Thursday, September 18, 2014

Adding jacks to an existing small network, cross beams on almost every drop!

So I recently installed a "small" network, which should have taken no longer then half a day. Single office, with no furniture, no drop ceilings, but wiring was to be strapped to the exposed piping on the ceiling. 

4 out of the 5 locations that I had to snake the wire down the wall had cross beams. The only place where I did not have to deal with cross beams is where the existing wiring going to the switch and "patch panel" ran down the wall.

The network is directly behind the center jack on this wall.
Wiremolding used to bring line to jack on left.
Since I had to take time out to get around the beams this wiring job that should have taken half a day turned into nearly a full day. I ended up connecting 12 jacks (6 locations with 2 jacks each). One location was directly behind the network, and needed less than 6 inches of CAT5 wiring. The customer also did not "need" a jack at this location, but since this is where I brought all of the wiring down the wall, it was just as easy to add a jack here then to put a blank faceplate on my opening. 

No drop ceilings, wire strapped to wall on ceiling.
Every drop on this wall (3 in total on this wall)
has cross beams of varying heights that I had to get around.
The other jack that was on the wall opposite of the network, I used 1 length of wiremolding, and about 6 feet of CAT5 wiring, of which I used the scrap pieces from snaking the rest of the wiring down the wall.
Close-up of one of the cross beams
that I had to get around in this room.
I come across cross beams from time to time, but this small job seems to have taken it to the extreme. Every new drop that I had to make had a cross beam in it, and what made it more of a hassle was that each cross beam was at varying heights, so I had to guesstimate the location of each beam to channel around them. 

I had another cross beam in the other room,
This was one of the larger metal studs that I have come across.
I took the photo with my hand to show perspective
of the size of this cross beam.
When you come across a cross beam and have to channel around one you can use a blank faceplate to cover up the channel, as long as the channel that was made is small enough, however since there were multiple cross beams at varying heights it would look stupid to hide the holes in this way. 

Since it is an under desk installation,
and an addition to an existing network
I opted for using a wall jack instead of  patch panel. 
The only way to hide the channels that were created to snake the wire is that it will need to be plastered over. Usually this becomes part of the customers responsibility to repair and have painted over.  

The top jack and top switch was installed by me sometime a year or two ago. (for VoIP network)
The bottom switch is going to a secondary router as a double NAT (for PC network)
At that time the network was so small I just used 8p8c connectors instead of punching in jacks,
except for the wire going to the main network closet.
Once the wiring was all pulled I was able to patch everything together. I had originally installed this small network several years ago. There are seperate wiring for the VoIP and PC networks, however just one internet connection to share between them,

1 foot patch cords were too short, so I used 3 footers,
which were a drop too long so I twist tied them as neatly as possible.
Keep in mind this network is behind a desk and not visible. 
Since the internet is a shared T1 amongst several offices in this building their IT guy double NATed the PC network, (Actually, I wired this T1 for practically the entire block since FiOS isn't available and the cable internet on this block has major problems with any VoIP service for some reason). The reason why you only see half of the wires patched in on the final result because their was not enough ports in the PC switch to connect them. Their IT guy will be replacing the PC network switch and patching in that segment of the network. 

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