Premier Products

Cabling products make debut at BICSI Winter Conference

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Compiled by Ryan Cliche

Cabling products make debut at BICSI Winter Conference


This month's BICSI Winter Conference, January 15-18 at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, FL, is typically the telecommunications association's largest gathering of the year, and also the official launching pad for new products and services for the new year in the cabling industry.

The following is a representative sampling of what will be new and notable at this year's conference:

High-reaching raceway
The 102-inch WireHider polyvinyl chloride (PVC) surface raceway from Mono-Systems Inc. is designed to help the installer reach a 10-foot height with a single vertical raceway section. All latching duct and fittings maintain a minimum 1-inch bend radius. This two-piece system has a clear base channel that accepts the wires and cables through flexible lips that run the length of the raceway. No wire clips are necessary to capture the contents. A colored cap section is snapped onto the base to complete the adhesive-based unit.

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Network monitoring system
The LANSense system combines third-party network management tools with the physical layer management of fiber and copper structured cabling solutions. ITT Industries says the system offers network administrators the ability to effectively plan their network moves, minimizing infrastructure management, manpower costs, and system downtime, while increasing security. Operators may discover and monitor physical layer port activity in data centers and wiring closets in real-time to keep network documentation up-to-date. In addition to controlling from a local site, the system has the ability to operate globally and control multiple sites from a single headquarters, or from any remote location, via the Internet.

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Visual fault locator
Model F6230A is a pencil-style visual fault locator (VFL) from Wilcom that features a universal connector accepting any optical connector style with a 21/2-millimeter ferrule. This unit operates on a single AA alkaline battery, and offers a choice of continuous or modulated output and a "low-battery" indicator. The VFL output is from a 1-mW laser at 650 nm, providing a range of up to 5 kilometers. With a universal connector, the user does not need to use a patch cable for direct connection to fiber under test if connector styles are dissimilar.

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Media management system
IMC Networks' MediaCenter features a 2-, 8-, and 18-slot chassis with a simple network management protocol (SNMP) agent embedded on the chassis backplane. The system is designed to reduce price-per-conversion cost by eliminating the need to buy additional SNMP hardware and software. Network managers can monitor copper and fiber link status information as well as chassis environmental statistics, including temperature and voltage level. In addition, the company claims that embedded management helps to eliminate guesswork, avoid downtime, and isolate problems without visiting multiple wiring closets.

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Single-channel raceway
MediaTrak 7 from Hubbell Premise Wiring is a medium-sized, one-piece, non-metallic surface raceway with a double-latching cover. Suitable for either communications or electrical cabling, this single-channel raceway will hold up to 10 Category 5E cables while remaining within initial cable fill requirements of 40%. Fittings have a 11/4-inch minimum bend radius accommodating all copper and fiber bend requirements, and snap on over the raceway channel. The raceway is available with or without adhesive, is marked with red indicators to suggest 16-inch centers, and is Underwriters Laboratories Inc.-listed for use up to 600 V.

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Server cabinet
Bud Industries' new server cabinets are available in 36- and 43-inch depths, and include perforated side panels, rear door, and a ventilated front door for maximum airflow. Cable access ports in both the top and bottom of the cabinets provide for overhead cabling or raised data room floors. Two pairs of adjustable, L-shaped panel mounting rails with mounting holes on Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA-Arlington, VA) universal spacing have provisions for vertical cable management. The ventilated top can be used with an additional exhaust fan.

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Bend radius tool, connector
Cleanshear bending attachments from GS Metals are designed to accompany the company's cutter, creating even radius bends. Cleanshear works by positioning the company's cutter with the attachment between prepared sections of the wire mesh cable system. It may be used to secure the frontshed radius, and bends heavier gauge wire diameters to make fittings for the company's cable tray.
The company's Heliflex connectors, meanwhile, are designed to let you install without any tools. Spiraling around wires at splice points, the Heliflex connector offers site flexibility, whether splicing sections together or in configuring the bends and curves in a typical cable management system installation. The tool-less connector features a snap-in locking pin and a dual attachment to secure any of the company's cable trays. In addition, the Heliflex carries a plenum rating for installation in any environment.

Monitoring system
The Computer Multi-Control (CMC) monitoring system from Rittal features: prevention against unauthorized access via swipe card/keypad authorization and lockout; remote smoke alarm sensors; temperature sensors; vandalism, shock, and vibration detection; climate control and thermal management functionality; and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and power supply monitoring. Membrane keys and liquid crystal displays on the front of the unit allow for local monitoring and input, and use a RS-232 connection to link to a laptop for more advanced programming. Remote network monitoring is supported using standard protocols.

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Media converters, power adapter
FlexPoint 232, an auto-sensing RS-232-to-fiber converter and distance extender from Omnitron Systems Technology, supports both data terminating equipment (DTE) and data communications equipment (DCE) applications, and features advanced remote loop-back capability. Extending the distances while providing security and noise immunity for industrial controllers, modems, and terminals, the units support multimode and singlemode fiber for distances up to 36 miles at speeds up to 230,400 Baud. Configurable via a switch, the unit connects to DTE or DCE equipment via a DB9 straight-through cable. Available with ST, SC, MT-RJ-style, and LC fiber connectors, the unit can be powered with an AC or a 48-V DC adapter.
The FlexPoint T1/E1 media converter lets Internet service providers (ISPs), competitive local-exchange carriers (CLECs), and users extend their T1 or E1 trunk distances using fiber. The media converter is available with SC, ST, MT-RJ-style, or LC fiber connectors, and it supports multimode or singlemode fiber capable of reaching distances to 58 kilometers. Copper ports feature 8-pin modular jacks and BNC connectors with a built-in crossover switch. An alternating current or a 48-V DC adapter powers the converter.
The company's FlexPoint DC Power Adapter is designed for telecommunications and IT applications, such as campuses and phone centers that use direct current (DC) power as a primary source. In enabling the line of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, Token Ring, and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) media converters to be DC-powered, the adapter lets you deploy standalone media converters in locations with limited or without alternating current (AC) power. Direct attachment of the converters and their adaptability to the range of 18- to 72-V DC power allows deployment and adaptation of the converters in a range of sites and applications. Converter units can be wall-mounted, or rack-mounted in a 5-unit 1U rack-mounting shelf.

Compact patch panel
Molex Premise Networks' 48-port HD Patch 5E, in a 1U configuration, offers a solution for data centers, Internet service providers, and other applications where cabinet and/or rack space is at a premium. Two rows of insulation displacement connections (IDCs) are stacked vertically, and the company's connectors let you terminate the panels with standard tooling. Each patch panel has labeling features, rear cable management options, and a powdercoat finish. In addition, the panels exceed Telecommunications Industry Association/Electronic Industries Alliance (TIA/EIA-Arlington, VA) Category 5E standards with 6 dB of headroom.

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Network testers
An efficiency tool for installers, technicians, and network managers, Microscanner Pro identifies cabling faults in wiring systems while incorporating active network checking and assessment. The tester can determine wiremap, length, room identification, and active network capabilities. When troubleshooting is required, the tester finds opens, shorts, and provides the distance to such faults on coaxial, twisted-pair cabling and other two-wire systems like speaker, security, and telephone wiring. The tool's four toners locate hidden wiring from a distance. An active network identification mode flashes hub ports and determines if a network tap is operating at 10 Mbits/sec, 100 Mbits/sec, or 10/100, and whether it is full- or half-duplex capable.

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Modular colocation enclosure
Hoffman's new colocation cabinet features reversible hinge and latching systems, rack angles that adjust front to back, adjustable inside barriers, a perforated or vented-window front door, and additional door-mounting holes. According to the company, the cabinet's flexible design eliminates the need to gather usage data ahead of time, which saves configuration time and reduces the need for more cabinets and accessories. For server security, the cabinet has a low-profile latching system and multiple keying options. Electrical outlets on the power side and RGR45 jacks on the data side assist cable management.

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Structured cabling solutions
Able to support Category 5E, fiber-optic, and coaxial cable, new enclosures from Ortronics have a steel construction and offer cable management for routing and separation of cables to improve performance and identify cables. A slot pattern for hook-and-loop cable management straps or standard cable ties offers versatility within the internal cable management. In addition, snap-in cable exit rings protect twisted-pair, coaxial, and fiber-optic cables. The enclosures have room for future growth and a knockout that allows for an AC receptacle that can be internally mounted.
Designed for high-performance copper networks, the company's Mighty Mo 3 cable management rack lets the user integrate a racking system into their cabling infrastructure at the cross-connect, as well as offering flexibility for moves, adds, and changes. The rack provides strain relief, bend radius, and cable routing for installation according to Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling (ANSI/TIA/EIA 568A) standard. Available in 7-foot and 8-foot heights, the rack also supports split equipment shelves. Power strips and other accessories can be mounted to the rear Electronic Industries Alliance pattern, and it has floor and ceiling cable access for routing and management of distribution cables.
Binding posts on speaker terminal TracJack modules are gold-plated for electrical conduction, corrosion resistance, signal transfer, dependability, and improved sound. They can accept either a single banana jack or a bare wire, and are used in pairs-one post for each wire conductor (one positive, one negative). The RCA-to-110 module is used for transmitting baseband video or line-level audio over Category 5 or 5E cable. This product comes with either two modules (one black, one red), or in a single yellow module for video, and requires only a 110-punch tool for connection.

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Optical-fiber cable
MOF Metal Clad Optical Fiber cable is pre-wired at the AFC Cable Systems factory in a flexible metal jacket. It is designed to provide mechanical protection and save time, labor, and money versus pulling fiber through innerduct. This cable can be used in ducts, plenums, risers, and other air-handling spaces, as well as network backbones, closed-circuit television, and robotics.

Management system, connector
The Network Cable Manager system from Panduit includes two varieties of molded plastic horizontal panels, designed to manage high-performance copper and fiber cables on Electronic Industries Association standard 19-inch racks. Panels occupy two rack spaces each, and are available in a 3 x 3-inch front-only version, and a 3 x 3-inch front, 2 x 5-inch rear version. An integral bend radius feature maintains cable bend radii in cable pathways, while curved fingers help separate and organize cable for moves, adds, and changes. Pass-through holes for cable help installation and maintenance, and the integral wire retainers hold cable in place for cable management.
Panduit's Opti-Crimp FJ connector, meanwhile, is compliant with Telecommunications Industry Association intermateability specifications and is suitable for use in a variety of applications ranging from backbone, horizontal, and work-area environments to local area networks. Like the company's other models, this connector is interchangeable in one module space of outlets, surface-mount boxes, patch panels, and office outlet poles.

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Cabling system for 5E, 6
Lantegra structured cabling solutions are constructed from Superior Modular Products connecting hardware and high- performance Hitachi Cable Manchester cable. According to the partners' claims, the system delivers performance headroom on a system level, but also provides improved component level margins. Systems offered include the Lantegra 5E+ that provides margin to the 568-A-5 Category 5E standard; 6 that is compliant to the proposed 568-B.2.1 Category 6 standard; and 6+ that provides margin to the proposed Cat 6 standard. These solutions offer a comprehensive product and applications warranty for 25 years.


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Optical cord, power meter
Designed for field operation, Senko's 170 x 82-millimeter YTPM-50D portable optical-fiber polisher contains a tri-fold power supply, including rechargeable battery, AC adapter, and cigarette lighter adapter. The unit accommodates both ferrules and connectors, including SC, FC, and ST types. SPC and PC polishing offers return losses of more than 40 decibels (dB) and more than 20 dB respectively. Simultaneous polishing of two sets and single-set polishing arrangements are available.
Senko's Fan Out Cord, meanwhile, is designed to fit up to 192 ports into a 19-inch rack. The 0.9-millimeter cord is wrapped in Kevlar to endure the connector load. Fiber ribbons are bound in a central package, which "fans out" where the plugs enter the unit. Standard connectors may be used, and singlemode and multimode fiber types can be customized to rack size and spacing.
The company's new Kits 2.0 software lets you control the KI7600 optical power meter from your PC. Live data is transferred from instrument display to an Excel spreadsheet. A 32-bit Windows software uses the latest VB/COM/Active X/OLE technology for flexibility. Other features include instrument memory download, label printing, auto-test support, hyper-linked online manual, and file merge facility.

Network analyzer
The M.A.Ch 10/100, a diagnostic analyzer for local area networks from Datacom-Textron, is a card-sized instrument that converts any Windows 95/98/ME/ CE2.x computer with a PCMCIA port into a troubleshooting tool for 10- and 100-Mbit/sec Ethernet networks. Moves, adds, and changes to the physical cabling and upper layers of the network infrastructure are represented on-screen as diagrams, charts, and graphs for analysis and interpretation of results and data. Diagnostic and configuration information can be stored for multiple sites to provide a flexible solution for field technicians servicing and maintaining network installations in different facilities.

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Fiber-optic assemblies
According to company claims, Mohawk/CDT's pre-terminated ribbon assemblies decrease termination and cabling densities, and reduce the amount of linear rack space required for an installation. Modular designs let you implement mission-critical Internet data center deployment and central office new-builds. The multi-ribbon cable bundles are designed to provide efficient high-density fiber-optic connectivity.

Cable assemblies brochure
Sun Conversion Technologies has become an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of optical cable assemblies for interconnection and distribution of optical components in the wiring closet and to the desk for premise-networking and telecommunications applications. The company's brochure features small-form-factor, the MT-RJ-type and FJ (Panduit's Fiber Jack), as well as ST, SC, FC, Escon, and media interface connectors for connection to products via hybrid cable assemblies. Also featured in the brochure is the company's line of singlemode and multimode simplex, duplex, and multifiber constructions that use riser, plenum, and LSZH (low-smoke, zero halogen) cable. A PDF of the brochure is available through the Web site (

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Hand-bendable cable tray
WallSnake from CMS Snake Tray is hand-bendable to allow the tray to make turns going up, down, left, or right around obstacles. It is designed to attach directly to the wall using the company's integrated mounting rings that run along the spine of the tray. The 8-foot-long tray is available in 9- and 25-square-inch pathways that can accommodate up to 500 Category 5 cables.

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Cable identification solution
To prepare for the proposed TIA-606A standard, Agilent Technologies' Wire-Scope 350 hand-held Category 6 cable analyzer and Brady Worldwide's TLS 2200 hand-held printer let you print face plate labels, desi-strip inserts, patch panel labels, and voice and data cable labels at the installation site. This product helps network installers and maintenance technicians responsible for moves, adds, and changes in an IT environment in the process of cable plant design and labeling. The analyzer is equipped with a color touch-screen display and storage, and is used to certify commercial cabling infrastructure to current and emerging local area networking standards. Its compatible printer features high-resolution (203 dpi) thermal transfer printing, bar code capability, and a variety of material configurations.

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