How to terminate and test copper cable.
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This hands-on Tips for Techs video takes you inside the Black Box Training Center to show you how to terminate and test cabling for a copper installation. The video begins with a step-by-step demonstration of terminating a patch cable up to the CAT6 specification, with special focus on how to cut and strip the cabling in a way that ensures good signaling integrity. Next, it covers how to validate and verify a backbone link between a patch panel and workstation. The video tutorial then demonstrates what kind of tester you’ll need if you must certify and document a copper link, then ends with a discussion on what you’ll need to simply verify the Ethernet performance of a cable run.
Kevin: In this Tips for Techs, we’re showing how to terminate and test copper cable. This hands-on demonstration will cover best practices and include the tools and testing products you’ll need at the different steps in the process. For clarity, we’ve divided this video into three parts. We’ll start with how to terminate and test patch cables, then proceed to validating and verifying a copper backbone between a wiring closet and workstation. Last, we’ll show you what you’ll need to test and/or certify the entire cable run. Now let’s go to Black Box’s Doug Matovich in the Black Box Training Center.

Terminating and testing patch cables
Doug: Thank you, Kevin. We’re going to start by terminating a cable up to the CAT6 specification. To do this, you’ll need the proper tools and components, and for this discussion, we’re going to use the FT001 tool with the FT002 die set. This is a 2-position die set required for several of the ETL-certified... more/see it nowconnectors used in our Black Box Channel Solution for Category 6. It will not crimp at the center, thus preventing damage to alignment inserts found in some RJ-45 Category-rated plugs. Cleanly cut straight across and strip the jacket back to expose the conductors. The standard allows for a half-inch of the cable to be untwisted. It can be less, but not more. This is to maintain the electrical integrity of the differential signaling. Arrange your conductors in accordance with the standard you’re following. We will use the 568B standard. Hold them in position and make a clean straight cut across all pairs. You will need to leave enough exposed to insert into the connector, but short enough that the jacket will fit into the stress relief. After connecting the second end, it is highly recommended to test the cable. At the very least, you should visually check through the plastic to make sure the color code is in the proper order, along with an inexpensive continuity check that’ll show pass or fail. If it fails, cut off the connector and dispose of properly and start over. When it passes, it can be put to use.

Validating and verifying the backbone cable connection
Doug: Now, it’s time to validate and verify the permanent link, that is, the connection between the patch panel and the workstation terminal. It’s the wiring that’s part of the facility, rarely moved once in place. Typically, it’s the wiring that runs from the wiring closet patch panel to the workstation. However, it could just as easily run from the wall cabinet to a point-of-sale device. For clarity, we’re going to use this patch panel, solid UTP wire, and a typical wall jack. Solid core is required for use in a 110-style punchdown block. We’ll start our run from the patch panel side and pull the cable to the jack. First, strip enough of the jacket to get each pair into its place on the jack. This GigaTrue 2 CAT6 Jack is color-coded. Again, we will use the T568B color code. Then assemble the jack into the wallplate. Remember, do not stress the cable any more than necessary. If you’re working alone, attach your tester’s remote unit with a known good patch cable, preferably one that’ll be as long as the longest cable you expect to use. Peel off enough slack to comfortably reach your patch panel. The maximum run from switch port to network port is 100 meters, or 328 feet. Push the cable down on the back of the patch panel using the same color code as the jack for a straight-through connection. Then using a typical-length patch cable that you know is good quality, attach this end to the tester. For this particular test, we’re using our TS560A tester… It’s a good test. But what if when working alone, you want to map ports back to specific workstations in an existing application? For this, use port identifiers, such as those included in our TS565A LAN Solution Network Tester Kit. With the tester powered off, just connect to the unknown jack or plug. Next, press the CABLE button. The tester will power on in Jack ID mode and tell you what port identifier is connected to the other end of this cable. It’ll also tell you if no connection is found. You now have wired and identified a connection for a basic link.

Certifying the link
Doug: To certify the link, you will need accurate test results, usually to the full TIA/EIA specification. This is often necessary for a permanent link in new construction, where it’s particularly important to ensure that the cable network installation will work for years to come. For our tests, we will use a Fluke DTX CableAnalyzer. This unit tests to the full EIA/TIA specification and provides documentation for the customer or anyone else requiring such information. However, if you do not need to do a full certification and you just want to verify the performance of your run, then use something like our NT955 Validator. It sends packets down the wire and will tell you if the cable is capable of 10-/100- or even Gigabit Ethernet.

Kevin: Thanks, Doug. We hope you found this video informative and have a better understanding of how to terminate, test, and/or certify a copper link. If you have questions or need assistance, contact Doug or any of our experts by calling our free Tech Support hotline at 877-877-2269. You’ll be live with one of them in 20 seconds or less. And if you’re interested in learning more about our testing and termination products, then visit blackbox.com, where you’ll find industry’s widest selection of infrastructure products for every budget. collapse


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