Gamma Electronics’ 2021 Wrap Up

Gamma Electronics Blog

Gamma Electronics’ 2021 Wrap Up

With the holiday season now upon us we wanted to take a moment and wish you the happiest and healthiest of holidays!  As we do every year, we like to take a step back around this time and reflect on the year that we will soon leave behind us.

Without a doubt, 2021 will be remembered as a unique year.  All of us have had to make adjustments in how we work and how we live and I’m sure you’ll agree that we all hope that these adjustments will make us better and healthier going forward.  Here at Gamma Electronics, we are pleased with what we’ve accomplished in 2021 while simultaneously feeling excited and optimistic about 2022, and the future in general.

Below we have highlighted some of the news from 2021 as well as some things we are looking forward to in the future.

Highlights from 2021

New Products for 2021

We released some exciting new products this year, most notably our Rugged, Ultra Low Loss Coaxial Cables and our RF Suppressor Boots.  In addition to these products we also made new options available for our Custom, RF Coaxial Cable Assemblies, and we added new variations to some of our most popular RF Weatherproofing products.  You can learn more about these product releases and updates by clicking on the images/links below.

Rugged, Ultra Low Loss Cables
RF Suppressor Boots
Clear Cold Shrink
2.2-5 Weatherproof Boots

10 New AT&T Product Approvals

AT&T Approved 10 More Gamma Electronics Products

During 2021 we were fortunate to further our relationship with AT&T as they approved and issued CEQ numbers for 10 more of our products.  AT&T continues to utilize Gamma Electronics as their go-to for RF tower weatherproofing products, having approved 5 additional models of Gamma cold shrink in 2021 alone.  Beyond weatherproofing however, we have been fortunate to have our 5G/Small Cell Adapter Kit approved by AT&T as well.  You can learn more about each of these approvals and products by clicking on the image/link below.

AT&T Approves Gamma Clear Cold Shrink
Gamma Adapter Kit Approved by AT&T

Gamma’s Next Chapter

In recent months we have promoted several individuals to better meet the needs of our growing company.  As an organization we are thrilled, as we have been able to promote individuals within our own ranks, helping these individuals better realize their own potential while helping Gamma Electronics reach greater heights.  Beyond on what it means for us internally however, we’re very excited as these changes will allow us to better meet the needs of our customers.

Peter Weyhreter

Vice President of Sales & Operations

Peter has been with Gamma since its inception, and had spent more than a decade as Gamma’s National Sales Manager.  As Gamma’s longest tenured employee Peter has also worked extensively with our operations teams and he will now over oversee both Sales & Operations from a more macro level.

Nathan Street

National Sales Manager

Nathan has spent over 20 years in various sales and management roles and has spent close to 2 years with us here at Gamma Electronics as a Regional Account Manager. In his new role as the National Sales Manager, Nathan will oversee our sales team while further fostering relationships with our distributors and resellers.

Lisa Schlaeg

Production & Logistics Manager

Lisa has been with Gamma Electronics for more than 6 years, serving in production/operations, sales, and customer service roles.  Given her wealth of experience, Lisa’s promotion to the Production & Logistics manager was a natural next step for both her and for Gamma Electronics.

Bella

Gamma Brand Ambassador

Bella has been with Gamma Electronics for 6 plus years, or nearly half of her lifetime.  In her time with Gamma she has epitomized what it means to be a good listener and she exemplifies discipline, by not barking while people are on the phone and always going outdoors to use the restroom.  Frankly, Bella’s promotion was long overdue.

In addition to the changes taking place at our organization, we also have new products that we are preparing for release in early 2022.  So make sure to sign up for our newsletter and to follow our blog to stay in the know!

Thank You

Most importantly, we want to take a moment to thank our customers and partners for your continued support.  Our goal is to earn the trust of our customers and partners by providing top notch products alongside top notch service.  We’re gratfeul that so many of you have come to trust Gamma Electronics’ products over the years, and our hope is to build upon that trust in the years to come.

If you’re not already a Gamma love customer we would to have the opportunity to showcase the quality of our products and service.  Please take advantage of our 3 for Free promotion, in which we offer 3 of our RF Weatherproofing products to you, for free, (through the end of the month/year).  Click on the button below to take advantage of this limited time offer.

On behalf of the entire Gamma Electronics team please allow me to say thank you once more and we sincerely hope you have the happiest and healthiest holiday season.

Warmest Wishes,

Cameron Lanier
Director of Marketing and Media Communications

Happy Holidays from Gamma Electronics

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Pricing Changes Take Effect on January 1, 2022

Gamma Electronics Blog

Pricing Changes Take Effect on January 1, 2022

It’s been about 20 months since the COVID-19 pandemic first caused shutdowns here in the United States, which has brought on new challenges that have impacted all of us.  Unfortunately, these unprecedented times have brought significant increases to our freight and operational costs, and in turn, we need to issue a price increase ranging from 4% to 10% across our product lineup.  These price increases will take effect on January 1, 2022.

We appreciate your understanding, and we strongly encourage our customers to take advantage of the lower prices that remain in place through the end of the year.

“How Much are You Raising Prices?”

Prices on all Gamma Products will see a minimum increase of 4% with some products being increased up to 10%.  An updated price list will be provided to our distributors and resellers before the end of the year.

“Does this Impact All of Gamma Electronics’ Products?”

Yes.  All Gamma Products will increase in price by at least 4%.

“Why Are You Raising Prices?”

During 2021 we have seen a significant rise in the costs to acquire materials, as well as an increase in shipping costs.   Our hope was that we would not need to issue a price increase, but as the rising costs become a new normal we must make an adjustment to our pricing so we can continue to provide the quality products and services that our customers expect from us.

“Is this Price Increase Permanent?”

Yes.  As such, we strongly encourage our customers to take advantage of our current pricing, which lasts through the end of 2021.

“Which Products Will See an Increase of More than 4%?”

We are still in the process of assessing how much pricing has to be increased on a product by product basis.  While we do not yet have a finalized list, we are hoping that the majority of our products will stay closer to a 4% increase.  There will, of course, be some products that push closer to 10% and others that fall between 4 and 10%, but our hope and our goal is for most of our products to see a smaller increase.

All pricing changes will be updated on our website by January 1, 2022, and pricing lists will be sent to our distributors and resellers before the end of the year.

Thank you for your understanding and if you have additional questions, please feel free to contact a member of the Gamma team at Sales@GammaElectronics.net.

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What is Heat Shrink Tubing?

Gamma Electronics Blog

What is Heat Shrink Tubing?

You may not be fully aware but heat shrink tubing is a part of your daily life.  Heat shrink tubing is used on products ranging from phone cords to motor homes, to boats and airplanes.  So what exactly is heat shrink tubing and when and where would you use it?

What is Heat Shrink Tubing?

Heat shrink tubing, (often just called heat shrink), is a rubber sleeve that shrinks down in size when it comes into contact with heat, specifically temperatures around 90° Celsius, (around 200° Fahrenheit).  Once it shrinks down it stays shrunk down in an attempt to more permanently seal whatever it is covering.

Closeup of heat shrink melting

What is Heat Shrink Tubing Used For?

Heat shrink tubing, more often than not, is used to shrink down over a point of vulnerability and create a permanent to semi-permanent seal that protects that point of vulnerability.  The heat shrink, upon shrinking into place, is able to create a seal intended to shield the point of vulnerability from moisture, abrasion, dust, etc.  Because heat shrink tubing is able to shrink it becomes a great tool that is able to fit over things like cables, and then shrunk into place as needed.

It is very common to see heat shrink utilized with electronics for these reasons.  For example, phone charging cords often have a point of vulnerability between where the cord attaches to the connector at the end of the cord, (like a USB connection).  Heat shrink is what is typically used to help seal/protect that point of vulnerability between the cord and the connection.

This is why we say that heat shrink is a form of cable protection, as heat shrink is commonly used on wires, joints, splices etc., but it also is often used to protect connectors, terminals, and more.

What is Heat Shrink Made Of?

The most commonly used material for heat shrink tubing is polyolefin.  Polyolefin is a very durable material with a high temperature threshold, which for good use in applications that have high operating temperatures like manufacturing, mechanical, and industrial settings.  Industries that often use polyolefin include the military, aerospace, railway, and electronics.

PVC is another popular material used for heat shrink tubing, although it does not have as high of a temperature threshold as does polyolefin, and it sees more limited usage as a result.  It is however, highly abrasion resistant and a great option when higher operating temperatures are not a concern.

There are many other materials used for heat shrink tubing, many of which are specific to the needs of different industries.  For example, we manufacture heat shrink tubing from materials, (besides polyolefin and PVC), that include neoprene, viton, polyvinylidene fluoride, and more.

How Do I Choose the Right Heat Shrink Tubing?

If you’re new to heat shrink tubing, choosing the right tubing can be a bit tricky.  Heat shrink tubing comes in many different sizes, different shrink ratios, and there are many different types that offer unique characteristics.  The first thing to know is that heat shrink tubing sizes are listed in a before shrinking size.  So measure what it is you need the heat shrink to fit over and make sure you choose a size larger a little larger than that.  For example, if we wanted to make sure our heat shrink tubing would fit over an iPhone cable, (like we did in the section below), we would need to make sure the heat shrink was larger than the cable and the connector at the end of the cable.  For an iPhone cable we chose a heat shrink tubing sized at 3/8 of an inch.

The next thing to know, is the shrink ratio.  Shrink ratio measures the difference between the size of the tubing before and after it shrinks.  For example, we chose to use a 3 to 1, (usually written in ratio form as 3:1), heat shrink tubing on the iPhone cord, which means the tubing starts 3 times larger than what it shrinks down to.    We offer heat shrink tubing in 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, and 6:1 shrink ratios.

The last thing to be aware of when selecting your heat shrink tubing are any additional special qualities or characteristics that you might need.  For example, there are diesel and fluid resistant types of heat shrink out there, as well as heat shrink that is UV resistant.  For the iPhone cord we chose to use an adhesive lined heat shrink tubing that will make sure the heat shrink glues itself in place.

Of course, we also offer different colors of heat shrink tubing, which includes clear heat shrink tubing.   If you need help in choosing the right heat shrink for your project feel free to contact us.  You can also see all our heat shrink tubing by clicking here, or on the button below.

How to Use Heat Shrink Tubing

Heat shrink tubing is pretty easy to install as all it requires is a good heat source.  We’ve created a step-by-step guide on “How to Use Heat Shrink Tubing,” which you can find here.  You can also watch our video in which we take you through those same steps in 2 minutes.

How to Use Heat Shrink Tubing Without a Heat Gun

If you’re able, the safest choice for shrinking heat shrink is to use a heat gun, as it does not have an open flame.  If you don’t have a heat gun the next easiest solution, (but not as safe), is to use a lighter or blow torch.

The installation process is essentially the same.  Rotate the heat shrink as you have the heat next to it, making sure to not hold heat in one spot for too long as it can burn through the heat shrink, (this becomes even more important when using a lighter or blow torch).  You need to be especially careful with a lighter or blow torch to make sure to not damage the cable etc. you are applying the heat shrink to.

Will a Hair Dryer Shrink Heat Shrink Tubing?

Maybe. We have tried shrinking heat shrink with hair/blow dryers before and it produces mixed results.  Sometimes the heat shrink doesn’t shrink as well as it could or the blow dryer just takes a lot longer to get the heat shrink to fully shrink.

The issue is that most hair dryers, (or blow dryers), don’t reach the same temperatures as a heat gun.  As we said before, most heat shrink will shrink around 200° Fahrenheit, (about 90° Celsius).  Hair/blow dryers on the other hand tend to range in temperatures from about 80° to 140° Fahrenheit.  If you get a hair/blow dryer that is capable of reaching those higher temperatures it might work on the heat shrink, but it will take longer to shrink down than it would if you were using a heat gun, lighter, or a blow torch.  

As you might imagine, the results can vary depending on the temperature of your hair/blow dryer, but also on the type of heat shrink tubing you are trying to shrink. Different heat shrinks will shrink at different temperatures and if your hair/blow dryer doesn’t reach that temperature then there is no way to guarantee it will work.

What is the Difference Between Heat Shrink vs. Cold Shrink?

As the name implies, heat shrink requires heat in order to shrink/be installed.  Cold shrink does not require any form of heat for installation.  This is why cold shrink is called “cold shrink,” because it does not require heat.

Beyond the installation method there are a lot of other differences between heat shrink and cold shrink, with each of them having their pro’s and con’s.  The short answer is that cold shrink is typically better for use outdoors as it has far better weatherproofing capabilities.  That isn’t to say you can’t use heat shrink outdoors, (we have a UV resistant heat shrink as a prime example of heat shrink you can use outdoors), but the vast majority of the time cold shrink will outperform heat shrink in outdoor scenarios where weather is a concern.

Check out our video, “Heat Shrink vs. Cold Shrink,” where we explain the differences between the two in greater detail.  You can also learn more about cold shrink by clicking here.

Conclusion

Heat shrink tubing is an amazing tool that has seemingly endless possibilities/applications.  At Gamma Electronics we are pleased to offer some of the industry’s best heat shrink tubing products, ranging from printable heat shrink to clear, medical grade heat shrink tubingContact Us to get help on choosing the best heat shrink for your next project, or click here to view all of our heat shrink tubing products.

Get Gamma Heat Shrink Tubing

Gamma Heat Shrink Tubing has received some of the industry’s top approvals while still being kind to your wallet.  We would love to help you on your next project.

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New: Rugged, Ultra Low Loss, Coax Cables

Gamma Electronics Blog

New: Rugged, Ultra Low Loss, Coax Cables

The Gamma Electronics team is happy to announce a new addition to our cable line of products: Rugged, Ultra Low Loss, RF Coaxial Cables. 

Below we provide answers to, (what we assume will be), common questions and we provide some test data as well.

Reduce RF Interference with the Gamma Suppressor Boot

What does “Ultra Low Loss” Mean?

These new cables are an upgrade over braided shield cables, (i.e. LMR 195 & 400), which are often referred to as low loss cables.  While it’s true that braided shield cables tend to produce good low loss results, our new Ultra Low Loss cables significantly improve both the VSWR and insertion loss results over low loss cables, hence the name, “Ultra Low Loss.”

The Test Results

We’ve compared our cables against LMR 195 & 400 cables to find improved VSWR results, as well as up to a 25% improvement on insertion loss results.  Our Rugged, Ultra Low Loss Cables will make it so that more of your signal gets to the desired destination.  You can see the test results in the chart below, where we compared these new cables, (labeled as S-FLEX 1/4″), against both LMR 400 and LMR 195.

Ultra Low Loss Coax Cables Test Results

It’s important to note that a drop of 1 dB amounts to about a 26% improvement.  For those who might not be familiar, measurements like dB are not done on a linear scale but instead utilize a logarithmic scale.  Logarithmic scales are intentionally used to make numbers that would be spaced apart from one another on an exponential level, easier to read on a single chart.   So, for example, in the Insertion Loss test results above, a 1 dB improvement may seem like “only 1 dB,” but it is actually around a 25% improvement.

What Makes these Cables Different?

The single biggest difference between our Rugged, Ultra Low Loss Cables, compared to cables like LMR 195 & 400, is the cable’s outer shield.  The outer shield, (sometimes also referred to as the outer conductor), is the part of the cable that sits just inside the cable jacket.  It’s called a shield as it rejects outside interference, but it also acts as a conductor that helps propogate the signal through the cable.

Low Loss cables use a braided shield, which are made up of many small, woven, metallic fibers.  Those fibers create a shield to help block external, electromagnetic interference.  Low Loss cables also require a foil conductor, that sits just inside the braided shield, to act as a conductor, which helps conduct and propogate signal through the cable.  Low Loss cables need this two piece solution that produces good, but not great results. 

Our Ultra Low Loss cables on the other hand, utilize a spiraled, corrugated copper design, which accomplishes both the rejection of outside interference as well as conducting signal within the cable, with great results.

SDL-SMA-60 Dimensions

Ultra Low Loss Coaxial Cable Interior

SDL-SMA-60 Dimensions

Braided Shield Cable Interior

A braided shield is, simply put, an inferior outer shield/conductor compared to the spiraled, corrugated copper used on the Ultra Low Loss coaxial cables.  A simple bend or twist in the cable could easily introduce a gap in the braided shield, which is not going to happen on a corrugated copper cable, unless there is a noticeable break in the cable, (also unlikely to happen).  Additionally, the braided shield is not as durable, which we’ll go into more below.

What Makes these Cables Rugged?

Ultra Low Loss cables are far better suited to withstand the wear and tear that comes with being deployed on cell phone, WISP, or fixed wireless applications.  Braided shield cables, as a comparison, can be easily knicked or cut, resulting in a gap in the outer shield/conductor, that leaks signal while also allowing for outside interference to work its way into the cable.  In addition, that knick/cut in the cable has introduced an entry point for moisture into the cable.

Ultra Low Loss cables, on the other hand, have that superior outer shield that will better withstand knicks and cuts.  It’s a single piece of copper as compared to a bunch of braided metal fibers, making it tougher and more durable.  Even if the cable jacket were to be knicked or cut it’s unlikely the cable’s outer shield would be cut as well.

Lastly, the Ultra Low Loss cables are soldered instead of being crimped.  Not only does this give better test results, but in simple pull tests we found that braided shield cables needed far less pull to come apart than the Rugged, Ultra Low Loss Cables.  A strong enough tug and the connector on braided shield cables would pop off, but not so with the Ultra Low Loss cables.  The Rugged, Ultra Low Loss coaxial cables required one side to be held in place and far more pounds of pressure to be applied in order to come apart.

Are the Rugged, Ultra Low Loss Cables Flexible?

Yes, very.  The Rugged, Ultra Low Loss cables are actually Superflex, quarter inch cables.  These cables do have more rigidity to them than you will find with LMR cables, but they are far more flexible than something like a 1/2″ annular and/or standard coaxial cable.  These cables are able to be flexible because, (unlike annular or standard cables), their outer shield is spiraled.

What Connectors Can I Get on the Rugged, Ultra Low Loss, Coaxial Cable?

We currently offer this cable in three connector varations: RPSMA to RPSMA, RPSMA to Type N, and Type N to Type N.

We also offer different length cables in these different connector variations, so make sure to check out their individual pages for more details.

Do You Offer the Rugged, Ultra Low Loss Cable with Weatherproofing?

Absolutely.  We offer all variations of the Rugged, Ultra Low Loss cable with our industry leading, silicone cold shrink tubing.  We have cold shrink tubing designed to perfectly match RPSMA connections, (SDL-SMA-60) and Type N connections, (SDL-TNS-65), all while creating a watertight seal on a 1/4″ superflex cable.  Our cold shrink tubing provides an IP68 rated, watertight seal that simply cannot be matched.

Conclusion

Our new, Rugged, Ultra Low Loss Coaxial Cables are a solution we chose to bring to the market as we saw an increasing demand, (specifically from the WISP industry), for cables that outperformed braided shield/low loss cables, while not having to be quite as high-end as Low PIM cables.  We were able to utilize some of the technology from our Low PIM cables in this new offering, while providing a better price point for our customers.

Assuming you don’t need low PIM cables, the Rugged, Ultra Low Loss coaxial cable is the “best value for your money” cable on the market, especially when you consider the perfectly matched cold shrink tubing included with the cable.

Get our Rugged, Ultra Low Loss Cables

Ready to improve your VSWR and Insertion Loss Results?  It’s time to upgrade to Gamma’s Ultra Low Loss Cables.

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What is Cold Shrink Tubing?

Gamma Electronics Blog

What is Cold Shrink Tubing?

Most people are familiar with heat shrink tubing but many have not heard of cold shrink tubing.  So what is cold shrink and when and where does it get used?

We answer these questions and more below.

Reduce RF Interference with the Gamma Suppressor Boot

What is Cold Shrink?

Cold Shrink is a rubber tube or sleeve that can shrink down many times smaller than its original size.  Unlike heat shrink it does not require any type of heat in order to shrink in size, which is what earned it the name “cold shrink.”   If you’re familiar with heat shrink don’t let the “cold shrink” name confuse you.  Heat shrink requires heat to shrink but cold shrink does not require cold to shrink.  The term “cold” is simply used to reference that no heat is required.

Gamma Electronics cold shrink ratio

Watch “What is Cold Shrink?”

How Does Cold Shrink, Shrink?

Cold Shrink Tubing wants to shrink down but it is held in place by an inner, plastic core, that keeps it from doing so.  That plastic core is perforated, with a piece of the tube ready to pull, (we call this piece the rip cord), to make removing it very easy.  As soon as you start to pull the inner core out of the way the tubing immediately shrinks.

Below is an example of the before and after sizing of one of our models of cold shrink tubing.  On the left side of the image is the “before”, or the pre-shrunk version of the cold shrink, with the plastic core in place.  That core is removed in the “after” portion of the photo, (shown on the right), where you can see the size the tubing has shrunk down to.

How Do I Install Cold Shrink?

Cold shrink tubing is incredibly easy to install and can typically be installed in less than a minute.  We made a step-by-step guide for those who are new to cold shrink installation, as well as a short video, (below), where we install cold shrink on an RF coaxial cable/conneciton to make it as clear as possible.

What is Cold Shrink Made Of?

Cold Shrink is typically manufactured from one of two types of rubber: EPDM or Silicone.  You can easily find cold shrink manufactured from both materials and they both have their perks.  EPDM tends to be more rugged and capable of taking a beating, making it ideal for when the cold shrink is likely to be in contact with other materials, like inside machinery for example.  Silicone on the other hand will shrink down to a much smaller and tighter size than EPDM, and is ideal for applications like cell tower weatherproofing.

We have an entire post dedicated to the differences between EPDM and Silicone Cold Shrink, which you can read here.

Where Would I Use Cold Shrink Tubing?

One of the most popular uses for cold shrink is on cell phone towers, where it is used to protect electrical cables/connections from water ingress and weather in general.  Cold shrink tubing is also used for various types of cable protection including splicing joints, cable trench applications, and in very confined or dangerous spaces where heat guns and/or blow torches are more difficult to use.  Cold shrink tubing is very popular in the telecommunications market, as well as in the oil, energy, cable television, satellite, and WISP industries.

What are the Key Benefits of Cold Shrink Tubing?

There are many key reasons that someone should choose cold shrink over other options.  We identify 7 of those reasons below.

1.  Incredible Sealing Properties

Cold Shrink Tubing, and specifically silicone cold shrink, offers incredible shrink ratios that make it easy to seal cables and/or connections from the outside elements.  The high shrink ratios make it so that the cold shrink can get around cables and connections and still seal down tight to not allow anything, water, dust, or otherwise, into the cable and/or connection.

2.  Fast & Easy Installation

Cold Shrink can literally be installed in seconds, and it creates a watertight seal while doing so.  Solutions like tape & butyl might be able to create a watertight seal, (initially), but it can take anywhere from five to twenty minutes to install per connection.  We did a time analysis which highlights the time cold shrink saves you versus tape and butyl, check it out here.

Similarly, cold shrink is much faster, (and safer), to install when compared to heat shrink as well.  Because Cold Shrink does not require a heat gun and/or blow torch it means installation becomes much faster, easier, and (again), safer.

3.  No Tools Required for Installation

This is similar to the last point, but we felt it was worthy to be mentioned on its own.  No tools means that there’s no additional tool cost when you choose to go with cold shrink.  It also massively reduces the hassle and cost of having to make sure you have batteries charged for heat guns, or propane/gas for blow torches.

4.  Cold Shrink is Safer

We have spoken to numerous companies who have made the switch to cold shrink tubing specifically because of how much safer it is, specifically in high fire danger areas.  Too often fires have been started by contractors who didn’t have a choice but to use heat guns and/or blow torches in high fire danger areas.  Cold Shrink tubing eliminates the need for those tools to be used in those areas.

Cold Shrink also has a far higher voltage rating than heat shrink tubing, which makes it a much-improved form of cable protection against power surges and arcing.

5.  Longevity

Cold Shrink tubing will outlast nearly all other forms of weatherproofing.  The tape and butyl method of weatherproofing, for example, is unlikely to last more than a year as it is unable to handle both high and low temperatures.  Butyl specifically is likely to melt in high temperatures and become brittle in lower temperatures. The adhesive on tapes will also not hold up to high and low temperatures, resulting in the tape coming loose over time.

Silicone cold shrink has incredible temperature resistance, going as low as -76° Fahrenheit, (-60° Celsius), and up to 446°  Fahrenheit, (230° Celsius), before showing signs of degradation.  In other words, you don’t have to worry about the cold shrink coming loose in either extreme hot or cold, in large part thanks to the fact that it has no adhesive, (more on that below).

Silicone cold shrink also comes with all the incredible properties that silicone offers in terms of weather protection, including UV resistance, and protection against Ozone and fungus.  We are so confident about the abilities of our silicone cold shrink that we guarantee it for the life of the cable.

6.  No Adhesive

When it comes to outdoor weatherproofing you typically want to avoid adhesive as a rule, which is one of the many reasons cold shrink tubing is such a fantastic weatherproofing option.  As mentioned previously, adhesives tend to melt in hotter weather, and they can prove ineffective in colder weather.  In other words, adhesive in weatherproofing can easily lead to your weatherproofing not working the way it should.  Adhesive can also melt and work its way into connections, causing issues in your cables.  At that point your weatherproofing is more problematic than it is helpful.

The other reason however, for mentioning the lack of adhesive being a great cold shrink feature is because it means removing cold shrink is far cleaner and easier than it is to remove tape or adhesive lined heat shrink.  If you want to remove weatherproofing from a connection and not have to replace the connection, then you should probably go with a solution like cold shrink.

7. Quality Control

A key benefit that customers like AT&T have told us, is that cold shrink tubing makes it easy to ensure consistent installation results.  Experienced and inexperienced installers alike can get the same results with Gamma Cold Shrink Tubing, which becomes especially important when a single location can require dozens upon dozens of connections needing weather protection.

Does Cold Shrink Come in Different Sizes?

Yes, absolutely.  In our cold shrink sizing chart, (below), you can see the model of cold shrink we have matched with various cable and connector combinations.  We have tested our cold shrink with these various combinations to ensure that they are watertight, with IP68 rated weather protection.

Each model of cold shrink shown above has been designed for and tested with the connectors and cables shown in the chart.  We test by installing the cold shrink on a cable/connection and then dunking the cold shrink and connection into a water tank more than a meter deep.  After about 45 minutes to an hour we remove the cold shrink/connection from the tank and check for any signs of water getting into the connection.  All of the cold shrink models shown above have passed testing, numerous times, with the cable and connector combinations shown next to them.

What Does Shrink Ratio Mean?

Shrink Ratio refers to the size the cold shrink starts at compared to the size it shrinks down to.  This difference between where the cold shrink starts versus where it ends up is expressed mathematically in a ratio format.  For example, our SDL-1A-125 cold shrink tubing starts more than 4 times larger than what it ends up shrinking down to.  To make it easy we say it has a 4 to 1 shrink ratio, or 4:1, (technically it is closer to 4.5 to 1).

Most of our silicone cold shrink is around a 4 to 1 (4:1) shrink ratio, although some of our smaller cold shrink models are closer to around 3.5 to 1, (3.5:1).

Watch EPDM vs Silicone Cold Shrink: Shrink Ratio Comparison

Does All Cold Shrink Tubing Shrink Down to the Same Size?

No.  Different models of cold shrink tubing have different shrink ratios.  Each model of cold shrink tubing shrinks down to a unique size and you will want to make sure that you have the right model that starts large enough to get around your cable, connector, etc., and is still able to shrink down small enough to give you the watertight seal you need.  In our cold shrink sizing chart you can see the cold shrink models that we have tested and that we recommend to match with popular cable and connector combinations.

Below we have images of two of our models of cold shrink, to demonstrate the contrast.  The SDL-1A-125 is larger with a higher shrink ratio, while the SDL-SMA-60 is smaller with a still very impressive 3:1 shrink ratio, (click on the photos to enlarge).

SDL-SMA-60 Dimensions

On our Silicone Cold Shrink page you can also find images like those above, where we show the exact dimensions that each of our cold shrink models start at, and shrink down to.  We made these graphics to make it easier for our customers to visualize if our cold shrink can work for the cable, connector, etc. that they are trying to protect.

How Do I Choose the Right Size Cold Shrink?

There are three things to consider when trying to choose the right cold shrink size, (in no particular order): the starting size, (or pre-shrink size), the length, and the shrunk down size of the cold shrink.

You can start by looking at the largest thing that the cold shrink needs to fit over, (usually the connector).  You need to make sure the cold shrink starting size can fit over that size, plus a little bit of wiggle room for the plastic core of the cold shrink to have enough room to be removed.  If the fit between the cold shrink and the connector, cable, or whatever you’re trying to protect, is too tight, then the inner core won’t be able to be removed and you won’t be able to install the cold shrink.

Next, make sure the cold shrink is long enough to fully cover what you want protected, plus a little extra.  You don’t want the cold shrink tubing to be too short in case you miss the mark ever so slightly.

Lastly, you need to make sure the cold shrink can shrink down small and tight enough to create a water tight seal.  For example, our SDL-1A-125 model shrinks down to 0.4 inches, making it ideal for shrinking onto half inch, (0.5″), cables.  The fact that the SDL-1A-125 will shrink down smaller than 0.5 inches mean you get an even tighter seal with your cold shrink on half inch cables.

If you’re unsure about what size cold shrink tubing you might need feel free to Contact Us, and a member of the Gamma team will gladly help you find the right model for your application.

Can You Make Cold Shrink in Custom Sizes?

Absolutely.  We have made custom sized cold shrink for varying customers and we can make it in different colors, (including clear).  If you need custom sized cold shrink just reach out to our sales team and they will help figure out the specifics.

Conclusion

Cold Shrink Tubing is an incredible cable protection tool that holds up better to weather and environmental factors than all of its competitors.  We consider silicone cold shrink tubing to be the ultimate outdoor, “set it and forget it” weatherproofing solution.  We also have customers using it indoors in very moist situations where other solutions just have not measuresd up.

Cold Shrink Tubing also has the added benefit of being far easier and safer to install than its competitors.  Say goodbye to heat guns, blow torches, while saying hello to higher voltage ratings and installation consistency.    Our customers have seen install times improve and maintenance costs go down when using Gamma Cold Shrink.  It is for these reasons that Gamma Silicone Cold Shrink has become a top choice for the telecommunications industry, as exemplified by AT&T approving 5 different models of Gamma Cold Shrink.

You will be hard pressed to find a better weatherproofing solution than Gamma Cold Shrink, and you will see the results almost immediately upon using it.

Try Gamma Cold Shrink

Ready to improve your weatherproofing?  Give Gamma Cold Shrink a shot.  Reach out to our sales team at (909) 860-1479, or Contact Us by clicking on the button below.

Learn More About Cold Shrink
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Gamma Cold shrink Frequently Asked Questions
Why Gamma Electronics cold shrink is the best cable protection

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