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  1. Ahead of the Curve: 8K HDMI Cables have Landed

     

     

    Ahead of the Curve: 8K HDMI Cables have Landed

     

    Not sure if you’ve heard, but we’re incredibly excited to start carrying 8K rated HDMI cables. The number of customers asking for 2.1 rated HDMI cables had increased enough to where it was a bit of a bummer to explain how our standard HDMI cables exceeded 2.0 ratings (supports 4K, HDR, and 3D), but didn’t fit the bill when it came to supporting the bandwidth necessary for 8K resolution.

    At the start of this year, our new line of ECore Ultra High-Speed HDMI cables are locked and loaded to handle the bandwidth needed to send uncompressed 8K video at 60 frames per second, or uncompressed 4K at 120 frames per second. They’ve also got the juice to handle 48-bit deep color, 3D video, built-in ethernet, and a 90-degree bend radius (perfect for tight fits behind entertainment cabinets or mounted TVs).

    That fancy new 8K television is only as good as the cabling. It is 100 percent necessary to have 2.1 rated HDMI cables to reap the full viewing benefits of owning an 8K television. With that said, I think it’s important to be realistic about what 8K means today and what it will mean tomorrow.

    As it stands, there is virtually no content readily available in 8K. There are no major streaming services supporting it, there are no 8K programs (in the United States) on broadcast, cable, or satellite, and there is not currently a physical media means of watching 8K discs or any other tangible media.

    It is a bit of a waiting game to allow these services and media a chance to catch up to the technology, but we’re

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  2. Patch Panel Refresh

    Patch Panel Refresh

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  3. Clean Fiber, Happy Fiber

    Clean Fiber, Happy Fiber

     

     

    It only takes microscopic dust and oil particles on the end-faces of fiber optic cables to cause major data loss, or outright fiber link failure. These contaminants are impossible to see with the naked eye but can easily accumulate and be distributed from mating and de-mating soiled plugs. Even brand-new fiber optic connectors straight out the package are susceptible to particulates from those handling the connections before they arrive on site.

    Regular inspection and cleaning are the only way to ensure reliable fiber optic connection without running the risk of degradation of fiber optic connectors, data loss, or fiber link failure.

    Here are some easy to use fiber optic cleaners that can efficiently remove dirt, oil, and debris from end-face connectors.

    Fiber Optic Smart Cleaner Mini

    The fiber optic cleaners are the solution for technicians maintaining connectivity with a high volume of connectors. An extendable tip provides accessibility to recessed connectors and the 180-degree rotation engages a full sweep of the connector. A removeable end cap allows you to clean both in-adapter and unmated connectors. This is a dry cleaner, but it is made up of anti-static material, so you won’t create a static charge from the dry wiping after the connector is cleaned. The initial cartridge is good for 400 plus cleanings and can be replaced with a fresh cartridge.

     

    Fiber Optic Cleaner Cassette

    The cassette s

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  4. 5G: What's Going On?

     

     

     

    If you’ve paid any attention to commercial advertising put out by telecommunications companies within the last year, you’ll notice “5G” is the hot button buzzword. So popular, in fact, that American-Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds is featured in a 30-second clip attempting to explain it with the help of a technology expert…Ryan still doesn’t quite grasp it.

    In a nutshell 5G is the fifth-generation mobile network and the goal is to create a massive network connecting machines, objects, and devices. To do so, this network must deliver increased data speeds, extremely low latency, and more reliability across the board. For those in the industry, the successful deployment and utilization of 5G means positive impacts in transportation, healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing, and even everyday consumer experiences on mobile networks.

    In the long run this will be a major driver to economic growth across the entire world. By impacting and enhancing mobile broadband services, mission-critical communications, and the Internet of Things (IoT) there is the potential for 5G to make a difference in just about every facet of human life that relies on data connectivity.

    In the short run we’re a little way off from experiencing the wide-spread utopian effects of this upgraded generation in wireless technology, but most of the groundwork has been laid and only time will tell whether the roll-out and deployment of 5G will live up to its endgame promise.

    5G is more so an investment in our future. This delayed reaction and full force feel is only natural in the industry. It took 4G almost 2-3 years to have an influence on how we connect with one another. First appearing on phones in

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  5. Slim Down: The Patch Cable Diet

    Slim Down: The Patch Cable Diet

     

    It’s easy for the once-cavernous space of a data center to turn cramped and congested. The space isn’t growing, but the equipment and need for connectivity is. The solution? Slim Cat6 patch cables to help reduce space, improve airflow, and provide easier management in a bustling data center.

     

    Reduce Space

    Cat6 Slim Ethernet patch cables have done their share of diet and exercise, going from 24AWG on standard Cat6 cables down to 28AWG. In terms of overall diameter, that is a physical slim down from 5.3mm OD to 3.5mm OD.

     

    Easier to Manage

    Compared to standard Cat6 these slim patch cables are easier to handle and route from switch-to-server links in high-density data centers. Decreased overall diameter means increased flexibility. Running patch cables around corners, in crowded racks/closets, and through panels just got much easier. With the space saved it switching to slim, it also helps in providing a clear line of sight to identify ports on patch panels.  

     

    Increased Airflow

    Smaller cable diameter equates to more airflow and better ventilation in racks and cabinets. This decongestion helps with equipment cooling in racks and server rooms and helps overall maintenance of hardworking networks.

     

    If your data center could use some room to breathe, consider our E-Core Cat

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  6. Patch Panels - How To Manage the Tangle

    How To Manage the Tangle

     

    Patch panels are the cornerstone of a well-tuned data center. They provide some method to the madness of incoming and outgoing networking cables and help with future growth and trouble-shooting. 

    A patch panel is an arrangement of ports on one panel, which can be mounted to a rack or wall. Patch panels allow you to bundle and connect multiple ports for incoming and outgoing lines. They’re great cable management and network solution to centralize telecommunications and data equipment in communications closets, central offices, and data centers.

     

    What is the purpose of a patch panel?
    A patch panel is a mounting assembly with a set number of ports to connect incoming and outgoing copper and fiber lines. In most data centers a patch panel is installed on a rack in a communications closet to connect racks to one another. On the front face of the panel, patch cables, like ethernet and fiber optic cables, connect to servers and network switches. In the rear of the patch panel, bare wires are punched down to and from other patch panels.

    Patch panels are commonly used in Localized Area Networks (LAN) because of how easily you can connect computers to one another, or to outside lines for internet access. To create and arrange circuits you only need to plug or unplug correlating patch cables.  

     

    What are the advantages of patch panels?
    1) A patch panel provides a simple organization and management solution when dealing with an array of patch cables that can easily become tangled or mismatched. Labeling each run in a patch panel allows for easy identification and troubleshooting down the l

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  7. Choosing the Right WiFi Antenna

    Choosing the Right WiFi Antenna

     

    To identify the right antenna for your WiFi application it is important to note the differences in omnidirectional and directional antennas. Either the signal is radiating out in every direction, which is called omnidirectional, or there is a reflective surface to focus the signal in a specific direction, which is called directional.

    Depending on your primary application there are ceiling, panel, Log Periodic/Yagi, fixed omni, and rubber duck antennas. These antennas operate at different frequencies and gains depending on whether they are radiating signals in omnidirectional or directional reach.

     

    Here are some applicable network scenarios where these antennas would be put into use:

     

    To connect two buildings:

    To connect two buildings on the same WiFi network, you will need a directional antenna to create a point-to-point wireless link. A Yagi or Parabolic Grid antenna would be mounted to the top of each building and point at each other inline. It is important that there is a clear line of sight between these two directional antennas. For instance, trees and other buildings/structures will impede the signals sent and received from these antennas.

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  8. Here Is What You Need to Consider When Purchasing Antennas

    What You Need to Consider When Purchasing Antennas

     

    When buying an antenna there several factors that go into finding the right solution for your network. Without proper consideration, you will not achieve the desired connectivity, which can result in a loss of time and money.

    The basic function of an antenna is to take a signal traveling through a cable and convert it to a signal that can travel through the air. The most common applications for antennas are Wi-Fi/WLAN networks, the “Internet of Things” (IoT), and in public safety/first responder systems.

    Since there are many different types of antennas, these are a few of the major items to consider before you buy an antenna:

    • What is the application?
    • What frequency do you need?
    • Is there a certain gain or square footage of coverage you need?
    • Do you want coverage everywhere, or in at a specific point?
    • Which connector types do you need?

    Here are a few of the most common questions to help you understand which antenna works best for your application.

     

    What kinds of antennas are there?

    The differentiating factor in antennas is how they are sending their signal. Either the signal is radiating out in every direction, which is called omnidirectional, or there is a reflective surface to focus the signal in a specific direction, which is called directional.

    Depending on your primary application there are ceiling, panel, Log Periodic/Yagi, fixed omn

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  9. 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

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  10. 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

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