Now in its ninth year, the Cabling Innovators Awards program has consistently featured test equipment, technologies, and platforms among its honorees—and with good reason. As information and communications technology (ICT) networks diversify and support multiple building systems, the need to ensure these systems’ capabilities has never been more important. Accordingly, great engineering prowess is put to work on a daily basis to develop and evolve the test capabilities that are available to ICT installers and technicians. Here are the test products and platforms we’re honoring this year.
OTDR adapters from AEM
AEM Precision Cable Test has always strived to provide ICT professionals, system integrators and network owners with field test solutions that take a different approach to providing exceptional value to the end user by combining what would typically require three to four different pieces of test equipment to achieve what we provide in a single multifunction test solution. This not only provides users with a faster ROI for their test equipment investment, but it also allows them to offer new lines of revenue, but providing testing capabilities that span the installation to implementation phase of a project.
On May 23, 2023, AEM announced further expansion of the multifunction test platform with the release of Singlemode and Multimode Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) test adapters, as requested by the end user community. Current users of both TestPro and the Network Service Assistant (NSA) can expand their current test platform by simply adding this test adapter.
The company explains, “As we embarked on this project, a primary design requirement was that all OTDR circuitry had to be supported within our small form factor test adapter, as requiring the user to purchase another test platform to support OTDR test capability was simply not an option. AEM’s engineering team achieved a successful milestone in design, by meeting the objective to keep all circuitry needed to support this sophisticated measurement technology within our small form factor test adapters, to allow users to expand the test platform for which they have already made an investment.”
The Singlemode and Multimode OTDR test adapters give technicians the ability to easily pinpoint the location of broken fiber or other loss events causing an optical loss test to fail. When used with TestPro, which already provides Tier 1 fiber optic certification, users can additionally achieve Tier 2 fiber optic certification within the same test platform they certify 4-pair copper cabling, Single Pair Ethernet, validate link speed and PoE load, and even perform both wired and wireless network connectivity testing and troubleshooting. When used with the Network Service Assistant, which provides loopback fiber optic testing, users can now pinpoint a fiber optic loss event within the same test platform they perform Certi-lite testing on 4-pair cabling, validate link speed and PoE load, and even perform both wired and wireless network connectivity testing and troubleshooting.
Softing’s WireXpert 500
In 2022, Softing Inc. launched the WireXpert 500, cable tester for cable certification of structured cabling. The WireXpert 500 solved two key customer challenges, the expensiveness of cable certification equipment and that cable contractors often certify (test) the cables after installation in 1-person teams.
Softing lauched the WireXpert 500, licensed for cable certification of any cable type up to CAT 6 and CAT 6A recognizing that CAT 7 and CAT 8 are rare, and that there is no need for customers to pay for this capability if never used. So the company launched a scaled down certifier, with all of the certification standards, but without rarely used cable types.
Regarding the second challenge, Dual Control System solves it by having graphical screens on both testers, at both ends of the cable. A large cable contractor had multiple critical jobs going on in parallel. The cable contractor was short staffed, and had to send out personnel in 1-person teams to get the jobs done. With the launch of the WireXpert 500, the cable contractor was able to purchase two sets of WireXpert 500 for the same price as a single cable certifier kit from others. This is a game changer by itself, but further more, while on the project, cable testing efficiency was increased by 50% due to the Dual Control System feature.
LanTEK IV-S from TREND Networks
LanTEK IV-S is TREND Networks’ fastest, most powerful, and most easy-to-use certifier with a full-featured cloud-based project management solution, and has a dual-core processor and enough memory storage to save 5,000 tests.
With LanTEK IV-S, users can conduct and save a Cat6A test within 7 seconds. LanTEK IV-S is also future-ready as the enhanced functionality also certifies links up to Cat8.1 and Cat8.2 and by making future software updates automatically done via Wi-Fi.
LanTEK IV-S has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, enabling on-site engineers, technicians, and installers to wirelessly upload results to the TREND AnyWARE Cloud test management system, preventing data from being lost or delayed.
The cloud-based system can also help eliminate costly setup errors. All project information can be pre-configured in the cloud by project managers based anywhere, helping installers get started faster on-site and supporting greater accuracy.
With the TeamViewer Live Support function it's possible to connect to the LanTEK IV-S certifier remotely, minimizing troubleshooting time, increasing collaboration, and reducing costly call-backs to site.
LanTEK IV-S also includes the patented VisiLINQ™ permanent link adapter to increases productivity by giving users everything needed to initiate testing on the certifier and view the results in the palm of their hand, saving time and helping technicians to work smarter.