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ETHERNET Product News  - Ethernet Connector Developments

As cable assemblies move into harsh subsea environments, component and termination choice becomes critical to overall system success. TE Connectivity (TE) rigorously tests and evaluates its SEACON portfolio of Cat5 and Cat5e Ethernet connectors to help ensure they can withstand harsh environments without impacting Ethernet cable performance.

Evaluation

TE SEACON considered the needs of the subsea industry and identified candidates from its standard connector ranges that might be suitable for use on Ethernet systems. TE SEACON then implemented a testing program to verify which connectors could be used to support the various Ethernet categories. The initial examination consisted of mating pairs of each connector range and testing against the requirements for the various Ethernet communications standards with a Validator NT955 high speed certifier. Following these tests, the cable/connector assemblies were subjected to pressure testing and certified under pressure.

The evaluation showed that there were a selection of connectors suitable for the various Ethernet categories:
Cat5: MINI-CONMicro WET-CONGLOBE-CONHUMMERSEA-MATE

Cat5e: MINI-CONMicro WET-CONGLOBE-CONHUMMERSEA-MATE
In addition to this, the testing conducted also showed that the HUMMER connector was suitable for the higher level Cat6, although further testing is still underway.

Testing

As with all connector/cable configurations, the environment in which the assemblies are used has an effect on their operation and this is nowhere more important than with Ethernet communications. TE SEACON’s testing has shown that once the correct connector is selected for the appropriate Ethernet requirement the connector does not change the Ethernet performance during changes in the environment (pressure/temperature). However, careful consideration is required in the selection of cable as this is affected by the harsh subsea environment.

This unique approach adopted by SEACON provides us the capability to match customer requirement with both connector performance and cable selection. While TE SEACON has ‘Harsh Environment’ cable available for the Cat5 and Cat5e applications. Suitable Cat6 cable investigation is being tested and will be available shortly.

HUMMER

  • Ultra-miniature for smaller, more reliable performance
  • Dry-mate, up to 1Gbps, up to 100m, 10,000psi/690bar

Micro WET-CON

  • Developed as a miniature industry standard configuration of TE’s ALL-WET connector series
  • Wet-mate, up to 1Gbps, up to 100m, 10,000psi/690bar

MINI-CON

  • Small, rugged, high-density connectors
  • Dry-mate, up to 1Gbps, up to 90m, 16,000psi/1200bar

55 SERIES

  • Suitable for a variety of marine applications including remotely operated vehicles (ROVs)
  • Dry-mate, up to 1Gbps, up to 80m cable length, 10,000 psi/690 bar

SEA-MATE

  • Interchangeable inserts for greater design flexibility
  • Wet-mate, up to 1Gbps, 10,000 psi/690 bar

Technical Summary

The above tests are for the first products qualified. Additional testing is on-going on a variety of SEACON products for Ethernet use.