What's the Difference Between a Permanent Link and Channel Test?

29/02/2016

What's the Difference Between a Permanent Link and Channel Test?

When using a cable certifier, choosing the correct test method between Permanent Link test and Channel test is imperative in order to comply with ISO and TIA test standards.

We’ve outlined the main differences between a Permanent Link test and a Channel test so you can choose the right test procedure for your network topology.

What’s included in the Permanent Link?

 The Permanent Link includes the UTP/STP cabling from the patch panel to the work area outlet.

Test standards allow for optional transition/consolidation points however in most installations the Permanent Link is an uninterrupted cable between the wall outlet and the patch panel.

 

What’s included in the Channel?

A Channel test consists of the above Permanent Link plus any equipment cords (patch cords) at either end of the Permanent Link. Certifiers typically use so called “Channel” modules for testing. These modules feature sockets that can accept the equipment cord connectors.

When testing with Channel modules you need to bear in mind that the equipment cord is included within the test, therefore Channel modules on certifiers will suffer extensive wear since a new equipment cord is inserted into the module at every test.

Should I use a Permanent Link or Channel Test?

The answer is: it depends.

If you are troubleshooting an existing network or need to find out if an existing network will support an application i.e. a higher speed, Channel testing is recommended as you will also test the attached equipment cords.

If you are testing a new network or newly installed links, you will want to know or have to demonstrate that the horizontal cabling actually performs to standards. In that case, the Permanent Link test is the recommended testing method.

Most of our certifier users today are installers of LAN networks and therefore prefer the Permanent Link test method.

The All New Indestructible Permanent Link Adapter from IDEAL Networks

 Alongside the release of the LanTEK III, IDEAL Networks have also developed a new, more resilient Permanent Link module.  The RJ45 Permanent Link module operates in the smallest enclosures, using high performance, ultra-flexible cable that allows them to be used in confined spaces without damaging the Permanent Link module or the outlet being tested. 

Additionally, we have developed field replaceable RJ45 contacts that reduce downtime and maintenance costs.  With cost reduction in mind, these new Permanent Link module contacts provide almost three times as many insertions than a regular patch cord before contact replacement is required. Through innovative design, the entire worn plug assembly is replaced with a completely new plug, contact and locking mechanism.

Recent articles

  • Free LanTEK III Cable Certifier Software Update Offers Helpful New Functions 10/07/2018

    The popular IDEAL Networks LanTEK III cable certifier has received a new, free software update to help installers test and certify copper and fibre optic cabling more easily than ever before.

    Read more
  • What data cable industry standards are you testing to? 08/06/2018

    As installation and integration of data cable becomes increasingly common in residential premises, it’s important to select a performance tester that measures against the right industry standards.

    Read more
  • IDEAL Networks helps installers overcome MPTL testing challenges 05/06/2018

    As convergence to digital IP systems continues, IDEAL Networks is helping installers certify cabling that has Modular Plug Terminated Links (MPTL) thanks to a new software update for its LanTEK III cable certifier.

    Read more
  • VoIP troubleshooting – LanXPLORER PRO reviewed 05/04/2018

    When issues arise on VoIP systems it can disrupt conversations and impact voice quality.  Luckily, our test equipment can be used to measure key factors that impact network performance and VoIP quality, ensuring effective troubleshooting.

    Read more
  • How performance testing applies to security, alarm, and control systems, as well as voice and data systems 03/04/2018

    When it comes to performance testing, voice/data and security alarm or access control systems are becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish from each other. Data performance testers can now be used to test the data handling capabilities or cabling, no matter what the application. This is due to the current process of moving these systems over to Ethernet/IP.

    Read more