1996--Focusing on the installer

The following year, 1996, was something of a breakthrough time for Cabling Installation & Maintenance. The average size of each issue of the magazine increased substantially, permitting a much broader range of topics to be covered. In the fall, for instance, special reports were published on cable-management software and power management and conditioning, as well as on the newly launched Cabling Installation Expo trade show and training conference.

Jul 1st, 1998
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Arlyn S. Powell, Jr.

The following year, 1996, was something of a breakthrough time for Cabling Installation & Maintenance. The average size of each issue of the magazine increased substantially, permitting a much broader range of topics to be covered. In the fall, for instance, special reports were published on cable-management software and power management and conditioning, as well as on the newly launched Cabling Installation Expo trade show and training conference.

However, the special reports were only the most visible part of the expanded coverage of the magazine. More subtle was the year-long shift toward more stories on basic cable-pulling equipment and procedures (such as cable-pulling grips and cable lubricants), fiber-optic installation tools and procedures (such as fiber cleavers, polishing pucks, and lapping films), and cable-management equipment (such as raceways, enclosures, cable ties, and cable-hanging hardware).

Contributing dramatically to this focus on the installer was a noticeable shift in the types of Cabling Installer Tips` being published. As a result of the Installer Tips Contest held at Cabling Installation Expo, which drew about 50 entries the first year, there were many practical suggestions in the magazine on fishing walls, working above suspended ceilings, and pulling cable during rough-in.

This was also the year in which the magazine started a campaign to raise reader awareness of the importance of firestopping. Following an editorial entitled "Firestopping must move to the top of the installer`s checklist," in the August issue, were half a dozen articles on firestopping materials, mechanical firestopping systems, laboratory testing of firestops, and the regulations and codes governing this important area.

The year 1996 saw its share of high-tech issues, too. Several stories, for instance, dealt with the appearance of singlemode optical fiber in campus and even some specialized premises installations. Since then, singlemode fiber, with a range of technical issues and installation considerations quite different from that of multimode fiber, has emerged from specialized settings such as national research laboratories and found a place on military bases and even college campuses. The development of composite cable, including both singlemode and multimode fibers within the same overall cable sheath, has helped to promote this trend.

Other cabling issues that saw heightened activity were zone cabling, an older distribution design scheme that re-emerged in new form, and centralized network administration, defined in a telecommunications systems bulletin issued by the tia as a method to capitalize on the greater bandwidth offered by optical fiber to bypass crossconnection or interconnection in the telecommunications closet.

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Dave Reusch, general manager of mod-tap Network Services (Harvard, MA), reviews design blueprints with Jan Smith of the information systems group of mit`s Medical Department at a new multimedia cabling installation in Cambridge, MA. This photo appeared on the cover of the July 1996 issue.

1996 in review

Memorable thoughts

"A company`s profitability can now be heavily impacted by its on-the-job accident rate."--Tony Minichiello, Maximis Communications Consultants

Candidates for the CI&M Hall of Fame

"Screened 100-ohm cabling gains acceptance in high-speed networks"--Ned A. Sigmon, amp Inc.

"Design your network to achieve electromagnetic compatibility"--Jim Romlein, mis Labs

"Installing voice circuits in residential and light-commercial buildings"--Technical staff of Leviton Telcom

"Restoring fiber-optic local area networks" --Larry Johnson, The Light Brigade Inc.

"Three design options bring fiber to the desk" --Martyn Easton of Siecor Corp. and Jim Reichert of Anixter Inc.

Historical oddity

"Plastic optical fiber is in the wings"-- Jim Hayes of Fotec Inc.

More than two years later, after several false starts, pof is still waiting in the wings.--Ed.

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