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 cable management

Structured Cabling’s Six Subsystems – Part 2

28 Aug 2017

structured cable management,DCAs mentioned in Part 1, a structured cabling system is a type of open network structure that can be used by data, telephony, access control, building automation, and other systems. Its advantages are operational flexibility and economy. Part 2 will describe each of structured cabling's six subsystems below.

The Six Subsystems

1. Entrance Facilities

Entrance facilities house the protection devices, network demarcation points, cables,  connecting hardware, and other equipment that connect to private network cabling or the access provider. Connections between the inside building and outside plant cabling are included.

2. Equipment Room

Featuring environment control, the centralized area for telecommunications equipment is typically more complex than a telecommunications room. Usually containing the main cross-connect, it may also house the horizontal and intermediate cross-connects.

3. Backbone Cabling

Backbone cabling provides the interconnections between entrance facilities, telecommunications rooms, equipment rooms, etc. Typically, backbone cabling is comprised of fiber optic cables, intermediate and main cross-connects, mechanical terminations, and patch cables utilized for backbone-to-backbone cross-connections.

4. Telecommunications Room

Housing the terminations of backbone and horizontal cables to connecting hardware with patch cords or jumpers, a telecommunications room may also house the intermediate cross connects or main cross connect for different portions of the backbone cabling system. This space is a controlled environment containing telecommunications equipment, connecting hardware, and splice closures.

5. Horizontal Cabling

Extending from the work area’s telecommunications information outlet to the telecommunications room, the horizontal Network Cabling consists of horizontal cables and mechanical terminations, along with the jumpers and patch cords located in the telecommunications room. The system may also incorporate consolidation points and multi-user telecommunications outlet assemblies.

6. Work Area

The work area’s components typically extend from the telecommunications outlet/connector end of the horizontal cabling system to the work area equipment. At least two telecommunications outlets should be installed in every work area. If utilized, multi-user telecommunications outlet assemblies (MUTOAs) are a component of the work area.

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 their clients in the Washington, D.C. and New York City areas. Working together, their cabling teams get cabling installed and operating as fast as possible while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call their toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.

Structured cabling,Network Cabling, Washinton DC

Structured Cabling’s Six Subsystems – Part 1

22 Aug 2017

cable management,Network Cabling,Washinton DcA structured cabling system is a type of open network structure utilized by data, telephony, access control, building automation, and other systems. Its advantages are operational flexibility and economy. A structured cabling system is typically divided into these six subsystems: 1) Entrance Facilities, 2) Equipment Room, 3) Backbone Cabling, 4) Telecommunications Room, 5) Horizontal Cabling, and 6) Work Area.


Structured cabling is the design and installation of a cabling system that can provide support to several hardware use systems, and be suitable for both the needs of the present and the future.

Governed by international standards regarding the wiring of data centers, offices, and apartment buildings for data or voice communications, structured cabling design and installation utilizes several types of cable. These are typically CAT5e and CAT6, along with fiber optic cabling and modular connectors.

Defining methods and specifications for the laying of cabling in various topologies for meeting customer needs, standards typically require the use of a rack-mounted central patch panel from which modular connections can be used as required. Every outlet is then patched into a network switch for network usage or into a PBX (private branch exchange) or IP telephone system patch panel.

The use of color code patch panel cables is common for identifying the type of connection. However, it is not required by structured cabling standards with the exception of the demarcation wall field.

Cabling standards require that all eight conductors of CAT5e, CAT6, and CAT6A cable are connected to discourage "doubling-up" or the use of one cable for both data and voice. However, IP telephone systems are capable of running both telephone and the computer on the same wire.

When copper cabling, CAT5e, CAT6, or CAT6A is used, the maximum distance is 90 meters (98 yards) for the permanent link installation, along with an allowance of 10 meters (11 yards) for patch cords at the combined ends. Both CAT5e and CAT6 are capable of running Power over Ethernet (PoE) applications up to 90 meters. Due to power dissipation, CAT6A performs better and more efficiently.

Part 2 will summarize each of structured cabling's six subsystems.

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 their clients in the Washington, D.C. and New York City areas. Working together, their cabling teams get cabling installed and operating as fast as possible while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call their toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.

Data Cabling, Cat5e Cat6/6a Cabling, Washington DC

New Standards for Cabling and Category 8 Update

20 May 2017

Data Cabling, Cat5e Cat6/6a Cabling, Washington DCThe selection of proper cabling has become more crucial and also more complicated, but the process can be made easier by knowing about the choices available and updates regarding the development of Category 8 (CAT 8).

There are several organizations that determine the standards for cabling, such as the ISO (International Organization for Standardization), IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association), and CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization). However, our discussion will primarily focus on ISO/IEC and TIA.

As its standard calls for 10Gb/s rates of transmission, 10GBASE-T cabling is the fastest in the market. Unable to support 10Gb/s, Category 5e does not receive 10GBASE-T standard recognition.  In addition, advisories by the TIA and ISO/IEC and TIA state that new class E/category 6 cabling should not be installed to support 10GBASE T. As a result, the cabling options for new installations that meet the 10GBASE-T standards for carrying data up to 100 meters are only found in the class EA/CAT 6A, class F/CAT 7, or class FA/CAT 7A.

Regarding data centers that are newly built, ISO, along with other standards organizations, have determined that CAT 6A should be the minimum grade. The task force overseeing IEEE 802.3 40GBASE-T have drafted the baseline objectives for the future 40 Gb/s standard, which is well beyond the capabilities of CAT 6A.

Cabling of a higher category traditionally matches and surpasses the electrical and mechanical standards of what preceded it. In addition, it is backwards compatible. Although TIA calls for cabling systems to perform at CAT 6A minimum, it will not be adopting CAT 7 or 7A as determined by ISO/IEC. TIA is naming its next class of cabling, Category 8, to differentiate it from ISO/IEC standards for CAT 7 and CAT 7A.

Interestingly, the proposed performance for CAT 8 will not be meeting or exceeding CAT 7A standards for up to 1 GHz. For example, regarding parameters for internal crosstalk, CAT 7A is superior to CAT 8 by more than 20 decibels.

Union Network Cabling

When work requires a unionized cabling group, call on Progressive Office Inc. for your commercial Cat5e/6/6a and fiber cabling projects. Specializing in cabling for data, voice, security and even the latest WiFi and LiFi solutions. Phone: (202) 462-4290

structured cabling, Data Cabling, cabling tester

Facts about Data Cable Testing

6 May 2015

structured cabling, Data Cabling,  cabling testerTesting always plays a vital role in the process of installing new cables or servicing existing ones. Regular testers for data cabling include length, wire crimper map, attenuation, return loss, and DC loop resistance.

Complex Cabling Needs

Cabling infrastructure requirements have become more complicated. More standards are being developed for cabling professionals in testing and troubleshooting copper and fiber cables. And there are special requirements as well as downsides in the implementation of new  technologies. From 10BASE-T to 100BASE-TX to 1000BASE-T and now to 10GBASE-T. It is now more crucial to keep in step with the most up-to-date techniques in cable testing too. In short, cable testing infuses a higher degree of assurance that installed cable links will attain the preferred transmission capacity for your data communications.

Cabling Tester Categories

Cable testing instruments have been manufactured with unique features for specific tasks. Costs, performance, and applications vary. These depend on the required functions. The three main functions are certification, qualification and verification. Although certain attributes overlap, each category answers a particular testing prerequisite.

Certification facilitates conformity to standards defines by the industry. These are instruments signal a “Pass” or “Fail” towards data testing compliance within standardized industry norms. These testing instruments will find out whether a cable link conforms to a category or class such as Cat6 or Cat5e. It is the last step required by most structured cabling installers towards approval of a new  installation.

Qualification determines if the existing cable is capable of supporting specific network speeds. This special class of testers is supposed to meet the up-and-coming requirements of network technicians who troubleshoot data networks. These testers perform checks to make a decision on whether a present cable link supports the requirements for fast or gigabit Ethernet. With these instruments, network technicians can identify and isolate cabling issues. While Continuity testers do not perform the series of tests set down by these standards and are not  considered certification tools.

Verification makes sure that cabling connections are correct. This type of tool performs a continuity test. It guarantees all wires in the cabling link have been attached properly to termination points at each end. For twisted pair cabling, there is an appropriate pairing of the wires. Such testing tools also confirm wire pairing and find out installation flaws such as split pairs. These can also help in troubleshooting by working with a toner to pinpoint a certain cabling link. These testing tools do not give out any information regarding bandwidth and data integrity.

If you need your cabling tested or certified, contact us!

Is it Practical to Use Cat6 Cable?

26 Apr 2015

cat 6,structured cabling, Data CablingData volume has grown extensively. Also, the processing capacity to users continues to get grow. Specialists in data management forecast that information production will be 44 times larger in five years with enterprises needing to process and safeguard 80 percent of the new data.

Data Cables

For these reasons, you might need to become more familiar with different types of cabling. There is Category 5 (Cat5) cable but it is only capable of transmitting 1000 megabits data rate per second on an Ethernet network. Transfer of data demands are increasing due to new and more sophisticated applications. That is why many companies prefer to work with Category 6 (Cat6) cables. Cat6 has a maximum data transfer of 10,000 megabits per second. Cat6 is also backward compatible which means your Cat5 connectors will plug i and work (at the lower speeds).

Future Proofing

Cat6 infrastructure guarantees that your system will be relevant well into the future. This allows users to easily cope with any modifications, new features or technological developments. The Cat5 standard has been used for a long time. However, your enterprise needs adequate bandwidth to handle these continuing and future changes. It is not merely a possibility or “let's say” situation. It is to be anticipated as the online experience continues to progress.

Demand for Cat6 escalates as the world-wide web is now offering premium video streams, online applications, highly-responsive and media-heavy portals.  If you decide to upgrade to a more reliable network, consider Cat6 cables. It is fast becoming the new standard in this industry.


Cat 6 is more costly compared to Cat5e cables. On average, we are finding that projects cost about 20-25% more. This is because you are not guaranteed full speed unless all the components operate at gigabit speed. So, you need Cat6 cable, connectors, patch panels and Gigabit switches too. If one part is not rated as gigabit, the network will run at Cat5e speeds. Call or contact us to help you make this decision.

Nevertheless, experts say Cat6 will sooner or later surpass Category 5e.  And the initial upfront costs will pay future productivity gains for many, many years to come.


Directions in Telecommunications and Cabling

3 Apr 2015

 Data Cabling ,Network cabling, DCThe telecommunications industry continues to advance. And bandwidth demands will continue to increase. Meanwhile, conditions to convey considerable amounts of information quickly are changing. Applications including graphic information, technical modeling, video conferencing, and multi-level online databases will certainly increase bandwidth requisites. The bottom line is demand for higher transfer speed for information is expected to rise.

Properties for Cabling Systems

Two principal properties needed for cabling systems are performance and easy installation. Fiber and shielded twisted-pair provide stronger signals compared to Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) although these two lagging in client acceptance. The question is will UTP provide the appropriate bandwidth for modern applications?

Unshielded Twisted Pair

UTP is considered the most prevalent cable worldwide for telecommunications and networking. Cat 5e is the most popular and it long ago replaced coaxial cable which failed to keep up with more dependable and faster networks. UTP is also easy to install, develop and troubleshoot. Unshielded Twisted Pair cabling does not have any foil covering. It depends on twisted pairs inside the cable to prevent electromagnetic interference. UTP is used extensively for local area networking and comparable cabling configurations. Hence, installation is easier and less expensive.

Shielded Twisted Pair

Shielded twisted Pair (STP) features a metallic foil enclosing twisted wire pairs inside the cable. This is the safeguard against electromagnetic intervention which facilitates rapid data transmission. STP functions by drawing electromagnetic interference and counterbalancing this with grounded cabling. The drawback is that if the cable is not grounded correctly it loses the capacity to prevent unnecessary noise. STP is also larger and more sensitive compared to UTP cables. Expert cable installers use this cabling for industrial environments where adjacent equipment emit significant amounts of elctron-magnetic interference (EMI). Actually, UTP and STP can perform well if installed and maintained by efficient cabling providers.

Transmission is Essential

Transmission should be balanced. This is the standard for conduction of data using twisted cabling pairs. Separate protection for balanced twisted pairs is designed to enhance resistance and emission of the communication lines. The shielding method produces a conductive barrier that lessens these electromagnetic waves. It also creates a conduit for conduction so that currents and can pass data through without any obstruction. Shielding can be performed on individual pairs or as one set of pairs.

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns or if you need a free quote on your cabling project.

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

Bad Connectors will Kill your Network

3 Jul 2014

A client was having serious connectivity and network issues. It was a very small business with just a few computers. But as they were working, a couple of the machines were losing their connection to the Internet. The problems and symptoms had been going on for over a year. They would lose Internet connection and they figured out that if they unplugged and replugged the network cable that the connectivity would usually come back. But sometimes, they would have to unplug and plug a few times to get connected. As you could imagine, this was incredibly frustrating for them.

Fortunately, we found and fixed the problem very quickly.

When network connections are flaky we always first look at the cabling and then the hardware and software. And since this was a network-wide problem, we had a strong feeling that they either had a cabling issue or a bad network switch.

In Figure 1, we took a photo of the connector that was going into the modem/router. If you look closely, you can see that the sleeve ends just short of the connector. This is so wrong. The sleeve needs to go inside of the connector so that it provides support and strain-relief to the 4 twisted pairs of wires. The wires would get bent at 90 degrees which changes the impedance and properties of the signal. Figure 2 is the inside of one of the wallplates. As you can see, the wires are untwisted and then punched into the slots for each of the 4-pairs. But they are untwisted too much.There should be no slack in between the sleeve and the connections. So, again, this will greatly reduce the effectiveness of the data transmission.

All cable connections and wallplates were checked and fixed. We cut off the bad connectors and recrimped on new ones. And we reterminated the wallplate. Since then, they have had 100% uptime on the Internet Service.

Are you having network cabling issues? Call 202-462-4290 or click here to contact us.

IT Support,Data Cabling,Atlanta GA

Advantages Of Using Cat6 Cables

22 May 2014

Cat 6Category 6 or Cat 6 network copper cabling is the preferred infrastructure for Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, and Gigabit Ethernet. It has a maximum performance of 250 MHz, or 500 MHz for the more contemporary Cat6a standard. This type of cabling may be utilized for a maximum distance (end to end) of 100 meters, or 55 meters for the 10 GBASE-T networks. Aside from support for higher performance, Cat6 includes more rigid specifications for crosstalk and system noise. Although Cat6 is anticipated to surpass Cat 5 and Cat 5e cabling soon, all three cable varieties are still widely used for network installations.

Fast and Credible Performance

Most IT experts recognize this type of copper cabling for its speedy network performance due to its ability to deliver gigabit data transmission speeds. It has a parallel structure similar to Cat5 and Cat5e. These copper cables have eight wires coiled as one to form four pairs. The major difference is that one pair of the Cat 6 cable wires does not touch the others, so it can produce twice the transmission capacity of the two other models.

It is also backward compatible. The plug and port of Cat6 cable is the same as the 5 and 5e models. Thus, it can be plugged into any outlet that supports these cables. For instance, you can use the Cat 5 connection for a Cat 6 cable although it will not produce the full speed of the Cat 6 cable.

Resistance to Heat and Flexibility

Copper cables are second to silver in terms of effective conductivity, but among non-precious metals, these wires can cope with a broader load of electricity with less need for insulation. Furthermore, copper cabling has more resistance to heat, which eliminates overloading problems. They are impervious to corrosion despite their shiny surface. Copper is also more pliable, so it can be twisted without the risk of splitting. In fact, copper is used in fabricating thick wires for applications where very thin wires are required. It can also be part of an upgrade if you are looking forward to a more optimal network. Copper Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6 are the industry standards for most small to medium sized offices.

There are certain problems that deserve consideration. Such as copper cabling failure in high-performance wiring systems. Users may also need to contend with poor component performance, such as bad cable segments or connectors that do not comply with specifications. However, these problems are frequently the result of human error. So the choice of copper cabling is  still a good one.