Installing and Cabling a Network


Have you ever pondered the glue that binds various computer systems and networks? The ability for computers to connect and transfer data between intranets (internal network) and the internet is made possible by network cable and the corresponding infrastructure (network switches, hubs, demarcation devices). These days, computer networks aren’t the only thing that needs network cabling. Video for security cameras, cable TV, and AV (Audio/Visual) applications can all be transmitted over this medium. In addition to its primary function, network cabling is the control cable for BMS and ACS. Unshielded twisted pair cables, shielded twisted pair cables, fiber optic cables, and coaxial cables are all used for this purpose. Sometimes a network uses only one specific cable type, while others employ various cables. Although wireless systems are gaining popularity, it is essential to remember that they still require network wiring. Network cabling still has two advantages over wireless networks: increased security and dependability.

Learning About Cables

Knowing the different types of cables and how they function is a prerequisite to comprehending cable networking. The size, topology, and network protocol all impact the type of cable that should be utilized. The most popular types of network cables are as follows:

Many Ethernet networks employ a cable configuration known as an unshielded/shielded twisted pair. The cable contains four individual sets of two wires each. A thick plastic barrier along the cable keeps each pair separate from the others. We twist each pair of wires to prevent signals from interfering with other devices on the network. To further prevent mutual interference, the pairs are twisted at irregular intervals. Because of its exterior shielding, the shielded twisted pair is ideally suited for usage in environments with high electromagnetic interference (EMI) levels, such as mechanical space. Options are now limited to the 5e, 6A, and seven categories. The maximum allowable horizontal length for twisted pair cable is 295 feet. There is a wide variety of uses for twisted pair cables. In addition to the commonplace station cabling used for PCs and VOIP phones, other standard network devices include wireless access points, network cameras, access control, and building maintenance software. When this cable is utilized, network failures occur much less frequently than they do with other cables.

Fiber optic cable is typically used for long-distance connections and increasingly for local connections (see FIOS). When I say “backbone cable,” I mean the wires that run from one “Telecommunication Room” to another within the same building. Fiber optic cable’s massive broadband capacity enables it to transmit a great deal of data quickly and efficiently. Unlike copper wire, fiber cables can transmit data over long distances (hundreds of meters). There are numerous layers of protective coating on fiber optic cables since they work so hard and the information goes so far. Instead of carrying electricity, fiber optic cables convey light. Power consumption is drastically reduced by using fiber optic cable instead of high-speed copper. Fiber optic cable is your best bet when you need fast, dependable connectivity.

The coaxial cable installation is often under the purview of a contractor specializing in network cabling. The TV outlets in your wiring area will use a coax cable. At the entry point, the service provider will leave the exterior cable. The contractor will install an extension (often RG-11) to the room’s telecom closet. A splitter is where each station’s line (RG-6) will end before connecting to the main cable. Copper is used for the conductor in the core of this type of cable, and a plastic sheath separates the conductor from the metal shield. The coating on this cable can be of varying thicknesses. The coating’s thickness determines its flexibility. Coax cables can be terminated in several different ways. There are three distinct forms of terminations: compression, crimp, and twist-on. If compression procedures are followed correctly, they are the most effective strategy. Crimp terminations are likewise secure but necessitate a specialized tool depending on the connector type. In my opinion, twist-ons are too problematic and unreliable to be recommended. The RCA connector, the mini-BNC connector, and the F connector are all examples of coax connectors.

Parts of a Network Cabling System

Patch panel – This is the panel in the Telecom Room where all station wires connect. Telecommunications racks can be installed on the wall or the floor. Patch panels typically have between 24 and 72 ports. Different designs exist, including angled and straight options. It is possible to terminate jacks and snap them into an empty panel, or the 110-type pins can be attached to the back of the panel.

When a cable ends at the base station, it is plugged into a data jack. The jacks are interchangeable and snap into a faceplate with one to eight available ports. Both the 568A and 568B pinouts are supported for data jack termination. It’s best to double-check the pinout with the client or the designer.

The termination of a network cable is typically fitted with an RJ-45 connection. These plugs have space for eight pins. A wireless access point is typically where you’ll see an RJ 45 connector. The RJ 45 has a male plug that would fit into the WAP’s corresponding port.

Network access can be transmitted wirelessly via access points. They are usually affixed to the roof or wall. A wireless survey should be conducted to find the optimal spots for WAPs. Contrary to common opinion, wireless devices still require access to a wired network.

J-Hooks, or cable supports, are a common type of these. You can install cable supports in the ceiling to keep your cable bundles from sagging. It is recommended that the primary path cable supports be attached to the concrete deck ceiling. J-hooks may no longer be affixed to the ceiling, walls, pipes, or other fixed installation components.

Wire ManagersA wire manager is a device that organizes patch connections between a patch panel and a switch. They play a crucial role in a Telecommunications Room by maintaining order. When I’m all done with a brand-new, gorgeous installation, it bugs me when the IT department comes in and doesn’t use the wire management. The job’s overall appearance is ruined. Not only that, but it’s a poor example to establish for future Telecommunications Rooms.

Firestop Sleeves – Firestop sleeves are crucial to any modern network cabling installation. Drilling holes in drywall and running cables through them is so last century. A firestop sleeve must be installed whenever a wall or barrier is broken on a construction site. There are specialized items available for this purpose. Both EZ Path and Hilti provide high-quality variants, and they come in a range of sizes. Installing an EMT pipe sleeve through the wall is also possible if you use firestop putty or silicone to fill any gaps in the wall. In the event of a fire, this can prevent injuries and save property.

Each cable and its endpoint should be clearly labeled. Setting up, maintaining, and fixing the system is simplified by this. A professional would use computer-generated labeling for everything. These days, handwritten labels are just out of the question.

Setup of Network Cables

A Registered Communication Distribution Designer (RCDD) recognized by the Building Industry Certification System (BICSI) should create the installation plans for network cabling. There are some things to think about.

What kind of cabling system will be set up – A solutions manufacturer must be chosen by either the cabling supplier or the end user. Some more specific brands include Siemon, Leviton, Ortronics, and Panduit. There needs to be a discussion about the cabling option used. Network cables made of copper can be of the Cat 5e, Cat 6, Cat 6A, or Cat 7 variety. It will also be essential to discuss and select the racks, data jacks, faceplates, patch panels, and wire management that will be used. Depending on the manufacturer and the desired style, this may take some time.

Where the server racks and other network hardware are situated – Their storage space is known as a data room, telco room, or telecommunications room, often abbreviated as an MDF (Main Distribution Frame). The maximum distance that any cable can run is 100 meters. A second Telecommunications Room will be required if the length of the cable lines exceeds 100 meters. Also known as an IDF or an intermediate Distribution Frame. Fiber optic backbone cable between the IDF and MDF is a common requirement. The MDF is where the street-level feed from the service provider will be stored and used to power the network. Access control and security devices are also commonly seen here. Having a central location for all the low-voltage systems is a more practical layout. Count the cables you’ll need, and then measure the equipment and rack space needed. Think about air conditioning, electrical panels, and access control systems. The space must be large enough to house all of the necessary devices.

The routing of cable trunks in the ceiling space – Cable routes should avoid electrical light fixtures and other potential EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference) sources. For future cable runs and maintenance, keep cable pathways in easily-reached locations of the ceiling. Cables should enter rooms at sweeping 90-degree angles, and all routes should run over hallways and corridors. All openings in a firewall must be sealed off with a firestop sleeve or putty. Take care not to stretch wires beyond their bend radius when pulling them. The tests will fail because of this. DO NOT secure wires to the ceiling or sprinkler system. They should be knotted every 5 feet on horizontal runs and even more frequently on vertical ones. Anchoring J-hooks into the concrete deck above is a must. When you’re done running cable, use Velcro wraps every five feet to make neat bundles.

Double-check that each cable label corresponds with its numbered location on the floor plan when finishing network cabling. Put the offending cable to one side to be “toned out” later if necessary. If you want a clean cut without nicking the copper conductors inside the cable, use a tool designed for stripping and cutting cables. Each pair of wires should be twisted as tightly as possible to the connector pins. Doing so eliminates the possibility of a Return Loss or NEXT failure. Find out if the pinout will be 568A or 568B before you begin the terminations. This is crucial since it will dictate the sequence in which the conductors are spliced. Each cable must have a tidy and consistent jacket. The technician performing the terminations will benefit from the project manager creating a termination chart of the patch panels. Each cable’s labeled termination point is displayed, as is the rear of the patch panels.

There are a variety of cabling testers available for use when inspecting your network’s wiring. The Fluke DTX-1800 Cable Analyzer is our go-to for testing cables. This is a fantastic resource. Each tested cable will be listed in the comprehensive report. The wiretap, insertion loss, NEXT, PSNEXT, ACR-N, and insertion loss tests are only a few of the many that are run. The problem-solving abilities of these modern testers are their greatest strength. The Fluke can pinpoint the exact location of a damaged cable and identify which conductor is the source of the problem. If you mistake and improperly terminate a pair, the tester will inform you which pair and end to check. The Fluke checks for problems but doesn’t repair them. The majority of customers demand evidence of successful testing. The new testers will send the updated PDF files, including the test results. These can be sent by electronic mail to the customer.

With any luck, you’ve learned something new about network cabling systems from this manual. Since this is a dynamic industry, we must always learn new things to provide our customers with cutting-edge cabling solutions. Feel free to share your thoughts, ideas, and questions here. Join our email list to receive updates on the industry and hear about our collective experiences in the cabling field. You will also be the first to know about upcoming discounts on training products. Your help is greatly appreciated.

If you’re looking for help with network cabling installation or want to read some helpful evaluations of cabling tools and equipment, you should check out [].

Read also: How to Share a High-Speed Internet Connection Among Several Computers.