Handheld testers outstanding in their field

"One major milestone for the cabling industry was to create field-test specifications for utp and fiber," says Masood Shariff, distinguished member of technical staff at Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ). "These specifications provide a clean handoff of performance-tested cabling to customers. The benefit is reduced finger-pointing when problems occur and an increased ability to isolate and diagnose problems, leading to improved reliability and availability of private networks."

Patrick McLaughlin

"One major milestone for the cabling industry was to create field-test specifications for utp and fiber," says Masood Shariff, distinguished member of technical staff at Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ). "These specifications provide a clean handoff of performance-tested cabling to customers. The benefit is reduced finger-pointing when problems occur and an increased ability to isolate and diagnose problems, leading to improved reliability and availability of private networks."

The impact of these field-test specifications, ratified in the tia`s telecommunications systems bulletin tsb-67 in September 1995, goes hand in hand with the technology that enables users to conduct cabling-plant certifications. Handheld cable testers have forever changed the way cabling-system performance is verified, and the testers themselves seem to be forever changing to provide more numerous and comprehensive testing and usability features.

Users can easily overlook the burden placed on field-tester manufacturers. Cable and component manufacturers market their products` ability to provide specific performance at various frequencies. Typically, the handheld tester is the only instrument the end-user has to verify these claims. So end-users expect these testers to measure high frequencies with pinpoint accuracy, without much regard for the intensive engineering that goes into producing the testers. And with five major manufacturers competing for market share, innovations are the norm rather than the exception. For these reasons, handheld cable testers rightfully take a spot as one of the most innovative technologies in the cabling industry.

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