ISC   Information Support Concepts, Inc
A Certified Woman Owned Business Enterprise (WBE)

Issue 3

Publisher:  Jack Burlin                                Editor:  Patti Hammonds

September 5, 2005

IN THIS ISSUE
Your success story            Monthly product special            Kevinisms            Breaking News            Trivia

Articles of Interest:  Cable Flammability Rating              Part 3:  "When is a toilet like a salt shaker?"

Return to iscdfw2.com

Your Success Story

Dear Keith:

I wanted to thank you for going the extra mile and providing the solution we really needed.  We have six of your server cabinets in our data center.  They were originally ordered with the vented Plexiglas doors.  But when our engineers felt there was not enough airflow through the cabinets, you came up with a great solution for us.  By swapping out the Plexiglas panels for steel mesh panels, we solved the airflow issue at a great price.  Your help in making the change was really appreciated.

Nick Padron
Network Operations
Fairfield Properties
 

Monthly Product Special

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ISC will be exhibiting three products at the AFCOM show in Chicago, October 10 and 11, 2005.  Please stop by booth 514 for a demonstration.  All of these could be especially useful in data center applications, or in special situations related to the data center.  We will be showing the 30" wide Flexiunit with enhanced cable management, the low profile server cabinets,  and the SH-2+ remote temperature and humidity sensors.  Mention the September newsletter article, or the AFCOM booth number for a 10% discount on any of these three products!


Cable Flammability Rating

Plenum (CMP) Rated Cable

Often found on building material lists, the Plenum rating (CMP) signifies cable that has passed stringent burn testing and is suitable for installation into Air Plenum spaces.
The Air Plenum space is defined as the area through which environmental air is transported. Examples of this include the space above a suspended ceiling or below a raised floor that does not have closed air ducts for the HVAC system to transport air. Most often this space is used as the air return.
Although local building codes dictate exactly what is required in a local area, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides a recommendation on a national basis. For Plenum rated cables, this falls under NFPA-262. The UL equivalent standard is the UL-910 standard, which is made up of two primary tests, cable burn properties and smoke density.

Burn Test Results

Before
After
 
 
Standards:
UL-910 Test for Flame-Propagation and Smoke Density
Flammability:
Low Burns but will self extinguish when flame is removed
Toxicity:
High When burned, this cable gives off toxic and corrosive gasses
 
Application:
Cabling found inside walls, ceilings, and air plenums of office buildings
 
 

Riser (CMR) Rated Cable

A Riser Rating (CMR) is commonly required when cables are run between floors through open vertical shafts. See diagram above. Although these pathways do not handle environmental air, they can easily conduct a fire from one floor to the next if the cable is not properly rated. The UL-1666 test is the industry standard for this type of cable. Unlike the Steiner Tunnel Test in UL-910, the UL-1666 test is conducted with the cables mounted vertically. The airflow over the cables is reduced and the limitations on the burning are more flexible. This test also does not look at smoke density or toxicity. CMR rated cable is suitable for vertical shafts not defined as an environmental air plenum.

Burn Test Results

Before
After
 
 
Standards:
UL-1666 Test for Flame-Propagation
Flammability:
Low Burns but will self extinguish when flame is removed
Toxicity:
High When burned, this cable gives off toxic and corrosive gasses
 
Application:
Cabling found inside walls and vertical cable shafts in office buildings
 
 

Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH) Rated Cable

Low Smoke Zero Halogen cables are the newest in a family of ratings. This type of cable is sometimes referred to as low toxicity cable. When burned, PVC based cables produce a cloud of toxic smoke containing corrosive compounds such as hydrochloric acid. Examples of Halogens include Fluorine, Chlorine, Bromine, and Iodine. These compounds are often found in data cables, including Plenum Rated cables. Users often confuse the Plenum rating with the LSZH rating since both include a provision for Low Smoke. However, the Plenum rated cables often contain Fluorine, which falls under the Halogen category. The LSZH cables do not contain the Halogen type compounds that form these toxic substances. When burned, the LSZH cables give off very little smoke and do not produce the toxic halogen based gasses previously mentioned.

Burn Test Results

Before

After

 
Standards:
NES-711, NES-713, MIL-C-24643, UL-1685
Flammability:
Low Burns but will self extinguish when flame is removed
Toxicity:
Low No corrosive gasses, but does give off carbon monoxide
 
Application:
Mostly military and shipboard patch cables
 
 
General Purpose (CM, CMG, CMx) Cable

General Purpose cables need to comply with UL-1581 testing. The most recognized part of the 1581 standard is the VW-1 Vertical Flame Test. In this test the cables are mounted vertically (similar to UL-1666) except there is no airflow over the cable. This type of cable is the minimum requirement in commercial installations. Network patch cables commonly fall into this category.

 

Burn Test Results

Before
After
 
Standards:
UL-1581 Reference Standard for Electrical Wires,
Cables, and Flexible Cords
Flammability:
Medium Burns but will self extinguish when flame is removed
Toxicity:
High When burned, this cable gives off toxic and corrosive gasses
 
Application:
Cabling used on patch cables and office cords
 
 

Unrated Cable

Cables that do not meet any of the other categories often are not tested in accordance with any standard. For some applications this might be acceptable. However for most applications this should not be overlooked. As demonstrated in our test video, these non-rated cables burn quickly and spread flames to other areas not initially affected by a fire. For users, this could be dangerous. A small cable that shorts out on the back of a computer desk could engulf an entire building. The flame will rise up the desk igniting the wall and other surrounding material. This can happen in as little as 30 seconds. During our test, less than two minutes had passed when the flame had already consumed the length of test cable. If this had been in the office area we would have had a major fire. Be sure to comply with all local codes when installing cables. It might cost a little more now but the long-term payoff could be significant.
 

Burn Test Results

Before
After
 
Standards:
None
Flammability:
High Burns readily and will not self extinguish
Toxicity:
High When burned, this cable gives off toxic and corrosive gasses
 
Application:
Low Cost Computer Cabling

Content provided by L-com All rights reserved

 

Kevinisms

A Kevinism is a funny or intriguing statement or idea from our Vice President of Sales, Kevin Hunt.  Kevin is a big fan of Sandra Bullock, Pizza Inn black olive pizza, and Dr. Pepper (not necessarily in that order).  He is not a big fan of Chinese food, seafood, or other types of "dead" stuff.

One of Kevin's favorite restaurants is the Oasis on Joe Pool Lake.  This Oasis is owned by the same people who operate the more famous Oasis in Austin, TX.  It sits on the marina at the lake and always has ducks, and very large catfish in the waters immediately surrounding the restaurant, primarily due to the coin operated vending machines that people can use to get duck food or fish food.

A visit to the Oasis always encourages Kevin to bring up two topics:
fly fishing and channel catfish.

A channel catfish is the kind that lives in the deepest part of the lake or canal.  This is where all the debris and other choice comestibles (from the catfish's point of view) collect, thus providing a great environment for growing catfish.  Kevin always encourages people ordering catfish (one of the house specialties) to specify they want the "channel" catfish.  For some reason, Kevin never orders catfish (see the first paragraph above).

Kevin's other favorite topic is fly fishing.  He goes to great lengths about his skills as a fly fisherman.  He talks about making the perfect cast.  He talks about getting the proper motion with which to make the perfect cast.  He talks about using the correct kind of bait.   Naturally, someone will usually point out that if you are fly fishing you don't use bait, and this is where Kevin says that all this time and effort is what goes into hooking the flies.

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Breaking News

Information Support Concepts is now a stocking distributor for Middle Atlantic products!  We recently leased space in a local Dallas warehouse, and are now able to provide better service and lower freight costs to our clients in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Colorado.

At present, we have a variety of MRK, ERK, and WRK cabinets in stock, including LRD versions (less rear door).

We also have wall racks, relay racks, side panels, fan tops, caster bases, and many other accessories.

In addition to the computer cabinets and racks, we also stock patch cables, flexible keyboards, casters, leveling feet, power strips, rack shelves, and other peripherals and accessories.
 

WRK-44-32 cabinet
frame with rear door

ERK-4425 cabinet
frame with rear door

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Breaking News (2)

Information Support Concepts is now a distributor for a complete line of air-conditioned cabinets!  This new association also expands our lines of Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs) to include the very large units for enterprise applications and for large data centers or co-location centers. These products will be available on our catalog by the end of the month.

 

Breaking News (3)

Information Support Concepts is now a distributor for a line of cabinets which includes the Secure Laptop/Notebook Cabinet (SLNC).  The SLNC can provide up to three separate security layers before a person can access a laptop or notebook.  The 64" high x 36" wide x 24" deep cabinets are powered by a single nine outlet power strip, with each outlet servicing a dual compartment roll-out drawer with individual locks and receptacles for recharging two laptops or notebooks.

Options include a caster base, a 550CFM fan hood which is interconnected to the all steel bi-fold tambour doors (automatically on when the doors are closed and off when the doors are open), a security bar to allow the cabinet to be padlocked, floor anchors, locker compartments, bins, storage drawers, and many other accessories.

With the ability to be ganged together and with optional integral cable management, the cabinets can be customized to host a hub or switch which will allow the laptops to download data while they are recharging.  The resulting "network cabinet" can save thousands of man-hours by automatically downloading the next day's information (schedule, medical records, maintenance procedures, homework, etc.), allowing users to take their laptops and go straight to work.

We also offer the individual laptop/notebook storage compartment which can be bolted under a table, desk, or workstation for secure laptop/notebook storage and recharging in any convenient location.

Look for these new products on our website before the end of the month.

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When is a toilet

 like a salt shaker?

 

Continued from July, Part 3

My wife was not persuaded by the brilliant analogy of why the toilet is the same as the salt shaker.  She said, "The salt shaker should be put back into the kitchen cabinet in the "closed" state, to avoid it spilling accidentally if you knock it over.  In addition, the toilet seat needs to be down to prevent my accidentally falling in during the night."  This was a new element she was introducing to the argument, and I took the bait.  I said, "Why don't you just turn on the light?"  Her response was, "I don't want to wake you up."

This was a very nice argument, cleverly twisted around to appear like she had my best interests at heart.  Things were obviously getting nasty and the gloves were off.  I pointed out that I was less likely to wake up from the light being turned on than from having her bump into something in the dark, and went back to expand on my analogy.

"If the unused state of the salt shaker should be "closed" and everyone should expect it to be that way, the toilet's unused state should be "closed" (lid down) for the same reason."  "Then everyone would know what to expect, and they would know their responsibility to put the lid down when finished."

Another brilliant argument, except that it did not have the desired result.  "Why can't you just leave the toilet seat down?"  "It isn't any different from leaving the lid down."  So all the logic in the world made NO difference at all.

Note:  If you are a woman reading this, your probable reaction is, "Of course!  She simply wants what she wants."  If you are a man reading this, your probable reaction is "Of course!  You can't reason with a woman, and you should just do what you want to do."

Well, after a number of years spent mulling this whole issue over, I decided I would apply some analytical techniques to the problem, and see if an answer could be found.  I also changed the way I was doing things, and decided to leave the toilet seat down.

Continued next issue with "The Analysis"

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Contact ISC for All Your Cable Needs

Information Support Concepts offers a variety of patch cables and associated products to meet all your cabling needs.  Click here to go to the appropriate page on our website.

You will find category 5e and category 6 patch panels, category 5e and category 6 patch cables, and our convenient 110 block punch down tool.  We can also provide a wide variety of fiber optic cable and connectors, as well as bulk cable.  Please call 1-800-458-6255 for details and a quote.

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Trivia Question
What is the relationship between the Lone Ranger and the Green Hornet?

Note:  We are NOT looking for "similarity" type answers like these:
Special conveyance:  The horse "Silver" (Lone Ranger), the car "Black Beauty" (Green Hornet)
Special sidekicks:  Tonto (Lone Ranger), Kato (Green Hornet)
Special weaponry:  Silver Bullets (Lone Ranger), Sting Gun (Green Hornet)
Both are "masked men"

The first person to correctly answer this question will win a free 25 foot reel of reusable velcro cable ties (part number MD88-25RLBK), plus free ground shipping.  Send your answers to:  Jack Burlin

See next month's newsletter for the winner and the correct answer.

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Information Support Concepts, Inc.
Mansfield, Texas

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ISC, Information Support Concepts, Inc. offers an Extensive Selection of Quality 19" and 23" Rackmount Enclosure Computer Racks, Server Cabinets, Server Racks, 2-Post and 4-Post Racks, LAN Racks, Portable Racks, Power, Rackmount LCD TFT Monitor Keyboards, Accessories and Much More for IT-Network-Telecom Professionals.