Fluke Corp., Everett, Wash., recently announced it will offer an adaptive approach to verify compliance of installed cabling to the proposed Cat. 6 standard.

The Link Interface Adapters for the Fluke DSP-4000 Digital CableAnalyzer provide the critical connection between the DSP-4000 and the link-under-test, to allow an accurate test of high-performance installations that use components from all major cabling and connector vendors. Without standardization of components, an adaptive approach represents the only way to accurately test high-performance installations.

Desired performance specifications for the installed Cat. 6 link have been formulated by standards committees and are in the proposal form; however, specifications defining performance for the components are still under study. In the meantime, vendors have designed and manufactured components to internal or proprietary specifications.

For example, the so-called Cat. 6, 8-pin modular connector jacks and plugs are designed as a "tuned pair" to achieve the high level of crosstalk performance for Near-End Crosstalk (NEXT) and Far-End Crosstalk (FEXT) demanded for Cat. 6 links.

All certification testing requires test equipment at both ends of the link-under-test. A pair of adapters to interface each unit with connectors of one specific vendor lists for $245. Additionally, adapters to connect to insulation-displacement-connection (IDC) termination blocks are available for $145 list.