By its definition, an accessory is something that is helpful but not essential. But below we describe four cable accessories that we could not do without: USB-charging hub stations, patch panels, cable ties and Ethernet keystones.
USB-Charging Hub Stations
USB-charging hub stations are excellent for organizations with multiple USB devices such as tablets and phones. They sense each device’s optimal charge rate and adjust accordingly. Desktop chargers are light and portable but less dependable for professional use than steel, rack-mountable units.
When shopping for a hub station, have an idea of the number of ports you will need and the types of USB connections your devices require. For the shortest possible charge times, make sure the number of amps a hub station outputs per port is high enough to meet the maximum charging rates of your devices.
A patch panel is a great way to centralize telecommunications and data equipment connections. Its array of ports on one labeled, easy-to-see panel simplifies a network’s maintenance and future upgrades. It also lets you connect one network to another, whether LAN, WAN or internet.
A few features of NavePoint’s line of patch panels include: up to 48 ports, panels made for Cat5e or Cat6 UTP cables, and panels for snap-in/keystone jacks for flexibility in combining Ethernet, audio and video.
Plastic cable ties, aka zip ties, are the most popular solution for bundling cables. They are inexpensive and usually don’t cost extra for different colors. NavePoint offers them in 10 lengths from 4 to 22 inches and in four tensile strengths from 18 to 120 pounds. They are resistant to loosening or breaking over time, and yet can be loosened or tightened if cables need to be removed or added to a bundle.
A keystone snaps into a wall plate and its ports allow you to connect a variety of low-voltage devices to an Ethernet network. Many types of keystone modules are available, from RJ-11 for telephones to RCA for audio/video. But the most common Ethernet connector is the RJ45, which is used to connect to Ethernet cables, including Cat5e, Cat6 and above.
Shopping for a keystone is easier if you decide three things before you start. First, what category of cables/jacks do you need? Cat5e? Cat6? The higher the number, the faster the data speeds. Second, do you need shielded or unshielded jacks? It depends on whether they will be in a setting where there is a lot of electromagnetic interference (EMI). Third, do you need 90-degree or 180-degree jacks? Both are useful in densely cabled environments, but each has its unique strengths.
NavePoint offers a wide selection of essential cable accessories. Most of our products are in-stock and available with FREE standard same-day shipping. If you have product questions or need recommendations, contact our U.S.-based team of experts at 1-866-308-2158 or email us.