At the SCTE/ISBE Cable-Tec Expo in Atlanta, ZCorum will be launching a training certification for cable operators who are using the company's PreEqualization Analyzer, a DOCSIS Proactive Network Maintenance (PNM) application. The new certification, called PNM Professional, encompasses training done on-site at the cable operator and includes the actual repair of multiple issues identified by PNM.
DOCSIS PNM uses pre-equalization data collected from cable modems to identify which devices are being impacted by impairments like micro-reflections, and the approximate location of the fault. The training also includes hands-on work using ZCorum's PNM tool to identify the worst sources of ingress and which homes to target. This is followed by in-field use of pressure testing equipment by ZCorum and the operator's technicians to locate the source of the leak.
The latest version of PreEqualization Analyzer includes a feature called Noise Patrol that collects and analyzes a specific set of PNM metrics, RF readings and downstream spectrum data to identify devices being impacted by ingress in the cable plant.
"Noise Patrol is a powerful feature because it can identify the location of faults that are leaking noise into the return path," said Carlos Bustamante, ZCorum's vice president of strategic technologies. "These are often in-home or near home issues like loose or corroded connectors and bad shielding, and can be hard to track down, especially if the noise is intermittent. Of course, any noise entering the return path accumulates and funnels back to the CMTS, so finding and fixing ingress can significantly improve the upstream signal and quality of service for all subscribers."
The new version of PreEqualization Analyzer also allows an operator to upload strand maps as an overlay on top of the PreEqualization Analyzer map. The map then displays the operator's hardline plant features like taps, amplifiers, repeaters and coax cable in relation to the location of upstream impairments identified by the PNM tool.
For operators who do not have PreEqualization Analyzer, ZCorum will include 30 days free use of the application during and after the training.