Wednesday, February 16, 2011

UL Requires New Holographic Labels for Communications Cable

To further enhance the integrity of the UL Mark, UL is introducing a holographic label requirement for a wide variety of cable categories. The new UL Marks include the use of secure golden holographic label material and color shifting inks to prevent unauthorized label reproduction.

This type of label has been proven an effective tool in deterring counterfeit products from entering the marketplace. Effective October 1, 2010 manufacturers will be required to apply holographic UL Marks for the products noted below. Although the holographic label is new, the remaining engineering marking information provided on the cable tags or reels and the methods for applying these markings remain unchanged.

• Communications Cable (DUZX/DUZX7)
• Communications Cable Verified to UL Performance Category Program (DUZX)
• Data Transmission Cable Verified in Accordance With National or International Specifications (DVBI)
• Community Antenna Television Cable (DVCS)
• Data Processing Cable (EMRB)
• Non-Power-Limited Fire-Alarm Cable (HNHT)
• Power-Limited Fire-Alarm Cable (HNIR / HNIR7)
• Instrumentation Tray Cable (NYTT)
• Network Powered Broadband Communications Cable (PWIP)
• Optical Fiber Cable (QAYK/QAYK7)
• Power Limited Circuit Cable (QPTZ)

Code authorities have already begun to see cables with the new holographic labels during their inspections, and will see an increasing number of cables with these markings in the future. You can expect to see the UL symbol on the product and the new holographic UL Listing Mark on the attached tag, the reel, or the smallest unit container in which the cable is packaged. The UL symbol will still appear on the surface print of the cable, and can be either the complete UL in a circle, or the letters “UL” in parenthesis “(UL)”. Surface printing of the UL Certification Mark on the wire insulation or jacketed material is only permissible when the accompanying reel or smallest unit container is also provided with the UL holographic Listing Mark. Although manufacturers cannot add non-holographic labels to cable after October 1, 2010, it may take a while for cable with the non-holographic Listing Marks to be cleared from the supply chain.

An example of the UL holographic label on Cat5e Bulk Communications Cable offered at

Related Posts:
UL Warns About Counterfeit Communications Cable
UL Finds Performance & Safety Issues Found in Offshore Communications Cable
How Low Voltage Communications Cable is Made - Cat3, Cat5e, Cat6, OSP
25 Pair Cat3 Telephone Communications Cable Video
What is Plenum Communications Cable and When Should I use It
How To Make an Ethernet Cat5e/Cat6 Cable

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Interlock Armored Fiber Optic Cable or Non-Armored Fiber With Innerduct?

Fiber Optic Cable Installation:
Fiber optic cable is a great investment to any infrastructure, providing superior performance at much longer distances than traditional copper networks. When installing fiber optic cable, there's many factors to take into consideration. One of the most important, is how to protect your investment. Two of the most common routes to take are installing an innerduct, or buying fiber that has a layer of protection built in. Both have their pro's and con's, so lets take a look at each.

Fiber Optic Cable Installed in Innerduct:
Innerduct is a corrugated tube that surrounds your fiber optic cable giving it protection and acts as a pathway for the fiber to be pulled through. Innerduct comes in HDPE for outdoor use, PVC for indoor use and PLENUM for indoor use in plenum air spaces. Although innerduct is a great way to protect your fiber, it requires an extra step. This can result in higher labor costs, materials costs and possible additional equipment and freight fees. Long lengths of innerduct require very large wooden spools to be put on, which can be costly to ship and work with. Once the innerduct is installed, you proceed as usual: run your fiber optic cable, terminate and test it. Wouldn't it be easier if you could just run fiber and remove the innerduct step altogether? You can... keep reading.

Interlock Armored Fiber Optic Cable:
Interlock armored fiber cable is a great alternative to installing innerduct. Interlocking Armored Riser Cables are standard cables placed inside a spirally-wrapped aluminum interlocking armor for ruggedness and superior crush resistance. Designed for use in riser and general purpose environments for intrabuilding backbone and horizontal installations, these multifiber cables use individually jacketed TBII® Buffered Fibers enabling easy, consistent stripping and facilitating termination. This core is protected by a flexible, spiral-wrapped, aluminum interlocking armor that offers over seven times the crush protection compared to unarmored cables and easy one-step installation. With a flame-retardant outer jacket, this cable is particularly useful for heavy traffic or more challenging mechanical exposure conditions and applications requiring extra rugged cables. Interlocking armored fiber does have it's downfalls though. Future additions: when installing innerduct, you can reuse the cabling pathway to replace the fiber, or add additional fibers if you have extra space. This is a great way to maximize your investment. Without that innerduct installed, you will be starting the process all over again from the beginning. Pricing is also a concern. Interlock armored fiber is typically 3 times as expensive as regular non-armored fiber.

Here's a quick look at one of these cables from our YouTube Channel.

- Always install the correct fiber and innerduct based on your buildings fire safety codes
- Future proof your installation if possible. Install a larger innerduct than needed or buy an interlocking armored fiber with additional strands of fiber.
- Pre Terminated Fiber Cable: Can cut fiber installation by 75%. This is a great option for beginners or long time fiber installers. Pre terminated fiber is custom made to your exact specs, comes with a pulling eye for easy installation and includes test results.

Related Articles:
Pulling Fiber Optic Cable
How It's Made: Fiber Optic Cable
How To Install Fiber Optic Fan Out Kit for Loose Tube Fiber
Difference Between: Loose Tube Fiber and Tight Buffered Fiber
How To Terminate Fiber Optic Cable Using AFL FAST Connectors    

"By Mercy Salinas"