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Looping Cat5 instead of home runs

Looping Cat5 instead of home runs

Looping Cat5 instead of home runs

(OP)
So I happen to be at this job site in a residential house to clean up telephone lines. There was exposed walls in a new section of the house. I noticed a single cat5 drop  But as I looked closer I noticed 4 boxes with 2 pairs of cat 5. Instead of running home runs to each drop, they actually ran cat5 between the boxes like you could do with analog phone lines. So I asked the homeowner "who ran your cat5" He said "I did" I said "are you using it for telephone" He said "No data" I said "That's not going to work" He said "I'm 5 generations deep of data cabling it will work fine" So I asked what are you going to do? He said he is going to take a 12inch peice of cat5 at each box and use chicklets to splice the 3 cable ends to each other at each box then punch a jack on the other end of the 12in peice. He said that he wont have a PC at each drop but wanted options on where it can go.

FIRST, of all I would never ever do this! SECOND, I'm pretty sure a 12in peice of cat5 may have problems transmitting date. THIRD, splices and chicklets!!!   what!  (I've seen chicklet networks before, It might work but it shouldn't be done!) This is data for crying out loud. FOURTH noise, NEXT, Attenuation does anyone care! :>

Has anyone else seen this?

Thanks
Bewildered

RE: Looping Cat5 instead of home runs

This sounds like the early 'computer guy' syndrome.  For years, we received calls to come 'check the wiring' because the 'computer expert' was here and hooked it all up and says there is some bad wire.  When we got there, we found everything from flat satin patch cords, to beaned splices like you described, to quad wire, you name it.  Often, the 'computer expert' was still there so we got to discuss it with him.  

Usually, he showed us how he had things all hooked up 'correctly'.  I then pulled out my $3,000 wire scanner and said "My $3,000 piece of test equipment disagrees.  How much was your tester?"  End of question.

This guy may be 'five generations deep' of whatever.  Many years of experience in the fire service taught me that MANY people feel that they have 20 years of experience.  What they really had was 1 year of experience 20 times.

It may work, who knows, but why in the hell would you waste your time and effort doing it deliberately wrong?  Some people....

Good Luck!

It is only my opinion, based on my experience and education...I am always willing to learn, educate me!
Daron J. Wilson, RCDD
daron.wilson@lhmorris.com

RE: Looping Cat5 instead of home runs

(OP)
I totally agree. Well my boss asked me about it as if to say "we can do it this way" and I said whoa! No Way! I do it right the first time no half a$$in. When I leave a job site I know it works because I did it right and I tested it. I never have in my head (i hope this guys lines don't fail) because I'm confident in my workmanship.

I however don't have a $3,000 tester. YET

I have a $400 tester that tests 10 types of networks. It is a fantastic tool in my arsenal. And I never have a problem with the actually network of the boxs after the wirings done.

Anyway's thanks for the backup :)
Gene

RE: Looping Cat5 instead of home runs

Sounds like you got it covered.  I just picked up the little Siemons tester today, $210 and it does continuity for all different types of networks.  Trying to get one of those for each of my techs for quick checks and initial test.  It really does get you most of the way.  When we install new networks, we do them all with the Wirescope 350 and print out the results for the customer.  It is nice to look back on later if need be and see if the network has deteriorated along the way.  Also it is nice to test them that way when the customer has connectivity problems or intermittant issues and confirm that the wiring does actually meet spec.

Good Luck!

It is only my opinion, based on my experience and education...I am always willing to learn, educate me!
Daron J. Wilson, RCDD
daron.wilson@lhmorris.com

RE: Looping Cat5 instead of home runs

Bottom line in Wa. is TIA 570,which prohibits daisy chain of voice much less data! Also specs. IDC terminations. Poor guy, for his sake I hope it works, but we all know even it does work, it still wont work!!!

RE: Looping Cat5 instead of home runs

EIA/TIA 570 is a great standard, however, keep in mind it is completely voluntary.  The description of this installation is sad, but there are often installs like this by unknowing installers.

It is only my opinion, based on my experience and education...I am always willing to learn, educate me!
Daron J. Wilson, RCDD
daron.wilson@lhmorris.com

RE: Looping Cat5 instead of home runs

wow that sounds like a bad install. in my house, the phone wiring is sort of like that. a 6 pair cable is looped the house, but somehow there was a break in the pair so it comes back to the garage where the feed to the NID is on 2 pairs. I was looking at a jack, the wire broke, so I had to splice it with a Beanie and tape it up. In each room, there are the circular jacks, but all the 5 other pairs are shoved into a tiny hole in the wall so they will probably all break. Unfortuately, I cant fix this. (the house is 25 years old and the phones were prewired back in the Ohio Bell days)
Fortunately, the basement phones are fine. A cable from the RJ31X for my Alarm is connected to a phone jack in my workshop (black/yellow pair was spliced in from the garage) I hooked up a cable to this jack, ran it to a 66 block, made a ton of cross connections, hooked up a lot of jacks, and it works fine. yes, it is sort of messy, but it works :)
I have changed it around so many times though.

I might add that I am 15 and I did all the wiring in my workshop myself.

jeff moss
jeffmoss26@adelphia.net

RE: Looping Cat5 instead of home runs

think about it ,how much did he save in $$$ and  time verses doing it right ?
  evan if it works it will never work well for a little extra time and money he could have had a decent network.

     unfortunatley everbodys a expert ..

  reminds of a a job we had a while back in a resturant we were doing the phone and the POS peaple said we could run the cat 5 cable but not terminate it as only their techs were qualified.

   sure enough when we went back to do a MAC I looked . the pos techs hadnt used cat 5 jacks , they used old merlin rj45 screw terminal jacks and flat silver satin patch cords.(really)

    we have been replacing them one at a time as the pos terminals go down and their techs blame the cable  ...I change the jacks and patch cords and thir back in business

  

RE: Looping Cat5 instead of home runs

"the pos techs hadnt used cat 5 jacks , they used old merlin rj45 screw terminal jacks and flat silver satin patch cords"

Many POS systems, especially the older ones, the terminals are serial devices so silver satin is fine. Newer systems tend to be 10BaseT networks but some of the installers have not caught on.

RE: Looping Cat5 instead of home runs

(OP)
Since everyone seems to be enjoying this forum I have another situation I came across that threw me for a loop. I went to this house where we had dropped cat5 lines from 2 kids rooms to the basement for either data or voice. Now these people already have a network guy. (by the way I'm also a Microsoft Certified Pro.) This guy tells me all he needs is dialtone at the jacks for the kids. (POTS JACKS) No problem except this guy is going to network each box using a single tip and ring pair for each box. Now every standard I follow tells me this is not the way to do it. When I install and terminate cable I use all 4 pair PERIOD. So I said to this guy, why are you networking this house like this, you should use the cat5 with cat 5 jacks and all 4 pair for optimal performance. His answer to me was "your crazy" I said "right" ok this conversation is over. Your half as$in this network installation and your calling me crazy. never the less apparently he got it working. O this hous was also wired to a phone system which he didn't know about. So that goes to show you how much time and effort this idiot put into doing these peoples network. If there's new cat5 from those rooms why not just use all 4 pair. They arn't using the other for phones, the other pairs are just wasted in the wall for now.

Now I did research this and found this can be done with a special filter (almost like a dsl filter) But when I sent an email to the vendor they said it wont work if the house has a phone system. Knowing this I ran the lines out to the dmark way before it reached the phone system, and like i said I guess it worked for him.  I GUESS!

:)
I've gotten mixed info on this so if anyone cares to give me some insight I might not know about I would be more then happy to learn.

Thanks
Gene

RE: Looping Cat5 instead of home runs

the pos techs hadnt used cat 5 jacks , they used old merlin rj45 screw terminal jacks and flat silver satin patch cords"

Many POS systems, especially the older ones, the terminals are serial devices so silver satin is fine. Newer systems tend to be 10BaseT networks but some of the installers have not caught on.


  no ,this was new install 10 base T, just half ass install from a company that is now out of business.

   

RE: Looping Cat5 instead of home runs

I have seen alot of homes that network there MAC computers on JAK cable, since the MACS networked on the second pair.
But, the newer MAC computers need a minimum of two pair and those customers are now screaming. I told them that we should have seperated the voice from the data when installing, but there MAC network guy said not to woory it will be fine. We all know it might work today, but what about tomarrow.

RE: Looping Cat5 instead of home runs

Yeah, appletalk.  Well folks there IS a reason there are nationally recognized standards for residential wiring.  It isnt because everyone NEEDS this stuff, but it is designed to 'futureproof' your home and at least get you set for the next few years.

If people just spent a small percentage of the home building budget on being prepared, it would likely pay off in the long run.  Even the composite/hybrid cables with 2 cat5e, 2 rg6, 2 MM fiber is a smart move.  It is roughly $1 a foot, you dont HAVE to use all the conductors.  Many times we have been asked to put that in and only terminate on phone, one catv, and we normally light test the fiber to make sure it wasnt damaged and then leave the rest for expansion.  It's a small price to pay to be ready for the next setup.

It is only my opinion, based on my experience and education...I am always willing to learn, educate me!
Daron J. Wilson, RCDD
daron.wilson@lhmorris.com

RE: Looping Cat5 instead of home runs

Reading the posts from wires and skip555 I have to respond. I am a "POS TECH". I have been an installer and a corp project manager for a major POS company. Some of my accounts have been Disneyland and Denny's.
Those "techs" who installed that system probably weren't "techs" at all but people hired off the street because they had some computer knowledge and restaurant experience. I know because we went through that phase at my company. Many, many headaches were experienced during those days. Most techs I know would be glad to have someone who is knowledgeable terminate the cable so they didn't have to. Of course I never showed up on site without my cable tester becasue as Ronald Reagan used to say, "Trust, but verify!"
BTW, most newer POS systems are 100baseT. The older systems (more than 2 years old, a lifetime in the POS business) are 10baseT but those are fading quick. The old Sable systems use plain old telephone cable with RJ-11 jacks and older Progressive systems use coax.

RE: Looping Cat5 instead of home runs

My experience has been with Micros systems.  All the stuff that I've work on of theirs is serial except for the link from controller to the PC.  In my area, there is one company that is rather large and supplies and installs this stuff.  They do send their technicians out to service and repair it, and frankly, they suck at wiring.  I would routinely find splices and up to three wires under one pin in the AMP modular jacks they use.  They use different color schemes depending on what type of wire they choose that week.  I know there must be some good POS techs, but so often that POS stuff didn't follow any standard.  It's good to see that the POS world is coming around to a standard like ethernet, that will truely make my job a lot easier.

It is only my opinion, based on my experience and education...I am always willing to learn, educate me!
Daron J. Wilson, RCDD
daron.wilson@lhmorris.com

RE: Looping Cat5 instead of home runs

All I have to say is ...No Looping...!

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