compiled by Steve Smith
Hub combines four signals in one cable
NHC/MuxLab's VideoEase audio-video hub is designed to let up to two video and two audio signals be distributed to up to eight destinations via Category 5 cable. By combining four signals under one cable jacket, the hub reduces by up to three the number of cables that need to be connected between the audio-video source and display. The hub can also be cascaded to support up to 64 display screens from a single audio-video source. It's designed to work in conjunction with the company's video baluns, and comes with installation guide and 2-year warranty.
Tester measures fiber lengths,locates faults
The VOLT (Visual Optical Length Tester) is designed as an economical alternative for measuring the length of optical fibers for fiber certification. VOLT uses a high-intensity red laser to measure fiber links of up to 1.5 km, which the manufacturer says is accurate to within ±2.5 meters. In addition to length testing, the laser acts as a visual fault locator, while a pulsing mode allows for easier fiber identification. The VOLT's round-robin method of measuring fiber length is accomplished by looping back two fibers at one end of the fiber run with a patch cord. The round trip time that the light takes to travel through the fibers is converted to lengths in kilometers, then divided by two to show the length of the fiber. This length measurement can be applied to all fibers in the cable.
Wall-mount enclosure meets UL certification
Middle Atlantic Products/DataTel's SR series of wall-mount enclosure systems have been certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) under Standard 1678 in the U.S. and Canada, without need for modifications. Designed to fit into small telecommunications rooms, the SR's swing-out design offers unrestricted rear access to mounted equipment. The enclosures mount to the wall while using the floor to safely bear its weight. SR systems are available in models that provide 20 or 26 inches of useable depth in a 22- or 28-inch deep enclosure, respectively. All units include adjustable 11-gauge, 10-32 threaded rackrail with 40 numbered rack spaces, which can accommodate up to 500 pounds of equipment. Optional sub-plate mounting kits are available for mounting 89-D type brackets, 1900 boxes, and Raco 3 gang boxes.
MIDDLE ATLANTIC PRODUCTS/DATATEL
Intelligent, portable OTDR
The NetTek OTDR is designed to provide a total optical-fiber installation and maintenance test package, featuring the proprietary IntelliTrace Plus technology that automatically optimizes test parameters. The technology's multi-pulsewidth, single-result auto test function is designed to significantly reduce dead zone effects on your tests, and to let you see close events—including the first connector—at the same time you see events 200 km away. The OTDR also features advanced wave-shape analysis software designed to locate more events than comparable devices. The NetTek analyzer platform is a full-capability handheld PC running Windows CE for use in the field. Mix and match up to four of the nine OTDR modules designed for varying applications, including PCMCIA-based power meters.
Fiber stripper is friend to Kevlar
The Stripmaster Ribbon Fiber Jacket Stripper is designed for easy removal of jackets from Corning plenum, riser ribbon fiber, and fanout ribbon cables without damaging the Kevlar strength member. It features knife-type, form-ground blades, pre-sized to fit Corning fiber products, eliminating guesswork and the need for tool readjustment. The fiber stripper has vinyl-coated, cushioned-grip handles to reduce repetitive motion fatigue.
More label colors for clearer cable IDs
A variety of colors are now available for Brady Worldwide's ID Pal thermal transfer labeling tool, designed to simplify infrastructure administration and maintenance. Label colors include orange, green, red, blue and yellow to differentiate voice, data, audio, video, security, HVAC control, and electrical cables. The battery-powered ID Pal features a top-loaded cartridge, built-in cutter, and automatic shut-off, and includes multiple line printing and automatic centering.
Extreme battery makes its debut
Advance orders are now being accepted for the SE 48S70 from Avestor—a lithium-metal-polymer battery designed especially for extreme telecommunications installations. The battery is designed to provide top performance in ambient temperatures ranging from –40° to 149°F, using one-third the space and one-fifth the weight of traditional valve-regulated, lead-acid (VRLA) batteries. It has an expected service life of about 10 years, regardless of environmental conditions. Production on the SE 48S70 will begin this fall.
Packaging, marking upgrades for Category 5e cable
To enhance its GenSPEED 5000 Category 5e cable, General Cable has added a wide-mouth carton designed for eliminating kinks and tangling. Also added is the TRU-Mark sequential marking system, which indicates the exact length of cable remaining so that you don't waste time pulling cable that winds up being too short for the job. The system is also designed to help you optimize inventory by selecting just the right length of cable for the job.
SFF converter for Gigabit Ethernet
The HSSDC-2 Converter is designed for Gigabit Ethernet installations where a small form-factor pluggable connector is used. The converter is designed to be an interconnect solution for bi-directional serial communications up to 2.5 Gbits/sec over copper. It's made of a nickel-plated die cast housing designed for exceptional EMI performance. A "pull to release" bail latch actuator is designed to provide easy release in tight spaces, while spring-loaded clips are designed to ensure proper grounding used with an EMI cage. The HSSDC-2 is hot-swappable and provides serial ID functionality.
By the Book
Back to square one, once in awhile
The Basics of Telecommunications ($79.95, IEC Publications; e-mail: email@example.com) is designed to provide the essentials for understanding the various technologies and issues in the ever-changing cabling industry. It offers a concise examination and definition of the key technologies and systems that installers face each working day. In addition, the book discusses market conditions and business drivers, provides definitions of key terms and processes, offers graphics, charts and tables that illustrate complex topics, and includes self-tests to help you gauge your comprehension of the material. The book is available in either print of CD-ROM.