Steps for Upgrading Your Company’s Cabling – Part 1
Most Effective Tips for Network Upgrades – Part 2
Future Proof Your School With 6 Cabling Strategies – Part 2
How Improper Cabling Causes Network Issues – Part 1
Your employees are dissatisfied by their company’s network performance, and it is affecting their productivity. A number of factors must be taken into consideration. How many users are attempting to use resources simultaneously? Have you taken into account how much the use of devices has grown? Is your network equipment sufficient to meet demand? Answering the above questions will help, but network issues may be directly related to your company’s structured cabling.
In many instances, the age of your structured cabling system may be responsible for poor network performance. 15-year-old cabling may have met standards when it was installed, but now it may be unable to handle the ever increasing network traffic needs of your company.
An internet service provider (ISP) provides the cable that provides the connection from your company’s network to the internet. When this backbone component fails to meet today’s bandwidth standards, bottlenecks may occur.
In situations where you are attempting to operate at speeds that are too high or carry excessive bandwidth via a cable that not rated for the capacity, it will be noticeable to users and their productivity will decline, hampering business operations.
Quality of Cabling
Cabling manufacturers rate their cables in terms of capability and performance. For example, CAT6 and CAT6a cabling have different capabilities, CAT being an abbreviation for category. A manufacturer must meet the performance standards set by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) for each category of cabling.
Cabling that exceeds minimum standards will attain higher network speeds without having to upgrade your cabling. In contrast, for cabling that only meets the minimum standards, the company network speed will be unable to expand much beyond the rating of the cable.
It is helpful to understand cable standards and ratings. Even though a cable is labeled Category 6A, it is not automatic that it meets the minimum performance standards of this category. The brand name and manufacturing quality will play a big role in the cable’s output.
Part 2 will discuss Compatibility, Patch Cords, and Poor Installation.
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., Atlanta, Pittsburgh and New York City areas. Efficiently working together, Progressive teams get cabling installed and operating as fast as possible while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call our toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.
Typical Installation Mistakes of Network Cabling – Part 2
As discussed in Part 1, network cabling installation errors may result in long-term problems and high costs. They can be avoided by following standard structured cabling practices. Continuing with the discussion of typical network cabling installation mistakes, Part 2 will cover Ignoring Regulations, No Testing, and Skimping On Labor.
There are codes, laws, and ordinances that regulate low voltage cabling, and they vary, depending on the municipality, city, and state. Experienced professionals who install network cabling are knowledgeable about the applicable requirements and how to complete a project to code. When the fire marshal or building inspector determines laws were broken or wiring is not up to code, a company can be penalized with large fines and required to remove and reinstall cabling if it is a fire hazard.
When network cabling is installed, each cable should undergo testing. This should also involve the verification of a cable’s length and specifications. This process is crucial because it will confirm whether or not the network satisfies project specifications. The data also provides a basis for future testing and troubleshooting, along with supporting any warranty claims.
Skimping On Labor
Considering how important the network cabling installation is to the future, cutting corners in the hiring of cabling installers is unwise. It is crucial to always verify the qualifications and licensing of the cabling installation company you are considering. Make the time and effort to check each reference that is provided. This may save your company time, money, and problems if you avoid working with an outfit that provides substandard services support. Request the contact information of previous customers who had projects similar to yours and get their opinions before making a commitment. Finding an installer that is the right fit for your project is the first step for ensuring a successful network cabling installation.
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 teams get cabling installed and operating as fast as possible while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call our toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.
What is Certification and is it really necessary?
Environmental Problems with Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat6A Cable
Cable must be installed so that external environmental factors do not have an effect on the performance of the network. Problems can occur at the patch panel punch down, at the wall plate jack and anywhere along the cable itself. Maybe an inadvertent kink is in the cable. Or there is a snag in the cable as it got pulled across a rough surface in the rafters above the drop ceiling. Or maybe the cable got too close to an electric line. Any one of these issues can degrade the performance of an individual cable.
There are two basic kinds of testing that is performed during the installation of cabling:
- Continuity Testing
Continuity Testing is a test to insure that the wires in the connectors at the faceplate and at the patch panel are connected up correctly. There are 4 pairs of wires and each wire is color-coded. So, as the technician is connecting everything, a particular sequence is required. If a wire is connected in the wrong order, the cable will fail. This is a basic wire-mapping test. If this test fails, the connector and wires are re-examined and re-terminated. All of our cable installations include continuity testing.
But the only way to insure and guarantee full speed to every cable is to do Certification Testing on each cable.
Certification Testing is a performance test that utilizes a precision device that sends a signal from one end of the cable to the other. This test is the only way to test the data-carrying capacity of each cable. For example, Cat6A cable is rated to run at 10G/sec. But if you have an issue, the cable will work but it might be running at a slower speed. It passes the continuity test but it's not performing at 100%. Certification will find the fault, pin-pointed to its exact location so that our technician can fix it, retest it and fully certify it as 100% top-speed rated.
The Fluke DSX-5000 is a very expensive test device that we employ to test and certify our cabling jobs. It costs about an extra $10 per cable to get everything tested and certified. But without this test, we can't guarantee top speeds throughout your network. And, considering that most cabling projects have a useful lifespan of 15 - 20 years, this investment upfront is very cost-effective. It means you will have full speed to every device for the entire lifetime of your cabling infrastructure.
Certification includes a PDF report showing every cable and the test results.
Do you have an upcoming cabling project?
Cable Basket Trays – Uses and Benefits
Cable basket trays are described as go-to solutions for routing and supporting numerous cable runs. The wired frame enhances air circulation and cable ventilation. This can be appropriate beneath desks, elevated floors, or hanging tray systems. You can assemble basket trays for intersections, horizontal sections, mounting braces, hardware, and tray cutters.
The cable basket tray made of welded steel wires is considered the most popular support for copper and data cabling. The basket is light-weight and easy to install with complete array of cable tray accessories. Solid basket trays are recommended for heavier wires. These baskets are fabricated to withstand natural elements. Although the material is not solid steel, it is capable of protecting cables from corrosion and last longer.
Cable Distribution and Management
The cable basket makes possible efficient dispersal and management of cables. This process is accomplished by arranging cables inside the basket trays instead of pulling them through pipe lines. The act of yanking is certainly harder and time-consuming rather than using baskets. Laying down wires in the basket take only minimal time and ensures that cables are distributed evenly around the structure.
The baskets can be stretched along the building just like pipes. However, baskets are open facilitating easier access to the cables. At the same time, it provides sufficient protection to the network cabling system. Cable baskets are lighter with easier functions compared to trays which are quite bulky. Technicians can finish more installations in one day because of fast installation.
Incidentally, it is important to make sure that cable trays should be installed as an inclusive system. The tray should be complete with all the supports mechanisms, fasteners, guards, connections, flexible vertical and horizontal spice plates. You have to mount cable trays so the joints will be accessible for inspection and modification. Support systems are needed so the distance does not go beyond the required measurements. Install intermediary support devices in case the weight of the cable is more than tray rungs’ load capacity.
Erect supports from channel members, twisted rods and other accessories provided by the cable tray manufacturer. Organize the supports in bar or wall-bracket models as called for by the application. Make sure to take away sharp border s from cable trays. You can attach the tray to the spice pates but use square neck-carriage bolts and self-locking nuts. The cable tray should support the building structure. Finally, mount the cable trays with sufficient space to allow access for the installation of network cables.
Cable Network Trays as Support Systems
Cable trays for networks are support systems that can be mounted on walls or hang up from ceilings. The trays are fabricated from aluminum or steel. These come in deepness of 2, 3, 4 and 6 inches. There are also multiple designs like trough (single rail), ladder, basket, and wire-mesh. The single rail is designed either with single or several options.
Types of Trays
The solid bottom trays support delicate cables. On the other hand, the center spine model is made up of a central support mechanism supporting the cable with the tray dangling from rods. This tray is important to the data communications market. The single-rail variety mounted on the wall is similar to center-spine. However, the treads can be found only on one side. Wire way is a system that is fully enclosed and provides no access to cabling inside.
Locations where cabling trays are required as well as cable types these carry have evolved during the last two decades. Cable trays are installed not only in power plants and paper mills but also in government facilities, schools and call centers. Certain manufacturers supply product categories produced for installation with uncommon requirements. For instance, the cable tray should be very robust so it can link a span of 30 feet between support systems. The short span variety supports four to five feet or limited space requirements of newly-installed components. Problems are resolved by using different types of cable trays.
The key to this is careful product selection since a single tray will not fit into all requirements. This offers the perfect solution. The main consideration is there are various instruments in the tool box of cable trays. You only need to match up each application for the ideal solution. Right now, there is an increasing need for big-sized trays so it will be possible to add more able in the future.
Modern installations entail manufactured support systems that can effectively hold both Category 5 and 6 cables. While cable performance becomes more efficient, cable and connector makers are also offering warranties for their performance. Along this line, the appropriate cable tray is needed so that cable performance will not be adversely affected by improper cable management.
What are the Benefits?
Contemporary cable trays have multiple benefits. These include the capacity to carry heavy weights. Installation is also faster and less complicated with reduced fitting time. Fixtures like risers, reducers and bends may be built on site. The applications have also expanded to several sectors such as industrial, infrastructure, commercial, food, and data hubs.
Things to Avoid in Running Network Cabling
What can cabling that has not been installed properly do?
It can lead to a lot of negative outcomes such as paralyzed network performance, maintenance troubles and hidden costs. Network cabling can be especially troublesome if it is installed by individuals without the proper knowledge and tools. When it comes to twisted pair cabling, there are many factors that you need to consider.
In the past, many companies installed different cable systems since twisted pair cabling was expensive. At present, full installation is still costly although a greater part of the expense is labor since raw cables is not pricey. Cable management is another concern. Use of ladder racks means additional cost but it reduces upkeep. Also be sure you label cables and to make use of color codes.
Unshielded twisted pairs are more practical in terms of usage. Magnetic fields are produced by low voltages that pass through your cables. This is a vital property of the communications cycle. And if you run unshielded cables along with electrical wires, the magnetic field can be interrupted. The communications becomes corrupted or noisy. You can expect that transmissions will not make it from one point to the other. Another possibility is that transmission rates will become slower. The cables should be perpendicular with electrical lines instead with the electric wires inside of shielded tubes at cross points.
Do not attempt to run cable alongside fixtures that create “noise”. Fluorescent lamps, motors and devices that generate electrical or magnetic interference will distort your cabling infrastructure. Install a data cable conduit that will create a buffer from these hazards. Also figure out the total distance of each cable. This is usually up to 100 meters. However, if cabling data rates reaches 10 to 40 GBPs, be attentive about distance restrictions related to the kind of cabling you plan to use. If you will run 10 GBPs for a maximum of 100 meters over twisted pair cabling, it is best to use Category 6 cabling.
Be aware of local codes.
This is important for safety concerns. In many areas, using PVC-covered cables is not allowed in air-handling spaces. When PVC burns, there is toxic emission that may prove dangerous to firefighters and other safety personnel who will try to navigate the location during emergencies. Failure to follow rules can lead to fines and forced replacement of cabling infrastructure. Contractors must be mindful of these regulatory standards.