small business

Is this the network or a cleaner’s cupboard?

We recently took on a new client who needed a little help with their setup.  During a tour of their site, we were shown a cupboard where their server and network cables were routed to.  The cupboard was also being used by their cleaner to store several buckets, a hover and various cleaning chemicals.

This is not only unsightly but if the cleaner had spilt any fluids over the cables or equipment the whole business could have stopped.

Getting a cleaner network

After arranging to visit when the network would be quieter and we can disconnect and reconnect the cabling if required we began work to provide a cleaner network cupboard.  We made some progress and found one of the strangest cable joints we have ever come across for CAT5e cables.

We believe this was connected by an electrician.   Which may explain why they had used electrical joiners for each pair of cables.  Tracing the cables back to their alarm system. We were able to place the alarm in test mode and then crimp cable and connect using a more suitable CAT5e connector.

In just a few hours, most of the cabling mess was tidied up and the cleaner’s equipment is now stored in another suitable location.  We even were able to get the side panel back on the data cabinet.

Terminating the cables

While we were testing the network cables, we also found each of the network points had been terminated to a different standard.  Usually, we follow the T568B standard however the person who ran and terminated about 20 of cables appeared to reverse all the colours apart from the blue pair.

When we used our testing equipment the cables failed consistently. 

VonQ EasyCheck 900 tester bad results
Patch App & Go – Failed result

( If you’ve not used Patch App & Go – https://amzn.to/38ia3Kl )

Looking at the cat5e module the blue pair was connected correctly, and all the others were terminated in reverse.  This matched the crimped ends, so we had to correct the blue pair.

What we found strange is that the network cable still worked in Windows 10 and their existing phone network

Fix and testing

After finding the fault, we were able to adjust the termination and the test software passed the cable.

Having a tidy network cabinet saves time in future when you are trying to add a new device or trying to diagnose a fault on the network.

Ensuring your network data cabling is terminated correctly will also ensure you are getting the best speed out of your data network. If you would like a cleaner network or data cabinet, then contact us.

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