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Re: [Shop-talk] running ethernet wires

To: Mark Andy <>
Subject: Re: [Shop-talk] running ethernet wires
From: Wayne <>
Date: Tue, 07 Apr 2009 12:48:52 -0400
Mark Andy wrote:
> Is there anything magical or to watch out for in terms of running 
> ethernet wires, or is it a trip to Lowes/HD to buy some ethernet cable, 
> some connectors / baseboard plates, and a cheapo crimper?

Don't run the cables too close to AC lines, esp for long runs in close 
parallel, or near fluorescents.  Keeping a distance and running 
perpendicular is best.

There is a minimum bend radius for ethernet.  I forget the exact spec 
but 3" sounds right.  Don't pull them tight, or you'll get abrupt bends. 
  Loose is good.  Don't staple them.  Using "bridle rings" and lightly 
ty-wrapping is good.

Use low voltage wall plates to mount in-wall.  Like an electrical box 
without a back.  Available at Lowes or HD.  If you try and cram them in 
a closed box you'll violate the bend radius rule.

Pull at least two cables to each location, so you have a spare.  If 
you're low-budget, you can leave one unterminated for future use.  Buy 
pull-twine, use it, and leave it in your bridle rings, walls, etc for 
when you need to pull more.

Leaving a 1 foot or so diameter loop of cable at each end gives you 
extra length if you need to repair (re-terminate) a cable (since you 
can't splice it.)

Learn the standard color coding;  at least for the first 4 pairs of 
wire.  Note for math geeks:  phone wire color coding is an infinitely 
expandable base-5 numbering system.  And it's even somewhat optimized 
for color blind males  ;)

The jacks commonly called "keystone jacks" don't need fancy punch down 
tools and are fairly novice friendly.  Plus can be mounted in a variety 
of wall plates or surface boxes.  Use RJ45 jacks for everything (4-pair 
wide modular.)

Everything should be a "home run" back to one location, where you 
central net switches and sources are.  As well as phone service.

Understand that Structured Cabling is not just for ethernet.  Running 
your analog phones or RS232 on it is ok too.  But regardless, the patch 
panels, wiring, and jacks should all be consistent, with identically 
terminated RJ45 jacks.  You can use adapters to go from RJ45 to 9-pin 
serial, but don't butcher up the jack!

Some ref matl @ wikipedia:

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