Do I need to certify cable or conduct a transmission test?

Many installers will use the term “testing” when what they mean is “certifying” that an installed cabling system meets specific performance requirements, as spelled out in a standard. Very often, this compliance is required to obtain a manufacturer’s warranty. However, there are other types of tests, such as qualification and verification, that are important to know about.

For example, you may have customers who need performance reporting that doesn’t have to comply with the requirements of formal cable certification.

In these scenarios, TREND Networks offers SignalTEK transmission testers, sometimes known as a network or cable qualifier.

What is transmission testing?

Transmission testers work by sending Ethernet frames through the transmission medium, re-transmitting them from the far end, and counting the return frames. The common term used for this is a bit error ratio test (BERT), though for simplicity TREND Networks’ testers report the number of lost frames rather than the sum of the bits that are lost.

The benefit of transmission testing is that the pass/fail determination is easily quantifiable because the limits are specified in the IEEE Ethernet standards, much like TIA creates performance standards for cable certification. Transmission testing is the norm used by every telecom company and we’ve simplified it for use in the LAN (Local Area Network).

TREND Networks transmission testers

TREND Networks now offers transmission testers in 1Gb and 10Gb versions called SignalTEK NT and SignalTEK 10G. Within each range there are variants that test copper cable only, copper and fibre, or copper and fibre with active network transmission testing.

Additionally, the award-winning SignalTEK 10G also supports the new Multigig standards for 2.5G and 5G testing so it can definitively tell users whether existing cabling can be upgraded with Multigig switches to extend capability without the need for re-cabling.

In addition to qualifying cabling and networks for available bandwidth, the active LAN versions of SignalTEK can also perform a wide range of network diagnostic and troubleshooting tests further increasing their use case.

Cost-effective cable testing

Lastly, transmission testers are much more affordable than certifiers, starting at about one fifth of the cost. Certifiers are designed to provide the capability and near-accuracy of a $100,000+ laboratory vector network analyser packed into a durable handheld field-tester. As such, the designs are one-off, high-frequency, analogue instruments and are exceedingly expensive to manufacture. Transmission testers utilise off-the-shelf digital communications components that simplify the design and manufacture, leading to lower costs to measure the same grade of cable as a certifier.

Depend on Us for transmission testing

Need to know more about certifying cable or transmission testing? Check out the range of free educational resources in our Learning Hub. Or discover more about the SignalTEK NT and SignalTEK 10G now. You can also place your order online, or find your local TREND Networks distributor.

If you have any questions about our range of transmission testers and how they can help you, contact our expert team.