Editor's Picks

Sumitomo Electric Lightwave's 4th Level DataCenter Solutions division has introduced LGX and High Density (HD) patch panels that the company claims are the industry's first to integrate LGX and HD connectivity into one panel.

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From the March, 2014 Issue of Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine

Compiled by Matt Vincent

Sumitomo debuts LGX-HD combo patch panels for data centers

Sumitomo Electric Lightwave's 4th Level DataCenter Solutions division has introduced LGX and High Density (HD) patch panels that the company claims are the industry's first to integrate LGX and HD connectivity into one panel.1403cimeditpicks Photo1

Aimed especially at MSO data centers, Sumitomo says the primary differentiating factor of its new 4th Level 1, 2, 3, and 4RU patch panels is that they can be configured for various module footprints, including LGX and HD, with an option for both in the same panel. The company notes that, prior to the new 4th Level patch panels, network installers would have to purchase a separate panel for LGX applications and another designed for their HD connectivity projects.

The 2RU model of the new panel can be configured with up to 288 LC connectors. The company contends that, by simply interchanging faceplates and standard cassette products from different manufacturers, installers and network technicians may realize increased flexibility, versatility in network design, and hardware cost savings.

Other features of the new patch panels include: a user friendly design with shelf trays able to tilt and slide out for easy cable management access; a tray stop design that prevents unplanned tray egress from the patch panel; a rugged construction of heavy gauge powder-coated aluminum for extended product life; and mounting brackets that allow forward and backward adjustments within a standard 19-inch relay rack.

The new 4th Level patch panels are intended for data center, storage area network (SAN), and local area network (LAN) applications, with customized configurations available. The new panels, along with other new 4th Level data center products from Sumitomo, were unveiled at the 2014 BICSI Winter Conference and Exposition in February.

Thomas & Betts retools iPad mobile app1403cimeditpicks Photo2

The recent 2.0 upgrade to the T&B Mobile iPad application from Thomas & Betts (T&B) features a new tools button to retrieve literature, view videos and even scan barcodes on T&B product packaging.

T&B Mobile 2.0 is an upgrade to the company's original mobile application, which was launched in April 2013. In addition to the new tools button for literature and video, the application upgrade features an expanded favorites folder that holds up to 30 documents, all of which can be sent via e-mail or saved for future reference. The upgraded application also features a new PDF reader for more efficient navigation.

"The new T&B Mobile 2.0 application enables users to retrieve catalogs, brochures, videos and other support tools quickly and easily," comments Chad Smith, vice president, product management and marketing, at Thomas & Betts. "The tools are organized around our served markets, solutions and product categories. We also have added an innovative barcode scanning tool that allows a user to scan a barcode and link directly to our rich attributed data and web content."

Platinum Tools updates drywall saw

Platinum Tools recently announced the launch of its updated PRO Drywall Saw (Part No. 10711).1403cimeditpicks Photo3

With an MSRP of $12.95 and now shipping, the PRO drywall saw with included sheath is billed as an ideal tool for cutting drywall, plywood, plasterboard, wallboard, plastic paneling, and ceiling tile. "Designed with the professional installer in mind, the PRO drywall saw's teeth are precision-ground for fast and effortless cutting in both directions, both push and pull," explains John Phillips, Platinum Tools' product manager. "The blade is an extra-thick 1.8 mm to prevent bending and breaking during use, whether cutting, punching, or scoring."

The company says the saw's heavy-duty handle is designed with a non-slip grip for comfort and safety, a hardened blade tip designed to score or punch with ease, a clog-free hardened steel blade, and a one-piece handle and blade design. "Extremely rugged and durable, the PRO drywall saw also has a rust resistant electrophoretic deposition on the blade," adds Platinum's Phillips. "Ideal for numerous applications, this saw is a must have for the discerning installer and technician."

Brother adds new industrial handheld labeling tool1403ciminstall Photo 1

Brother Mobile Solutions (BMS) recently unveiled its P-touch EDGE PT-E500 industrial handheld labeling tool. According to the company, the PT-E500 is designed for professional cabling contractors and installers with software, connectivity and printing capabilities designed to enable fast, easy creation of clear, durable laminated labels for wire, cable and electrical installations of virtually every type and size.

The handheld labeler uses easy-to-load, snap-in cartridges to generate labels for marking copper and fiber wire and cables, faceplates, patch panels, punch blocks, racks, cabinets and more, says the company. With just a few keystrokes, on-site installers can quickly format and print a variety of label types up to 24mm wide, including labels that conform to the ANSI/EIA/TIA-606B identifier format.

"An effective cable management system is the hallmark of a professional installation and high quality, long-lasting labeling is essential to achieving this goal," says Craig Robinson, manager of business development for BMS. "With that in mind, we developed the P-touch EDGE PT-E500 with a rich blend of features and functionality designed to speed workflow efficiency and productivity, even in large installations."

The Brother P-touch EDGE PT-E500 labeling tool ships with a suite of software, carrying case, Li-ion battery and adapter, and Brother's exclusive 2-year limited exchange warranty. The new product was shown for the first time in February at the 2014 BICSI Winter Conference and Exhibition.

Brother's Robinson concludes, "More than just a standalone label printer, the new EDGE product is a complete, industrial-grade labeling toolkit offering users a wide range of options, such as formatting labels from built-in templates or custom designing labels stored in memory from a computer database. Yet it is remarkably simple to pick up and use, thanks to intuitive navigation, a QWERTY keyboard and a large, backlit LCD display screen with application icons."

You can read an article authored by Craig Robinson in this issue.

Intelligent module monitors for data center circuit overloads1403cimeditpicks Photo5

Snake Tray, a manufacturer of cable management and power/data distribution devices, recenetly announced the availability of its new "IT-addressable" current monitoring power reception module. The module provides data center managers with the ability to observe the current of four independent power receptacles, either numerically displayed on the device or offsite using HTML protocol.

Via the module, data center managers can easily set alarm criteria for circuit overloads, says the company. The new equipment integrates with all Snake Tray cable trays or can be mounted on cabinets and racks.

TE Connectivity adds new FlexWave Prism DAS high-density modules1403cimeditpicks Photo6

TE Connectivity has introduced additional high-density modules for its FlexWave Prism distributed antenna system (DAS), enabling the units to support up to 75 MHz per band with two frequency bands per module. TE contends that the new FlexWave Prism modules "are an excellent long-term investment in DAS infrastructure because they support so many different frequencies with high power output." The company says that use of the new modules will allow a 2-bay FlexWave Prism remote unit to support up to four frequency bands, 40 watts, or up to 300 MHz of spectrum.

By using digital simulcast technology to deliver services between the DAS headend and remote units, the new FlexWave Prism module enables operators to easily shift capacity from one area to another as subscriber needs dictate, explains TE. The digital DAS reaches up to 20 kilometers to serve urban and suburban areas as well as stadiums, office parks, and other facilities. By supporting multiple frequency bands with a single module, TE says the new modules easily enable migration from 3G to 4G services as well as multi-operator applications where two or more mobile operators share a power amplifier. The module is also designed to ease delivery of 1800-MHz, 2100-MHz, or 2600-MHz MIMO and 800-MHz digital dividend services in the EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions of the world.

The company notes that the new high-density modules deliver the same power and frequency band support of the prior generation of FlexWave Prism modules, but are now housed in a 40-percent smaller remote unit for up to 40 watt or four-band applications. The new product is physically smaller and more energy efficient because it consumes less power. "The FlexWave Prism DAS supports multi-operator, multi-protocol services in a compact, cost-effective, and power-efficient manner," concludes Peter Wraight, vice president, TE Wireless. "It is ideal for mobile operators who want to deploy DAS with multiple frequencies and high power levels without the complexity of multiple DAS equipment overlays."

Single-channel encoder converts analog camera stream into ONVIF-compliant IP video1403cimeditpicks Photo7

Network video management systems specialist Vicon Industries has introduced its VN-901T single-channel video encoder, which changes NTSC or PAL video from any analog camera into an ONVIF-compliant video stream that can be integrated into most IP video management systems, including ViconNet VMS.

The device transmits H.264 high-profile, MPEG-4 and M-JPEG video compression formats with dual streaming. All camera features are supported through the encoder, including PTZ. The device may be powered either by PoE or 12 VDC/24 VAC. Two alarm inputs, one relay control output, 1 PTZ port, and a line-level microphone input are provided.

"In situations where customers are upgrading to an IP solution, there is sometimes an isolated, high-end analog camera that is performing well and would be terribly expensive to replace with an IP-equivalent model," comments Margie Gurwin, Vicon's director of marketing. "The single-channel VN-901T encoder is perfect for these instances." The VN-901T is available now.

Axis Communications holds inaugural school security symposium

Network video surveillance specialist Axis Communications recently hosted its first School Security Solutions Symposium to discuss planning and technology trends in school security. The event was held at the Axis Experience Center in Chelmsford, MA on November 8. Nearly 30 local school practitioners, law enforcement professionals, industry consultants and technology vendors participated in 10 sessions, including a focus group discussion, technology expo and two keynote presentations on implementing school safety and emergency response plans and an overview of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).

Nicholas Pasquarosa, Jr., a Yarmouth Police school resource officer for the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District, spoke to attendees about the importance of creating a plan and gaining support from faculty, IT, facilities and first responders. "Don't wait until an incident to bring your team together," Pasquarosa said. "We hope the unimaginable never happens, but if it does, you need to be prepared. Every minute you spend planning and training now could make the difference in an emergency situation."

School safety plans are not one size fits all and must be adapted to changing threats, Pasquarosa went on to explain. "You can't copy and paste a security plan because every school is different. Create a plan specifically for your school, your faculty and your community," he advised. Also at the event, James Smith, a security consultant and CPTED practitioner, discussed how drug activity, community crime rate, the presence of gangs and outsiders and even traffic patterns for vehicles and pedestrians can have significant impact on the ability to establish and maintain a safe school.

"Schools can implement security procedures and equipment upgrades identified through a CPTED audit on an incremental basis to reduce costs," Smith said. "Both existing and new school facilities under development can greatly benefit from new, more efficient lighting and other security technologies."

The forum agenda emphasized how planning and technology can address key areas of school security, including awareness, proactive, action, reaction and recovery. Attendees learned about some of the latest technologies for IP video surveillance from Axis, video synopsis technology from BriefCam, smartphone alert applications from ELERTS, Genetec video management software and outdoor lighting based physical security solutions from TOTUS Solutions.

"The unfortunate reality today is that schools are facing destruction of property, theft, bullying and even violence. It's more important than ever for schools and local law enforcement to be proactive and develop school security plans," comments Steve Surfaro, security industry liaison, Axis Communications, Inc. "As schools continue to put measures in place, we felt it was important to provide a platform for these discussions and the opportunity to share best practices and learn from each other's experiences."

Axis plans to host similar educational symposiums in major U.S. cities throughout 2014.

CommScope sells off copper-clad aluminum, steel assets

Last December, CommScope Holding Company, Inc. announced that it has agreed to sell certain assets of its CommScope BiMetals business to Copperweld Bimetallics, LLC, a subsidiary of Fushi Copperweld with facilities in the United States, Asia and Europe. The economic terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction involves the sale of equipment associated with the manufacture of all copper-clad aluminum and copper-clad steel products.

CommScope says it will retain the processing equipment needed for the production of its GroundSmart grounding solutions, and will continue to manufacture and sell GroundSmart for use in grounding utility and communications networks. In addition, the global supplier of infrastructure for communications networks will close its Statesville, NC site as a result of excess manufacturing capacity created by these changes to its BiMetals business.

CommScope plans to redeploy the manufacturing of its GroundSmart, E2O (Electrical-to-Optical) line of hybrid fiber, conduit and coaxial products, ConQuest Toneable Conduit and ConQuest Cable-in-Conduit (CIC) products to nearby North Carolina facilities. The company expects some of the Statesville employees will be able to continue employment at either its Catawba or Claremont facilities. The transition of operations was expected to begin almost immediately and should take between 6 and 12 months to complete.

The parties have also entered into a supply agreement pursuant to which Copperweld will supply CommScope with bimetallic wire as needed for the manufacture of cables and other products.

Analyst: WLAN growth stalling in 802.11ac transition

Infonetics Research recently released its 3rd quarter (3Q13) "Wireless LAN Equipment and WiFi Phones" report, which tracks access points, WLAN controllers, and WiFi phones for the enterprise. According to the analyst, while worldwide enterprise wireless LAN (WLAN) equipment revenue edged up 1 percent sequentially in 3Q13, to $1.2 billion, the report reveals that in North America and Asia Pacific, WLAN growth slowed sharply in 3Q13. "After 15 quarters of double-digit year-over-year growth, WLAN equipment growth fell below the 10-percent mark in the third quarter of 2013, due to the 802.11n transition nearing completion and 802.11ac not yet having a significant effect on the market," reveals Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics Research.

The new market report notes that 3Q13 marks the first full quarter in which 802.11ac products were widely available, and 3 percent of access points sold were based on this new standard. The analysis shows that independent access point revenue is down 40 percent year-over-year in 3Q13, reflecting the shift toward centrally managed WLAN. "Still, we consider this a temporary slowdown and expect growth to reaccelerate in the coming years as buyers focus on their WLAN infrastructure to support the growth of wireless devices and enable BYOD and employee mobility," Machowinski adds.

Meanwhile, despite the slowdown in North America, the EMEA market for wireless equipment is seen doing well, despite relatively weaker economic conditions. Around the industry, number-one vendor Cisco's WLAN revenue share is up a half-point in 3Q13 from 2Q13, and up over 4 points from 3Q12. Also, after a tough couple of years, WiFi phone shipments are growing again on a year-over-year basis, finds the report. Infonetics' quarterly WLAN equipment and WiFi phones report provides worldwide and regional market size, vendor market share, forecasts through 2017, analysis, and trends for WLAN infrastructure, including access points by type and technology, WLAN controllers, and enterprise single-mode WiFi phones. Vendors tracked by the report includ Alcatel-Lucent, Aruba, Brocade, Buffalo, Cisco, D-Link, Enterasys, Extreme, Juniper, Meru, Motorola, Netgear, HP, Ruckus, TP-Link, Ubiquiti and Xirrus.

Avigilon acquiring video-analytics provider VideoIQ

Avigilon announced it acquired video-analytics company VideoIQ for $32 million in cash.

When the acquisition was announced in late 2013, Avigilon's president and chief executive officer Alexander Fernandes commented, "VideoIQ's analytics solution complements Avigilon's innovative line of products. This acquisition will give us sophisticated, commercially proven analytics technology supported by one of the leading analytics development teams in the industry. VideoIQ is transforming the future of intelligent surveillance and I am pleased to welcome the team to Avigilon."

VideoIQ, founded in 2006, uses the acronym BRAIN to describe its analytics capabilities. Its Bootstrap Response Active Intelligence Node (or Network) "is a technology that enables cameras to ‘see' and alert you when something is outside of ‘the norm,'" the company explains on its website. "Most other analysis systems are ‘hard-wired' with specific objects and scenarios," VideoIQ continues. "They can't learn and adapt. That's where VideoIQ is different. Our technology learns from experience and improves the system with its feedback and intelligence."

In its announcement of the acquisition, Avigilon said VideoIQ's Billerica, MA-based "highly skilled and experienced workforce will extend Avigilon's growing team." Avigilon added that VideoIQ has approximately 30 employees. VideoIQ's website lists Tenaya Capital, Matrix Partners and Atlas Ventures as investors in the company. The company had approximately $11 million in revenue in 2013.

Avigilon's CEO Fernandes concluded, "Over time, as we integrate VideoIQ's technology into the Avigilon system, we will expand our end-to-end high-definition surveillance solutions to include robust analytics capabilities, giving end users the ability to prevent crime proactively and more effectively analyze large amounts of data."

ITU says G.fast standard to be finalized this year

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) says that the physical-layer protocol aspects of G.fast--which is expected to be the technology that brings the ability to support 500 Mbits/sec or more to copper-based broadband access networks--have reached the stability required to initiate the standard's approval procedure.

Recommendation ITU-T G.9701 "Fast Access to Subscriber Terminals - Physical layer specification" has reached first-stage approval, the ITU announced. This will enable chip developers to work on G.fast chip design and testing efforts more aggressively, the organization says. Communicating the results of these efforts to ITU-T Study Group 15 should hasten finalizing G.9701 and lead to finalizing G.fast as early as April 2014, the ITU adds.

That timeline would see G.9701 receive final approval in conjunction with ITU-T G.9700, which will specify methods to ensure that G.fast equipment will not interfere with broadcast services such as FM radio.

The ITU standardization work also parallels the Broadband Forum's Fibre to the Distribution Point (FTTdp) system architecture project, which will define an architecture that would bring fiber close enough to subscribers to let existing copper lines do the rest via G.fast. The Broadband Forum has begun developing a testing suite for G.fast systems, which will include test plans for interoperability events, system performance, and functional testing. The Broadband Forum also is working on a framework whitepaper, and possibly also a certification program, the ITU says.

The final specification is expected to address three speed/reach scenarios: 500 Mbits/sec at 100 m; 200 Mbits/sec at 200 m; 150 Mbits/sec at 250 m. Meanwhile, systems houses have already experimented with increasing G.fast data rates to 1 Gbit/sec. For example, Alcatel-Lucent has said it can support 1-Gbit/sec data rates over 70 m.

Eaton unveils IP network-based mass notification systems

Power management company Eaton announced that its Cooper Notification business has introduced a new line of Internet Protocol (IP) network-based mass notification systems (MNS). The newest solution from the company's ALERiTY line of unified interoperable platform offers the proprietary WAVES over IP (WoIP) technology for emergency communications.

"Our advanced IP-based MNS furthers our commitment of developing innovative solutions that provide reliability, ease-of-use and interoperability," comments Scott Hearn, president of Eaton's Cooper Notification business. "For customers, this provides a one-click solution that can launch critical messages across all three layers of MNS: in-building, wide-area and distributed recipient. For our partners, the system is easy to install and maintain with the ability to remotely monitor and upgrade the system."

According to the company, through advanced programming interfaces, the ALERiTY platform offers full-featured, bidirectional interoperability, integrating with other systems, software and devices for enhanced situational awareness. Examples include fire alarm control panels (FACP), chemical sensors, detection systems and paging systems.

The WoIP mass notification network comprises a collection of secure, robust Ethernet communication devices, dubbed the IP Communicators (IPC) line. This enterprise system solution allows organizations to leverage their local area network (LAN) or utilize the IPC private network to send audible, visual and data messages. Through Ethernet radios, a wireless solution is also available.

The system also allows multiple sites and facilities located anywhere in the world to be tied together through a Web-client Graphical User Interface (GUI) for managing global notification and system monitoring. System redundancy features allows multiple users to be simultaneously logged into the system for additional points of command and control.

BICSI releases 13th edition of TDMM

BICSI recently announced the release of the 13th edition of its Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual. The TDMM is the basis of course and examination material for BICSI's Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) credential and its Registered Information Technology Professional (RITP) credential. Beginning July 1, the RCDD course and exam will be updated to reflect the new information found in the 13th edition of the TDMM.

Among the updated information in the new edition is the incorporation of "new information to address the issues and solutions emerging for tomorrow's networks," the association said. "These topics include distributed antenna systems (DAS), passive optical networks (PONs) for within buildings and IP infrastructure for AV systems." Additionally, the 13th edition TDMM updates existing practices to current technology for data networks.

"Since 1984, the TDMM has been the definitive reference manual for ITS, telecommunications and information communications technology infrastructure design," BICSI added. "Written by industry experts serving within a vast array of industries, as well as the telecommunications infrastructure supply chain, the TDMM, 13th edition, provides critical design information and practice for today's and tomorrow's networks."

BICSI past president Jerry Bowman, RCDD, NTS, CISSP, CPP, CDCDP, commented, "As with its predecessors, the 13th edition TDMM emphasizes recommendations for best practices drawn from experts around the world. This updated edition once again provides deep reference information on the standards and codes that impact our readership. Whether the reader is a newcomer or seasoned veteran to IT infrastructure design, the 13th edition TDMM is an indispensable reference that completes any reference library."

The manual is available in print and downloadable version.

NASCAR's Dover Speedway installs DAS throughout venue

Dover International Speedway and American Tower, Inc. announced a new partnership that will see a distributed antenna system (DAS) installed at the racetrack prior to the venue's Spring race weekend in 2014. Encompassing a series of hundreds of antennas, the DAS will be installed strategically throughout the venue, including the site's grandstands, FanZone, Monster FunZone, Hospitality Tent Village, Victory Plaza and within the colocated Dover Downs Hotel & Casino.

The DAS will improve cellular telephone service and increase capacity for all participating carriers on the racetrack's NASCAR event weekends, providing an upgraded alternative to relying on the external networks of the wireless carriers, which become overburdened with the dense population concentration at the track during races. "Essentially, the DAS will enhance mobile connectivity for our fans, sponsors, media and race teams," comments Mike Tatoian, executive vice president and COO of Dover Motorsports, Inc. "With the evolution of smartphone technology, and the ability for our fans to get so much more out of their experience through channels like the NASCAR mobile app, connectivity is key while attending race weekends."

Amendment to 802.11ac spec unveils MU MIMO technology

At the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, the IEEE announced approval of the IEEE 802.11ac-2013 specification, intended to foster higher multi-user throughput in wireless local area networks (WLANs). The new amendment to the original 802.11ac WiFi spec is intended to improve WLAN user experience by providing data rates up to 7 Gbits/sec in the 5-GHz band--more than 10x the speed that was previously standardized.

According to IEEE, the new IEEE 802.11ac specification adds channel bandwidths of 80 MHz and 160 MHz with both contiguous and non-contiguous 160-MHz channels for flexible channel assignment. It adds higher-order modulation in the form of 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), providing an additional 33-percent improvement in data rate. A further doubling of the data rate is achieved by increasing the maximum number of spatial streams to eight.

Significantly, the IEEE 802.11ac amendment also introduces a revolutionary new technology to support multiple concurrent downlink transmissions, referred to as "multi-user multiple-input, multiple- output" (MU MIMO). By using smart antenna technology, MU MIMO enables more efficient spectrum use, higher system capacity and reduced latency by supporting up to four simultaneous user transmissions. This is particularly useful for client devices with a limited number of antennas, such as smartphones and tablets.

Finally, the IEEE 802.11ac amendment streamlines the existing transmit beamforming mechanisms and is increasing the adoption of the technology across devices. Transmit beamforming is a valuable technology that significantly improves coverage, reliability and data rate performance.

"As wireless networks become more widely deployed, users are able to transition applications from fixed links to the convenience, freedom and versatility of wireless links," comments Bruce Kraemer, chair of the IEEE 802.11 working group. "These transitions create an evolutionary demand to enhance the capacity of wireless networks in order to support the increasing number of users, as well as new classes of applications with higher bandwidth requirements. Moreover, as WLAN usage of shared spectrum grows, the wireless access mechanisms need to be improved to achieve higher multiuser throughput. IEEE 802.11ac is intended to meet these evolving needs for higher data rates and to help enable new generations of data-intensive wireless applications."

Ripley Tools acquired in private-equity transaction

Capewell Components Company--parent of toolmaker Ripley--has been acquired by CapitalWorks LLC. Sperry, Mitchell and Company, which initiated the transaction, assisted in negotiations and served as financial advisor to Capewell in the deal, announced the acquisition on February 3.

Ripley is one of three divisions of Capewell Components Company. The others are the Capewell division, which designs and manufactures systems for the aerospace and defense industry, and the M.H. Rhodes Cramer division, which designs and manufactures electrical and mechanical timers and motors for commercial and industrial applications.

Combined, the three divisions of Capewell Components offer more than 2,800 branded products.

CapitalWorks LLC is a private-equity firm "focused on investing in well-run profitable lower middle-market companies," the announcement said. "The firm provides management teams with the capital and support needed to grow their businesses."

When asked if the acquisition might bring changes to the sales channel or operations of the Ripley division, Tom Pogacnik, a director with Sperry, Mitchell and Company, stated, "CapitalWorks plans on keeping the Ripley business as is. Obviously, they look to grow Ripley and make it even better.

"CapitalWorks is excited about the future of Ripley," he added. "They believe there is room to grow Ripley through expanding its geographic territories, as well as introducing new products."

Capewell had been a portfolio company of Meriwether Capital LLC, "a private equity investment firm based in New York City backed by members of the Rockefeller family," the announcement said. "Capewell Components Company had been owned by Meriwether since 1981." Capewell acquired Ripley in 1990.

Legrand acquiring Lastar and its Quiktron, C2G brands

Legrand announced in early February it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Lastar Inc., including the company's Quiktron and C2G divisions. Legrand said the transaction is subject to the completion of conditions for closing, which it expects to take place within a 30- to 60-day timeframe. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Lastar had global revenues exceeding $135 million in 2013 and employs slightly less than 1,000 employees, the company said.

"Quiktron, based in Albia, IA, is a leading manufacturer of copper and fiber-optic cable assemblies for the data communications distribution channel," Legrand said in its announcement of the acquisition agreement. "C2G, based in Moraine, OH, is a recognized leader of cabling and connectivity products for the A/V and IT industries … Legrand's acquisition of Lastar and its Quiktron and C2G brands would strengthen Legrand's position and capabilities in the data communications and A/V channels while simultaneously providing Legrand access to new customer segments."

"We are focused on providing a more integrated infrastructure solution including cable assemblies, connectivity, cabinets, racks, cable tray and cable management solutions that will help address our customers' requirements for next-generation data communications demands," said John Selldorff, president and chief executive officer of Legrand North America. "The acquisition of these leading organizations underscores Legrand's commitment to strategic growth in the data communications and A/V channels."

Legrand further explained, "New breeds of digital applications and an increasing demand for streaming content at home and at work have driven rapid growth in the data center and the continued buildout of higher-bandwidth communication infrastructures. Given the industry trend toward preterminated cable assemblies, Legrand would now offer its customers a broader array of custom and preterminated copper and fiber cable assemblies that are designed for flexibility and efficient installation.

"In joining Legrand, C2G would gain access to Legrand's global resources and capabilities in the acceleration of innovation, expansion of services, and the addition of select data communications and A/V products, over time, that are currently not available in their product catalog."

Lastar's president and chief executive officer Bill Diederich said, "Lastar's customers would undoubtedly benefit from the increased access to a diverse range of products and the complete turnkey suite of solutions that Legrand would offer. Upon formal completion, the acquisition would create new growth potential for all parties involved as the data communications, A/V and IT landscapes continue to evolve."

Mike Shane, co-founder and chairman of Lastar, added, "Lastar values providing customers an effortless experience, innovation in products and services, and caring for and communicating openly with its associates. We are happy to find new owners 30 years after founding the company, who share those values and who will give our team the opportunity to take Lastar's achievements to the next level."

Wireless connectors with reliable PIM performance1403cimeditpicks Extra Photo

Rosenberger recently announced availability of its 4.3-10 connector series for mobile-communications applications. "These 4.3-10 connectors were developed in cooperation by the renowned RF manufacturers Huber and Suhner, Rosenberger, Spinner and Telegartner," Rosenberger said, "and are designed to meet the rising performance needs of mobile network equipment and the demand for ongoing space reductions simultaneously.

"The IEC standardization of the 4.3-10 connectors is in progress," Rosenberger further explained. "The above manufacturers guarantee full intermateability of the connector series."

The connectors are available with screw-on, hand-screw and quick-lock coupling mechanisms. All types can be mated independently of torque, Rosenberger noted, "resulting in excellent, reliable and constant passive intermodulation (PIM) and also limiting installation failures." The company says other features of the connectors include very low PIM, excellent voltage standing wave radio (VSWR) values, and a high-density design that can save 40 percent of space compared to 7-16 connectors.

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