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Channel Performance Degradation from Installation Stresses

Speaker Bio: Mike Dodds, Test Engineer, Leviton

Mike’s presentation of this Technical Paper was awarded the IWCS 2023 Kitts-Kingsley Award for Best Presentation. Congratulations, Mike!

Technical Paper Abstract:
The Ethernet cabling installation process is as important as the components used. Incorrect techniques or damaging installation can inflict performance degradation on the resultant channels. Category-compliant components may yield incompliant channels from installation damages. Some degree of this can be mitigated with durable products designed for their installation and use.

This study was conducted using a variety of copper twisted pair cabling products and fixtures intended to recreate the stresses that can be found in installations. Enough samples were tested to create populations of performance results in order to observe the trends rather than relying on single sample impacts. By comparing the performance of products before and after stressing, specific damages can be identified and conclusions on materials and designs can be made.

Two main points of installation were focused on for this investigation. The first portion was the cable installation, which is typically exposed to dragging corners, tensions, and hard angles. The second portion of the investigation was the connectors and termination.

The results of the investigation allow for matching between installation verification testing and the types of issues being observed. The investigation also provides information on the range of tensions and other factors that can be used to produce high-performing channels. Options for improving the performance of the channels by cabling component choice are highlighted for the damaging installation scenarios.

About the Presenter:
Michael Dodds received his M.S. in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering from Drexel University in 2017. He is currently a Test Engineer in Leviton’s Systems Verification Lab in New Holland Pennsylvania where he researches both fiber optic and twisted pair communications. His research focuses primarily on the effects of Ethernet link segments on real-world Layer 7 performance.

This technical paper was originally presented at the 2023 IWCS Forum. Plan to attend the 73rd annual IWCS Cable & Connectivity Industry Forum, taking place October 14–17, 2024 in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. Click here for event details.

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