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Simple Network Wiring

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Simple network wiring

Thesis statement

This report is to include the basics of the physical wiring of computer networks.


I. Introduction

A. Professional wiring.

B. Using hubs.

II. Body

A. Saving money.

B. Tools needed.

C. Proper placement.

D. Connectors.

III. Conclusion

A. Plug in and go.

B. Good luck

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Simple network wiring

Professional wiring can cost hundreds of dollars per connection and there never seems to be enough drops. A year after most companies upgrade their network wiring, they find themselves needing to once again rebuild. With three to six drops per office, this can be a healthy bill for the company.

There is a better way. Use hubs anywhere you would have put extra drops. Drops are the actual runs of wire that run into the room. Each cable that comes from the main backbone cable, or central point of connection is the "Drop". Use the hub to plug everything into. For simple nets you won't need a filtering bridge or router, just a plain unfiltered hub. If you have a DSL or cable model connection, you may want a firewall. In large nets routers are crucial so that heavy internal traffic in one group does not slow down people in other groups. But hubs can be added most anywhere, and are a great way to save on extra wiring. Hubs are available from most any computer mail order, or a good local shop. It is a good idea to get more ports than you need now. Hubs can be 10 or 100 Megabit per second, or able to auto-switch between the two. An 8-port 10/100MB Ethernet hub is now about $37.00. That is far less than a single drop. It is less than

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just the wire and connectors for the 7 added drops you get. 100MB hubs are a bit more, around 50.00 for the Linksys 8 port. But it is still less than wiring.

The general principle is to pull one or 2 drops to each relevant wall, and when you need more just stick in a hub. If you use a hub and put the drops into the inside walls between the rooms, or in the corners they will reach two, or in the center, four interior walls from one point. By doing this you can get by with fewer "real" drops and save the company money.

Say a company wanted 150 drops. A realistic figure for an average first time drop is around $350.00. That would come to $52,500. Every drop the company can eliminate saves them enough money to buy 8 hubs. So when someone wants to do more wire pulling, ask him or her why you can't just stick a hub into the outlet you have, and have 7 new drops for half the price of one.

The only problem with this plan is when traffic gets so high that you have to separate sub-nets. You can put two machines off the same hub onto separate sub-nets to save on traffic. At 100MB, this will only be a problem in serious commercial heavy-use settings; but even

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there, it is unlikely that many single rooms will want to be on separate subnets. Usually rooms don't alternate engineers and sales people.

When it come to tools for the job a friend once gave me a bit of advice on tool-buying that I recommend to you. "Buy the cheapest tool that is clearly better than what you need."

Here is a guideline on how to actually do the wiring itself. Pick a location for your hub. Remember, preferably centered to keep cable runs shorter. A basement wall not too close to your electrical panel, or a wall in a closet, is useful. It may save you a lot of wiring if you use different hubs on different floors. Weigh your time and the cost of wire, versus the cost of an extra hub(s).

For this work you'll need:

* A modular plug-crimping tool. Phone ones will not work. The connector is smaller.

* A cable tester. Don't skip this. There is nothing like looking at a bunch of cable wondering which one is bad.

* An inductive signal tracer is also a really good investment. You clip the tester on one end of a wire, and the tracer lets you follow the wire even hidden behind walls, or in bundles.

* A cable staple gun. This is a big helping hand if you are careful not to damage the wire. Practice with an old piece first.

* Cable-labeling tape. A good write on tape like 3M's Write-On Tape is nice

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* Typical stuff like screwdrivers, wire cutters, pliers, stripers, sledgehammers, drill etc.

* Dust mask, gloves, and Safety glasses. Save yourself a dozen trips to the eye doctor. Always use other safety equipment as appropriate

Map out your wiring plan and decide how many wires go to each place. You may want to pull cable TV, phone, audio, intercom, etc. at the same time. If you are going to go to all the trouble, like fishing wires from basement to attic to wire a second floor, you would pull more wire than you need and also leave a string in to pull more later. Wire is far cheaper than labor. You may want to install flexible conduit ("blue pipe") if you anticipate adding wires later.

Figure out how you will get a wire from each place you want a connection or the hub location. This may involve painful vertical runs, crawling through attics full of fiberglass dust, remember your mask, and drilling through walls, headers etc. If you've got more than one floor, consider putting plates directly above each other to save on vertical drilling.

Plan wire placements to avoid anything that puts out much of a magnetic field. Stay at least 6" from electrical wires if



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