Weekly Video Rewind: How to Install Cable Raceway and EZ-SnapJacks

It’s Friday afternoon again, and that could only mean one thing: movie review time! This week, we’ll take a look at a couple of product demos that, even though they probably won’t go viral anytime soon, are definitely useful to people who are into cable installation and management. Ready to go? Roll ‘em!

Hinged Raceway Installation: Our New Products guru Tiffani is back to answer a question commonly asked by our customers: what’s the best way to install raceway? Tiffani gives a quick demonstration of how to install raceway using either double-sided tape for standard applications, or screws for jobs that are heavier or otherwise require a little extra staying power. We always mention on our raceway product pages that you have these two options for installation, but I like it that now we actually have a live-action demonstration with  detailed explanations and suggestions.

How to Use an EZ-SnapJack™ RJ45: I don’t know how it happened, but we got Fernando out from his usual spot behind the camera, and into the hot seat instead (good thing, though – he knows a ton about our products, too). In this video, Fernando shows how EZ-SnapJacks™ from Platinum Tools work. Before I go any further, in my opinion, the EZ-SnapJack is one of those products that’s so cool and, well, “EZ,” that it almost isn’t fair. I think my jaw dropped a little the first time a rep demonstated this at our office. It’s an RJ45 jack that wires without an actual punchdown tool – you just strip your cable, untwist 4 pairs, line them up in the right color configuration, slide the ends into a tiny clear sleeve, and then snap the whole thing into a jack. No individual wire seatings and punchdowns – and what’s really crazy is that they actually do work. Fernando gives a quick Reader’s Digest-type demo that shows how termination actually happens after the wires have been pre-arranged in the sleeve, and also shows how the jack can be reopened and reused if you need to change things around. Definitely check it out – this is a product worth seeing in action.

Platinum Tools EZ-SnapJack

ez-snapjackWaaaaaaaaaaay back in the day (okay, so it was only this past February), I talked about an EZ RJ45 plug that saved tons of time for installers because you slide all 8 wires into a wide, unpartitioned slot, instead of inserting each wire into its own individual channel. Believe me – I did a couple of comparison terminations myself, and the EZ version was practically fun compared to the standard RJ45 plugs. The hands-down winner. Well, I’ve just met the EZ RJ45′s soul mate: Platinum Tools’ EZ-SnapJack™, otherwise known as the keystone jack that’s about to rock your world.

If I remember correctly, I actually giggled with glee as I witnessed my first demo of this product. Now, I’m no jaded, punchdown-weary telecom tech, but I have done a few jack terminations at work and in the Learning Lab at CEDIA Expo 2008 (just a quick aside – if you get the chance, go). And while keystone punchdowns are no big deal, they definitely land on the time-consuming side of things.

Not anymore – well, not as long as you’re using EZ-SnapJacks™. These things work exactly the same way as the EZ RJ45 connector, in that you just arrange the 8 wires into the correct sequence, slide them into an alignment sleeve, and then trim the ends. From there, all that’s left to do is pop the prepped cable into the open jack, snap the top down (which, by the way, is the action that acts as the actual “punchdown”), and you’re done. It’s complete and utter laziness, but in the most positive and productive sense of the word. All I have to say is: way to save time on the job.

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