Platform tests Cat 6A cables in the lab

June 8, 2012
System allows manufacturers of Cat 6A and other cables to conduct 6-around-1 alien-crosstalk tests in minutes, as well as automatic testing of individually shielded twisted pairs up to 1 GHZ.

Have you ever wondered what kinds of tests Category cables (5e, 6, 6A) go through in manufacturers' research-and-development labs before they ever make it into a box or onto a reel, and ultimately to a jobsite? From a manufacturing standpoint, a cable tester is a far different piece of equipment than the handheld, push-button device that certifies an installed link to a specified standard.

The image at the bottom of this page shows an example of the type of system a twisted-pair cable manufacturer thinks about when considering cable testing. It is the DCM 3S-XLD, an automatic test system that its manufacturer Beta LaserMike says can "efficiently measure high-performance, twisted-pair LAN cables."

The DCM 3S-XLD has a 28-pair text-fixture platform to simultaneously test up to seven, 4-pair shielded and/or unshielded twisted-pair cables, including Category 5e, Category 6, Category 6A and Category 7. It is capable of performing 6-around-1 alien-crosstalk testing, and a standard 4-pair fixture enables the automatic testing of individually shielded twisted pairs up to 1 GHZ, Beta LaserMike says.

The test-platform manufacturer further explains that the DCM 3S-XLD uses proprietary, solid-state switching technology, which it says increases productivity to the point at which a full 6-around-1 alien-crosstalk test can be completed in minutes. Insulation-displacement clips on test fixtures provide quick connections, Beta LaserMike adds, that require only a single cable connection to measure high- and low-frequency test parameters. That eliminates the need for manual cable reconnections and is another efficiency advantage.

A fully integrated system the DCM 3S-XLD includes a network analyzer and computer console.

Visit Beta LaserMike's DCM Industries.

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