How to become a structured cabling contractor

How to become a structured cabling contactor

Becoming a structured cabling contractor involves much more than just having the basic knowledge of how to build, install or fix structured cabling systems. Just like every other profession, merely having the basic knowledge of what a profession entails, gives you nothing more than a beginner’s edge. I’m not saying it’s not necessary to have the basic knowledge of what the profession is about, I’m only trying to point out that having just the basic knowledge is actually never going to be enough.

There are quite a number of documents you need to have to become a structured cabling contractor. These documents are very important because prospective clients and organizations who require your services will unfailingly ask you for them. Moreover, some of these documents can be expected from any contractor regardless of discipline or specialization, it doesn’t matter if they are only installing HVAC, electrical power, plumbing or even lighting, these documents should be readily available and produced upon requests. But to become a structured cabling contractor, you need to have more than these documents in your possession. This brings us to the question I’m sure you’re already asking yourself.

What is this document? Or better still what are these documents?

Well, here are a few:

License:
To become a structured cabling contractor, you need to have a license. I’m sure I don’t need to explain to you how important this document is. Your license portrays the most necessary information about your profession and it assures prospective clients that you’re not just some fraud trying to pose as a structured cabling contractor. It shows that you have the authority to undertake structured cabling projects and you’re overly qualified to deliver expected results.

Insurance:
To become a structured cabling contractor, you need have full insurance against uncertainties relating to your profession. Unfortunate situations are bound to happen unexpectedly, which could leave you devastated and probably go on to wreck your business or practice especially if you have no insurance. Having full insurance helps you guide against this.

Professional Certifications:
To be fully qualified, most times your license is not just enough. Most clients would want to see one form of professional certification or the other e.g. BICSI certifications etc. These certifications are important because they serve as endorsements from widely renowned and profoundly honored professional organizations related to your discipline. For example, BiCSi certifications are used to guarantee industry performance standards. So having all or some of these certifications puts you forward as a force to be reckoned with amongst structured cabling contractors.

Apart from having the aforementioned documents, there are also some things you need to know how to do to become a structured cabling contractor. Some of them include;

Blueprints:
You need to know how to create comprehensive blueprints. These blueprints should be comprehensive enough to show everything concerning the system installation. They should also include a set of instructions. You have to make sure your blueprints are fully detailed, try as much as possible to leave nothing out.

Testing and Certification:
You need to know how to test and certify your cabling installations. This is because Testing and certification results prove to you that the system was installed properly and it matches the required specifications. Also, through the readings you get from testing, you can easily tell if something is not right and quickly resort to your blueprints to troubleshoot, locate and fix the problem.

I hope this article has been able to show you one or two new things on what it takes to become a structured cabling contractor.

If you have questions or require more information, please do not hesitate to contact us

Common Structured Cabling Mistakes

Common Structured Cabling Mistakes

Dropped Packets from Improper or Loose Terminations

Ethernet is a “broadcast” network. This means that each device connected to the network sends its “packets” when the line is quiet. Packet sizes can range from 64 to 1518 bytes. In addition to the data being transmitted, each packet also contains source, destination, and parity (bit error detection) information. Errors occur when packets do not reach their destination or information is dropped from the data sequence. Common types of errors that may be associated with full network utilization and/or noise disturbances are:
Alignment: Packets do not end on an 8-bit boundary.
Collision: Two devices detect that the network is idle and try to send packets at exactly the same time.
Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC): Packet size is correct, but the information contained in the frame check sequence is corrupt.
Fragment: Packet is undersized and contains corrupt FCS.
Jabber: Packet is oversized and contains corrupt FCS.
Oversize: Packets are greater than 1518 bytes in length.
Runt/Pygmy: Packets are less than 64 bytes in length.

Routed too Close to Electrical Cables

The cable must have a defined route that will protect it according to the environment in which it exists. No standard exists that details what kind of cable pathway is required in different circumstances and engineers are expected to use judgment to ensure adequate protection. Cable routes cannot be left to chance with installers allowed to pick any random route. There is also the commercial consideration that well-engineered cable management systems cost money and the end-users must decide how much cable management they want to pay for and the consequences of under-investment in this area.

Over Cinched Cable Ties

A tied bundle must be able to be moved through that tie with slight resistance. If the cable cannot move through the tie at all then it is too tight. Category 6 and optical cables cannot stand the same heavy-duty lashing as power cables. The tie must not be too thin either or it will start to cut into the sheath of the cable. Ideally the tie should be larger than 5mm wide.

Missing Labels

Making sure to label the cables pathways is imperative when trying to optimize your efficiency. Apart from nothing at all, this is the simplest form of cable containment. It can be appropriate when cable can be laid directly on a relatively smooth concrete floor which in turn is covered by a false floor. The assumption here is that the cable is protected from damage by virtue of the floor suspended above it.

Spaghetti Cabling

There is no exact or correct figure for the amount of cables allowed in any one bundle but experience shows that a figure of between 24 and 48 cables is the optimum. Spaghetti cabling is where cables are dragged wherever they lie. Cables must not be dragged around or across sharp edges. Power cables must cross data cables at right angles and should be separated from each other by a bridge.

Structured Cabling

Structured Cabling

Overview

Structured cabling can adapt itself to almost every kind of infrastructure. It is flexible in the sense that it can be removed easily and re-installed during department relocations and shift of office premises. When networking patterns change, structured cabling adapts itself and adjusts without causing disturbance in the work flow.

Job Growth

With the increase in the usefulness and implementation of structured cabling comes an influx of potential job prospects. The number of jobs according to Occupational Outlook Handbook in 2012 was 249,400. The job outlook for 2012-2022 is a 7% decline in positions, which is slower than average. They will however increase by 18.300 jobs in the 2012-2022 time period. 18,300

Market

The increasing use of smart phones, tablets and laptops and the need for file sharing, networking and instant access will massively increase the need for data storage and speed. Trends will boost the need for storage and increase the demand for data center capacity.
A newly released study from Building Services Research and Information Association, BSRIA charts the global structured cabling market through the year 2020, concluding that by then the total market will exceed $8 billion. The market totaled $6 billion in 2012, BSRIA says, and will chart a course of 4-percent annual growth through 2020. The global structured cabling market is expected to continue to grow from $6 billion in 2012 to $8.3 billion in 2020. The global structured cabling market is expected to continue to grow, from $6 billion in 2012 to $8.3 billion in 2020.

Market Opportunities

Data Centers

Cabling in data centers accounts for $1.1billion in 2012 or 19% and is expected to grow to $1.6 billion in 2020, still accounting for 19% of the total market. Cabling in LAN is expected to grow from $4.9million to 6.7 million in 2020. The number of outlets per desk and number of workstations will decline, but growth in emerging markets as well as the use of Ethernet networks to connect and even power other devices (access points, cameras, BMC etc.) will have a positive impact on the market.

Local Area Networks (LAN)

Cabling in LAN is at over 80% of the cabling installed. The use of fiber in LAN will continue to be limited primarily to the backbone and for campus applications. Copper products will mainly be found in LAN applications. LAN cabling is a commodity product and the majority of products are sold mainly on price. The emerging markets are expected to grow by 5 to 6% per year and new construction by 10 to 11%.

WI-Fi

The increasing use of Internet devices is putting pressure on networks. Mobile networks can’t cope with the increase in traffic as much of the data is offloaded onto Wi-Fi networks. Other wireless systems are Distributed Antenna Systems, mainly used in large buildings is growing. The number of WLAN access points shipped has doubled in 5 years to 5 to 6 million access points globally and the market is currently dominated by 802.11 products.

Significant growth in most areas on structured cabling will increase in 2014 and beyond. Structured cabling’s adaptability, necessity and technological wireless, LAN, and data center coupling is paramount to its continued success.

Network Cabling Standards

Network Cabling Standards

Are you planning to set up a company? Then, it’s time to know about network cabling standards. A right cabling system is quite important for any company. A structured cabling network is very essential as it carries entire data, security, multimedia, voice and all the wireless connections around your campus. It covers a major part of your office including telecommunication rooms, work areas, cabling, hardware connection, cable pathways etc.

You need to divide your cabling systems into manageable blocks for easy maintenance. A structured cabling company is one which provides the standard cabling systems to your office. We just can’t imagine an office or a company without cabling systems. A perfect cabling system is mandatory for all the companies for a proper and successful run. Internal audio functions such as phones, LAN functions are carried out through these network cablings.
On the top, one needs to know the universal cabling standards before having the network cabling for their company. One needs to have complete idea on network cabling limitations in order to maintain them properly. As there are number of equipment’s in the office which share cabling, one need to be very careful in each step of it. Copiers, Printers, desktops and many other things share cablings in the office to have a smooth performance of the company. The most important thing that you need to do is to get the cabling services from one of the top cabling providers. Never go with any of the start-up cabling organizations as you cannot risk your company’s functionality and profitability. Ensure that you go with the reputed network cabling company that maintains all the standard cabling systems.

The network cabling standards have emerged in early 90’s and is used by the industries of Electronics Industries Association/Telecommunications Industry Association. These cabling standards have been set to ensure the consistency of network cables installation. Later, it has been divided into several installation pieces for easy management. Different wiring specifications can be given to different networks.

Later, if you are planning to expand the structured cabling networks, EIA/TIA cabling standards assists the system administrators in a great way by giving a wonderful guidance on required specifications. This also helps in ensuring the forward and backward compatibility of the structured cabling system.
A definite and structured cabling system enables to have smooth and continuous flow of operations, promotes sharing resources, houses advanced technologies and offers a greater scope for the success of any company.

Cat 5E Cable Information and Review

Cat 5E Cable Information and Review

Cables of all lengths and sizes are what’s keeping countless electronic devices in shape and functioning properly. Cell phones, computers, tablets, gaming consoles. Cables are what essentially makes everything run. One of the most common and popular choices of cables is known as the Cat 5 cable.

Cat 5 Cables and What They’re Used For

The Cat 5 Cable, or what is also known as a category 5 cable, is a pair of cables that are twisted, which are capable of carrying signals. They are most commonly used as struture cables; these cat 5 cables are for Ethernet capabilities for computer networks. The Cat5 is a 5th generation of Ethernet technology and is a very common cable used today.

Characteristics

Connected by the use of punch-down blocks, the Cat 5 cables are mostly unshielded. This results in the cable relying on different signals and the twisted design of the cable for no is rejection.

Cat 5 cables are capable of carrying two telephone lines, and can also be used in multi-line phone connections.
The maximum cable length for a Cat5 is 100 m per TIA/EIA 568-5-A. That is for a cable segment. And when you consider the cord’s bending radius, you can expect the cable to bend at any radius that exceeds four times its outside diameter.

Life Span Expectancy

Although it’s manufacturer specific regarding a cable’s warranty, a typical Cat5e cable can last you anywhere from 15 to 20 years. However, that is excluding any pest or water damage you might encounter. So make sure the cable is always installed and maintained as instructed.

Cat5 and Cat5E Cables

When it comes to the Cat5E cable, it is known as the improved structure to that of a standard Category 5. The crosswalk and crosstalk specifications for a Cat5E cable are tightened, with some new specifications being introduced, as well. However, the bandwidth of both the Cat 5 and Cat5E cables remain unchanged. 100MHz is the standard performance for both cables. The cables are both suitable for fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet.

Normally, Cat5 cables have four pairs of copper wire. Fast Ethernet will only make use of two of this pairs. However, the newly enhanced Cat5e cables, make use of all four pairs which makes it capable of supporting Gigabit Ethernet. Cat5e cables are also backwards compatible with its previous Cat5 model.
In a nutshell, Cat5E cables are much better at keeping signals on different circuits so that they’re not interfering with eachother. It can also handle speeds as high as 1000 mbps, a result of its 100 MHz performance.

Different Varieties

Cat5 cables will sometimes come in two varieties, known as Solid and Stranded. A solid Cat5 cable will support longer length, working best in office buildings which have fixed configurations for the I wiring. As for stranded Cat5 cables, they’re much more preferable for shorter distances and make great moveable wiring.

Environmental Precautions

It’s Important to remember that cables breathing in moisture can cause condensation to occur inside certain parts of your cable. And this isn’t just concerning Cat5E cables, but all of them. Even though there is outer PVC or LSOH insulation for Cat5E cables, the copper is unshielded. So keep these environmental precautions in mind.

Buying Cat5E Cables

Don’t ever try to rig your own Cat5E cable. There are several retailers more than happy to help you find a Cat5e cable suitable for your needs. It’s important to keep length in mind when buying one of these cables, as you want to make sure it’s correct for whichever device you may be using. You should also make sure that it meets standards to that of the American National Standards Institute regarding durability and efficiency. Buying a faulty cable can result in severe damage to what you might be using it for. Make sure these cables are used appropriately for the right device.

Residential Uses

Even though Cat5 cables were more practical for business information rather than residential use. For the past 9 years, consumers have been increasingly demanding home-friendly networking technologies, as an attempt to connect an entire household to a single family network for both internet use and information sharing.

Benefits from Cat5E Cables

File sharing and the ability to share networking drives can be accessed from several different computers. Backing up files and sharing large amounts of data will be much smoother with fluid connection.

Modern gaming consoles now have Ethernet capabilities, which allows interaction with users all over the world, as well as downloading updates and new features for your console.

Small businesses and home offices can make great use of Cat5E cables, allowing users access to a fast environment for home networking. Medical billing, invoice dispatch, and tech support specialists, jobs that depend on a stable and fast connection can get just that with Cat5E cables.
Having a Cat5E cable-based network in a residential environment is incredible useful. From LAN gaming to operating a small, in-home business, it’s a great way to ensure a connection that’s reliable.

Cat5 and Cat6 Cables

There are two cables which are most commonly used for computer structures which is, of course, the Cat5E and the Cat6 cable. A Cat6 cable is, what you might call, an upgraded version of the Cat5, providing better transmission performance.
Cables that reside in the Cat6 family are definitely newer Ethernet technologies. But Cat5 and Cat5e cables will always be a popular choice among consumers, as they’re compatible with LANs, affordable, and can support high speeds.

Fiber Optic Networks Vs Copper Network Cabling: Which is better?

Fiber Optic Networks Vs Copper Network Cabling: Which is better?

People have been using copper network cabling for their telephone and internet access for over two decades now. It is becoming easier to access fiber optic networks than ever before, thank to programs like Verizon FIOS and AT&T U Verse. When you compare the two types of cable, which one is actually better?

Elemental Resistance

Copper cable has always proven temperamental when it comes to the environment. Beach front properties have often found that they have to replace their cabling frequently due to corrosion caused by salt air and saltwater. Fiber optic cables are resistant to most type of corrosion and don’t need be replaced as often, if at all.
Score: Copper 0, Fiber Optic 1.

Counting your Pennies

Due to shortages, the price of copper has skyrocketed. Thanks to this fact, the price of installing traditional copper cabling for internet or telephone services is 2 to 3 times the cost of installing fiber optic cables for the same services. As the service becomes more and more streamlined, the price of fiber optics will continue to fall.
Score: Copper 0, Fiber Optic 2.

Turn Out That Light!

Fiber optic cables are becoming popular because of the fact that they can be used to help curb energy usage. Copper cables, on the other hand, can use up to 5 times as much energy as fiber cables of comparable thickness.
Score: Copper 0, Fiber Optic 3.

Easy Upgrades

Upgrading your bandwidth if your system still uses copper cable can be a chore. Your cable company has to come in, tear out the old cable, and install a thicker one that can carry more data. With fiber cables, all your company has to do is flip a switch and upgrade your bandwidth. Replacing the cables is not necessary.
Score: Copper 0, Fiber Optic 4.

Go the Distance

It is much easier to work with fiber optic cables when distance is a factor. Traditional copper cables can only reach about 100 meters from the electronics before an amplifier or junction box is needed. Fiber optic cables can reach up to 300 kilometers, up to 30 times as far as traditional cables. This becomes especially important if you need to run an internet service throughout a large building or complex.
Score: Copper 0, Fiber Optic 5.

Keep it Secure

Tapping a copper internet or telephone cable is actually easier than it sounds. Unscrupulous types have been known to tap into a traditional copper internet line to obtain free internet service. Splicing in to a fiber optic line is nearly impossible for someone without proper training or experience. All it does, in most cases, is create breach of service.
Score: Copper 0, Fiber Optic 6. Game, set, match.

These are only a few of the things that you should consider when deciding whether to settle for a more traditional copper network cabling or upgrade to a fiber optic system. Fiber optics, as this list shows, is quickly outmatching copper cable in almost all aspects. Only time will tell what these telecom companies will come up with next.