HARTING preLink® Ethernet Connection System - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: HARTING preLink® Ethernet Connection System

Author: gbrettell

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Independent Products

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: Platinum Tools 10-Gig Termination Kit, Crestron & Extron Termination kits.

What were the biggest problems encountered?: A very slight learning curve ... but that was to be expected (on how to use the tool properly).

Detailed Review:





This particular Ha-VIS preLink kit from Harting included:

  • A handful of preLink cable termination blocks;
  • preLink Assembly Tool;
  • DIN Rail Outlet;
  • preLink Dust Cap/Protective covers (2);
  • Foreground flex CAT5E STP cables (4-1' pieces) each pre-stripped on one end;
  • And a very nice assortment of components from the Harting Ha-VIS preLink ethernet cabling solutions product line ...

       including: RJ45, Han Push Pull, M12, RJ45 Keystone Jack, and a Ha-VIS Extender.


I was hoping to receive that cool-looking 'keychain' of Harting connectors shown in their brochure ...

Harting keychain

I'm not sure what I would do with it ... but it's shiny and quite interesting. image


Harting has developed a reliable product that is quite innovative, versatile, and easy to use.  The Ha-VIS preLink block can be terminated before the decision for the mating face has even been chosen. The technology supports connectors specified for both industrial and automation profiles.  The completed connections form a ISO/IEC 11801 (EN 50173) compliant link which complies with PROFINET automation profiles and it is the first technology that supports pre-teminated cabling for industrial building applications.  The mating profiles are robust and made with high quality materials.  Although their target market seems to be Industrial and Automation, I believe that the preLink system is so versatile that it could be used in just about any other application that utilizes CAT5/6-type cabling.


Here is a video posted by Harting illustrating the HARTING Ha-VIS prelink® ...

Harting Youtube Channel:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpjRS9EaLbEVsuoTwpRUB1Q




The preLink Blocks



The preLink termination block (10Gig IDC technology) is relatively easy to terminate using either solid core or stranded Ethernet cabling. The termination blocks each have a handy color-coded reference tag (removable) with 3-popular wiring configurations indicated:  Industrial, TIA/EIA 568 A & B. Currently, there are two options available to accommodate wire gauges ranging from transparent-yellow AWG 22/23 and transparent-white AWG 26/28 (I would say they are more translucent than transparent).  The termination blocks are designed to eliminate the possibility of termination wiring errors (though I did manage to miswire a block on my first attempt - just not paying attention ... I was too eager to get going!).  It was very easy to find my wiring error since the blocks are somewhat transparent and the wiring is laid out to where you can quickly check your work BEFORE you make the final crimp (note to self ...).


A pre-terminated cable with the preLink connections can be combined with any mating face, providing maximum flexibility.  The pre-teminated cables with the preLink can be pulled through narrow conduit/cable ducts.  There is a protective housing available that fits over the preLink connection which also functions as a cable puller connection.




Field installation or Pre-terminated cables (which are certified) are available , as well. Conventional network designs typically commit to one mating face and IP protection class … this is not an issue with the preLink system since mating faces can be changed at any time (IP 20 ~ IP 67).






Here is a link to the brochure for all of the specifics on the preLink system:  http://www.harting.it/fileadmin/harting/documents/lg/hartingconnectivitynetworks/service/downloads/english/broschure_harting_ha-vis_prelink_012010.pdf






The preLink Assembly Tool



The Harting termination tool is well designed and of precision high grade quality.  The handle is rubberized for comfort and grip and the mechanism is smooth and easy to engage.  Also, there is a small lever to release the ratcheting mechanism (if necessary).  The feel of the tool is fluid and requires little strength to create a termination. The IDC-bonding and wire cutting are both achieved with one simple squeeze of the tool.  The wires are secure and trimmed flush to the face of the termination block.  This tool could be used for an extended amount of time without experiencing any forearm fatigue.   …. New IDC contact technology ensures durable, vibration-resistance connections (according to their brochure).  It seems as thought the die could be reversed for left-handed use (??)



This next video (no audio) shows my first attempt at terminating a preLink block ...









DIN Rail Outlet ...




Here is a short video (no audio) featuring the DIN rail outlet ...






Changing a connector ...


This video (no audio) shows how easy it is to change the connectors using the preLink system ...


I found it to be very simple and fast to change out a connector on the preLink block ... all you need is a nipper tool and a zip tie (something you cannot do with traditional terminations ... you basically have to cut off the connector and re-terminate from scratch). 



HDBaseT Test ...


HDBaseT is 5Play™ … a feature set that converges uncompressed full HD video and digital audio, Power (up to 100-Watts), 100BaseT Ethernet, USB and control signals all over a single LAN cable (up to 100m/328ft.).


I have been involved with projects that include installing and programming systems for use in ‘Smart’ classrooms at a university which recently started using HDBaseT connectivity.  It greatly simplifies A/V designs and helps to expedite the installation process.  On the downside, if anything goes wrong with the cabling, the entire system can become inoperable; therefore, the reliability of the connections is crucial within the system.


For my test I used the following components:

  • Crestron DMPS3-4K-150-C Controller (DM Output ... compatible with HDBaseT);
  • Mohawk E109048-20 CAT6 23-AWG Cable;
  • Harting preLink Blocks with RJ45 Connectors;
  • Extron VTG-400 Test Signal Generator (Color Bars @ 1920x1080/60Hz);
  • Epson G64570WU LCD Projector (HDBaseT Input).



This video (no audio) shows the termination of the Mohawk cable I used for the HDBaseT testing ...




Some pics of the test ...









These videos were taken of the very first preLink connections I had ever made (to depict my true experience).  As you can see, I got faster after doing a few terminations image.  I sped up these videos so I wouldn't bore anybody ... though even at fast speed it's not very exciting to watch.


In summary, I would highly recommend the Harting preLink system.  Some of the scoring categories were non-applicable (i.e. Demo Software?!) ... I just gave it the highest score because the Harting preLink system deserves it!  It is far superior to any other termination method I have tried or used (including Platinum Tools, Liberty, Extron & Crestron termination tools).  Now if only someone could invent an ethernet cable-prep tool that would strip, un-twist, and straighten the wires ... THAT would be the icing on the cake!


I would like to thank Element14 and Harting for giving me the opportunity to participate in this RoadTest.