Pre-terminated solutions are a popular choice for the fixed portion of a cabling channel (reaching from the access switch patch panel to the server cabinet patch panel, for example) – and with good reason.
Pre-terminated cable makes installation faster and easier, with a plug-and-play methodology behind it. It can be installed by a wide variety of people all with varying levels of skills or experiences since field termination isn’t necessary; instead, terminations are completed at the factory, and then verified and validated for reliability and performance before they leave. This allows field troubleshooting and testing during installation to be kept to a minimum. Pre-terminated solutions also result in less jobsite waste material to clean up.
These pre-terminated cables can be bundled together in groups of six or eight to create an assembly that installs as one, allowing installers to pull multiple cables at one time to move project installation along faster.
How Couplers Fit In
The inherent simplicity of couplers – often called feed-through or inline couplers – brings even more modularity and flexibility to pre-terminated cabling. With an RJ45 connector on both sides, they connect any two plug-terminated network cables together without soldering or crimping. This allows sections of cabling to be connected to construct the entire structured cabling channel.
In a typical cross-connect application, an equipment cord – one end with a plug and the other end with a jack – is clipped into a patch panel. A patch cord then runs from that patch panel to another patch panel. Horizontal cabling connects from there. In these common cases, horizontal cabling would be connected to a jack; the patch cord would have a jack on the end. By using a coupler, however, a patch cord can be used straight out of the box. One coupler and another patch cord are connected to a jack of the horizontal cabling.
Couplers and Crosstalk
Normally, running two RJ45 connections so close to each other would make for a bad combination; excessively high crosstalk can result. By keeping compensation directly under the plugs, however, it is possible for two RJ45 connections in a coupler to appear as one in terms of impact on the cabling system.
Technicians and installers with limited skills or experience can still install a pre-terminated solution that includes a coupler with this type of compensation. One example: using a coupler in a patch panel. In this situation, a patch cord comes in from one side and on the back side. Instead of terminating the horizontal cabling into a jack, and then connecting that jack to the panel, the installer can terminate the horizontal cabling into a plug – like REVConnect. That plug goes into the coupler in the patch panel. This makes installation and moves, adds and changes faster and simpler, but it is only possible with couplers designed to minimize crosstalk.
Proper Balance and Compensation
Belden’s couplers are so well compensated that they don’t “appear” to be two connections within a cabling system – they appear as one. These well-balanced connectors offer outstanding transmission performance in short and long channels, with performance that extends well beyond standards – even with Category 6A. Belden Category 6A couplers are very well balanced, and don’t require external shields, eliminating the fear of excessive alien crosstalk.
Utilizing Dual-Flex PCB technology, which compensates for noise at the plug-jack contact point on both sides, Belden couplers effectively eliminate the delay effect in crosstalk compensation. The result is a well-balanced, controlled plug-jack connection with improved crosstalk and return loss performance.
Belden’s 10GX Pre-Terminated Cabling System features cable assemblies that are pre-terminated using an RJ45 plug interface. They plug into the back of a patch panel that is pre-loaded with couplers that position RJ45 jacks on the front and back of the patch panel. Time no longer has to be spent snapping jacks or cassettes into patch panels.
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Ron joined Belden in 2016 to help define the roadmap of technology and applications in the enterprise. Prior to this, he developed cables and connectivity for Panduit and Andrew Corp. Ron Tellas is a SME in RF design and Electromagnetic Propagation and has BSEE from Purdue University, a MSEE from IIT, and a MBA from Purdue University.