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Am I ever exhausted November 17, 2007

Posted by truthspew in Uncategorized.
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So I’m doing contracting work and todays project was wiring up a couple cable outlets and network outlets in a house. I scoped the project earlier and though, eh, two hours ought to do it.

How wrong I was. First of all the way the house is built is a split level. I’ll never again wire a split level. You want me to wire make it a one floor with basement, or even two floor. If it’s two floor know that we’re going to have to tear a channel into the wall to route the wiring. To top it off the room sat over the garage and the garage had finished ceilings. This necessitated running everything along the sill. Fun, fun, fun.

Maybe I was a bit to hasty about split levels. If I ever run across one again I’ll just use a reciprocating saw to remove a small section of wall/ceiling in order to more easily run cable. Fishing it through tiny little holes is a major pain in the ass. I’m being quite literal when I say that since I’m one hurting guy right now.

While doing the last room I ran into a problem. I had pulled up the Cat5e and then tried going back for the coaxial cable. I dropped the fish back down again to retrieve the coax cable but something happened. When I tried to pull the fish tape out it snagged on something. I was reluctant to pull much further since I probably snagged an electric line so I cut the tape off and tucked it under the floor and then did the next best thing, I tied the coax to the Cat5e and pulled it through only to find that a 7/16″ hole wasn’t big enough. Took about 45 minutes to dig it out and finally got the coax through though the terminating end was destroyed. Of course after that I realized I could have gotten cable pulling grease but that would have been too easy.

After that I terminated all the ends for the Cat5e and cable into nice pretty little jacks. This is one of them. Combination network and cable TV jacks with plate

Terminating the jacks took the least amount of time. For the coax F connectors you just make about a radial slice into the outside jacket about 5/8″ down. Then you slide the outer insulator jacket off and you’re left with a layer of braided shield which has to be combed out and trimmed. Then you have to cut through the second layer of shield and through the dielectric to get to the center conductor., including opening up the coax, combing out the first layer of shield and then cutting down the second layer and dielectric too. That leaves you about 1/4″ dielectric and second shield, and 3/8″ of copper center conductor. Slide it into the F connector and then crimp.

Total process takes less than a five minutes per connector assuming you have a crimping tool. Thankfully I do have one since otherwise it’d be the pliers.

The Cat5e is also easy to terminate. I wire them using the T-568B standard. Just lay the wires into the channels and use the punch down tool to secure, keeping total length from last twist down below 1/2″

That’s about the same difficulty level as doing the coax. When all was said and done and the patch cables hooked up to routers, computers, TV’s etc. everything worked on the first shot. Got to love when that happens but I was confident that it would. Even sized the cable correctly as I actually had about 20 feet of extra for each to play with.

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