Let’s do a burn test on Counterfeit Category Cable

It seems like since around the early 2000s we’ve heard stories of low end cable manufactures cutting corners such as copper clad aluminum and pushing it as a 100% copper conductor and I’ll also never forget the phone call I received from a contractor yelling at me about how hundreds of his Cat5e jacks are failing (He bought the jacks from me, these ones) and after further inspection the cable he installed (Not bought from me) was actually a 26awg not a 24awg as stated by that cable manufacture and it caused all kinds of contact issues.

Now I have something new to reference bad cables with, the Communications Cable and Connectivity Association did a video demonstrating a burn test on counterfeit cables. This videos does a great job not only demonstrating what happens but also referencing standards from TIA and fire codes from the NFPA, let’s check out this video.

It’s interesting how the counterfeit cables do act like a fuse and the spread of the fire and smoke was amazing. Remember smoke inhalation is the number one cause of death in fires. The video does talk about the UL holographic logo you should look for but that’s another thing I’ve already seen that’s also been counterfeited so you may want to look for that but also make sure you purchase your copper cable from a reputable manufacture and be-careful with the “House Brand” of cable.

OTDR, What does it do?

Optical Time Domain Reflectometers (OTDRs) and fault locators are used to certify new fiber installations and locate faults in deployed fiber optic networks.

OTDR

OTDRs:

  • Scan and characterize fiber optic networks (from one end of the fiber).
  • Display characterized fiber either as a trace showing optical loss and reflectance vs.¬†distance or as a LinkMap providing an icon-based representation of the fiber sections, splices, connectors and any detected faults (breaks or macro-bends).
  • Provide link summary information (end-to-end length, loss, optical return loss).
  • Provide details for each detected connector, splice or fault including event location, event type, loss and reflectance at event and loss to event.

Let’s get a good look at one of the AFL models from their YouTube channel.

OTDRs and fault locators are available for both multi-mode and single-mode networks including passive optical networks (PONs) supporting a range of performance requirements and budgets.

For more information on selecting the proper OTDR check out the AFL selection guide. Once you have a model selected contact your Authorized AFL Distributor Discount-Low-Voltage.com for pricing and availability.

How to test the attenuation of Fiber Optic Cable

I got tired of all the wizards and scientist over explaining every detail when it comes to testing fiber, so I grabbed a light source and power meter out of inventory and made a fiber link with a couple of wall mount boxes so I can easily show you how to do it.

Here’s some words from the manufacture regarding this fiber test kit – The Silicon ZOOM II / Dual OWL 850 Test Kit is ideal for LAN managers and installers who need to do simple attenuation tests on their multimode networks.

The Silicon ZOOM II (Zeroed Output Optical Meter) is an economical fiber optic power meter designed to provide accurate testing of multimode fiber cables at 850nm wavelength. The 4-digit 7-segment LCD display shows power readings with a resolution of 0.01dB, power units in dBm, dB, or uW, and battery power level. The Silicon ZOOM II comes configured with a 2.5mm universal port for connection to SC, ST, and other connector types that have a 2.5mm ferrule.

These are in stock, order it online at Discount-Low-Voltage.com