Make a good idea even better

The tip that won the 1998 Cabling Installer Tips` Contest is clever (see "Tag bad ports in patch panels and hubs," December 1998, page 69), but one simple addition will make the plug last longer. Before you place the plug in the bad outlet, cut the release tang flush with the jack opening. That still allows the locking tang to lock the plug in.

Forrest C. Hudspeth

Systems Engineer

Bell Atlantic

Beltsville, MD

The tip that won the 1998 Cabling Installer Tips` Contest is clever (see "Tag bad ports in patch panels and hubs," December 1998, page 69), but one simple addition will make the plug last longer. Before you place the plug in the bad outlet, cut the release tang flush with the jack opening. That still allows the locking tang to lock the plug in.

I remember hotels using this technique to thwart guests from removing cords from the backs of telephones. It won`t stop a good cabling installer or technician from removing the "bad jack" plug; it will just prevent the jack from being removed accidentally or frivolously. An old dial-release tool (a piece of stiff wire) from the days of rotary telephones will facilitate the release of the plug. Someone who removes the plug to see if it`s really bad will have to take a more direct action to perform the task and, hopefully, more conscientiously replace it in the proper defective jack.

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