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Sebastian's Action Trust

  • On the 1st of November 2018, two members of the A&GP Marketing department visited Sebastian’s Action Trust at The Woodlands centre in Crowthorne.


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    Sebastian’s Action Trust was started in 2003, following on from the wishes of one 9-year-old boy. In June 2001, Sebastian Gates was diagnosed with a Wilms’ tumor, which is a rare form of childhood cancer. Sebastian looked outside the limits of his own diagnosis and expressed his dream; for seriously ill children in the future to have somewhere to go and spend time with their family, away from the stresses of their lives. Unfortunately, Sebastian was unable to see this dream become a reality as he sadly died on Christmas Eve in 2003.

    The Facilities:

    The Bluebells

    Sebastian’s parents, friends, and local community all came together in his memory to create Sebastian’s Action Trust. It took years of fundraising, but in July 2011, The Bluebells opened. The Bluebells is a purpose-built respite facility, offering families with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions the opportunity to come and stay and get away from the cruelness of life.

    The facility is based in Hampshire, but has extended to a national remit, supporting families from across Scotland and Wales, as well as other parts of England. The support offered doesn’t stop at respite breaks; the charity also offers outreach support, activities, events, workshops, finance and welfare support, youth support, bereavement care, counselling and also traditional and complementary therapies.

    The Woodlands

    Following on from the momentous success of The Bluebells, Sebastian’s Action Trust has now opened a new home, The Woodlands, based in Crowthorne. This facility will operate alongside The Bluebells, offering more families the chance for respite and support during difficult times in their lives.

    When we visited The Woodlands, we were overwhelmed at the serenity that we felt, almost immediately after arriving. The friendly yet calming atmosphere was contagious, allowing us to feel even a fraction of the relaxation that families visiting could expect. We were welcomed immediately into the cinema room, which offered such a homely feel as we sat and spoke to Lorraine about the facility.

    The Woodlands offers counselling and wellbeing suites, a communal room/cinema and a sensory room. Also found on The Woodlands site is Beech Lodge, providing an art room, imaginative play space, music suite, teen den and volunteer’s office.

       

    The initial room which we visited was the sensory room. Walking in, we were met with multiple colourful lights moving across the entirety of the room, a fibre optic sensory corner, sensory bubble water tubes, and musical walls, offering a completely moving experience. Just imagining how a child with sensory problems would enjoy this room was wonderful.

       

    We were then shown the well-being and treatment room, completely kitted out with a massage bed and pamper products. The stresses that parents have to go through can sometimes be forgotten when caring for a seriously ill child, and these stresses can take their toll. Offering a pamper facility for parents means that even for a minute, parents can take a break from their ongoing pressures.

    The entirety of both facilities have been finished to an incredibly high standard throughout, allowing families to completely relax and enjoy what both The Bluebells and The Woodland have to offer.

    Impact of the Charity

    Hearing about the impact that Sebastian’s Action Trust has had on suffering families is so inspiring. From a recent survey which the charity carried out, 93% of respondents reported that their lives have dramatically improved as a result of accessing support, with a further 80% having improved their resilience and coping strategies following the charity’s support. Sebastian’s Action Trust has improved economic situations of 98% of families surveyed, due to the finance and welfare support offered. This all shows just how advantageous the actions of this charity are, helping change the lives of many families across the UK.

    Christmas Appeal

    We are all able to help Sebastian’s Action Trust even in a small part this Christmas. If we all donate one extra present, we can put a smile on a child's face this Christmas. If you are planning to donate, please make sure that you get a gift to the Marketing department before the 23rd of November. Please write on the tag the age range of the item, so that they can ensure that every child will get a gift relevant to them.

    We have also been sent a Christmas Hamper by the charity, which for £2 you can buy a ticket to be in with a chance of winning. All funds raised are going to the charity, allowing us to do our bit this Christmas. If you would like to buy a ticket, get in touch with the Marketing department.

    Our Relationship Going Forward

    Sebastian’s Action Trust also offers the opportunity for corporate volunteering which is something that AGP are keen to get involved in. We can volunteer as much or as little as we would like throughout the year, but any help we can provide is welcomed. Volunteers gave 10,855.3 hours of their time last year, which is worth £108,533 to the Trust. To be able to supply a small part of that time would be a huge help to the charity.

    Visiting The Woodlands has made us think about and appreciate how lucky we are in life. Obviously not everyone has been so lucky, and it is important to take a moment to think about all the lives that Sebastian’s Action Trust has supported, and heart wrenchingly lost over the years. They go by the saying ‘we can’t add days to lives, but we can, and do, add life to days’ which I believe is a strong mantra and something we should all apply to our own lives.

    If you would like to learn more about Sebastian’s Action Trust, visit their website today and hear more about what the charity has to offer.

       

Hotel & Spa Tech Live


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    The Hotel & Spa Tech Live expo event brought together hotels, spas and technology businesses alike, allowing the technologically minded to support the development of companies in the hospitality industry. On the 25th and 26th September, we partnered up with our supplier Raritan, to promote the benefits of managing multiple sites.

    On the day, there was an excited buzz around the venue, with plenty of businesses all eager to share their brand. We felt the same buzz at our stand and were thankful to see plenty of friendly faces throughout the two days.

    We were keen to share our knowledge on the benefits of managing multiple sites, which many customers seemed inspired to hear about. Managing multiple sites means that from any location, users will have instant access and full power control of all IT devices, 4G and dial-up options for when the core network is down, and the ability to manage all IT equipment via a single sign-on interface. Hotels and spas will benefit, especially large chain hotels with multiple locations, as they will no longer require an IT equipment setup at every site. This will save companies both time and money, as they will no longer need IT engineers to manage each site independently.

    After speaking to Sophie from Raritan at the event, she felt that Hotel & Spa Tech Live allowed her an interesting insight into the hotel and hospitality industry. As this is Raritan’s first time targeting this market, it was brilliant for them to have the opportunity to position themselves as suppliers of remote site management.

    Dan from Raritan also raised some compelling points, highlighting what a great learning experience it had been, allowing him to observe other companies in the technology industry, all offering hotels and spas a unique solution.

    The hospitality industry is undeniably new to us but just demonstrates how far the company has come over the years. Gaining exposure to a new market offers both Raritan and us, the opportunity to grow and develop our products and service to suit our entire customer base. We are excited by the prospect of change and think that this means we will be able to offer a far more varied service to all our customers as we develop into new markets in the future.

    If you would like to hear more about how we can help you manage multiple sites, get in touch today and one of our account managers will be here to assist.

    Hotel & Spa Tech Live Banner

CCA vs Copper

  • Are you Aware of the Risks of Copper Clad Aluminium Cables?cca banner


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    Over the past year we have seen a resurgence in Copper Clad Aluminium (CCA) patch leads on the market, driven by a weakened pound and higher copper prices. The decrease in the strength of the pound, combined with the rising price of copper, has resulted in the price of pure copper patch leads to rise. With these market changes in place, it raises the question as to whether businesses should be considering a cheaper alternative or remain loyal to the industry standard when it comes to purchasing patch leads.

    What is the difference between Copper Clad Aluminium cables and pure copper patch leads?

    Copper Clad Aluminium cables are made from an aluminium conductor which has been coated in copper. This production technique uses less expensive materials, offering a low-cost way for companies to produce patch leads. Manufacturers who use aluminium in place of copper to keep costs low are in fact altering the physical characteristics of the cable, in turn causing the cables to break more easily due to the aluminium strands. When heat is applied to CCA cables, they will quickly become brittle and break.

    Pure copper patch leads are a more expensive solution, using more valuable materials to produce the cables. Pure copper patch leads provide the best overall performance whilst also offering safety for your network.

    Do Copper Clad Aluminium cables meet the industry standard?

    CCA cables do not comply with industry standard specifications, therefore there is no such thing as a Copper Clad Aluminium Cat5e, 6 or 6a cable. The only patch leads which are classified as Cat5e, Cat6 or Cat6a will be pure copper conductors. Patch leads in these categories are recognised by copper conductor international regulations, whereas Copper Clad Aluminium cables cannot be classified or sold as category cables. If manufacturers are selling CCA cables and referring to them as meeting Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat6a specifications, they may not be following the Sales of Goods Act 1979.

    What are the risks of Copper Clad Aluminium cables?

    Fire

    Fire Risk: Copper Clad Aluminium cables are not produced to be able to withstand Power Over Ethernet (POE) applications. When power is applied, the cables will rapidly overheat, with the initial temperature increase being twice that seen from a pure copper patch lead. Once the cable begins to overheat, the only way to return to a safe point of working is to switch the current off, although this could still cause extensive damage to the cable and adjacent cables. If the surrounding cables contain stranded Copper Clad Aluminium conductors, the impact of the heating is further emphasised.

    One example where using CCA can be especially worrying is with the use of IP CCTV, where power is continually drawn through network cables 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, posing a real risk for heat to build up faster and be dissipated with potentially disastrous consequences with the severe danger of a fire starting.

    Attenuation: Attenuation will be worse in Copper Clad Aluminium cables due to the higher bulk resistance of aluminium. This provides the risk of greater data loss, as more packets have to be retransmitted. This means that long permanent links and channels may have failing attenuation performance when used or tested. If CCA cables are being used, more data may need to be resent, leading to your network performing slower. This problem is further impacted depending on the length of the CCA cable used, with your overall network performance reducing the longer the cable.

    Attenuation

    Bending

    Breaking / Bending of the Cable: Copper Clad Aluminium cables will have less flexibility than pure copper patch leads due to aluminium being a less malleable material. Because of this, repeated bending of CCA cables may cause the cables to break. The TIA/EIA specified breaking strength of the cable, minimum 400 Newton, will be difficult to pass. To be compliant with ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.2, the Copper Clad Aluminium cables must pass this breaking strength test.

    The cables also need to pass the minimum 10% elongation at the break of the conductor, as specified by ISO/IEC, IEC and CENELEC standards. Furthermore, current ISO and US TIA structured cabling standards also specify that network cabling must be 100ohm copper, which CCA cables are not. All these issues mean that when it comes to installing the cables, many people will have problems with the cables getting damaged and breaking easily, which may lead to delays in projects if replacements need to be ordered.

    What is the difference between CCA and Cca?

    You should be aware of Cca CPR, which stands for Construction Products Regulation (EU 305/2011), part of the European Union legislation. The CPR identifies several basic requirements that should be met by all cables that will be permanently incorporated within a building or construction. Some of these requirements include mechanical resistance and stability and safety in case of a fire. Cca CPR is a positive change for the industry rather than CCA, which could be a danger when used in patch leads.

    Where can you purchase Pure Copper Patch Leads?

    Cablenet are committed to ensuring that we always import and distribute the highest quality products to our customers. We will never supply any type of non-copper conductive ethernet cabling to our customers.

    All importing and distributing companies should know and understand the severity of the implications from using CCA cables. We would thoroughly recommend that you ask your cable supplier what they are offering you before purchasing.

    For authentic Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat6a pure copper patch leads, get in touch today.

     

Cablenet Welcomes Andrew Garfield to the Company

  • Cablenet welcomes Andrew Garfield aboard as Brand and Sales Development Manager.


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    Cablenet are pleased to announce today that Andrew Garfield has joined the Cablenet Team as Brand and Sales Development Manager. With 30 years’ experience in the industry Andrew brings a wealth of knowledge about the market and our customers. His technical knowledge of the Minitran product range will ensure we cater effectively for our customers’ needs. Andrew will also work with the sales and marketing teams, providing a wealth of specific guidance on customer projects and product requirements

    “We are very pleased to welcome Andrew to our company he brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience of our industry, which will assist us in meeting the needs of our customers". Peter Pearson, Managing Director.

    Andrew was the Former Managing Director and founder of Minitran Ltd a UK based distributor of structured cabling systems and accessories. He started off in the industry 40 years ago with AMP and then Greenpar Connectors in various sales and marketing roles before founding Minitran in 1989. Minitran developed the Astute own brand structured cabling system (formerly known as Mini5/6) and also distributed systems on behalf of other leading brands.

    For additional information, contact: Andrew.garfield@cablenet.co.uk or call on 01276 405300.

    About Cablenet

    Cablenet is one of the UK’s leading importer and distributor of Copper and Fibre Networking Systems, Rack and Enclosures, Power products, and Computer Cables to the trade market. As well as a wide range of imported copper and fibre optic cabling products, and computer cables Cablenet also distributes for several best of breed vendors including Patchsee, Raritan, and Planet . We also manufacture bespoke copper, telecoms, and power cable assemblies in our UK assembly house. Based in Surrey, close to London, Cablenet has 42,000 square feet of warehousing space and distributes throughout the UK and Europe.

    For further information, please visit www.cablenet.co.uk

Copper Clad Aluminium (CCA) - know what you’re buying.

  • Copper Clad Aluminium (CCA) - know what you’re buying.

    Are you buying substandard patch cords? Do you know if they are pure copper or Copper Clad Aluminium?


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    If you buy the cheapest patch cords you are offered there is a good chance they are not fit for purpose and could pose serious risk to business continuity and safety.

    What is Copper Clad Aluminium wire?

    CCA wire uses an aluminium conductor that is coated with copper, this process presents at face value a production technique that uses less of an expensive material, of which there is a global shortage, bringing commercial benefits to any potential suppliers of CCA network cable over competitors who supply pure copper equivalents.

    But what about the organizations who will rely on the cables as a vital part of their network infrastructure?

    This is where the CCA proposition starts to look less appealing:

    The use of CCA wire in twisted pair network cable is not permitted by the IEC or CENELEC in their cable standards and the lack of any kind of standardization with relation to the ratios of copper and aluminium means that any testing by the industry can only be relevant to the actual piece of cable being analysed. 3P; an organization that provides third party testing for compliance with industry standards for cable manufacturers strongly advises against the use of CCA wire in twisted pair network cable. The use of CCA wire directly contravenes both CAT5e and CAT6 specifications which denote the use of copper conductors. CCA wire is not a copper conductor. Organizations supplying CCA as CAT5e and CAT6 network cables should examine very carefully if they are in compliance with the sales of goods act.

    CCA has higher attenuation properties than pure copper cable, this will result in more packets of data having to be retransmitted when it is corrupted or lost at the physical layer. This effect is particularly prevalent on longer cable channels on or near the 100mtr maximum and will at best lead to a slower network for most users of CCA twisted pair cable.

    CCA has further negative implications when used for Power over Ethernet (PoE) applications. When Power is applied to CCA cables the cable will overheat, and quite quickly. For a given applied current, initial temperature increases can be twice those seen on a solid copper conductor. When the cable does start to overheat a vicious spiral begins and unless the current is switched off there is no going back to a point of safe working. This could cause extensive damage to the cable and adjacent cables. If cords contain stranded CCA conductors, the impact on heating is further emphasised. The implications of this are particularly frighteningly in applications such as IP CCTV where power is continuously drawn through network cables 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year using a cable with higher attenuation properties than intended for use with the IEEE802.3af standard, let alone IEEE802.3at, makes very real the possibility that heat will build up faster than it can be dissipated with potentially disastrous consequences.

    In addition to less desirable electrical qualities, CCA wire presents a number of physical problems for installers ultimately leading to delay and additional expense. CCA wire has a lower tensile strength than pure copper and as such the cable can be damaged though pulling, with conductors or the whole cable breaking. CCA wire in twisted pair applications also has less tolerance for bend radius; for a cable installer who doesn’t know he is working with CCA cable, vast amounts of time can be wasted finding the source of a test failure.

    A few UK importers and distributors are still supplying CCA patch cables to their customers despite its substandard performance in the field is well documented.

    In terms of the issue of liability for any problems that may arise from the use of CCA, however minor or severe; the buck stops with the importer/distributor, who in reality should know the implications of using CCA wire in today’s network applications. In this instance, given the very obvious shortcomings of CCA wire in twisted pair networking applications; the standard of cable a distributor supply is a good measure of their technical competence and long-term interest in their customer’s business.

     

    The Cablenet Promise

     

    At Cablenet our commitment to ensuring the supply of quality products to our customer means that we have absolutely no interest in exploring the avenue of CCW patch leads and/or any other type of non-copper conductive cabling. We would never knowingly supply our customers with CCA regardless of the instability of the global copper market at this present time.

    Cablenet will not supply Copper Clad Aluminium wire network cable to any of its customers. Our message to the industry is ask your cable supplier what they are offering you, and then make an informed choice.

    Get Authentic Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat6a Patch Cables here.

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