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    Ultra ULT31434 Connector Kit
    Author: jonnyGURU
    Date Posted:24/11/2004
    SLRating: SLRating: 7/10
    Bottom Line: SLCentral reviewed the Ultra ULT31434 13-piece ZipCord Laptop Connector Kit. If you need RJ11, USB and Firewire cables plus adapters to fit many connections then maybe its for you. Although it could come in handy there are risks as JonnyGuru found out.

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    Contents

    RJ-11 Cable:

    This cable unzips to 50". This can be used to connect your laptop's modem to a telephone jack. I found that this cable is a little on the short side. If you're in a hotel and plugging your laptop into the data port on the side of the phone, the length is fine. But if you're trying to plug your modem, which we'll say is up on a desk, into a wall plate which is typically only two feet from the floor, it's almost too short.

    Personally, I was looking forward to using this item because I currently work for a telephone vendor and often times we have phone cords wrapped around the telephone desksets that were carry around with us to test and program phone systems. I figured that an RJ-11 ZipCord would be much neater and handier than a 6 foot cable wound up around a phone. Unfortunately, only the center pair of wires are terminated to the ends of the cable, so the ZipCord could be used with digital phone systems, but not key systems that require two pair: One pair for voice and one pair for data. To Ultra's credit, they never advertised this device to be RJ14 compatible. For me to expect the RJ11 ends to have four wires terminated to them would be me having high expectations. But when the actual cable is a four wire cable and the RJ11 ends have four contacts on them, I wouldn't have thought that terminating all four wires to the end would be a big deal.

    RJ-45 Cable:

    Like the RJ-11 cable, this cable also unzips to 50". This can be used to connect your laptop to a network. Again, if your network jack is up on the desk, as it is in 90% of the hotels I've been to, then there's no problem with the cable's length. If the data jack is on the wall, there may be issues. On-site, this cord proved handy for making temporary patches on a patch panel when no other unused patch cables were available. Thank you.

    On a side note, this cable does not work in place of an RJ11, RJ12 or RJ14 because only the Tx and Rx pairs are terminated.

    Stereo Headset with Microphone:

    This cable unzips to 60.5". Use this in any device with a 1/8" headset and phono jack. The cable is plenty long enough, and the microphone is in just the right position to pick up my voice, without being in the way. It is obvious to me that these headphones were engineered for voice use and not to listen to music as nothing lower than 300 Hz could be heard, making music sound very tinny. The ear-buds are more comfortable than your typical $10 ear-buds, but after prolonged use, the insides of my ears started to hurt.

    USB Male "A" to Mini 5-pin Cable:

    This one unzips to 31.5". Use this cable to connect a number of USB devices, such as digital cameras, etc. to your typical PC USB port (USB "A" Female.) This cable is required to use the below mouse.

    USB Three-Button Optical Scroll Mouse:

    The package says this is a two-button mouse. I guess Ultra didn't realize that the scroll wheel pushes down and clicks a third button. After using the aforementioned Male "A" to Mini 5 cable, I could plug the mouse right into my USB port and begin using it.

    The mouse is small without being too small, can be used either left or right handed and has a nice rubberized feel to it. It aeems to work very well and is easy to clean (the whole mouse comes apart with one screw.) As with most any optical mouse, it doesn't work well on some surfaces where light is easily reflected, such as a glass coffee table.

    Firewire 6-pin Male to Male Cable:

    This cable and the below USB "A" Male to Female cable are the longest of the kit. Measuring in at 59" long, yes the cable is nearly 5 feet long! I couldn't find a reason to plug in a Firewire device 5 feet from my computer, but it's nice to know that if I wanted to, I could.

    The cable has a 6-pin connector on both sides. I was thinking that having a 6-pin on one side and a 4-pin on the other would make more sense because MOST Firewire devices use the mini 4-pin connector and MOST computers have a 6-pin Firewire connector, unless you're using a laptop. I found myself ALWAYS using at least one of the below adapters to adapt one of the 6-pins down to a 4-pin and often using both adapters if I had to plug something into my laptop. Not a big deal, but sort of a clunky end result.

    Firewire 6-pin to 4-pin Adapter:

    There are two of these adapters included in the kit. These were necessary for plugging my Firewire devices into my laptop using the above 59" cable as my laptop and Firewire devices only have a 4-pin Firewire port.

    USB "A" Male to Female Cable:

    This is the other long cable in the kit. This makes sense as it's most functional as a USB extension cable being that it has one male end and one female end. You can add another 5 feet of distance between your PC and your mouse. You can plug your memory stick into your computer from 5 feet away. I'm sure you can find a use for this cable.

    USB "A" Male to "B" Male Adapter:

    This adapter can be used to convert a Female "A" connector to a Male "B" connector which is good because it makes the above 59" USB "A" Male to Female Cable into a USB "A" to "B" cable, which is how about 90% of USB devices hook up to a PC.

    USB "A" Male to Mini 4-pin Adapter:

    This adapter adapts the "A" Male to Female cable into an "A" to Mini 4-pin cable. This is good for some devices, like certain digital cameras and MP3 players, that take the really small USB Mini 4-pin connector.

    USB "A" Male to Mini 5-pin Adapter:

    Use this adapter on the "A" Male to Female cable and now you have TWO "A" Male to mini 5-pin cables, only one is 31.5" and the other is 5 feet!

    USB "A" Male to Male Adapter:

    Someone, not me, could use this to convert a male to female cable into a male to male cable or plug to male to female cables together to make one long male to male cable. No, really.

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