Cabling Innovators Awards recognize products, programs, and applications

Oct. 19, 2021

By Patrick McLaughlin

In concert with the BICSI Fall Conference held in late August, Cabling Installation & Maintenance announced recipients of our 2021 Cabling Innovators Awards. The Cabling Innovators Awards program, which is sponsored by Sumitomo Electric Lightwave, honors the organizations and the people who drive the information and communications technology (ICT) industry forward, and enable better, more-efficient communications for users of information and communications technologies around the world. The program recognizes ingenuity and innovation wherever it is found in the value chain of cabling-system design, installation and administration.

Our judging panel comprises industry professionals with experience in the specification, design, installation, and administration of ICT systems. That panel evaluated each entry based on six criteria.

  • Innovative approach to product, system, program or project design and implementation
  • Value to the user, which can be measured by qualities including return on investment, loss prevention, or business-efficiency gains
  • Sustainability, characterized by overall eco-friendliness, long-term value, or lifecycle cost-effectiveness
  • Meeting a defined need as a well-conceived and well-executed initiative that fully meets specific user requirements
  • Collaboration, which can include communication and cooperation throughout the value chain through which the entry was developed, produced, procured, or deployed
  • Impact, recognized as the difference that an innovation makes on the professionals involved, on the productivity of its ultimate users, or on society as a whole

Based on our judges’ evaluations, worthy applicants are being recognized as having achieved Silver, Gold, or Platinum status for their innovations.

Silver awards: Marked improvement

A Silver level Cabling Innovator Award is granted to an innovation that has resulted in not just incremental improvement, but in marked improvement over previous methods, approaches, or use of systems and products. Following are descriptions of our 2021 Silver Award honorees, described by the respective recipient companies.

AEM: MMVNA-200 Mixed Mode Multi-Port Vector Analyzer

The MMVNA-200 is a multi-port vector network analyzer capable of simultaneously measuring multiple ports and their interdependency. The small, portable 8-port form-factor makes MMVNA-200 easy to integrate in the cable and connector manufacturing environment, and represents a significant cost savings for this level of port density compared to other offerings.

Measuring all possible combinations of RF S-parameters across all ports within a sweep lasting less than 10 seconds, MMVNA-200 greatly reduces test time over other RF test systems. Additionally, multiple test ports eliminate the need of connecting and disconnecting different test fixtures repeatedly. No external RF switch matrix is required, further simplifying the test setup.

MMVNA-200 is uniquely capable of performing dual-ended testing using two independent MMVNA-200 instruments synchronized over the communication-channel under test. This feature makes it ideal for far-field measurements and cable measurements.

Chatsworth Products: ZetaFrame Cabinet

ZetaFrame Cabinet is the culmination of CPI’s 30 years of design and custom engineering expertise. Through CPI’s custom engineering department, it was possible to identify common customer requests reflective of the state of the industry. For example, with the emergence of more hybrid data centers, rapid deployment and configurability were becoming important requirements. As a result, CPI designed ZetaFrame Cabinet on a platform that allows for an unprecedented level of configurability. The cabinet can be configured on demand, as a customer-specified, factory-assembled solution. Likewise simple product selection, easy ordering and streamlined logistics all add up to quick deployment for customers.

Increasing cabinet densities have changed the way the rack space is utilized. In keeping up with how the networking and server equipment industry is also evolving, it was important to consider a strong and reliable cabinet frame. Newer compute hardware include additional processors and memory components as part of their configuration, which not only increase power demand, but increase the weight of the computer and the amount of heat that must be dissipated from the computer. So, besides reliable power distribution, to support and protect advanced equipment, a data center rack must feature much higher load ratings to hold additional weight, improved airflow management features so more cool air flows through the rack and enhanced cable management to allow for more intuitive and flexible moves, adds and changes. Another important fact is the need for high static load ratings and rolling loads since more data centers have been utilizing third-party integrators. Often referred to as “rack and roll,” these integrators populate cabinets with compute, power, and cabling, then transport fully loaded cabinets to the data center space where they are rolled into position and quickly brought online. ZetaFrame was engineered to allow for exceptional 5,000 lb (2268 kg) static load (on leveling feet) and 4,000 lb (1814 kg) dynamic load (on casters), which will support new equipment for years to come.

Corning Optical Communications: Everon Solutions Launch

From the smallest office to the largest stadium, Corning Everon™ Network Solutions offers the Enterprise a powerful new way to network so buildings are ready for tomorrow’s network challenges, today.

Built on optical fiber technology, wired and wireless connectivity now live on a single network, reducing costs at installation and over the lifetime of the building. With new technology emerging all the time—all with their own unique data and power requirements—a flexible solution that can scale into the future is imperative. Whether your LAN application is in a small medical clinic, a multi-terminal airport or even a large campus of multiple buildings, all of the components of our solution are proven to work together seamlessly.

Everon has 4 main components that connect to tell a holistic network story:

  1. Campus Backbone Local Area Network (LAN)—Optical network infrastructure solutions that interconnect building LAN to campus core
  2. Building Backbone Local Area Network (LAN)—Fiber-optic LAN for your building network infrastructure; connect telecommunications closets, equipment rooms, and entrance facilities
  3. Horizontal Local Area Network (LAN)—Fiber to the edge of your network. Complete optical networking solutions for wired and wireless connectivity
  4. In-Building Cellular Solutions—Carrier-approved wireless coverage and capacity solutions for enterprise networks

·       More Capability. Technologies like 5G, WiFi6 and IOT require much more network capacity. Our streamlined infrastructure is designed to handle tomorrows technology, today.

·        Faster Deployments. Solutions designed to deliver faster installations and quicker system turn up times. Backed by an extensive engineering team, we design our solutions with your network in mind.

·        Cost Savings. Everon™ Network Solutions eliminates the need to run multiple separate networks for data, cellular, and Wi-Fi. It can offer savings of up to 30 percent on materials and labor at installation, plus up to 50 percent on future upgrades.

·        A Trusted Solution. The world trusts our fiber optic technology to connect people globally over a billion kilometers of Corning optical fiber and to connect millions of homes and enterprises. You can too.

And customers are seeing the results. This new end-to-end network solution eliminates dedicated layers of infrastructure; reducing complexity and improving scalability resulting in:

·        Up to 70% less cable

·        80% less IT closets

·        50% less cable tray

·        Less cellular equipment with some solutions

These optical networks and fiber-based cellular solutions deliver more bandwidth and performance. Technologies like 5G, WiFi6, and IOT require exponentially more capacity. So taking advantage of breakthrough technology doesn’t mean you have to replac your infrastructure.

Fluke Networks: Metal LC Connectors for Test Cords

Fluke Networks designs, develops and commercializes fiber optic test equipment used in the field to certify, verify, or qualify installed fiber optic cabling. In all cases a test cord is required.  For OTDRs, this cord provides distance from the OTDR to allow it to measure the first connector in the link; for loss testers, the cords provide reference-grade loss performance for more accurate measurements. Test cords need to connect to the final installation and in many instances, that means LC type connectors.

Standard LC connectors are designed to be used a few dozen times and are rather flimsy and can break easily. That is perfectly acceptable for cords connecting devices in a network which move only a few times over the life of the installation, but for installers who need to test large quantities of links with expensive cords, it is a source of dissatisfaction.  Breaking an LC connector on an expensive, high performance test cordtest cord means purchasing a new test cord.

Fluke Networks has designed and patented the first and only Metal LC Connector that is compliant with the IEC 61754-20 and TIA-604-10B intermateability standards and passes rigorous testing including GR-326-CORE testing, durability testing, and extended latch testing. The new LC Connectors have been tested for up to 10,000 insertions without noticeable wear on the plastic adapter.

The new Metal LC Connector comes standard on all Fluke Networks LC test cords.

Legrand: The Compact Edge Cabinet (CEC)

The Compact Edge Cabinet (CEC) series wall-mount cabinet offers a unique versatile solution for edge computing, purpose built for equipment and application advancements all in a small form factor. The low-profile design positions rack mount equipment vertically while allowing access for upgrades, refreshes, and adds/drops. When opened the back-pan equipment and connectivity remain in place while the enclosure swings out maximizing accessibility and management. The CEC series cabinet is capable of housing a complete network, including up to 8RU of traditional rack mount equipment, power, thermal management, and connectivity. Deploy the cabinet for a low-profile, edge solution that can support any application.

User-focused features and benefits:

Wide Open Access: When opened the back-pan, equipment, and connectivity remain in place – while the enclosure swings out allowing unfettered accessibility and management.

PCI Compliance: User access is controlled by an integrated swing handle with lock.

Certified Load Rating per UL2416: 135 lbs total (125 lbs per pair of mounting rails and 10 lbs on the door).

Vertical Rack Mount: Enables low-profile mounting allowing for easy installation, access, and maintenance.

Maximizing Space: Two pairs of 4 RU rails are supplied to mount a variety of network equipment, auxiliary equipment, power and panel. One Pivoting Panel Mounting Bracket Kit has been supplied to free up vertical space and improve access to the rear of installed patch panels. (Additional kits sold separately - CECPPM1RU)

Panduit: TX6A FieldCord Connectors

The TX6A™ FieldCord™ Connectors are part of a simple connection solution for nearly any RJ45 plug-attached network device. The UTP FieldCord connector combines a novel field-mateable splice, the industry’s smallest diameter Category 6A twisted pair, 23 AWG cable, and an ultra-compact RJ45 plug all in one assembly.

The FieldCord connectors enable connection to devices with the smallest port spaces and most confined cable routing paths. These connectors provide Category 6A performance while also compatible with Category 6 and 5e systems.

The FieldCord’s splice re-termination can re-terminate up to 20 times with no additional parts, providing convenience and cost-savings. The same forward-motion termination technology used in Panduit’s Mini-Com® TG Modular Jacks is also used with the FieldCord connectors. This enhanced termination technology delivers proven electrical performance and quick installation.

The small plug size allows the connector to easily fit in tight port spaces of network devices where other connectors are often too large. With a 22-26 AWG termination, the FieldCord connectors work with all commonly used solid or stranded cabling.

Panduit: Adjustable-Depth 4-Post Racks

The Adjustable Depth 4 Post Rack is part of a complete rack and cable management system that manages, protects, and showcases your network investment. The adjustable rack is designed to support network equipment found in data center and telecommunication room environments. The rack combines the stability of a cabinet with the accessibility of an open rack to provide the user with maximum flexibility when designing the network layout.

Upgrading active equipment in telecommunication rooms and data centers often requires a deeper rack. The rack can adjust depth to fit various network needs. Each rack has 39 different depth options from 23 inches to 42 inches in half inch increments. The adjustable depth 4 post rack system provides maximum versatility in a single part number. Bonus holes in the posts allow for various accessories to be mounted, such as PDU brackets, vertical patch panel brackets and vertical tie-off brackets to create greater application flexibility.

The adjustable rack can be assembled in minutes and is self-squaring when assembled with the option of eight different masked grounding locations at all corners of the rack. The rack feet face inward for reduced footprint and improved safety risk.

Siemon: LC BladePatch Fiber Jumpers with UniClick Technology

Siemon’s new LC BladePatch® duplex fiber optic jumper with UniClick™ technology represents a significant, user-focused advancement to the popular LC BladePatch product family. These new UniClick enhancements work in conjunction with LC BladePatch’s exclusive, patented push-pull latch. This proven design allows the connectors to be securely engaged and removed via a finger grip on the exposed and easily accessible end of the strain relief boot rather than defeating traditional LC jumper thumb latches. Particularly in high-density applications with limited “finger space” between fiber patching ports, traditional jumper latches located at or close to the jumper-to-port connection point can be difficult to access without disturbing surrounding jumper connections.

Combining this innovative push-pull latch with a new space-saving, one-piece UniClick housing that reduces LC BladePatch’s already small footprint, these enhanced jumpers considerably simplify jumper installation and patching administration in even the tightest, side-stacked server, switch, and SAN port configurations.

The UniClick housing also improves on the LC BladePatch’s patented, user-friendly fiber polarity change process. With correct transmit-to-receive linkages between ports in connected devices and patching fields being essential to system function, correct jumper polarity is critical. Unfortunately, polarity is also a common source of confusion, and it is not uncommon for technicians to find themselves on the job site before realizing that they do not have jumpers with correct polarity for the equipment configuration. The LC BladePatch, however, features an exclusive design that allows polarity to be changed on the fly in the field.

While most fiber jumpers do not support field polarity changes, those that do typically require a technician disassemble the connector housing and physically move and twist the fibers, creating a strong risk of damage. LC BladePatch’s patented rotating latch design allows the user to change jumper polarity by simply rotating the latches 180 degrees around the fiber. The fiber itself is not twisted or disturbed in this latch rotation process, eliminating potential connector and fiber damage.

SnapOne: WirePath Plastic Enclosure

SnapOne’s Wirepath™ Plastic Enclosures are molded with UL Certified ABS plastic, eliminating WiFi signal interference for a full "internet in a box solution." It also features a bottom knockout for 5-outlet drop-in WattBox® integration with OvrC Remote Management to power gear and saves space while letting integrators reset routers, modems, and other devices remotely, reducing truck rolls and saving valuable time. And for added versatility, designed into the door (sold separately) is a ¾” trim ring for a clean install with no extra accessory purchase. The door and trim ring sit a total of 2” off the wall for extra space on dense installs. Wirepath Plastic Enclosures from SnapOne are compatible with the Platform and Shelf accessory for versatility on any install. Accessories are not included and can be purchased separately.

Vertical Cable: 5-DoF Surface-Mount Equipment Bracket

Vertical Cable’s 254-EMB01 Surface-Mount Equipment Bracket may look like dozens of other similar products, however, its design incorporates a number of details making it unique, feature-rich, and installer-friendly. All the features form a five-degree-of-freedom (5-DoF) mechanical system capable to accommodate to practically any installation environment.

5 DoF:

1.      Swingable at the base plane 0°–180°.

2.      Swingable at the base plane 0°–90° with fixed position at 90°.

3.      Swingable at the equipment mounting plane 0°–120°.

4.      Eight adjustable depth levels.

5.      Swappable equipment mounting flanges.

Both bracket assembling and equipment mounting fasteners are based on cage nuts. Stripped thread does not become a problem that may limit the product’s functionality or even make it unusable.

It’s foldable for shipping, taking up minimum space. In its folded state the bracket has dimensions and occupies space equivalent to that of a regular patch panel and can be packed using the same boxes.

Gold awards: Excellent innovations

Gold-level awards are earned by organizations whose innovations are judged to be excellent, and whose benefits are clear. Each gold-level innovation makes a substantial improvement over previous methods employed, approaches taken, or products and systems used.

Following are the 2021 Cabling Innovators Awards Gold honorees.

AEM: Network Service Assistant

The Network Service Assistant (NSA) represents a new category in testing with Qualification+, bridging the divide between Qualification and Certification in a single multifunction link tester.

The NSA was designed with IT Managers in mind, due to the diversity of technologies they are responsible for overseeing, particularly with the proliferation of smart building technologies. AEM took a unique approach to provide a breadth of test function that is unmatched in the industry, and thoughtfully designed to keep the price point representative of a significant cost savings from having to purchase multiple pieces of test equipment. The NSA is modular and allows users to pick and choose the exact testing function they need.

Network owners often have a need for certification grade testing of the existing network infrastructure, for assurance it can support a given IT project. However, the cost of certification grade test equipment that is only used occasionally, inhibits their ability to perform this level of testing, resulting in the links either being tested only at a validation/qualification level or a subcontractor must be called. To meet this need, AEM took our knowledge of traditional bi-directional certification, which we offer with the TestPro CV100, and designed Certi-Lite, an ANSI/TIA 1152-A compliant, single ended cable test for CAT3 – CAT6A, providing assurance of link compliance and support for intended applications. Certi-Lite performs all measurements required by ANSI/TIA 1152-A in addition to TDR for cabling faults as well as Return Loss, NEXT and Shield.

For Fiber Optic, the NSA supports singlemode and multimode loopback test, providing assurance the fiber optic loss is within limits. Testing of resistance and voltage in Hybrid Powered Fiber is also supported. A thoughtful addition, is an integrated VFL, and support for a USB fiber scope. This combines to provide the network owner with assured of link quality as well as troubleshooting tools to check for dirty/broken fiber.

AFL: Fujikura 90R Fusion Splicer

Fusion splicing technology has progressed over time and is highly evolved. The time required to splice after the fibers have been prepared and loaded into the fusion splicer has decreased to the point that it is now difficult to achieve further reductions in splicing cycle time with splice time improvements alone. Therefore, innovative approaches have been developed for a new generation of fusion splicers. Rather than focusing only on the time to splice the fibers once they are loaded into the splicer, the entire splicing process has been evaluated.

The implementation of automation to eliminate some manual operations in conjunction with improved ergonomic design has enabled a reduction in total splicing cycle time. After analyzing splicing process interruptions typically required for routine equipment maintenance, reductions in downtime have been achieved by application of novel techniques to automate some maintenance functions. Finally, modularity of the ribbon splicer has been improved to provide a solution for splicing different ribbon types. A new combined V-groove and electrode fixture has been developed to enable interchange by the user. This enables a single ribbon splicer to meet requirements for splicing different ribbon structures.

The aforementioned benefits also provide cost benefits not previously seen. The reduction of interruptions and improved cycle time contribute to lower labor and equipment ownership costs. These benefits combined with maturation of splicing technology has lowered the entry cost barrier, allowing those to consider splicing internally that may have previously contracted out or grow splicing work force to increase network turn-up capabilities. Alternatively, splicing contractors can potentially bid more aggressively, and broadband service providers will see operational expenditure savings with network installations.

Amprobe: AT-8030 Advanced Wire Tracer Kit

The AT-8030 advanced wire tracer is designed specifically to keep electricians safe; its CAT IV 600 V rating allows for the highest protection available on any wire tracer, including against the most dangerous levels of transient overvoltage spikes up to 8,000 V that are known to occur in industrial environments.

The wire tracer allows for quick wire locating and identifying. With the Receiver’s patented Smart Sensor™, it is possible to see the location and orientation of energized wires behind walls, floors and ceilings.

It also identifies breakers with precision by sending a signal through the wire and picking up the corresponding breaker at the box, quicker and easier than ever. This feature can be especially helpful in older facilities where the wiring is not well documented.

This is the type of tool that's going to allow the user to quickly identify the line, make the connection and do the repairs without having to bring down an entire segment of the line. Now, they can safely connect to higher voltage wires and troubleshoot them fast.

The return on investment with this tool is on time. Time is money, so the less time the user spends troubleshooting cables the more money they will save. With the AT-8030, the user can ensure that their safety will be protected as well.

Atkore: Eagle Basket

Atkore is proud to announce the launch of Eagle Basket™, one of the strongest welded wire mesh cable management systems in the industry. Eagle Basket, is manufactured in the USA with high-quality steel wires creating a 2" x 4" mesh cable basket to manage and route the growing number of cables necessary to keep an operation running. Eagle Basket couples durability with an innovative Quick-Latch™ design making it one of the fastest and easiest hardware-free cable management solutions to install.

Made in America: The Eagle Basket is made in America and proudly manufactured by the United Steelworkers of America. With stocking locations across the U.S., the Eagle Basket provides the fastest production times in the industry.

Fast order fulfillment: Not only does a short lead time mean less time spent waiting for product to arrive, there is also less potential for costly downtime. With 4 stocking locations across the U.S. and dedicated engineering services, Atkore provides best-in-class delivery and customer experience. When ordering the Eagle Basket, contractors can request staged shipments based on jobsite timelines and storage restrictions. Atkore can even provide preformed fittings shipped ready to install.

The industry’s only zero-hardware solution for all tray sizes: The Quick-Latch™ splicing system makes connecting the Eagle Basket fast and easy, minimizing installation time and costs. The Quick-Latch and self-splicing bars come pre-installed on all wire basket straight lengths and eliminate the need for nut and bolt type connections.

Eagle Basket has been tested extensively for grounding and loading capacity, is UL Certified and is manufactured in accordance with NEMA Standards. Our innovative approach to project or system design and implementation is the hardware free installation saves labor with Quick Latch™ splicing system. No tools or hardware are required for a secure connection, just a pair of pliers.

Belden: Dubuque County

Recognized for its dedication to historic sites, Dubuque County—located at the point where Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin meet—is a showcase of well-preserved buildings and homes. Along with a handful of other buildings, its courthouse—built in 1891, featuring Beaux-Arts architecture—is on the National Register of Historic Places and stands out as a landmark.

To reduce energy costs in the century-old courthouse, facilities superintendent Chris Soeder narrowed in on PoE LED lighting—a solution that would provide financial savings while ensuring that the building’s historic nature was preserved. PoE LED lighting uses Ethernet cables to power lights and transmit data between a fixture and control software.

To support the new lighting system, Dubuque County needed a reliable Ethernet cable that would ensure performance across long distances. The ability to rule out the cabling system as a point of failure in the new PoE LED lighting system was crucial, according to Nathan Gilmore, Dubuque County IT superintendent. “When you tell most people in charge of networks that you’re going to add hundreds of nodes to run IT-based lights—and they’re going to run over your network—it’s exciting and concerning because we’re adding hundreds of new things to our networks.”

Several Belden solutions support the PoE LED lighting system. Power for the system comes from a switch; from that switch, category cables are run to the system’s IntelliDrive, which supports eight devices. All fixtures, control components and third-party devices connect to the IntelliDrive as well.

Belden 10GXS Category 6A Cables ensure robust performance and provide a reliable network for the lighting system. The cable’s size provides space and weight savings of 25%; its small bend radius accommodates tight spaces, ideal for the courthouse installation.

With a traditional lighting system, installers would have needed to run conduit, place junction boxes, pull 12-gauge wire, etc. This low-voltage installation involved removing the existing fixture, removing the 110v wiring, installing the new fixture and IntelliDrive, and running Category 6A cable.

Belden’s REVConnect Connectivity line was used to simplify termination; it relies on a single termination method for all Category 5e, Category 6 and Category 6A RJ45 connections. The result is termination time savings of between 30% and 60%.

After his positive experiences with REVConnect, Gilmore updated the Dubuque County Specification General Requirement for Division 27 to include REVConnect as the default standard moving forward. It was also used as part of the Dubuque County West Campus project: a 67,000-square-foot Secondary Roads Facility and a 10,000-square-foot Dubuque County Office Building.

“This project was an extension of the success we had at the courthouse,” says Gilmore, “only significantly scaled up.” All lighting in the Dubuque County Office Building is PoE LED; five rooms in the Secondary Roads Facility also rely on PoE LED lighting.

Once again, Belden 10GXS Category 6A Cables were used to ensure robust performance and support this new lighting technology. Belden’s REVConnect® Connectivity line was used once again to streamline termination.

In terms of savings, Soeder says he’s seeing significant improvement. “The amount of energy we aren’t using is impressive. We planned everything based on 15-amp loads on 20-amp circuits and we’ve got the lighting maxed, running it 95%, which allows us to extend beyond the rated life of the fixtures. The most I’ve drawn is less than 10 amps.”

Belden: Large football venue in Southern California

As the first indoor-outdoor stadium ever constructed, this new football stadium in Southern California had an appetite for innovation from the very start. Part of an entertainment destination, the venue’s goal was to serve up a one-of-a-kind, immersive fan experience.

To create these experiences, the stadium needed a complete, end-to-end cabling and connectivity system that could support and connect never-before-seen technology, such as a roof-suspended Oculus video board. It also need infrastructure for Wi-Fi 6, digital ticketing and a highly sophisticated DAS system.

The construction window was small, so teams needed access to products that were readily available and fast and easy to install. To keep up with high expectations and everchanging requirements, new contractors continually joined the project, leaving little time for training or onboarding new installers; they needed to be ready to go within minutes of arriving at the jobsite.

After stadium owners and contractors saw the training and labor savings offered by Belden’s REVConnect® Connectivity line—combined with Belden’s reputation for quality, performance and reliability—the decision was made to partner with Belden.

More than 5 miles of Belden Category 6A shielded cabling were installed inside the stadium bowl (manufactured in a custom color). REVConnect Connectivity solutions, such as the FlexPlug, were used in indoor and outdoor applications where the size of a typical field-terminated plug inhibited direct connection of IoT devices.

Once the project was under way, the team realized there wasn’t enough room to support the DAS they had planned on. Instead of cellular carriers bringing fiber to the stadium, Belden created a meet-me room with massive amounts of OSP fiber where carriers could connect to one another and pick up traffic from inside the stadium. For this space, 11,000 strands of Belden fiber (totaling 57+ million square feet—enough to circle the moon twice!) were deployed, along with Fusion Splice-On Connectors that combine the benefits of fusion splicing with the simplicity of a field-installable connector to improve installation performance and reliability over mechanical splice connectors. Belden also created a solution to manage fiber density within stadium’s broadcast control room and DAS network.

To make every square foot inside the stadium’s data center count, Belden created its Flexible Ribbon Cable specifically for this project. The cable’s small OD and superb flexibility make it easier and faster to handle than traditional ribbon cable. Sorting and ribbonization are already complete, which reduces labor resources, costs and necessary tools associated with traditional ribbon cable.

Thanks to the time savings and easy installation offered by Belden solutions, the stadium project stayed on schedule despite setbacks and change orders. It met its original deadline and was able to host its first NFL game in September 2020.

This project makes up Belden’s largest fiber-strand-count project, its largest Category 6A shielded cable project and its largest REVConnect Connectivity project.

The cabling and connectivity utilized in this football stadium not only help create an incredible fan experience, but also prepare the venue for 5G and ensure that it seamlessly becomes part of the surrounding entertainment district, which will also include Belden fiber solutions.

Belden: OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cables

Fiber solutions are becoming increasingly popular to support a wide variety of applications, such as raised floors in data centers, as well as in FTTx and POL/PON applications.

Before the creation of OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cable, the applications mentioned above were constrained by existing fiber cable configurations … with the possibility of sacrificing performance in order to get the cable into place.

As a result, integrators and installers were looking for a lighter-weight, smaller-diameter fiber cable that was cost-effective and fast and easy to install but also featured superior mechanical properties similar to metallic armored products.

This feedback inspired Belden to create its revolutionary, one-of-a-kind OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cable. It utilizes advanced, ruggedized thermoplastic material as a cost-effective, top-quality alternative to traditional metal armored cable.

Compared to non-armored fiber cables, the patented, all-dielectric armor provides superior durability and crush resistance, making OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cable one of the most versatile fiber cables on the market.

The cable is also designed to put up with a lot, bouncing back after being under very heavy weight—something a traditional metallic armored cable couldn’t do. It’s strong enough to stand on its own and doesn’t need conduit for protection.

To test this, we dropped a 31-pound data center tile on top of the cable (waffle side down). The cable isn’t crushed, and testers verified that it continued to work and look just like it did before the tile was dropped.

We also drove a forklift over the cable, since we know this sometimes happens on jobsites. The average forklift weighs about 9,000 pounds, but the OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cable handled the challenge with no problem.

Our final test was to tightly staple the cable to a wall. In many cases, stapling would crush a fiber cable, but the OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cable isn’t impacted by the pressure from the staples.

Making the cable even more unique is the fact that this “toughness” doesn’t impede its flexibility. The cable is more flexible than metallic armored cable, making it easier to install and handle. Its small bend radius handles tight and challenging turns. Through it all, OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cable maintains excellent mechanical properties while being more flexible and easier to handle and install than metal armored cable—with no grounding or conduit required.

Belden: Innovative Ethernet/IP Fire-Resistant Cable & Testing System

At Belden, we create innovative solutions and help customers thrive continuously. In our pursuit to create an ecosystem of the most reliable and holistic networking solution, BEC-Shanghai (Suzhou) has designed a set of world-class Fire-resistant Cable Testing systems, to provide the customers with the best safety performance solutions.

The Fire-resistant Cable Testing System is designed for unexpected situations like an underground or tunnel on fire. The signal transmission systems need to remain functional for long hours so that the surveillance systems keep working. The same systems could be applied to other areas like airports and metro stations.

The Fire-resistant Cable Testing System is a strong synergy of One-Belden solutions including Belden Industrial cable and Hirschmann switches. With a determined mindset of customer orientation, the testing system is designed for a predictive testing simulation, which drives down the overall customer expenditure. Belden Fire-resistant Cabling Testing System extends the value propositions from 4 perspectives:

1.            Ensure Data Safety

2.            Real-time application simulation

3.            One-stop shop

4.            Continuous improvement & Innovation

The Ethernet/IP CAT 6 fire resistant cable is designed under industrial standard BS EN 50289-4-16 and the fire-resistant performance goes beyond its original design of 2 hours. The extreme feature of fire-resistant makes the cable stands alone under 842 Celsius degrees of fire for over 3 hours. During this period, the data transmission is consistent and stable as per Ethernet/IP requirements. Belden Industrial fire-resistant cable is a perfect product used for megaprojects, such as airports, metro stations, railway construction, tunnels, and process industries. We’ve already applied this cable under a prestigious transportation project in Sydney Australia. Fire-resistant cable could also be used in enterprise & hospitality facilities like banks, casinos, hotels just to provide added safety.

One of the biggest takeaways of using the fire-resistant system is the proof of concept. The entire set of the testing system is based on real situations. Meaning the simulation will be very close to the real application, which brings customers more confidence because they can actually see it. After all, the chances of cable on fire are much higher than other devices.

Belden: Circa Casino Case Study

Everything about the new 35-floor, 1.2 million-square-foot Circa Resort & Casino Las Vegas is distinct—from its adults-only atmosphere to its old-school Vegas ambiance, complete with the iconic Vegas Vickie neon sign. The owners of the Circa Resort & Casino Las Vegas applied their ingenuity to every aspect of the property.

Covering an entire city block (and the tallest hotel north of the Strip), this is the first hotel-casino since 1980 to be built from the ground up in downtown Las Vegas—and also the Strip’s most intelligent building.

Instead of using dedicated AC power, the owners wanted to use Digital Electricity™ as the backbone power distribution infrastructure to decrease energy use and power everything from lights and switches to in-room climate control and wireless access points.

This approach required a cabling and connectivity partner that could think outside the box. COVID-19 also created its own restrictions, limiting the number of people allowed on the jobsite and preventing regular check-ins on progress. The project had to be managed remotely while still staying on schedule.

FEA Consulting Engineers, a hotel engineering firm based in Nevada, was partnering with VoltServer—the creator of Digital Electricity—to make the owners’ dream a reality. Based on previous experiences, the engineering firm recommended Belden for cabling and connectivity.

Belden Digital Electricity Cables were deployed to support the backbone power distribution infrastructure; they’re optimized to safely extend Digital Electricity across the longest distance possible. In many cases—including at Circa Resort & Casino Las Vegas—networks utilizing Digital Electricity can be installed by low-voltage technicians instead of electricians (similar to a PoE cable), saving time and money.

In addition to Digital Electricity Cables, Belden also provided Category 6, AV, CCTV/security and access control cable, as well as copper connectivity, racks and cabinets.

Keith Nichols, founder of DKNQ Inc. and owners’ representative, attributes the project’s ability to wrap up two months ahead of schedule in part to Belden’s REVConnect® Connectivity solutions.

When first terminated, the REVConnect connection can be tested to ensure performance. Then the cable can be pushed back into the wall or ceiling so finishing contractors can come through. After their work is done, the jack or plug body and faceplate can be installed. REVConnect’s unique core and cap lets installers finish 95% of the termination without needing to know whether a jack, plug or coupler will be used.

Nichols says REVConnect was also a lifesaver amid COVID-19, allowing installers to complete work to a certain point and vacate the site so painters and other contractors could finish their work. The trades never had to cross paths or work side by side.

In addition, the connectivity system allowed apprentices and new installers to complete mission-critical work after only 15 minutes of training—without any problems or without anyone having to check their work.

The Circa Resort & Casino Las Vegas opened nearly two months ahead of schedule—in October 2020—in the middle of a pandemic. In addition to lower utility bills, Nichols estimates construction cost savings of between $2 million and $3 million thanks to the combination of using VoltServer’s Digital Electricity and Belden’s Digital Electricity Cables instead of dedicated AC power.

Circa Resort & Casino Las Vegas now stands out on the Strip for many reasons: Not only does it bring new attractions to Fremont Street, but it’s also the most intelligent building downtown, taking advantage of cutting-edge technology like advanced building automation, digital in-room controls, LED lighting and electrical power distribution—all using Digital Electricity and supported by Belden cable and connectivity.

Blonder Tongue Labs: FIBT Transmitter and FTTB Receiver Solution

The FIBT Transmitter & FTTB Receiver product line is a compact, cost-effective yet powerful solution to deliver a flawless video signal and extremely high-speed digital data over long distances via single mode optical fiber.

The two-part solution was specifically designed to transport data streams which maintain conformance with the DOCSIS 3.1 standards and/or were generated utilizing high order quantization techniques, such as QAM 1024, 8PSK, and COFDM. The receiver then works in tandem to convert the optical signal received from the headend into a RF output – ranging from +28 dBmV to +44 dBmV – with the capability of sending upstream cable modem signals over a second fiber back to the headend.

This solution has never been more vital to the cable industry, as it seamlessly replaces large and complex broadband multi-amplifier installations and costly legacy equipment required for running video over long distances of more than one to two kilometers, without sacrificing quality, reliability, or functionality. In fact, the solution packages the same high-end features and functionality operators expect – including digital attenuation, scalable power transmission, a directly modulated DFB laser, and more – at a fraction of cost and size of traditional equipment.

Because of its extremely small form factor, which does not require rack mounting, the FITB & FTTB portfolio can be installed nearly anywhere and is highly portable, meaning no location is out of reach. Similarly, a single transmitter and receiver pair can eliminate the need for a cascade of amplifiers found in legacy installations, significantly reducing the space, cost and power requirements of delivering video services. By eliminating the need for broadband amplifiers, the solution can eliminate the introduction of noise normally introduced when installing coax over medium and long distances, providing a cleaner signal and greater reliability.

Equally important, both the transmitter and receiver are plug-and-play, making installation and maintenance by technicians as effortless, efficient, and cost-effective as possible compared to traditional hardware. Likewise, technicians do not require the same level of technical expertise and knowledge in order to install and maintain the equipment. There’s also never a need to “balance” the solution, which is required when using a cascade of broadband amplifiers.

In terms of sustainability, few solutions can compare. The FITB & FTTB’s small form factor means the solution is far more resource-efficient in production, and results in far less material waste at the end of its lifecycle. It’s estimated that the solution requires 5 times less material than the legacy equipment it replaces. Similarly, the solution requires far less power consumption than competing broadband equipment. Two small units can replace dozens of amplifiers, resulting in power savings of 75% or more in many cases. When combined, the FITB and FTTB can do the job of around 20 amplifiers, and a single unit can last upwards of 15 to 20 years.

For years, large broadband amplifiers were a must-have for running video systems over long distances. But these legacy solutions are not only costly, they are unsustainable. Today, reducing equipment space, power, costs, and install requirements are paramount to streamlining operations and future-proofing infrastructure for years to come.

Simply put, the FIBT & FTTB product line represents a significant leap in video and data distribution technology that greatly simplifies and streamlines installation and operations for service operators, utilities and integrators.

CABLExpress: Rack Mount Security Enclosure

Customer requests were to create a maximum-security enclosure for rack-mounted equipment within existing racks or cabinets.

The goals were to:

•             Eliminate the use of critical floor space and budget dollars for a full-size DC security cabinet

•             Provide an alternative to a wall-mounted cabinet where shifting may be required for additional space needs

•             Protect network gear from wall vibrations and temperature changes

•             Protect network gear when space is small or accessed by multiple vendors

The current market offers several versions of wall-mounted cabinets, with varying levels of security. The CABLExpress RMSE (Rack Mount Security Enclosure) offers a different option by creating a secure rack space within an existing rack or cabinet and can provide maximum physical security with an optional two-lock system for both front and back doors to safely house networking hardware and patch panels.

Traditionally, a new, fully secure cabinet would need to be purchased for high security needs. Following that course, all equipment in the existing rack or cabinet would need to be shut down, removed, and then re-installed. The RMSE requires disruption to only the equipment that needs protection, making the transition to securing the targeted hardware much faster, less complicated, and less prone to errors and down-time.

The RMSE also offers a more effective option for customers with existing equipment in standard racks or cabinets that use shared space, or where multiple vendors may need to service equipment. The RMSE keeps the hardware away from random bumps or mistaken access, within a rack space co-existing with other hardware.

•             Secures networking hardware and patch panels in open racks or partition cabinets where multiple tenants may have access.

•             Its two-piece design allows for easy mounting

•             The RMSE has a two-lock system on both the front and back doors, providing the option for two people to be required to gain access to the enclosure

•             The bends in the access doors, a piano hinge on the bottom of the door, and a 3-point primary lock make the RMSE highly secure

•             Multiple knock-out options and rear brush gromets for easy cable management

•             Comes in 12U/10U usable, 8U/6U usable, 6U/4U usable and 3U/1U usable space

Corning Optical Communications: Multiclassification Mesh Solution

Corning’s mesh solution consolidates multiple disparate security enclave cables into one cable, which can be run to a workstation while maintaining network and classification separation. This solution reduces cabling to the user by 75% while mitigating potential errors and information security risk.

The multiclassification mesh solution addresses the complexities associated with deploying secure communications cabling to the workstation. It utilizes the innovative mesh module to consolidate multiple disparate security enclave cables into one cable which can be run to a workstation while maintaining network and classification separation.

The mesh solution provides:

-              Security: Fiber transmission is much more secure than copper cabling and the preferred transmission medium for classified networks

-              Reduced Risk: The mesh solution prevents errors during installation and maintenance due to inadvertent cross-connection of classified networks

-              Saves Space: High-density footprint occupies half the space in server cabinets, telecommunication closets and zone distribution areas

-              Reduces Congestion: Mesh solution utilizes up to 70% less cabling reducing the need for bulky pathway trays and freeing up valuable conduit space

-              Minimizes Install Costs: In addition to fewer overall materials, the preterminated mesh solution reduces expensive cleared labor by up to 75%

The secure multiclassification mesh module is ideal for LAN, data center, SCIF, and fiber-to-the-desk deployments. It is CTTA, CISA, and CISO approved for your peace of mind. The Department of Defense (DOD) has also approved the module for use by its vendors and contractors.

Security of our nation’s sensitive information is vital to the many missions ongoing around the globe. The cabling infrastructure to support these networks can create a significant vulnerability. In addition to the cabling itself, challenging design, slow deployment, and complicated maintenance introduce additional risks and costs to the mission. Enter the multiclassification mesh solution:

As the only manufacturer who innovates and designs all components from the TR to the workstation, we designed this product with our critical mission partners in mind. The mesh solution is ideal in any application requiring the distribution of multiple information security enclaves to users or devices. Whether LAN, data center, SCIF, or fiber-to-the-desk deployment, the mesh module saves time and money creating space in your server rooms, closets, raised floor, schedule, and budget.

The 32-fiber mesh module takes 2 fibers from four specified network classification input trunk cables and transitions them to one output trunk cable. This output trunk cable then distributes the four specified networks to end users.

The multiclassification mesh solution represents Corning’s commitment to effective, secure networks everywhere. Developed with input and VoC from high-security customers, the mesh solution enables every type of indoor connectivity, including the emerging fiber-to-the-desk application.

Corning Optical Communications: Jumper-in-a-Box Eco

Our jumper-in-a-box (JIAB) solution resolves a key problem customers face: inventory management. The next generation solution is corrugated, stackable and refillable with up to 70 jumpers.

With a perforated seam, JIAB makes installing new jumpers easy and convenient. Product labels on the front of the box, combined with reorder notices towards the end of the jumper bags, make storage and restocking a simple task. Combined with our state-of-the-art manufacturing and interconnect portfolio, JIAB delivers value across the mission critical landscape.

The latest iteration of JIAB, JIAB ECO, is constructed out of recycled materials, and offers easy refilling functionality. With so many jumpers being used across the world, this leads to a significant waste reduction.

Similarly to the initial launch of JIAB, JIAB ECO relied heavily on customer feedback and collaboration. We'd received requests from multiple customers for a refillable JIAB -- while they used the jumpers in a short period of time, they really liked how easy and long-lasting the box itself was. When those conversations began to involve the sustainability branches of both our own company, as well as our customers', it became a simple decision to launch a more eco-friendly JIAB offering.

In doing so, we worked with the breadth of our supply chain to source recycled, durable materials for the box's construction. Our engineers engaged customers to figure out the simplest way to institute refillable functionality, enabling customers to cut down on waste and speed up deployment.

The result of this sustainability design process was the corrugated plastic design that JIAB ECO is constructed from. This enabled us to implement a recycled material, while maintaining strength and durability. Coupled with the ability to easily access and refill the box, JIAB ECO demonstrates our commitment to swift, efficient, and sustainable deployment.

JIAB ECO is the latest evolution of an industry-celebrated product, one that has made deployments and upkeep easier across the industry. Our durable, sustainable design, coupled with the ability to reuse, means less waste and more time spent on deployment.

JIAB is truly the result of years collaborating with customers. The perforated seam between jumper bags, easily recognizable product labels, and reorder notice are all suggestions from customers, which we've readily embraced. Given Corning's leadership in optical science, the jumpers themselves are extremely high quality, offering easy conversion to a reverse polarity, in a variety of fiber counts and types.

Given the rate at which the mission critical industry is growing, speed and efficiency rein supreme. JIAB removes a layer of complexity, allowing operators to install new jumpers whenever and wherever needed.

The reorder notice functionality towards the end of the box ensures operators avoid running out of jumpers during a critical time. While speed and efficiency will always be important, sustainability is also a rising concern. How do we maintain (and grow) these critical services, while also taking care of the world they service? Often in this industry, especially in the last 30 years, there hasn't been time to consider sustainability. Given how hectic our business is, we can barely accommodate the rate of growth, let alone do so in a renewable fashion.

JIAB ECO is Corning's answer to this conundrum. By packaging convenience and accessibility into one, eco-friendly offering, we're helping the industry maintain their standards while embracing sustainability.

EtherWAN: EasyLink

EtherWAN's EasyLink is a pre-configured point to point (PtP) Bridge kit which allows for connecting remote outdoor locations wirelessly up to 2 miles away. EasyLink's simple setup allows you to connect locations by mounting the hardware, powering them on and aligning the units using the built-in alignment LEDs. Each kit contains two paired units that connect automatically using a highly secure, unique, hidden SSID and randomly-generated passphrase to keep your valuable equipment secure right out of the box. No need for complicated setup software, just plug it in, aim it and you are connected.

This innovative, outdoor design allows customers to implement critical infrastructure communications without the need for complicated networking knowledge making for a cost-effective solution designed for hassle free deployment.

Additionally, since each kit is uniquely paired, multiple kits can be used without the worry of interference between devices. Rated for outdoor use with an IP67 rating, -40 to 167°F operating temperature and able to withstand 125 Mph winds, the EasyLink is designed to last.

Each EasyLink kit comes with everything needed to deploy a robust system for communication. This includes all power supplies, Injectors and Pole/Wall mounting hardware. Planning an installation has never been easier when everything needed is in one box. Not sure if there is a pole at the location to mount the EasyLink too? No problem, the EasyLink Kit comes with what you need to accomplish any type of installation.

Jonard Tools: AST-200 CableSaber

The Jonard Tools CableSaber™ is the ultimate tool for gaining mid-span access to armored or thick jacketed cables 4 mm-28.6 mm (0.157”-1.125”) in diameter. This mid-span cable slit and ring tool also feature the following:

- Adjustable blade depth up to 5.5 mm (0.216”)

- Precision steel blade will cut through the toughest materials, ensuring no damage to the internal fibers

- Blade can be set to be longitudinal for slitting or radial for ringing

- For use on cables 4 mm-28.6 mm (0.157”-1.125”) in diameter

- Aluminum shaft provides tremendous stability while slitting or ringing, preventing spiraling from occurring

- Shaft housing acts as a handle, providing greater leverage while slitting for convenience while ringing

- Thumb screw allows blade depth to be adjusted quickly by hand

- Rugged anodized aluminum and steel construction for maximum durability

- Lifetime Warranty

Leviton: LC Unibody Connector with Spectro-Link Technology

Congested cabling environments in data centers can complicate network manageability, making it harder to track fiber polarity and meet IEEE link loss limits. As servers, routers and switches have increased in bandwidth and density, the patching field has followed suit, and higher patching density can lead to costly mistakes during moves, adds, or changes.

In March 2021, Leviton introduced the LC Unibody Connector with Spectro-Link™ Technology, designed to make fiber installation and changes easier, cleaner, and higher performing. It was developed with extensive customer feedback, with the goal to address industry challenges and help data center operators and enterprise network managers better manage dense and extended reach environments that have an increasing number of physical connections.

The LC Unibody Connector — available on Leviton fiber trunk cables, harnesses and patch cords — features a compact, unitized housing with precision parallel alignment of the duplex LC latching bodies with beveled first contact leading edges. This makes it easier to guide the connector into position in dense or dimly lit environments on the first attempt. Its push-pull grip makes installation, removal and MAC work easy in tight spaces and removes risk of disturbing surrounding connectors.

In high density areas, the connector’s low profile heigh improves access and manageability, and compact 2.2" length minimized congestion in horizontal patching. A bend control fiber boot serves as an omnidirectional shock absorber in the shortest length necessary to protect fiber from damage.

Spectro-Link Technology simplifies the steps required to reverse polarity on-site, greatly reducing the potential for fiber damage with no need for tools or fiber exposure. The patented design supports polarity reversal in seconds, without twisting or moving fibers. In addition, easy-to-see A-B/A-A polarity indicators show users when a connector has been modified from the factory polarity.

In addition, the LC Unibody Connector ensures the highest levels of performance and quality:

•             Better Performing Channels — Premium ferrules improve insertion loss performance, offering 0.15 dB per multimode and 0.25 dB per single-mode LC connector. This improved link loss makes it easier to specify, design and maintain extended reach networks.

•             Cleaner for Fast Installation – Dual sealing airtight dust caps offer greater protection by preserving pristine air around the endface from the production test environment. This feature leads to less cleaning and faster installation.

•             Made in the USA Quality – The precision molded LC Unibody connectors are designed and manufactured by Leviton in the United States to meet our highest quality standards and eliminate lengthy supply chain logistics. This connector meets Buy America and TAA requirements, and Leviton is able to minimize lead times for critical network installations.

Leviton: Cat 6A Patch Cords Compact Plug and Boot

As data center staff work to maintain and increase network performance, they also need to increase density and reduce energy requirements. Similarly, enterprise IT directors need to balance higher bandwidth requirements with day-to-day challenges such as reducing clutter and accommodating connections in tighter spaces at office furniture, wireless access points (WAPs), and other PoE-enabled devices.

Over the past year, Leviton has enhanced its Cat 6A patch cord offering by introducing a compact plug and boot design to its riser-rated, plenum-rated, and High-Flex dual-rated patch cords. The new plug and boot provide more robust and flexible solutions for installers, data center managers, and enterprise IT technicians. The enhancements ensure secure connections, promote appropriate bend radius, and increase density options — addressing both the network performance needs and space requirements of network managers around the world.

The newly enhanced line of Leviton Cat 6A patch cords include:

•             Universal Solution — The metal wrap on the patch cord plug enables the patch cords to have outstanding electrical performance and proper grounding and allows the cords to be used in both shielded and UTP applications.

•             Less space required for bend radius – The compact boot design of 24 mm reduces the installed bend radius for limited depth applications and uses less material to create a 30% lighter plug on average than traditional patch cord plugs. Also, the shorter boot reduces the potential force applied to the jack/plug interface, improving the integrity of the connection over time.

•             Greater Flexibility – The Cat 6A High-Flex Patch Cord, introduced in mid 2020, uses 28-gauge construction, making it easier to maneuver during installation, as well as during moves, adds and changes in patching environments.

•             Better airflow to improve performance and reduce cooling costs – the small 4.7 mm outside diameter of High-Flex patch cords reduces cable bulk in cable managers, pathways, racks and cabinets. This increases airflow which helps reduce cooling costs.

•             Fast availability in a wide range of lengths and colors – Patch cords are available in 7 colors, with both stocked lengths and quick-turn make-to-order (MTO) lengths depending on the network requirement.

•             Ease of manageability – The new patch cord plugs have an ergonomic release tab that allows for quick and easy connections and disconnects.

•             Availability around the world for consistent networks in multiple regions – Leviton core cabling systems are US- and UK-manufactured. And Cat 6A High-Flex Patch Cords are dual-rated Low Smoke Zero Halogen and CM applications, making them a single solution with a global design in all regions around the world.

Oberon: Model 1018-00 WiFi Access Point Enclosure

For ubiquitous W-Fi coverage, access points are installed throughout buildings at a higher density than ever before. Where access points had been installed every 2,500 to 3,600 square feet, gigabit capability and capacity may now require installation every 2,000 square feet. High-occupancy areas such as conference rooms and classrooms may utilize several APs while auditoriums and halls may require dozens. This increased density requires a mounting solution which is secure, easy to install, and flexible for maintenance and future AP upgrades.

Aesthetics vs. Performance: Wi-Fi access points are highly visible, and architects, building owners, and network installers are sensitive to the appearance of the installation. For the best wireless coverage and performance, the access point should be mounted high in the room in an unobstructed location and not covered with building material such as drywall or ceiling tiles. Installers have struggled with compromising between installation appearance and wireless coverage and performance for years.

Oberon engineers designed the Model 1018-00 in-wall/in-ceiling enclosure to eliminate the compromise between aesthetics and wireless performance.

Enclosure Design: Oberon’s Model 1018 is uniquely designed to satisfy UL 2416 requirements for in-wall mounted enclosure systems using fire-rated (FR) plastic material suitable for recessing into walls and hard ceilings. This mount uses impact-resistant and flame-retardant PC/ABS plastic and includes a UL Listed Conduit Connector to accommodate up to 2 Cat 6A cables. The plastic is a low-loss, impact-resistant PC/ABS material virtually transparent to wireless signals up to 6 GHz and beyond. The enclosure has a solid recess wall box with swivel fasteners for capturing the box in the wall opening. These fasteners are similar to those found in old work electrical boxes and are familiar to cabling installers. A universal mounting plate accommodates access points from most vendors.

Aesthetic Appeal: The low-profile snap-on lid projects only a quarter-inch from the wall ceiling surface for minimal visible impact. The 1018-00 cover comes in white to suit most environments and can be painted for a perfect match – or contrast – with non-metallic paints. These customization capabilities make it a perfect solution for professional office spaces, historical or architecturally sensitive areas, creative spaces, and any hard-lid wall or ceiling environment.

Convenience: The 1018-00 recess box installs into an opening in the ceiling or wall in minutes. The AP, surface mount box, patch cord, and associated cabling can be organized inside the recess box. To remove the low-profile, snap-on lid for service, press a small screwdriver into the tiny slots in the side of the lid.

The 1018-00 is compatible with Wi-Fi access points of a variety of shapes and sizes from all major AP manufacturers, making it possible to change the AP without replacing the AP enclosure for a tremendous useful lifespan.

Customer-Driven Development: Oberon’s product development is driven by customer feedback and direct requests. When Oberon introduced the 1019-RM enclosure, similar in outward appearance to the 1018-00, it quickly became and remains one of Oberon’s most popular offerings. Some customers expressed a wish for UL listed solutions for in-wall mounting, something they were not able to procure for recessed mounting applications. The 1018-00 offers both a UL listed solution and a slightly modified overall size to provide additional flexibility in placement.

Respecting the Experience: Oberon is proud of its community of internal sales staff, highly trained Manufacturer’s Representatives, and distributors. Oberon provides continual in-depth training to ensure the best possible experience for distributors, integrators, and end users.

Panduit: FlexFusion Cabinet

The FlexFusion™ Cabinet offers a unique universal platform for all types of data centers and servicing needs including Hyperscale, Edge and Multi-Tenant Data Center. Built with best-in-class weight load of 3,500 lbs. and doors with maximum air flow of 80%, the FlexFusion™ Cabinet can tackle your most challenging cabinet installations. Whether it’s for server, network or hybrid applications, FlexFusion™ Cabinets deliver performance to keep your networks running at optimal efficiency. Additional FlexFusion™ features include fully integral bonded without use of grounding wires, adjustable front and rear cage nut equipment rails, and several tool-less cable management options to choose from.

Innovative Approach: FlexFusion™ Cabinets consist of a welded and assembled steel frame construction available in multiple widths, depths and heights. The top of cabinet is available with either molded edge protection and snap-in covers for CoolBoot® Grommet Cable Seal or brush cable seal and rear lift-up lid for PDU cable lay-in. It includes fully adjustable front and rear cage nut equipment rails and available options include front single hinged door and rear split-hinged doors with 80% open perforation, horizontally split side panels, cable management fingers, vertical cable manager bracket, PDU mounting bracket and casters. The entire cabinet is electrically bonded without the use of bonding wires and has a 3500 lbs. static load rating and 2500 lbs. rolling load rating.

Value to the User: FlexFusion™ Cabinets are ideal for network or server equipment that provides maximum flexibility and the capacity to manage high cable density in data center, enterprise or co-location deployment. FlexFusion™ Cabinets allow you to safely house 19" rack mount IT equipment in an indoor environment, they provide extensive cable management options and allow for thermal efficiency.

As data center needs continue to evolve, it is critical that cabinet solutions offer maximum scalability. With the growth of Edge data centers and colocation sites, cabinets not only have to be flexible in their designs but must be configured for unique environmental needs and equipment needs that push the boundaries for maximum cooling and powering efficiencies.

No matter the application, FlexFusion™ Cabinets deliver performance to keep networks running at optimal efficiency.

Panduit: PanZone TrueEdge Wall Mount Enclosure

Panduit has innovated and created exactly what enterprise customers have needed for deployment in Edge spaces. The PanZone® TrueEdge™ Wall Mount Enclosure eliminates a rack or cabinet and can mount servers in confined spaces. The structurally engineered design provides space for up to 36 inches of active equipment depth, has a premium static load rating of up to 400 lbs., delivers best in class thermal ratings to eliminate equipment failure, and can be installed by one person.

The adjustable equipment rails increase usable enclosure depth up to 36 inches of available space within the enclosure for active equipment while maintaining the ability to mount patch panels. This provides the user preferred installation capabilities and a variety of configurations based on application. The static load rating of up to 400 lbs. delivers strength that can withstand optimum load capacity for deployments of server and switch configurations.

With a perforated top and bottom, the enclosure’s engineered design is thermally tested to withstand the maximum amount of heat output with minimal limitations on the equipment being used. The perforated top and bottom draw cool air in from the top and the equipment and added fans push the hot air out through the bottom of the enclosure, guaranteeing top network performance. Extensive thermal tests have proven that the 9RU enclosure can dissipate up to 4000W of generated heat with using only two fan kits, guaranteeing top equipment performance.

The high density TrueEdge enclosure mounts traditional horizontal equipment vertically on a wall. With 0 RU vertical patching, the enclosure’s mounting method minimizes network infrastructure investment by providing a solution to eliminate a rack or cabinet.

The vertical wall mount enclosure is offered in various sizes allowing customization opportunities to fit the needs of the user and deliver storage solutions that make a difference.

Siemon: Value Vertical Cable Manager

When it comes to racks and cable management, there has typically been a de facto line between basic, more or less bare-bones options aimed at common, day-to-day contractor needs and feature rich premium solutions for higher-end “project work”. And in nearly all cases, crossing the line between basic and premium came with a significant cost increase. While that may not have been a major issue in the past, modern network requirements create challenges.

With technologies like IP-based A/V, surveillance, access control, Wi-Fi, and other intelligent building systems not only communicating through the IT cabling infrastructure, but being powered by it through PoE, the density and complexity of the network can quickly outgrow the capabilities of contractor-priced, basic rack and cable management options. Add larger-diameter Category 6A cables to the overall consideration, and installers are often forced to either work around the limitations of the basic cable management solutions or upgrade to more expensive premium options.

Siemon developed its new Value Vertical Cable Manager (VVCM) line specifically to fill that market gap, offering a complete rack and cable management solution that met value-level price points for day-to-day work, while delivering the enhanced features needed to support the increasing demands of complex infrastructures.

Premium-Level System Features, Contractor-Friendly Pricing: Specifically developed to integrate with Siemon’s 2-Post Value Rack, 19” Rack-Mount Horizontal Cable Managers, and pathway support accessories to provide a fully unified equipment mounting and cable management solution, these new high-capacity Vertical Cable Managers deliver a wide array of user-friendly features not typically available at such an aggressive price point.

Rapidly Deployed, Flexible Management Space: Easily assembled in as little as 5 minutes, the new 7’, 45U vertical managers mount directly to Siemon’s 2-Post Value Rack (RS1-07-S) as well as other Siemon racking options for a rapidly-deployable rack and cable management system. Available in widths of 4” (10cm), 6” (15cm), 10” (25cm) and 12” (300cm), the VVCMs are offered in both single and double-sided versions to enable a broad range of infrastructure topologies, simultaneously supporting cord management for high-density patching fields, efficiently routing horizontal cables, mounting PDUs, and routing equipment power cords.

Small, Lightweight Packaging: Easy to Ship and Move Around the Jobsite: The VVCM line is delivered in ultra-compact, lightweight packaging to minimize shipping costs and storage space needs. Leveraging a half-height modular design, the VVCM ships flat-packed to simplify job site material handling, while still offering extremely fast, straightforward assembly.

Easy-to-Operate “Real Doors”: Unlike most contractor-grade vertical managers, which typically utilize difficult to operate snap-on covers, the Siemon VVCM line features dual-hinged doors with “one-finger” spring release clips at each corner. This user-friendly design allows the doors to be opened in either direction to improve pathway accessibility and are much simpler to open, close, remove, and re-attach than snap-on covers typically offered at this price point.

High-Capacity Fingers: The VVCMs feature Siemon’s unique, high-capacity cable management finger design. Capable of managing large quantities of larger diameter cable and cords in high-density environments as challenging as 48-port, 1U Category 6A patch panels, the fingers align with each U space, providing clear pathways for transitioning into the vertical cable management space.

Versatile Accessory Mounting Features: Within the vertical management space itself, the VVCM’s highly versatile divider plate design provides an array of mounting options for cable management accessories and PDUs, including quarter-turn managers and hook and loop tabs for efficient cable routing and bundle separation, fiber spools for simple slack management, and standard PDU button mounts. The divider plates can also be reversed, allowing additional vertical space in either the front or rear of the manager as needed.

Softing: WaveXpert with RadioTap Headers for Easy WiFi Packet Sniffing

Never before has WiFi reliability and security been such a top priority for businesses, institutions, and government offices.

WiFi is an extremely convenient tool that has streamlined business operations, and therefore must be reliable and secure to ensure businesses continue to run efficiently and safely.

WaveXpert from Softing introduces a method to help ensure both reliability and security of WIFI networks through packet analysis.

There are many WIFI test tools. For example, before you install your WIFI network, you should use a tool to perform a planning and site survey to ensure you don't have dead zone where coverage is needed. Use a spectrum analyzer to find out if you have interference issues with a microwave or cordless phone.

But what if you need to look at the packets, or frames, the actual data that is being transmitted. This is called packet analysis, or packet sniffing, and is a forensic tool to troubleshoot or monitor communications between active devices on the network.

Packet analysis is used to solve problems like weak VoIP or weak video streams that are losing packets, find issues when applications aren't behaving as they should, find out what device is talking the most, who is repeating themselves, troubleshoot slow response times, solve lost connection issues, and perform security checks such building firewall rules and even find intruders.

In the past, it was much like a science project for IT to assemble multiple WIFI radios, connect them to a laptop, and gather WIFI packets in WireShark Once in WireShark, an expert was required to decode the packets for analysis -- analysis required for troubleshooting the network or identifying reliability and security risks.

Now, in one compact package, WaveXpert solves both issues by including multiple radios and automatically interpreting and labeling WIFI packets with RadioTap headers. RadioTap headers are descriptive information WaveXpert adds to each data packet for easy interpretation by the user.

Now end users such as IT Administrators, Network Troubleshooters, or Network Monitors can use the information for two key benefits.

1) End users can use this information to ensure or improve network reliability. Unlike the WIFI card that comes with a laptop which only has a single radio, WaveXpert has multiple radios. Multiple radios is the only way to monitor and troubleshoot handoff between wireless access points, for example. Use WaveXpert with WireShark to watch and troubleshoot for smooth transition between WIFI routers in your business so that as employees or customers roam around your business with laptops or WIFI devices, reliable handoff between routers occurs so they can stay connected. RadiotTap Headers included with the data make interpretation of the received packets easy to identify with information such as signal level for each frame and channel used by the station generating the frame.

2) End users can use WaveXpert and WireShark to ensure or improve network security. It is not a requirement by IEEE 802.11 for WIFI hardware in laptops and PCs to include RadioTap headers. Use WaveXpert to add RadioTap headers to your data which is then viewable in WireShark to sniff WIFI packets so you can identify intruders on your network.

WireShark is free and downloaded more than 1,000,000 times per month. If you have WIFI and WireShark, you need to add WaveXpert from Softing which provides multiple radios and RadioTap headers in one simple tool to perform forensics on your active network, troubleshoot WIFI packets for network reliability, and sniff-out intruders.

TREND Networks: SignalTEK 10G

SignalTEK 10G is a handheld Ethernet tester designed to measure the maximum bandwidth available on networks, identify bottlenecks and find ways to increase bandwidth without the need to replace expensive data cabling.

A solution to the bandwidth conundrum: There is ever-increasing demand on LAN networks from bandwidth hungry services, such as video streaming, video conferencing, CCTV cameras and Wi-Fi access points. This extra pressure on networks can lead to expensive downtime and lost productivity but replacing all cabling to improve bandwidth is cost-prohibitive for many organizations.

Around 111 billion meters of Cat5e/Cat6 cabling is installed globally that is limited to 1Gb/s bandwidth speeds due to the current switches deployed. In the past there was no simple way to check the maximum bandwidth that existing cabling would support when upgrading to Multi-Gigabit switches delivering 2.5, 5 or 10Gb/s speeds.

SignalTEK 10G, launched by TREND Networks in January 2021, solves that problem, enabling users to prove the system will support the bandwidth required before a business makes an expensive investment.

Innovative features save time and money: By simulating actual network traffic SignalTEK 10G enables users to test, troubleshoot and document network and data cable performance up to 10 Gigabit Ethernet standards. With a max throughput test, the tester verifies what the maximum error-free bandwidth the cabling or infrastructure can support and establishes what hardware or applications would work on an existing link. This saves significant time and cost compared to replacing data cabling.

To help installers manage their own budgets, they can order SignalTEK 10G now, then upgrade and unlock additional features only as needed. It is a future-proof tester that they can depend on to meet their network needs today and tomorrow.

Meeting a range of network testing needs: Once a Multigig switch upgrade has been installed, SignalTEK 10G can be used again to test and accurately prove performance to international standards.

As well as providing accurate 10G transmission testing, SignalTEK 10G can also be used as a wiremapper and for troubleshooting and maintenance of active and passive copper and fiber networks. It also has features which eliminate guesswork when installing, maintain and troubleshooting where PoE (Power over Ethernet) tester is deployed up to 90W (PoE++), as maximum power can be measured accurately, and installations can be verified to IEEE standards.

The tester also brings together a range of diagnostic tools to support faster troubleshooting and reduce downtime. For instance, one feature of the SignalTEK 10G will log all network events over a 72-hour period to help diagnose intermittent connectivity issues faster, reducing hours onsite and trips to site.

It is a feature-rich tool that data cable installers, systems integrators, IT enterprises and AV installers can depend on.

A collaborative way of working: With built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, SignalTEK 10G connects to the free IDEAL AnyWARE Cloud test management system to generate professional reports for the client.

The AnyWARE Cloud management system also allows real time collaboration between Project Managers and Field Technicians. Project Managers can pre-configure the jobs and tests in the AnyWARE Cloud, eliminating potential mistakes and reducing the time taken to prepare reports for customers. As it is cloud-based, it can be accessed from any location with an internet connection and web browser, making it an excellent solution for teams where members may be working from home.

Via the TeamViewer Live Support feature, Project Managers can also connect from anywhere to SignalTEK 10G on the jobsite to troubleshoot failed links, minimizing troubleshooting time and reducing call-backs, while limiting personal interaction. Access can also be granted to cable manufacturers and TREND Networks Technical Support to allow further troubleshooting if required.

Tripp Lite: Safe-IT Antibacterial Cables

High-touch cables can harbor harmful types of bacteria that present a health risk to users and installers, especially in shared spaces. To address this concern, Tripp Lite offers a collection of Safe-IT™ cables designed to minimize the presence of bacteria for safer, cleaner and healthier environments. The cables have antibacterial jackets, connectors and plugs that are proven 99.9% effective in inhibiting Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus (staph).

Backed by test data that details effectiveness against specific pathogens, Safe-IT cables help provide everyday protection and peace of mind. This extra protection is essential in medical facilities, schools, businesses, homes, food service environments and other locations where bacteria can cause concern.

Tripp Lite currently offers three types of Safe-IT antibacterial cables:

1.            Safe-IT Cat6a Ethernet Cables (Series: N261AB, N262AB)

Tripp Lite Safe-IT Cat6a Ethernet cables are 10G certified to carry data, voice and video at speeds up to 10 Gbps. They improve near-end crosstalk to 500 MHz and have gold-plated contacts to help ensure accurate signal transfer. The cables are available in lengths from 3 feet to 25 feet and have integral strain relief to provide flexibility and reduce stress on the cable. A white PVC jacket allows the cables to stand out in a crowded patch panel or switch and helps prevent accidental disconnection.

Tripp Lite offers three types of Safe-IT Cat6a Ethernet cables: UTP (unshielded twisted pair), slim UTP and S/FTP (shielded and foiled twisted pair). The slim cables are 38% smaller in diameter than standard Cat6a cables to reduce cable clutter and improve airflow in crowded rack installations. The S/FTP cables support PoE+ Type 2 to supply power to compatible PoE and PoE+ devices, such as security cameras. Power over Ethernet allows compatible devices to be installed in areas without an AC outlet.

2.            Safe-IT USB Cables (Series: U022AB, U024AB, U030AB, U050AB)

Tripp Lite Safe-IT USB cables have foil and braid shielding to protect against electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI). Gold-plated contacts help provide maximum conductivity and minimum data loss. Safe-IT USB cables are available in USB-A extension cables (M/F) and adapter cables in a variety of styles: USB-A to USB-B, USB-A to USB Mini-B and USB-A to USB Micro-B. This selection offers compatibility with a wide variety of devices.

3.            Safe-IT Video Cables (Series: P566AB, P568AB, P569AB, P580AB, P581AB)

Video cables connect video sources to displays everywhere, from pro AV installations to classrooms, conference rooms and homes. Safe-IT video cables help protect everyone who plugs in and unplugs the cables. Available in the most popular video technologies, HDMI and DisplayPort, the cables with male connectors on both ends support video resolutions up to 4K. HDMI to DVI and DisplayPort to DVI adapter cables support resolutions up to 1080p.

Tripp Lite Safe-IT cables have the same high-quality construction of standard Tripp Lite cables, but offer the extra benefit of antibacterial protection for users and installers. The cables are a part of Tripp Lite’s broader collection of Safe-It products.

Unique Fire Stop: Core Bore Firestop Smoke and Water Seal

An open Core hole in a concrete floor is the most extreme type of life/safety hazard in a multi floor structure. It is an opening that will propagate cold smoke and deadly gas and distribute it quickly to other floors from a fire below. Fire can also easily spread through these holes. Hot gas and smoke will be produced rapidly from a fire and will pass through these openings to the highest (non fire stopped) floor. Like a mushroom cloud. It will begin to pass throughout the levels filling the false ceiling on every floor. Putting more occupant's lives in danger and restricting valuable time for occupants to get to safety.

Remember, fire destroys property. Cold smoke / gasses kill.

Building owners can reuse a sealed core bore by removing the CBS System, adding a sleeve and pulling more cables. This systems can be covered by carpet, walked on, and supports the weight of carts.

There is no need to access the floor below to seal or remove this device. This system also offers a smoke seal and is water tight when installed properly. Anyone following the provided instructions can successfully install these UL Systems.

Installers and building owners will take advantage of multiple benefits like ease of installation and fast recovery if needed in addition to a size for each cored hole in the building. No tools or maintenance is required. Neat and clean solution that Inspectors will appreciate.

Professionals will use our UNIQUE Core Bore Seal (CBS) Firestop System to cover, seal and firestop empty core holes in concrete slabs or walls during construction and post-construction. The Core Bore Seal Firestop System is completely removable if the abandoned core should need to be reclaimed sometime in the future. Made with a heavy steel plate and an intumescent firestop muffin (plug). In the event of a fire the plug expands filling the core hole and protecting the building and its occupants according to the fire rating of the barrier.

Existing Construction: In existing construction, these core holes are often abandoned when sleeves or conduits in a concrete floor or fire-rated concrete barrier are removed. Prior to the invention of this innovative UNIQUE product, abandoned core holes were often left unsealed, destroying the integrity of the fire-rated barrier. Sometimes they were filled with concrete making the core hole useless in the future. This process can be very time consuming and very messy. Our Core Bore Firestop System solves both problems, restoring the fire-rated floor to its initial rating while still preserving the function of the core hole in the event it will be used again. And no spilled or over filled mess to clean up.

New Construction: In new construction, sometimes extra core holes are made by accident, in the wrong location or for future expansion. Even if they won’t be needed for the foreseeable future. Our Core Bore Firestop System effectively seals and firestops empty core holes in both concrete floors and vertical concrete walls, especially those that may be used in the future, but not necessarily immediately. Unlike other methods that seal the core hole permanently, the Core Bore Firestop is completely removable.

Wirewerks: Wirewerks Fiber+Power Solution

This case study introduces an innovative new Wirewerks cabling solution for IBW 5G Active DAS in large venues including stadiums, arenas, and racetracks.

Our new solution re-thinks how 5G Active DAS equipment is typically deployed in large venues, and then combines; a) specialized fiber cables; with b) two entirely new cable terminal enclosures; and c) a new system module for our highly-regarded NextSTEP Fiber Management System. These three elements work together to form an innovative end-to-end DAS cabling solution that extends from the Baseband processor in the network provider’s on-site PoP to more than 300 Remote Radio Units and attached antennas distributed throughout the sprawling stadium complex.

This story documents Wirewerks’ cabling solution for the challenges encountered in deploying a new 5G Active DAS network in a 45-year old, 56,000-seat multi-purpose open-air stadium located in the northern Great Plains. The venue hosts college and professional football, soccer, concerts and other major events, including several matches in the upcoming 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup -- the most widely viewed sports event in the world.

Customer’s Challenges: In this study, Wirewerks’ customer is the mobility division of a major national carrier offering wireline and wireless telecom services to residential, business and government customers. For the network provider and the venue owner, the ultimate goal was to provide latest generation 5G wireless connectivity everywhere throughout the entire stadium complex. Their plan called for a new IBW 5G Active Distributed Antenna System (DAS), supported by a new, cost-effective, high-performance cabling infrastructure. The classic open-air stadium and surrounding buildings presented an interesting set of site conditions and cabling challenges -- even for the network provider’s expert DAS engineers.

Key Project Challenges: 1. No power distribution at antenna locations • Optimal RF-engineered locations for antennas were often in areas not reached by the existing power distribution infrastructure 2. No conduits to antenna locations • No existing conduits and little appetite to extend power and conduits to antenna sites 3. RRU/antenna sites unreceptive to installation requirements • Optimal antenna locations were often limited in space and/or unreceptive to the physical requirements for RRU/antenna installation 4. Site includes the primary open-air bowl, retail concourse, out-buildings and parking garage • Requires a comprehensive signal/power cabling solution suitable for all DAS configurations in the venue 5. Single PoP at east side of venue • Single PoP to serve/connect/power 300+ remote antennas • Long reach (>100m) from PoP to most RRU/antenna locations 6. Limited space in PoP • Limited space for active equipment, network systems and ancillary equipment 7. Severe weather conditions • Year-round use, multi-purpose open-air stadium in northern plains location • -40° to 40°C (-40° to 104°F) temperature operating range (typical) 8. Carrier-class performance, reliability, maintenance and operational objectives • Solution must meet network provider’s service level objectives 9. Project logistics, technical support, training and documentation • Just-on-time logistics for cabling system implementation • Full technical support and training program

Wirewerks’ Solution: Wirewerks engineers worked in close collaboration with the network provider’s wireless engineering and field installation teams to develop a comprehensive cabling solution for all configurations of 5G Active DAS equipment deployed throughout the venue’s open bowl, concession/retail concourse, surrounding out-buildings, and indoor parking garage. For ‘typical’ Active DAS configurations, Wirewerks’ fiber cabling channels connect baseband units (BBUs) located in the provider’s point-of-presence (PoP) with remote hub units (RHUBs) located in telecom rooms (TRs) distributed throughout the sprawling facility. RHUBs then connect to remote radio units (RRUs) and their attached antennas over Wirewerks’ Cat6A/PoE++ UTP cabling channels. The use of Wirewerks’ fiber cabling and UTP PoE++ cabling provides an effective solution for ‘typical’ antennas sites. However, for most of the venue’s remote antennas, the cumulative limitations of a single PoP serving a sprawling facility; the long cabling distances to antennas; and the absence of power at most antenna locations left the network provider looking for innovative solutions via the cabling infrastructure. In response, Wirewerks developed a new cabling solution engineered to integrate an optical fiber signal path along with a copper conductor power path over a hybrid (also called ‘composite’) fiber/copper cabling system. Wirewerks’ new Fiber+Power™ hybrid cabling solution solves major challenges often encountered by network providers when deploying 5G Active DAS in large venues.

Wirewerks’ Fiber+Power Solutions - Key Attributes: 1. Allows colocation of all RHUBs with BBU(s) in a centralized PoP, with access exclusively controlled by the network operator: Physical network security; faster troubleshooting/restoral with all BBUs/ RHUBs in one centralized location 2. Delivers power to RRU/antenna locations not served by the venue’s existing lowvoltage power infrastructure: Faster, easier 5G Active DAS deployments; no additional costs/delays to modify low-voltage infrastructure; antenna locations selected for optimal coverage -- not power access 3. Provides superior optical fiber bandwidth, performance and channel reach all the way to RRUs/antennas: Fiber cabling easily reaches every DAS end-point in the stadium complex; fiber bandwidth delivers faster response times and more simultaneous usersessions; fiber cabling provides greater reliability In the Network Provider’s PoP Our customer installed their preferred 5G Active DAS equipment in their PoP, including baseband units (BBUs) and remote hubs (RHUBs). Collocating the normally remote RHUBs with the BBU(s) in the PoP gives the network provider several significant benefits including secure access control and easier, faster management of critical network equipment. The RHUBs support CPRI/eCPRI direct digital optical data transmission over Wirewerks’ hybrid fiber/copper cabling to the remote radio units (RRUs). The copper power conductors in the hybrid fiber/copper cables carry power to the RRUs/antennas from the RHUBs in the PoP. Wirewerks’ Fiber+Power solutions allow remote antenna sites to be networked and powered over the same cable, deployed in one cable-pull. Designers are free to engineer antenna locations for optimal coverage without compromises for access to the venue’s existing lowvoltage infrastructure. To terminate and manage the hybrid cables in the PoP, and to create an interconnect field for the optical and power ports of the RHUBs, the solution includes standard Wirewerks NextSTEP 1U Patch Panels equipped with NextSTEP 12F LC Patch Modules and NextSTEP 12-Pole Terminal Strip Modules. NextSTEP 1U Patch Panels configured for Fiber+Power applications manage 12/24/36 SM/MM fibers in standard NextSTEP LC Patch Modules featuring on-board fusion splice trays. NextSTEP 12-Pole Terminal Strip Modules terminate and manage 12/24/36 solid or stranded copper 24-12AWG power conductors alongside the LC Patch Modules in the NextSTEP 1U Patch Panels.

Platinum awards: Breaking new ground

Our final set of awards, the Platinums, have been judged to be superb innovations, characterized by a groundbreaking approach to meeting a need, or establishing a new level of performance, efficiency, ease-of-use, and other beneficial qualities. Here are our 2021 Platinum Award honorees.

AEM: TestPro CV100 Smart Building Test Kits

While the modern Smart Building can optimize operations, maintenance and overall cost, it also creates complexities that require more testing power than your traditional cable certifiers. With the right toolset in hand, those complexities can also create new revenue streams. AEM’s Smart Building Test Kits are thoughtfully designed, to help contractors and system integrators assure infrastructure readiness for Smart Building Deployments, and for those that want to expand, realize a path to a new revenue stream.

All TestPro Kits come with two full function test platforms. This means users have double the test equipment available to them when performing tests into the network switch or into the air to test wireless, and a Main and Remote, when performing bi-directional certification. Additionally, we pack multiple test functions into our adapters, giving users strong value for every dollar spent, which in turn results in a fast ROI.

While AEM offers TestPro Kitted solutions that focus in on say Copper Certification or Fiber Certification, all test adapters are compatible with our test platform and our Smart Building Test Kits cover the most extensive set of test function available in any handheld field test system, let’s break it down.

We offer two Smart Building Test Kits, the TestPro CV100 K60 and K61. The K61 adds Singlemode and Multimode Fiber/Hybrid Powered Fiber testing. Both kits provide Four Pair Copper Certification in accordance with the base ANSI/TIA 1152-A test standard. We take it a step further and include all optional parameters, which includes TCL, ELTCTL, DC Resistance Unbalance (in Pair & Pair to Pair), and we include TDR for Return Loss, NEXT, and Shield, all in a 6 second CAT6A Autotest. The system can also test Single Pair Ethernet in accordance with 802.3cg and currently supports an IEC 63171-6 and M12 X-Coded test adapters, with an LC test adapter on the horizon.

Tier 1 Fiber Optic certification for Singlemode and Multimode is supported, and for those using Hybrid Powered Fiber, a simultaneous Loop Resistance on the electrical copper wire is tested. An additional test function provides a voltage test. The fiber optic adapters also include an integrated Visual Fault Locator to identify break in the cable and the platform’s USB supports a fiber inspection scope.

During the deployment phase, TestPro’s DC Resistance Unbalance measurement is critical, as this will ensure the cable is ready for PoE as part of a PoE pre-qualification, prior to the network components and PSE being installed. Once the network components are installed, testing PSE configuration as well as actual power load at the jack where a PD will deploy is the next critical step. TestPro provides PSE detail as well as RealPower load testing, reporting Current/Wattage/Voltage for 802.3 af/at/bt, UPoE. Additionally, when pesky intermittent power drops are occurring, external PoE load test allows for sustained load monitoring.

Signal-to-Noise Ratio based testing while under both traffic and PoE load, provides assurance across Multi-gigabit link speeds of 2.5 / 5 / 10GigE, that the link can perform as needed under real world condition. This is particularly useful when IoT devices are being deployed within an existing infrastructure on older cabling.

Testing both wired and wireless network configuration and performance is the next logical step. On the wired side, TestPro supports auto-discovery of connected devices, switch detail including slot/port/VLAN. Handy troubleshooting tools include Traceroute, Ping and TCP connect. From a Wireless perspective, see all SSID’s along with their channel and signal strength. See who’s on the network and get roaming signal strength to understand where WAP deployment changes may be needed, and use the same handy troubleshooting tools as noted above for wireless.

AFL: Apex Sealed Splice Closures

Work from home during the COVID pandemic has demonstrated the value of ubiquitous high-speed broadband connections to homes. Additionally, accelerated 5G deployments have demanded fiber-rich fronthaul and backhaul. Fiber splicers are being taxed to speed along installations to meet this ever-increasing demand. Additionally, this demand has led to an influx of new talent into the splicer labor pool, requiring a shortened learning curve to keep up. Furthermore, cables are reaching higher and higher fiber counts to address backhaul as well as connecting hyperscale data centers.

AFL has developed the Apex Fiber Optic splice closure to address these issues and more. Innovative gel-sealing wedges allow cables to be installed in seconds, rather than minutes. Hinging splice trays with universal splice modules allow for both mass and single-fiber fusion splicing in the same tray, without additional splice holders. These trays also provide maximum density mass fusion splicing with high count collapsible-style ribbons, such as AFL’s SpiderWeb Ribbon.

The reduced size allows operators to use smaller handholes - reducing both material and labor cost.

Faster installation reduces cost of splicing labor.

Universal splice trays used for ribbon or single-fiber splices reduces inventory.

Belden: Engineering Center for R&D and Innovation – Shanghai

Belden Engineering Center - Shanghai (Suzhou) is part of Belden’s global R&D expansion plan, it plays a vital role in researching and developing mission-critical solutions for Belden’s customers. BEC - Shanghai (Suzhou) is located in Suzhou, China, and it has world-class equipment to serve cable and connectivity research, new technology development, and product innovation.

BEC – Shanghai (Suzhou) was designed for testing and verification of multiple industry standards, including International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Verband Deutscher Elektrotechniker (VDE) and Technischer Überwachungs Verein (TÜV). Here we have more than 55 kinds of testing equipment which cover below 8 testing systems:

1.            Mechanical and flexibility

2.            Physical properties

3.            Fire performance

4.            Environmental protection

5.            Electrical performance

6.            Data transmission

7.            Industrial networking

8.            Proof of concept.

These enable Belden to research and test the products and solutions with the highest standards and quality for multiple industries within our own laboratory and continuously expand product portfolio and improve our scope of performance and competitiveness. BEC - Shanghai (Suzhou) is the first lab in the world certified under VDE TDAP Program for listed standards. Products developed with this certification can successfully help our customers to secure control automation systems' reliability.

BEC - Shanghai (Suzhou) is focused on technologies used in advanced applications like robotics, factory automation, artificial intelligence, 3D printings, sensor fusion, and cooperative automation, etc. It continuously experiments and innovates cables, connectivity and Ethernet switch with superior performance to help our customers to:

1.            reduce maintenance costs and prevents unplanned downtime in sensor fusion and cooperative automation.

2.            manage and control entire processing plants safely and cost-effectively in factory automation.

3.            achieve huge increases in output and process quality, reduce downtime and operating and labor cost in robotics.

BEC – Shanghai (Suzhou) realizes remote management and commissioning by utilizing advanced intelligent management software and systems. Software platform collects real-time data from various equipment to provide insights about movement, utilization, and run-time of equipment, and also gathers analytics and insights of space, equipment, and environment in the lab to help our testing engineer or management team do project management, quality assurance and improve our lab efficiency and effectiveness. Taking the advantage of our remote management technologies, instead of meeting face to face during Covid-19, our customers are able to take virtual tours of our BEC – Shanghai (Suzhou), remotely interacting with our experts, seeing the testing processing, and co-designing customized solutions with Belden team.

BEC - Shanghai (Suzhou) enables value-based solution selling for Belden. In addition, to keep innovating on products, BEC - Shanghai (Suzhou) in collaboration with Belden Customer Innovation Center (CIC) has the goal to provide total solutions, develop innovative testing systems to simulate real-life situations, and test the performance of products before customer buying our solutions. By creatively developing and simulating rapid prototype concepts for mission-critical applications, we successfully deliver safety outcomes to our customers, that Belden products have been proven their reliance and safety when being applied in extremely rugged environments, like fire, water, shock and extreme temperatures.

Automation networks are rapidly involving to deliver business outcomes including safety, quality, and productivity more directly than ever before. These need high-quality software and hardware working synergistically together in networks, design for specific use cases to ensure availability, reliability, and security with a proven track record. Belden R&D center is such a place, to combine expertise and technologies, innovation and testing, data and insights to increase customer expectations, co-innovate with our customers, and co-design solutions to help our customers solve their connectivity and networking challenges.

Ferret Tools: Wireless Inspection Camera Innovations

Ferret Tools based in Auckland New Zealand, continue to create the future with new thinking and innovative solutions in smart inspection camera technology that help provide easier, faster, and safer visual inspections and the ability to locate and pull in cables in hard-to-reach spaces.

Following the global success of their award-winning original Ferret WiFi model, which won 7 international industry awards for its innovation and as a direct response to customer and market insights, the Ferret team have continued to design and innovate with the unveiling of their next generation wireless inspection cameras.

This exciting new range of inspection cameras have been purpose designed to provide the latest smart technology to support and help the electrical contractor with inspections, cable installations, maintenance, and repair work. An essential tool for every electrician to add to their tool pouch.

The three new models, Ferret Lite, Ferret Pro and the Ferret Plus, incorporate all the award-winning features of the globally recognized original Ferret WiFi together with innovative new technology to offer the ultimate in durability, functionality and performance.

The Ferret is a user friendly, easy-to-use on the job productivity solution tool, linked to a smart device to help get the job done efficiently and safely.

Products in the new Ferret Tools range include:

The Ferret Lite is a general-purpose high-quality inspection camera that gives eyes inside hard to reach locations. It includes all the award-winning handy features of the original Ferret WiFi with the addition of the always up viewing mode to help with intuitive inspections. If you like to keep things simple and don’t need all the bells and whistles, the Ferret Lite is the ideal cost-effective solution to help on the job or at home.

The Ferret Pro is a professional and durable inspection tool, designed and engineered with award-winning features plus an app controlled variable focus lens and super-fast charge. It is purpose designed to help provide easier, faster & safer visual inspections. If you need to locate and pull in cable or need to get your eyes on something out of reach, then the Ferret Pro is the ideal tool for electricians and other trades.

The Ferret Plus brings you the ultimate innovation in inspection camera technology. It includes built-in (on board) memory to provide hours of recording even when out of WiFi range, the first ever non-contact voltage detector that is not handheld to help detect live cables from a greater reach than ever before. Perfect for someone who loves having the latest technology with all the bells & whistles including all the award-winning features of the Ferret WiFi to help make visual inspections, cabling installations & maintenance work easier, faster & safter. Suitable for all electricians, plumbers, builders, HVAC, lighting installers and other trades.

Fluke Networks: LinkIQ Cable + Network Tester

Fluke Networks LinkIQ™ Cable+Network tester combines switch diagnostics with the company’s state-of-the-art cable measurement technology, simplifying the installation and troubleshooting of cabling and network devices. LinkIQ provides simple pass/fail test reports using the company’s LinkWare software and verifies the performance of switches, including those that provide Power over Ethernet through an easy-to-use touchscreen interface, akin to a smartphone.

Fluke Networks LinkIQ:

• Measures network capacity up to 10 Gig via frequency-based measurements

• Troubleshoots active networks by providing connected switch information (switch name, port number, and VLAN info)

• Installs and troubleshoots PoE devices via Switch Negotiation and PoE Load test

• Enables graphical wiremap and length test to identify common faults that occur with cabling installation

• Documents work through LinkWare™ PC reporting

• Supports all Industrial Ethernet Protocols (EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, EtherCAT, and others)

• Industrial Ethernet Kit supports Industrial Connectors (M8D, M12D, M12X)

Using a single test, LinkIQ automatically provides the appropriate measurements based on what is at the other end of the cable. For an open cable, it shows the length and pairing. If it is terminated with the supplied remote, the test result shows the maximum data rate the cable can support – up to 10 Gb/s. If the cable is connected to a switch port, LinkIQ will show the name of the switch plus the port name, speed, and duplex. If PoE is advertised, it will display the power and class (up to 90 W or Class 8) and then load the switch to verify the power can be delivered.

LinkIQ uses LinkWare™ PC, Fluke Networks’ reporting software, which supports a variety of testers going back 20 years and is the industry’s de facto standard reporting solution with tens of thousands of active users. The results from a wide variety of Fluke products can be stored and accessed or PDF reports may be generated using the LinkWare software.

NetAlly LLC: LinkRunner 10G

NetAlly’s new LinkRunner® 10G Advanced Ethernet Tester, represents a highly cost-effective solution for 10M/100M, 1G, Multi-Gig, and 10Gig network testing. This rugged, hand-held next-generation Android-based tester delivers complete network validation and troubleshooting, from the media (copper/fiber) to the application (layers 1 – 7), accelerating deployments, speeding problem identification, which improves the efficiency and effectiveness of network installers and operations teams saving them time and money. The LinkRunner 10G’s compatibility with standards-compliant SFP’s enables test and validation of any wired media (copper or fiber) for a variety of use models and line-rate capture up to 10Gbps ensures engineers never miss a packet.

A lightweight, handheld, multi-function instrument, LinkRunner 10G is perfect for remote site validation and troubleshooting, eliminating the need to purchase multiple testers, or to carry a fragile laptop PC or tablet. Android apps, from our dedicated app store, make the user’s workflow more efficient by expanding the usage of the instrument beyond testing, allowing the user to check trouble tickets, run speed tests, configure networked devices, and complete other tasks with its smartphone-like features.

An organization’s copper and fiber cable plant serves as the foundation of its network but knowing whether it is of sufficient quality to provide the bandwidth required by the business can be a challenge! Network professionals must have confidence that their network will transport data, error-free, at the maximum speed possible. Downtime or intermittent loss and errors is simply not an option. Quality of network components and workmanship of installation is critical, but typical cable certification testers can be very expensive, single-purpose tools – making them cost-prohibitive for many installers and end-users. To address this NetAlly has introduced a NEW LANBERT™ media qualification app that provides a simple and fast method of assessing the quality of transmission and available bandwidth. Available on both the EtherScope® nXG and LinkRunner 10G, LANBERT generates and measures the transmission of line-rate Ethernet frames over your network cabling infrastructure, qualifying its ability to support 1G/10G on fiber and 100M/1G/2.5G/5G/10G on copper links.

While other testers may offer similar capabilities, standard Layer 2-only Ethernet access link testing will not validate layer-3 enterprise switches and routers. Because it does not test the IP (Internet Protocol) layer, this methodology cannot pass through Layer 3 devices. However, the LinkRunner 10G also provides a Layer 3 line-rate Network Performance Test app, that can transmit and test across an organizations entire network infrastructure end-to-end – not just one access link and switch. It also includes up to 4 streams with individual L2 and L3 QoS and VLAN controls, essential capabilities for truly understanding the capacity and quality of packet transmission, enabling network engineers to complete a wide array of testing and validation with a single tester!

To compliment its portfolio of handheld testers, and serving as a centralized test results, analysis, and tester management system, NetAlly provides a complementary Link-Live™ Cloud Service that transforms team workflows with the ability to quickly and easily log, document, and report test activity from all NetAlly hand-held network testers and analyzers. Test results are automatically uploaded to the dashboard for project management, analysis, collaboration and reporting with the option of uploading additional files, screenshots, images, profiles, packet captures, location information, and comments anytime. The Link-Live™ Cloud Service also enable the LinkRunner 10G to discover an organizations network to produce a Network Topology map with a single button press, providing visibility of who and what is where on your network.

Panduit: Single Pair Ethernet

Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) is Ethernet transmission over a balanced pair of conductors. 10Mb/s SPE makes it possible to bring Ethernet to the edge of OT networks. SPE focuses on supporting Ethernet transmission on a “balanced pair of conductors.” SPE media is commonly twisted pair cabling; the “balanced pair” includes backplane applications meaning SPE drives migration to Ethernet in physical layers like those inside IT equipment.

Benefits of SPE in OT networks include:

•             The continuation to build OT networks while gaining the advantages of Ethernet

•             Seamless single protocol network from application edge to the cloud; this simplifies network design and operation, eliminating the support and translation of legacy network protocols used in OT networks

•             SPE delivers Ethernet that is designed to support your custom build network process

•             Enhanced security versus vulnerable legacy networks; SPE provides robust security found in IP networks

•             Optional power delivery can transform OT network control power infrastructure; SPE allows a single connection with control power and communications transforming the network edge

Tripp Lite: Robotic Fiber Panel System with Mini Chassis

Tripp Lite’s Robotic Fiber Panel Systems with Mini Chassis are innovative solutions for optimizing fiber network management and resolving network connection issues to minimize downtime. Using remote control and automated robotic latching, these rack-mounted systems reconfigure layer 1 fiber connections quickly and precisely, saving IT managers time and money while increasing efficiency. This efficiency reduces the need to purchase new equipment and lowers operating expenses.

Compact Size: Requiring only 7U of rack space, the Robotic Fiber Panel Systems with Mini Chassis are the perfect fit for micro/modular data centers, containerized data centers, edge computing installations, remote computing sites, colocation facilities, test labs and telco access networks. The mini chassis gives IT managers with smaller installations and less available rack space an alternative to Tripp Lite’s full-size 10U options.

Speed and Precision: Available in singlemode (NRFP-204SM-MINI) and multimode (NRFP-204MM-MINI) models, these systems have 204 LC fiber ports and use robotic latching technology to perform connections between switches and servers in just 15 seconds. This is a tremendous savings in time and money, compared to the hours or days it may take for on-site support to arrive and address an issue. The two robotic arms move cables into place with precision, eliminating the human error and damage that can occur over time with manual connections.

Security and Compliance: The installation is also more secure with automated operation, since the need for on-site access is limited and the Robotic Fiber Panel Systems with Mini Chassis provide an audit trail of network connections to boost regulatory compliance.

Efficiency : A software interface allows IT managers to schedule automated tasks for managing under-utilized and over-utilized connections from any remote location, helping create a fiber network that is more efficient, convenient and cost-effective. These tasks can be planned to meet immediate business needs without dependence on personnel availability or on-site visits.

Adaptability: The Robotic Fiber Panel Systems with Mini Chassis can regularly reconfigure up to 102 duplex fiber connections. The systems also address the future needs of installations, such as a growing bandwidth-on-demand service, because they can be scaled to support nearly 500,000 ports and configured to accommodate all optical signals and all network protocols.

A Good Investment: Automated connections, remote scheduling and future-proof technology make the Robotic Fiber Panel Systems with Mini Chassis a good investment for fiber installations. The overall improved infrastructure efficiency reduces the need for capital expenditures for new equipment and lowers operating expenses. In addition, simplifying fiber network management provides more time to focus on higher-level technology decisions.

Sponsored Recommendations

imVision® - Industry's Leading Automated Infrastructure Management (AIM) Solution

May 29, 2024
It's hard to manage what you can't see. Read more about how you can get visiability into your connected environment.

Global support of Copper networks

May 29, 2024
CommScope designs, manufactures, installs and supports networks around the world. Take a look at CommScope’s copper operations, the products we support, our manufacturing locations...

Adapt to higher fiber counts

May 29, 2024
Learn more on how new innovations help Data Centers adapt to higher fiber counts.

Going the Distance with Copper

May 29, 2024
CommScopes newest SYSTIMAX 2.0 copper solution is ready to run the distanceand then some.