[CS-FSLUG] Ethernet Testing

Timothy Butler tbutler at ofb.biz
Wed Sep 5 17:22:02 CDT 2012

Thanks, Tim and Peter! I was mostly worried, re: couplers that I would degrade the signal further. But, if it isn't a problem, I actually have some extra ones on hand. I'm using them with keystone wall plates for areas where the cable terminates in a finished office...

The to Peter's suspicion about a phone system, it is indeed tied to just that sort of phone block. However, I thought that the two unused CAT5e runs were for networking and not additional phone lines to the PBX (which I'm replacing with a hosted Phonebooth.com VoIP PBX to reduce costs and gain features)... so I don't know why they did what they did to those extra cables. But, I'm more than happy to cut the cables and be done with them.

I've heard the conduit was damaged at some point, so I'm a bit nervous about trying a new cable pull using the old cable, but I'm not sure if this is even true. The last administrator was less than helpful with giving information beyond saying pretty much everything was impossible. :-)

Incidentally, does anyone know a good, affordable way to use those nice coax lines to run networking? I've looked at a few options, but none looked especially promising. In theory, it seems like nicely insulated coax would be great for a long run like this...


On Sep 5, 2012, at 1:43 PM, Tim Young <Tim.Young at LightSys.org> wrote:

> There are plenty of cat5/cat6 couplers out there.  If you have a lot of wire that is untwisted, I would do that.
> Technically, the best practice is to have your wire end in a "wall jack" that is permanently mounted on the wall.  You do not need to chop holes in your wall, but can use "surface mount" things.
> The "issue" is that there are two main types of wire.  There is "solid core" wire, which is stiff, and usually what you buy in spools.  Solid core is cheaper, but breaks if you keep bending it in the same spot.  So it is not very good to use in locations that have any movement.
> The other type of cable is "stranded", which is much more flexible. Most "patch cables" are made out of stranded wire (or at least, they are supposed to be).
> So, for "permanent" runs, you use the cheaper but more fragile solid core wire to the wall, and then use the more-expensive but more durable patch-cable to go from the wall to the other end.
> When you have the opportunity to do it, you should make the change. The most likely place for your wire to break will be next to the cable-end, or where the cable comes out of the wall/floor.  That is where the most "bending" occurs.  If it happens at the end, it is not too much effort to add another end.  But if it happens at the wall, it is probably "game-over" for your wire.
> That all said, many people have successfully used solid-core wires for years and years.
> There is usually a balance between being cheap and wise, and what that balance is for you is for you to decide.  Sometimes $12 for plugs and surface-mount boxes is a lot harder to come by, and other times that amount of money is not a problem at all.
>    - Tim Young
> On 9/5/2012 10:39 AM, Timothy Butler wrote:
>> Would it be worth trying to retwist the cable? I hate to cut so much off -- and then I'll need to couple the cable to a short cable to get it to the switch... I'm really puzzled why they stripped and untwisted so much of the cable. I guess I can just cut it... Thanks for your help! Blessings, Tim
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