|Cabling standards update
2018 is going to be a big year for cabling and related technology standards, so cablers need to be well aware of these changes that will impact them in a big way through the year.
The most significant of these changes for cablers will be the revision of AS/CA S009: 2013 ‘Installation requirements for customer cabling (Wiring rules)’ with the 2018 edition. This is a mandatory standard for cablers to comply with, as has been the case for decades.
This revision will include a technology update to address developments in such things as remote power feed and field terminable plugs; the introduction of ‘Fit-for-purpose’ requirements; and new technology developments such as one-pair connectivity.
The committee carrying out this revision is simultaneously revising AS/CA S008: 2010 ‘Requirements for customer cabling products’ to bring them into sync with each other. This revision will also address the requirements for new applications and products including ‘one-pair Ethernet’ and ‘remote power feed’.
Also significant is the replacement of AS/NZS 3080: 2013 with AS/NZS ISO/IEC 11801. AS/NZS 3080 has been central to the cabling industry for decades and considered the ‘bible’ for both designers and installers.
While the new numbering is a major change, the format change is more significant. AS/NZS ISO/IEC 11801 will consist of six separate volumes instead of one.
Volume one will outline the general requirements, and will be modified to suit Australian and New Zealand market condition and regulations. Volumes two through six will be based on ‘premise-based’, ie office, industrial, homes, data centres, and distributed building services (ie IoT connectivity.
The cabling ‘architectural hierarchy’ will also be revised to reflect these new ‘environmental’ categories, with the introduction of new terminology for what we normally call ‘Campus Distributor’, Building Distributor’, Floor Distributor’, etc. with ‘Distributor 1’, through ‘Distributor 4’ and ‘Subsystem Cable 1’, through ‘Subsystem Cable 4’.
The AS/NZS 60950-1 Telecommunications customer equipment standard will be replaced by AS/NZS 62368-1 over a four-year transition, as determined by the ACMA.
This standard will mandate the safety requirements of AS/NZS 60950-1:2015 (IEC 60950-1, Ed. 2.2 (2013), MOD), and AS/NZS 62368-1:2018 (IEC 62368-1:2014 (ED. 2.0) MOD), so will be most important for cablers to come up to speed on as soon as possible.
The application standard that will have a big impact on cablers is IEEE 802.3bt 4-Pair Power over Ethernet (4PPoE). This long-anticipated standard expands remote power feed (aka PoE) to 100 watts, but brings with it a multitude of ‘traps for the unwary’.
From a cabler’s perspective, you will need to know about ‘resistance unbalance’ to determine if a cabling system can carry PoE or not, and you’ll need to be conscious of the potential for cable bundles to overheat while carrying continuous current, and arcing to occur on connectors when a plug a disconnected under load.
Most manufacturers are developing or update their products to cater for PoE, so you’ll need to know more about the standard so you understand the differences between PoE-rated and conventional cables and connectors to make the right choices.
This is just a simple summary – there are many more changes in these new standards, which we will progressively communicate to you through the year in the BRCA Bytes and BICSI Bytes eNewsletters, BICSI seminars and BRCA and BICSI web sites.