- Security TWENTY
- Women in Security
The electrical contracting company Cerberus Systems Ltd installs and maintains IT networks, CCTV and access control systems. Client premises include radio studios, offices, warehouses, showrooms and shops. Regardless of the type of structured cabling required, clients need the work finished to tight deadlines and with minimal disruption.
To avoid delays when installing data cable, it’s important for cat5e and cat6 cable terminations to be done correctly first time. However, the type of installations Cerberus performs often requires technicians to install RJ45 plugs at the end of links which connect directly to CCTV and access control. Field-terminated RJ45 plugs are prone to installation errors because they require the installer to trim the conductors to a precise length prior to placing the plug onto the cable.
Nick Shone of Cerberus says: “If they are too short, there will be open circuits discovered when testing, and if they are too long, terminations look sloppy, or performance can suffer when pairs are exposed outside of the plug body/cable jacket. It’s also easy for a conductor to move during this process and go unnoticed until the cables are tested. This makes identifying and resolving faults challenging and time consuming, particularly in the large areas we often work in, which can be up to 15,000 sq. ft. Failed terminations can also mean that faults need to be investigated in difficult locations, such as in the case of externally mounted IP CCTV cameras.”
For example, on a recent large IP CCTV installation, there were 160 plugs to terminate and no time for error. As a complex job where other trades were waiting to come on site, any delays would cost time and money. It was therefore vital for Cerberus to complete their work without having to go back and replace faulty terminations – a difficult task with the tools traditionally used. However, while preparing, Cerberus discovered the new FT-45 Feed Thru Modular Plugs and Crimp Tool from IDEAL, pictured.
Nick says: “We’d been using electrical products from IDEAL, as well as IDEAL Networks testers, for a number of years. I ordered this new solution straight away as I knew the upcoming job required multiple terminations in a very tight time scale.”
IDEAL says its product simplifies termination of RJ45 plugs by eliminating the need to precisely trim conductors to length before inserting the cable into the plug. Unlike the plugs with closed ends usually used for RJ45 connections, the modular plugs feature open channels that allow the conductors to be fed completely through the connector before crimping. This lets installers visually check conductor order and if necessary, remove the connector, reorder the conductors and replace the connector.
Once the proper order is confirmed, the tool crimps and trims the cable in one step. This allows the cable to fully seat into the connector and virtually eliminates connector waste.
Nick says: “Across our business, we like to invest in the equipment that helps us to get jobs right first time. This helps us to reduce delays, meaning that we keep our clients happy. In this case, preventing mistakes and delays ensured that all trades had access to the site when required so no additional costs were incurred by the client. It also allows us to move on to the next job on time, keeping our operations productive and profitable.”
For Cerberus Systems, FT-45 proved to be ideal for working with patch cords in IP CCTV installations, as well as for fitting IP access controls. It makes installing extended patch cords easier, for example to enable video conferencing, and can also be used to create a cat6 cable backbone for linking data cabinets together.
IDEAL says its modular plugs are suitable for cat5e and cat6 cable without a need for complex assembly, while the crimp tool is capable of crimping and cutting feed-thru, standard and shielded connectors in one action.
Nick adds: “Since purchasing and using FT-45 we are now using it on most of our projects – I never take the FT-45 plugs and crimp tool out of my kit bag. I would recommend the FT-45 package as you can genuinely reduce errors in terminations and get things done right first time.”
Cerberus Systems qualifies data cable installations with IDEAL Networks SignalTEK NT to provide proof of performance to clients. As soon as the installation is complete and has been tested, test data can be sent to a mobile phone. Using the IDEAL AnyWARE app, a PDF report is generated and emailed to a client to show that there are no installation issues.
Nick says: “It is important for us to test our data cable installations to give customers assurance, just like we do on our low voltage electrical jobs. This reduces unpaid call backs, but most importantly keeps customers happy – they are impressed to get a professional report, and to receive this from us so quickly.”