Thursday, February 15, 2007

Category Rated Modular Couplers

Modular Couplers for Phone and Ethernet (

One of the great things about modular networks is that they're... well... modular! Networks in these cases are easily set up and customizable to whatever architecture you'd like to employ.

A key component of modular networks are the couplers. Most often these are designed to be panel mountable, so they can be mounted either in a wiring closet rack panel, or in a faceplate or wall plate at a workstation.

Because modular couplers have become so ubiquitous, a large variety of colors, shapes, and make-ups are now available. L-com carries a line of modular couplers called the ECF series that have a flange that can be screwed down to a panel. Apart from that, a popular style of panel-mount coupler is the keystone style. These are designed to snap-in to holes cut to the correct dimensions.

Make sure, when you source your coupler, that you get one that meets your applications. For instance, if you are going to be using shielded twisted pair cabling (STP), you should get shielded modular couplers as well. Also, a network will run at the speed of the lowest category rated component. So, if you have a Category 5e network set up, don't try to put a Category 3 coupler in it because that will slow the whole network. You can use a higher category rated coupler, such as a Cat 6 coupler, but don't go lower.

At L-com, you can get the panel dimensions from our couplers on the engineering drawings, download-able for free from the item level page of each coupler.

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