Structured cabling installation is preferred by companies or individuals seeking an affordable and high speed solution. While most structured cabling solutions are not as fast as fiber optic, the technology is more affordable and accessible in most instances. Consider how structured cabling can improve your network connections and productivity within the company.
Process When Performing Structured Cabling Installation
Structure cabling installation is easiest in a home that is being built because installers have more access to the interior of the walls to actually run the wiring. To begin the process, follow these steps:
- Develop a Plan. The plan should include: A layout of the floor plan, positions of each wall outlet and type, list of structured wiring materials needed, location of every low voltage service, type of panel and location of main panel.
- Install Mud Rings. Installations performed during the building stages will require the installation of mud rings and rough in-wiring. The mud rings should be installed with nails or screws at the same level as the power outlets.
- Route the Cable. Do not route the cable next to power wires and always wired them at right angles to avoid kinks in the wire or change in the wire’s shape. Do not cross the cables and secure the cable with small hooks to the rafters or joists.
- Identify the Cable Type. Place a label on each cable with masking table or other labeling material.
- Review the Plan for Mistakes. Ensure all necessary wiring has been installed. Repair any missing cables missed.
- Add Wall Plates. Attach the connectors to the mud ring and also, to the wall plates.
- Attach the Head End Panel. Follow the instructions for the head panel and connect wires to the head end panel.
- Test the Wiring. Test the wiring with an electricity tester. Repair problems found with the tester.
- Plug in Appliances and Electronics. Test the electronics in the house by plugging in appliances and other electronics.
Hardware Need for Structured Cabling Installation
- Computer with Diagramming Software
- Nails and Screws
- Structured Wiring Box
- Mud Rings
- Outlet Covers
Tools Needed Structured Cabling Installation
- Wiring Crimpers
- Testing Meter or Electricity Tester
- Screw Driver
Types of Cabling Available for Structured Cabling Installation
Typically, structured cabling installation requires Cat5e, Cat6 or Cat7 wiring or cabling. This cabling is usually backed by a manufacturer’s warranty. The warranty is typically 25 years. Cat5e relies on electrical current to deliver data rather than light used in fiber optic cable.
- Cat5 Cabling. Cat5 delivers data at 100 megabits per second and is made of four wires twisted together.
- Cat5e Cabling. Cat5e cabling delivers data at 1000 megabits per second.
- Cat 6 Cabling. Cat6 bundles four copper wires and delivers data at speeds up to one gigabit per second.
- Cat 7 Cabling. Cat7 is used for super fast Ethernet connections. This cabling type supports speeds up to 10 gigabits per second.
Considerations When Selecting Cable for Structured Cabling Installation
Determine whether your home or office is a good candidate of structured cabling installation. Are you seeking of one gigabit per second or more, or will 1000 megabits per second be sufficient? Can your budget handle Cat 7 cabling or is your company or home a better candidate for Cat 5e or Cat 6e cabling? If your home or building is already constructed, how costly will it be to install structured cabling? These considerations will make a difference in whether structured cabling is the best option.
Pitfalls of Structured Cabling Installation
- Limited Headroom. Limited headroom when installing Cat 6 cabling can result in link failure.
- Susceptible to Alien Crosstalk at High Frequencies. At high frequencies, Cat 6 wiring may be susceptible to alien crosstalk.
- Sheathing Problems with Cat 6. If the sheathing is cut back too far on Cat 6 cabling, the geometry is affected and echoing becomes a problem. This may affect crosstalk performance.
- Sensitive Cat 6 Cabling. Kinked cables could degrade performance of Cat 6. Load problems are also common. Nylon cable ties cannot be used on Cat 6 horizontal runs because the pinching causes local impedance to increase. In general, follow the manufacturer’s advice and most problems can be avoided.
Costs of Structured Cabling Installation
The cost of structured cabling and structured cabling installation varies dramatically depending on the type of cable and the amount of cable needed. The larger the job is, the cheaper the cabling price and installation costs.
Considerations When Hiring a Company for Structured Cabling Installation
The best service will be obtained from a company with significant experience in the field of structured cabling. The company should be able to provide a comprehensive quote and a full guarantee of the work performed. The company should be able to minimize any problems in your company’s networking system. Begin your local search online or receive references from peers.