IoT emerges when
organizations focus on their core
strengths and jointly foster market
penetration of IoT technology and
applications. Our organizations both
have a rich history of manufacturing

2.5 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) multi-port

Magnetic Modular Jacks from Molex

products, big and small, so we share

magnetic modular jack, or Integrated

help accomplish that by supporting

a common understanding and vision

Connector Module (ICM), joining the

new applications in a broad range of

regarding the opportunities in con-

companys previously released 2X4

networked applications, notes the

nectivity. No company can realize the

configuration. According to Molex,

company, including WiFi access points,

IoT on its own. It is very important

IP-enabled security devices, office

for Bosch to engage in business eco-

jack delivers 2.5 GbE and 30W over

or home broadband routers, servers,

systems and open source communi-

2-pair PoE in a single configuration.

switches, communication peripherals

ties. The collaboration with GE Digital

and PoE devices.

is another important milestone for

currently, no other magnetic modular

The advent of 2.5 GbE creates

an opportunity to increase network

Integrated magnetics in the jacks

speeds while re-using existing Cat 5e

boost signal integrity, isolate DC volt-

cabling infrastructure, said Daniel

age, and provide PHY chip protection

Boschs connectivity strategy.

Its industrial companies working together that will make a dif-

Andersen, global product manager

via discrete magnetics. Also, the jacks

ference in the Industrial Internet of

at Molex. As networks continue to

are power device (PD) capable and can

Things, added Bill Ruh, CEO of GE

increase the number of devices con-

supply 30W to connected devices and

Digital. Were incredibly excited to

nected to the internet, providers must

systems in various applications. They

be partnering with Bosch Software

offer their customers increased band-

can be upgraded to 60W for broader

Innovations to advance our IoT plat-

width at competitive prices.

endpoint support. u

form development. u

28 NOVEMBER 2016

1611CIM_28 28

Cabling Installation & Maintenance

10/21/16 10:31 AM




Private equity firm

H.I.G. Capital acquires
An affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, a private-equity and alternative-asset-investment firm, acquired a majority interest in CABLExpress Corporation, H.I.G. announced on
August 29. CABLExpress does business as CXtec and
TERACAI Corporation. H.I.G. did not disclose the deals
financial terms.
William G. Pomeroy, who founded CXtec in 1978, retired
as chief executive officer on August 29 and will continue
to serve on the board of directors while retaining an ownership interest in the company. He commented, I am proud of
the business that we have built and look forward to the next
chapter. H.I.Gs vision for CXtecs future and support for the
companys strong culture gives me significant confidence
that CXtec will continue to build on its outstanding reputation
and legacy.
Peter Belyea, who has been with the company for 26
years, most recently as president, assumed the role of
chief executive officer upon Pomeroys retirement from
that position. Were excited to partner with H.I.G. Capital,
a highly respected investment firm with significant industry
experience, Belyea said. CXtec continues to distinguish

Save 50% or More

Compared to big brands

itself through a compelling value proposition, rigorous

focus on product quality, and exceptional customer service,
and we see a number of opportunities to accelerate growth
to meet the evolving needs of our clients.
H.I.G.s portfolio also includes, among dozens of other
technology and IT companies, Fibercore, a U.K.-based provider of specialty optical-fiber products in telecom, aerospace and defense industries; Lancope, a provider of
monitoring solutions for high-performance and secure
networks; and Milestone Technologies, a provider of managed help desk, data center operations, engineering and
IT services.
Richard Stokes, managing director at H.I.G., said, CXtec
is an established leader in the market for refurbished networking and telephony hardware, and we look forward to sup-

High Density LC-MPO

Cassette Panel

porting the continued expansion of the companys product

and service offerings. CXtec and TERACAI are exceptionally
well-positioned for continued growth, driven by a compelling
value proposition and attractive industry tailwinds. We are

excited to work with the company to take the business to the

next level. u

1611CIM_29 29

Copyright 2016, Cablesys.

Cabling Installation & Maintenance



10/21/16 10:31 AM



1. Publication title: Cabling Installation & Maintenance.
2. Publication number: 010-968. 3. Filing date: October 1, 2016.
4. Issue frequency: Monthly. 5. Number of issues published
annually: 12. 6. Annual subscription price: $84.00.
7. Complete mailing address of known office of publication: PennWell Corporation 1421 So. Sheridan Road, Tulsa, OK
74112, Tulsa County. 7a. Contact person: Traci Huntsman.
7b. Telephone: 918-831-9435. 8. Complete mailing address
of headquarters or general business office of publisher:
PennWell Corp., 61 Spit Brook Rd., Ste. 401, Nashua, NH 03060.
9. Full names and complete mailing addresses of
Publisher, Editor and Managing Editor: Publisher: Alan
Bergstein, 61 Spit Brook Rd., Ste. 401, Nashua, NH 03060.
Editor: Patrick McLaughlin, 61 Spit Brook Rd., Ste. 401,
Nashua, NH 03060. Managing Editor: 61 Spit Brook Rd., Ste.
401, Nashua, NH 03060. 10. Owner: PennWell Corporation,
Sucessors to the Estate of Helen B. Lauinger, 1421 So. Sheridan
Rd, Tulsa, Tulsa County OK 74112. 11. Known Bondholders,
Mortgages, and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding
1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages, or
Other Securities: None. 12. N/A. 13. Publication Title: Cabling
Installation & Maintenance. 14. Issue Date for Circulation
Data: September, 2016.
15. Extent and Nature of Circulation:
Average No.
copies each
issue during
12 months:
a. Total number of copies
b. Legitimate paid and/or requested distribution
1. Outside county paid/requested
mail subscriptions stated
on PS form 3541
2. In-county paid/requested mail
subscriptions stated on PS form 3541
3. Sales through dealers and
carriers, street vendors, counter
sales, and other paid or requested
distribution outside USPS
4. Requested copies distributed
by other mail classes

through the USPS

c. Total paid and/or
requested circulation
d. Non-requested distribution
1. Outside county nonrequested
copies stated on PS form 3541
2. In-county nonrequested copies
stated on PS form 3541
3. Nonreqeusted copies distributed
through the USPS by other
classes of mail
4. Nonrequested copies distributed
outside the mail
e. Total nonrequested distribution
f. Total Distribution
g. Copies not Distributed
h. Total
i. Percent paid and/or requested

No. copies of
single issue
nearest to
filing date:

to make this vital breakthrough a real-

Directly Modulated Lasers on Silicon

ity. It also provides fantastic opportu-


nities for university students who get

which brings together a consor-

to be at the forefront of innovation

tium of research and industry part-

and help make a significant impact on

ners from four European

the industry.

countries, aims to create a

platform for single-chip electro-optical integration. The
breakthrough technology
[the consortium] produces
will involve lasers built with
ded into silicon photonics
chips, said an ADVA press

ate the versatile, cost-effi-

release. This will genercient components needed to





17. Publication of Statement of Ownership: Will be printed

in the November 2016 issue of this publication.
18. Signature and title of Editor, Publisher, Business
Manager, or Owner: Traci Huntsman, Manager Corporate Assets
and Postal Compliance. Date: 10/01/2016.
I certify that all information furnished on this form is true
and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false
or misleading information on this form or who omits material or information requested on the form may be subject to
criminal sanctions (including fines and imprisonment) and/
or civil sanctions (including civil penalties).

1611CIM_30 30

European companies and institutions

in June that it is playing a role in the


x I certify that 50% of all my distributed copies (electronic and print)

are legitimate requests or paid copies.

30 NOVEMBER 2016

ADVA Optical Networking announced

active III-V materials embed-

16. Electronic Copy Circulation

a. Requested and Paid Electronic Copies 16,143
b. Total requested and paid print copies 28,833
+ requested/paid electronic copies
c. Total requested copy distribution + 30,189
requested/paid electronic copies
d. Percent paid and/or requested

ADVA Optical Networking takes role

in silicon photonics data center

optimize data center interconnect (DCI) transport and

create the next generation of

The DIMENSION project is coor-

data centers. The four-year project

dinated by Dresden University of

is funded by the European Unions

Technology and involves partners

Horizon 2020 research and innova-

from Germany, Switzerland, Greece

tion program.

and the UK. The two research cen-

Improving efficiency in the DCI

couldnt be more vital given the

ters included are Innovations for

High Performance Microelectronics

increasing demand for cloud com-

and Athens Information Technology.

puting and the growing scale of the

The large industry partners are ADVA

Internet of Things, commented

Optical Networking, Optocap and

Michael Eiselt, director, advanced

IBM Research, Zurich. The project

technology, ADVA Optical Networking.

aims to take electro-optical integra-

Much of our recent innovation has cen-

tion to a new level by producing sili-

tered on enhancing the DCI, such as

con chips built with active laser com-

our FSP 3000 CloudConnect solution.

ponents. The consortium of part-

By integrating the three distinct tech-

ners also forms a complete value

nologies of silicon photonics, elec-

chain for the production of the new

tronics and active photonics, were

technology, from research through

giving data centers what they need

to innovative package design and

to meet tomorrows demands. Its

assembly. The project will run until

great to be working closely with other

the end of January 2020. u

Cabling Installation & Maintenance

10/21/16 10:31 AM


Cambridge Sound Management boosts sound

masking assets by acquiring Dynasound
Cambridge Sound Management

protection technology, a loyal cus-

further noted, As more companies shift

acquired fellow sound masking and

tomer base, and a great team history

to open floor plans, the need for speech

speech protection technology provider

of innovation and service in our cate-

privacy and the reduction of noise dis-

Dynasound on August 2. The compa-

gory. With global demand for sound

tractions in the workplace is increasing.

nies combined operations at that time.

masking on the rise, we will be well-

Additionally, with many organizations

positioned to further expand customer

adding employees to a workspace with-

the company said, To prepare for

When announcing the acquisition,

and channel support services and

out increasing the square footage, new

the next stage of growth, Cambridge

launch a new generation of solutions.

productivity, privacy and security prob-

Sound Management will integrate

Dynasounds chief executive offi-

lems are emerging.

Dynasounds award-winning prod-

cer Tom Koenig added, We are

Sound masking solutions from

ucts, dedicated partners, and indus-

excited about joining Cambridge

Cambridge Sound Management and

try experts into Cambridges proven

Sound Management and being part

Dynasound have emerged as effec-

sound masking business model, which

of an organization so closely aligned

tive, virtually invisible technology to

is reshaping the industry.

with our goals of achieving the highest

increase speech privacy and comfort,

level of quality, service and solutions

while enabling companies to main-

Christopher Calisi, Cambridges

chief executive officer, commented,
Dynasound has compelling speech

for our partners worldwide.

Cambridge Sound Management

tain their open and collaborative work

environments. u

AFL................................................................ 4


Bel Stewart Connector................................ 11

Belden .........................................................12
Corning Optical Communications LLC..... CV2
Diamond Ground Products Inc................... 29
Dymo Corp................................................ CV3


61 Spit Brook Road

Suite 401, Nashua, NH 03060
(603) 891-0123
fax: (603) 891-9245

Alan Bergstein


Holger Gerisch
Fax: +49-(0)8801-9153792

Dan Aronovic
+972 9 899 5813

General Cable Company ...............................2


Hyperline Systems Canada Ltd. ................. 23

Ed Murphy
(603) 891-9260
fax: (603) 891-9245

Adonis Mak
+852 2 838 6298; Fax: +852 2 838 2766



ICC Premise Wiring ............................... 7, 29



Ed Murphy
(603) 891-9260
fax: (603) 891-9245

Masaki Mori
+81 3 3219 3561

Siemon CompanY ..........................................9


Softing Inc.....................................................8

Kelli Berry
(918) 831-9782

Ms. Rebecca Tsao

+886 2 23965128 ext.203
Fax: 886 2 23967816

Senko Advanced Components Inc...............15

Velcro USA Inc.......................................... CV4

The index of advertisers is published as a service, and the
publisher does not assume any liability for errors or omissions.

1611CIM_31 31



Cabling Installation & Maintenance



10/21/16 10:31 AM



completely fixable? Of course it is. But then dont color us so confused, i.e.
how about creating a color-coded cabling plan at the outset and sticking to
it? Hint: They dont make cables in so many different colors just for show.
Also, how about adopting a policy of measure twice, cut once as regards
cablingor maybe just measure in the first place? From the looks of this
swirling topside bouffant construction, youd think the installers wanted to
save enough cable to run down to the local polling place and back, probably as a way to hedge bets on connectivity. Meanwhile, more conscien-

Not your problem?

tious cable cutting would prevent tangles, tailor for better airflow management and, most importantly, make it easier to locate specific cables quickly
during, God forbid, a panic situation. Ah, the panic situation. Of course,

Heres a deep cabling thought for November

its what any organization dreads most. Thats why its important to be

2016, U.S. election year: The technician

cool. This big mess of cabling is not cool. While most consider the heat of

who sent in the disturbing glimpse of rack

their rack servers to be a big deal, and consistently monitor for such, any

disarray that appears on this page noted that

concern for cables becoming too hot and for resulting erosions in system

its cabling in our DCnot my work, BTW.

safety and performance has evidently here been trounced. Cable manage-

Fair enough, but shouldnt everyone with

a stake in the organization ultimately take a

ment is just something they saw on a website ... or maybe it was in a dream.
But cleaning up this big mess neednt be just a fantasy. It certainly

share in solving the problem? With a tangle

shouldnt be; the marketplace abounds with remediating products and sys-

of such scale, though, its often controver-

tems, as well as outside consortia, both public and private, that want only

sial to determine where, or with whom, to

to help. From horizontal and vertical cable managers, to ladder racks, cable

start assigning blame. But if its hard to know

trays, and temperature sensors, to the numerous industry associations

exactly whos responsible, theres no mis-

devoted to the propagation of standards and best practices for most-effec-

taking what can plainly be seen: a big mess

tive deployment of communication infrastructure systemsthere really is a

at the top, piled high like so much brightly

broad selection of positive options available for those invested in ensuring

coiffed hair. Maybe theres a bit of wiggle

their organizations ultimate health and long-term security.

room left in the structures as-yet-still-mani-

Defining the best options and effectively employing them would seem

cured deeper layers, where a gasp of some

to be the trick. Or is that a poor choice of words? What if, as seems to be

prior organization is apparently retained.

the case here, not all of the organizations stakeholders are empowered to

Notwithstanding, many would characterize

fixor even to begin thinking about fixingits greatest dysfunctions? What

the central, overarching tragedy here as a

if no solid consensus is readily achievable on what the organizations worst

kind of ongoing accumulation of false moves.

underlying problems even are, and what needs to be done about them?

Some were accidents, some were deliber-

Maybe the choice really is as stark as one of Order vs. Chaos.

ate measures that were mistakes only in

hindsight. All led to this deplorable culmination. Further, with so much top-of-rack action
trending so clearly toward disorganization,
the overall situation unfortunately seems to
bespeak some larger systemic impairment,
one that reaches upward as far as it trickles
downand which, unless straightened out,
can only lead to even more depressing outcomes, ranged only by degree and in who
gets affected worst, and first.
Still, wouldnt we all like to believe that,
with just a bit of time and few best practices
applied, this big, brightly colored mess is still
Matt Vincent, Senior Editor

m at t v @ pe n n w el l . co m

32 NOVEMBER 2016

1611CIM_32 32

Cabling Installation & Maintenance

10/21/16 10:31 AM

1611CIM_C3 3

10/21/16 10:35 AM

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1611CIM_C4 4

10/21/16 10:35 AM