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Steve Bowman

  1. Stay Cool, Secure and Flexible with Server Racks


    A large office might keep its computer servers in a data center while a smaller one can get by with an IT closet. But there is one thing most offices have in common: Their servers and related IT equipment are installed together in server racks.

    Server racks hold not only computer servers but patch panels, network switches, power distribution units and other components related to the servers. They are either floor-mounted on feet or on wheels, or wall-mounted. Server racks are popular because they serve four crucial functions.


    ShowMeCables’ server racks have several features for keeping your equipment cool. They have built-in fans to enable thermal management. Doors and side panels are vented for circulation. On most models, top panels are either vented or have dedicated ports for installing fans. Some cabinets have cable-routing features that keep interiors less cluttered to promote air flow. For the best circulation, we offer open-frame racks.


    Networking equipment is t

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  2. Don’t Enter That Cryptocurrency Mine without the Right Cables and Antennas

    iStock-1339660884.jpgWhether you’re mining coal, copper or cryptocurrency, one thing is true: To be successful, you need the right equipment.

    Crypto mining for digital currency has exploded in popularity in recent years. It started in 2009 with the first decentralized cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. As of 2022, the marketplace offers more than 9,000 cryptocurrencies, with the top two alone having over $791 billion of coins in circulation, according to CoinMarketCap. Mining all that crypto profitably requires a computer rig with a core processing unit (CPU), graphics processing units (GPUs), a motherboard and other elements.

    Crypto Mining Rigs Need Cables

    Regardless of a rig’s size, it needs cables to power and to connect the devices. Below we describe the main types of antennas and cables you will need to outfit a crypto mining rig:

    Helium Miner Antenna Upgrade Kits

    One popular way to obtain cryptocurrency is by mining helium coins, called HNT, using a helium hotspot that uses RF radio signals. Our helium miner antenna upgrade kits were designed for

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  3. Why Wired Networks Are So Popular in Manufacturing

    In a previous blog post, we listed five reasons why wired Ethernet networks continue to be more popular than wireless connections for most organizations. Those five points hold true especially for industrial manufacturers, and you can add three more reasons why wired connections work best for manufacturing.

    First, a quick recap of the five main advantages of wired Ethernet networks:

    • Wired is more secure – much harder to hack than wireless.
    • Wired is more reliable – signal strength is more consistent, less affected by other wired signals.
    • Wired is faster – and data speeds are more consistent in heavy traffic.
    • Wired provides more control – user access is easier to monitor.
    • Wired is cost-effective – popular for decades, the hardware is widely available and affordable.

    For manufacturing, wired connections have at least three more benefits:

    Wired Manufacturing Networks Do the Heavy Lifting

    As long as wired Ethernet connections are, on the whole, more secure and reliable than wireless networks, they will play a major role in executing companies’ most mission-critical tasks. We see this in all the manufacturers who use both wired and wireless connections, but employ wired for data that controls their most critical systems, and wireless connections for the slightly less important job of monitoring and gathering data. Thus, for the heavy lifting, companies want to rely on what has been referred to as “a physical backbone of connectivity.” This is especially understandable on a high stakes production line, where a malfunctioning connection could result in physical injury or potentially thousands of lost dollars due to network down time.

    Wired Manufacturing Networks Block Out the Noise

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  4. 5 Reasons Wired Networks Rule


    With the popularity of wireless computer connectivity, it’s easy to forget about the advantages that Ethernet-wired networks provide. In the IT world, wired connectivity is still king for most organizations worldwide. Here are five reasons why:

    More Secure

    As long as firewalls and other security measures protect your wired network, it is safer from unauthorized access than wireless networks are. Your business’s wired network is completely contained, accessible only by connecting a cable to the network from inside your building. Wi-Fi signals are broadcast outside of the building, leaving them potentially open to hackers.

    More Reliable

    A wired signal is rarely influenced by another wired signal. But with two wireless networks located in promixity, the chances are higher for losing your connection or experiencing latency delays. Also, signal strength is more consistent with wired. Mobile workers who change locations find that their wireless signal strength can vary. Even something like a wall or a large object can affect their signal.


    If you’ve ever transferred large files from one computer to another, you know that it’s usually faster over wired Ethernet than Wi-Fi. Though wireless has gotten faster in recent years, the speed can be inconsistent, and it is still slower than most wired connections. With gigabit routers, wired Ethernet can get up to 1 Gb/s with Cat5e cable and up to 10 Gb/s with Cat6. The speed doesn’t lag with unexpected or unauthorized traffic, since users must connect using an Ethernet cable.

    More Control

    An organization’s network administrator has more control over user access with a wired system. That makes it easier to ensure t

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  5. Top 3 Differences between Indoor and Outdoor Bulk Cable

    Cat6 Shielded Solid Aerial Cable with Messenger

    It usually costs more to buy custom products. At ShowMeCables it can cost less. Our wide selection of bulk cable costs considerably less than shorter, pre-cut lengths. And yet with bulk cable you can wire your installation to the exact custom lengths you need.

    Also, with less excess cable, it is easier to install, remove or re-route cords and to troubleshoot wiring problems. Faulty connections are easier to find in a well-ordered installation, which means less downtime during maintenance.

    If you decide to try bulk cable, you might wonder what the differences are between our indoor cable and our many CMX-rated outdoor offerings. Following are the top three.

    Outdoor Cable Resists Sunlight

    A signature feature of outdoor-rated cables is a UV-resistant jacket, usually made of polyethylene (PE) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Indoor-rated cables have no UV protection, which means that under daily exposure to direct sunlight their jackets would degrade and crack over time.

    Outdoor Cable Resists Moisture

    Another main feature of outdoor cable is that it is waterproof for protection from the elements. Its PE or PVC jacket has low water absorption. An outdoor-rated CMX cable will protect your connection even if the cable jacket is submerged.

    A related option is oil-resistant cable. It is made from materials that will not corrode or break down when exposed to most chemicals or oils that are found in industrial settings.

    Outdoor Cable Can Go Underground or Overhead

    There are two other types of outdoor cable that can go where indoor cable would not survive for long. Direct burial cable is designed to be installed underground. It is “flooded,” meaning the core is filled with gel that blocks any outside moisture seepage.

    Aerial cable is used between two poles in the air. A rigid cable called a “messenger” runs pa

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  6. A Primer on USB Cables and Connectors

    USB cables are everywhere − at work, at home, even in our vehicles. ShowMeCables should know, as we offer more than 150 types of them. But shopping for the cable you need does not have to be difficult. Below we summarize the benefits of USB, then clarify the differences among:

    • The popular USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and USB 3.1
    • Connector types USB-A, -B, -C, Mini-USB and Micro-USB.

    Why USB Is so Popular

    Universal Serial Bus specifications were first released in 1996 to standardize the connection of personal computers to peripheral devices. USB cables have since become the go-to connector between PCs and printers, scanners, cameras, audio players, etc. Their key advantages include:

    • USB cables transfer data much faster than serial cables.
    • USB cables carry power as well as signals.
    • USB’s several distinct connector types make it easy to identify which plug fits where.
    • USB cables are a universal standard and thus available and affordable.

    USB 2.0, 3.0 and 3.1

    The three versions serve mostly the same functions, with the chief difference being the speed at which data can be transferred. With a transfer speed of 10 Gbps, USB 3.1 is twice as fast as USB 3.0, which is twice as fast as USB 2.0. Increased speeds are especially useful with tasks such as copying or saving files into your external hard drive or downloading data from a camera into your PC.

    USB 3.0 cables both deliver more power and consume less power than USB 2.0. Thus, charging your phone with a USB 3.0 cord will take half the time of a USB 2.0 cord. And editing a file directly from your 3.0 flash drive will not drain your laptop’s charge.

    All three versions are in common use, partly because each is backwards compatible with previous versions: USB 2.0 with versions 1.0 and 1.1, USB 3.0 with versions 2.0 and 1.1, and USB 3.1 with versions 2.0 and 3.0.

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  7. How to pick cables for your IT network


    With thousands of products to choose from, selecting cables for your IT installation can be confusing. Below we’ve simplified the process by dividing the products into four main uses and touching on some of the chief differences among the products for each use.

    Networking Cables

    Copper vs. fiber optics. An IT network transmits data with standard category rated copper cables, fiber optic lines, or a mix of the two. Each type of cable has its advantages. Fiber can carry data more than 1,000 times faster than copper-based Ethernet networks and for much greater distances. But copper Ethernet cables cost less and are much more widespread − most networking products are built withRJ45 copper ports rather than fiber ports. Media converters can translate signals between the two but going fully fiber can be costly and is unnecessary for many applications. In most cases copper-based Ethernet is fast enough. But if you need to transmit high volumes of voice, video and data in an environment like a data center or a financial institution, fiber optic connectivity can make sense.

    There are a variety of copper Ethernet cables to choose from. Below we list the main types and their features.

    Cat5e cable is the minimum standard unshielded twisted pair cabling used for LAN drops. It is used in 100Base-T Ethernet. It has a bandwidth of 100 MHz and a maximum data rate of 1 Gbps at up to 100 meters.

    Cat6 has less cross talk and system noise than Cat5e. It can carry gigabit Ethernet in commercial buildings and is also used for phone lines and in residences. It has a bandwidth of 250 MHz and data rates of 1 Gbps at up to

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  8.  The 4 Big Benefits of Cable Management

    In 2021 we published a blog post covering products that help you manage your cables – from rack and cabinet attachments to wall and ceiling cable routers to ties and straps for bundling. In this post we discuss the overall benefits of properly managing your cables.

    ShowMeCables’ unique background has made us experts on this topic. You may know us only as a maker and seller of connectivity products. But actually we grew from a parent company, INC Installs, which has been installing networks for more than 25 years. With all that experience both making and installing cables, we’ve come up with what we believe are the four biggest benefits of cable management.

    Cable Management Makes a Workplace Safer

    According to industry safety advocate Arbill, the second most common cause of workplace injuries in the U.S. is tripping and falling because of wires and cables that are not properly organized. Such safety hazards can lead to injuries and lawsuits.

    If you work at home, a lone cord that is not bundled, hidden or tucked away can be irresistible to a small child or a family pet. This can lead to cable damage or much worse if an electrical wire is involved.

    An unmanaged cable is more likely to be exposed to abrasion, which can require maintenance or replacement. With a damaged jacket, a cable that receives a power surge is more likely to cause problems with the components it is connected to − or even spark a fire.

    Cable Management Reduces Maintenance Costs

    Some cable management devices pay for themselves over and over by reducing equipment maintenance. Especially popular are products that provide cable strain relief, such as lacing bars and D-rings. They usually attach to an equipment rack and prevent incoming and outgoing cords from being routed at sharp angles. Strain relief lengthens cable l

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  9. Duplex Fiber: 2-Way Communication in 1 Package

    While shopping for duplex fiber optic cable you’ll see a few terms that can be confusing. Namely, what’s the difference between simplex and duplex fiber, and what do “single mode” and “multimode” mean? We clarify this below, and also discuss some common applications of duplex fiber cables.

    Simply put, simplex and duplex describe the number of physical fibers, while single mode and multimode refer to the fiber optic glass types that are used.

    Simplex vs Duplex Fiber

    A simplex fiber cable is one strand of glass or plastic fiber. It can operate either in half-duplex mode or full-duplex mode, depending on the transceivers it is attached to. In half-duplex mode, it can transmit data from Point A to Point B or from Point B to Point A, but not both directions at the same time. In full duplex, the single strand can send and receive data simultaneously.

    A duplex fiber cable consists of two strands of glass or plastic fiber. Each fiber is jacketed separately but the two are often either molded together in “zip-cord” fashion or joined with clips. Like simplex, it also can operate in half-duplex mode or full-duplex mode depending on the equipment it is attached to. In half-duplex, one strand transmits in one direction, from A to B or B to A, but not in both directions at once. However, duplex fiber is most used in full-duplex mode, with a transmit signal on one fiber and a receive signal on the other fiber occurring simultaneously. Therefore, it connects devices that require the transmit and receive signals to be on separate fibers.

    Uses for Duplex

    One benefit of duplex fiber optic cable is that it can serve the function of two simplex cables but is easier to install and maintain because it is one cable. Typical uses for duplex fiber cables include workstations, fiber switches and servers, fiber modems, and other types of networking hardware. Duplex fiber cables ar

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  10. Hospital-Grade Products Stop Infection, Improve Patient Safety


    Of all the industries that ShowMeCables serves, when it comes to making products that are safe and reliable, the stakes are always high for the health care industry. Whether we are providing bacteria-resistant Ethernet cables or hospital-grade power cords, we realize that our products will be applied with human lives on the line.

    Below we describe some of the ways health care connectivity products differ from those of other industries. We also clarify some of the specifications you will see when shopping for these products.

    Antibacterial/Antimicrobial Ethernet Cable Assemblies

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that infections contracted in American hospitals lead to 99,000 deaths every year. The CDC also reports that 1 in 31 hospital patients gets an infection every day. Awareness of the problem has been high since at least 2009, when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a national action plan to prevent what it calls HAIs, or health care-associated infections.

    One way that HAIs can spread is via the telecommunications and networking cables that keep a health care facility connected. Harmful bacteria and other pathogens may take the cables for a ride, contaminate surrounding objects and surfaces, and expose patients. Most countries have strict codes aimed at preventing this by maintaining an environment that is optimally free of bacteria and other dangerous microbes. One way to meet such codes is to cover and seal cable assemblies with an additional material. But if adding cable jacketing or shrouding is deemed too costly or bulky, an alternate solution is to use cable made with bacteriostatic and antimicrobial materials.

    ShowMeCables offers a line of antibacterial

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