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Bits N' Pieces

Bisbee's Buzz'.


A proposed change in the National Electric Code for the NEC 2005 may force far-reaching changes in the communications cabling industry. A move to replace CMP (plenum rated cable listing) with a variation on "limited combustible" cable could force cable manufacturers to rework their entire plenum cable product line. Numerous cable manufacturers are not equipped to make these changes, or produce 4-pr UTP "limited combustible" (or whatever they are going to call it) cable in quantity.

At the end of the 3 year development cycle for the NEC (National Electric Code) 2002, there was a significant jousting match between two groups over the NFPA (National Fire Protection Assoc.) acceptance of "limited combustible" cable listing as an OPTION to NFPA 262 - CMP plenum rated cable. The only cables that have passed the test for limited combustible are insulated and jacketed with FEP (fluorinated ethylene propylene). FEP is a fluoropolymer chemical material that is only manufactured by DuPont, Daikin America and Dyneon (3M). In the end, the group representing the interests of several chemical and testing companies won the match and the NFPA approved the option, which became part of the NEC 2002 code.

Since then, the market acceptance of this optional limited combustible - CMP cable, has been almost non-existent. We polled more than 50 distributor locations by phone and found the limited combustible product in stock at only ONE location. Most of the distributors we contacted were not familiar with this product.

The group that pushed the limited combustible cable as "just an option" has changed their tune. Now, they want the code (law) to REQUIRE the consumer to purchase the limited combustible type cable for use in air systems. Under this new strategy, the NEC 2005 would no longer recognize the current CMP listing for new installations. Unfortunately, the strategy of manipulating the code process may run afoul of the legal system that regulates the code (law) making process.

On August 19-21, 2003, the NFPA Air Conditioning Technical Committee met in Santa Ana, CA. The NFPA 90A committee (NFPA 90A - Standard for the Installation of Air-Conditioning and Ventilating Systems) voted to take the first step towards revamping the code (NEC 2005) that covers all plenum cables. Essentially, the proposal included revising the testing and listing for limited combustible cable (for use in Air-Conditioning and Ventilating Systems), AND dropping the current listing for CMP (NFPA 262/UL910) return-air plenum approved cables. It is remarkable to note that there were no cable manufacturers represented in the committee or guests at this meeting. Almost half of the attendees were connected with the group (chemical & testing companies) pushing for this proposed change.

One attendee commented that the only material that seems to pass this new proposed code/testing is FEP (fluorinated ethylene propylene). Due to the limited sources, there may be severe FEP material shortages in the future. Certainly, this looks like higher costs ahead. Economics = the law of supply and demand. The committee member that we spoke with said, " What concerns us is the committee's failure to address theincapacitation factor." The debate continues to rage over the question " Is limited combustible cable really safer?" In some respects, "yes", and in others, the answer is shockingly "no".

The jacketing and insulating materials used in limited combustible cable are subject to heat decomposition and the emission of sublethal toxic fumes. Some of the fumes can incapacitate (by blinding and choking) building occupants. Current testing makes no provision to recognize toxicity or emissions that are essentially colorless (i.e., hydrogen fluoride, which converts to hydrofluoric acid upon contact with any moisture).

Most of the cabling industry participants understand the meaning of terms like: fire, smoke and fuel load. The current code and testing measures these areas and their effects. However, the testing does not measure heat decomposition, thermal toxicity, toxic gases or incapacitation. Take note that the big killer in the fire scenario is still carbon monoxide.

If the testing does not recognize these other areas, then the full safety factor is not included. As a simple example: imagine chaining your legs to a large anchor and dropping to the bottom of the pool. The chain and anchor won't kill you, drowning will. Should the NFPA revise the scope of the defined safety issue to include sublethal toxicity and incapacitation? Yes!

But, that's just my opinion. Frank Bisbee

NFPA's Research Foundation examines how quickly smoke incapacitates
Study aims to assure escape from burning buildings
NFPA smoke toxicity

International Study of the Sublethal Effects of Fire Smoke on Survivability and Health
Phase I final Report

Combustion atmosphere toxicity of materials intended for internal cables - white paper by Borealis

Link to Mike Holt's - National Electric Code Internet Connection: Toxicity and Safety in Communication Cabling

Hydrofluoric Acid MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) by DuPont

UL limited combustible cable testing program revised:

Link to form to fill out for committees on NFPA
NFPA Technical Committee Membership Application

Link to article on critical cabling safety issues:
"Cabling what you don’t know can kill you" article by Stephen Saunders

Wireville factoid:
Mohawk/CDT CAT 6 cables are now available in Reel-ex boxes.

BICSI Staff Changes

BICSI has had a management change. Al Feaster, RCDD, will no longer be BICSI’s Executive Director effective August 31, 2003. In accordance with the BICSI bylaws, the Board of Directors has named Mel Lesperance, RCDD, as Acting Executive Director. Mel will serve in the interim position while an Executive Director Search Committee looks for the right person to become BICSI’s new Executive Director. The search committee has been established and has both board and staff members. The committee is chaired by Ed Donelan, RCDD/LAN Specialist, U.S. Northeast Region Director.

As a result of this action, Mel Lesperance has resigned his position as Treasure. In accordance with the BICSI bylaws, your Board of Directors has named Steve Calderon, RCDD, LAN/OSP Specialist, currently serving as BICSI Secretary to serve as both Secretary and Treasurer during the remaining term of Treasurer. The office of Treasurer is already one of the positions up for election during the current election cycle.

BICSI members should not be concerned about these administrative changes. They are a normal part of any business and do not reflect any problems within BICSI’s administrative structure. BICSI remains strong and viable and is truly the best telecommunications association anywhere in the world.

Hubbell Premise Wiring WEBINARS Eligible for BICSI Credits

Hubbell Premise Wiring training webinars are now eligible for BICSI credits. Presented by Hubbell product managers, the Webinar Series consists of live, on-line interactive audio/Web conferencing seminars that explore topics of interest to end-users, consultants, and contractors who write project specifications. Each webinar explores timely industry issues and solutions to challenging and emerging applications. Discussion is encouraged before and after each presentation.

The webinars are held twice a month and are approximately one hour long. Each topic is presented both Monday morning and Friday afternoon to accommodate schedules and time zones. Free to Hub’s Club members, participants sign up for Hub’s Club at, then register on-line for a particular webinar. The schedule for the balance of 2003 is:

Field Testing: August 25 & 29
Data Center" September 8 &12
Multimedia at the Desktop: September 22 & 26
SoHo: October 6 & 10
Harsh Environments: November 10 & 14
Grounding & Bonding: December 8 & 12

Anixter releases 2nd quarter results (SEC form 10-Q)

The Company competes with distributors and manufacturers who sell products directly or through existing distribution channels to end users or other resellers. The Company's relationship with the manufacturers for which it distributes products could be affected by decisions made by these manufacturers as the result of changes in management or ownership as well as other factors. In addition to competitive factors, future performance could be subject to economic downturns, possible rapid changes in applicable technologies, or regulatory changes. Although relationships with its suppliers are good, the loss of a major supplier could have a temporary adverse effect on the Company's business, but would not have a lasting impact since comparable products are available from alternate sources.

Quarter ended July 4, 2003: Net income for the second quarter of 2003 was $7.3 million compared with $12.4 million for the second quarter of 2002.

The Company's net sales during the second quarter of 2003 increased 4.5% to $644.8 million from $617.3 million in the same period in 2002.

TED Magazine (The Electrical Distributor) August 4, 2003

Gimme Some Good News, Already!

"Were It Not For Bad News . . . "
By Joe Salimando

Anixter + Grainger, depressing reports, same week

The Siemon Company Awards Scholarships To College-Bound Students

The Siemon Company (Watertown, CT) recently awarded 15 high school graduates with scholarships that they will apply towards their college education, encouraging them to pursue their goals and aspirations. For more than a quarter of a century, Siemon has been awarding these scholarships in order to encourage students to pursue academic goals that will benefit our society and way of life, focusing on occupations based on the physical sciences, engineering technologies, engineering, manufacturing, business and environmental studies.

The Siemon Company Scholarships

This year, Siemon awarded four Siemon Company Scholarships to local high school graduates. The Carl M. Siemon Science Scholarship was awarded to Matthew Plude, The Siemon Company Scholarship was awarded to Erin O'Neill, and the Siemon-Dynamic Manufacturing Scholarship was awarded to Kelly Michaelis, all from Watertown High School. The David B. Siemon Scholarship was awarded to Kristie Giannetto from The Taft School.

Arthur F. Hinkleman Scholarships

The Siemon Company also named 11 high school graduates as winners of the Hinkleman Scholarships. These scholarships are awarded to the children of Siemon Company employees. Those being honored with these scholarships include Sarah Bennick of Colorado; Christina Cipriano, Andrew Jones and Michael Rousseau, all of Watertown; Andrew Costello of Brewster NY; Alex Fernandez and David Roman of Waterbury; Jason Francks of Meriden; Jaclyn Geraci of Torrington; Rawinda Kaura of Naugatuck; and Justin Knickerbocker of Wallingford.

The Siemon Company wishes to extend to these students its congratulations and best wishes for continued academic success.

About The Siemon Company
The Siemon Company, a world leader in network cabling systems, is a privately held company with four generations of manufacturing excellence. Established in 1903, Siemon is a global leader in the design and manufacture of standards-based structured cabling systems and components.

ANIXTER Free Security Certification helps you find new business

The security marketplace is the fastest growing segment in the IT industry today. Take advantage by getting certified in the CCTP video surveillance system through Anixter’s FREE Authorized Consultant Program.

Anixter's Closed Circuit over Twisted Pair (CCTP) system incorporates a standards-based design that appeals to IT professionals, employing a structured cabling system using unshielded twisted pair cabling.

CCTP was named "Best New Technology" at the 2003 Federal Office Systems Expo (FOSE), the largest information technology exposition serving the government marketplace.Our network of Authorized Consultants (CCTP-AC) have enhanced their existing security business by incorporating CCTP into their list of design services. Anixter is now offering this program for Free.

Wireville Funny
While we were visiting our local Rexel location last month, an installer came in to pick up his order of Superior Essex cable. The installer was accompanied by his 6-year old son. He proudly announced that this was his "Take your son to work day". The Rexel representative at the desk smiled and offered the young boy a piece of candy. The boy took it and stood in silence. After a moment, his father said, " Son, what are the magic words?" I expected to hear the young lad say "Thank you." Instead, he said, " Check enclosed." I queried his response and he answered " Mom says those are the two nicest words in the English language

BEST ARTICLE June 2002 - June 2003

We conducted an informal poll of cabling industry readers. We were looking for the readers reactions and ratings of the articles that have appeared in the cabling industry trade journals during the past year June 2002 - June 2003. We have a winner. The readers felt the article by Perry J. Greenbaum dealt with important issues and had an impact on both buyers and sellers.

STRUCTURED HEALTH RISKS in Cabling Systems magazine

The industry currently has two burning issues it needs to confront. One relates to environmental air plenums being turned into a toxic fire hazard. The other involves the lead used as a stabilizer in many plenum-rated cables becoming an airborne toxin. There are new developments occurring on both fronts.

By Perry J. Greenbaum

General Cable and Molex Premise Networks Partnership - Providing High-Speed Solutions

General Cable, a leading manufacturer of high-performance communication wire and cable, and Molex Premise Networks, a leading provider of electronic components, have announced a strategic partnership. This joint partnership will bring to the networking marketplace a cabling solution with performance guarantees that will anticipate future recognized standards while currently meeting ANSI/TIA/EIA- 568-B specifications and ISO/IEC 11801 standards. In addition to an optimized system, General Cable and Molex Premise Networks support a 25-Year Link and Channel Warranty.

General Cable and Molex Premise Networks offer a variety of cabling solutions to meet an end-user’s network requirements ranging from high-end Category 5e and Category 6 infrastructures to optimized fiber optic technology and Intelligent Patching Systems.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for us. We can now offer our customers the full resources of Molex, including their excellent products and support,” said Paul Ratcliffe, Data Communications Product Manager for General Cable.

Randy Mortensen, President, Americas, Molex Premise Networks said, “ We are excited about the opportunities this new partnership brings to us. Both our companies design and develop high quality products, and the combination of General Cable wire and cable products and our connectivity products allow us to offer customers a high performance solution with impressive channel performance and high reliability.”

About General Cable Corporation

General Cable, headquartered in Highland Heights, Kentucky, is a leader in the development, design, manufacture, marketing and distribution of copper, aluminum and fiber optic wire and cable products for the communications, energy, industrial and specialty markets. The Company offers competitive strengths in such areas as breadth of product line, brand recognition, distribution and logistics, service and operating efficiency. Communications wire and cable products transmit low-voltage signals for voice, data, video and control applications. Energy cables include low-, medium- and high-voltage power distribution and power transmission products. The Industrial and Specialty segment is comprised of application-specific cables for uses such as electrical power generation (traditional fuels, alternative and renewable sources, and distributed generation), the oil, gas and petrochemical industries, mining, industrial automation, marine, military and aerospace applications, power applications in the telecommunications industry, and other key industrial segments. Visit our website at

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 worldwide, 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. .

Wireville Factiod:
All of the KRONE TrueNet cables are LEAD-FREE.

Siemon Free Seminar Series

SU-101: Advancements in Network Cabling

The industry standards are constantly changing. This free half day seminar gives an overview of the most recent standards update. The lecturer will also cover such topics as new terminology, new installation criteria, and the benefits of higher telecommunications categories. This seminar is a must for both those investing in a telecommunications infrastructure and those in the telecommunications industry.


King Of Prussia - Plymouth Meeting, PA,

San Francisco - Foster City, CA,

New London, CT,

NORDX/CDT Introduces a New Online Short Form Catalog

NORDX/CDT is pleased to announce the online availability of a new IBDN short form catalog.

This new short form catalog is an abbreviated version of our complete IBDN Catalog and Reference Guide. It features all of NORDX/CDT's products and provides a summary description and ordering information. Both French and English versions are available on the web. NORDX/CDT continues to be committed to providing the highest quality product information in print, and online.

KRONE - New Network Cables with AirES Technology

The KRONE Group (Centennial, CO) has developed new network cables that improve data throughput, save space, ease installation, and reduce the danger of fire and smoke. These new Category 5e and 6 cables are designed for KRONE’s TrueNet Structured Cabling System. They incorporate KRONE’s latest scientific breakthrough technology called AirES (Air-Enhanced System) Technology, which provides superior performance while reducing overall size up to 32 percent. This innovation has a significant impact on several areas of network cable installation, operation and maintenance including:

Improved data transmission
Easier and faster installation
Significant reduction in cable tray space
Reduction in flammability

"This technology enables our customers and partners to maximize throughput for optimum efficiency and productivity in the workplace, while at the same time speeding up the installation process and saving valuable space in communications expanses," said Ron Lowy, chief operating officer at KRONE. "We are also very aware of the public’s concerns regarding plenum wiring spaces - these new cables will make the workplace safer for everyone as well as for their valuable equipment."

KRONE’s AirES technology, through patent pending design and processes, reduces the amount of material required in the cable while lowering the dielectric constant of the wire improving signal strength. This saves as much as 32 percent of the available space in cable runs. The smaller diameter wire also saves precious space in the communications closet, reduces the amount of cable management accessories required and lowers the risk associated with fire and smoke in the plenum space.


KRONE is a world leading cable and connectivity company with 75 years of experience in the design, development and supply of cable and connectivity solutions for enterprise and public networks. Additional information about KRONE’s TrueNet (LEAD FREE) Structured Cabling System or other KRONE products is available in the United States and Canada

Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine Announces New Event: "Cabling Systems Conference & Exhibition"

Featuring Breadth-of-Industry Conference Format and Exciting Location in Anaheim, CA-

Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine event: Cabling Systems Conference & Exhibition (formerly Cabling Installation Expo). The new name reflects an expansion of conference coverage and audience reach. It will also feature a new and exciting location: the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. The event is scheduled to occur September 22-24, 2003.

The expanded audience of Cabling Systems Conference and Exhibition will include cabling-system designers and installers, as well as end-user customers who manage these systems. Exhibitors will benefit from the opportunity to reach each of the key decision makers in the sales chain: system designers, installers, and managers.

The expanded conference program will include tracks developed specifically for the professional disciplines in attendance. An end-user track will look at maintenance issues such as cable management and moves/adds/changes, as well as technology-based topics including security and Voice over IP. A business track for installation organizations will have practical information on profitably growing and maintaining a business.

"Our decision to broaden the reach of our cabling event will benefit both attendees and exhibitors alike," explained James Enos, Vice President and Group Publishing Director of Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine. "Hosting the exhibition in a new location will enable a new audience of cabling professionals to attend the conference sessions, many of which earn them BICSI credits. Exhibitors will benefit from meeting these new prospects and their regular West Coast customers face-to-face. We look forward to continuing our strong working relationship with BICSI in the development of Cabling Systems Conference & Exhibition."

In addition to the new Cabling Systems Event, Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine (of the Advanced Technology Division, PennWell Corp.) also manages and produces two other tradeshows: CaribeCom and CosCom. Cabling Installation & Maintenance also publishes Cabling Installation & Maintenance Resource Guide; Cabling Contractor, a magazine devoted to the business issues of communications contracting; the bi-monthly Cabling E-newsletter, a cable-pulling video series; and various related supplements.

Founded in 1979, PennWell's Advanced Technology Division serves the dynamic global electronics, communications, and information-technology markets with print and online publications, conferences and exhibitions, research and consulting services, databases and internet-based services.

PennWell, established in 1910, is a highly diversified media company serving strategic business markets worldwide. These strategic markets include petroleum, electric power, electronics, communications, information-technology, water, fire services, manufacturing and healthcare.

Daikin announces the newest additions to its staff

Satoshi (Tosh) Doi was appointed Daikin America’s president on June 1. Tosh came to Daikin America’s NY headquarters from Daikin Industries in Osaka, Japan where he served as Deputy General Manager for Global Sales. Tosh had served Daikin America for over 5 years, 1991-1996, as VP of Sales and Marketing. His many years of experience in the fluorochemical industry will be of great benefit to Daikin America.

Frank Plahutnik joined Daikin as Fluoroelastomer Business Manager. Frank brings to Daikin over 25 years of industrial experiences in engineering, marketing & sales, business development and management in the specialty chemicals and polymers industries. Frank has developed strategies for NAFTA implementation that effectively identified opportunities and risks; managed several development programs that resulted in new product line introductions; and defined processes that increased productivity.

Ron Klein joined Daikin’s Tech Service Group as a Sr. Technical Service Engineer. Ron has over 20 years experience in plastics processing operations including extrusion, blow molding and injection molding systems. An author of numerous technical papers and holder of 2 patents, he has worked on over 1,000 different polymer processes. His expertise in process optimization and equipment design is a beneficial addition to Daikin’s team. Ron will be assisting customers with processing the full line of melt-processable materials, with special emphasis on Daikin’s breakthrough EFEP materials.

Daikin America, Inc., headquartered in Orangeburg, NY is one of the largest fluoropolymer suppliers in the U.S., supplying molding resins, fine powders, aqueous dispersions and melt-processable fluoropolymers for many critical applications. Daikin America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Daikin Industries of Osaka, Japan, the leading manufacturer of air conditioning and refrigeration equipment and Japan’s largest producer of fluorochemical products.

Hubbell’s 2Quick Fiber Optic Connectors are ETL verified

Hubbell Premise Wiring’s 2QuickÒ fiber optic connectors have been independently verified by ETL to meet all requirements listed in the TIA/EIA 568-B.3 specifications. The SC and ST style non-adhesive crimp-style multimode connectors have been tested by ETL and found to comply with the applicable optical and mechanical specifications in the TIA/EIA standard. Hubbell is the first and only manufacturer confirmed by an independent test facility such as ETL to meet these demanding requirements. The advantage of this compliance is the assurance of continued long-term performance and reliability for the end-user.

The Certificates of Conformance can be viewed on ETL’s website at

2Quick connectors assemble easily and reliably on to 900 micron buffeted fiber in two minutes or less. The fiber is then cleaved and the ferrule tip polished. The 2Quick connector system eliminates the need for adhesives and expensive curing ovens.


Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) 46th Annual Convention
September 10-13
Anaheim, CA

Greening of the Campus V: Connecting to Place
Sep 18 - 20

Muncie, Indiana

Cabling System Conference & Exhibition 2003
September 22 - 24
Anaheim, CA

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)
2nd Annual The Emerging Technologies & Healthcare Innovations Congress
September 22 - 24
Washington, DC

National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) 2003
October 2-4
Orlando, FL

Association for Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education (ACUTA) Fall Seminar
October 19 - 22
San Diego, CA

National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) Annual Conference
October 15 - 17
Boston, MA



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