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1-800-227-9473

16680 W. Cleveland Avenue
New Berlin, WI 53151

Cablepedia - The Latest News in Wire & Cable

Splice-On Connectors Change the Fiber Management Game

If your career involves technology, specifically networking, you know that we’re using more fiber in our connections than ever before.

Fiber brings us more speed at greater distances than copper connections, which is why we almost exclusively use it to connect cities, buildings and network rooms.

There are options for the type or grade of fiber you use; as well as a number of choices on how to terminate or connectorize your fiber. For the purposes of this post, however, we’ll focus on the fusion splice option. (We’ll do it in non-technical terms, so there’s no need to bring in an optical engineer to translate for you ;-))

Fusing or welding one piece of glass to another, in perfect alignment, provides the ultimate in high performance by letting as much light pass from one glass to another. Alignment is critical in this union to avoid reflection and refractions that can lead to unwanted loss of light.

What matters most in fiber transmissions is getting the right amount of light to the other side so that it is converted back into an electrical signal that is interpreted as data. And fusion splicing is the benchmark when it comes to achieving this desired level of high performance.

As with all technology, the performance and cost of the fusion splice equipment keeps getting better and less expensive. We’re now at a point where you can buy the best equipment in the world at a very reasonable price.

Even though fusion splicing is so affordable, and you can terminate fibers faster and with the lower loss, you still need to decide how to manage your fibers at their termination points. For many years the only option for this was to use pigtails (short 1-3 meters, machine polished single ended fibers) with a splice organizer of some sort behind the coupler panels to protect the splice joints. Since these joints must be protected from bending at all times, managing pigtails and unjacketed fibers requires pre-planning and proper accessories to the termination panel.

When done well, the results are an impressive layout of slack fibers and splice holders that are ready for spare glass lengths should they need repairs. For instance, if a finely managed fiber shelf has been “re-worked,” the strands of slack fibers can become loose and in turn find their way to being pinched and damaged by closing doors or slide outs on the fiber shelf.

Some have described the entire fusion splicing process as an art form. What happens if the next technician to service that panel isn’t an artist?

Fortunately, for the less artistic, there are options now available called Splice-On Connectors (SOCs).  These connectors have machine polished tips for great performance and a short stub of glass sticking out of the back that allows for fusion splicing right at the connector. This may not seem like a big deal, but from a fiber management perspective it’s a game changer. With these SOCs you no longer need to have splice holders. Your splice is now part of the connector, reducing your fiber slack management by at least half. This also reduces the amount of time it takes to dress out the cable in the termination shelf – getting the technician on to the next task faster than ever.

While SOCs can be a great option, there is one word of caution we’d like to give: if your splice equipment or technique isn’t up to par, we recommend that you use the pigtail instead. A pigtail can be cut off and spliced many times; a Splice-On Connector is one and done. This can be costly if you or your equipment have failed, or poor fusion splices often… all of which can be avoided through proper technique, clean work areas and calibrated electrodes.

We have some of the world’s best equipment providers available for your review. Let us know if you’d like to learn more about any or all of them:

Wireless Enclosures to Secure & Simplify

Oberon wireless enclosures secure, simplify and professionalize your facility Whether it’s a new space or an old one, your ceiling may be starting to get crowded. If your space is “public,” you’ve got considerations that most others never need to think about. Namely, how to keep hands off your devices. We know that you’re looking for…

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Wireless Enclosures for Healthcare

Oberon wireless enclosures secure, simplify and professionalize your healthcare facility. Whether it’s a new space or an old one, your ceiling may be starting to get crowded. If your space is “public,” you’ve got considerations that most others never need to think about. Namely, how to keep hands off your devices. In the healthcare industry, you’re often…

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Faster WiFi Access Points Require Faster Cable Systems

Due to higher bandwidth and the increased power requirements of the latest wireless access points (802.11ac), industry best practices recommend that Cat 6A cable systems are installed to support WiFi AP (access point) connections. By design, Cat 6A cable systems follow standards to provide at least 10Gbp/s ethernet speeds up to 100 meters. This may…

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Sound Masking Benefits of Zoned Office Systems

We’re ready to help your office get zoned for sound. Whether it’s an overhead paging system, sound masking or background music, a professionally designed system can make all the difference when it comes to the quality of sound within your office. Think about it this way: Who wants a speaker over their work area that blares…

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Connecting the Access Point

When you consider the logistics of installing a Cat 6A cable to support your wireless needs, you’ll specifically want to think through exactly how the cable will plug into the access point (AP). One of the reasons the Cat 6A cable can support 10Gbps speeds is that it’s built larger than a Cat 5e or Cat 6 cable,…

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Best Practices for Reducing Open Office Distractions with Sound Masking

Creating a great work environment has come a long way in recent years – brilliantly designed for maximum collaboration and comfort. They’re bright, airy and provide the flexibility you need to perform at your best. These open work spaces come with many distractions, too: conversations among co-workers, phones ringing, printers, even outdoor created noises. Our…

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WiFi… Where We Are Today and Where We’re Headed in the Future

  Where We Are Today… The most popular WiFi version installed today is the new IEEE 802.11ac. This new version expands the throughput of wireless local area networks by using high frequencies (5GHz band). It’s also widened individual channels from 40MHz (802.11n) to 80MHz or even 160MHz; added more spatial streams (up to 8) and…

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Capital Electric Predicts Growth in CAN Bus Market

A controller area network (CAN bus) is a vehicle bus standard designed to allow microcontrollers and devices (sensors/actuators) to communicate with each other in applications without a host computer. As you may know, we’re using more and more sensors and control actuators on every automobile made in recent years. You’ve seen the commercials for cars…

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The Challenges of Firestop Systems

The need for firestopping in our network and low voltage cabling world is important, yet fairly limited in nature. For everyone, a key challenge exists within the nature of the install: We penetrate a wall, ceiling, or floor to lay the cable, and then must somehow recreate the original fire rating of that structure. The ratings…

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Industrial Ethernet

“Network” is a key industry buzz word right now. The first thing that comes to mind is an office setting that relies on Ethernet to operate. It’s relatively simple: plug + wifi = connection. What comes to mind for networks on the factory floor? For starters, the environment is completely different. Factors such as extreme temperature…

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HDBaseT 2.0

Walk through any business and you’ll likely see messaging in many different formats, including digital displays – an application that is quickly gaining popularity. And for good reason: these “flat screens” provide creative flexibility for messages that can be tailored to the business, customers, or event. Videos, photos, and graphics of any kind may be…

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What’s new? Hubbell’s Field-Terminated Shielded Modular Plug.

Connecting equipment on the factory floor to decision makers has never been more important than it is today. We do this by connecting them via the network. In concept, it sounds easy. In practice, it can be complicated. The factory floor environment is obviously much different than the typical office. Frequently, cables are exposed to…

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Fiber Clarity – Part 2

In our last Cablepedia post (Fiber Clarity – Part 1), we looked specifically at CommScope’s newest product – SD Fiber Optic Panels. Why has CommScope invested in this line? Much of the answer has to do with streamlining and enhanced clarity. Thankfully, the fiber optic cabling industry has gone through some major growth, resulting in…

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Fiber Clarity – Part 1

CommScope and the many legacy brands they have acquired (ADC, AMP, Krone, NetConnect, Systimax and Uniprise), have offered many iterations of fiber termination shelves. Most followed the LGX panel format that became the industry standard (push pin panels, 118mm). Since CommScope acquired the Broadband Network Systems (BNS) group from TE Connectivity, they’ve combined the best…

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Pre-Plan Your Pathways

In our last Cablepedia post (click here to access Ready to Help with Prefab), we touched on an important part of the process: pre-planning. It might not be a stretch to say that this is actually the most important part of the process! Thinking ahead can save so many things, like money, man hours, and…

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Ready to Help with Prefab

For more than 30 years, we’ve been blessed to have a number of contractors as customers; helping them understand the technical aspects of the cabling products they buy from us has been much appreciated. Now, Capital has a valuable service to add specifically for contractors. Commonly called “prefab” (short for prefabrication), this service is a great…

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Fast Forward

Maybe you’ve encountered the phrase “high speed migration” as an industry term. Leave it to our brilliant partners at CommScope to adopt it as a way to help us all think about where we are with our infrastructures, and what it’s going to take to grow to the next level. These are three important words.…

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The Power of Transition

January is an interesting time of year. Many of us begin the month reflecting on the 12 months that came before, and thinking about how to make the next 12 even better. What’s really happening is a transition from one place and time to another. Being mindful of it is important… after all, transition is…

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The Internet of Things and Manufacturing

Looking back on our 2016 Cablepedia posts, the Internet of Things (IoT) was probably mentioned as much as “wire” and “cable.” That should come as no surprise to anyone. The IoT is growing up quickly and dictating the future of information sharing. Of course, I also need to point out that wire and cable are…

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Model Behavior

A colleague of mine is going through the exciting-yet-somewhat-scary process of college applications with her daughter. It is certainly no secret that times have changed, but I was surprised to hear about the latest choices for fields of study – particularly in the business world. A number of schools are offering study tracks and degrees…

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Welcome to the Digital Age

Welcome to the Digital Age

There’s a bit of a trend happening in and around our industry: big-name companies are joining forces. While this is nothing new in the business world, these mergers are notable because the motivation is different. Sure, the same ground rules for more customers and market share still apply, but the latest unions are creating a…

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Made in America: What Does It Mean?

With domestic manufacturing on the rise, “Made in America” is poised to take on a whole new meaning. The parameters for today’s definition will be written by using quality, cost effectiveness, and culture as important barometers.

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Understanding Your Investment

The best advice for anyone looking to cross off items on the company infrastructure shopping list is this: Buy the best you can afford, and you’ll never be disappointed. That means doing your homework to avoid a costly mistake.

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Today’s Wireless

  Today’s Wireless Just a few short years ago, the top raw speed for a Wireless Access Point (WAP) was a blistering 11mbps per second. I use the term “raw” because that bandwidth was in constant battle with walls, doors, and other environmental blockades, plus had to share the waves with other devices in range. In…

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Data Security: Prepare Now

Data Security: Prepare Now 2014, and headlines everywhere screamed about the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment. The fallout from releasing personal, confidential information was enormous! This is just one, high-profile example; according to Beazley, a leading provider of data breach response insurance, the trend for outside infiltration like the Sony bombshell is rapidly rising. Last…

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Trending in 2016

In past Cablepedia posts, we’ve highlighted emerging technologies such as IoT, HDBaseT, and PoE. These are just a handful of examples that show how the tools we use to generate, maintain, and share information are expanding in ways that seemed unimaginable only a few years ago. Let’s pause and consider the amount of time that…

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Making a Case for a UPS

Welcome to the Information Age – a time when data can be generated, stored, shared, and accessed at almost a moment’s notice with the touch of a button or screen. Just think about how far technology has advanced in such a short amount of time! Laptops, tablets, cell phones… instant connection to anything or anyone you could possibly need.

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IoT: The Future is Now

“Jane, stop this crazy thing!” The year was 1962, and America was introduced to the family of the future: The Jetsons. The automation, the technology… it all seemed so far off and far out back then, but in less than 60 years, we’ve surpassed many of the “far-fetched” developments portrayed in that show.

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Buyer Aware

Good companies offer important things such as consistency, quality, and value. What elevates an organization to the next level is how those characteristics are experienced at every turn, especially through the purchasing process.

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Hubbell’s Expansion: End-to-End

There’s a recurring discussion among business leaders and supply chain managers regarding the viability of single-source purchasing. The pros and cons have been debated, diagrams have been created to illustrate various scenarios… but in the end, it really comes down to the vendor, doesn’t it?

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June Lunch and Learn Recap

apital’s 2015 Lunch and Learn series is in full swing, and like our past events, Jack Hawrysz from Hubbell Premise Wiring hit this last one out of the park. As Wisconsin territory sales manager, Jack has a lot of knowledge about Hubbell’s products, and his customers’ needs. During his visit with us on June 18th,…

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From “No Way!” to “No Problem!”

Think for a moment about AV connectivity… do you want to run? Scream? Hide? If you’ve been around a while, you’ve seen a frightening list of AV connector options: VGA, Component Video, RGB, S-Video, RCA, 3.5mm Audio, DVI (I, D or A), BNC, F-connectors…. Talk about a nightmare! How did we ever get anything to work?

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Hear This!

Listen up: Here’s some helpful information for creating or upgrading your company’s PA system. If this info graphic proves useful to you, we’d love to hear about it! — Mike

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Spring Cleaning

Here in Wisconsin, this transition is highly anticipated: It’s time to look at the world differently, and feel energized by the changes we see. We can take that renewed spirit and apply it to our work lives, too. Have you felt like you’ve been ‘hibernating’ in routine for too long? Could your work environment benefit…

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Posturing for a Better You

In an average lifetime: 99,000+ hours are spent at work 4 years within that work time are spent on the phone 5 years are spent online That’s a lot of time! And up to now, the majority was spent sitting – particularly if your work environment happens to be an office. You may move periodically…

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Thanks for attending our February 20 Lunch and Learn!

I think I speak for everyone at Capital Electric when I say that one of our favorite things about this company is the sincere focus on personal relationships. Vendor, customer, co-worker… regardless of the professional title, we are all people. And in my experience, our industry is full of wonderful individuals who are helpful, intelligent,…

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A Clean View of HDBaseT

In the not-so-distant past, people were absolutely satisfied with watching images on screens that used around 300,000 pixels to project an image. Then, technology blew the doors off that reality – first with HD, expanding the number of pixels to one to two million, and now, with the next wave of 4K and Ultra HD, the total will…

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TE Connectivity: Quality from End to End

In previous Cablepedia articles, I talked about the revolution that is happening thanks to PoE, or Power over Ethernet. Consumers’ constant demands for speed and reliability in networks and connection pressured our industry to respond, and we did – with advances in cable that flow electricity and data along the same pathways.

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CommScope: Writing the Standards for Network Technology Evolution

People need to communicate, and a reliable infrastructure is what makes that possible. For decades, the company leading the way in infrastructure research, development and production has been CommScope. Today, this key supplier maintains a portfolio of copper, fiber optics and wireless products that connect networks at home, at work, and at play. They are…

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A Revolution in Human Interaction: PoE

Innovation. Cutting edge. Game changer. Revolution. No matter what you call it, the inception is the same: Someone had a thought that was different. These are exciting times… we’re witnessing a revolution in human interaction. Mobile devices, web connection nearly anywhere at any time, information literally at our fingertips. This onset of availability has spawned…

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