Don’t Compromise on Category 6A Cabling

The benefits of IP convergence are many (fewer maintenance requirements, reduced operations costs, etc.). By investing in a 10Gb/s cabling solution that supports high-density, high-bandwidth applications, you can support excellent network performance and ensure that your convergence investments will work now and in the future.

When selecting a futureproof cabling solution, there are certain cabling characteristics you shouldn’t be willing to compromise on. Read more »

CPR: A Major Change in How EU Construction Products are Sold

KV_Logo European CommThe construction industry is facing a significant transformation regarding how construction products are sold in Europe. New rules implemented by the European Commission (EC) call for products – including cables– to be tested and certified based on certain criteria before they are used in European buildings.

The Construction Products Regulation (CPR) rules ensure that the construction industry uses similar language to describe product information from manufacturers in different countries when referring to performance, specifying requirements or selecting products.

Here are a few examples of how the new CPR rules can bring positive change to the construction industry. Read more »

Construction Products Regulation: What is it?

With new rules being implemented by the European Commission (EC), construction products – including cabling for fixed installations – can no longer be used in European buildings or civil engineering works if they are not tested and certified according to the new Construction Products Regulation (CPR) rules.



The EC’s CPR rules ensure that distributors, consultants, systems integrators, installers and building owners now have reliable product information from different manufacturers in different countries. CPR provides one common language that manufacturers can use when talking about performance of their product. This same language will  also have to be used by architects, engineers, contractors and member states when specifying requirements and selecting products.

Replacing the Construction Products Directive (CPD), which was first published by the EC in 1989, CPR is already applicable for non-cable products since July 2013. The official CPR introduction for cables will take place on Dec. 1, 2015, with the transition period ending on Dec. 1, 2016.

CPR combines the common technical language with an agreed system of Assessment and Verification of Constancy of Performance, a framework of Certified Notified Bodies and Mandatory CE Marking.

CPR provides a framework of potential assessment criteria in the following areas:

  1. Mechanical resistance and stability
  2. Safety in the case of fire
  3. Hygiene, health and the environment
  4. Safety in use
  5. Protection against noise
  6. Energy economy and heat retention

Cable product performance is covered in the 2nd requirement that focuses on fire safety ,which includes “Reaction to Fire” (How much  a cable contributes to a fire and its harmful  consequences) and “Resistance to Fire” (For how long a cable can continue to function in case of a fire). Initially CPR is only being implemented for cable performance related to “Reaction to fire.”

Cables will be evaluated based on their performance in a simulated installation, with simultaneous measurements of flame spread, heat release, flaming droplets, smoke emission and corrosivity of gases. They are then placed into the correct Euroclass system based on performance in the following areas: 

  • Flame spread
  • Smoke production
  • Burning falling particles (droplets)
  • Corrosiveness/acidity of combustion gases

For cable manufacturers CPR means that they need to have their cables tested according to the new requirements, provide a Declaration of Performance according to the new Euroclasses, affix a CE Marking to the product and periodically control production.

Although it may seem like CPR only applies to manufacturers, it’s equally as important for everyone in the construction industry to use and understand. Make sure to look out for the following Belden blogs that provide further details about CPR and will explain what CPR means for you.

The Key to Video Cable Performance


Belden Professional Video Cables and Connectors

Virtually all TV broadcasters around the world have gone digital. Even Hollywood has converted from film to digital images. While some of these cameras record the data on hard drives or SSD (solid-state drives),  at some point you’re going to send this data, those digital images, from Point A to Point B. If you want to carry the hard drive or SSD from place to place, that’s fine (so-called “sneaker net”) but it is time-consuming and inefficient. Why not put that signal on a cable to move it from place to place? That’s what most broadcasters do. And, while you could do this on fiber, converting from electrons to photons and back again at the other end, the economical and simple way is still over copper cable, most commonly coax cable.


The photo to the right is Belden 1694A, the world’s most popular video cable. It’s a good compromise between size, distance, and cost. It is easy to put on connectors, especially the one-piece compression connectors that Belden now offers. (Our current record is two connectors in 33 seconds.) And these connectors, and the 1694A cable, can carry virtually any video signal you might wish to use including analog, 4×3 digital (SD-SDI), high definition (HD-SDI) and even 3gig (1080p/50 or 1080p/60).

The only thing you have to consider is how far the cable can go. Here’s a chart showing the recommended distance for 1694A and all of our other digital cables. Read more »

New Marine-Certified Cables Improve Safety and Reduce Time to First Oil

In the marine industries the high profile DeepWater Horizon disaster (also known as the Macondo blowout) and increasing government regulation have led to a new “culture of safety”. Part of this new outlook is a demand for products that are people and environmentally friendly, especially when things go wrong.

In response, this week we are announcing the availability of our new MarineTuff line of HaloarrestXLink LSZH-jacketed instrumentation, control and VFD cables. These cables have been certified by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) to their highest standards for marine use.

Besides high safety characteristics, marine-certified cables provide other benefits, including faster “time to first oil”, a metric that is used for new oil production projects. Let’s consider what makes a cable safe and how such a cable can speed up large complicated oil system projects.  Read more »

Installing Category 6A: The Future is Now

Category6A-FutureCategory 6A twisted-pair copper received much attention when it first hit the marketplace in 2005. But adoption has been slow, since the 10 gigabit per second (Gb/s) capacity of Category 6A exceeds the requirements of most LAN applications. However, times are now changing. Data rates in the enterprise continue to climb. More devices than ever are being connected. Emerging applications demand higher performance and faster speeds. And those trends haven’t escaped the notice of industry standards bodies.

Let’s look at these new applications and requirements — and see if Category 6A is the future for your network.   Read more »

6 Key Considerations When Choosing Category 6A Cable

Last week’s blog post covered the uses for Category 6A cable, including emerging applications and recommendations for adoption by industry standards bodies. This week, we take a look at the factors that go into the choice of a Category 6A cable. While all Category 6A products must meet the same base set of specifications, they are surprisingly different in their physical properties, and how well they deliver at the extremes of performance. Those extremes are important, because the extremes of today are the expectations of tomorrow.   Here are the key considerations to weigh when choosing a Category 6A cable. Read more »

Three DCS Award Finalists — Make Your Vote Count

BELDEN_Banner_DCS Awards_2015

We’re delighted that, for the second year in a row, Belden products are on the shortlist for the DataCentre Solutions awards. In fact, we have three finalists. Help us spread the word about these innovative products. Voting is open now through April 23. Cast your vote now.

The finalist products are:
Datacentre Cabling Product of the Year – Belden Pre-Terminated Fiber Assemblies
Datacentre Cabinets of the Year – Belden Racks and Enclosures — Seismic Range
Datacentre Power Product of the Year – Belden Power Distribution Units

Read more »

Modular Industrial Patch Panels Improve Reliability and Flexibility

Editor’s Note: This article was created with expertise from Loredana Coscotin, product marketing manager for industrial cable.

If you have ever lived in a climate with cold winters and the power has gone out, you likely realized how much we take electricity and heating systems for granted. Not only is it inconvenient on a personal level, it impacts the economy by reducing productivity and disrupting manufacturing processes.

Thus, the organizations involved with power generation and distribution work very hard to maintain system uptime of 99.999 percent or better. Achieving that involves many strategies. An important one is to maintain a robust industrial Ethernet infrastructure for communication systems.

Analyses show that 70 percent of communication systems outages are due to failures in network components, cable and connectors. Consequently, a major manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) power systems, SMA Solar Technology, took care to make sure its connectivity systems include high performing patch panels.

Let’s take a look at the key challenges of such installations and the role of patch panels in ensuring high reliability.

Long Island Solar Farm

Since 2011, Long Island Power Authority has used SMA Solar Technology’s ground-mounted photovoltaic panels and central inverters to generate 44,000 MWh of power per year. Photo Courtesy of Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Read more »

Making Sense of IoT

BrainIt’s easy to see how technology and the data centers behind it all are significantly changing our lives. With the number of connected devices now outnumbering the world’s population, it looks like The Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer just a vision—it’s now reality.

A quick Google search defines IoT as the “interconnection of uniquely identifiable embedded computing devices within the existing Internet infrastructure.” How’s that for a definition that really doesn’t tell us much?

Furthermore, the term “things” is rather vague. Many define the term as essentially referring to any device, machine or object with an IP address for connectivity—in other words, “things” like personal smart devices, laptops, security systems, thermostats, vending machines, stop lights, factory machinery, and even our cars.

But the “things” of IoT are so much more Read more »

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