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  • Mistakes to Avoid Before and After Buying Wire Connectors

    When it comes to buying any kind of wire connectors, for example, computer connectors or adapters, people are overconfident. This is because they are unaware of the fact that not all wire connectors are built in the same way. This article will highlight some common blunders that occur while buying wire connectors. It will also provide you with the insights to avoid these errors.

    Choosing the wrong size

    The “one size fits all” logic cannot be applied here. When a wire fits into the connector, we often assume that it is perfect for typical splices. This is not true as only specific wire combinations are approved by UL for every connector. If you do not choose the right size, it can result into failed connections and useless repairs.

    Solution: Get yourself acquainted with wire connectors and know which wires they can fit with according to the UL specifications. If you are unaware of such specifications, you can also check them on the website of the manufacturers. In case information like this is missing on the website, you should speak to the manufacturers or authorities of the firm. As they have the list of wire connectors and their UL specifications, they will be able to help you with the details in best way possible.

    Overlooking the voltage details

    There are times when people do not choose the exact voltage required and end up buying either low or high voltage connectors. Some also tend to use whatever is available at the moment. This should be avoided at all costs as you will have to redo the connections. Not just that, you will also lose the money you have spent on installing the inventory and other equipment.

    Solution: There is just one. Conduct proper research on the voltage needed for each wire connector. Read the specifications and then finalize it.

    Giving too little or too much torque

    You need to be careful here! This is because if the torque applied is too less, it can result into arcing, which can cause a fire hazard. Moreover, if the connection is weak, the system will not work in the right way. Hence, make sure that you take your own time to tighten every wire connector. On the other hand, if the torque applied leads to tight connection, it can cause a damage to wire connectors.

    Solution: You need to ask yourself questions like, “Is the connector too tight?” “Are the wires outside the connector twisted?” “Is it possible to pull the connector without twisting?” The answers to the first two questions should be No. And the answer to the last question should be yes. However, an electrician can be a better judge of the torque intensity.

    The above mentioned are some of the most commonly occurring mistakes which can lead one to having accident prone surroundings and poor connections. The time and money spent after these tasks are additional pain points. So make sure you take your time and choose your wire connectors wisely!

  • What is the Difference between C13 and C15 Power Cords?

    There is an array of power cords available in the market. It can get quite perplexing to choose the one that will fit your needs. In order to know more about them, you must have more information about these cords. This article will acquaint you with IEC C13 and IEC C15 power cords and how they are different from each other. But before that, let us understand what IEC is. IEC stands for International Electrotechnical Commission. Every cord is standardized by IEC before it is introduced in the market. These cords use the letter “C” which is followed by the number in their cords. Let’s get back to understanding the difference between IEC-C13 and C15 connectors. Some of them are mentioned below.

    Difference of a Notch

    One of the most apparent differences between the two connectors is the notch on C15 connector. Although C15 looks quite similar to C13, it has a little groove opposite the earth. The IEC-C15 connectors also work in the C14 outlets. But the IEC-C13 connectors do not fit in the C16 inlets.

    Temperature rating

    This is an important factor that makes IEC-C15 different from C13. C15 connectors are designed in such a way that they can handle high temperature devices like electric kettles, server rooms, computing networking closets and Power over Ethernet switches having high wattage power supply. These connectors work on the temperature rating of 120°C.

    IEC-C13 connectors are rated at 15A/250V locally and at 10A/250V internationally with the temperature rating of 65°C. So when you need a power cord device having high temperature, you can use C15 instead of C13.


    C13 and C14 power cords are usually utilized with personal computer. They are often known as “Kettle Cord”. However, kettles need C15/C16 power cords.

    C15 power cords are used in high temperature surroundings like electric kettle and computer networking closet. They are also used in Cisco MDS9500 series rack-mounted SAN switches, Early Xbox 360 power supplies and HP Procurve Switches.

    We hope this article must have brought a lot of clarity in understanding the difference between C13 and C15 power cords. Before buying one of these, you can get in touch with the company you are buying from and ask for all the information about these power cords. These cords can also be purchased online. Apart from getting the information, make sure you know the exact purpose of ordering one of these cords.

  • A Brief Guide to CAT6 Ethernet Cables and Their Workings

    CAT6 Ethernet Cable is one of the most popular Ethernet cables. It was standardized by Electronic Industries Association and Telecommunications Industry Association (EIA). This article will provide you with all the information about CAT6 Ethernet Cables and its types.

    The working of CAT6 Ethernet Cables

    Being the sixth version of twisted pair Ethernet cabling, CAT6 was built in order to support the Gigabit Ethernet Data rates. i.e 1 gigabit/second (Gbps) It has four pairs of copper wires and all the copper wire pairs can be utilized for signaling and obtaining superior quality performance. The best part about it is that it can support 10 Gigabit Ethernet connections for a distance of 50 meters or 164 feet. Here are some more facts about it:

    • The enhanced version of CAT6, known as CAT6A and it can support the speed of upto 10Gbps.
    • Similar to the previous versions of Ethernet Cables, ends of CAT6 cable use the same RJ-45 standard connector.
    • The cable cover of this Ethernet Cable has “CAT6” printed on it.


    ​CAT6 vs. CAT6A: The Difference

    CAT6 supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet. However, it covers the distance only of up to 50 meters. Category 6A of Ethernet Cables was introduced to enhance the performance of CAT6 cables. It also enables 10 Gigabit data rates on a single cable run; but runs up to 100 meters. This is twice as compared to CAT6. Due to its higher performance, CAT6A ethernet cable costs more than CAT6 and is thicker in density. It uses the standard RJ-45 connectors.

    CAT6 vs. CAT5e: The Difference

    In order to improve the previous versions of CAT5 Cables, two efforts were made. One out of them came to be known as CAT5e (CAT 5 enhanced) and the next one was named CAT6. Some technical enhancements were lacking in CAT5e which were than made in CAT6. However, if you are looking for a cable that supports Gigabit Ethernet installations at lower costs, CAT5e is a good choice. As CAT5e cable offered a fair performance for Gigabit Ethernet at cost effective rates, it gained a lot of popularity for wired Ethernet installations. Quite similar to CAT6, CAT5e also utilizes a four wire pair signaling to provide smooth data rates. CAT5 cables on the other hand have four wire pairs out of which two remain inactive.

    Disadvantages of CAT6

    Costs: CAT6 is more expensive as compared to Cat5e cable. Also, if you can resolve the network speed issues with CAT5e, it is better to buy that instead of CAT6. CAT5e is economical and offers a good quality performance. It can also be obtained in different colors.

    Speed not guaranteed

    Buying CAT6 cable doesn’t necessarily mean that you will get an entire gigabit network. It can offer speed optimization only if every element in your network works at gigabit speed. If one of them is not gigabit rated, the network will work at the slowest device’s speed.

    There are times when users end up buying CAT6 Ethernet cables only because they are the latest version. What they need to know here is whether they will be suitable to their network. Hence, make sure you conduct proper research before buying these cables.

  • Safety Measures to Consider While Using Extension Power Cords

    Extension power cords are a part of our everyday life. They are utilized at homes and workplaces for a number of purposes like plugging in decorative lights, extra audio systems, space heaters etc. These cords are available in traditional stores as well as online. Before buying these, you must know the purpose of buying and get information about their power and voltage.

    If you read the informational paper by IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers), it provides instructions about the safety measures to undertake while using Extension Power Cords. So here’s what you shouldn’t do with them.

    Follow extension cord limits

    Each extension cord comes with its specific wattage and it is important to follow these limits. There are chances of a fire mishap if the extension cord is overloaded. This happens a lot in offices that use space heaters. Cheap extension cords have internal wiring that is size 18 gauge and it is rated only for 10 amps. A 1500 watt space heater draws 12.5 and that’s where overloading happens. To avoid this, the extension cord can be plugged directly to the wall with a lower gauge extension. The lower the gauge, the larger the wire and amp capacity.

    Keep the surroundings safe

    While buying an extension cord, keep the surroundings and foot traffic in mind. If it is longer, it is better to store it out of the way as someone might trip and fall. Also do not use nails or tape for securing the extension cord. The National Electrical Code bans the usage of extension cords instead of permanent wiring (NEC 400.8(1) – 2014). You can also follow the rules laid down by OSHA. (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)

    Avoid daisy chaining

    It is better to buy an extension cord of the right length instead of stringing two extension cords together. If you try to extend the cord by applying ‘Daisy Chaining’ you will run the risk of creating a fire hazard. So avoid this at all costs.

    Don’t wall-mount extension cords

    When electrical equipment like projectors is mounted on the ceiling of a meeting room, it is important for it to have a receptacle mounted flush with the ceiling. Moreover, the unit’s power cord should be seen at all times. If that is not followed, accidents are sure to happen.

    Extension Cords are great when you want convenience and need an easy way to connect multiple devices. However, using them wrong can create a lot of hazards. So consider these safety measures before you go for buying an extension power cord. You can also take advice from experts as to what type of extension cord will suit your needs the best.

  • Frequently Asked Questions about Keystone Jack Answered

    Keystone Jack is one of the most commonly used elements in networking. They are used for networking installations when a computer is connected to a network port. Keystone Jacks have a standardized design. They are created in such a way that they can be fixed into patch panels, keystone plates and keystone boxes.

    For establishing a connection, the keystone jack is pushed into a port and can position itself easily. If you want to get it out, you can do it by pulling the tab. One of the biggest drawbacks of keystone jack design is that its rear profile is bigger than the front. Due to this, one cannot put a keystone jack in a single location. Also you cannot put in too many number of keystone jacks in a single location.

    Given below are some commonly asked questions about Keystone Jacks along with their answers.

    Why Should I use Keystone Jacks?

    Keystone Jacks are flexible and you can install them into a wall plate quite easily. You can also install different keystone jacks into one keystone plate having multiple ports. As these wall plates are available in different finishes and colours like golden and black, you can customize them according to the interiors of your home or office. There is an array of options available with the type of Keystone Jacks. And needless to say, they provide a clean, neat and a professional look. If you want a good connection, the wires must be crimped on the keystone jack in the right manner.

    What kind of Keystone Jack Should You Use?

    The network cable guys usually use standardized Keystone Jacks. However, if you have lack of space for installing these, you can consider going for high density Keystone Jacks. The smaller the footprint, the more connections you can set up using them.

    What is a high density keystone jack?

    The snap-in dimension of a high density keystone jack is similar to that of a standard keystone jack. The front profile of a high density keystone jack is also like standard keystone jack. Both standard and high density jacks are rectangular in shape and have flexible tabs. They are also used for the same purpose.

    So what’s The Difference between High Density and Standard Keystone Jack?

    The rear physical profile is the only feature that is different in both. The High Density Keystone Jack is much slimmer as compared to the standard one and it enables one to install more jacks. They also have a narrow rear profile for you to be able to accommodate more Keystone Jacks.

    These are some of the commonly asked questions about Keystone Jacks. Other aspects of using them totally depend on your utility and purposes. You can research about these and choose one from our collection of Keystone Jacks that suits your requirements the best.

  • Few Aspects about CAT5E Cables You May Be Unaware of

    CAT 5E Cable is the successor of CAT5 cable and predecessor of CAT6 cable. CAT5E ethernet cables are mostly used for multi-line phone systems and networks. They are also used for plugging a computer or laptop into a modem for carrying internet connections. They have a maximum frequency of 100 MHz and are capable of transmitting up to 10/100/1000Mbps data. You might be aware of the uses of these networking cables. However, having some more details about these cables will help you understand its utility better. Take a look at some other aspects that you probably didn’t know about.

    CAT 5E Cables are commonly unshielded

    5E cables are commonly unshielded but are also available with shielding. When it comes to noise rejection, they depend on the balanced line twisted pair design and differential signaling.

    Length of cable segment

    The length of the cable can change but the maximum length that it can have is 100 meters per TIA/EIA 568-5-A. Just in case you go for a length that is more than the one mentioned here, you might have to use a switch to make sure there are no issues with the connection.


    Crosstalk is a major aspect that sets Cat5 and CAT5E cables apart. The latest cables are better in quality as new specifications have been added to them. However, even CAT5 cables could pass for ‘e’ standard if they were certified accordingly.

    Insulation, Conductors and Twist Length

    CAT5E Ethernet cables are insulated using PVC or LSOH material. These conductors have a standard between 22 American Wire Gauge (AWG) and 24 AWG. They cannot be thinner than these standards.

    Available in multiple colours

    As CAT5E cables can be obtained in different colours, it becomes easy to recognize the utility of each connector. This stands true especially for companies with huge IT infrastructures as they do not have much time for troubleshooting. So the network person that installs these cables can arrange them according to the functionality. For eg. Blue cables for making connections and red cables for access points.

    If you want to network different electronic devices, CAT5E Ethernet cables would be the right choice. They are also unparalleled when it comes to strength and durability. But before buying these, make sure you research about all kinds of ethernet cables. You must also know your purpose behind using these cables well so that there are no issues at a later stage.

  • Factors to Consider before Buying Shielded or Unshielded Ethernet Cables

    Digital Signal Processing is the process of transmission and production of data that takes place without any interference. This process asks for an Ethernet Cable. Most of the wired networks of today including routers, PCs and switches use Ethernet cables for the smooth transmission of data. These Ethernet Cables are of two types – Shielded and Unshielded. They are also known as STP (Shielded Twisted Pair) and UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair). The question that arises next is - which one out of the two you should buy? To find this out, make sure you know about the environment you need Ethernet cables for.

    One of the major reasons behind networks slowing down is - voltage interference. Hence, you must make sure that the electrical line intersects with low voltage communication cable at 90 degrees.

    Given below are some other factors you should consider before buying shielded or unshielded Ethernet cables.

    Alien CrossTalk

    The antenna of Ethernet cables are like the cross-section. During the times of high frequency signal transmission, Alien CrossTalk (AXT) creates major hindrances. To avoid this, you need to know what is causing interference - the near end crosstalk or the foreign interference. Once you find that out, you can decide which cable to use for installation. In order to curb the effects of ATX, one should choose a shielded cable. Even if the shields are electrically bonded, robust grounding is must. Natural grounding can be enabled by appropriate couplers and jacks.

    Choosing cables for places with heavy machinery

    When it comes to choosing the Ethernet cable for healthcare facilities or places where heavy machinery is used, Cat 6a STP should be preferred over Cat 6a UTP. Cat 6a STP comes with a shield that keeps the radio frequency interference away from the twisted pair.

    Installation time for UTP and STP

    There is no need to discriminate between the two shielded cables on the basis of installation time required. STP’s latest version comes with easy to set up die cast jacks and thus it doesn’t ask for prolonged steps of installation. However, you must keep in mind that you will take some time to detach the general shield from the cable. If you choose UTP, you will take time to test the AXT process. Installing STP, on the other hand, won’t take long.

    Cost Consideration

    A shielded Ethernet cable would definitely cost you more than UTP. But considering factors like less testing time and superior quality performance, it may be totally worth buying it. After all, time is money.

    Keep the future upgrades in mind

    The field of communication technology is always evolving. Hence, you must make sure that you don’t need to upgrade the cables time and again. Make sure you utilize transmission cables that surpass the current transmission rate of 10 GB/s. Keeping these factors in mind, STP is always a better choice.

    Bonding process for STP

    It is believed that installing shielded cables asks for a more robust grounding and bonding process. This might be a myth. STP, just like other cables requires the same kind of grounding provided its shield is attached to the patch panel. The quality of signal that is received at the end of transmission is dependent on the quality of data that is fed to it.

    So now you know the difference between Shielded and Unshielded cables. While buying Ethernet Cables, keep the above points in mind and you will never have network hindrances. You can also ask the installation experts to guide you in case of any confusion.

  • International Power Cord Regulations That You Must Know About

    When you undertake installation of your devices with power cords, you must have observed in the specification sheet that one part of the cord is approved and another isn’t. This might lead you to wonder as to why is it so? Well, it can be a bit tricky to understand international approvals of cords. Let’s obtain a detailed understanding behind the process of approvals and regulations.

    Approvals in parts

    Every power cord that you come across is approved in its parts and not as a whole. Its connector, wire and plug are approved differently. Although the IEC standard connectors are used all over the world, the standards of their approval change from one country to another. This authorization depends on the agency they are being approved by. For eg, in China and Argentina, the whole cord set is approved instead of its parts.

    IEC Regulations

    The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) based in Geneva, is an association that establishes international standards for the electronic, electrical, and other similar technologies. Before IEC standards are established, a consensus is carried out wherein the experts from different countries participate. As mentioned above, the IEC connectors are used all over the world and hence even if the approval agencies are different, they must follow the regulations laid by IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission)

    Ratings based on the current capacity

    The IEC 60799 5.2.2 states that “The rated current of the plug shall be not less than the rated current of the connector.” It means that the connector shouldn’t have a rating higher than the attached plug. Due to this reason, the international power cords of today have no approval on the IEC-320-C19 side of the cord. For eg, The highest rating a UK plug can have is 13A and if its C19 connector is rated 16A, IEC will not approve the connector as its rating is high. The same applies to countries like Denmark, Switzerland, Australia and Argentina. The plugs available in these countries have ratings lesser than their connector. Looking into their specification sheet, you will see that the power cords will show “NONE” on the C19 column of approval.

    Changing international standards

    Different ratings are applicable on different chords in different countries. IEC C13 power cords are given approval by UL (Underwriters Laboratory) upto 15A in North America. But if you carry IEC C13 to Europe, it won’t be an approved standard because it is only approved till 10A. Same holds true for IEC C19 power cords. It is approved up to 20A in North America and if you take it to other countries, it wouldn’t be considered an approved standard.

    The standards set by IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.) differ notably. IEC standards state the minimum safety requirement for a device, whereas, UL specifies the technical details pertaining to application and product safety. We hope that this gives you a little understanding about the standards set for power cords. Keep reading this blog for more!

  • Some FAQs About HDMI Technology Answered

    HDMI, also known as High Definition Multimedia Interface is an advanced technology that is used for transmitting digital data between two digital devices. This technology was developed by leading electronics manufacturers like Philips, Toshiba, Hitachi, Sony etc. Ever since it was introduced, it has become quite popular. Its latest version, 2.0, was introduced in September 2013.

    If you are new to HDMI Cables or HDMi adapters, and want to know more about it, take a look at some frequently asked question and their answers. These will give you more insights about HDMI cables and their working.

    What is the purpose of HDMI technology?

    HDMI technology is mostly utilized to transmit multichannel audio and high definition video data between two digital devices. This process of transmission takes place through a single cable. You will be able to find HDMI technology in all the latest electronic equipment including AV receivers, personal computers, set top boxes and camcorders.

    How does it work?

    An HDMI cable utilizes the Transition Minimized Differential Signaling (TMDS) technology for transmitting data between two digital devices. It also takes care of the fact that the data doesn’t get compromised when it gets transferred from one device to another. Due to HDMI cables, there is no need to convert data for making it compatible. And as no conversion takes place, images and videos look exactly like they should without the quality getting affected.

    What Is It Compatible With?

    Since HDMI is an updated version of DVI (Digital Visual Interface), it is compatible with DVI for video only. HDMI and DVI use similar digital signals. So there is no need to convert anything while connecting the two devices. Also there is no compromise with data quality when you use an adaptor. HDMI being the most dynamic technology, it will never have major issues related to compatibility.

    Does HDMI have competitors?

    Displayport is one of the primary competitors of HDMI technology. It is a digital display interface which was developed by Video Electronics Standard Association (VESA). It is not compatible with HDMI in anyway and also doesn’t work with any equipment supported by HDMI technology. So DisplayPort cables won’t work with HDMI equipment.

    Can HDMI Cables Cope with 4K?

    When you buy an HDMI cable, make sure that it is High Speed rated and has 3D and 4K internet sharing capacity. Long cables might have issues maintaining functionality under certain circumstances. This is because long cables have high electrical resistance and it lowers the available bandwidth. In case you’re using long cables, you would need high quality cables for the bandwidth to be maintained.

    HDMI has become the most accepted and universal standard of connecting HD devices. It has been embraced by people because of its potential to change with evolving technologies, user-friendliness. It also offers High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection.

  • Sf Cable Dons A New Look With Better Navigation welcomes the New Year 2017 in style by introducing key features on its website, such as intelligent search engines, one-page checkout, rewards points and much more. Customers will find it easier to navigate through SF Cable's inventory of over 8,000 products, ranging from network cables to computer Accessories & components. It will now be easier for customers to browse through SF Cable's premier cables, power cords, adapters and much more. Serving school, government, corporate, and end user clients since 2002, SF Cable stocks over 8,000 products to make it a one-stop shop for all computer accessory and cable needs.

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