WireXpert 4500: The World’s First Cable Certifier For CAT8

Article Number: 228070

WireXpert 4500 is the first device to receive Bel Stewart CAT8.2 and ISO Class II approval. This means that, with the WireXpert 4500, you are already ideally equipped for the new cabling standard of up to 40 Gb/s.

A cable certifier for all standards

WireXpert also provides certification in accordance with Cat.6/Cat.6A/Class EA and supports advanced certification of fiber optic installations operating at 850/1300 nm and 1310/1550 nm. In addition, a range of measurement modules are available, e.g. for coax, MPO and M12-D-coded and X-coded.

Quick and lightweight

The shortest measuring times and intuitive device operation deliver quick acceptance measurements. Thanks to its light weight, the handy WireXpert is ideally suited to field use.

Experience the performance of the WireXpert 4500 for yourself!

Read the press realase

  • The first certifier for certifications up to 2500 MHz with complete support of the new CAT 8 draft standard and Class I & II from the ISO/IEC draft
  • State-of-the-art cable certification for all standards: Class D/E/EA/F/FA, CAT 5/5e/6/6A/7/7A and the new CAT 8 draft standard and Class I & II from the ISO/IEC draft
  • The fastest automatic test in under 9 seconds
  • Independent ETL verification confirming measurement accuracy
  • Meets and exceeds the requirements of ISO Level V, IV and TIA Level IIIe accuracy requirements
  • Support from more than 20 cable manufacturers worldwide
  • Supports advanced certification for fiber optic cables operating at 850/1300 nm (multimode) and 1310/1550 nm single mode
  • First certifier for MPO fiber optic certifications in data centers
  • Advanced reports and documentation on cabling
  • The only certifier that meets the requirements of data centers, office cabling systems and Industrial Ethernet

Find out more about CAT8 in our FAQs Download the latest 7.3 Firmware Release

Highlights

  • Works now and in the future. Supporting measurements up to 2,500 MHz, WireXpert already now complies with the upcoming CAT8 standards
  • Unsurpassed measurement accuracy reveals hidden faults in the telecommunication cabling
  • Ultra-fast measurement and certification procedures coupled with practical features speed-up your work flow. It only takes a few seconds per link to perform the required measurements and analysis
  • Highly accurate results and professional reporting provide customer-ready output
  • Intuitive user interface on a large color LCD touchscreen makes it easy for anyone to operate the unit
  • You open up new potential applications. Universally expandable with a variety of adapters

Technical Details

Copper testing

Certification Testing

TIA 568-C.2 CAT5e, 6, 6A, draft CAT8
ISO/IEC 11801, EN 50173 Class D,E,EA,F,FA
draft Class I and Class II Permanent link and channel

Max cable length for dual ended autotest

500m

Insertion Cycles

Channel: 10,000 typical
Permanent link: 5,000 typical

Testparameters

As specified in TIA 1152, IEC 61935-1

Wiremap
Loop Resistance

0 to 40 Ω, ±0.1 Ω

Length

0 to 500m, ±0.5m (dual ended testing)

Propagation Delay and Delay Skew

0 to 5000 ns, ±1 ns

Attenuation

0 to 70 dB, ±0.1dB

Pair-to-Pair and Power-Sum NEXT

0 to 85 dB, ±0.2 dB

Pair-to-Pair and Power-Sum ACRF

0 to 85 dB, ±0.2 dB

Return Loss

0 to 40 dB, ±0.2 dB

ACRN, PSACRN

0 to 85 dB, ±0.5 dB

Advanced Diagnostics

Time-domain fault Locator for RL and NEXT

Measurement accuracy

Exceeds TIA 1152 Level IIIe, IEC 61935 level IV

Measurement frequency range

1- 2,500 MHz

General Specifications

Interfaces

Probe Interface, RJ-45 Ethernet, USB host and device, talkset, power jack

Display

6“ industrial LCD, touch sensitive area on both units

Enclosure

Ruggedized plastic with rubber over-mold, withstands 1.5m drop test on hard surface

Remote unit abilities

View test results, save tests, start autotest

Power supply

AC 100-240V to 12V, 3A power adapter

Input over-voltage protection

Protected against Telco voltages

Battery

Removable and rechargeable Li-Ion

Battery Capacity

>8 hours continuous operation

Internal Storage Capacity

2000 copper test results with full plot information

External Storage

USB Flash Drive

Dimensions

232 X 126 X 87 mm(9.1 X 5.0 X 3.4 inch)

Weight

Approx. 1.4 kg (3.0 lb) / unit

Supported Languages

Chinese, Czech, English, Finnish, French, German,
Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese,
Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish

Calibration period

1 year

Environmental

Operating Temparature

0 to 40 °C

Storage Temperature

-20 to 60 °C

Relative humidity

10% to 80%

Delivery

  • WX4500-FA
  • 2x Main certification test units
  • 2x Li-Ion batteries
  • 2x Stylus with Cords
  • 2x Display protection cover
  • 2x CAT 6A Permanent Link Adapter
  • 2x CAT 6A Permanent Link Test Cords
  • 2x CAT 6A Channel Adapter
  • USB Stick with reference manual and eXport software
  • 2x Talk sets
  • 2x AC Power Adapters
  • 2x Country Specific Power Cords
  • Calibration certificate
  • Quick Reference Guide
  • Carry bag
  • WX4500-FA
  • 2x Main certification test units
  • 2x Li-Ion batteries
  • 2x Stylus with Cords
  • 2x Display protection cover
  • 2x CAT 6A Permanent Link Adapter
  • 2x CAT 6A Permanent Link Test Cords
  • 2x CAT 6A Channel Adapter
  • USB Stick with reference manual and eXport software
  • 2x Talk sets
  • 2x AC Power Adapters
  • 2x Country Specific Power Cords
  • Calibration certificate
  • Quick Reference Guide
  • Carry bag
  • WX4500-FA
  • 2x Main certification test units
  • 2x Li-Ion batteries
  • 2x Stylus with Cords
  • 2x Display protection cover
  • 2x CAT 6A Permanent Link Adapter
  • 2x CAT 6A Permanent Link Test Cords
  • 2x CAT 6A Channel Adapter
  • USB Stick with reference manual and eXport software
  • 2x Talk sets
  • 2x AC Power Adapters
  • 2x Country Specific Power Cords
  • Calibration certificate
  • Quick Reference Guide
  • Carry bag

Documents

Firmware

Please fill out the form to get access to our Download Center

Videos

Copper Channel Testing

Copper Permanent Link Testing

List-Based Testing

Fiber Single Mode Testing

Encircled-Flux (EF) Compliant Fiber Multi Mode Testing

Fiber Multi Mode MPO Testing

FAQ

The WireXpert can be switched into a demo mode for demonstration purposes without any cabling attached. Please go to the “Tools“ section, demo mode, and disable the demonstration mode.

Once the Local and the Remote units are connected, the display of memory size will be synchronized and both units will display the same, correct value.

The device is connected to a power adapter and is being recharged.

The device is switched on and ready for testing.

The device is switched on/ready for testing and is being recharged.

There is a problem with the battery or a defect. Remove the battery and clean the contacts. Disconnect the power adapter and continue your work as usual, until the battery is completely discharged. Then fully recharge the device. If the problem persists replace the battery with a new one or with the battery of another WireXpert. If the problem still persists please contact our technical support.

Yes, this is possible from software version 4.7. An instruction on this providing an example can be obtained from our technical support.

Check if you have inserted the flash drive into the main “LOCAL“ unit. Your test results will only be saved in the main unit and data transfer is only possible from the main unit.

The talkset feature is enabled from version 4.5.1, please check your software version and update to the latest software version, if appropriate.

Unfortunately, the sticker (ON/OFF) was accidentally reversed on some talksets, so these talksets will only work in the “OFF“ position.

Follow the steps below to use the talkset feature:

1. Connect the included talkset headphones via the jack plug to the Local and Remote units.
2. Make sure that the Local and Remote units are connected with each other and the red talkset icon is displayed in the top bar of the units.
3. Check the volume settings and that the headsets are also activated on the two units.
4. Touch the talkset icon in the top bar to connect the call. The units ring and after 3 seconds the call is picked up automatically. The talkset icon is green and a conversation is now possible.
5. To hang up touch the green talkset icon

TIP: If the icon is gray and the receiver is on-hook there is no connection between the Local and Remote units. It is not possible to make a conversation. Check the connection and insert the adapter once more.

This port currently serves to synchronize the units in AXT (Alien Crosstalk) measurements. When connecting two Local units, it is possible to coordinate the test sequence. Further features may possibly be added in future firmware versions.

By default the WireXpert comes with two adapter types to meet the requirements of Channel and Permanent Link measurements compliant for example with ISO/IEC 11801, CENELEC EN 50173-1, or EIA/TIA 568-C standards. Depending on which copper cabling you want to measure, you need the appropriate pair of adapters.

- Use the “CAT 6A Channel adapter“ with the RJ45 interface if you want to perform a Channel measurement.
Please bear in mind when performing a Channel test the patch cords are part of the tested cabling and have to stay in the cabling link after the measurement!
- Use the “CAT 6A Permanent Link adapter“ with the TERA interface if you want to perform a Permanent Link measurement.
Please bear in mind that in a Permanent Link test the patch cords are excluded from the measurement!

A set reference should be performed in the following situations:

- When exchanging the adapters
- In case of strongly varying ambient conditions

A set reference is conducted to compensate for the effects of ambient conditions in the Local and Remote units. External effects, as for instance ambient temperature, can affect measurement results, therefore a reference setting of the Local and Remote units is necessary. This will ensure maximum measurement accuracy of the WireXpert. Follow these steps:

1. A set reference depends on the adapter type used. Use the included CAT 6A Channel adapter or CAT 6A Link adapter for your measurement and proceed as follows.
2. Connect a CAT 6A Channel adapter and a CAT 6A Link adapter to the Local and Remote units. It does not matter which adapter is connected to which unit.
3. Connect the Local and Remote units via one of the included Permanent Link test cords.
Navigate to “TOOLS“ -> “Set Reference“ on the Local unit.
4. Start the reference setting. Wait until this procedure has been completed and an audible signal sounds, then you can continue and start your measurements.

Principally, this can be identified by the following features:

1. Broken connector latch (RJ45/TERA)
2. Opens
3. Strong blackening of the contacts or the screen
4. Broken connectors (RJ45/TERA)
5. „Contours“ of the RJ45 connectors at shield edges that are angular and sharp.
6. Highly varying measurement values

The utilization of worn-out test cords deteriorate the accuracy and reliability of a measurement! Make sure only to use intact cables. A missing latch on the RJ45 connector will reduce stability and contact pressure which also will affect test results.

TIP: Set up a reference link to verify the measurement values for reliability. In case of a variability of several dB, the device needs to be serviced (factory calibration, replacement of wear parts, etc.).

Yes, this is possible without any problem.

Make sure that you have selected the correct limit. The limit value of a higher Class cannot be reached with components of lower Categories and you will always get a fail result!
Another reason could be that the measurement adapters have not snapped in properly. There should be a clear clicking sound when placing the adapter. Remove the adapter and insert it once more.

Yes, in contrast to many other certifiers, the WireXpert can run tests and be recharged at the same time. You do not have to wait until the battery is fully recharged.

To localize cable faults proceed as follows:

1. Perform an autotest or a wiremap test from the TOOLS menu. The distance to the cable fault will be displayed for a short of two or more wires and for opens. Any reverses/miswires cannot be localized.

To localize frequency-dependent faults proceed as follows:

1. Perform an autotest.
2. Select the “Locator“ option
3. Select the desired Locator that matches the failed measurement parameter.
- The X-axis of the graph describes the length of the entire cabling link.
- The Y-axis of the graph describes the relative amplitude of the parameter at a certain place.
This allows to localize which component causes the failure of the certification. Shift the highlighted area as you wish to display the exact position.

None of the cabling testers or certifiers available in the market can do this. There is not any electrical measurement to localize this cable fault.

CAT8 FAQ

Yes and no.

There are different versions of “CAT8”, which are at different stages of ratification.

The US American version of CAT8 has been ratified in autumn 2016 as ANSI/TIA-568-C.2-1.

The International Standard ISO 11801 3rd edition, containing 2 “CAT8 versions” will be ratified around autumn 2017.

ISO 11801 3rd edition will contain two different “CAT8” performance classes: Class I for cabling with RJ45 connectors, based on Class EA and mostly identical with the American ANSI/TIA Cat8 and Class II which is based on cabling with non-RJ45 connectors and extends the Class FA to 2000 MHz.

Both Class I and II will support Ethernet speeds up 40GBase-T.

In addition to the above, there is a TR ISO11801-9901 since 2014 that describes cabling based on “non-RJ45” systems in support for 40GBase-T. That early version of a first standard for cabling for 40GBase-T will be superseded by the 3rd edition of ISO11801 in 2017.

You also have to differentiate between cabling standards and measurement standards for cabling. The measurements for cabling are defined in a separate set of standards.

The TIA standard 1152-A was ratified in autumn 2016. It specifies the parameters and accuracies required to certify structured cabling based on the ANSI/TIA performance categories up to Cat8.
The equivalent IEC standard 61935-1 5th edition will be ratified in autumn 2017. It specifies the parameters and accuracies required to certify structured cabling based on the ISO/IEC performance classes up to Class II. It also differentiates accuracy limits for measurements up to 2000 MHz between Class I and Class II.

Both standards define how to measure cabling built from components CAT5E up to CAT8.2 and which accuracies need to be met up to 2GHz frequency range.

Currently the WireXpert is 3rd party verified by ETL up to 1GHz Level V based on the currently existing IEC61935-1 ed. 4. As soon as the 5th edition of the IEC standard 61935-1, containing accuracies up to 2GHz, will be ratified, the WireXpert Series will also be 3rd party verified up to 2GHz by ETL. That will guarantee proper accuracies for meeting the requirements from ANSI/TIA and ISO/IEC for measurements up to 2GHz.

Category 8 (ANSI/TIA) / 8.1 (ISO/IEC) connectors with RJ45 interface and Category 8.2 (ISO/IEC only) connectors with “non-RJ45” interface such as TERA, ARJ45, GG45, and MMCPRO can be used for building Structured Cabling up to 2000 MHz bandwidth. Supporting applications like 25/40GBASE-T (IEEE 802.3bq.

As of (April 2017) the WireXpert series supports TERA, ARJ45, GG45, and MMCPRO (testing on ARJ45 and GG45 is done with adaptors for ARJ45) due to availability of components (and cables).

Yes, it is planned to support testing Structured Cabling based on CAT8 (ANSI/TIA) / CAT8.1 (ISO/IEC) as well. Currently no such RJ45 components are commercially available.

Resistance unbalance tests are optional tests per definition by the measurement standards (ANSI/TIA 1152-A and ISO/IEC 11801 3rd ed.) and will at some point be interesting for high power PoE applications up to 100W. At current, the IEEE organisation is in the process to define 100W PoE (IEEE 802.3bt) and the international standards organisation is working the technical report TR29125 for remote powering to support above IEEE 802.3bt. Once those standards become relevant in the field, field testing of resistance unbalance will make sense in applications where high power PoE up to 100W will be used.

It is planned that the WireXpert Series will support resistance unbalance tests.

Unfortunately, there is no IEC standard that addresses the quality of a shield other than the laboratory test for coupling attenuation. There is no IEC field testing method to test the quality of a shield in the field. There is a very basic method described in TIA to test “shield integrity”, however that method does not include any clear descriptions of what to measure nor any accuracies. In fact, the outcome of that measurement is a simple “pass” or “fail” based on the existence of a shield conductor. That can be even produced by a simple wiremapper.

A real shield integrity test according to IEC can only be done by measuring coupling attenuation of a cabling system.

Yes. At current (April 2017) The WireXpert 500 is the only 500MHz CAT6A/Class EA tester that can be upgraded to certify CAT8 and Class I & II Structured Cabling. To ensure accurate measurements, the unit needs to be returned to an authorized Softing service center for upgrade. Softing will perform the necessary upgrade steps and will also factory calibrate the unit up to 2500MHz.

In fact, this makes the WireXpert 500 the most future-proof cabling certifier on the market today. Users that do not need more than CAT6A (ANSI/TIA) or Class EA (ISO/IEC) today and are still unsure about the future of “CAT8”, can today buy a WireXpert 500 and maybe in future, whenever that capability is needed, upgrade the device to 2500MHz frequency range. This allows also to support upcoming plans for 2500MHz Structured Cabling to support possibly 100Gbit Ethernet over Twisted Pair copper cabling.

There are two different aspects to this question:

A1: Cabling:

Due to the length limitations of 30m of CAT8/Class I & II channels, it is mostly a data center application where the full 100m reach of traditional LAN copper cabling is not needed.

Backbone cabling and cabling for access points could also become an interesting niche application in regular enterprise buildings. Many building backbones are less than 30 meter and many access points under the room ceiling do not need long cabling lengths. It is foreseeable that speeds of access points will in future exceed 10Gbit/s and thus will need better cabling than CAT6A.

Also certain applications for Homes might be a driver for that high speed structured cabling. Since typical length in homes are in the same range as in data centers, “CAT8” might become also a future-proof cabling alternative. Especially the aspect of keeping that cabling for long or ever in a home, the highest available performance is appreciated.

A2: Ethernet speeds:

The most commonly quoted application is 40GBase-T.

There is a relatively newer move in[MK1]  IEEE to also create a 25GBase-T ethernet speed.

It turns out that 25GBase-T actually will find more supporters than 40GBase-T.

Why is that?

On one hand cost. Transceivers for 25GBase-T can be produced at lower cost than 40Gbase-T

Secondly, speed aggregation. In data centers, the next higher speed is 100Gbit/s Ethernet, typically on fiber cabling. It is simply easier to aggregate 4 x 25Gbit/s into one 100Gbit/s line that aggregating 40Gbit/s lines into 100Gbit/s lines.

Absolutely not. 40 Gbit/s strictly will require “CAT8” cabling performance up to 2000MHz. There will be a new TR ISO 11801-5 that will define migration up to 25GBit/s for installed CAT6A, CAT7 and CAT7A cabling. However, this TR will define that the installed cabling, even CAT6A/Class EA, will have to be measured again up to 1250MHz. The TR will also include very short length limitation for installed cabling.

It is also not allowed to extrapolate a measurement up to 2000MHz that had only been performed up to 500MHz.

Recertification means to post-process measurement data with a PC software to apply a different set of limits.

It is legitimate to recertify to a new standard if both old and new standard use the same physical measurement mode based on Permanent Link or Channel Link topology. For example re-certifying a CAT6A (ANSI/TIA) Permanent link measurement to ISO Class EA (ISO/IEC) Permanent Link limits is legitimate.

It is not legitimate to recertify a link that had been measured with a lower frequency range than the standard that should be used for recertification if the additional required data points are not available. It is also not legitimate to recertify to a standard that is based on a different measurement mode. For example, if the original measurement has been performed in Channel Link mode, it is not allowed to recertify to Permanent Link limits since the wrong measurement cables had been used and the measured data also is not sufficient to recalculate the measurements. In Channel Link mode, patch cables are used for testing and are included in the Length measurement value, too. In Permanent Link mode, the tester uses a special Permanent Link adaptors (test cords not included in Length measurement) with totally different electrical properties than a regular patch cable, therefore a Permanent Link test cannot be later on the PC derived from a Channel Link test.