The contamination test measures the quality factor (Q) of a test sample. The specimen length for the contamination test ranges between 2-4 feet of PVC type jacket, depending upon the diameter of the cable being tested. One end of the specimen is cut square, while the other end is prepared to provide the shortest possible connection to the high terminal of a Q-meter, with the shield connected to a ground terminal. After attaching the specimen, measurements are taken with the Q-meter. This initial change in Q-readings is computed, and if the initial change is less than three when using the specified length, the length is increased. The specimen is then placed in a heat chamber and conditioned at 98ºC for a minimum of 7 days. After the period, the specimen is removed from the heat chamber and left at ambient temperature for a 1 hour minimum. Two more Q-readings are taken, completing the test.
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