Internet Explorer will soon be unsupported on this site. Please upgrade to a newer browser to continue using our site.

Monthly Archives: June 2020

  1. 5 Things to Consider When Purchasing Power Cords

    5 Things to Consider When Purchasing Power Cords


    When purchasing power cables, knowing what qualities to look out for will help you save time, money, and stress.

    1. Plug & Form Factor

    Identifying which power cords you need can be confusing. There are dozens of different NEMA & IEC jacks and plugs. The problem is even more compounded when you add-in international plugs. We have created this helpful chart to help you identify which power cord you need.

    Another consideration beyond fit is the orientation of the plug. Space-saving right, left, up, or down angled plugs can help you minimize space, promote proper airflow, and prevent accidental disconnects.


    2. Length: Longer is Not Better

    After deciding which plug or jack (inlet or outlet) you need, you need to decide on the length. This is especially true for data center applications. Excess cord leads causes restriction of airflow, causing cooling systems to work harder. It also takes more energy to push electricity over longer cables. If you have hundreds or thousands of power cords, that adds up to a lot of extra dollars spent on increased electrical costs. Finally, longer cords are harder to manage and troubleshoot. So when picking a power cord, smaller is always better.


    3. Gauge and Amperage: Efficiency & Safety Considerations

    The amperage rating of a cable is directly tied to the gauge or thickness of the inner conductors. Larger gauge cable carries electricity more efficiently

    Read more »
  2. Ethernet Jacket Types 101

    ShowMeCables Bulk Cable

    Ethernet Jacket Types 101


    Ethernet cable jackets are made from various materials and carry different ratings assigned by the NEC. Let’s run through some commonly asked questions about these materials and NEC ratings to help answer some common questions about which material and jacket rating is used for most installations:

    What is a PVC jacket?

    Polyvinyl Chloride is the backbone material in most ethernet cable jackets. It is a high strength and flexible material, which makes it a go-to jacket for most ethernet cabling. PVC is the most common material found in the below jacket ratings. 

    What is a PE jacket?
    Polyethylene is most common with outdoor rated jackets. They are good at moisture and overall weather resistance. There is also a CPE jacket (Chlorinated Polyethylene), which is even better at oxidation, weather/UV, heat, oil, and flame resistance.  PE is best used for any outdoor ethernet runs, while CPE is ideal for direct burial.

    What is a CM rated jacket?

    Communications Multipurpose. This is the “everyman’s” jacket. CM has some ability to prevent the spread of flame, specifically to the top of a tray in the Vertical-Tray Flame Test. This jacket type is fit for cable trays and other areas that are not classified as riser or plenum spaces. CM jackets are made from PVC. For easier identification, this type of jacket is mostly used “In-Room.”

    What is CMR rated cable?

    Communications Multipurpose, Riser. This cable is meant for installation in vertical shafts. CMR is made from PVC, but it is a grade of flame-retardance that prevents the spread of fire from one floor to another. CMR cable can be used as a substitute for CM, but it is not meant for plenum (air return) spaces. For easy identification, this cable is mostly used “In-Wall,” for vertical runs.

    How do I know if I nee

    Read more »
  3. What You Need to Know About Data Line Surge Protection

    Data Line Surge Protection


    You don’t need a string of statistics to understand lightning is powerful, unpredictable, and strikes often. Take my word for it. I’ve read the “fun” facts. There is an astounding number of opportunities for mother nature to completely fry your business and home networks from both direct and indirect lightning strikes. But you can’t blame lightning for damage to modems, motherboards, serial ports, and other LAN equipment. You can’t shake a fist at mother nature for network downtime leading to a loss of business, expensive repairs/replacements, and corrupted data. What you can, and should, do is think ahead and arm your network with data line surge protectors to help secure highly integrated systems so a kiss from the skies doesn’t spell disaster for sensitive telecom and data transmission devices.

    Without getting into the nitty gritty of attractive terminology like “fast diode clamp array,” and “terminal differential gas discharge tubes,” at it’s most rudimentary level a data line surge protector is a high-speed, self-resetting switch to balance communication/data lines with chassis ground when the lines become over-energized from a power surge. As much as I waxed poetic about the threat of lightning, it is almost important to factor power surges from equipment turning on/off, or from power companies during a grid switch. These instances aren’t as dramatic, but they are more common than lightning strikes and can still cause damage to networking equipment.

    Our data line surge protection page offers an in-dep

    Read more »