Let The Buyer Beware
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Nowhere in the industry is there a bigger problem than with the selection of a TRUE CATEGORY 6 CERTIFIED PATCH CORD that meets BOTH ELECTRICAL and MECHANICAL/MATERIAL SPECIFICATIONS

TRUE ELECTRICAL PERFORMANCE TESTING - The Communications Cable and Connectivity Association (CCCA)  has found an 85% failure rate in patch cords produced offshore by companies who are largely unknown in North America. To view the FULL PRESS RELEASE

Testing by CCCA Finds High Failure Rate in Electrical Performance of Imported
Category 6 Copper Patch Cords

In addition, FLUKE NETWORKS has found that 83% OF ALL PATCH CORDS FAIL TO MEET THE PRESCRIBED ELECTRICAL STANDARDS OF THE TIA (Fluke Networks - The Weakest Link in High-Performance Cabling Systems White Paper). The impact of these cables that affect ALIEN CROSSTALKRETURN LOSSLATENCY and DELAY SKEW will adversely affect network performance and speeds.

MECHANICAL/MATERIAL SPECS - To complicate matters further, many RJ-45 plugs (RJ-45 Plugs - Potential Problem Areas) used in these applications DO NOT MEET THE MINIMUM MECHANICAL/MATERIAL STANDARDS REGARDING GOLD PLATING, PLASTIC HOUSING MATERIAL and CONTACT DESIGN as set forth by standards bodies such as the ASTM, FCC, IEC, ISO, TIA and UL.


WORKMANSHIP and QUALITY CONTROL - One area that is often overlooked is the TRAINING provided to assembly operators to insure CONSISTENCY, RELIABILITY and REPEATABILITY between operator to operator. Even if you use the best components, without proper training, tools and procedures, you will get mixed results.

As the promised speeds in your network increase, don't be bogged down by the WEAKEST LINK IN THE SYSTEM.....the Patch Cable Assembly. This is especially true for Category 6 and 6a assemblies meant to handle GIGABIT throughputs. The selection of your patch cable supplier is critical to achieve the desired speeds you are expecting. Here are potential problem areas and what to look for in a patch cable assembly supplier:



Are your Category 6 and 6a patch cables 100% tested? You will be amazed at what you find out.....or more appropriately, don't find out. Ask your supplier to produce test reports FOR EACH CABLE.When dealing with Category 6 and 6a patch cables, traditional tests such as continuity and hi-pot testing are simply not adequate to insure that these cable assemblies will perform at the promised speeds. Testing MUST INCLUDE ELECTRICAL CHARACTERIZATIONS USING STANDARDS APPROVED TEST EQUIPMENT FOR CATEGORY 6 and 6A PATCH CABLES (such as Fluke Networks DTX or Psiber WirExpert 450

).In addition, THEY SHOULD BE 100% TESTED, EACH AND EVERY ONE. Why don't patch cable suppliers 100% test....and use the right equipment?  Because it costs money and sampling reduces their overall costs.



Selecting the RIGHT PLUG for your application is CRITICAL. There is a lot of junk out there, especially from the Far East. Plugs have one row of contacts, or two rows of either 4 over 4 or 6 over 2. The "RIGHT PLUGS' are patented and use special materials to improve electrical performance.....the "wrong plugs" don't.

Not all stranded patch cables are created equal. It is important to select the right patch cable supplier that has the proper design and "headroom" for your application. It is also important to know the OD's of the conductors and overall cable OD to make sure IT FITS INTO THE PLUG!



It doesn't matter if you select the right plug and cable if your termination procedures and equipment and not up to snuff. Operators must be HIGHLY TRAINED to insure consistency and reliability. Termination Equipment must be set in accordance to FCC guidelines and the depth of the contacts measured to insure proper mating with the jacks. Tooling must be checked periodically for wear and have a calibration procedure in place.

In addition, does your cable assembly partner use termination tooling to set the blades with ELECTRIC DRIVEN CAMS or PNEUMATIC (Air Driven) CAMS? If they use PNEUMATIC TOOLING, you can have a lot of inconsistencies in setting blade depths as there is variability in AIR PRESSURE during the course of the day. This is not a problem with ELECTRIC DRIVEN Equipment.



You will be amazed at the ignorance involved with properly maintaining and calibrating test equipment. You can't use a test fixture forever.....it wears out!!!! I was in a Lab of a MAJOR HARDWARE SUPPLIER checking out a complaint that our plugs and patch cables were no good. To my amazement, the test equipment fixture was completely worn down.....there was no GOLD on the contact surface area.....just bare metal. No wonder the tests being done didn't look to good.

The Solution
100% Tested and UL 3992 Certified High Performance Cable Assemblies


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