The certification process which proves that new cabling is correctly installed and up to TIA and ISO specifications can be the most important step in many commercial network installation projects.
Three types of tests are performed to establish a network’s compliance to standards. Cables are proven to be correctly connected by way of a verification test. Existing cable is submitted to qualification testing to ensure that it can support the network’s speed and technology requirements. And finally, a certification test makes certain whether or not the cabling is in compliance with the TIA and ISO.
In order for these requirements to be met, it is very important for the network installer to possess a reliable test instrument that is able to take a wide variety of measurements, and then compare the results to industry standards. There are several important traits that an effective network-cable testing tool should possess, and the first of these is speed. The testing speed of an instrument is crucial because it can greatly affect labor costs for the installation. When a large number of cables require testing, a time difference of mere seconds per cable can affect the final bill by hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars.
It should go without saying that accuracy of measurement in a testing instrument is incredibly important! An ideal example of an accurate tester would be the DSP-4300 test instrument from Fluke Networks. This machine is exceptionally precise, has been proven to give identical results in retests, and belongs to the first line of digital cable analyzers to ever meet TIA/EIA 568-B.2-1 specifications.
Lastly, as far as characteristics of network testing equipment go, versatility is also key. Contract installers are typically required to troubleshoot a wide array of both single and multi-mode fiber optic and copper cabling, as well as run tests on everything from the channel to the permanent link. A network testing job’s efficiency depends most upon whether or not the installer is using a versatile tester that can handle all possible configurations.
While speed, accuracy, and versatility are the three major attributes to for, there are a few other features which are also desirable in a network testing instrument. A tester should be able to store test results and generate the reports which lead to network certification. For example, the Fluke DSP-4300 test instrument that was mentioned earlier is able to save up to a day’s worth of results in its internal hard drive, and also comes with a detachable multimedia card which can be inserted into a PC to generate and print reports. This feature is an asset not only to the client, whose reports and certification can be completed in a timely manner, but to the installation contractor as well, since it ensures the successful completion of a job, and therefore payment for it.
Believe it or not, a making-or-breaking aspect of network testing instruments can be the manufacturers themselves. No matter how good the instrument, a glitch in a network testing project can always occur, and if that should happen, an installer should be confident that the maker of the test instrument can be relied on for prompt and knowledgeable product support.
When making a decision on which network testing instrument to use, always remember to keep in mind not only obvious features like speed, accuracy and versatility, but issues such as report generation, technical support and product warranty as well. CableOrganizer.com carries an extensive line of network testing equipment from Fluke and other manufacturers, in addition to providing both seller support and a 100% money-back guarantee. Giving careful consideration to your choice of testing product can help ensure that you’ll get the job done right, every time!