Efficiency is critical during cable installation. Increasingly vast networks of wires and cables supply vital electric power and communication services, increasing demands on a contractor’s time. As line installers and repairers fervently install new lines and repair existing ones, the desire to do so more quickly and economically has increased. Using the correct termination tool can increase your productivity by enabling you to install Cat 5(e) jacks six to eight times faster. Punch down tools increase accuracy and reliability, resulting in fewer reworks, which increases client confidence.
There are three types of punch down tools used to terminate telecommunications cables: manual, impact, and multi-wire. When any conductor is punched down, force is required to seat the conductor. That power can be derived from one of two methods; by human power by which an installer will use his hand or arm to generate the force to seat the conductor using a non-impact tool, or by the use of an impact tool. The basic impact tool has a spring-loaded head, which is compressed by the installer with very little force required. Once the spring reaches full compression, it is automatically released and the force is transferred to the head of the impact tool, which then seats the conductor. Advanced multi-wire tools such as JackRapid terminate all pairs with one squeeze, reducing hand fatigue.
After installation, the job must be tested and delivered to the customer. Handheld test instruments (better known as test tools) vary tremendously in price, performance, and application. Depending on what task the test tool performs, they can be classified into broad hierarchical groups of verification, qualification, or certification. Basic verification test tools can help you look for basic wiring faults such as miswires, opens, shorts, and split pairs after cable installation. However, if you want to offer a warranty backed by the cable manufacturer, you need to use a certification tool approved by the manufacturer. Anything else puts the sole warranty responsibility on you. For more information on each of these classes of testers and what testers and testing is applicable to your needs after cable installation, please continue to the cable testing page