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Issue: APRIL 2003

By: Frank Bisbee

In This Issue

Bits N' Pieces


Bisbee's Buzz

As the NEC 2002 is adopted and implemented throughout the country, there are many questions arising about the Abandoned Cable issue. It is easy to understand the safety factor that would be enhanced by the removal of abandoned cable. The loophole clauses are big enough to drive a truck through. That is why you must have access to a definitive expert on the NEC 2002. Look up or (they go to the same website "a rose by any other name"). We have researched this site and the offerings from Mike Holt. This is a must see site for commercial real estate owners and electrical and communications contractors. Safety Is Too Important To Ignore.

The War continues. The progress is exceptional. Technology and training have given the United States, Britain, and the other coalition forces a major advantage over Saddam Hussein's regime. Our prayers are with our Heroes. May they return home safely, and SOON.

The best in print for March 2003 is Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine. It's their 10th year commemorative issue and it was accompanied by The Cabling Installations & Maintenance 2003 Buyer's Guide. A very handy reference tool when you are trying to track down the sources for your cabling solutions. Patrick McLaughlin's editorials and Donna Ballast's column (Ask Donna) are our favorites. Be sure to read the article - "UTP copper, multimode optical-fiber evolving at the speed of life" by Betsy Ziobron. It is very insightful.

Also, best in print for first quarter 2003, anything by Joe Salimando. If you are looking for the "straight scoop", Mr. Salimando is your man. He tells it like it is and doesn't get confused with politically correct double talk. He is clearly one of the best authors (word smith) in the communications and electrical industry. His work with Rexel Inc. has helped to make the Rexel's Power Outlet Magazine an information treasure trove.

Don't forget to check out today's hottest and latest info about network cabling is in the Cabling Standards UPDATE. Marilyn Michelson and Joe Salimando are teamed to make this a real super value. This publication is totally independent. Get all the news in the wonderful world of cabling standards.

Planning on flying to Denver for BICSI or just traveling anywhere by air? Perhaps you've heard of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)? Those airplanes are just like a sealed petri dish. It will be you and the passenger who is coughing three rows behind you. As of April 9, 2003, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported 148 suspected cases in 30 States. Worldwide, many more than 2600 people have been sickened, and the death toll hit 101 after Canada reported its 10th fatality. You might want to wear a C&B warfare suit (Chemical & Biological). If you are going to travel to a conference, it should at least have an agenda worth the risk.

Some of the large corporations have initiated "REAP" programs. REAP roughly translated means Retire Early - Aged Personnel. This program has reduced their expenses for wages and their costs for employee insurance. It has also reduced their experience level. Look around at the next conference. You can spot the "Newbie" replacements easily. They are the ones with a compass in one hand, the conference agenda in the other hand, and a puzzled look on their face. Remember, age and experience can often win out over youth and energy. The price that many corporations are paying for their reduced experience level may not be tallied for several years, but we guarantee that it will cost them more than they saved.

The nations retailers reported disappointing March sales and unemployment continues to remain high. Recent statistics indicate that even the most qualified job applicants are experiencing a four and one half month minimum period between losing their job and finding another. It can be far longer if the applicants are not willing to relocate.

We really looked very hard to find some good news for the column. But we failed!

But that's just my opinion. Frank Bisbee

Siemon Company announces 10G ip solution

The Siemon Company has announced its new 10G ip solution. The system is designed to be a networking infrastructure that can handle emerging bandwidth-intensive, IP-based applications.

10Gip is designed to give enterprise customers the ability to maximize their investment in IP networking equipment while decreasing costs and improving revenues. It features Siemon's 10 Gb/s XGLO fiber products, TERA - a copper cabling system delivering 1.2 GHz of usable bandwidth and 10G 6.

10G ip combines Siemon technology. XGLO Fiber cabling, Siemon's newest fiber system, features singlemode and multimode LC and SC style laser optimized components and is designed for applications ranging from 1Gb/s to 10 Gb/s backbones to fiber to the desk.

TERA is ideal for multimedia transmission over a single Shielded Twisted Pair cable. The TERA system and its components offer full compliance to the new international class F and category 7 standards.

The Siemon Company is based in Watertown CT. For more information visit

Communication Planning Corporation announces new Safety Program

Communication Planning Corporation (Jacksonville, Florida) North Florida's leading communications cabling professionals announced the release of the new Datacom Cabling Safety Program. Michael Shannahan, VP, said, "This program is designed to assist the tenants in commercial real estate properties in the selection of cabling and create an awareness of the safety issues embedded in the NEC 2002's new requirement for the removal of abandoned cable." These programs will be distributed on CD and will be made available on the CPC website (904) 645-9077.

This cabling safety package is the first of a series of information releases to assist the members of BOMA (Building Owners & Managers Association), NAIOP (National Association of Industrial and Office Properties), and all other major commercial real estate owners. The new NEC 2002 rules have changed the game in commercial real estate

Quabbin’s New DataMax® 6E Assembler Partner Program Produces 100% Tested Cat6 Patch Cords

Quabbin Wire & Cable Co., Inc. (Ware, MA) announced the introduction of their enhanced patch cord assembler program. This new DataMax 6E Assembler Partner Program instructs cable assemblers how to manufacture and fully test patch cords to comply with the TIA's Category 6 patch cord test procedure (TIA/EIA-568-B.2-1, Annex J). This program will augment and gradually replace Quabbin's existing assembler program that focused on producing patch cords that measurably improved the Return Loss performance of legacy Category 5 and 5e channels. A "Cat Logo" will be used to identify both the assemblers and cordage.

The new program is a result of market need and a Quabbin study that proved most open-market cords currently labeled Category 5e or Category 6 do not meet the TIA's published requirements. The test data showed that 69.8% of Category 5e cords and 83% of Category 6 cords fail to meet the TIA's published requirements. Thus, it became clear that most cord buyers are not getting what they pay for.

DataMax 6E Assembler Partners will be trained to produce Category 6 patch cords that are 100% tested to the full requirements of TIA/EIA-568-B. These cords not only provide interoperability with many different OEM's Category 6 channels, but also offer backward compatibility with legacy Cat 3, 4, 5, and 5e networks.

Assembler Partners in this program will use Fluke Network's newest patch cord test adapter and their DSP 4000 Series Cable Analyzer to perform 100% cord testing to the full requirements of Category 6, including Propagation Delay, Length, Delay Skew, Wire Map, NEXT, and Return Loss. Every cord will be backed by actual testing to assure the buyer or end user that they are getting the performance they paid for and expect

These new cords are constructed using Quabbin's DataMax 6E stranded bulk cable, a true Category 6 plug with a wire management load-bar, and tightly controlled assembly techniques. The result is a cord with optimized attenuation, crosstalk and impedance; creating a tuned construction that closely matches the characteristics of today's best performing Category 6 horizontal cables. This performance is achieved without using fused pairs, over-sized copper, a spline, or other type of pair separator; resulting in a smaller diameter cable with maximum flexibility. The electrical performance of these cords is so good that many Cat 6 channels actually demonstrate improved high frequency response and increased performance margin when compared to data using their original OEM cords.,

Belden lowers forecast, sees 1st-quarter loss

Belden Inc. a maker of communications and electronics cables, said it cut its first-quarter earnings per share forecast and now expects to post a loss, citing lower than expected revenue.

St. Louis-based Belden said it expects to post a loss of between 5 cents and 10 cents per share on revenues of about $195 million, for the quarter ending March 31. It previously targeted earnings of about 3 cents per share.

Chairman and Chief Executive C. Baker Cunningham said in a statement that an increased level of uncertainty in the economy and world events seem to be causing its markets to become indecisive. "Planned projects, including routine replacements and upgrades of systems, seem to be on hold until some of the outstanding issues become clearer," he said, adding that distributors in its electronics markets have reduced their inventory from year-end levels, hurting its results further. .

Corning Inc. has added a new polarization maintaining flame retardant fiber

Corning Inc. has added a new polarization maintaining flame retardant fiber to its specialty fiber portfolio.

This new fiber is designed to combine superior polarization maintaining properties, low attenuation and birefringence with a polyester-elastomer coating. It is ideally suited for low flammability telecommunications applications, such as premises, and non-telecom applications such as sensors, systems requiring a vacuum and optical fiber gyroscopes.

This specialty fiber is a 400-micron UV coated fiber buffered to 900 microns with a polyester-elastomer coating and has a flammability classification of V-O in accordance with UL94. The result is a buffered fiber with a VW-1 end product flammability classification in accordance with UL1581.

"This product is generating strong interest from customers in a number of different industries, including telecommunications," says James Haberstroh, product manager for Corning Photonic Technologies. "The introduction of a polarization maintaining flame retardant specialty fiber is aligned with our strategy to pursue diverse market opportunities."

Berk-Tek Introduces Broadband Coaxial Cable Line

Berk-Tek, (New Holland, PA) a Nexans company, introduces a complete line of flame-retardant, broadband coaxial cable products. These products are being added to one of the industry's most diverse LAN cable product lines to give users a complete premise cable package from Berk-Tek.

Berk-Tek broadband coaxial cables are ideal for use in video distribution, CATV, MATV, video-conferencing, DSS and TVRO applications. Berk-Tek is offering two types of broadband coaxial cables: Quad Shield ? for use in high noise, or low emission environments and Drop Cable ? a more cost-effective alternative for less demanding electrical noise and emission environments.

"The addition of coaxial cables to our product line will give users another reason to solely specify Berk-Tek cable products for their premise cabling needs," said Dan Kennefick, Berk-Tek copper products business manager.

"Berk-Tek broadband cables are manufactured to exacting standards and exceed industry standards for attenuation, SRL (Structural Return Loss) and Impedance stability giving users interference-free installations," Kennefick said.

Berk-Tek broadband Quad Shield and Drop coaxial cables are available in CMP (plenum) and CM (general purpose) rated versions. The styles available will be: RG-6, RG-59, and RG-11. All cable types are available for immediate orders and shipment.

Workers at General Cable Industries in Texas Join UAW

Berk-Tek (New Holland, PA), a Nexans

Workers at General Cable Industries in Scottsville, Texas, have voted by a 167-89 margin to join the UAW. Voting took place on March 3 and 4 at General Cable, a firm that supplies cable power lines to utility companies in Texas, Florida and other states.

"We want to have a voice in our workplace," said Joe Townsend, a lab technician at General Cable. "We just knew we weren't going to have a real voice and be able to participate in decisions that affected us unless we formed our union." "Our business is doing quite well right now," said Townsend. "I think it can do even better with our union. We're going to be even more competitive with input from the workforce."

"Workers at General Cable won this campaign because of the terrific work of their own in-plant organizing committee," said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger. "They respected one another, and they showed great courage in standing up for their right to organize." "Texas is UAW country," said Jim Wells, director of UAW Region 5, which includes Texas and 16 other states. "More than 18,000 active and retired UAW members live in Texas. But no matter where you live, joining a union gives you a chance to improve your workplace and strengthen your community."

"Workers at General Cable showed tremendous courage and determination in winning a great organizing victory," said UAW Vice President Bob King. "They will bring that same spirit to forming a strong partnership with General Cable, which will be a tremendous asset for the entire company ."

The UAW is one of North America's largest and most diverse unions, with 1.3 million active and retired members. UAW members make cars, planes, trucks, tractors, washing machines, plumbing fixtures, lawnmowers and a wide range of other consumer and industrial products. UAW members also work in schools, hospitals, medical clinics, day care centers and in various occupations for state, city and county governments.

You've heard of computer dating? Well, TIA is not to be outdone.

TIA publishes intermateability standard

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has published a new standard, FOCIS 13, Fiber Optic Connector Intermateability Standard, Type SFOC 1.25, TIA-604-13.

FOCIS 13 presents the intermateability standard for simplex and duplex connectors with the commercial designation shuttered optical fiber connector 1.25mm. It was issued as an addendum to Fiber Optic Connector Intermateability Standards, TIA/EIA 604.

Intermateability standards define the minimum physical attributes of mating connector components. Fully dimensioned components are not within the scope or intent of FOCIS 13.

The requirements in FOCIS 13 have been selected to ensure that any combination of plugs and adapters conforming to the requirements of FOCIS 13 will mechanically intermate and that intermate connector assemblies will meet a common level of performance.

TIA-604-13 was formulated under the cognizance of the TIA FO-4.3 Subcommittee on Interconnecting Devices and released October 2002.

ACUTA's 32nd Annual Conference & Exhibition coming up in July

The agenda on this conference is a FOUR STAR rated program!!!

ACUTA (Association of Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education) has announced the on-line availability of information and registration for ACUTA's 32nd Annual Conference & Exhibition, July 27-31 in Hollywood, Florida. The ACUTA Conference provides unequalled networking opportunities - both formal and informal, valuable educational sessions, insightful keynote and general session presentations, and an exhibit hall filled with the latest technologies and services. This is a must attend event. There is real value in their presentations and user group training sessions. Check it out.

Changed location for IWCS enjoy Philadelphia instead of Orlando this November

The 52nd IWCS (International Wire and Cable Symposium) will take place in Philadelphia from 10th to 13th November 2003. It is a good well organized technical event. Orlando may be nicer but IWCS are wise to adjust to the times and move the event to a less costly location. IWCS also announced management changes: Dipl. Ing. Dieter Nordmann (Alcatel Hannover) has been elected as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Elmer F.Godwin, CEO since 1979 retired in Nov. 02 and is replaced by James R. Leech, formerly with Dow Chemical Co. If you have a surplus in your budget for conference participation there is always the JICABLE 03 (6th International Conference on Insulated Power Cables) which will take place in Paris-Versailles, France from 22nd to 26th June 2003.

Draka NK Cables Signs Agreement with Verizon Wireless

Draka NK Cables USA announced it has signed a manufacturers agreement with Verizon Wireless, one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Chosen for its dependable delivery, durability and attention to detail, Draka NK Cables has a proven track record serving the telecommunications arena. Draka NK Cables will service Verizon Wireless with cables, connectors, and a wide range of cable accessories. Network cabling, found at the heart of every network site, impacts signal transmission, intermodulation and attenuation.

"Continuing our efforts to the best quality voice and data networks possible, we have chosen Draka NK Cables as one of our preferred suppliers," says Ed Curran, Executive Director of Network Purchasing for Verizon Wireless. "Draka NK Cables provides products of high performance and high quality, ideally suited to support our Express Network."

Hugh Jansen, Vice President for Draka NK Cables USA, adds, "Working with Verizon Wireless, one of the largest providers of wireless services in the United States, we have the opportunity to impact their communications networks nationwide allowing them to provide to their customers a level of call quality expected by the most demanding of customers. And given their extended national presence, we look to expanded growth opportunities in the U.S. This agreement also validates the quality of our product and the performance it has on wireless systems, which ultimately impacts our customer's reliability and wireless network usability for their end-consumer."

At Draka NK Cables, quality thinking and environmental considerations go hand in hand when designing new products to impose a minimum load to the environment. Designed for clearer signal transmission to better work with today's high sensitivity receivers, Draka NK Cables products provide excellent return loss values and low, stable intermodulation. Also, included as a new standard, a Draka NK Cables test report quantifying these industry measures is attached to each order to illustrate its outstanding electrical performance.

The Electric Show to host Company Owners, Electrical Contractors and Engineers this June in Washington, DC

PRIMEDIA Business Magazines & Media, a leading producer of targeted business-to-business publications, Web sites, and exhibitions, will present the 18th annual Electrical Exposition & Conference (The Electric Show) from Tuesday, June 10th through Thursday, June 12th at the new Washington, DC Convention Center, sponsored by EC&M, Electrical Wholesaling, Lighting Dimensions, and Transmission & Distribution World magazines.

The Electric Show will consist of 4 Pre-Conference Workshops presented on Monday, June 9th; 42 Conference Sessions held Tuesday through Thursday, June 10th-12th; 3 intensive Spotlight Sessions Tuesday and Wednesday; and the very popular Exposition—featuring more than 200 top electrical industry exhibitors—held Tuesday through Thursday.

Pre-Conference Workshops will address the important industry topics of Power Quality Troubleshooting with Handheld Test Tools; Battery Maintenance and Testing; Commercial and Industrial Lighting Workshop for Engineers, Contractors, and Distributors; and Low Voltage Ground Fault Protection.

Attendees at The Electric Show run the gamut, from the boardroom to the shop floor, encompassing ompany presidents, owners, partners, and officers Electrical, plant, maintenance, design, and sales engineers Electrical contractors, estimators, electricians, project directors, inspectors, and purchasers. Registration surveys show 41% purchase more than $1 million in electrical products and services annually

The Conference Sessions are set on 6 tracks of special interest to electrical professionals: Contracting & Engineering, Focus on Business, Facilities & Maintenance, Industrial Lighting, Practical Methods, and Power Quality.

More intensive instruction will be provided by the Spotlight Sessions presented Tuesday and Wednesday, June 10th and 11th. The BICSI Installation Series will deliver Telecommunications Bonding and Grounding Infrastructure for Commercial Buildings and Customer-Owned Outside Plants, a 2-day seminar. Continuing Educational Units can be earned by attending Understanding and Applying the National Electrical Code® and Grounding and Bonding: Understanding the 2002 National Electrical Code®, both presented by industry authority Mike Holt.

The Thursday morning General Session, also free to all attendees, will be the popular Code Violations, in which EC&M contributor Joe Tedesco reveals and explains some of the most interesting electrical troublespots that will amaze and confound even the most seasoned industry pro.

More than 200 of the electrical industry's top companies will present their latest innovations, product and service improvements in The Electric Show Exhibit Hall. Open Tuesday and Wednesday from 10:00am to 5:00pm and Thursday until 3:00pm, attendees will be able to inspect for themselves everything from batteries; busbars; conduit; couplers; and distribution equipment to fiber optics; measuring, testing, and locating equipment; motors; controls; security systems; switching equipment; and UPS equipment. Many of the exhibiting companies will be offering Show Specials, products and services discounted only during The Electric Show.

IEEE Establishes New Standards Group to Raise Mobile Broadband

IEEE P802.20 Will Set Data Rates Above 1 Mbps for Mobile Users at Vehicular Speeds to 250 km/hr

Mobile broadband wireless access (MBWA) for computers, personal digital assistants and other battery-powered devices is set to take a major step forward. The next two years will see a standard developed at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) to create an air-interface that delivers service levels to mobile users traveling at speeds as great as 250 km/hr that are comparable to wired broadband systems, such as cable and DSL connections.

The standard, IEEE P802.20 (TM), "Standard Air Interface for Mobile Broadband Wireless Access Systems Supporting Vehicular Mobility - Physical and Media Access Control Layer Specification," will seek to boost real-time data transmission rates in wireless metropolitan area networks from the dial-up rates of today's cellular phones to a broadband experience of 1 Mbps or more. By providing ubiquitous mobile broadband networking based on cell ranges of up to 15 km or more, the standard will remove barriers for mobile interactive voice, video and data services.

IEEE P802.20 will address MBWA in licensed bands below 3.5 GHz. It will optimize airwave use for mobility and allow for many more simultaneous users than existing mobile systems now accommodate. IEEE plans to have the standard in place by the end of 2004.

"Our goal is to bring a true broadband experience to wireless users," says Mark Klerer, 802.20 Working Group Chair and Executive Director of Standards at Flarion Technologies. "In so doing, we hope to make MBWA a viable option for transferring large amounts of data in real time via the Internet, intranets and enterprise systems to mobile users within metropolitan area networks. "The standard will target sustained spectral efficiencies of more than 1 bit/second/Hz/cell, which is more than double that of today's systems. It will promote fully QoS-enabled airlinks having high spectral efficiency and low latency, giving users a high-speed wireless data experience equivalent in quality to wired links."

The standard will provide for an efficient packet-based air interface with high-speed downlink and uplink capabilities. In providing for low latency, it will enable telephony using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and activities needing rapid network response times, such as online gaming and financial transactions. The standard also will support other IP-centric applications, so the many native IP applications can be used without alteration.

Individuals with expertise in mobile wireless systems, air interfaces and mobility are invited to join the IEEE 802.20 Working Group. The group will hold its next meeting at the IEEE 802 Plenary Meeting in Dallas, Texas, on March 10 to 13. For more information on IEEE 802.20, visit:

This project is sponsored by the Working Group on Mobile Broadband Wireless Access of the LAN/MAN Standards Committee in the IEEE Computer Society.

About the IEEE Standards Association

The IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), a global standards-setting body, develops consensus standards through an open process that brings diverse parts of an industry together. It has a portfolio of more than 870 completed standards and more than 400 in development. IEEE-SA promotes the engineering process by creating, developing, integrating, sharing and applying knowledge about electro- and information technologies and sciences for the benefit of humanity and the profession.

About the IEEE

The IEEE has more than 380,000 members in approximately 150 countries. Through its members, the organization is a leading authority on areas ranging from aerospace, computers and telecommunications to biomedicine, electric power and consumer electronics. The IEEE produces nearly 30 percent of the world's literature in the electrical and electronics engineering, computing and control technology fields. This nonprofit organization also sponsors or cosponsors more than 300 technical conferences each year. Additional information about the IEEE can be found at

IEC Offers Valuable Member Benefit Through Safety Shorts Catalog

IEC (Independent Electrical Contractors) National (Alexandria, VA) renewed its contract with Safety Short Production, Inc. this week in order to continue to provide substantial discounts to IEC members.

"This is a win-win situation for IEC members", says Gene Mini, IEC National President. "They can use the videos to improve safety in the electrical construction industry and save money with this member benefit."

IEC members not only receive videos that typically cost $79.95 for $25.00 plus shipping and handling; they also receive a 30% discount on all other products made by the Safety Shorts company. Products include: PowerPoint presentations and other computer software, interactive CDs and videos, but excludes the company's resource guide. Safety Shorts offers over 350 safety, health, and environmental videos individually or through a guaranteed accident reduction program. Some videos are offered in as many as six different language choices, including over 140 Spanish titles. Safety Shorts also presents safety and compliance software and OSHA compliance packages.

Video topics include some IEC safety priorities, such as: lockout/tagout; scaffolding and ladder safety; personal protective equipment (PPE); how to avoid slips and falls; material hazards handling; and driving defensively. Other important topics include: accident reporting; back safety; safe lifting techniques; hazardous materials regulations; shock hazards/power tools; electrical burns; GFCIs; ergonomics; repetitive stress injuries; hot work hazards; crane safety; CPR; and how to prepare for an OSHA inspection. To access and order from the Safety Shorts website, please visit: or call 1-800-458-2236.

Established in 1957, IEC is a trade association made up of more than 3,200 merit shop electrical and systems contractors with 74 chapters nationwide. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., IEC is the nation's premier trade association representing America's independent electrical and systems contractors. IEC National aggressively works with the industry to establish a competitive environment for the merit shop a philosophy that promotes the concept of free enterprise, open competition and economic opportunity for all. For more information, contact News Editor Kristinn Leonhart at (703) 549-7351, or via email:


BOMA's Office Building Show - Now more than ever before

If you sell to the office building market, you have an opportunity to meet face-to-face with the industry's decision-makers by exhibiting and participating in the Building Owners and Mangers Association (BOMA) Annual Conference and The Office Building Show coming up June 29 - July 1, 2003 in San Francisco, CA.

Calendar of Events

ACUTA 2003 Spring Seminars
April 27 - 30
Norfolk, VA. on April 27-30

BOMA Southern Regional Conference
April 24-26, 2003
Tampa, FL

BOMA Southwest Regional Conference
April 24-27, 2003
Albuquerque, NM

AIA Expo
May 8 - 10
San Diego, CA

Interwire 2003
May 11 - 16, 2003
Atlanta, GA

BICSI Spring Conference
May 12 - 15, 2003
Denver, CO

Graybar Technology Showcase

Anixter Annual Network Performance Seminar Series 



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