Patch cords are considered by the industry as the weakest element in a communications cabling system due to the variance in patch cord performance, resulting from inferior or sub-standard connectors, materials, cable assembly or manufacturing process. Yet, the performance of a patch cord is crucial to a computer network’s speed and performance. An empirical study conducted by Communications Cable & Connectivity Association (CCCA) found a high failure rate in electrical performance of patch cords*.
Understanding the challenges associated with manufacturing high quality patch cords and the risks associated with using inferior patch cords, UL developed UL 3992, “Outline of Investigation for Patch Cords Terminating in Eight-Position Modular Plug Connectors – Performance, and launched a performance verification program to support the industry. The company just announced that it has issued the first UL 3992 certification to Sentinel Connectors System Inc, verifying the performance for its patch cords. The cable assemblies were evaluated in accordance with UL 3992 to meet the industrial standard for physical, electrical and transmission performance of data communication cables.
The UL 3992 program is composed of a comprehensive test and evaluation of electrical, mechanical, materials and cable assembly aspects of patch cord, together with continued follow-up and market surveillance globally. Patch cords under this program are verified by UL to meet the requirements for reliable patch cord performance for connectivity. Choosing patch cords certified to UL 3992 will help installers and designers source the proper patch cord for their network’s needs.
“The performance verification addresses the performance concerns and helps alleviate the risks associated with often sub-standard patch cord seen in the industry,” said LF Lai, VP and general manager of UL’s Wire & Cable business. “UL’s testing and performance verification enables manufacturers, designers and other key stakeholders to demonstrate their product’s credentials and capabilities through a trusted third-party, which allows customers to make an informed purchasing decision.”
“UL’s new verification program provides an effective way to empower trust in our patch cord products in a highly competitive market,” said Robert Brennan, president of Sentinel. “It was a logical step for us to work with UL to achieve the first UL verified patch cord certification.”
WHAT TO SPECIFY WHEN BUYING SAFE, PERFORMING PATCH CORDS FROM CCCA (COMMUNICATIONS CABLE & CONNECTIVITY ASSOCIATION)