Thursday, December 27, 2012

Trenching for Telecommunication Cable and Fiber Optic

No doubt that trenching for direct burial cable is hard work but before you get to that you might what to know what method is best for you. Let's get into the 3 methods used for trenching.

First we have your hand dig method and this is used when there is not enough room for machinery or when extra precautions and care must be used to avoid an obstacle.

Here's an example of the hand dig method in action from YouTube.



Your second method is using a backhoe. A trencher might not be accessible in certain areas of your property. Now let's check out a backhoe in action.



When your cable route is open and free from obstacles a trencher is the preferred method for trenching. Smaller trenchers and walk behind types are typically used for small diameter cable installations and short cable runs, larger trenchers are of course for larger cable installations.




Depending on the method you decide to use, trench width can range from 3 inches to 24 inches and up to 7.5 feet deep. Don't forget to check out your Frost Depth Line.

Small cables may be installed using a less cumbersome machine that can be controlled by an individual walking behind it and readily avoiding obstructions. While some machines have limited use for long runs or large sizes of cables, it may be effective in placing smaller lateral cables or service wires. Many different machines are available, and your OSP installation should be focused on determining the best route and not the machinery for cable placement.

"By Mercy Salinas"


Friday, December 14, 2012

Network cable qualification tester vs. certification tester

I get sucked into this discussion constantly and it always ends up being a long conversation that goes round and round and ends up going nowhere.

Our good buddy Ron with Ideal Industries discusses the differences of a qualifier vs certifier when the quality of your network cabling is in question.


Did you notice the standards chart did not include "Cat5 Big E" or "Cat5e 350mhz"? Did you find a standard for "Cat6E"? Those are probably topics that you'll have to educate your customer on.

Questions, comments? Leave them below.

"By Mercy Salinas"   

Monday, December 10, 2012

What's my frost depth line for OSP copper and fiber cable?

In one of our previous blog post we talked about the burial depth of your copper and fiber cable, how copper cable should be at a minimum of 24 inches and how fiber should be at a minimum of 1 meter. Let's dig more into the attached term "Minimum" and how the frost line in your area will change that.

The frost line is the depth to which water in the soil will freeze in the winter. You should know this before you lay your cable down, water expands as it freezes and will cause damage to your communications investment.

The frost line will vary depending on your location and can range from 3 to 6 feet. An easy way to determine your line is by examining a frost line map.



National frost depth maps are only a reference, you should check with your local building inspector for a more accurate measurement for your area.



I hope this has shed some more light into the "Minimum" term of your burial cable depth. Measure twice cut once!

Any other questions? Comments? Leave them below.

"By Mercy Salinas"

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How deep should you bury your copper feeder cable, fiber cable?

One of the most common questions we get is "How deep am I going to bury this wire" when it comes to our outside plant copper PE89 cable and outside plant fiber optic cable. Let's find out.

Most OSP cable runs are never as easy as digging a trench, lay cable, done. Your burial depth will be affected by a number of things, for example:

- Crossing under railroad tacks, under roads and highways

- Lakes, ponds and rivers

- Natural obstacles like rocks and trees

- Outside industrial locations with possible soil contamination

- The Frost Depth Line for your location

Now that your thinking about your entire run a bit more, your copper cable should be placed at a minimum depth of 24 inches (610 mm). However, don't only think about what obstacles are in the way of the trencher but find out what future plans the property may have. For example, maybe an area of your run has future excavation on it's mind. Road grading alone takes 24 inches of the top, so you should bury your cable at least 48 inches. You should also double check the requirements of your local code.

If your installing an OSP fiber optic cable, they should be buried at a minimum depth of 3.28 feet (1 Meter) but once again, think about the future!



Site conditions will also be important when selecting your bore depth. Pipelines, sidewalks and roads are just a few examples of what will influence that decision. In these cases the AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) and owner set the minimum bore depth.

You also want to install an armored fiber optic cable for direct burial installations. An "Outdoor Rated Cable" is not enough to be warrantied. You must have an armor for direct burial applications.



Enclosures should provide sufficient space for splicing and proper storage. Enclosure can be in-ground or above ground type. Marker post are recommended to be placed at these locations. Don't forget, to prevent rodent and insect damage it's recommended that all in-ground enclosures with an open bottom have at least 6 inches of tamped gravel that covers the bottom of the enclosure. Pedestals should have gravel under it for at least 6 inches as well.

Oh, don't you feel better. Now install that cable!

"By Mercy Salinas"

Monday, November 26, 2012

Aerial cable installation and what you need to know

Aerial cabling has been around forever but this method does have the highest risk of taking a crap on you due to natural disasters, vehicle accidents, lightning strikes, falling tree limbs and so on. Aerial cable runs also detracts from the aesthetic appearance of the property and installation hardware will damage the exterior of your building. If an aerial cable installation is right for you some advantages will be, fast installation and easy access for maintenance. Check your local ordinance first, your aerial cable run may be restricted.


Your planned route must provide enough stabilized ground for your installation vehicle to be supported properly during the installation and later when maintenance is required. One of the most complex installations that comes to mind for us is a ski lift install requiring a PE38 cable be ran to the top of the mountain.

Here's an example of a PE38 cable from our YouTube Channel.



Pole placement should take into account your future cable capacity needs, pole type class, storm load requirement, optimum span lengths and minimum height clearance. Cable must also maintain sag clearance.

Class numbers are assigned to pole strengths with the strongest being class 1 and the weakest being class 10. Marked poles should indicated their class, species of timber, preservative treatment, and footage. If a pole is installed in a sloping ground, the depth of the pole set must be increased over the depth used for flat ground installation. An outside plant designer should know about the three definitions of pole loading: transverse storm loading, vertical loading and bending moments.

Your aerial cable suspended strand is available in two types, Class A for general use and Class C for corrosion prone areas. Proper selection should be made for pole to pole installation. The selection of span length should follow these guidelines: * Strand tension should not exceed 60% of breaking strength under storm loading conditions. * Strand tension should not exceed 70% of breaking strength with cable in place and a 300 pound load concentrated at mid span. * Sag should not exceed 10ft at a 60 degree Fahrenheit temperature, without any wind loading.

A self-supporting cable span length is limited by the simultaneous application of the two previous factors. Self-supporting cable is a special construction in which the sheath covers both the support strand and the telecom conductors. When tensioning a self-supporting cable, special clamping devices are required for the come-along to avoid cutting the polyethylene strand covering.

In almost all cases, a pole will require some type of guying hardware, which is available as side, head, anchor, pole to pole, or pole to stub guy.

You can place an aerial cable from a stationary reel or a moving reel in either of two ways. The first way, temporary pulleys or J hooks are installed at each pole, then the truck winch is fed through the pulleys, or hooks, and attached to the end of the cable.

The second way is the end point of the cable is attached to the first pole and the rest of the reel is moved to the next pole, etc. Temporary pulleys or J hooks are not needed, because the cable is attached to each pole as it is unreeled.

So maybe your thinking about direct burying your cable instead. Check out our other blog post on direct burial cable installation tips.

You might want to consider working with a outside plant designer, there is a lot of math and science involved in this type of installation. Maybe even make an investment into a OSP design reference manual to help you out.



Special thanks to Electrical Construction and Maintenance.


Any questions? Comments? Leave them below. Thanks!

"By Mercy Salinas"

Friday, November 16, 2012

Become PCI compliant using Fiber Optic Cable and Connectors

Recently we've been involved with retail establishments that have been updating and redesigning their entire network to comply with the PCI Standard. Before we get into fiber optics let's briefly get more into what PCI is.



PCI stands for Payment Card Industry data security standard. It's a set of 12 specific requirements that cover six different goals. It tells you how to be secure and why you need to be secure. Some of the goals are things like building and maintaining a secure network, protecting card holder data, regularly monitor and test your network. This would be considered the first part of the standard, covering everything from physical security to logical security.

Fiber optics would fall into the first part of the standard. Part two is considered PADSS, Payment Application Data Security Standard and part three is called the PTS, PIN Transaction System.

The PCI Security Standards Council was formed in September of 2006 by the five major credit card brands, VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JCB. Before 2006 each credit card had their own way of providing security. Since the inception of the PCI, they all now use these standards as the foundation of their security.

In recent months fiber optics has been and an excellent choice for replacing wireless transmission devices and for eliminating the need for repeaters and addition routers for those long copper Cat5e cable runs. Did you know you can get one gig of Ethernet on a 62.5 multimode cable up to around 750ft.

If your an Information Technology professional you might be thinking about what type of fiber cable construction might be best for your application. Let's take a look at a couple of different cables from our YouTube Channel



The above armored fiber optic cable is an awesome choice for direct burial installations but there are a couple of things you should know about. The loose tube design will make for more work during the termination process. The bigger diameter cable and weight can add to labor during cable pulling installation. The outdoor rating only allows you to enter the building no more than 50ft according to the National Electric Code.



The above interlocking armored fiber optic cable provides added protection and typically is installed for industrial and manufacturing facilities. You may also want to install it just to possibly prevent an accidental cut ensuing in taking down your network. The 50 micron glass design also pushes 10Gig speeds. The Interlocking metal clad design also saves on the labor of running a conduit then pulling your fiber through it.



The indoor/outdoor rated cable allows you to install your fiber outdoors then bring it into the building anywhere you want thanks to the combined indoor rating. It's tight buffer design also makes for a installation contractor favorite.

As you can tell we have every type of fiber optic cable under the sun for your network. What about the connectors, are you going to terminate your own fiber cable? If so we have different kits for your termination application. If you don't want to deal with the hassle of terminating fiber you can let our assembly house terminate it for you for a pull, pull and play solution.

For more information on the PCI Standard check out the PCI Security Standards Council

Any questions regarding fiber optics for your PCI compliant network you can contact Mercy Salinas at 888-797-3697 extension 232.

Thanks!

"By Mercy Salinas" 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Copper twisted pair OSP or Fiber Optic outside plant?

With the rise of fiber optic cable networks more people are considering fiber over traditional copper twisted pair communications cable. Let's take a quick look at some of the pros and cons for both.

Balanced twisted pair cable transports information over the cable as an electrical signal. One advantage is it's already installed everywhere on the planet. Twisted pair cables were invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1881 and is the most popular cable for our communication from one human being to another. This is an old technology but because of it's longevity more people are familiar with it and the installation process.

Here's an example of a OSP telephone cable from our YouTube Channel



There are some things about this cable that can make it a bit of a bummer. High sensitivity to external electromagnetic interference, the most common troublemaker seems to be lightning strikes. OSP copper cable will need to be properly grounded and that by itself is another science that the installation contractor must be knowledgeable about.

High bandwidth applications over twisted pair also has distance limitations. Cat5e can only transmit gigabit ethernet up to 100 meters. T-1 service within a 50 pair cable will be limited to 6 transmit signals in one binder group and 6 receive signals in a second binder group.

The size and weight of the cable will also present more cost in transportation.

Twisted pair cabling has definitely been supporting voice application services for a long time but with new technology and the need for more information faster, fiber optic cabling has been growing to support high bandwidth applications. At this point in time I do see many new installations using a combination of both.

For fiber optic outside plant environments we've sold fiber for voice, video, data, audio, CATV, fire alarms, CCTV and building automation systems. In campus environments it has the ability to sever many different transmission protocols and topologies by offering increased distance, higher bandwidth, all-dielectric cable, less susceptibility to EMI, lightning and no grounding!

Here's an example of a OSP fiber cable from our YouTube Channel 



Now that you have something to chew on, take your time and plan your system for things like future growth, longevity, flexibility and so on. You may even need to have a mixed bag of multimode, singlemode and twisted pair.

Don't forget Halo 4 came out this week so pick up a copy and I'll see you on the XBOX live network.



Questions? Comments? Leave them below! Thanks.

"By Mercy Salinas"

Friday, November 2, 2012

What is and why do I need a fiber optic mandrel?

Over the past 15 years we've sold all kinds of fiber products for all kinds of different projects but I think the most overlooked part about a fiber optic network installation might be the use of fiber optic mandrels for proper insertion loss testing.

Before we get into the mandrels themselves let's all get on the same page with "ZEROING" your fiber optic light source and power meter. Our good friend Professor Jim Powers with Optical Wavelength Laboratories gives us a great explanation on "ZEROING".


Thanks Professor Jim Powers, now let's get into the mandrel.

Your LED light source emits light over an area larger than the typical multimode fiber core causing the low and high order modes to get excited. The simplest way to calm your light source down is to tightly bend the launch cable from your light source tester around a mandrel. 

A fiber optic mandrel is a very inexpensive tool to help improve your fiber optic testing as the tight bends around the mandrel calm the light source down. Mandrels allow the use of your overfilled LED light source to properly certify 50 and 62.5 fiber links for high bit rates such as Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Etherent.

Here's a up close look from our YouTube channel


These mandrels are not a "want to" or "don't want to" tool to use during testing. This is not 'Nam, there are rules, and according to TIA/EIA-568-B it specifies that attenuation (insertion loss) measurements of multimode fiber links for all applications be made using an overfilled light source, such as an LED with a mandrel-wrap mode filter on the transmit jumper. This enables certification of multimode links for Gigabit and 10 Gigibit. Also allows for existing 850/1300 LED light sources to test 50 and 62.5 links. 

Now let's use our fiber mandrel for "ZEROING"!

Wrap the "transmit jumper" five times around the mandrel and attach it to the output port of your LED source. Then attach the other end of the jumper to your power meter and set your wavelength.



Set your reference to display "0 dB" indicating that the power measured at output of the transmit jumper has been recorded as the reference level for your insertion loss measurements. You have now completed the "One Jumper Method".

Now disconnect your transmit jumper from your power source but NOT from your light source. Attach a "receive jumper" to to your power meter. Mate together the "transmit jumper" and "receive jumper" with a coupler. Make sure that the insertion loss is well under 0.75 dB and that is the maximum allowed by TIA.



Now your ready to test the fiber link. Connect your light source to one end and your power meter to the other. Store results, print and rock and roll!



So long story short, a fiber mandrel is for modifying the distribution of a propagating fiber optic signal. You can order your fiber optic mandrel from DLV.

Almost forgot to show the mandrel in action, here a How-To video on DB loss.



Questions? Comment below, thanks!

"By Mercy Salinas"

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cat6A cable and connectors comparison and overiew

Over the past couple of years I've been getting more calls and inquires regarding Cat6A copper networking. I agree that Cat6A is cool but let's dig a bit more into the cable and connectivity before we talk about who's mostly installing it.

The Cat6A standard is performing 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GBASE-T) up to 500MHZ and at a maximum distance of 328ft. Cat6A is also backward compatible with Cat6 and Cat5e performance applications. (Don't forget that Cat6 will do 10G up to 180 feet).

Here's a quick look at Cat6A vs. Cat6 cable from our YouTube Channel .



When comparing Cat6A cables from one brand to the other I'm always comfortable with the standard 500MHZ rating. You might find Cat6A cables with a higher MHZ rating, typically those cables are more interested in appearing as a "faster speed" cable. This is a common selling point by low end quality cable manufactures trying to appear as a faster cable for less cost and I've also seen it with high end cable manufactures trying to get the consumer to pay more for the same product.

If you do see a higher MHZ rating keep in mind there is no standard for a higher MHZ rated Cat6A cable. The standard for for Cat6A is defined by TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association) as 568-C.2 replacing 568-B.2-10 and it defines this standard as a performance requirement for Cat6A channels, permanent links and components at 500MHZ. The ISO (International Standards Organization) has it listed as 11801 Class EA, the equivalent standard outside North America.

500MHZ is the standard, so if you do find a different MHZ rating you're paying for something that has no defined standard so your paying more for less. I've had to go over the MHZ rating for years on Cat5e big E and little E all thanks to manufactures confusing the market. Stop please!

There will also be some other things to think about, like how Cat6A cable is sold on reels. You'll need some reel handling equipment. If your going to pull this cable once ever, you can make a reel stand with a couple of ladders and a pole. I know it's not pretty but I've seen it many times on job sites.

The weight of this cable is also an issue with shipping cost, going through UPS can be expensive. Moving these cables around at your installation can be also be a chore due to the weight. Bend with the knees.




The diameter of the cable could also present a problem. The above video shows a first generation Cat6A cable and that cable typically has a outside diameter of .330" and Cat6 has a typical outside diameter of .230" and there is a very noticeable difference. A second generation Cat6A cable has been out for a little while now and has a outside diameter of .300" and that has helped ease the installation process and saving cost on certain types of materials such as conduits, horizontal, vertical cable management, J-hooks and cable runways.

You also need to think about the bend radius. To maintain Cat6A performance the minumum bend radius should be 4x the outside diameter for UTP and shielded. This radius is larger than Cat6 and Cat5e. The cable pulling tension must not exceed 25 pounds of force. Don't forget threaded rods, stronger anchors are also needed to support the heavier cable. 

You'll also find that on the connectivity side of things it could get very expensive. Here's a look at possibly the top line of Cat6A insert jacks by Commscope, an overview of the jack then how to terminate. (Sorry, I deleted the Jack Video so I can redo it, take a look at their Cat6A cable until I redo it).

As you can tell the Commscope Systimax jack is awesome but can cost up to $17 each but then again it is a top dog and the test results prove it.

Another quality insert jack to maybe consider is by Signamax. Here's an overview on it and how to terminate it.

The Signamax jack can run up to $7 each, better priced than the Commscope brand but still a noticeable higher difference in cost compared to their Cat6 and Cat5e offering.

Another common question I get asked about is what about shielded? I think shielded jacks and cable are not necessary for most applications. I've commonly sold shielded products for Television and Radio station installations, for a home or even your common commercial installation I think is overkill. Alright, we can check out a shielded jack anyways.


So we have jacks and cable, let's talk about patch panels. Most of the patch panels I've seen from brand to brand seem to not have a noticeable difference. Still using a 110 blade for punching down and still taking up the same amount of rackspace for the ports. You know, 24 port is 1U 48 port is 2U and so on.

So we've talked about cable, jacks, patch panels but what about patch cords? So far I've been moving 26awg patch cords and they are stranded for flexibility.


The patch cables in the above video shows that it does in fact have a small outside diameter of around 0.24 and that goes a long way when patching panels to routers. Patch cord pricing is not all that bad compared to a quality American made Cat6 or Cat5e patch cable. Cable manufactures seem to only be offering bulk Cat6A stranded cable for assemblies in a shielded version. I understand, it's cheaper to carry just a shielded cable then both.  

The Cat6A market is still very fresh and trying to gain traction. It might be growing slowly into the market over the past few years due to the economy or due to the emergence of fiber optic cable for 10G applications.

Here's an example of a 10G fiber optic cable from our YouTube Channel .


Many new switches from Cisco and Hewlett Packard have a 10G option when used with the appropriate SFP modules and with fiber pushing 10G much further than copper, fiber optics have been much more popular in campus environments. Data centers do seem to be the one area that is using a good mix of 10G fiber and copper.

I understand everyone wants the latest and greatest but I'm not sure if Cat6A will successfully escape the data center. Maybe it'll just stay there and die.

"By Mercy Salinas"

Friday, October 19, 2012

Outside plant cable, single armored or double armored?

The most popular Cat3 telephone cable for underground direct burial installations is your PE89 constructed cable. You might of also looked into the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Electrical Administration (REA) specification for filled telephone cables with expanded insulation to make sure you had what you're looking for.

Let's take a look at a PE89 Aluminum Single Armored Cable from our YouTube Channel



Now let's look at a PE89 (CACSP) Double Armored Cable.



As you can tell these cables are the exact same except the armoring. In section 9.3 of the REA specification a double armored cable is labeled as a (CACSP) for coated aluminum coated steel polyethylene cable.

When might you consider a double armored cable? On a personal level, I believe that the single armor is more then sufficient to support rodents from getting to this cable. The jacket alone is very durable and my hat goes off to the rodent that chewed through that!


Most of our direct burial cable sales are with a single armored but you might want to spend some time researching the installation area for what kinds of rodents are around and if it's a more populated rodent living area.


You might want to check out the North American Rodents Action Plan for more information.

It might not be a bad idea to also install a double armored cable where it may be submerged in depths of 40 feet or more. Here are some additional tips to consider for underwater installations.
    


I hope we've shed some light on this commonly asked question. Now it's time to figure out what you're more comfortable with, single or double. Wish it was as easy as deciding single or double from In-N-Out burger.


Questions? Don't hesitate to leave them below.

"By Mercy Salinas"

Friday, October 12, 2012

Outside plant copper wire and cable - PE89 vs. PE39

If you're really digging deep to figure out what cable will best suit your facility you might have noticed that two cables are very similar, the PE89 and the PE39. In the video below Mercy Salinas with Discount-Low-Voltage.com talks about what that difference is.


So the difference between these two cables, Rural Utilities Service (RUS) 1753F-205 PE-39 compared to 1753F-208 PE-89 is the method used to insulation the copper conductors. With the similarities so close to one another these cables before installation seemed to get installed based on the preference of the installation contractor.

Feel free to comment below.

Thanks!

"By Mercy Salinas"

Friday, October 5, 2012

Tips for networking buildings together with direct burial cable


External wiring to the building is called outside plant cabling. Outside plant cabling can support a wide variety of communications services such as telephone, data transfer, live video, security, building automation control systems and any other low voltage circuitry.


Keep in mind that you must install OSP cable in compliance with National Electric Codes (NEC), National Electric Safety Code (NESC), utility franchise regulations and local building codes.

Before you start laying your cable down OSP cable installation should be based on a 10 year outlook plan. You may consider that the building owner may sell portions of the property so it may be necessary to obtain property easements. Keep an eye out if the cable run is going to cross railroad tracks or other utility company right of way or a natural occurrence such as a pond or stream.


Your OSP cable run will need to be secure. You'll need to provide an alternate route in case of disaster recovery, location of local exchange carrier facilities and the physical terrain of the campus. Extra pathways should be planned for maintenance purposes. It's typically a good idea to check in with your local exchange carrier regarding their facilities within, or adjacent, to the building.

Three pathways are used in outside plant construction. Aerial, underground conduit and direct burial and they can be used in any combination. Today we're going over direct burial installation.

A direct burial cable system is similar to a buried coduit system and has many of the same advantages but, the disadvantage is the capacity cannot be increased. Your cable also doesn't have as much mecanical protection as a buried conduit system.

Things to consider are type of soil and subsurface conditions, the possibility of joint trench use, and the back-filling method. The minimum depth of the trench should be 24 inches unless the local code requirement differs. If a possibility exist of your OSP cable being dug up by accident you may want to bury it deeper for added protection. Continuous planks should be used and placed 1ft below grade level for visual warning. (Trenching in action below).



For direct burial fiber optic cable you need to put down a copper conductor along with your fiber so that your cable can be located by a cable locating instrument in case you need to identify where your underground cable is in the future.

When back filling your OSP cable examine and use clean backfill material. The soil should not have any sharp objects or large rocks that could damage your cable during your backfill. After your backfill is complete your now ready to terminate your cable.

Special thanks to Electrical Construction and Maintenance.

Questions comment below. Thanks!

"By Mercy Salinas"

Friday, September 28, 2012

How to fix and repair utility burial telephone wire

We recently added a cool product that's easy to install and very cost effective for fixing underground telephone cable.


The two piece design makes for a fast and easy installation. After prepping service wires, simply lay them within the grooves in the cap, lay the exposed cable shield within the bond connector and tighten. Splice the pairs and easily organized them around the ram then screw on vial.

Let's get a better look at this product from our YouTube Channel .



* Includes only two components, a filled vial, cap and a integral ram and bond connector
* Octagon shaped vial for ease of application and maximum capacity
* Pre-filled with POLY-BEE sealant
* Improved integral bonding connector

Now that you have a better understanding about this product I think your ready to repair your cable.

Let's look at our "How To" video on this product, again from our YouTube Channel .




The only thing that's not includes is a splice connector. We used the UY connector, this splice connector enables the connecting wires without the need of isolation stripping. Each one will accept 2 wires from a 22 to 26 awg cable.


Keep in mind that this item manufactured by Preformed Line Products, part number 8006037 will accommodate up to 6 pairs. Another model, part number 8006039 is designed for up to 12 pairs.

Questions? Don't hesitate you leave them below.

Thanks!

"By Mercy Salinas"

Friday, September 21, 2012

Perimeter fence security system using fiber optic cable

As technology evolves so does security and most people may think of additional lighting or adding a security camera system. For those with a high value location you many want to consider perimeter fencing.

Perimeter fencing does involve more then just putting a fence up. Patrolling and other traditional methods with sensors and instruments are often unreliable and expensive. Some systems even have so many false alarms causing distrust in the system.

For a more reliable perimeter fence you may want to employ a AFL fiber optic sensing cable. A fence mounted fiber optic sensing cable for vibration detection and a central sensing device analyzes both the magnitude and pattern of the vibration signatures.

* Responsive: Low false positive rate due to noise generated by environmental factors

* Reliable: High reliability for detection of intrusion events (extremely low frequency of false negitive)

* Accurate: Plus or minus 2.5% accuracy of intrusion event locations over continuous fence line lengths of up to 5 kilometers

* Flexible: Stand alone system of integrated with pan-tilt cameras and other technologies like infrared systems  


This fiber optic system works by using optical power from a laser diode (LD in diagram) is split by the optical coupler and is diffused through an optical fiber ring in two counter directional paths.


When vibration is applied to the fiber, the strength of the interference light fluctuates due to the change in the refractive index in the region of the cable vibration. The emitted light arrives at a vibration point with some difference in time of flight. After passing the vibration point, two counter directional light packets are combined to cause interference. The light interference is detected by a photo diode (PD). Under static conditions (no vibration) the interference light strength is stable.

Here's a quick look at the components of the AFL perimeter fence system.



If this is an option that may work for your location feel free to contact specialist Jeff Jamieson with AFL at 864-486-7115

Questions? Don't hesitate to leave them below.

Thanks!

"By Mercy Salinas"

Friday, September 14, 2012

25 pair and 100 pair Cat5 Burial Cable Overview

With the flood of wire and cable coming in from overseas you have to keep a good eye out on making sure that you select a high quality cable so you can get a solid return on investment for your network.

Over the past few years I've seen many problems with overseas cables, such as the cable specifying that it was a 24 gauge but after the installation contractor installed it and had problems with making a proper connection we found out that the cable was actually a 26 gauge cable. It's hard to notice since the colored insulation is over the copper conductor. This is such a common issue with overseas copper cable that I feel like it's common practice. It's a dirty trick that enables overseas manufactures to offer a lower price for a false product. (Cool book, poorly made in China ).


Another dirty trick that gets pulled on the consumer is copper clad aluminum cable. Because the cost of aluminum is lower versus copper, these cables are lower in price and you may not realize you have purchased this cable until after your installation is complete and your cable tester won't certify that new cable you just installed.

I always recommend purchasing a cable from a manufacture that has been in business before the year 2000. These types of manufactures have been established and many fall under Trade Agreement Acts for the procurement of goods for federal contracts with the United States Government.

Now that we know what to look for let's look at one of the most popular selling Cat5 burial cables.

This cable is most commonly installed in outside plant installations and is your broadband backbone. The Essex Megapic cable provides an extension of the LAN beyond the premises. Installed in direct burial, underground and lashed aerial applications.

Available in a 25 and 100 pair count and because your purchasing from Superior Essex you can count on quality, made in America and Essex has been making cable since the 1930's out of Detroit.

Let's get a better look at the cable from our YouTube Channel.

  

When making an investment in your network, our 13 year track record of selling this cable gives us comfort knowing that we are offering a quality solution that will meet all your needs.

You can order 04-097-31 by the foot. If you have any comments leave them below.

Thanks.

"By Mercy Salinas"

Friday, September 7, 2012

Are the new Corning CCH rackmount enclosures that cool?

This year Corning Cable Systems redesigned their popular CCH series 19 inch rack mount fiber optic enclosures. When I first heard this I pictured Bill Lumbergh saying, "I'm just not sure about that right now".



It's already a great design and Corning has probably sold millions of them. When I get a call from a fiber optic installation contractor trying to figure out what brand of enclosure he has at a installation he did 15 years ago it seems to always be the CCH series. Sure they were called Siecor back then but the same CCH panels are used.

Let's take a look at the now older designed CCH-01U from our YouTube Channel .



As you noticed the older design was great, opened easy on the front, rear and top. Slides out easy for your fiber adapter panels to be installed and it had an awesome black powder coat that'll last for a real long time.

Now let's look at the new redesigned CCH-01U from our YouTube Channel .




What I like most about the redesign is the see through top cover. I think seeing into the enclosure without removing a panel is so cool. If you need to remove the top panels the tool-less design makes it easy to remove.  

Looks like Corning really outdid themselves with this new redesign, and they're still showing the older CCH-01U rackmount enclosure love by still offering it under a new part number CLSSC-01U.

You can order the CCH-01U from our site and please feel free to comment below.

Thanks

"By Mercy Salinas"



 

Friday, August 31, 2012

How to corner mount a CCTV security camera

In one of our recent blog post we went over how to install a security camera to a pole . One of our good installation contractors wanted to know if we offered a mount for the corner of a building.


For corner mounting you'll want the Arlington Industries part number 8161CB. This is a non-metallic mount and UV rated for long outdoor life. You can also install these mounts for indoor applications and excellent for dry, damp or wet locations. If your camera diameter is smaller then 4.5 inches use Arlington's SC5 CAM-KIT on top of the box.

Let's get a better look at this mount from our YouTube Channel .


After watching the video you found out you can also mount floodlights, electrical accessories or just about anything with the screw pattern of a standard 4 inch fixture box.

Corner and pole mounting are some of the most common installation problems and with these options for this kind of installation Arlington Industries nailed it. Order the 8161CB online.

Any other security camera installation questions? Comment below.

Thanks.

"By Mercy Salinas"

Monday, August 27, 2012

ITW Linx CAT6-LAN Building Entrance Protector from Surge and Lightning

Because there are many causes of electrical surges that can originate outside your building, proper surge protection for your equipment is a must. Surges occur when large electrical loads are turned on and off, at a local factory or from your utility company and the most damaging source is lightning.


The CAT6-LAN by ITW Linx will protect your equipment and high performance 4-pair Category 6 outside plant cable and also Cat6 UTP cables for LAN/Data applications.

Let's take a look at this product from our YouTube Channel



Still thinking about whether or not you need a CAT6-LAN? Check this out.

* Excess current can enter into almost all items in the subsystem such as power sources, peripherals, networks and telephone cables.

* Excess current can damage and destroy vital items in your subsystem such as silicon items, magnetic media and circuit board traces.

* Computer and telephone subsystems are usually assembled out of components from different manufactures and because of that you now have equipment that handles power and grounding in different ways.

* Copper cables are vulnerable from outside the building to breakage, crosses, lightning and those cables lead back to you.

Another question is who's responsible for providing primary and secondary protection? The regulated telephone company is only responsible for providing a standard level of primary protection connected to the customers premise. That level of protection is designed to prevent building wiring from catching fire and not designed to protect equipment. All other protection is the responsibility of the equipment user.

Now that your sold on the CAT6-LAN here's a common cable that is installed for outside plant building applications.



Don't forget about grounding! Check out a previous blog post for tips on grounding telephone and data cables and you can order all these parts at Discount Low Voltage

If you have any questions comment below! Thanks!

"By Mercy Salinas"

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fiber optic cable for indoor and outdoor installations

Over the past 15 years of providing fiber optic cabling solutions for contractors, data centers, government end users and everyone under the sun my favorite cable construction type is still the tight buffered construction style with an indoor/outdoor rating.


The indoor/outdoor rating allows you to pull outdoor to anywhere indoor and vise versa. Outdoor specific cables are not allowed to be pulled into a building more than 50 feet via the National Electric Code. If a fire breaks out indoors and outside plant cables are burned, very toxic fumes are released and we all know smoke inhalation is the number one killer in fires.

Here's our indoor/outdoor fiber optic cable product video from our YouTube Channel




The video example is of AFL part number KR0066531001

If your equipment is far from the cable entrance point into the building you'll benefit from the indoor/outdoor rating by not having to invest in wall mount or rack mount fiber enclosures when you make your transition when compared to having to use an outdoor cable then an indoor cable to meet that NEC requirement. (We also have videos on wall and rackmount fiber enclosures on our YouTube Channel).

Size is also one of my favorite things about a tight buffered cable. If you compare a 6 strand tight buffered cable to a 6 strand loose tube the diameter is smaller giving you more room in a innerduct for more cables or for purchasing a smaller innerduct saving you on cost.


The flexibility of this cable will also allow you to dress it into your telecom closet or around your equipment easily helping to preserve a clean and neat look.

The weight of this cable is light allowing you to easily move from location to location. A 6 strand 1000ft cable with the reel weights around 24 pounds. This lighter cable and reel also save you on shipping cost.

From a fiber optic termination point of view a tight buffer cable requires no fan out kits. These kits are a requirement when installing a loose tube fiber, these kits add cost on the materials end and the labor end when terminating a loose tube fiber.

The combination of all of the mentions above also make this a preferred choice when doing a preterminated fiber cable. Our preterminated fiber cables cables are length and fiber glass type specified by the user. Very installer friendly fiber cable to start with and an excellent alternative to an expensive fiber termination tool kit investment if you plan on terminating fiber once in a while.


So there's my two cents. If you have an upcoming project and you want to talk it over don't hesitate to call me. I'm at 888-797-3697 extension 232 or if you have a comment leave it below.

Thanks!

"By Mercy Salinas"

Friday, August 10, 2012

Cable management for a residential structured wiring installation

For several years now we've been offering structured wiring products for home network installations and one of the most common problems is finding some kind of cable retainer to manage a wide selection of cables, the ability to mount on different surfaces and to be opened and reopened for many years to come.

An excellent solution for this type of installation is the CATCR50. It can be easily installed on walls, studs, racks, ceilings, beams and basically anywhere else in your home. You can also mount it vertically or horizontally making it very versatile and has rounded edges to avoid over bending and kinking of cables.

The locking part of the CATCR50 is patented, the locking teeth are easy to open and close allowing for cable to be added quickly and easily. It's UL listed and complies with the National Electric Code.

Let's get a better look at it from our YouTube Channel



Designed for use with cat5e cable and higher, fiber to the home cable, coaxial cable and can also be installed in commercial applications with its plenum rating. Easy to install, just use nails or screws.

I think you'll find this an easy to install and flexible solution for your home cable management, and the pricing on the CATCR50 rules!

If you got the balls to leave a comment do it!

Thanks.

"By Mercy Salinas"

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A equivalent to Belden 5300UE and West Penn WP-224

If your looking for an 18 gauge 2 conductor pvc cable that's unshielded and high quality like a Belden or West Penn Wire, I have an excellent equivalent for you to look at.  

This cable part number 1880AB2CMR is manufactured by Tappan Wire & Cable and is an exact equivalent according to the Tappan manufacture cross reference chart. Tappan has also been manufacturing cable out of New York since 1978 so you know they're making good stuff. As I always say, "Without repeat business there's no business."

Let's get a better look at this cable and packaging from one of our many YouTube Videos.



I'm hoping this information will allow you to now present this as an alternative on building projects that allow for a equivalent, thus allowing you to use Tappan Wire 1880AB2CMR to get more competitive on your project bid or maybe Belden and West Penn Wire have a back order and you need a quick back up.

Comment below, thanks.

"By Mercy Salinas"

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What are the most popular Fiber Optic Connector types?

When I first started terminating fiber optic connectors around 15 years ago maybe around 1997, I remember doing a handful of different types. Like FC, FDDI, MT Array, SC, ST, SMA, MTRJ, MU and so on. It was a huge chore, not only knowing how to properly terminate all these but having to stock all of these connectors to take care of your customers needs in a timely fashion.

I do remember around the year 2000-2001 the MTRJ connector had an amazing spurt where it felt like the industry was possibly standardizing on a connector but no.

The only connectors that have stood the test of time are the SC and ST connectors. The SC connectors (Set and Click is what I call them) are a square front design while the ST (Set and Twist) connector is round and is basically a smaller version of a coax BNC male connector.
Here's a quick look at one of our YouTube videos on the most common connectors as of today.



The LC connector has really been a beast over the past couple of years. It seems to be a more common input for Hewlett Packard Pro Curve and Cisco Catalyst switches and for SFP modules.

These 3 connectors seem to be the most common at this point in time but there is also another connector called MPO that has been gaining traction in data centers and could possibly contend for popularity in the long term.

Now if your thinking about terminating these connectors check out another one of our many YouTube videos, this one is called How to Terminate Fiber Optic Network Cable

Comment below please. Thanks!

"By Mercy Salinas"

Monday, August 6, 2012

Cat5e Cable for Cell Tower and Outdoor Wireless Installations

As you know cell tower and outdoor wireless equipment installations can be some of the most demanding and dangerous. Contractors for these installations face many pressures from meeting a deadline, proper materials, making sure the job is done correctly and doing everything with a safety first mentality.

We can't help you with everything your going to bump into at your installation but we can help with getting you proper materials for your installation in a timely manner to help meet your deadline.

One product that comes to mind is the BBDE serise of outside plant cable by Superior Essex.


* This cable is built with a dry water blocking agent outside of the inner jacket that helps prevent  water ingress between shield in inner cable preventing damage to equipment.

* The core is fully filled with PFM Gel allowing for a no drip or flow in vertical installations, also helps fight against degraded transmission performance.

* Outside plant rated sunlight resistant black jacket will allow for years and years of reliable performance.

With these features and the reliability of a company that has been making cable since 1930 you can rest assure the quality of this cable is as good as your installation.

You can order this cable at Discount Low Voltagee

"By Mercy Salinas"

Friday, August 3, 2012

Wire and Cable cut per foot by Discount Low Voltage

Wiring and cabling installations are hard work and can vary greatly based on the location of your cable pull. Figuring out what type of cable will work for your application seems to be half the battle, now you must chose the best pathway.

For example if you have a building to building installation you may have to use a ditch witch and direct bury an armored cable.

Maybe you have a cable run from the 9th floor to the 22nd floor. Do you need a plenum rated cable? Do you have to run it in innerduct? Can you use a interlocking armor cable? You might want to double check the National Electric Code for your building as codes vary from city to city.

Discount-Low-Voltage.com understands that having the cable your looking for is half the battle but we also must be able to support your installation in a timely manner.

Our reeling and coiling machinery allows us to better support your installation in a few ways.

1) Cable is cut per foot saving you money. Why buy a 1000 foot reel if you only need a 340 foot piece.

2) Our machinery in house allows us to get your cable shipped to you fast!

3) No cut charge. Manufactures can cut cable but typically a cut charge is included and will take longer to ship out the door.


When it comes to supplying your installation with cable, whether you need a PE89 burial cable, Armored Cat5e 4 pair, interlocking plenum rated fiber or anything for low voltage wiring we can supply you with exactly what you need quickly.

So for all your wire & cable that needs to get cut per foot, order from Discount Low Voltage

Thanks.

"By Mercy Salinas"

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How to Pole Mount Security Cameras and Flood Lights

Over the past eight years of selling security cameras and providing surveillance solutions, one of the most common problems in executing a correct and timely installation is pole mounting your new cameras.

There is still a disconnect on this issue from the manufactures end. They only provide camera installation mounts for the most common camera location installations. Recently a camera manufacture mentioned to me,

"Because locations on, in or around a facility can very so much it's hard to invest in a design for every conceivable location the end user wants for their camera. We're just concerned that our ROI for many different mounts would take forever." - Undisclosed Camera Manufacture

I understand their point of view but certain installation locations at the end users facility have been a common enough problem over the past 5 years to the point they should offer a solution. This seems to be a niche to where a manufacture can offer a solution to the end user and may help to be a preferred camera brand for the installation contractor.

A common installation problem - Pole Mounting! (Check out Blog post for Corner Mounting).

Because this has been such a common problem a company who manufactures no cameras and sells no cameras has identified this as excellent opportunity in providing another installation solution to their contractor customers.

Arlington Industries offers a pole mount box that fits on a rigid pipe that is three to six inches in diameter. Not only can you attach a security camera but you can install detectors, electrical accessories, flood lights and so on.

 

The Arlington 8161PM will hold up to 50 pounds and is made of a non-metallic, UV rated material for long outdoor life. Excellent for interior, exterior, dry, damp or wet locations.


I've been asked for a pole mount solution for a long time and finally, I can offer a solution that also works with many different brands of cameras.

Comment below. Thanks!

"By Mercy Salinas"

Friday, July 27, 2012

Cable management for running wire and cable diagonally

One of the most common problems that arises from wire and cable installations is what to do with a cable run that is long in length and has to run diagonally and you have to properly comply with wiring methods in chapter 3 of the National Electric Code.

When running communication cables horizontally J-Hooks are typically used and your cable run should be spaced at 5 feet or less. Direction and level changes will also require closer spacing. It's a good practice to keep the sag at a maximum of 12 inches.


The J-Hook systems is great for horizontal runs but may cause a problem when running wires diagonally, a good way to do this is by using the Rip-Tie pivoting cable hanger.



Let's check out some features that can benefit you at your facility.

* These cable hangers are easily released and retied so adding and subtracting cables is easy.

* Easy way to keep cable runs segregated from each other.

* Perfect for use in computer sub-floors.

* 10,000 release cycles so you should have these for a long, long time.

* Believe it or not these are made in the USA 

The The RIP-TIE Cable Hanger is a very easy solution to keeping your cabling up to code and keeping that building inspector off your back.

If you have questions about this type of cable run or any other type of cable pathway installation comment below.

Thanks!

"By Mercy Salinas"

Friday, July 20, 2012

Tips for Grounding Telephone Wire and Data Cable

We're going to talk about grounding but remember to select the proper protection for your equipment. Once selected the next step is making sure everything is grounded correctly.


Tip 1: Bonding - Bond or electrically connect together at a single point all of the grounds used for protectors. Typical grounds used for protectors are metal water pipes, grounding rods, well casings, chemical rods, etc. (Double check local building codes for options as local building codes do vary) The communications equipment is typically connected to the power companies multi-grounded neutral (MGN) system and is the best source for a single point ground. Connect the protector (primary and secondary) and cable shield grounds to the equipment grounds (i.e. Multi-Grounded Neutral) with a six AWG solid copper bonding wire.

Tip 2: Physical Connectors - Make sure to use the recommended ground wire size and UL listed ground wire connections. Any ground wire longer than 60 feet in length the next largest wire gauge should be installed. Use a large radius at each bend in the ground wire. DON'T coil the ground wire under any circumstances. Coil wire can act as an inductor that dramatically increase the resistance of the path to ground, jeopardizing the effectiveness of over-voltage devices.

Tip 3: Check Ground System Impedance - There are numerous brands of equipment and methods for checking the integrity of a grounding system. Pick one that test both continuity and the impedance (total resistance) with respect to a true ground. And ideal ground should have an impedance under .250 ohms.

Tip 4: Cable Shields - The metal cable shield should be bonded to the protector/ground systems on both ends of the cable.


Tip 5: Unused Cable Pairs - They must be grounded on the unprotected side of the protector.

Tip 6: Campus Building - Treat each building independently. Do all of these tips in each building.


The effectiveness of all over-voltage protectors relies in a path of least resistance for "dumping" transient voltages. The higher the resistance to ground the higher the true activation level is for a protector and the lower the better.

Special thanks to ITW Linx and you can order burial cable, lightning protection and everything else for your installation at Discount Low Voltage

(We do ship to 40 countries)


"By Mercy Salinas"

Friday, July 13, 2012

Is there an equivalent to Belden 6506FE? Yes!

When looking at the technical and data sheet for Belden part number 6506FE it mentions for commercial applications. So we dug into what types of commercial applications has this type of cable been installed by our contractor customers.


Burglar Alarm installations: Is a system designed to detect intrusion -- unauthorized entry -- into a building or area. They are also called security alarms, security systems, intrusion detection systems, perimeter detection systems, and similar terms.

Public Address Systems installations: An electronic amplification system used as a communication system in public areas.

Intercom Installation: A two-way communication system with a microphone and loudspeaker at each station for localized use.

Telephone Stations Installations: A system of electronic components that connects telephone calls.

Speakers: An electro-acoustic transducer that produces sound in response to an electrical audio signal input. Non-electrical loudspeakers were developed as accessories to telephone systems.

Instrumentation: Electrical, electronic and control system applications.

Now let's take a look at this Belden cable. A 22 AWG bare copper conductor, 8 conductors, overall tape shield and foil side out, drain wire, ripcord. Ladies and Gentlemen we have a match! Tappan Wire and Cable part number 2280AB8M/CMP spec number P20037


This equivalent by Tappan Wire and Cable is made in the USA and will save you a nice chuck of change. With that extra money you should take out that "special lady friend".


"By Mercy Salinas"

Friday, June 29, 2012

Outdoor Aerial Wire and Cable Installation - Moving Reel Method

Customers purchasing our many different types of outdoor wire and cable commonly ask how to lash cable to a messenger wire. One of the most common ways to do this is by using the moving reel method.


This method is used when reel carrying vehicles can drive most of the route. This method may be used when placing cable on a suspended strand or to an existing lashed cable and strand. Check out this cool lashing machine in action!


Each time a pole is reached the pulling stops. The cable guide (just in front of the lasher), and lasher get disconnected and moved past the pole. An expansion loop to the messenger is formed as temperature changes contracts the steel more then cables. Example below.


Before you get started let's go over some precautions.

* All personnel must be familiar with OSHA Occupational Safety and Hazard Act regulations.
* Follow the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) for all installations.
* Cables installed near high voltage lines should be grounded.
* Cables that contain a corrugated steel tape should be grounded.
* The steel messenger shall be grounded.
* Make allowances for changing sag of the steel messenger wire in various weather conditions. Steel  messenger wire will expand and increase sag in warm weather.
* The steel messenger should be kept on one side of the poles (avoid zigzagging from one side of the pole to the other).
* Carefully inspect reels for imperfections such as broken flanges, cable crossovers, nails or anything that may cause damage as it is payed out.
* Follow the cable bend radius. Coax, phone and fiber wire and cable will differ.
* Never during the install should cable experience sags, bends and twist. A reduction in the cables transmission characteristics may not reveal itself till after installation.
* Do a pre-survey for splice locations, slack locations, cable storage requirements and possible obstructions like trees, roadways etc.
* You may want to consult an outside plant engineer.

As you can tell it sounds easy but lots of precautions do go into an installation of this type. I can hear my mother now, "Don't forget to put your helmet on!"

Thanks to Prysmian, OCC and Commscope.

"By Mercy Salinas"

    

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez Installing Fiber Optic Cable?

"Secrets are over. ... We are facing the most powerful weapon that has ever existed, which is communication," Castro told Mexican daily La Jornada in an August 2010 interview in which he hailed the coming cable.



It has been almost 2 years and unfortunately the Cuban people are still waiting for faster internet. The current network is still in the 90’s. At 3-5 kilobytes per second dial up transfer speeds a 500 megabyte video file would take between 28 and 46 hours from Itunes. People are swapping digital pictures on memory sticks rather than sending it as an e-mail attachment, what a nightmare.

The cable was strung from Venezuela with the help of key ally Hugo Chavez.



Government officials said from the start that the bandwidth boon would be prioritized for hospitals, universities and other usage deemed in service of the common good; the legions of Cubans with little or no access to the Internet from their homes would have to wait.

Why has this 70 million dollar project stalled? The project was carried out by Alcatel-Lucent of France for the state telecommunications companies of Venezuela and Cuba. A senior French official told the Associated Press that Alcatel had upheld its part of the contract and whatever problems exist must be on land with the network it was meant to be attached to. "The cable must be connected to something or it won't work," said the official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the politically sensitive project.

Jorge Arreaza, Venezuela’s science and technology minister, said that “a few months ago we signed all the remaining protocols, all the necessary security measures with the Cuban government. It’s absolutely operational. It will depend on the Cuban government what it uses it for. Of course that’s their sovereign matter, but we know that the undersea cable is in full operation,’’ Arreaza told reporters.

Its been over a year since the system was supposed to have gone online, Cuba’s government has not recently mentioned the cable. The Internet on the island remains the slowest in the Western Hemisphere. Perhaps Mr. Castro is not prepare to unleash the most powerful weapon that has ever existed.

Comment below. Thanks!

Friday, June 15, 2012

What the heck is LSZH Wire and Cable?

So you've been doing wiring for some time now and you come across a job walk that specifies the installation of LSZH or maybe you need to match some cable at your location that is LSZH specified. Lets check out what is LSZH, where to install it and pros and cons.

LSZH stands for Low Smoke Zero Halogen. The cable jacket and insulation is made with some very special materials. In case this type of cable is ever involved in a fire very little smoke is produced making this cable an excellent choice for confined places with lots of people.

I know the LS part is easily understood but what about the ZH? The zero halogen, what is that? Halogens are elements such as bromine, chlorine and fluorine. Halogens are very highly reactive and hurt people and animals. PVC wire and cable has a huge amount of halogens in it. The C stands for chloride and typically this cable on average contains 29% by weight. Teflon, FPE and PTFE contain up to 76% of fluorine. Halogens in LSZH materials are under 1%

Another concern is when cable is burned and toxic gases are released into the air they can also be harmful when mixed with water. So when that sprinkler system turns on you've now created toxic acids.

The number one cause of death related to fires is smoke inhalation. An estimated 70% of fire deaths are a result of smoke inhalation rather than burns. Smoke Inhalation occurs when products of combustion are breath in during a fire. Damages to the body are by simple asphyxiation (lack of oxygen), chemical irritation, chemical asphyxiation or a combination of all these.

Now that you have a quick understanding of LSZH what are the Pros and Cons of the cable?

PRO: LSZH produces less smoke when burned allowing for more time to exit.

CON: LSZH is more susceptible to jacket cracking. Special lubricants have been made to minimize damage during installation.

PRO: Because little or no halogen gas is released less damage to the respiratory is done and less corrosion damage is done to equipment near the fire.

CON: LSZH jacket has a high filler content, around 50% to provide the required flame and smoke performance. This results in a lower mechanical, chemical resistance, water absorption and electrical properties then non LSZH compounds.

PRO: The jacket of LSZH cable has a lower coefficient of friction making installation easier.

CON: The current generation of LSZH cables has not yet established a proven history of long time performance.

In one of our YOUTUBE videos a LSZH fiber cable is shown. Its hard to tell the difference just looking at it but off camera I did notice once stripped that the jacket buckled and cracked when flexing it.



Questions? Comment below!

"By Mercy Salinas"

Friday, June 1, 2012

Mine Safety and Health Administration Approved Fiber Cable

Today's mining engineers are heavily relied on to plan mining operations. From designing underground and surface mines to equipment and even supervising the operators who run it.


Because of the high demands from not only the job site but from the Mine Safety and Health Administration the importance of a MSHA approved cable is greater then ever.

Discount-Low-Voltage.com offers a MSHA approved cable from AFL Telecommunications. The outer jacket is manufactured with a UV stabilizer for protection against exposure to the sun plus anti-fungus protection for use in underground applications.


This Fiber cable is also water blocked and meets water penetration requirement of GR-20-CORE. (This helps ensure that any damage to the cable is restricted to a repairable length of several meters.) Includes a riser rating so cable can be used in all environments, general inside plant and outside plant. Tested to meet or exceed EIA/TIA 568-A, GR-409-CORE and ICEA-S-104-696. Compliant to directive 202/95/EC RoSH.

Cable is cut to length to whatever your requirement might be, 625 feet or 8,750 feet and a continuous run is no problem. You may also consider our preterminated option so you can provide a plug and play solution at the mine.

Questions? You may contact Mercy Salinas at 888-797-3697 extension 232.

"By Mercy Salinas"

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Running fiber to the top of the cell tower? Be careful.

I knew this was a dangerous job but the part that really bothered me is the lack of safety and big companies trying to keep their hands clean when someone dies.


Watch Cell Tower Deaths on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Please be extra careful and rushing to meet a deadline is never worth risking your life.

Friday, May 25, 2012

How to Test an HDMI Cable?

Recently we had a contractor customer ask us, "What do you have for testing HDMI cables?" I then asked if he was making his own and if so I have a tester in mind but he had a couple of concerns. The first was that the end user provided the cable and wanted to make sure the cable worked properly since if there was a problem the customer may point the finger to him and not the cable. Second being that the cable was going to be pulled through a conduit and he wanted to make sure that the connectors were not damaged during the pull.

We recommended the Greenlee Data Shark HDMI Cable Tester.


The Greenlee DataShark HDMI cable tester can test for proper continuity before installation. Also a great diagnostic tool for checking cables already installed. The 1 piece design splits into 2 pieces a transmitter and receiver. The 9 LED readout is easy and very fast to read.

The contractor checked it out and for the price it was well worth putting another tester into his collection.



"By Mercy Salinas"

Friday, May 18, 2012

Easy way to clean ST, SC fiber connectors and adapters

One of the most over looked part of a fiber optic network installation is the cleaning. I know it's one of the smallest parts of the overall install, it's inexpensive and not sexy but what do the facts say about fiber optic cleaning.

• Proper cleaning saves money – by eliminating service calls caused by dirty connectors
• Clean connectors maximize the performance of the network and reduce repair cost
• Proper cleaning extends the life of connects and reduces replacement costs
• Dirty connectors cause a major percentage of fiber optic network failures
• Prevention is simple – Clean Connectors!
• Cleaning Saves Time and Money!

For keeping your connectors and adapters clean you have several options available and you might be asking yourself what's my best option? That question seems to be an installer preference but one of those preferences that network professionals commonly use is the AFL one click cleaner.



The AFL one click cleaner is designed to be extremely easy to use for connectors, patch jumpers and adapters. Simply push the cleaner until a click is heard. Your push sends a fiber optic grade cleaning tape into action ensuring your fiber optic end face is effectively and gently cleaned. Excellent choice for field technicians and small enough to fit in your shirt pocket.

Questions? Contact Mercy Salinas at 888-797-3697 extension 232.

"By Mercy Salinas"

Friday, May 11, 2012

Running fiber to the antenna (FTTA)? Need help?

Contractors are realizing that fiber optic fed architectures are rapidly becoming the new norm for new tower builds and retrofits. This fiber solution is viewed by the industry as the best solution to support current demand, save energy and leave a smaller footprint.

Why now? This transition from traditional coax cables to fiber has been pushed by radio cell sizes becoming smaller due to increasing data rates, higher transmission frequencies and increased volume of data. In the figure below notice how the GSM system is at a lower frequency and new systems operate at a higher frequency.

With new systems like 4G the propagation losses increases with the square of the frequency, meaning that smaller radio cells are needed for equivalent network coverage. Number of antennas and base stations now increase.

Now that more and more antennas are being installed the traditional coaxial cable system has its limitations. These cables are limited to less than fifty meters and are very prone to losses that can hurt cell phone coverage. With a FTTA installation the electronics are taken from the base and are located at a remote radio head (RRH) by the antenna then is linked to the base using fiber cable. Your typical data rates are one Gigabit per second base to remote radio head.

Network operators also view FTTA as an excellent way to reduce capital and operating expenditures.

* Less or no additional space required for installation
* Less power provision and lower power amplification required
* Lower acquisition cost
* Simple system install
* Up to 40% less power consumption
* Lower rental cost of telecom and antenna cost

The most common way to install your fiber optic cable is to home run the cable. Many installations will use a pre-terminated solution saving on installation time and labor.


Next to the RRH Corning has a product called a remote radio distribution terminal that allows you to keep not only the signal but also the power organized in a clean weatherproof rated environment.

At the base your traditional 19 inch rack mountable enclosure can be used to hold your fiber cable.

If your looking for durability you might also consider a environmental distribution center as a demarcation point.


Now that you have a better understanding of the need for FTTA and what materials are used don't forget to recycle that old coaxial cable.

Please comment if you have any questions or you may contact Mercy Salinas at 888-797-3697 extension 232.

"By Mercy Salinas"