cable, installation, cabling, Washington D.C.

Ethernet Crossover Cable Basics

24 Jan 2018

cable, installation, cabling, Washington D.C.The crossover cable connects two Ethernet network devices to each other. They were invented for temporarily supporting host-to-host networking when a network router or another intermediary device is not available. Although crossover cables appear the same as a standard straight-through (patch) Ethernet cable, their internal wiring structures are different.



Straight Through vs. Crossover


A straight-through cable is used for connecting two different kinds of devices, such as a network switch to a computer. In contrast, a crossover cable is for connecting two devices that are identical.


The straight-through cable’s ends can be wired in any manner, but both ends must be identical. This is different from the crossover cable’s internal wiring, which reverses the signals for receiving and transmitting. The first and third wires and the second and sixth wires are crossed.


High-quality Ethernet crossover cables have special markings which allow users to distinguish them from straight-through cables. They are often red in color and the word "crossover" will appear on its casing and packaging.



Crossover Cable Needs


Crossover cables came into use during the 1990s and 2000s because the most common types of Ethernet were unable to support direct cable connections between hosts. Intended for using specific wires for both receiving and transmitting signals, the original and Fast Ethernet standards required the communication of two endpoints through an intermediary device to avoid conflicts.


The Ethernet feature MDI-X has auto-detection for the prevention of signal conflicts, enabling the Ethernet interface to automatically determine and negotiate the expected signaling convention of the device at the other end of the cable. The majority of home broadband routers and Gigabit Ethernet adopted MDI-X.


As a result, crossover cables are only necessary for the connection of two Ethernet client devices if they are not configured for Gigabit Ethernet. Nowadays, Ethernet devices are compatible with crossover cables because they can automatically detect them.



Ethernet Crossover Cables Usage


Crossover cable usage should be limited to direct network connections. When a user tries connecting a computer to an antiquated router or network switch via a crossover cable rather than a standard cable, the link can be prevented from working.



Progressive Office Cabling


Founded in 1986, Progressive Office’s success has been a direct result of years of commitment to seeking solutions on behalf of our clients in the Washington, D.C. and New York City areas. Efficiently working together, Progressive Office teams get cabling installed and operating as fast as possible while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call our toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.

Structured Cabling,Office Cabling

Cabling Pointers for Effective Data Center Management

5 Feb 2015

Structured Cabling,Office Cabling,datac enterThe data center supports the lifeblood of corporate enterprises. Communications stop due to the malfunction of this facility. Unfortunately, multiple issues can affect the data hub and incorrect cabling can be one of them. Planning is the key to boosting the efficiency of data center cabling.



 Here are some things to consider:



  1. Measure cables with care. Otherwise, you produce a twisted “rat's nest” and an unnecessary waste of money.

  2. Put a label on both tips of your cables which include patch and short runs. This will be useful if you need to test a cluster of circuits. It will not be confusing if you unplug several patch cables. You know where each single cable is connected. The marking system must be consistent at all times.

  3. Never rush on termination of cables. And redo in cases where cables lose connectivity. Avoid purchasing and using cheap products. You will end up spending more in the long-term.

  4. Test the cables first and make sure it passes the mark for continuity.  If not, you have to do it all over again. And always use a high-quality tester to avoid unwarranted work.

  5. Patch cables must be kept short. Remember that rack servers are only one foot away from each other. Patch cables with a length of three feet are definitely not appropriate. Combine testing and terminating capabilities to make sure that patch cables connect accurately. Additional lengths will cause a lot of twisting.

  6. Come up with a color coding technique. A single color is ideal for patch cables and cable runs. However, it is possible to utilize specific color cables for specific purposes. Avoid random colors. It will be easier to follow cable functions and resolve problems if your color has a purpose. Blue for data, white for voice is a common standard.

  7. Your design must be cable-friendly. Do not put a rack in a place where it is not possible to run your cable effectively. You may end up with cables dropping from the ceiling or scattered on the floor. Expansion should also be in your planning so you know when and how to make adjustments.

  8. Separate electric wires from Cat5/6 cables. Power lines can distort communications. The effects will be to have connection and data transmission issues that can result in data corruptions.

  9. Be careful about excessive temperature. Make sure that the cables are cool and not hot since this can result in cabling decomposition. The data center should be designed in a way that servers and networks are always at a comfortable temperature.


If you need help in designing your structured data cabling system, please feel free to call or contact us. We do free cabling site proposals.

Network cabling, cables,shielding

About Ethernet Cables and Data Shielding

7 Dec 2014

Network cabling, cables,shieldingThe Ethernet network cable connects devices on a LAN (local area network) such as personal computers, switches and routers. These cables are typically Cat5 and Cat6. These cables provide the infrastructure that connects the PCs, printers, router/modem and other peripherals to a switch. The cables are made up of stranded or solid copper wires. Stranded wires are not as susceptible to fractures but are more difficult to terminate. Solid Cat5/Cat6 also is less susceptible to electrical interference. These shielded cables are made up of braided strands of copper wrapped in a polymer layer and spiral copper tape. The shield is applied across the splices.


An Ethernet cable can be compared to an electrical power cord in that it can only extend a limited distances because of the electrical transmission properties. Meanwhile, wireless technologies (Bluetooth and Wi-Fi or local wireless technology) have enhanced the reach of Ethernet in residential and enterprise networks. The standard Ethernet cable consists of four coiled pairs that terminate at the eight pins of the clipped connector or "RJ45" at both ends of  a cable. At the wallplate is simply the female end of the same connector. The cable is made up of unshielded (UTP) or shielded twisted-pair (STP) cabling.


Shielding is not selected automatically during installations. The answer is, it affords the protection required for certain environments although there are also some downsides. One is mass. The single-shielded cable made of Ethernet weighs approximately 12 percent more than the unshielded cable. The double-shielded version is roughly 30 percent heavier. You may be putting together dozens or perhaps hundreds of individual shielded twisted-pair cables along  a  ladders tray above the ceiling, under a floor, or at the back of panels. The aggregate weight of these cables can collapse the mounting bracket.


Cable flexibility is also an important issue. Take care when you pull the cables through  conduits. The cable shielding can make installation more difficult. The sole foil shield can crack while the sharp boundaries of the shield can scrape the insulation of individual wires. This can cut the wire and cause data transmission issues.



What are the shielding options?


You have a number of shielding choices in for your Ethernet network. The single-shielded cable has the lightest protection. Double-shielded cables contain a foil and plate shield. It can ensure better protection against electromagnetic or radio frequency interference and reduce issues related to cable relocation. High-flex industrial cables are fabricated and protected for uninterrupted applications. These have special jacket materials to address industrial and outdoor concerns.

Network Cabling Data Cabling

Fundamentals of Structured Cabling Systems

15 Nov 2014

structured cabling,  Network Cabling, Data CablingThe structured cabling system is a comprehensive structure of wiring and the related hardware involved. This system ensures a complete and reliable telecommunications infrastructure. This network has several  but mostly for providing telephone services or conveyance of data over a  computer network. This type of cabling system also connects to the internet at the demarcation point.



A quality structured cabling installation has these common elements:



  • It must fir the architectural configuration of the building that hosts  cabling installation

  • It made up of cable and connection fixtures

  • It connects equipment that cabling is setup to support

  • Can be designed to enable retrofitting and upgrading

  • Meets the objectives and requirements of the business

  • Is backed by a guarantee by the manufacturer and the installer


As installers, we use standardized techniques in the completion and upkeep of cabling systems. This is important to guarantee satisfactory system performance on a technically complicated infrastructure. The benefits of adhering to these standards are that they insure stability of connectivity after setup.



 Structured cabling installations may include:



  • Entrance facilities

  • Perpendicular and horizontal backbone conduits or cables

  • Horizontal lanes

  • Work area facilities

  • Equipment areas

  • Telecommunications racks and cabinets


A cabling connector refers to the mechanical device used in connecting a cable to a device or from one cable to another. The connector provides the coupling device that can minimize losses.  For fiber, it permits light signals to move from one connector to another. On the other hand, copper enables electrical impulses to be conveyed. It is important to properly align these  connectors to prevent connectivity breaks. Likewise, it should insure the efficient transmission of data. Connectors are crucial to the reliability of the total telecommunications network.


There are six subsystems in the structured platform. These are entrance facilities, equipment rooms, backbone cabling, telecommunication rooms and enclosures, the cabling, and the work area.  The first consists of cables, network boundary, hardware for connection, security devices, and equipment attached to the network cabling. Backbone cabling consists of subsystems that provide inter-connection between telecommunication, network equipment and access facilities.  Quite often these are the higher speed cabling components such as Cat6 and fiber that connect among the switches of an office.


Horizontal cabling connects from the desktops and phones to the telecommunications rooms and enclosures. The maximum horizontal cable length should be at no more than 100 meters. These desktop components extend out from the wall plate connection end of the horizontal cabling system to the equipment in the wall closet.


Call us if you need troubleshooting or if you have a need for cabling at your office due to expansion or relocation of your firm. We do free on-site surveys and quotes.

Network Cabling, Data Cabling ,Cat5e ,Cat6/6a Cabling

RJ-45 Connectors Made Easy

18 Apr 2013
 Network Cabling, Data Cabling ,Cat5e, Cat6/6a CablingWhat is the difference between a Cat5 and a Cat6 RJ45 connector?

The easy answer is:  they are both cable connectors with a standard network plug and socket, often called an “Ethernet jack”.

Cat 5 and Cat 6 are UTP, or Unshielded Twisted Pair cables.  The difference defines the cables as Category (Cat) 5 or Cat 6 UTP cable. Both are terminated by RJ45 connectors.
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