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HOTS 06/1999

Issue: June 1999

By: Frank Bisbee


 

Featured Story

 


Tragedy strikes at the Daikin America chemical plant in Decatur, AL. An explosion rocked the plant about 9:00 AM on May 11th, 1999. Three workers were killed and others were injured. The fire that resulted was quickly brought under control. Damage to the facilities was limited but the accidental loss of life was tragic.

The chemical involved in the blast was tetrafluoroethylene, or TFE, a liquid mix of chemicals used to make plastics, according to the company. "We're still trying to figure out what happened," said Kathy McBee, environmental manager at the plant. Additionally, Larry Galpin, Executive Vice President for Daikin America said, "We do not expect this accident will affect our production of FEP." FEP (Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene) is an important material for the construction of high-performance plenum cables.

"Our prayers are with the staff and families at Daikin America," said Steve Paulov, Chairman of The Association of Cabling Professionals.



NORDX/CDT (Montreal, Canada), a wholly owned subsidiary of Cable Design Technologies (CDT) Corporation, has announced the availability of the new and revolutionary IBDN 4800LX Cable that enables performance beyond current Category 6 proposals.

The IBDN 4800LX Cable represents the "next generation" of UTP LAN cables. This cable exceeds all of the performance criteria with respect to the Category 6 proposals. Included within these performance criteria are two key transmission parameters that limit the maximum data-rate capability of copper cable networks. The most important transmission parameter is the signal level, which is primarily determined by the attenuation of the cable. The second is the noise level, which is primarily determined by internally generated crosstalk noise between cable pairs. This new cabling technology focuses on improving both of these parameters, hence providing a cabling system with an available bandwidth far beyond traditional cabling systems.

The IBDN 4800LX Cable incorporates a unique central cross-web design to separate and hold the twisted pairs of the cable firmly into position at a uniform distance from one another. This design provides improved Near End Crosstalk (NEXT) and Far End Crosstalk (FEXT) performance in comparison to conventional cables where the twisted pairs can nest into each other and change position during manufacturing or installation. The end result of this design is a very stable transmission performance that is less susceptible to manufacturing and installation variables.

"By implementing a forward-looking attitude, NORDX/CDT has pioneered new territory in cable technology," explained Eric d'Allmen, Product Manager at NORDX/CDT. "By taking advantage of this next generation cable technology, users can benefit from the additional headroom that it provides for today's most demanding and mission critical applications, as well as the multi-gigabit applications of the next millennium."

The IBDN 4800LX Cable is designed to provide low signal attenuation. This feature enables increased signal power over a higher range of frequencies. Where most cables may suffer a drop in performance at high frequencies, the 4800LX cable provides twice the signal power at 200 MHz compared to the current Category 6a proposal.

The higher signal power of the IBDN 4800LX Cable also results in a higher "signal-to-noise" ratio (SNR). With this higher ratio, the IBDN 4800LX Cable is able to provide fewer transmission errors and high data rate capability.

The IBDN 4800LX Cable supports all popular networking protocols including 10BASE-T, Token Ring, 100BASE-T4, 100BASE-TX and 155 Mb/s ATM. It surpasses the requirements for Gigabit Ethernet 1000BASE-T and is ideal for emerging high-speed protocols.

The IBDN 4800LX Cable combined with the IBDN PS6 MDVOFlex Jack and PS 6LX Modular Cords, will create the first end-to-end 300 MHz system in the industry - the IBDN System 4800LX. (PS6 components will be made available in the fall of 1999.)

The IBDN 4800LX Cable is available now. The list price per 1000 ft. starts at $275 US for non-plenum cable and $780 US for plenum cable. www.nordx.com



Don't miss out on attending or exhibiting at the popular and growing Information Technology Exposition and Conferences (ITEC). These regional events bring technology to your doorstep. It's a door opener to new prospects for Structured Cabling System (SCS) for manufacturers, contractors and distributors. An excellent way to identify and gain cabling business leads and cabling project opportunities on the spot.

Hats off to the ITEC staff for their high levels of enthusiasm and professionalism to make each ITEC a special and successful event for all. Special thanks to Rich Magdelain, Event Director not only for making ACP feel at home but helping bring Structured Cabling System (SCS) information for products and services to the IT (Information Technology) decision makers attending the Baltimore ITEC May 11-12, 1999. Various end-users visited the ACP booth to inquire about ACP certified and trained companies for assistance with current and upcoming projects.

ACP is proud to be associated with ITEC and their events.



Communication Supply Corporation (Carol Stream, IL) has expanded their sales and service staff in the North Florida area. Tom Gallina (904/880-6241) is the new Sales Representative for this area. Mr. Gallina has over 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. CSC is a provider of network solutions to future-proof your infrastructure design. www.gocsc.com



The use of 50/125 is gaining popularity again based on its performance advantages for Next Generation networks. The percentage of 50/125-multimode fiber shipped in the first quarter of 1999 almost doubled compared to previous quarters. Mohawk/CDT's AdvanceLite™ 600 products are leading the way. For the same price as standard FDDI cables, AdvanceLite™ 600 provides almost three times the guaranteed transmission distance. A good opportunity to stay in touch with developments in this arena is the Mohawk/Corning luncheon at BICSI in Nashville on June 8th. www.mohawk-cdt.com



Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL - Melville, NY) a safety testing and conformity assessment organization in North America has upgraded its Wire and Cable Certification Program to test to 1.2 gigahertz (GHz), which is nearly two times the requirement currently recognized by national standards. UL is the first third-party certifier to have such testing capability.

Although recognized standards require verification up to 750 MHz, UL's Rob Bellassai explains that the need to transmit electronic information at higher speeds to support new applications has created the need for enhanced testing capability.

"The ability to test to higher frequencies is crucial to everyone from cable design engineers to installers, contractors, and information technology manager," said Bellassai, Senior Project Engineer in UL's Wire and Cable Performance Testing Group. "It's important to know the speed and bandwidth capabilities of cable before you integrate it with you LAN infrastructure systems because you don't want to perform expensive re-cabling of buildings."

With the upgraded system, UL now has the capability of performing 65 tests to various industry standards. These include longitudinal conversion loss (LCL), longitudinal conversion transfer loss (LCTL), and attenuation deviation. In addition, one of the many advantages of the state-of-the-art system is a remote access feature that allows clients to view testing on a real-time basis anywhere a telephone line and computer are available.

"In any business, success comes to those who have the foresight to plan ahead," said Steve Galan, UL's Business Sector Coordinator for the wire and cable industry. "These enhancements address the needs of where the industry is going and will put manufacturers in a position to get there more quickly." www.ul.com



Booting up your PC may no longer be a prerequisite to checking E-mail, tracking a stock portfolio, shopping online, or accessing the wealth of other services and information on the World Wide Web. US WEST plans to simplify Internet access and E-mail service for millions of customers when it becomes the first local telephone company in the nation to offer Internet service through Alcatel's WebTouch™ One 'Web-Phone.'

WebTouch™ One from US WEST will offer more convenient access to the Internet for people who are already online, and gives the 50% of customers who aren't online an easy way to join the Internet Revolution. The Web-Phone, which will be available in late fall, combines a traditional telephone with a color LCD touch-screen and a retractable keyboard to let customers surf the Internet, check E-mail, make phone calls and check voice mail from a single device. Users access the Internet by pressing a single button, and the telephone also supports calling services like Caller ID, Call Waiting and Voice Messaging.

"With the Web-Phone, US WEST will give all customers - be they 'Net savvy or 'Net starters -a handy way to get online fast and access the Internet in places other than at work or the home office where families typically keep computers," said Teresa Taylor, Vice President of Integrated Solutions for US WEST INTERPRISE Networking. "US WEST, which introduced the Home Receptionist in 1995, has the largest installed base of screen phones in the U.S. today. As a natural evolution of that business, we're working with industry leaders like Alcatel to combine Web access with telephony and call management services, creating a new generation of digital screen phones and other Internet access devices."

The Web-Phone supports US WEST's broader vision of delivering information to customers through affordable, easy-to-use devices - 'information appliances.' Last month, for example, US WEST and NCI announced USWest@TV, a product that delivers Internet access and telephone service including Caller ID through standard televisions. USWest@TV will begin technical and market trials this summer in Denver, Phoenix and Minneapolis.

Van Baker, Director, Consumer Market Research for Gartner group's Dataquest stated, "initiatives such as this can simplify the consumer's Web experience and lead to tremendous growth in the Internet appliance category. Gartner Group's Dataquest projects the US consumer market for Internet screenphones will reach over 5 million units by 2002."

US WEST will be the first telephone company in the United Stated to offer customers the Alcatel WebTouch™ One, which won the Consumer Electronics Show '99 Innovations Award and the CeBIT '98 Highlight Award as the most innovative new communications product.

"Alcatel is proud to have partnered with US WEST in the development of this first-of-its-kind Internet appliance and service capability. The WebTouch One Internet offering is much more than just the actual hardware or device: US WEST provided the strategic vision to harness the WebTouch One platform to deliver a rich medley of integrated telephony, Internet and data services," said Patrick Liot, President, Professional & Consumer Division, Alcatel.

The US WEST Web-Phone will be pre-configured with USWEST.net Internet software, so users will simply plug the phone in and begin surfing the Internet and sending or receiving E-mails. With minor configuration changes, the Web-Phone also will support other Internet Service Providers (ISPs). www.uswest.com

The US WEST Web-Phone is small enough for nightstands, Kitchen counters and other places you would expect to find telephones. The convenience of having one-button Web access at your fingertips anywhere in the house will allow customers to use the Internet in new ways - like quickly locating a phone number on the US WEST Dex Internet Yellow Pages Web site before making a call; checking the weather in the morning before getting dressed; or accessing recipes online from the kitchen while making dinner. Touch-screen access to useful information and shopping services are enabled by Alcatel's unique HomeTop Solutions™ server technology. www.alcatel.com



American Access Technologies, Inc. (Altamonte Springs, FL) has announced the expansion of its Board of Directors from five to seven members with the appointment of two new directors, David S. Snyder and Elliot G. Steinberg.

"We are proud to add two outstanding outside directors to our board. David Snyder and Elliot Steinberg are seasoned businessmen, leaders in their fields, who offer not only wise counsel but access to important new accounts," said company CEO Richard A. Murray.

Snyder, currently Senior Vice President and CFO of Strategic Hotel Capital Incorporated (Chicago, IL), was previously Executive Vice President and COO of Equity Capital Holdings, a real estate venture founded by Sam Zell. Snyder has served as CFO of Eagle Industries, a diversified manufacturing company also headed by Sam Zell; Mark Controls and ELDEC.

Steinberg, who previously served as Corporate Vice President and General Counsel to Itel Corporation, is a managing partner of private real estate developer Wheaton Springs Management of Telluride, CO, and an advisor to emerging growth companies. He has also served as a Director of Cablevision Inc., Kimco Hotel Management Company and SportsTrac Inc., and as a trustee of the California Real Estate Investment Trust.

American Access' patented, UL-approved Zone Cabling Termination Cabinet (ZCTC) products for ceiling grids and raised floors apply the concept of "Zone Cabling" to replace conventional telecommunications wiring with a system that provides complete flexibility for voice and data cabling infrastructures. In addition to the benefits of greater convenience and ease-of-use, zone cabling is estimated to reduce the long-term cost of installing and maintaining a telecom wiring system by as much as 70%. www.aatk.com



Wavetek (San Diego, CA) recently announced the availability of the LT 8600, the most advanced instrument in Wavetek's family of handheld LAN cable testers. The LT 8600 is a 300 MHz, Level III accuracy, high-performance tester that exceeds the requirements for the emerging Category 6/Class E 250 MHz testing standards. Priced at just $4995, the LT 8600 provides installers with an advanced, price-competitive and standards-based instrument for certifying up to and beyond the Category 6/Class E cabling requirements. Additionally, this tester performs all Power Sum measurements up to 300 MHz, providing ample headroom for certifying cabling well beyond the draft Category 6 requirements.

The skyrocketing need for bandwidth has driven many corporations to install Category 5e cabling and will prompt many more to migrate to Category6/Class E cabling when this standard is fully ratified. Wavetek realizes that these higher-speed networks have a smaller margin of error between data transmission bit rates and the maximum physical capacity of cabling. This change in error rates has led to a tightening of most RF parameters and the need to test to Level III accuracy. The LT 8600 easily meets these new testing requirements, while providing maximum flexibility for both high-throughput testing and/or in-depth diagnostic analysis.

Additionally, Wavetek understands that the currently defined Category6/Class E standard is pushing copper links with RJ45-style connectors to its maximum limit. It is no longer possible for installers to simply assume full mix-and-match compatibility. However, Category 6/Class E performance can be achieved with certain "tuned combinations" of connectors and plugs. Wavetek is helping its LT 8600 users achieve this performance by working with all leading cable and connector manufacturers to facilitate this requirement.

"The LT 8600 offers a unique combination of a full feature set, aggressive pricing, sophisticated testing metrics and comprehensive management of test data," said Caroline Chen, Wavetek's Senior Product Marketing Manager. "Installers will appreciate Wavetek's design of a cost-effective, high-performance instrument that allows them to serve Category 6/Class E installation and testing opportunities and still maintain their competitive edge."

The advanced features of the LT 8600 include headroom measurement, Return Loss, Power Sum NEXT, ACR, and ELFEXT tests up to 300MHz. Testing high-complexity, multi-standard cable installations is simplified by the unit's Autotest function and comprehensive graphical plots. In addition, the LT 8600 offers a storage capacity of up to 1500 test records, provides support of up to 15 different tests individually or in a test suite, and offers support for multiple remote handsets. The LT 8600 can also test both single-mode and multi-mode fiber optic cabling through the FiberKit+™ option. The LT 8600 offers the same easy-to-use interface as the LT 8000 Series LAN cable testers without the need for training to get started.

Built to withstand the most rugged of work conditions, each LT 8600 cable tester is field ready, offering a rubber boot for protection against drops and state-of-the-art voltage protection for accidental telephone line plug-ins. The tester's newly designed exterior provides better mechanical support for the interface between the test unit and adapters. www.wavetek.com



DuPont plans to build a USD $40 million development and manufacturing facility at its Fayetteville, NC site to evaluate new polymerization and processing technology for DuPont Teflon® fluoropolymer resins, the company announced yesterday. Upon demonstration of the new technology, DuPont would construct a world-scale fluoropolymer facility representing a USD $275 million investment over the next seven years.

The new technology, which was developed by DuPont in conjunction with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is more efficient, more flexible and yields less waste than current processes, according to a news release. The technology also would allow DuPont to expand its product line by enabling the manufacture of new and specialized fluoropolymers.

Production at the facility is scheduled to begin in 2000, with initial annual capacity of about 2.5 million pounds. Location for the full-scale plant is under evaluation. A USD $2 million pilot facility at the DuPont Experimental Station in Wilmington, DE began operations this year.

"We are looking for a successful demonstration of new technology that will reinforce and advance DuPont's position as the technology and innovation leader in fluoropolymers well into the next decade," said Henry Voigt, Global Business Director for DuPont Fluoroproducts. "The additional capacity and new products we will gain from this investment will strongly support our customers in the rapidly growing data communications, semiconductor and automotive markets." www.dupont.com



Automated Systems Design, Inc. (Roswell, GA) announced the signing of their 300th AASDI™ (pronounced "as-dee"). The Authorized ASD Installer, AASDI™ program is a nationwide network of pre-selected and certified technicians for communications cabling and network integration services. The AASDI™ program allows ASD to provide on-site support for their clients while maintaining consistencies in project design, engineering and project management. www.asd-usa.com



Anicom, Inc. (Rosemont, IL), a North American leader and specialist in the distribution of multimedia technology products, today announced record financial results for the first quarter of 1999.

Net sales for the first quarter ended March 31, 1999 increased to a record $137.2 million, a 34% increase over net sales of $102.1 million in the first quarter of 1998. The increase is attributable to the continued success of Anicom's integrated growth strategy.

Net income for the first quarter of 1999 increased 17% to a record high of $3.1 million, compared to $2.7 million for the first quarter of 1998. Basic and diluted earnings per common share for the three-month period ended March 31, 1999 were $0.12 per share. Diluted weighted average shares outstanding increased 13% from 1998 to 1999. www.anicommm.com



Many BICSI and ACP members have requested a list of sub-contractors who can install Inside Plant and/or Outside Plant facilities. Neither ACP nor BICSI provides such a list. However, ACP does maintain an industry website directory on Wireville's "Router" page. If you wish to have your company's website added to the roster on the Wireville site, call the Association of Cabling Professionals (ACP, Jacksonville, FL) at (904) 645-6018 or E-mail to acp@wireville.com. There is no cost to be listed.



Corning Incorporated (Corning, NY) has announced the completion of its acquisition of BICC's telecommunications cable businesses, previously announced on March 1, 1999. The new acquisition, to be known as Corning Cables, will produce optical and metallic telecommunications cables and provide network installation services from facilities throughout Europe and Australia.

Commenting on the close of sale, Corning's Vice President, Opto-Electronics, Wendell Weeks said, "With this addition to our portfolio of fiber, cable and photonics businesses Corning is now well positioned to capitalize on the robust growth we see developing in the worldwide telecommunication marketplace, particularly in Europe. It is our intention to establish a strong international platform for Corning in Europe and we have taken another step toward achieving that objective." www.corning.com



When the truckers say petal to metal, they mean speed to maximum. When the cable designers want speed to the maximum with copper, they say "Mohawk's GigaLAN™." As you move to the higher standards and prepare for Gigabit Ethernet, this product is a top choice and far less expensive than the fiber-optic alternative to do the same job. Look for the first public demos of gigabit ethernet technology at upcoming tradeshows and conferences. www.mohawk-cdt.com



Cabling Business Magazine is ALMOST FREE. You have to fill out a subscription renewal every 6 months. If you haven't been doing this, start NOW. Subscription forms are in the magazine and on the website www.cablingbusiness.com or call (214/328-1717). This is a small sacrifice for such a big value.



Be sure and check the class schedule for Cabling Business Institute in Dallas. CBI has also added the ACP certified 200 course to their offering. www.cablingbusiness.com The have a world-class training facility with regular classes on installation, structured wiring with Category 5 certification, LANs, fiber optics and design.



ACP Continuation Training Program

Course 200

Available at Cabling Business Institute

OR

On the Road from ACP: When you want it & Where you want it.

For additional information, contact:

Grace Shimp at ACP at 904-645-6018, email acp@wireville.com

OR

Cindy Webb at Cabling Business Institute 214-328-1717,

email cindy@cablingbusiness.com

 

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