All posts tagged cabling

Network cabling is the backbone of any network. Cablers Network & AV Solutions have been providing network services and network cabling installations for more years than we care to remember. The clue is in our name and in the words of another well known brand “We do exactly what it says on the tin.”  Although Cablers now also provide a huge range of other specialised services for customers across the Education, Building and Commercial sectors. Cablers have developed our skills and services alongside the infrastructure and technology we provide and install. Just as it has developed almost beyond recognition over the years so have we.

Despite the proliferation of wireless, network cabling is still the most essential element behind any reliable and robust data network. Cablers are also experts at providing wireless solutions and while wireless may be the wave of the future your wireless solution, shiny new tablets and laptops will rely on your cabling infrastructure to underpin them.

Your data network will need to be well planned and properly installed to ensure you have a fast, reliable and robust network capable of operating any device you choose to use on it.

waltham forest college Waltham Forest College

Cablers were recently contracted to provide the infrastructure for the data network in the new buildings at Waltham Forest College in London. Installing a new Cat 6 structured cabling network to coincide with their building program using the Connectix cabling system. Our lead engineer on the project Matt Inwood was kind enough to take some pictures of the work in the server room during the installation process and i thought they were worth sharing in a short blog.

photo 1                              photo 2

As a rule most people do not get to see the cabling that underpins their data network. You will get to see the network points presented nicely within dado trunking next to a desk or if you do frequent a server room you will see the cable looms as they are presented at the network enclosure or as they attach to the patch panels. Most of the work we do is hidden under floors, behind false walls and contained within trunking.

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I think these pictures will give you some idea of the hidden work that enables you to use the technology you have at your disposal. All the cables in these pictures are low smoke zero halogen flame retardant, which is a bit of a mouth full or LSOH as we call them. They have been designed for internal installation on and under plaster, in cable ducts and conduits. These cables are specified by architect and building contractor and are ratified to very high standards which are imposed industry wide and across the globe which helps to guarantee conformity for data networks.  Once installed our engineers test them and provide warranty’s of up to 25 years depending on the manufacturer.

Now for the technical bit. We agreed to install over 900 Category 6,Connectix 4 pair UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) LSOH cables distributed from new communication cabinets via cable basket, cable tray and cable containment to every outlet position as supplied in the plans and they are designated as either data or voice outlets.  At each of the IT data termination points we supplied, installed and connected the cables to Connectix Category 6 RJ45 outlets.
The IT data termination points were connected to a Category 6, Connectix patch panels within communications cabinet. All of the  RJ45 outlets and Patch panel connections will have a printed labels fitted to them which clearly identify s each individual cable.  Each cable will be also be identified at each end by a laser printed Brady label and we of course ensure each cables outlet designation is also clearly identified.  During the planning process we needed to assess that all outlet positions would be within the requested maximum 90- metre length of cable runs from the relevant closet located network cabinets.
All Cat 6 installation works by Cablers are carried out to the relevant ANSI/EIA/TIA 568B, ISO 11801 and Connectix recommended installation practices.

   LSOH_cat6_utp_10gig_solid_lsoh_cable_hubbell_largeConnectix        Connectix Cat6

 

Specifications sheet for Connectix Cat 6

These cables are far more complicated than they at first look. Inside you will find a central core and four pairs of copper wires surrounding that core. Each pair of wires are themselves twisted differently which is essential to the way they work and how data is transferred through them.

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This is one of the reasons why we sweep cables rather than bending them, its not just because it makes the installation look better although i hope you agree it does look good considering it will remain hidden from view during the lifetime of the network. Our engineer s take a lot of pride delivering cabling that is installed as well as this on every project they are involved in.

 

Talk to our installations team if you have a project we can assist you with.

 

 

Why you need a wireless survey before you spend money on a wireless network?

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Why do we carry out wireless surveys? 

Cablers Network & AV Solutions provide a complete range of services to organisations planning to implement wireless and mobile network solutions.

The best piece of advice i can give you before you embark on your wireless adventure is to do some homework on the company or consultant you plan to work with. Ask for testimonials and case studies, these will always be provided by businesses with a proven track record. Unfortunately we visit too many organizations that have had wireless networks installed which have never worked properly or were not fit for purpose. Cablers have consequently improved these networks beyond measure for the end users but problems are easily avoided in the first place if you choose the right installation partner and you take advantage of a comprehensive wireless survey.

What is a Wireless site survey?

A wireless survey is the necessary first step in the deployment of any wireless network. It is the most essential element for providing the wireless coverage you are expecting and it will ultimately help you avoid any disappointment with its desired operation.

All wireless signals are broadcast as radio frequencies (RF). A wireless survey is a process by which a surveyor studies your building to understand the behavior of the radio frequencies. (RF)  The purpose of a wireless survey is to make sure that the wireless you have in place or the wireless you will order is fit for purpose.

Through the process of RF testing we are able to build a detailed picture of your site. Signal information is collated onto a map which shows the behavior of the RF signals. The testing will have taken into account the fabric of your building, routes for additional cabling (if required) and signal strength in detail. It will pinpoint any areas prone to interference and will help determine the appropriate placement of wireless access points to provide the best coverage.

Signal Strength is most commonly known as ’coverage’ and it is the basic requirement for a wireless network.  As a general guideline, low signal strength means unreliable connections and low data throughput. This will have a direct bearing on the way any device connected to the wireless network performs. Therefore a survey such as this is a great way to check the health of your existing network and asses any negative interference and/or Access Point connectivity.

The results of a proper site survey provide the detailed information that addresses coverage, interference sources, equipment placement, power considerations and cabling requirements. The site survey documentation will also serve as a guide for the network design and for the installation of your wireless infrastructure.

Be careful not to underestimate the effort and resources required to properly survey, design and deploy a wireless network. We have seen experienced IT professionals make the same mistake. You cannot just throw a few access points where you think they are most needed, or that the managed wireless controller that is sitting in your communications cabinet will take care of everything. Your wireless signal is impacted by many elements including neighboring wireless networks, cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, microwaves, alarm systems and even plumbing.

Not all wireless surveys are equal and it can be quite difficult to tell if that person walking around your site knows what they are doing. Here are a few things to look out for:

  1. Make sure they want to attend site to carry out the survey. If your offered a remote survey without the vendor ever visiting site be aware that a remote survey will not answer any of the questions needed to design a robust wireless network.
  2. Hopefully you are asked pertinent questions relating to you current number of devices and usage patterns and your aspirations for the future use of your network. This shows that the company you are dealing with is consultative and your not just going to get a prescriptive solution. One size does not fit all!
  3.  You have been asked for a plan of your building so that it can be incorporated into the software package that tests you RF coverage.
  4.  Make sure they take their time and check your whole building, they should also check the communications cabinet to make sure you have space for the supporting infrastructure requirements such as available switch ports, power over ethernet (POE), electrical power, and rack space needed to support the installation. They may also want to test existing cables that you plan to utilise or look at potential routes for new cabling and containment.

These are just a few things to look out for when choosing who provides your wireless solution. You will pay for a properly designed network with your time or your money when you have to redo the work. Our customers save time and money by avoiding poorly designed and deployed wireless networks. They have Cablers experts on hand providing radio frequency & interference analysis, cabling, coverage and all the capacity information needed to deploy a high performing, secure and reliable wireless network.

The moral of this story is to “Get a Survey, before you go wireless.”

We are easily contacted if you wish to discuss a wireless solution or BYOD deployment.

Why not take advantage of some  good advice and contact our team.

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