Cable performance Testing
Whether installing new cable, or troubleshooting existing cable, cable testing plays an important role in the process. Common tests for data cabling, include length, wiremap, attenuation, NEXT, DC loop resistance, and return loss.
As networks evolve, so do the requirements of the cabling infrastructure to support them. New standards are continuously being developed to provide guidelines for cabling professionals when installing, testing, troubleshooting, and certifying either copper and fiber. Whether it’s 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX or 1000BASE-T, there are specific requirements and potential pitfalls in implementing these technologies. And 10GBASE-T, it becomes even more critical to keep current with the latest proliferations in cabling and cable testing.
Cable testing provides a level of assurance that the installed cabling links provide the desired transmission capability to support the data communication desired by the users
Certification – guarantees cabling system compliance to industry standards
Certification instruments are the only tools that provide “Pass” or “Fail” information in accordance with industry standards. In the North America market, the prevalent industry standards organization dealing with the transmission capabilities of structured cabling, is the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). In the international markets, the Electro-technical commission of the International Organization for Standards (ISO/IEC) creates and maintains standards for telecommunication cabling.
Certification test tools determine whether a link is compliant with a category (TIA) or class (ISO); for example, category 6 or class E. Certification is the final step required by many structured cabling manufacturers to grant their warranties for a new cabling installation. The DSX-5000 CableAnalyzer™ has become the premier certification tester in the market for professional data communication installers
Qualification – determines if an existing cabling link can support certain network speeds and technologies
Qualification is a new category of testers in the industry that meets the emerging needs of network technicians who do not install new cabling, but need to troubleshoot operating networks. Qualification testers perform tests that decide whether an existing cabling link will support the requirements for “Fast Ethernet” (100BASE-TX), Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), or Gigabit Ethernet. These test tools furthermore allow the network technician to quickly isolate cabling problems from network protocol or addressing problems. Qualification test tools, such as CableIQ™ Qualification Tester, include all the capabilities of verification test tools but they are more powerful in that they perform an assessment of the cabling bandwidth and identify defects that affect the bandwidth. Qualification testers do not execute the battery of tests prescribed by the standards to be considered a “certification tool.”