Sunday, May 31, 2015

New installation, rack, panel, prewire for cubicles, and conference room floor jacks

Jack installed

Jacks mounted same height as electrical

Prewired for cubicles. 

Wiring for video monitor.

Rack and panel in closet.

Rack and panel in closet

Jack mid-way up the wall for fax/copier.

More jacks in an office.

Another for a video monitor.

Floor mounted for conference phone.

Network install and clean up

Customer was just coming over to us for VoIP phones, but wanted to clean up their DIY network that they created with just a mess of long patch cords, and lots of tape to hold the wire in place.
A BEFORE of their network.
The first order of business was to run all new wiring to each location (double runs as usual, even though they only have a single internet provider and single router). You have to think about future-proofing your installations, and physically isolating phone and computer networks is always a good idea.

Another BEFORE of their network equipment and "wiring"
Once all of the new wiring was installed it was labeled, and "tested" all of their existing computer equipment could begin to be moved over to the new switch in the newly installed rack. 

Yet another before.
Once everything was patched into the new switch, and the router was moved over to the rack we could then begin to disassemble the mess of wiring that was their network,

After their existing mess was cleaned up.
Cleaning up the mess that they had was not as difficult as it seemed, because everything had already been moved over to the newly installed network, therefore I did not have to worry about "neatening up" their network, as many of my network clean up jobs were. Instead all I had to do was pull all that shit down.

Snaking the wire underneath a window!!
With everything completed, I was called back because ONE computer had networking issues once everything was connected back. 
Another image snaking underneath a window!!
That ONE computer that had problems turned out to be a complete pain in my ass. I used the "troubleshoot networking issues" troubleshooter built into windows after basic networking troubleshooting failed to provide results (I actually was able to ping around but could not access the DVRs or local network shares at this time.)

Jack installed under window!
I got everything working, or so I thought and moved on to my next customers. The following day this same PC had problems. I was unavailable, but a co-worker who is more on the IT side of things and less on the wiring side of things (opposite my skill set) went down, and also could not isolate the issue. He rebooted the DVRs and that's what got it to work for him.

Rack installed and wire mapping remotes connected.
It did not end there. I had to go back yet another time to troubleshoot this same PC. This time I went down with a certification machine. I did not store the results of the tests, but these CAT5 cables were so short that they were CERTIFYING at a CAT6 level!! no troubles, no miswires.
Final product, switch and router patched in.
Because the runs were so short, I opted to just pull 2 new runs, because it "seemed" that when this PC was connected to a different jack it was getting no local packet loss, but when connected to its own jack(s) it was getting packet loss to the router. Assuming for possible crosstalk on the wiring, I ran it around in a slightly different location. But again, even with 2 new CAT5 drops to this desk I was getting packet loss on the local network. Eventually after playing around with settings I got the ping solid on this PC, while I went downstairs to deal with setting up something on their overhead paging system. 

Once I finished working on their paging system I came back to see that the ping on this PC had remained solid for over an hour or so that I was busy working on other things. BUT as soon as I disconnected the jack so that I could mount the faceplate back onto the wall and reconnected it BOOM crazy packet loss on the local network again. 

I don't know what I did in the end to get everything solid again, but while this was going on I went down to the truck and got the laptop, something I should have done from the beginning. Not once did I notice any packet loss on the laptop, 

I even had them shut the lights when I was running my tests to see if there was any issues from the florescent ballasts in the ceiling. I did not find a difference with the lights on compared to the lights off, and I ran tests for at least an hour with the lights off. 

My belief is that the NIC built into the motherboard on this computer is going bad. 
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
I ruled out a defective wire. (ran new wires, and certified/tested)

I ruled out crosstalk/interference from a ballast (rerouted wiring and tested with lights on and off)

I ruled out a defective port on the switch (tested with different ports on switch and directly to router)

I ruled out DHCP issue (tested with DHCP and static IP)

I ruled out drivers for NIC (attempted to update drivers)

Install 2 Keypads and 2 Door phones

This should have been a rather quick install, however it needed to be wired up, and I got held up on getting the wire down the wall as well as getting it run from the network closet location around the warehouse to the doors.
Door phone and indoor keypad being wired up
What I figured would take 2 hours or so ended up taking a good part of half a day. I haven't powered up the relays yet since the door strikes are not in place, and their is no internet at the network closet yet.
Door phone and indoor keypad installed
I am concerned if I did not wire the relays and keypads properly that It could end up burning out and/or overheating the power supply(s), relay(s), and/or keypad(s)
Relay to activate buzzer from phone installed by network.
I wired up the door phone relays as secondary relays that connect to the "exit button" inputs of the keypads built in relays. 

Both relays installed for inside and outside doors.
Once the customer calls that internet is in the network closet and/or that the door strikes have been installed then I will go back and power up and test everything as well as program the entry codes for the relays.

Door phone and exterior keypad being wired up.
I drilled a hole on the bottom of the keypad
housing to let the wires come in from underneath.
This way no water should get in,
and if any does it can drain out.
Door phone and keypad installed. 

POV network rack and patch panel install HD 720p 30fps

The first video that I made with my Sony Action cam and head mounted strap. 
I bought this camera so that I could get some footage of the work that I perform to supplement the content on this site, and my Twitter and Instagram feeds.

I installed all of the wiring on a previous visit before I had the camera. This visit was to terminate everything, and was the first day of work for the new hire. I had him go around and punch down all of the jacks and put on the faceplates while I mounted up the rack and punched in the patch panels.

Friday, May 8, 2015

adding a rack, more jacks and cleaning up a network

Another BEFORE

5 jacks in a 6 hole plate.
Hole was opened/closed back by electrician.

Hole to bring wire from 1st floor to 2nd floor.
I installed blank cover for future access. 

Opening in ceiling 2nd floor just above network room on 1st floor.
I added a blank plate for future access. 

I added an access panel door, and left a spare in the ceiling. 

Emptied out the network closet.

New rack installed, and everything patched in.

Blue jacks are new runs.
Black wires come from wall mounted patch panels.

Another angle of the completed network rack.

Yet another angle of completed network,

Yet one more angle of completed network.

This is why I like doing this after hours,
my tool bags can get messy

This is my mess,

Don't worry I cleaned up best I could after I took this pic.

Small network installation

I made a small network in a store. I mounted everything high above their shelfs, as to save as much space for their inventory. I mounted the switch and router above the panel. The routers are on a shelf below.
Panel switch and router.

Useful tools

Working on your own most of the time, anything that you can do to increase your productivity is a good thing. Generally I love tools that can do more than one thing to reduce the weight of my bag, by carrying less, these tools are excellent productivity boosters. 
Punch down tools
ICC has a punch down tool that will punch down 8 pairs at a time on a patch panel, as well as a tool that will punch all 8 pairs on CAT5 insert jacks (including HD, High Density jacks)
Wiremapping and testing tool. 
Klein tools has a wiremap tool with multiple "remotes" so that you can label jacks faster. This tool will also test that wiring is terminated properly, and measure cable length. 

Installing IP door phone

We have never flush mounted these "new" IP door phones that we have been testing out. The bracket does not seem to have any mounting hardware to flush mount.
Using a ball chain to snake the wire behind the wall.
I made my first cut in the sheetrock straight down the wall flush with a beam so that I might have something to screw the bracket to if needed. 
Snaking the wire down the wall. 
I then used the mount as a template to trace out and cut the hole. Once the hole was cut it was a very snug fit and there was actually no need to screw the mount to anything. 
Installing wall mount for IP door phone
I must say I am quite satisfied with the visual of this device, although we had installed two of these for this customer, and both of them ended up failing within several months. 
Final product.
I have not been back to troubleshoot any issues with the second one, but the first one apparently has one way audio issues, which I believe to be a hardware failure, not a software issue. The person at the door phone can not hear the person who answers the phone, but the person who answers the phone can hear the person that is at the door. 

The second defective unit I do not know exactly what the issue is. 

Adding more jacks, and further cleaning up network.

Once again, I had to return to add even more jacks, and further neaten up this network. I had recommended a rack, but they wanted to keep things as compacted as possible, as they have converted this small room into a small office kitchen. 
After I added the second panel and patched everything in.
So I mounted up a used rack mount shelf that I had left over in my truck with toggle bolts, and mounted all of the network equipment neatly. 
I added a shelf for the routers, modems and switches. 
This is likely the last time this network is upgraded as the construction at this location is finally completed, and it appears that they have plenty of jacks around the office for whatever they may decide do to. 

The only thing I can think that may need to be upgraded is the addition of, or replacement of another switch as they currently have a few more jacks then ports available on the switch / router.