Network Cabling in Hard to Reach Areas

One of the challenges I face when running Ethernet network cables in existing buildings is where to run the wires. In an older or historic structure where you don’t have drop ceiling, this can be a huge challenge. Two tricks I have used in the past might help you solve this networking problem. The first is the more difficult but the nicer-looking solution. It involves removing the shoe molding and then the base molding that runs around the perimeter of the room. You can then usually sneak an Ethernet cable behind the baseboard. Be careful when you reinstall the baseboard that you don’t drive a nail through your network cable. When the job is completed you will need to touch up some paint so be sure you have some matching paint before you start and be sure your client agrees to this solution.

The second option is to use an exterior wire channel or conduit. This is commonly known as wiremold. It comes in a couple of neutral colors and it can be painted to match. If you are only running a few network wires, you may not even have to use screws or nails. Plastic wiremold comes with two-sided sticky tape and it will stick right to the wall.

Friday, September 26th, 2008 Ethernet No Comments

Keep ethernet cables away from large magnetic fields

If you run your own or your company’s network wires and cables, where you place those cables can have a big impact on the performance of your network. There are electrical items that can cause electromagnetic interference that will wreak havoc on the data traveling through your network wiring. One of the biggest culprits of network interference in the data lines is the motor on an air conditioner. The large air conditioning units in offices are particularly bad. They can produce a huge magnetic field which can disrupt network traffic. Another thing to avoid is the fluorescent lighting fixtures that are prevalent in most offices in the United States. The ballasts in the lights can also disrupt network traffic. If you have to run network cables in the ceiling, it is best to use some type of cable hanger to keep the wiring as far away as possible from these sources of interference. Bridle rings are just one device you can use for this purpose. In our excellent ebook, we outline other ways you can achieve the same result.

Friday, September 26th, 2008 Ethernet No Comments

Use Cat6 cabling for future speed enhancements

f you are upgrading your existing wired Ethernet network and you plan on pulling the cable yourself, you need to consider running Cat6 ethernet cable. Cat6 is rated for higher speeds—speeds that we don’t have—yet. With Cat5e cable, you can run network speeds of 1000BaseT, or gigabit Ethernet. You can also run gigabit on Cat6 cable. But, in the future, when we start running 10000BaseT (or terabit Ethernet), more than likely you will need Cat6 or better cabling. Cat5e wires max out at gigabit speeds. So if you are going through all the trouble of pulling cable, you might as well plan for the future. Be aware, though, that Cat6 cable is much more expensive than Cat5e (it can be as much as three times more expensive) and it is more difficult to work with and has much lower tolerances for bad cable runs. So if you are used to running Cat5e and you typically run close to large AC motors, air conditioning units, and fluorescent lighting fixtures, or if you are sloppy with your bed radius on Cat5e, Cat6 cable won’t cut it! If you try to push Cat6, you will get data errors.

Friday, September 26th, 2008 Ethernet No Comments

Learn how to run your own ethernet network wires

If you need to expand your existing wires ethernet network, you are probably inclined to hire an outside consultant to do it for you. But outside network professionals can be expensive and you can save yourself time and money by running the network wires yourself. With easy network wiring, you will be able to run the wires and cables in the wall, install wall plates, and terminate the ends. You will be able to crimp the RJ45 ends on the ends of the patch cables and you will be able to punch down the Cat5 or Cat6 keystone jacks. So you can save yourself or your company a lot of money by learning to run your own network cables.

Friday, September 26th, 2008 Ethernet No Comments