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Issue: November 2003
By: Frank Bisbee



In This Issue

Bits N' Pieces

Bisbee's Buzz'.

STOP THE INSANITY… Safety is TOO important to ignore.

At their August 2003 meeting held in San Diego, California, the NFPA 90-A Committee voted in favor of adopting NFPA 255 and NFPA 259 (both tests are intended for Building Materials and not appropriate for Wires and Cables) as the minimum requirements applying to ALL PLENUM CABLES, regardless of type. If this initiative is allowed to proceed without strong resistance from industry, plenum cables as we know them today would likely cease to exist.

The proponents of the 90-A Action have lead the NFPA 90-A Committee to believe that plenum “Duct” cables are safe enough to install within air or ventilating ducts. We believe, in air handling systems, whether for heating or air conditioning, air ducts are designed to move a certain volume of air. The volume of installed cables within heating or air conditioning ducts displaces and / or restricts air flow and could burden and overload the system and hence, contribute to perhaps yet another safety issue.

In the mid 1970’s the NFPA 255 test, (referred to at that time as the ASTM E-84), was deemed inappropriate for wires and cables because there was not provision for mounting cables in this test designed for building materials. The NFPA 255 test then known as ASTM E-84, Steiner Tunnel Test was modified to accommodate testing wires and cables and as a result a steel ladder suspended in the approximate center of the fire test rig to simulate a horizontal cable tray. The modified ASTM E-84 was then named UL-910 Steiner Tunnel fire test. In addition to cable mounting differences there also remains another very important difference in comparing the NFPA 255 to the UL-910 (now known as NFPA 262). This very important difference is the test time duration. The proposed NFPA 255 has a test duration time of 10 minutes. The test time duration of the UL –910 (NFPA 262 test) is 20 minutes. This is important because fluoropolymer insulating and jacketing materials do not begin to burn until temperatures reach > 1100 degrees F. The shorter test time specified in the NFPA 255 test method gives fluoropolymer materials an unfair advantage.

In 1998 the Fire Protection Research Foundation, FPRF, published a technical report called “International Limited Combustible Plenum Cable Fire Test Project” The content and conclusions contained in this report are solely those of the authors of the report, and participation on a technical advisory committee does not necessary imply agreement with those contents and conclusions. Throughout the project the proponents leading to the recent activities within the 90-A also sponsored, supported and led the FPRF research project. Throughout the project the research project manager, a consultant to the proponents supporting the current 90-A action led the project by studying NFPA 225. NFPA 255 and NFPA 262 fire test methods. The cable samples consisted on only 4 UTP, unshielded twisted pairs made from various insulating and jacketing materials. The decision to use NFPA 255 and NFPA 259 building materials test methods was not a consensus decision. The facts are that NFPA 255 and NFPA 259 are clearly described as NFPA 255 Standard Method of Test of Surface Burning Characteristics of BUILDING MATERIALS – NFPA 259 Standard Method for POTENTIAL HEAT OF BUILDING MATERIALS. Despite objections from a minority of sponsors the project moved forward utilizing these inappropriate test methods.

categories was tested. Detailed information about the construction of those cables tested was not provided. This can hardly be called a scientific sampling. We take exception to the data and the conclusions. Further, we feel that the conclusions were biased in favor of the consultant's sponsor.

The technical report focused on flame spread and smoke density. The smoke density is related to the incapacitation factor. Incapacitation relates to the ability of the occupants to exit the structure in the event of a fire scenario. The tests that were conducted completely ignored the toxic gases generated by heat decomposition. No provision was made to measure the colorless toxic gases emitted during the test. One of the principal gases released during this test was HF (Hydrogen Fluoride). This gas converts to Hydrofluoric Acid upon contact with even minute amounts of moisture. The eyes, nose, throat and lungs of the building occupants may be significantly affected by this toxic gas. Ignoring this important part of the safety formula is a complete failure of the goal for this test to determine cable safety in fire conditions.

Let the NFPA and the NEMA organizations associated with this matter know your feelings by writing letters from your respective organizations. Visit the NFPA website and submit your comments. Send a letter to Andrei Moldoveanu, Technical Director at NEMA on your official company letterhead and express your concern on the issues.

The issues are:

1. There is NO data supporting a fire hazard exists.

2. The current minimum standard, NFPA 262 has sufficed without incident for more than 25 years.

3. The FPRF study studied only 4 UTP; type CMP cables made from a limited variety of materials.

4. The same Limited Combustible, “DUCT” cables barely passed the NFPA 255 test in one laboratory, UL and failed in another, ETL laboratory.

5. NFPA 255 and NFPA 259 are Building Materials tests and are inappropriate for cables.

6. NFPA 220 Committee rules over Building Materials and not NFPA 90-A.

But, that's just my opinion. Frank Bisbee

Fluke Networks packages verification products for contractors and network administrators

Fluke Networks ( recently announced a bundled-product offering aimed at datacom installers, electrical contractors, and network administrators. The MicroScanner Pro VDV Kit is a verification package for voice, data, and video cabling.

The kit includes a MicroScanner Pro cable verification tester, MicroProbe toner probe, remote wiremap adapter, office/room ID set, and adapters for testing coaxial cabling and two-conductor wire. Included as well is the "Business in a Box" CD-ROM, which focuses on the basics of residential VDV applications and explains cable types, cabling preparation, termination, installation standards and practices, and proper testing methods.

"The MicroScanner Pro VDV Kit equips users at any knowledge level with all the tools and information they need to verify voice, data communications, and video cabling installations," says David McLean, marketing manager for MicroTools. "Rather than purchasing multiple products for different applications, customers appreciate a single tool set that verifies and troubleshoots twisted-pair copper, coax cabling, and two-conductor security and control cabling."

Through December 31, 2003, customers who purchase the MicroScanner Pro VDV Kit will receive a free Installation Tool Kit. It combines the tools needed to strip, crimp, and terminate UTP cable and connectors, including a UTP/STP cable-jacket stripper, a punchdown tool with a swappable tip for 66 and 110 blocks, and an RJ-45 connector crimping tool.

The MicroScanner Pro VDV Kit is available through channels including datacom distributors, electrical and security wholesalers, and other distributors and catalog houses. The U.S. list price is $599.

Krone announces new AIRES ® Patch Cords

KRONE Incorporated (Centennial, CO) announced that all Category 6 and Enhanced Category 5 patch cords will now be manufactured using its patent pending AirES technology. AirES (Air-Enhanced System) improves signal transmission while reducing overall product size. This innovation enhances many aspects of the structured-cabling system including:

Significant size reduction, which greatly reduces patch-cord clutter in vertical and horizontal cable management spaces

Enhanced flexibility, which notably improves handling and circuit tracing

Improved electrical transmission

“This is the next logical step in the AirES revolution,” said Damon DeBenedictis, Senior Product Manager with KRONE. “Our customers and partners immediately recognized the significant benefits that AirES has brought to our network cables. We’re now working to incorporate the technology into all of our cable products.”

KRONE’s AirES technology, through patent-pending designs and manufacturing processes, reduces the amount of material required by incorporating air into the cable without using more common and antiquated foaming methods. This improves dielectrics and electrical performance while saving as much as 32 percent of the available space in cable runs, and 15 percent in the new patch cords. The smaller diameter also saves valuable space in the communications closet and reduces the amount of cable-management accessories required.

AirES technology was first launched in February. AirES cables now account for 100 percent of KRONE’s plenum-space cables in the United States, and AirES is also available in communications riser cables.


KRONE is a world leading cable and connectivity company with 75 years of experience in the design, development and supply of fiber optic and copper cable and connectivity solutions for enterprise and public networks.

Draka Comteq USA, Inc. offers Fiber & Copper Cables for Military & Harsh Environments

Draka Comteq USA, Inc., (Franklin, MD) a leading commercial cable manufacturer, passes stringent quality requirements of MIL-PRF-85045F and proposed MIL-DTL-54643/59 specifications. These documents meet the needs for both fiber optic and copper cables, respectively, for data, voice and control in defense applications. In addition, Draka Comteq USA, Inc., is the only commercial cable manufacturer to pass the stringent quality requirements of 10CFR50 Appendix B to provide both copper and fiber optic cables for nuclear power plants used for communication links, data networks, video broadcasting, and emergency system repairs.

Shipboard fiber optic cables are designed using a tight buffered, water blocked construction with low smoke, zero-halogen jacketing materials. These cables meet the United States Department of Defense MIL-PRF-85045F specification document and are available in one, four and eight fiber configurations. Cables meeting US Army TFOCA/TFOCA II requirements are also available.

ShipLAN™ Category 5e UTP and STP cables for data to the desktop and copper coaxial cables for precise video monitoring, broadcast and control are available in water-blocked and non-water blocked constructions. They are available in both Mil Spec and COTS versions.

Both families of copper and fiber optic cables have passed a stringent qualification program to insure full compliance to the applicable specification sheets,” notes Rob Gilberti, RCDD, Marketing Manager for fiber optic products, Draka Comteq USA, Inc. The program includes tests such as acid gas generation, halogen content, smoke generation and flame propagation, toxicity, fluid immersion, thermal shock, humidity, tempest low/high pressure salt water blocking, and many other highly demanding requirements. “In addition to the qualification program, the U.S. Department of Defense closely monitors the manufacturing process, the final cable testing and the periodic re-qualification tests to insure the highest degree of product quality,” adds Gilberti.

The use of low smoke, zero-halogen materials is critical in a shipboard environment to insure the safety of personnel and equipment. “Many flame retardant cables are manufactured with compounds containing halogens such as chlorine and fluorine. In the event of a fire, these compound additives are released from the cable generating acid gases that can be extremely dangerous for personnel, corrosive and potentially catastrophic to sensitive electronic hardware aboard ships,” notes Harry van der Meer, RCDD, Director of Technology for Draka Comteq USA. “However, Draka Comteq’s line of fiber optic and copper shipboard and ShipLAN cables use flame-retardant jacketing systems containing no halogens. As a result, no acid gases are emitted in a fire,” he adds.

These cables are available with either a thermoplastic or a thermoset outer jacket. The thermoplastic jacketing system offers good resistance to chemicals, fluids, fungus and abrasion; offers low smoke, low toxic fumes and eliminates acid gas generation. The thermoset jacket is more rugged and offers improved thermal aging and fluid resistance, improved abrasion, scrape and cut through resistance and better flexibility at the extremes of temperatures.

About the Draka family

Draka Comteq USA, Inc., is part of the global Draka Comteq organization. In addition, Draka Comteq USA is a subsidiary of Draka USA.

Draka Holding, N.V., the parent company of Draka Comteq and Draka USA is headquartered in Amsterdam, and has over 60 operating companies in 25 countries in Europe, The Americas and Asia and employs worldwide 8,100 employees. With decades of experience in providing integrated cable solutions, Draka Holding N.V., together with all its members, is solely engaged and dedicated to worldwide development of superior quality cable products and systems to become a global forerunner in the industry.

For more information or for a copy of ShipLAN™/Shipboard brochure, contact the company directly. These products will be among many shown at their booth at the upcoming BICSI Winter Conference, Gaylord Palms Convention Center, Orlando, FL, January 11 – 14, 2004

Draka Comteq USA, Inc.
20 Forge Park
Franklin, MA
Toll free: 888-541-7100

Press contact: Carol Everett Oliver, RCDD ( )

Mohawk/CDT's Red Hawk Brand Introduces New Modular PowerSense Power Over Ethernet Midspan Hub

Delivers 15.5 Watts per Port to Assure Complete Availability of Next Generation Power-over-Ethernet Network Devices

Cable Design Technologies (Pittsburgh, PA) announced general availability of the new fully-modular PowerSense BL-6000 24 port Power-over-Ethernet MidSpan Hub.

Configurable in 8, 16, and 24 port versions in a 1U rack mountable chassis and delivering full 15.5 Watts of power per port over standard Category 5 through Category 6 data cabling, the PowerSense 6000 is designed for both existing Power-over-Ethernet clients and next generation Voice over IP Phones, Wireless LAN Access Points, Web Cameras and other LAN devices. Fully compatible with the IEEE 802.3af Power-over-Ethernet standards and interoperable with existing Ethernet switches and devices, the PowerSense 6000 allows organizations to incrementally build Power-over-Ethernet solutions according to their business and network requirements.

As a key addition to our industry-leading portfolio of modular Power-over- Ethernet solutions, the PowerSense 6000 not only expands our technological advantage over fixed port competitors, but most importantly, allows our customers to fully leverage their existing Ethernet infrastructure devices while deploying Power-over-Ethernet solutions when and where they are most required, said Ron Bose, General Manager for Red Hawk/CDT. Each 8 port module within the PowerSense 6000 is hot-swappable, allowing 8 port modules to be added to the chassis without powering down the unit or effecting Power-over-Ethernet clients.

The PowerSense BL-6000 joins other Red Hawk/CDT products such as the award winning PowerSense BL-8000 Series Power-over-Ethernet Modular Midspan Hubs. Supporting IEEE802.3af, Cisco, 24V, and 12V, protocols in a 2U rack mountable, hot-swappable chassis to compose a portfolio offering unprecedented levels of safety, reliability and scalability for powered LAN devices.

About CDT and Red Hawk

Cable Design Technologies ( ) is a leading designer and manufacturer of high bandwidth network connectivity products, assemblies, components, and communication cable products used in wireless and local loop applications. CDT is a founding member of the IEEE 802.3af Task Force leading the development of an industry standard for powering Ethernet devices over the LAN infrastructure. CDT also manufactures electronic data and signal transmission products that are used in a wide range of specialty applications. From its Silicon Valley, California office, Red Hawk ( ) designs and manufactures cutting edge networking products that are integral to today's converged networks. Using ISO 9002 certified manufacturing, with worldwide sales and service, Red Hawk is uniquely positioned to provide both standard and custom product solutions to meet the customers' needs.

Molex Premise Networks Introduces PowerCatTM 6 Real Time Patching System

Molex Premise Networks, a leading structured cabling system manufacturer, announces the release of the PowerCat 6 Real Time Patching System. PowerCat 6, the Category 6 solution, provides a significant leap in performance and data transmission capability when compared to Category 5e. As a component of the Real Time intelligent connectivity management system, PowerCat 6 provides IT managers twice the bandwidth of a Category 5e system as well as the ability to manage and monitor the physical network layer and associated IT hardware.

The Real Time Patching System is comprised of intelligent patch panels, patch cords, cable and physical layer management hardware and software. The PowerCat 6 version of Real Time highlights the DataGate PlusTM Jack which is a Category 6 RJ-45 connector featuring design elements such as: ETL Listed for Category 6 Component Compliance; patented spring-loaded shutter to prevent incomplete mating and protect from dust and contaminants; patented IDC V-shaped contacts that flex rather than fatigue when terminated; pointed IDC towers to speed

Termination and enhance cable retention; molded category identification on the jack face as well as the option of port identification icons; and, RJ-11 compatibility.

As a solution, the Real Time System provides IT managers with real time cabling infrastructure information, monitors moves adds and changes and facilitates automated network mapping and works orders. Configuration of the system is simple and integral self-learning port identification reduces set up time. Scalability of the system is unlimited and it can be managed locally, remotely or via web connection. Intended to support multimedia connectivity including copper, fiber, and cross connect connections, a key feature of the Real Time System is that it can be retrofitted to legacy cabling systems in addition to new installations. This flexibility provides companies the ability to migrate to intelligent connectivity management throughout their organizations regardless of the age of their existing infrastructure. Additional management software expands the capability of the system with modules available to support Network Asset Management, diagnostics and mapping to MAC address level and the facility to use AutoCAD and Visio packages for planning and documentation.

As the complexity of cabling infrastructure increases in organizations, intelligent connectivity management systems such as the Real Time System offer IT Managers significant savings in the form of reduced downtime, foolproof maintenance and the elimination of manual documentation which is both time consuming and prone to human error. Now, with PowerCat 6 capabilities, these savings are reinforced by the additional benefit of being future proof against the most demanding of bandwidth applications.

For added customer confidence, Molex Premise Networks partners with ETL SEMKO, a division of Intertek Testing Services Ltd. and the world’s largest product and commodities testing organization. The Intertek Cabling System Channel/Link Verification Program objectively tests and verifies the performance of manufacturer cabling products and connectivity hardware in a LAN environment. After purchasing product off the open market, Intertek tests products in channel environments to verify performance to the TIA/EIA 568-B and ISO/IEC 11801 standards.

Through rigorous tests such as data through-put or electrical parameter NEXT, PSNEXT, PSELFEXT, etc., interoperability and standards compliance between cabling products and connectivity are proven. All Molex Premise Network systems are backed by a 25-year Product, System Performance and Application Assurance Warranty when installed as a certified system by a Molex Certified Installer. When you specify a Molex Premise Networks solution, such as the PowerCat 6 Real Time Patching System, you benefit from global resources, standard exceeding performance and innovative solutions.

About Molex Premise Networks

Molex Premise Networks is a subsidiary of Molex Incorporated a 62-year old manufacturer of electronic, electrical and fiber optic interconnection products and systems, switches and application tooling. Based in Lisle, Illinois, USA, the company operates 54 manufacturing facilities in 19 countries.

Molex Premise Networks manufactures a wide portfolio of products specific to the transmission of voice, data and, video imaging signals. In supplying innovative structured cabling solutions world-wide, the Molex Premise Networks reputation is one of technological excellence. Molex Premise Networks offers a comprehensive range of both Category 5e and Category 6 products for virtually any application. These products exceed all relevant international performance standards, including TIA/EIA 568-B, ISO/IEC 11801:2002 and AS/NZS 3080:2002, maximizing user return on investment by extending the useful life of the system.

CDT Announces Change to Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2003 Results

Cable Design Technologies (Pittsburgh, PA) filed a Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2003. Subsequent to the press

release dated October 2, 2003, detailing fourth quarter and fiscal 2003 financial and operational results, the Company recorded a non-cash adjustment of approximately $1.0 million to its accounting for Minority Interest in Earnings of Subsidiaries, which negatively affected fourth quarter 2003 and fiscal year 2003 results by $0.02 per diluted share. The effects of this item on future periods will not be significant. Net loss from continuing operations for the fourth quarter 2003 was $1.7 million, or $0.04 per diluted


Siemon Company is finalist in Family Business of the Year program

The Siemon Company has been selected as a finalist in the Family Business of the Year Awards program sponsored by the University of Connecticut's Family Business Center. The program recognizes family businesses in Connecticut that embody core family values and the best of American free enterprise.

In addition to being a finalist for this award, The Siemon Company was also recently ranked as Connecticut's No. 1 optical fiber company by the Hartford Business Journal.

"We're honored that UConn selected us to be one of the four finalists," says Siemon spokesman Mike Clemens. "It demonstrates that Connecticut is committed to building family businesses. It's even more of a treat to receive this honor in our centennial year."

The Siemon Company was founded in 1903 and has been celebrating its 100th anniversary throughout 2003.

"Family businesses are the cornerstone of the Connecticut's economy," says Priscilla Cale, director of the university's Family Business Program. "What these family firms have collectively contributed to their local communities, as well as communities on a global scale, is outstanding."

The winners will be chosen by a panel of judges and awards presented on Nov. 25 at UConn's Storrs campus. The Siemon Company, based in Watertown, CT, is a manufacturer of network cabling systems and components. For more information visit

Draka Comteq USA Offers 144-Fiber Cable In OFNP Rating

Draka Comteq USA, Inc., (Franklin, MA) manufacturer of Chromatic Technologies and Helix/HiTemp standard and specialty fiber optic and copper cable products, has expanded their product offering of OFNP rated fiber optic cable up to 144 optical fibers in addition to OFNR rated cables with up to 156 optical fibers.

These cables are tight buffered construction, which is more flexible than loose tube and can easily be installed in riser shafts or plenum environments within buildings or in tray or conduit between buildings. The cables are produced with sub-groups of up to 12 optical fibers each to permit easy routing and identification. The higher fiber count provides space savings as fewer cables can be terminated to serve more locations and results in reduced installation time and overall cost.

“Due to the installation environment for plenum cables, such as in air handling ducts and spaces, there are stricter flame and smoke tests that OFNP-rated cables must pass,” explains Rob Gilberti, RCDD, product manager for fiber optics, Draka Comteq USA, Inc. “Our cables are fire and smoke retardant and pass the UL910 /NFPA 262 plenum fire testing criteria,” he notes.

Press contact: Carol Everett Oliver, RCDD

Avaya SYSTIMAX(R) InstaPATCH(TM) System Connects Datacenters in an Instant

10Gb/s pre-terminated multimode fiber system combines fast network turn-up with industry leading connection density

Avaya (Basking Ridge, NJ), a leading global provider of communications networks and services for businesses, today announced the new SYSTIMAX® InstaPATCH(TM) System. This new system features a high-density, factory terminated and tested, modular fiber connectivity solution that allows installers to simply and quickly connect system components together.

New bandwidth-intensive applications, more network traffic and the need for instant information are all adding to the requirement for fast fiber connections. As a result, datacenters are running out of space for the patch panels needed to interconnect fiber cables with computers and communications equipment.

Avaya's new modular approach enables 96 fibers to be ready for service in the time it takes to make a single fiber connection with other systems. These space, time and labor savings make it easier for datacenters to satisfy fast growing demand for fiber connections

To meet this demand, SYSTIMAX R&D at Avaya Labs designed the InstaPATCH System to incorporate the industry leading SYSTIMAX LazrSPEED(TM) multimode fiber technology. This technology provides 10 Gb/s throughput over a single multimode fiber for enterprise applications, without the need for expensive singlemode electronics.

The industry standard 12-fiber Multi-fiber Push On (MPO) connectors pre-fitted to InstaPATCH cables need no on-site preparation and can be used immediately. In contrast, skilled technicians using special tools take around 10 minutes to attach a single traditional fiber connector. On-site attachment also are more susceptible to variations and higher risk of failed connections than InstaPATCH cables, which are fully tested at the factory.

InstaPATCH distribution shelves with 96 LC Small Form Factor Connectors have a higher fiber density than any current, comparable products from other leading manufacturers. By using these to replace existing panels, datacenter managers can multiply the number of available fiber connections without extending or reorganizing their datacenters.

The current InstaPATCH range includes 12 and 24-fiber ribbon cables based on SYSTIMAX LazrSPEED 150 or 300 fibers, which provide guaranteed 10 Gb/s end-to-end transmission on each fiber.

The cables are ordered to length and can be supplied with a variety of shelves, modules and panels. These are interchangeable with current SYSTIMAX fiber patching hardware, so datacenter managers can add fiber connections quickly. The choice of components increases flexibility in how upgraded interconnect or cross connect patching can be arranged

The new system combines the proven, cost effective 10 Gb/s performance of LazrSPEED fiber with the highest fiber connector density in the industry," said Luc Adriaenssens, Director of SYSTIMAX R&D at Avaya Labs. "In sectors such as financial services, where demand for instant information is growing dramatically, the new solution makes it easy to add fiber bandwidth as soon as it is needed."

CAT 5e Outside Plant Cables Now Offered By Berk-Tek

Fiber optic and copper cabling technology and solutions leader Berk-Tek, a Nexans Company, announced today the release of its new Category 5e Outside Plant (OSP) Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) cable, designed for light duty outdoor applications.

This new development is the first in a series of OSP UTP cables to be introduced by Berk-Tek. The Category 5e OSP new cable is intended for aerial installations or in an above or below grade conduit. The cable is ideal for residential or commercial drop applications or for interconnecting satellite buildings or trailers.

Berk-Tek Category 5e OSP UTP cable is gel-filled to protect against water penetration, and its jacket is a stabilized high performance material that protects against UV damage.

"The addition of OSP cables to our product line allows Berk-Tek to offer a full line of copper products for most any application inside the building or out," said Dan Kennefick, copper products business manager. "Together with our proven line of premise UTP, FTP (Foil Twisted Pair), and broadband coaxial cables in addition to our diverse fiber optic offering, the addition of OSP cables gives the user and specifier one place to go for all their communication cable needs."

Berk-Tek Category 5e UTP OSP cable meets the demanding ANSI/ICEA 5-56-434 polyolefin outside cable specification and is certified to Category 5e performance by ETL. Category 5e OSP UTP cables are available for immediate orders and shipment.

Belden 3rd-quarter profit falls

Belden Inc., which makes cable and wire for telecommunications and electronics, said on Thursday that profit fell in the third quarter due to severance charges and bad debt expense.

The company posted profit of $800,000, or 3 cents share in the quarter, compared with $2.8 million, or 11 cents a year ago.

The quarter's results included a bad debt expense of $600,000 related to the bankruptcy of an Asian distributor, and severance charges of $2.4 million, both before taxes, for a total effect on earnings of 8 cents per share after taxes.

The net income in the third quarter of 2002 included bad-debt expense of 4 cents per share after taxes. The company said that revenue rose to $207.6 million, compared with revenues of $199.5 a year earlier. Revenues were boosted by $7.9 million from an acquisition in late 2002 and by $6.2 million from the weaker dollar.

Hitachi Cable Manchester Releases the Industry’s First Category 5e 50-Pair Backbone Cable

Hitachi Cable Manchester (Manchester, NH),Inc. family of data-grade backbone cables has been expanded to include the industry’s first category 5e, 50-pair cable approved for use in riser- and plenum-rated applications. The cable is constructed using two bonded 25-pair legs to facilitate cable pulling and deliver improved flexibility. The easy-tear web design allows quick separation in the field. These category 5e cables are fully component-compliant to the power sum backbone cable requirements specified in TIA/EIA-568-B.2.

HCM’s new premise catalog provides a complete overview of the industry’s most commonly specified indoor, indoor/outdoor, and outside plant telecommunications cables.

You may not like it but Millions of jobs seem ripe for export

Up to one-third of all North American and European jobs could feasibly be carried out abroad, a chief economist for the Work Foundation, estimates. It is a sobering thought for the workers in the industrialized Western nations that about million of posts might just as easily be held by people in another part of the globe, and all the more so in the wake of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation's ( HSBC's) announcement this past week that it planned to send thousands of jobs overseas. "Flexible working", an increasingly fashionable term that conjures up images of a new working world of freedom and opportunity, has a darker side, too, for white collar employees.

In UK alone over 10 million well paying jobs are at risk. Many jobs are flexible because "they can be performed anywhere in the world". "Any computer or telephone-based job, any work in the field of information, is separable. It could go anywhere." A paper published this year by McKinsey, the international strategic consultants, at the heart of the 'move offshore' revolution, points out that while many low paying jobs in services such as retail, restaurants and hotels, that account for 70 per cent of the US economy cannot be exported. Still that leaves a vast amount of technical and administrative support jobs that can and likely will be produced in places like Bangalore. McKinsey points out that phenomena has moved on from the days when the jobs shifted abroad were merely in lower-value work such as back-office processing, call centers and accounting.

Both Nortel and Ericsson recently invested money in offshore research facilities. It enthuses that the "abundance" of "scarce skills" in some overseas destinations has boosted investment abroad, in fields as diverse as software development, component design and pharmaceuticals research. The paper concludes that the range of functions that have been "offshored successfully" is "substantial" and "widening all the time". Economists note that "the public sector while being a bit of a sacred cow" might find favor with the Hindu workers in India, which is rapidly becoming the classic destination for service jobs. Fans of the trend to move jobs offshore argue that the cost savings are good for the economy.

Lower costs for the corporations mean lower costs for its consumers, and, hence, more disposable income for goods and services, which, in turn, require more workers to provide them. Others say, that although moving job functions off shore brings down a company's costs, the exporting of jobs creates a downward spiral of economic decline in the economy as a whole. Further more once a whole industry has moved off shore there is no cost advantage.

Delta Announces New Generation of Protocol Test Tools

Delta (Horsham, PA) announced the formal release of a new generation of software based Voice and Video over IP test tools. The successful beta test phase culminated in a widely heralded public demonstration of the suite at VON2003. The new suite of software-based tools includes H.323 and SIP call generators and protocol analyzers that run on the Windows 2000/XP/Server platforms. By developing our own protocol stacks which are optimized for the test environment, the tools achieve high performance at very low cost, providing equipment manufacturers and service providers with the cost effective tools they need to deploy the evolving Next Generation Networks.

The suite includes enhanced versions of the WinSIP and Win323Gen call generators and the new Win323Mon voice and video over IP protocol analyzer. With pricing starting at under $10,000 for the call generators and under $5,000 for the protocol analyzers, the tools yield the highest performance to cost ratio in the industry. Each tool is available as either a downloadable software application or as a pre-packaged test instrument.

The Win323Gen and WinSIP call generators feature robust bulk call generation for capacity testing network equipment with high call volumes including media streams. The win323Mon tool is a real-time voice and video protocol analyzer that delivers comprehensive protocol and packet analysis with full decoding of the H.323 protocols. The new suite of software-based tools compliments the current Delta emulators and analyzers that are in constant use by major equipment manufacturers around the world to shorten the product development cycle through effective troubleshooting and diagnostics. By combining the new suite of tools with the existing tools, the test and design engineers are able to extend their testing to include capacity and load testing for verifying throughput and stability of the products prior to their release to the customers.

WinSIP High output SIP bulk call generator with ultra fast SIP signaling

WinSIP is a high performance, scalable, low cost SIP bulk call generator that runs on standard PC hardware. It is a cost effective test tool with performance that rivals more expensive solutions that require highly specialized hardware to achieve similar results. WinSIP provides RFC 3261 compliant SIP signaling and media load generation for both voice and video over IP calls. It allows you to construct test scenarios which model the real world environment, including 3GPP, by giving you the flexibility to control all aspects of the calls. Call files and individual call attributes can easily be modified or fine tuned using a simple, familiar spreadsheet style interface.

New features include a completely redesigned, high performance SIP stack based upon the RFC3261 specification of the dialog/transaction model, automatic answering of inbound calls on the well known port, finer granularity of call durations and call start delays, TCP/IP support, and other features. The new version provides over 50% higher throughput than version 1.0 of WinSIP. The new WinSIP provides automated call-flow tracing for an entire session with a breakdown of the messages, dialogs, events, and transactions.

The high performance Win323Gen bulk call generator emulates high volumes of H.323 calls with real-time signaling and payload data for H.323 Voice and Video over IP applications. An easy to use GUI provides the user with fast profiling of the calls. The Win323Gen test tool is used to test system and network capacity, performance, and provides packet analysis of the audio and video media streams. Win323Gen’s intuitive user interface allows you to generate test profiles containing thousands of calls in less than one minute.

New features include higher performance with increased call capacity (number of concurrent calls and call rate), streamlined call file generation, options to run with and without media, call rate distribution specification, and QoS monitoring on received media streams. Alarms are set by the user to monitor multiple thresholds for audio and video jitter and latency.

Win323Mon – H.323 protocol analyzer

The new Win323Mon protocol analyzer is an H.323 protocol specific analyzer that provides smart diagnostic capability with real-time breakpoint event processing. Alerts and alarms that are specified by the user provide live analysis and capture of H.323 specific protocol events “on the fly”. The analyzer also provides call association by call id and conference id along with advanced filtering of the H.323 protocol layers. A multipoint conference is analyzed as a collective group of calls so the user can easily trouble shoot each call within the conference. Additional features include RTP decoding and analysis for Qos metrics such as latency, jitter, packet loss, R-factor, and video frame rate.

About Delta Test Protocol Solutions ( )

Delta Protocol Test Protocol Solutions manufactures world-class test equipment for the VoIP and video teleconferencing markets. The products help equipment manufacturers, carriers, service providers, and large enterprise users build and deploy reliable, standards-compliant and interoperable communications systems. Delta employees have also been key participants in the development of many of the ITU-T recommendations being used today in video and multimedia communications. The company, which is headquartered in Horsham, PA, is a unit of Delta Information Systems, which was founded in 1976. Other Delta business units manufacture video codecs for broadcast, law enforcement, military and intelligent transportation applications, as well as aerospace telemetry products for satellite communications and flight test applications.

Thousands Gather for NECA Show Orlando

The 2003 NECA Convention and Show Orlando held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, put the wraps on a successful event that drew nearly 6,000 electrical contractors, electricians and other industry professionals.

Despite difficulties in some sectors of the economy, the NECA Show saw a strong turn out. Two hundred and fifty-one exhibitors were on hand to show the latest, innovative products and services, which increase productivity and profitability for the professional electrical contractor.

According to attendees the Show, true to tradition, was well organized and well run. Free technical workshops offered on the Show floor were packed and offered lessons on wireless computers for construction, electrical safety, risk assessment estimating and more.

In addition to free workshops, the NECA Show offered management seminars produced by the accredited Management Education Institute, which now offers continuing education credits to industry professionals. Seminars covered a variety of issues including innovative research contracting, best practices and the impact of fuel cells on electrical contractors.

"It is not surprising that our Convention and Show have retained a strong draw," said NECA CEO John M. Grau. "The NECA Show is beginning its 50th year and the quality of programming and exhibits is well respected. The numbers speak for themselves. At a time when many expositions in our industry are struggling the NECA Show has enjoyed continued success."

About NECA

The National Electrical Contractors Association, founded in 1901, is the leading representative of a segment of the construction market comprised of over 70,000 electrical contracting firms. The industry employs over 650,000 electrical workers and produces an annual volume of over $95 billion. NECA includes 120 U.S. chapters in addition to others in countries around the world. The association sponsors the NECA Show, renowned as the industry's premiere event, which features cutting-edge technologies, highlights new trends, and provides courses to help contractors broaden their knowledge and skill. NECA is dedicated to enhancing the industry through continuing education, labor relations, current information and promotional activities. To learn more about the industry or NECA's services, please visit

Snake Tray launches the new Snake Bus Power Distribution System

Snake Tray is pleased to announce Snake Bus our new innovative power distribution system that eliminates the need for traditional methods of hard wiring equipment to deliver power through data centers and workstations.

Snake Bus’ preconfigured system delivers 50 Amps, 3 Phase, 208 Volts providing up to 15 Kilowatts of power in one easy-to-install track. Installations, moves and changes are easily done with the Snake Whips (tap offs) that deliver power to individual devices anywhere along the track with a ten second connection. Snake BusÔ provides both the equipment and isolated ground in one system. Its low profile design easily mounts under the floor only requiring 2 inches of space. The flexibility of the linear design accommodates data center and workstation layouts.

Snake Bus comes in convenient 4 and 8-foot snap together lengths to configure any size power distribution system.

Ortronics Introduces New Momentum® Fiber Optic Systems

Modular, Pre-Terminated Systems Offer Rapid Installation and Guaranteed Optical Performance

Ortronics (New London, CT) is pleased to announce new Momentum® modular pre-terminated fiber optic systems. Ortronics Momentum systems combine advanced ribbon backbone cabling technology with high performance optical cassettes, enabling simplified structured cabling design, minimal installation time and enhanced optical performance for mission critical applications in Data Centers, SAN’s and LAN’s.

Based on advanced MPO 12-fiber connector technology and proprietary polishing processes, Ortronics has developed a system of interoperable components, which enable quick deployment, eliminate the possibiliityof optical performance flaws, and provide the utmost in flexibility where network design is concerned. The modular design of Momentum also makes moves, adds and changes quick, easy and error-free. Factory termination utilizing state-of-the-art geometric end-face analyses eliminates the need for costly field connector installation and ensures unsurpassed optical performance through a combination of superior optical fiber and best-in-class pre-terminated connectors.

The new Momentum systems are available with 62.5/125 and standard 50/125 fiber for legacy and low speed applications as well as laser enhanced 50/125 and singlemode fiber for extended distance performance when running the latest and most demanding high data rate applications such as 10 Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel.

Equally important, all cables and cassettes are optimized for use with Ortronics ORMMAC fiber cabinets and FiberMo rack systems providing a one-stop solution for all fiber cabling needs. The expansion of the Momentum line of pre-terminated modular fiber optic systems further enhances Ortronics OptiMo® optical fiber structured cabling solutions.

About Ortronics

Ortronics Inc., The Performance and Flexibility People, headquartered in New London, Connecticut USA, is a global leader in commercial Category 5e, Category 6, fiber optic and residential high performance, high capacity structured cabling systems that support today's and tomorrow's multimedia environments. From end-to-end, Ortronics offers the world's most extensive range of connectivity products including patch panels, patch cords, workstation outlets, cable management systems, 110 cross-connect systems and more. Ortronics offers engineering and technical support, systems planning, training programs and a 25-year extended products warranty and applications assurance warranty program.

Ortronics has sales offices in the USA, Canada, Central/South America, Europe and Asia, and production facilities in the USA, Mexico and Asia.

Ortronics is ISO9001 Registered and an active member of BICSI, TIA/EIA, ISO and other industry standard groups.

Ortronics is part of the Legrand group, the world's leading producer of wiring devices with sales of more than $2.7 billion in 2002, operations in 60 countries and 27,000 employees worldwide.

Ortronics is the Global Technology Center for copper and fiber optic connectivity and systems for Legrand. Utilizing state of the art, active and passive component laboratories, Ortronics provides advanced R&D and technical support for network products, end-to-end performance solutions, vendor and internal qualification testing, as well as standards compliance.

Newest NEIS Covers Nonmetallic Raceways

The twenty-second volume of National Electrical Contractors Association's (NECA) (Bethesda, MD) growing series of National Electrical Installation Standards (NEIS)® has just been published. It is NECA 111-2003, Standard for Installing and Maintaining Nonmetallic Raceways: RNC, ENT, LFNC (ANSI).

The new standard describes procedures for installing three widely-used types of polymeric raceways: Rigid Nonmetallic Conduit (RNC), Electrical Nonmetallic Tubing (ENT), and Liquidtight Flexible Nonmetallic Conduit (LFNC). It covers subjects such as:

· Receiving and storing raceways properly on jobsites.

· Cutting and bending raceways.

· Making joints using solvent cements.

· Installing concealed raceways in masonry and concrete.

NEIS® are the first quality and performance standards for electrical construction. They define what is meant by installing electrical products and systems in a "neat and workmanlike manner," extending and supplementing the minimum safety requirements of the National Electrical Code.

NECA 111-2003 is approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI); and is the twentieth NECA installation standard to achieve this distinction. ANSI-approved documents are generally regarded as being the "official" U.S. standard on any given subject. Consulting engineers generally prefer to reference ANSI-approved standards in their specifications for construction projects; while states and municipalities will only adopt ANSI-approved standard for regulatory enforcement.

Ordering information. The new standard is priced at $30 with NECA-member and quantity discounts available. Contact the NECA Order Desk at (301) 215-4504 tel, (301) 215-4500 fax, or Provide your name, company, mailing address and NECA member number (where applicable). All orders must be prepaid by check or credit card. NECA 111-2003 is also available in downloadable .PDF format from

NECA Marks Fifth Year as ANSI-Accredited Standards Developer

NECA (Bethesda, MD) 111-2003, Standard for Installing Nonmetallic Raceways (ANSI) is the twenty-second volume of the National Electrical Installation Standard (NEIS) series, and the twentieth NECA standard to be approved by the American National Standards Institute. It also marks the National Electrical Contractors Association's (NECA) fifth year of publishing ANSI-approved standards for electrical construction quality.

"ANSI approval is the cornerstone of our National Electrical Installation Standards program," comments Brooke Stauffer, executive director of standards and safety for NECA. "When NECA decided to begin developing standards, back in 1995, the very first thing we did was apply for ANSI accreditation."

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), based in Washington, DC, is the federation of U.S. standards-developing organizations. The Institute doesn't develop standards itself. Instead, ANSI accredits private-sector bodies whose procedures meet certain criteria for openness and broad public participation. Publications developed and approved according to ANSI consensus procedures are recognized as 'American National Standards.'

"ANSI provides the neutral venue where the private and public sectors come together and work towards common, consensus agreements," explains Amy Marasco, vice-president and general counsel at ANSI. "NECA joins with more than 200 other ANSI-accredited standards developers in activities that enhance safety, health, and quality of life and promote the global competitiveness of U.S. business."

True Industry Standards:

"When NECA decided to set up as a developer, it was important to us that these books not just be perceived as 'NECA standards'," says Stauffer. >From the beginning, developing standards by using ANSI consensus procedures was a critical strategy for insuring that NECA's construction guidelines would be broadly accepted throughout the design and construction community, and by facility owner/managers.

NECA sends each draft NEIS to a number of other organizations, for technical review and balloting. Organizations that typically vote on each NEIS include:

· National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)

· International Electrical Testing Association (NETA)

· National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)

· International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)

· U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

· Independent Electrical Contractors Inc. (IEC)

"ANSI approval turns our NECA standards into true industry standards," observes Stauffer. "Governmental jurisdictions will adopt NEIS for regulatory use, consulting engineers will use them in project specifications, and customers will ask their engineers to use NEIS when they design construction jobs.

"That's the true benefit to NECA of being an ANSI-accredited organization - wider acceptance for our National Electrical Installation Standards

The National Electrical Contractors Association, founded in 1901, is the leading representative of a segment of the construction market comprised of over 70,000 electrical contracting firms. The industry employs over 650,000 electrical workers and produces an annual volume of over $95 billion. NECA includes 120 U.S. chapters in addition to others in countries around the world. The association sponsors the NECA Show, renowned as the industry's premiere event, which features cutting-edge technologies, highlights new trends, and provides courses to help contractors broaden their knowledge and skill. NECA is dedicated to enhancing the industry through continuing education, labor relations, current information and promotional activities.

Psiber Data Systems Announces New Low Cost Underground Cable Locator

Psiber Data Systems® Inc., (San Diego, CA) the leader in low cost active network diagnostic and CATV testing, is pleased to announce the introduction of the new Model CT200 CableTracker U/G Underground Cable and Pipe Locator. The CableTracker U/G features dual transmitter frequency locating capability normally found on expensive locators for a fraction of the price.

Cable locating requires the best methods and standards for effective locating. The CableTracker U/G incorporates dual frequency technology in the 2 and 33khz bandwidths for effective locates without excessive signal bleed over. Many locators today use higher frequencies that bleed into other underground assets, causing false readings and wasted digging time. By using the low 2khz signal, minimal coupling occurs, saving contractors time and money.

The CableTracker U/G incorporates many useful features. The CableTracker U/G has null or peak tracking capability, a 45 degree indicator, low battery light, adjustable gain, very lightweight receiver (less than 1 pound), and common batteries for easy replacement. The optional induction clamp Model CT200C allows for indirect cable connection when required.

Lucent Posts First Profit Since 2000

Lucent Technologies Inc. said it returned to profit after more than three years, raising hope that a tortuous restructuring by the telecommunications equipment maker may be succeeding.

The company's fiscal fourth-quarter profit, as well as its forecast for flat to slightly higher sales in the current fiscal year, offered hope that the decline in demand from telephone companies has hit bottom, analysts said.

Lucent's shares rose over 15 percent to their highest level since July 2002.

"A lot of the skepticism about Lucent's long-term sustainability and competitive position need to be reevaluated in a picture where they can generate positive results like this," said Sanford Bernstein analyst Paul Sagawa, who has an "outperform" rating on Lucent stock but does not own shares.

"It does show that the market is certainly not getting worse," he added. "The catalysts are lining up to be positive for the sector and for the stock." Lucent's last net profit was recorded in the March 2000 quarter. It suffered 13 straight quarterly net losses as excess network capacity, built during the heady days of the Internet boom, and slack customer demand forced phone companies to slash spending.

In July, Lucent said it did not expect to see profits again until some time in 2004.

"I feel like we're closing a chapter on weathering the storm and shifting our focus to figuring out how to impact the top line," Lucent Chairman and Chief Executive Patricia Russo told Reuters. "We have in many ways kind of reinvented the company. We don't look anything like we looked even three years ago."

She said the company has essentially completed its restructuring, which was launched in January 2001, and has implemented plans to broaden its sales in areas like services, government contracts and outside the United States.

While Russo said the industry was showing signs of stability, she refused to say spending declines have bottomed out or a recovery has begun.

Nevertheless, Lucent said it expects to return to sustained profitability some time in 2004.


Lucent, one of the world's largest telecom equipment makers along with Canada's Nortel Networks Corp. and France's Alcatel, has been a poster child for the industry's struggles. It rang up $1.16 billion in net losses in fiscal 2003 and about $30 billion in combined losses since its last quarterly net profit.

As it struggled to survive the downturn, Lucent altered its structure by spinning off its corporate business and chips units, now Avaya Inc. and Agere Systems Inc., respectively, and sold its fiber cable operations and several other plants. Employment at the Murray Hill, New Jersey-based company has shrunk 78 percent from its July 2000 peak of 157,000, including those at the businesses it later spun off, to 34,500 at the end of September.

CommScope Acquires Avaya's Connectivity Solutions For $263 Million in Cash & Securities

Communications equipment maker Avaya Inc.agreed to sell its Connectivity Solutions business to CommScope Inc. for $263 million in cash, stock and a convertible note and will focus on its information technology telephony businesses.

Avaya, which designs, builds and manages communications networks for businesses, said CommScope would assume as much as $75 million of liabilities, primarily related to employee matters.

Connectivity Solutions had fiscal 2003 sales of about $542 million and operating income of about $3 million, Avaya said.

General Cable to close one plant, eyeing 2 others

General Cable Corp, which makes copper and fiberoptic wires, said it is closing one plant and may shutter two others because of an "unprecedented decline" in North American industrial activity.

General Cable estimated a $7 million charge on its fourth-quarter earnings from the closing of the 77-person manufacturing facility in Taunton, Massachusetts. About $4 million of the total will be cash costs, it said.

The company, based in Highland Heights, Kentucky, said it is conducting feasibility studies on another Massachusetts facility and one in Indiana and will decide by early next year whether to move the operations or shut them.

Avaya to buy Expanets from NorthWestern Corp.

Avaya Inc. said it agreed to buy nearly all of the assets of Expanets, one of the largest resellers of Avaya's products in the United States, from NorthWestern Corp. for $152 million in cash.

The acquisition would allow the Basking Ridge, N.J.-based communications equipment maker to continue to provide sales and support for Expanet's customers as well as grow its small and mid-sized business.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the current fiscal quarter. Avaya purchased Expanet's assets from Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based Northwestern in an auction Wednesday. Northwestern, which provides electricity and natural gas, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month.


NEMA - National Electrical Manufacturers Association
Annual Meeting & Leadership Conference
Nov 8 - 10
Washington, DC

Electronic House Expo
Nov 10 - 13
Long Beach, CA United States

OSP Expo
Nov 12 - 13
Denver, CO

Nov 12 - 14
San Juan Puerto Rico

USGBC Greenbuild International Conference and Expo
Nov 12 – 14
Pittsburgh, PA

APHA American Public Health Association
Nov 15 – 19
San Francisco, CA

NFPA Fall Education Conference
November 15-19
Reno, Nevada

International Wire and Cable Symposium
November 17-20
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

7 x 24 exchange
Nov 16 - 19
San Antonio, TX

Wi-FI Planet Conference & Expo
Dec 2 - 5
San Jose, CA

BICSI Winter Conference
January 12 - 14
Orlando, FL



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