The strict performance requirements dictated by the TIA standards for 10Gb/s copper network cabling, specifically those surrounding the control of alien crosstalk, have increased interest in screened and shielded cabling. Unlike category 6A UTP cables, which control alien crosstalk through larger cable diameters and the resulting increase in conductor separation, screened and shielded cables eliminate crosstalk by encasing pairs in metal foil, either with an overall foil (F/UTP) or individually foil-wrapped pairs and overall braided shield (S/FTP).
While screened and shielded systems offer superior alien crosstalk performance in smaller cable diameters than UTP and can reclaim pathway space, they must be grounded for proper performance. In primarily UTP markets such as the UK, confusion regarding grounding practices has caused some to avoid these solutions. To address this, Siemon has developed a line of Quick-Ground connectors and patch panels for both its fully shielded category 7/class F TERA and screened category 6A 10G 6A F/UTP systems.
As part of their tool-less termination features, both TERA and 10G 6A F/UTP MAX outlets automatically terminate the shield or screen of their respective S/FTP and F/UTP cable, providing ground continuity to the outlet body. In the telecommunications room or data centre, the TERA-MAX patch panel provides additional, integrated ground continuity.
As TERA or 10G 6A F/UTP modules are snapped into TERA-MAX panels, they are automatically connected to a ground point, without additional steps. All that is required to complete the ground is a 6-gauge wire connection from the TERA-MAX’s provided ground lug to the equipment rack. Provided that the simple grounding and bonding standards have been followed for the active equipment, these simple steps are all that is required for grounding a screened or shielded system.