The Ethernet protocol is the basis for the pass/fail statement of the qualification devices. By means of tests that are based around the Ethernet transmission system, such as the determination of the signal-to-noise ratio and the delay time between the wire pairs of a transmission path, followed by a Bit Error Rate Test (BERT), qualifiers make their decision about suitable for Ethernet traffic, such as error free or faulty transmission. In addition, there is troubleshooting tests as you already know from the high-quality wiring testers, such as acoustic cable viewfinders and simple link pulse generators to allow the link LEDs on the switches to flash. They then connect to the network, either via DHCP or fixed addressing. As soon as they are part of the active network, scan, ping and traceroute functions are available for commissioning and troubleshooting. Also important is the possibility to perform PoE load tests according to IEEE 802.3 af/at/bt to ensure the remote power supply of terminal devices.
The technology of data transmission via copper cables is far from being exhausted. However, the new technologies require a higher quality of cabling. In order to ensure that the existing cabling supports the higher data rates, appropriate tests must be carried out and documented before commissioning. In addition, existing networks must be qualified for the ability to upgrade. Tests up to 10Gbit/s are already possible in the environment of the latest generation of qualifiers, regardless of the cable category or junction boxes.
Fiber optic cables not only offer a high data throughput, they are also immune to eavesdropping and interference. Fibre optic cables can therefore easily be laid in parallel with other supply lines - electromagnetic interference does not occur. The disadvantage of fiber optic cabling, however, is the cost. They are more expensive than copper cables but have a considerably lower attenuation and are therefore suitable for long distances. But even for short distances in LANs, optical fibers are increasingly being installed nowadays. Especially for the measurement and documentation of optical networks, the necessary measurement technology must be of high quality and future-proof.
To Certify or to Qualify?
Certifiers measure cabling against international cabling standards. Certifiers are commonly used for documentation of new enterprise and industrial cabling installations. Qualifiers test if cabling can transmit without errors a certain Ethernet speed. Qualifiers are often used either in smaller installations, in moves, adds and changes as well as for troubleshooting ethernet and PoE connections.
|Large commercial building
|Small or medium sized office
|Buildings within campuses
|Globally networked company building
|Local courier company office
|University, stadium, school
|When cabling warranty is supplied for new building installation
|Update existing office and prove network will perform to 1/5/10Gbps
|When required to certify by project
When required by customer to provide a report
|TIA-568, ISO-11801, ISO-14763 Cabling Standards
|IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Standards
|Permanent Link, Channel Link, End-to-End links, MPTL, etc
|Network speed (NBASET - eg, 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1GBASE-T, 10GBASE-T), Network/port/device discovery, PoE load test, Ping, LLDP/CDP detection, etc
|Length, Wiremap, Insertion/Return Loss, Near-end Crosstalks (NEXT/PSNEXT), Near/Far-end Attenuation-to-Crosstalk Ratios (ACRN/ACRF/PSACRN/PSACRF), delays, resistance
|Bit Error Rate Test (BERT), Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR), delay skews
|MHz (Frequency), dB/dBm (Loss)
|Mb/s or Gb/s (Speed)