Cabling

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Some advice on cabling on the boards (thread on redbrick.computing.networking, July 2005, contributors: atlas, phil, colmmacc, drjolt, cambo):

  • Label both ends of every cable with source and destination (buy a labeller!)
  • if the source or destination change, update/replace the label with the new info.
  • Colour co-ordinate the cables (e.g. grey for servers->patch_panels, green for uplink, blue for phone cables)
  • Use cable ties (preferably of re-adjustable size: e.g. velcro strap ones that can be adjusted)
  • Run cables in bunches (e.g. run cables up side of cabinet, rather than out in the middle of the cabinet)
  • Buy your cables, don't make them
    • They come in half-metre increments from decent suppliers
    • They're worth about a euro, rather than 5 minutes of your time (which is worth more!)
    • Check they conform to Cat5e or Cat6 standards
    • Some places may offer the batch of cables for free if you find a faulty cable in it!
    • They're crimped by a machine in a sealed environment (minor capacitance on RJ45 head, copper pairs almost exact length)
    • There can be some issues with hand-made cables on GigE networks, with special multimedia stuff
    • Can optionally get the cables certified by someone after you have installed them
  • Always test crimped cables if you insist on making them yourself - don't rely on a wire-map tester - a proper cable tester can diagnose more problems (location of breaks, damaged cables, etc)
  • if you see a cable that hasn't been run correctly, run the cable you need to run properly so it's easier to remove/fix the incorrectly run cable at a later date.