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Note: The following technical article was current at the time it was published. However, due to changing technologies and standards updates, some of the information contained in this article may no longer be accurate or up to date.

When first challenged with the task of developing a "category 6" product, Siemon engineers closely studied the electrical and mechanical composition of the modular outlet. Instead of attempting to finely "tune" the performance of an existing product, Siemon opted to re-design the modular jack, IDC interface, modular plug, and circuit board separately for optimum transmission performance while, at the same time, incorporating feature-rich benefits. When these sub-components are integrated, the result is robust category 6 outlet performance and a premium product that is truly best in class (or category).


MAX® 6 Module Highlights

The form of the Siemon MAX® 6 module is designed to offer maximum installation flexibility in a user-friendly package. The new module supports all of the features and benefits of Siemon's existing MAX® product family. Its slim product packaging is side-stackable and easily facilitates high density solutions. The MAX® 6 is compatible with all MAX® faceplates and utilizes the doors and icon tabs for dust protection and identification. The MAX® 6 can be terminated to either round or flat cable and provides protective strain relief caps that can be installed onto the cable before or after termination.

Transmission Performance Highlights

The MAX® 6 is backward compatible and can be used with Siemon MC5 modular cords for category 5e compatibility. MC6™ modular cords are also backward compatible with all of Siemon's lower category-rated outlets. Reference Siemon test reports ITR-981124-888 and ITR-981124-906 for additional information.

Siemon's Tri-Balance™ Technology ensures balanced and linear transmission performance across the entire category 6 frequency range. For example, the linear crosstalk response of the MAX® 6 means that the module's NEXT loss and FEXT loss performance corresponds to the first order transfer function associated with crosstalk coupling*. Some outlet designs do not employ well-balanced electrical

compensation (i.e. too capacitive or too inductive) and the end result is a significant deviation from the expected crosstalk slope. Negative effects that can result include poor signal balance and poor crosstalk performance when the device is terminated in common mode. Some manufacturers can even demonstrate performance margin at certain frequency points (for example, 100 MHz), but exhibit failing performance at higher frequencies. *This characteristic slope is 20 dB/decade, which means that the performance at 10 MHz should be approximately 20 dB better than the performance at 100 MHz, etc..

The innovative design approach utilized by The Siemon Company to develop the industry's first category 6 telecommunications outlet is known as Tri-Balance™ (patent-pending) Technology. Simply put, Tri-Balance™ describes the process of:

  • Optimizing the modular jack technology for maximum pair signal balance
  • Utilizing quadrant pair isolation and technician friendly S310™ block design
  • Designing the printed circuit board for linear crosstalk response and minimal plug dependence

Modular Jack Technology Highlights

One look at the MAX® 6 jack opening is enough to see that there is something special about the design of this component. It is well known that the typical printed circuit mountable jack is often the major component contributor of excessive crosstalk loss. Armed with the knowledge that trying to electrically compensate for these shortcomings could result in unreliable category 6 performance, Siemon engineers opted to re-design the modular jack. The path lengths of the MAX® 6 modular jack contacts have been significantly reduced and are now arranged in a 3 x 8 matrix at the PCB interface to reduce self-induced signal coupling. The end result is maximum pair balance and a remarkable improvement in crosstalk performance. The modular jack interface is compatible with both 8- and 6-position modular plugs.

Siemon's s310™ Block Technology Highlights

The Siemon S310™ punch-down block utilizes quadrant pair isolation for optimum transmission performance and technician-friendly termination. Quadrant pair isolation is characterized by a revolutionary IDC contact re-design that is accomplished by reducing the contact's physical dimensions and positioning them to allow for greater spacing between pairs. The Pyramid™ wire entry system facilitates the separation of pair conductors when lacing cables to simplify and reduce installation time.

Printed Circuit Board Highlights

Because the MAX® 6 modular outlet and S310™ block components are specifically designed to minimize signal degradation and crosstalk coupling, the need for crosstalk tuning within the circuit board is significantly reduced. The board traces are precisely tuned to maintain signal balance and ensure linear crosstalk performance while minimizing signal reflections (return loss). Alleviating the need for large reactive elements on the circuit board provides for linear frequency response and improved manufacturability, compared to costly multi-layer construction.

MC6™ Modular Cord Highlights

The MC6™ modular cord is the key that unlocks the performance in The Siemon Company's category 6 products. The plug design utilizes internal patent-pending yellow* KeyBar™ technology which ensures that pair conductors are consistently positioned for optimum pair balancing to the point of termination. Siemon's insert-molded strain relief provides enhanced plug-to-cable retention and bend relief while eliminating the need to mechanically crimp the plug strain relief. This process prevents disturbance of the cable pair geometry to ensure consistent product performance. The molded-in strain-relief also provides for "tangle-free" handling and supports the use of colored icon tabs for designation and color-coding. All cords are constructed using the highest performing stranded cable and are 100% transmission tested in a category 6 channel to at least 250 MHz to guarantee field performance. The MC6™ plug performs to the proposed TIA category 6 de-embedded test plug criteria.

*The yellow plug insert is a trademark of The Siemon Company.


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