How to wire your office with a Cat5 or Cat6 cabling solution

How to wire your office with a Cat5 or Cat6 cabling solution

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At first glance, it would appear that wireless has become the preferred option for many users, both at home and in the office. However, the reality is that the demand for a cabling solution is still strong, especially within the commercial sector.

Many businesses still harbour concerns over the security of wireless, while there is also the fact that a wired network allows for a high-speed network that enables internet access, file sharing and media streaming.

However, deciding that a wired cabling solution is right for your business is only the first step in what is a simple yet detailed process. 

Planning

This is arguably one of the most important stages of the implementation process.

The first decision to make is which room you actually want to be wired. In many cases this will be obvious. However, in some cases a greater degree of thought will be required, especially if it's a new office.

Once you have decided where to fit your wiring, you can then decide on other aspects of your infrastructure, such as how many ports should be made available and the path they should go. This will prove useful when deciding what length of cable you should buy.

Even at this stage it is important to think about the connection you want for your system as this will help to decide what sort of switch to get.

Bag the right tools and materials

Once you have finished your planning stage, you need to make sure you have the right tools and materials at your disposal. An ethernet crimping tool is essential if your cables need plugs on the end, while a drill, hole saw, fish tape, label maker, as well as a stud finder are also useful.   

At Comtec we have a huge range of products and materials that are ideally suited to almost any wiring project, including Cat5e or Cat6  cables, as well as single gang retrofit boxes and ethernet switches.

Get going

Once you have a plan in place and the right tools to hand, you can mount your wall plates. A stud finder is particularly useful here as it makes the job of fitting the cables themselves much easier.  

When you've mounted your plate, draw a line on the wall to fit the new box and cut the hole with a pointed saw, which should be able to push through the dry wall without the need for starter holes.

As soon as you have your hole in the wall, you can fit your box, screwing the clamps so that they hold it in place to the back of the dry wall.

Once completed, you can begin to measure and run your cables. Experts will tell you there are a number of ways of doing this. Options include making an estimate, relying on measurements from floor plans, or just simply by running one.

Running is arguably the most effective method as it is the most accurate. Drill through wall top plates as this can be used to drop the cables into. 

Once this process is complete you can run through your cabling, which can then be measured and trimmed accordingly.

Finishing touches

When you have run your cables, you can link them to the patch panel and to your jacks. It is possible to have your cable coming directly out of the wall, but it will generally look a lot more professional if you use a panel.

Most patch panels and jacks include wire colour diagrams for the common T568A and T568B wiring standards, making life a lot easier.

When all the cables are connected mount the patch panel and click the jacks into their respective plates on the wall at the other end.

Finally, when everything is connected, test your wiring to ensure that everything is running as it should.

Never fall into the trap of thinking that splashing out on a higher category of cabling will instantly lead to a faster connection. Put simply, your system will only run as fast as its slowest component.

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