The most vulnerable segment of today's broadband cable networks is the link from
the residential drop to the customer's home, including the cable and connectors
That's because typical F connectors use the center contact of the coax cable as
the contact pin, exposing an unprotected surface that corrodes and oxidizes under
normal atmospheric conditions over time.
Two problems result-your customers experience poor signal quality, and corrupted
return signals burden your head-ends and lower the signal-to-noise ratio of your
Carrier Class Design and Performance
Trompeter's 3-piece TriplePro F Connector is a "carrier class" design from Trompeter,
the leader in high data rate coax connectivity.
The gold-plated center pin, anti-tarnish finish, and high pull strength crimp sleeve
deliver reliable, high performance connectivity over a very long service life.
Porosity - the Corrosion Culprit
Independent test and research laboratory Contech Research conducted a test in May
2006 to determine the magnitude and severity of porosity and other types of
imperfections present on electrical contact surfaces.
Five conductor samples were tested - three gold-plated center posts of the type used
in high-reliability connectors, one beryllium-copper center post (cut and flared to
expose inner and outer surfaces), and one segment of standard RG6 coaxial drop cable
with the cable end stripped to expose the center conductor.
The results - the bare wire conductor showed the heaviest evidence of corrosion, while
two of the gold-plated pins showed no evidence and the third mild to moderate evidence.
The Engineering Case for Upgrading
A network engineering practice worth considering is one traditionally used by the telcos
- change the decision point on connector specification from the installer level to the
network engineer level.
MSOs have crossed many of the hurdles to delivering service comparable to the PSTN
through implementing DOCSIS, Packet Cable NCS, and lifeline service requirements. It
is truly in operators' best business interest to elevate the issue of upgrading the
customer drop to carrier-class reliability in the network engineering agenda.
The Business Case for Upgrading
Correcting the customer drop vulnerability with carrier-class F connectors is a relatively
minor investment compared to the cost of lost subscribers. Carrier-class F connectors will
cost more than today's compression-type connectors - perhaps as much as 10X.
But the investment would quickly return benefits from improved quality of service and reduced
operating costs (service calls and multiple connector purchases) at a time when competitive
pressures on the cable industry are intensifying to unprecedented levels.
The improved reliability of carrier-class F connectors would also make an immediate and
lasting impact on the cost of servicing and maintaining the network, taking a substantial
bite out of the nearly two-thirds of service call truck rolls related to F connector