Installation of LAN Cabling for 100mb Cat5e Office/Home Network - Introduction  

This is a guide for installation of proper lan cabling. It can be scaled from a small home lan to an office with a large number of users.

The easiest way to install lan cabling is to run cables direct from the switch to each computer. This is the cheapest method but does not allow flexibility. For instance if the user wants to relocate a computer in a different part of the room you may have to run a whole new cable because the one you installed is now not long enough.

  So what is the best method then? It is best to run cabling from sockets near the users workstations which are terminated at a patch panel in the server room. Because the cables are terminated at sockets near the users, if the user wants to move a computer further away, it is only necessary to run a new cable from the socket to his computer and not a whole length of cable to the server room.  
  In the picture above you can see a patch panel at the top and then the small blue patch cables are connecting the patch panel to the switch. This also gives flexibility at that end. You could install a second switch or other networking device below the first switch and quickly change a patch cable to change the configuration of the network. Because all the patch cables are visible, it is easy to label them and for any new technician to understand the configuration of the network.  
  If we look at the users end, the picture on the left shows the lan socket which is located next to a users desk. The cable from the Patch Panel to the socket is protected from damage with plastic conduit or channels that wires can be run through. You can see that I have run rather large conduit. It is 40x25 mm cross section. One of the reasons to run large conduit is that offices are continuinallly being upgraded and this means that existing conduit can be used for the next job if it is large enough. The other reason is that one piece of large conduit is more attractive than several small pieces running along the wall together. It just looks more professional. Ideally you want to separate electrical cables from LAN cables. The specifications say that you should run LAN cabling 1ft away from electrical cables. Sometimes this is not feasible and depending on how perfect you would like the transmissions to be you can get away with running some electrical cables in the same conduit as the LAN cables.  


Easier and cheaper than you might think to install the lan yourself.
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