So in this section we are going to talk about hints on installing cabling. You know even if you have selected the appropriate cable for your use, which is either going to be Cat 6a or Cat6, there are still a number of mistakes that can be made so I want to dive into that. On the unshielded twisted pair the cable construction is almost always a 24-gauge American Wire Gauge four pair cable although the Category 6a is not 24-gauge. It's a larger conductor and be aware we have seen counterfeit or fake cable and we've seen this mostly in Asia and if you just look at the cable it says Category 6 on the sheath of it but when you, you know, take the sheath off and look at the actual conductor that is inside there's just no way it's a 24 gauge cable. So it's just you know they've cheaped out by using less copper than they should have and they sell it to you for a good price and you get a cable that will not support even probably gigabit ethernet. So make sure that you buy your cable from a reputable cable supply house. Installation mistakes or installation rules: Never install more than 90 meters of cable. And you might say wait wait you talked about 100 meters where we were talking about signaling standards well 90 meters is the maximum cable that you install inside the building and then that gives you 10 meters to have patch cords that plug in in the rack location at your network rack and at the station outlet location to connect up an access point or a computer. So 90 meters maximum is is all you should install. Never allow your cable installer to unsheath more than one centimeter. Termination should always be in jacks. I have seen installations where people have a bunch of wire coming out at a network rack location and they simply crimp RJ-45 plugs on the end and plug it directly into the switch. That is not an appropriate way to do things. It's very difficult to label it. It's very difficult to maintain over time and the wires themselves that you install inside of a building are solid conductor wires and if you move them a lot like you know plug and unplug them, the conductors will actually fail. Patch cords are built with stranded wire but the kind of wire that you buy bulk wire, that you buy to install in in a building is solid conductor. And then labeling is yet another thing that I see people make a lot of mistakes on. So let's take a look at these. So here's some various types of UTP jacks. This happens to be the type of jack that we use at the University of Oregon. We really like these. These are built by a company called Panduit. They're not typical. A more typical jack is this and this is showing which is a 110 termination. The jack on the left we were setting up to do teaching in a workshop and this was in East Africa and we could not get one gigabit to run to the lab even though the switch in the rack down the hall was clearly a one gig switch. We couldn't get one gig to run out to the lab where we were gonna be doing our teaching. So I just took the face plate off the device plate and this is what we saw. On the left, so that's a lot more than one centimeter of unsheathed cable and that's why it would not support gigabit ethernet. Re-terminating those in a proper way like the jack on the right allowed us to get one gigabit out of the switch. We always want to terminate cabling in jack panels. Sometimes they're called patch panels. And this is the front and the rear of a type of patch panel. And again make sure that the jacks are properly terminated. So I've provided a little zoom in of it. It's not actually this rack here. It's a different rack but you can see again: no more than one centimeter unsheathed. And this is the back of the jack panel and in the front of course are jacks. The labeling is super critical and the installer that installed the cable knows which cable goes where and what all you're asking to be done because you're going to require a cable installer to test each cable to verify that it meets the performance specifications of Category 6 or Category 6a, whatever you're installing so they know which end of the wires which we want them to label it. So this is actually I think some terminations and some labeling that I probably personally did. You can see there's a cable plugged into you know my guess is it's jack 3180 even though the cable is plugged, covering that up. Anybody here who can guess what room that is? That jack plate is in, you know it's pretty simple, it's room 370. Then I have a picture of that jack plate on the right hand side. We have a zero-zero-zero-three-E. We encode what building and what rack it is and then you can see the outlets are labeled. So you never have to wonder where a jack is when you're standing at the network rack and you never have to wonder what jack it is because it's labeled appropriately So finally we'll wrap this up. Some common unshielded twisted pair cable tools. The two on the left are absolutely a hundred percent required. So the tone and trace tool and the RJ11 RJ45 cable tester those are required. Everybody should have one. If you're going to install your own cabling then you'd absolutely need a punch tool. If you make your own ethernet patch cables you'll need the crimp tool. We don't necessarily recommend crimping your own patch cables, some people do. But again the tone and trace and the RJ45 cable tester, everybody should have one of those. The punch down tool, probably everybody should have one of those. I would discourage you from making your own patch cords but if you do, you need the crimp tool.

© Produced by Philip Smith and the Network Startup Resource Center, through the University of Oregon.

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