Reusing existing network cabling for your new office and TIPS.

So something twice this month we did over here at BridgeCable.com. We re-used existing network cabling that was left over in offices. Two various clients were moving into new offices to them. In other words some cabling was left over in the locations. For cost both wanted to re-use the bulk of existing cabling and of course add some extra locations. That usually works out with some minor work like below.

1st Test Out all existing cabling. Basic testing is fine but we would suggest running full blown cabling certifications on all the wiring.

testing network cabling

Test your older wiring!

2nd Suggestion is replace the patch panel if in bad shape or older. The one site in Devon, PA right outside of Malvern Area had CAT6 Wiring but the end network jacks were CAT5e Home Depot branded units. Oddly enough the patch panel was a CAT6 ICC brand. So even though the Patch panel & network cabling was CAT6, they slowed down the network on CAT5e jacks. So we switched them out pronto. Due to it being a heavy media driven company we ran the cabling certs as well.

This Devon PA site had a mess of network cabling

The mess on the Devon, PA site. The terminations had RJ-45 heads on them.

I will also mention more about this Devon site, it was an older building more like a residential job. Closed ceilings made it difficult to run new wiring to some extra locations. Various offices around there like in Wayne and Berwyn all have older “historical” issues. Closed ceilings have to be cabled either from the ground floor below, cable tray (very expensive) or will to make a few holes in the walls. Thankfully we have skilled senior techs that just made one minor cut and covered it with a faceplate in a hidden area.

Philadelphia, New Jersey & New York City Leading Network Data Cabling Installation Company

So back to reusing existing cabling, there is so much to cover!

3rd Re-Terminate the existing data cabling with new jacks! Most damage on cables occur at the end locations. Everyone regards the IT closet or protects it but how about under your desk or on the wall. Things in time bang on the ports or the painter down the road might drop some paint into them. Point in case a 3rd floor a port went “bad”. I went right too it with a spare network jack and within 5 minutes I had replaced a faulty jack. Truth be told it was in a factory and the metal contacts were rusted. So back to the end locations….we highly suggest rejacking. As well your numbering on existing cabling and the new adds might need new labels and faceplates. The 2nd job, which was in Exton, PA had some analog telephone connections in the faceplates they we removed all together. So therefore we had to replace the faceplates anyway, most had dual ports that were removed for singles.

Installing network cabling management rack units.

Peter installing some cabling management on the new network rack.

In case we lost you here is a re-cap of the Exton worksite. We first did a site survey and saw the condition of the remaining wiring. At times you can test the wiring but truthfully our Project Managers can tell or have a close guess to its current state just be seeing the panel and a few jacks. Once a seating chart was determined we then added some new wiring, like new office or printer locations. WAPs or Wireless Access Points, cabling is typically added on most projects. If the client does not have a system in place we always suggest to have it ready when they roll it out. Devon used Aruba and the Exton site used Cisco.

service loop network cabling

Make sure to include a service loop for WAPS, they might move them.

After running the new cabling, which is always CAT6 for us, we re-terminated the jacks. Again this site had CAT6 wiring but cheap CAT5e jacks. Past lazy network installation techs we would assume. Then with the existing wiring and newer it was punched down into a CAT6 patch panel. We tested all the cabling with basic tests and then ran our certs. Certs give our clients peace of mind for the site and 100% no mistakes. Upon closing up the site our clients are given a network diagram. We tend to push for cable management and uniformed patch cables. Point of suggestion is always double order, they are cheaper in the long run then a outside vendor plugging in a “whacky” cable.

Ask for a network diagram or seating chart.

Helps remote IT staff to have network diagram or seating chart.

Moving onward to the next project but wanted to share our thoughts.

As always if you are re-using cabling call us for ideas at 877-832-1206.

Sometimes as well it is more cost effective just to skip re-using all together! Sometimes.

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Much more to running BridgeCable than just ladders and CAT6 wires.

So 2016 for BridgeCable was filled with jobs and happy clients. From our offices in Philadelphia, PA we did network cabling jobs from CT, NY and our neighbors in NJ. With our increasing client list we have added some key players besides more techs.

welcome picture of erica

Welcome Erica to BridgeCable!

Erica joined as in our marketing position and we wanted to share just a little bit of what she has started.

“So far working at Bridge Cable has been a learning experience.”

One of the first assignments I had was to look up different chamber of Commerce organizations in PA and NJ. The end goal for this was to come up with a list potential Chamber of commerce’s to join.  My first plan of action was locating these organizations in Reading , PA. I began by going onto Google maps and finding town in the surround areas of Reading Pa. From there I would type in the neighboring cities to see if they had Chamber of Commerce. I did the same for NJ. After locating the list of Chamber of Commerce’s, I stated calling them. I determined the amount of members, active members and price. While on the phone with these Chamber of Commerce’s, I realized that being a member was much more than being listed on their directory. They offered discounts for everyday life, volunteer opportunities and Networking events. Some even offered classes to better your career and themed networking events to break the ice. After a day’s worth of research, I delivered the list. Management is considering getting into the Philadelphia Chapter.

Another assignment I had was making a Capability sheet for potential clients. This sheet told the viewer what exactly we offer as a service and gave examples of some of our big name clients. This was another first for me. I had only made one flier before, but nothing informational. Paul made it very easy for me. He drew out a layout by hand.

Management is more techy than great with drawing pictures!

 

We discussed how he wanted the pictures to be presented; finally deciding that it would be more visually pleasing if they were rounded. The Cap sheet took me about an hour and half to do.

What came next was a bit difficult. Resizing the PDF. This was unknown territory for me. I looked up two techniques. One made the PDF at an extremely low resolution and the other came out perfect. By the next day this PDF was posted on our Social media Accounts.

Click below to see our new handout, we LOVE it!

 

The finished Project! Great job Erica!

The next assignment was a video. I was a bit nervous. I had only done edited one video before. I ran into my fair share of problems. The lighting was too hot and I was having issues putting the aperture on a high level to compensate. As a result the video was a little blown out. The video was a tutorial for internal use, to teach new employees different methods of Network Cabling. In postproduction, I ran into a few more problems. The video editing software I was using on my work laptop did not accept the file upon upload.  I started researching on the Internet. It turns out I have to download a program to convert the file to a more suitable platform. After finally finding a suitable downloading program I converted the file, only to see that program did not accept this file either. I then went back onto the internet to research. I converted the file once more to another platform. After this did not work I figured the movie maker program was a dud and went onto my personal computer. I worked on IMovie after that. I found working on IMovie rather easy and convenient after the whole fiasco. As a result of Imovie, I produced three tutorial videos for our employees.

This program will also be used to show Network Cablers in other states. BridgeCable.com believes that we should give back to the cabling community.  Overall for these projects I learned what to do and what not to do, My next videos will definitely be an improvement.

new crew

Kalief and Matt with Paul doing some training onsite. Erica took various pictures throughout the weeks with us.

My most recent assignment pieces everything together. BridgeCable.com is expanding! We are getting into Chamber of Commerce’s to get more business, creating new flier for said new business. In turn we need more employees, which brings me to the assignment-posting ads online. This assignment was fairly easy but time consuming. I was told to post ads in three states. It was smooth sailing until systems started deleting some of my posts. I am still unclear on why our content was deleted, everything was in the right category. Still working on the fixes as we speak!

The next step is to make an excel sheet to organize the workers by territory and skill. I can’t wait!

Love comments or thoughts….call me direct 877-832-1206 Ex: 302.

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Planning or an estimate for a network cabling installation for the first time.

Recently, I was sent to do an estimate in the Philadelphia area out of curiosity of what it entailed. I am a network cabling installer with Bridge Global Services (dba BridgeCable.com), and with support from our sales staff, I was given enough information to confidently execute the task at hand.

Philadelphia, New Jersey & New York City Leading Network Data Cabling Installation Company

Philadelphia, New Jersey & New York City Leading Network Data Cabling Installation Company

I now have a new found respect for the men and women who are sent out on, a regular basis, to do the estimates for us. They have a vision and enough foresight for how to best accommodate the client. Although they are not running wire, or getting their hands dirty, they are an important part in assuring the final product comes together. Carrying around a clipboard was a bit different when you’re more used to peeking around in ceilings with a headlamp and crazy fluorescent poles to fish your wires. I was sent out with everything I needed including a laser and wheel for correct measurements. You can find them at an affordable price on Amazon.com. The links below to these products will easily get the job done:

https://www.amazon.com/TR-Industrial-TR88017-Collapsible-Measuring/dp/B01018D8PE/ref=sr_1_5/159-7206279-6107061?ie=UTF8&qid=1471289453&sr=8-5&keywords=measuring+wheel

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VI7WBWE?psc=1

Now that you have the proper tools, you’re ready to go on your first estimate. Don’t be nervous, you’ll be fine. What’s the worst that can possibly happen? That’s what training is all about.

So, when doing an estimate, you want to make a good first impression, but if you have to wear shorts because it’s 108 degrees, than do what you got to do. But, you did not hear that from me. The first order of business is establishing good rapport with your client. Make sure you know who your point of contact is, of course. You will want to understand what your client’s options are, how flexible they are in achieving what they want, and what purpose they have in mind for the job your technicians will be performing.

You will meet all different types of people, so it’s important to work with them. Some will want to be heavily involved in how the details of project are executed, and this will require more patience. Others will gladly accept the estimate and allow the installers to get down to business with little to no involvement. So, keep this in mind, and realize (as with anything else) we all have our own unique personalities. But this is not a personality contest. It’s business. We won’t always like everyone we meet, and they won’t necessarily like us, but play nice.

Sidenote: Remote IT staff might prefer a Site Survey with a video as well. This is a completed job site, below, and helped the remote staff “eyeball” the finished site.

Although the estimator is normally not a “regular” technician (although some started out in the field), their knowledge of problems techs may run into is crucial to the overall performance of the finished product. For example, there are a number of problems a tech might run into that the estimator can foresee including the distance of the run, and construction of the walls, which may require drilling. A single run cannot be longer than 328 feet, is what the experts tell us. The reason for this is that CAT6, being a low voltage wire, will not be capable of handling a distance any longer than that without running the risk of potential problems. This particular run was right around 328 feet, so it will require some improvising. A number of other potential issues may arise such as needing to install special molding when you’re backed up against a concrete wall, and you can’t call your mommy to help you this time. These are the types of things you may or may not discover on the estimate. But ask as many questions you can think. Remember the old adage: “There are no stupid questions except the ones that are not asked.” It may have been Albert Einstein who said it, but Google cannot confirm this.

Anyway, I want to thank Bridge Cable for giving me the opportunity to meet with a potential client, and perform this estimate. It was a great learning experience, and this network cabling company really invests in their staff, and is willing to take risks. The main take away I got from this experience was to appreciate others on my team, and always keep in mind that it takes each part of an organization to run a successful operation. There is no such thing as being insignificant, so take pride in what you do. With that being said, next time you see the janitor thank him or her for cleaning up after you.

To see more of what network cable installation services we provided check here – http://www.bridgecable.com/network-cable-installation.htm

Further help, just call us! 877-832-1206. We serve the entire Philadelphia metro, covering Allentown and Pottstown as well. The entire state of New Jersey and sections of New York city.

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MAC Network Cabling job in Center City Philadelphia, PA Details

Bridge Cable responded to a MAC in Center City Philadelphia. In the world of network cabling, MAC does not mean what you think it might. We are referring to a move, add, and/or change, not the popular smart phone brand. Now that we’ve cleared up what a MAC is, let me explain how one Bridge Cable technician was able to move, add, and change a few network cables around for our valued client. We arrived under the impression we were installing one cables, but as is the case many times, it became two data cables. As we always state, flexibility and stellar communication are vitally virtuous in what we do as professional data and voice cable installers.

philadelphia network cabling

Here our one tech Chris is doing another MAC network cabling job in Philadelphia, PA office.

Our intern quickly got to work carefully removing ceiling tiles. ***Hint: Use your fists to avoid fingerprints because they may leave dirt, and you may avoid being a suspect if anything were ever to go down. But I regress.

Once the pathway from the server room to the two drop locations was established, it was discovered there were a few old wires not being used. And our intern, who was paying attention at our last jobsite, and ate his Wheaties, realized he could use these old wires to pull the two new ones. The first wire went to a location in a new office, and our intern was basking in the glory of how easy of a drop it was. There was nothing such as insulation, metal studs, or pesky rodents getting in the way this time. The additional location was in a conference room against a concrete wall. The original plan was to run a molding along the floor next the existing molding for electric. This would not have been a problem, and our technician was ready and willing to execute this plan. However, after further consideration our client requested to change it to the adjacent wall. This resulted in having to move it to wall, which had not been dry-walled yet.

Even more information on our main site http://www.bridgecable.com/network-cable-installation.htm

Our techs are trained to always cooperate with, and exhibit the utmost respect for the general contractor. On this bright sunny afternoon the general contractor just so happened to be on site, and through proper communication, and an established friendly relationship, the general contractor agreed to finish the installation. Our technician assured that after the CAT6 wire was carefully moved and adjusted that it was jacked, plated, tested, and certified. We are pleased to form these types of friendly cooperation with other contractors to keep first tings first, which is to ensure the overall satisfaction of the customer. Bridge Cable would have been more than happy to return to finish the installation, but this mutual bond helped save our client money, and boosts morale among contractors who often get a bad reputation for butting heads with one another. Remember guys, satisfied clientele means more work for all of us. Can’t we all just get along?

teamwork putting in a network cabling MAC request.

Another MAC network cabling request was done at another site in New Jersey area.

So, back to using the old wire for pulling the new: It may seem cut and dry, easy peasy, one two, threezy, but you cannot just pull it and leave it like that. If you were ever to look up in a ceiling and see any wires not secured, and floating low, that’s a no-no. Not only does it put up a red flag for an inspector, but also it can cause network or other unwanted and unnecessary issues down the road. Not to mention it shows a lack of professionalism. At Bridge Cable, our job is not to just get your system up and running but to keep it that way for years to come, and we take great pride in what we do. Bridge Cable technicians always take the time to locate the safest, most ergonomic method of installation, so you can rest assured that you won’t need to worry about what’s going on in your ceiling once it’s all put back together.

If you are looking for an innovative solution to meet all your network needs for your company, please do not hesitate to contact Bridge Cable Services. It would be our pleasure to sit down with you, and explore the best possible options, using only the latest products technology has to offer, to maximize productivity for years to come. We strive to be the future of network cabling.

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Update on Fiber Optics and Network Cabling Installations in Philadelphia areas

Summer of 2015 was a busy time for installations in the Philadelphia and including New Jersey and New York cities as well. Here is a few cabling installs BridgeCable.com was involved in.

Motion Recruitment need a complete CAT 6 network installation for their new office on Broad Street in Philadelphia. The new office was being built out with trenches and walls during the time our networking techs were onsite. Working with blue prints and the general manager we were able to beat all timelines, in fact finishing two weeks ahead of schedule. This is what Bridge Cable techs do, we pitch in and do long hours if needed to ensure your computer wiring projects get done in time….or BEFORE.

Last of the CAT 6 network jacks being put in place and tested for them.

Last of the CAT 6 network jacks being put in place and tested for them.

Canadian company Summit Energy moved Center City as well into their new offices right on top of the Philadelphia Business Journal, which is a great website to stop by as well. Summit Energy needed a complete re-wire of the offices for a network and used Comcast as their backbone for data and VoIP telephones. Completed in 1 day and even network diagrams were produced. Working with other trades in the building did not hamper our techs efforts, although a bit tacky with the new carpet being laid on the same day! The network cabling installation tested 100% with our certified testers like Fluke testers. It is rare that other low voltage companies actually test their work like we do. Perhaps due to the heavy cost of the testers but we love providing our clients with that piece of mind.

Another center city Philadelphia network cable installation that was perfect!

Another center city Philadelphia network cable installation that was perfect!

Rinchem national huge heavyweight company was expanding their offices in Bristol, PA and include many projects for Bridge Cable. First was the expansion of their computer wiring in a newer warehouse and office space that they were expanding too. Again like above we used CAT 6 wiring for their data and VoIP networks. We might add we wired their warehouse with Genesis CAT 6 for best signal and transmissions of information for their RF devices to be used. The site was simple to install and a MDF was made with network rack and switches. The MDF then feed the warehouse connections as a IDF was connected in the middle of the warehouse. As people should know CAT 6 or even CAT 5e should not go past a certain length, we prefer to install UNDER 250 ft. Any network cable installations over 250 feet we suggest fiber optic cabling. Which we will get to in a moment. The IDF computer wiring was done mostly on lifts so our guys were busy driving in the air all the week. Patch panels were also placed onsite and testing went perfect. The network cabling installation also covered WAPs wiring, for Wireless Access Points. We offer heat maps and wireless surveys as well as one of our services to our clients as well.

Network cable installations for computer wiring take longer due to safety and distances.

Network cable installations for computer wiring take longer due to safety and distances.

As we said before Fiber Optic cabling is suggested for long computer wiring runs. In this install we needed to run a DEMARC extension from one part of the warehouse to another. Working with the remote IT support and their network devices we choose a multi 6 strand fiber cable to use. Using ST fiber optic connectors which we feel is the most common in the Philadelphia city it connected both sides of the warehouses. Drilling through the firewalls and placing innerducts was a bit tricky over such a long distance that we typically used 2 man teams.

Innerduct is used to protect DEMARC extensions and many times for fiber optic cabling in cities.

Innerduct is used to protect DEMARC extensions and many times for fiber optic cabling in cities.

So the fiber optic network cabling installation in this philadelphia area was completed in time and before the deadline as well. Since warehouses tend to be dirty we opted for extra protection with using weatherized fiber relay boxes with seals. Therefore since fiber transmits with light the sealed boxes will keep the signals strong and at this site heavy printing and large graphic were going to be zipped across the network. We took the time to do some training with the newer cable techs and taught a handful of the best how to terminate fiber wiring. Fiber terminations can be tricky in the beginning so our owner and senior techs had fun teaching the new guys.

Our new owner gladly showing others how to terminate fiber optic cabling for future Philadelphia projects.

Our new owner gladly showing others how to terminate fiber optic cabling for future Philadelphia projects.

Other exciting network cabling services install in New York and New Jersey were completed as well. We would like to Thank our clients for their continued support and TRUST in us to get the job done. More to come but this busy 2015 summer as left little time for writing and posting. Leave us some comments below and remember we are always hiring for Sales positions and all Telecom Techs.

Call us to help with your next project or even advice at 877-832-1206.

Thanks for stopping by! Bridge Cable

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How I lost over $200,000 in network cabling projects last year.

“Why would you post this?” asked my director as I handed this over to him.

To Help.

Yes, I still am employed with Bridge Cable and no plans of leaving til my last days. This is what I love to do, running cable….connecting the world. I am the “cable guy”.

So how did I lose so much money in one year? I was running reports for a meeting and losses were actually $208,500 in lost of wages, profits and opportunities.

Here is why.

1 – Setup. Upon signing up for a new network cable installation factors like setting for the job are often skipped. Ever worked in New York or center city Philadelphia and parked a few blocks away? Sure, loading docks are great but what about the time lugging gear and cabling to the client’s. Ever factor in the parking tickets as you scurry to get back to the work van with a ladder or cart?

How much time does it take you to set up for the job?

How much time does it take you to set up for the job?

2 – What is behind the wall? Sure everyone likes a typical office layout of drywall and drop ceilings. However we do not have x-ray vision and perhaps some fun double sheet rock is awaiting for the crew? Older buildings might not have followed the same logic as the next building. Does your work van carry crowbars? It’s standard with us after all these years, don’t ask. Projecting a budget for a installation takes a strong stomach until the walls are actually worked on. Personally, a network cabling should take about 5 minutes to drop into the wall……personal worse time…..3 hours. Techs or project managers never know what is lurking behind some walls.

Word of advice, stud finders are not 100% correct all the time.

Word of advice, stud finders are not 100% correct all the time.

3 – Uniformed Managers. That took a bit to write those two words, this is a company blog and this might rub some people the wrong way. What Bridge Cable does is skilled. We are not really the local cable guys that drill holes into walls and call it a day. We offer skills to install a company’s backbone, the foundation of business. We just do not slap wires into walls and see if the lights blink. We keep wiring away from electrical lines to avoid surges. We keep wiring away from pipes to avoid fires. We certify the wiring to ensure the proper or maximum amount of speed for your network. The cost of fixing a network out weighs the price of a proper installation. So what does a grumpy or “uniformed manager” statement mean? Sure, hire some folks off craigslist for a project you do not have money for. I guess what I have learned is stop working for free. A client in Philadelphia with various locations left us last year. Why? We started charging for our work, appropriately. Of course budgets are set but skill and a proper installs are what we strive for. Let’s move on, I think I am getting long winded on this!

One client said he did not trust us completely and placed portable IP cameras on us. I pulled our guys from the site, it was nerve racking as every move was being questioned.

One client said he did not trust us completely and placed portable IP cameras on us. I pulled our guys from the site, it was nerve racking as every move was being questioned.

4 – Cleaning Up, we try not to be messy. Who would even talk about this? Us. Your office or home just had some work down to it. As a project manager I factor in time to run the vacuum, three years ago our vans never carried them. We sure do now, why let our clients clean up after us? 🙂

We are OCD with projects as our clean up as well.

We are OCD with projects as our clean up as well.

5 – Technicians Health is a factor we lost money last year. Simply put as humans as can only work so much. Imagine crawling around ceilings and warehouses, imagine “stacking” a quick project under a short deadline? Last year we serviced a handle of high priority jobs that took a toll on our guys. Sick days or even down time costed Bridge Cable money. When quoting certain jobs, I the author, am reminded of a cabling warehouse job. I was onsite with a crew and took the place of the lead tech as I thought the job was going to slow. I jumped on the lift 30 ft in the air and started pulling grounding cable. My speed and strength was exhausted after 30 minutes and my forearms were jelly for 2 weeks. The point? Deadlines come second over our techs.

As a standard our techs follow OSHA guidelines.

As a standard our techs follow OSHA guidelines.

6 – Cabling Reports. The last major lost of revenue caused last year was time to run reports on the finished projects. Quick example, a New York client had a electrician run CAT5e cable and jacks for their new office. Loss of connections and slow speeds brought us in, 25% of the terminations were not proper. Lose wiring on the jacks and at the patch panel was dragging the network to a crawl. After running reports on the cabling we were able to fix the bad ports. The finish of every project, no matter what network cabling company you use, is to have reports. Reports do take time, recently a small job of 12 drops took 3 hours but we had to add on 45 minutes to run the reports. This does not factor in the back office time to record and present the reports as well. Do the reports.

Network cabling reports ensure your wiring is running at MAX speeds!

Network cabling reports ensure your wiring is running at MAX speeds!

So why do I still have job? Why is Bridge Cable still in business? Experience and a great team. Over this last year we gained from our losses and pushed forward. Factoring in the above and providing the best work at a fair price we got the job done. Fortune 500 companies trust us and expect nothing less than a professional installation and they get it.

Also to “redeed” myself personally, this year we welcomed more clients and our teams were completely scheduled out last year. We grew with repeat business and new clients like below.

Clients-Network-Cabling

We hope this omission of items we learned over this year might help you on your next computer or telephone wiring job as well.

We serve New York, New Jersey and the entire Philadelphia area, call us 877-832-1206.

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The author was one of our Project Managers Paul Wallace and a principle on BridgeCable.com, reach out to him at paulw@bridgecable.com 

 

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CHECKLIST for a network cabling installation or office move.

Must have CHECKLIST for your office move or new network cabling installation is reviewed here with some major factors to prep for.

Generally in our Philadelphia and New York offices 50% of our work is just repeat clients moving into a new office or changing their existing computer and telephone wiring. Below is some common issues or items we review with our clients before the move is made. Of course the list can be endless to a point but let’s start out with the TOP ones!plan

VoIP or Analog Telephones – Do not forget the older fax lines. Many times we hear, okay, here is the fax machine getting plugged in? Remember to make the needed changes or request to bring your fax machine over, yes….people still use faxes. As far as VoIP telephones we are always planning for them. Even if you or your company is not using them factor in cost in dropping extra network wiring on your installation for the future. Of course most VoIP telephones can daisy chain off the computer network port but we like to seperate those lines. Real quick, in a standard new office install we drop 1 wire for network and 1 wire for voice, or VoIP. Back in the server room we will termination the network and voice lines on different patch panels. This way when your company grows it is as simple as plug and play. Typically network cable jacks are blue and VoIP is white. Currently we work with Broadview Network, http://www.broadviewnet.com/  and their region offices so ask us for suggestions.

Can your customers check in on social media while at your business and help promote you??

Can your customers check in on social media while at your business and help promote you??

 

Wireless Internet or Wireless Access Points – Everyone is using a smart phone and new clients or prospects are coming into your office to sign the next big deal. Moving into a new office is a perfect time to run a new wiring into the ceiling for a solution. Generally rule of thumb with high traffic areas or meeting areas we at Bridge Cable will install a WAP in the ceiling. Make sure to order a unit that get’s it’s power over Ethernet, or commonly called POE. Cost is low with the units typically starting $100 and the Switches to connect to them the same pricing.

tv_guideTVs for the VIPs, Lounges or Meeting Rooms – Generally NetFlix or YouTube has taken our attention from standard television viewing however this is a common last minute request with Bridge Cable. Most conference rooms will have a smart tv with a network jack builtin so consider a network jack on the wall. As well everyone stills is carrying a laptop with a VGA port, PowerPoint presentation anyone? So in the conference room factor in a network jack, VGA port and a HDMI port. Common areas that might feature a tv plan for as well. Regular television service such as Comcast is run via a coaxial line and check with them if they will run the internal wiring as well.

DEMARC….Your Backbone Internet Connection – What’s a demarc? The DEMARC is where service provider comes from the street into your building. Comcast, Verizon or Broadview typically take 45 days to make changes or install the network cabling services into your new location. Again, 45 days….this should be your first call. As well internal wiring for your backbone is called your Demarc Extension. A Demarc Extension is a huge amount of work that we do in Philadelphia. Most backbone providers will just pick a outside wall in your building and leave their equipment there. Typically most clients with Bridge Cable would prefer their server rooms in a general area in the office. Bridge Cable will typically connect your demarc to your servers or patch panels. Verizon demands conduit and Comcast vary on what is required. Fiber is a huge amount of installations currently so talk to your network cable installation team about options.

Other Items to Consider: The above is the most common we encounter in New Jersey and Philadelphia computer wiring but let us touch on a few more.

– Floorplan for new office, consider the layouts of desks and equipment.

– Power to your server room or closet.

– CAT6 or CAT5e, we suggest CAT6 for feature bandwidth usage.

– Desks or cubicles? Network Wiring takes more time to install with cubes. Remember to get faceplates for the network jacks!

– Time of move? Weekend?

Thanks for reviewing and print this out for a guide to help you move or plan the next install. As well comment below with some other ideas too.

Bridge Cable serves Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey companies with all network cabling services including repair and installation.

Call us 877-832-1206.

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Give back to Philadelphia with older or unused computer equipment. Pay It Forward!

What  is this Pay It Forward program that Bridge Cable does? Simply put is when our techs are onsite doing a network or computer wiring installation we are in storage or server rooms. Usually in the corner is piles of older computers not in use. What to do with them is always a problem with IT staff, as I would hate to say this most are hoarders. I can say that, the author, as a former IT admin for Lexus Nexus and always liked to have spare units laying around.

Learn about network cable installation capabilities here.

Rebecca is using her free computer for her new Philadelphia business.

Rebecca is using her free computer for her new Philadelphia business.

After Bridge Cable’s installation we at times can take older or used equipment from the companies. Our management allows our techs to store and update the equipment to hand over to people in need. Typically in the Philadelphia office we meet or post ads on Craigslist for donations. We generally find computer systems that we donate are used to start businesses or usage as a 2nd computer for kid’s homework. On the business side it’s really awesome to think we can help out other small businesses in the area. We, all businesses, started from the bottom and it’s great to put back in the local people that have helped us keep going after so many years. The homework help is really cool as who knows one of these small kids might turned into the next install tech or IT guru.

Jacob is using this equipment for his new networking business.

Jacob is using this equipment for his new networking business.

So what can you donate? Really anything? Monitors have been a big plus, kids these days enjoy seeing a flat screen attached to their home computer. Most companies are upgrading their 17 inch monitors or below these days. Even with slower CPU computers we can upgrade them with more memory or a larger hard drive. A favorite local computer store that does upgrades is Shantech Computer, 2026 Cottman Ave, Philadelphia,PA 19149 @ (215) 342-3688. We have used them in the past and can work with a budget.

Our techs also love free lunches! :)

Our techs also love free lunches! 🙂

We implore anyone with spare units or equipment to get them out of the closets and back on the streets. Some companies can do fancy stuff with a credit for their taxes but it is just faster to get them back in the hands of people that would use them.

Call us for any of your computer network wiring needs and if we are there we will gladly take stuff off your hands.

Bridge Cable 877-832-1206

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Network cable testers for the techs in the field and review of our favorites.

Okay, time to start a heated debate or get blasted with our choices. It’s okay, we have thick skin and over a decade we have been leading Philadelphia in network computer wiring installation. We can take it 🙂

So setting a new network in the new office, congrats! With the current economy we all always amazed for the opportunity to see new companies set up or more growth. So hitting the ground and into laying in cabling for the office is always the first step.

After running the cabling through out the walls and terminating the ends into a patch panel or network jack it’s that time……time to test. Or you could hope for the best and expect a few service calls down the road. I have to admit something real quick, a brag more, Bridge Cable techs are always shocked when we test our finished cables and find a bad pair or termination. I swear we can do network cabling punch downs in our sleep. Okay, enough of the back patting….for now. Back to the project! Different levels on the cabling is with any company. Let’s review what you might need or expect with your installation.

Basic Connection: First run on most network computer wiring should be a simple LED test. What? Simple testers from China, Ebay or Home Depot will test the connections of the pairing of the wiring. Typical CAT5e or CAT6 wiring has 4 pairs running in each cable. When connecting the wiring from one end point to another the pairs for the most part should match, relax….there are other pin outs or configurations. So real quick, the brown pair on both ends will need to match on the termination points. Typically the start of the cable goes into a patch panel and then ending up into a network jack at the user’s location/desk.

Standard $10 China Tester, various names.

Standard $10 China Tester, various names.

Home Depot $30 Special - Same as above but a tad bit more durable.

Home Depot $30 Special – Same as above but a tad bit more durable.

Mid-Range Testing: So what is awful on the above basic testing is that even though the connections might be transmitting a signal this does not mean a solid network. Loose wires and terminations might be on the patch panel or network jacks. Typically when our installation team punches down the connections we eyeball the jacks or panel. By the way, punching down is stripping the jacket off the cable and then using a punch down tool to insert the wiring into the teeth of the termination points. Back to a loose a connection, due to the space or size of the wiring it is possible to have a bad connection for data. The above testers will just check to see “if anyone is home” more or less. A great mid range tester tests the speed of the connection of the wiring and as well some stress testing. A GREAT tester that is very affordable is Byte Brother’s Real World Tester which more information can be found on their site, http://www.triplett.com/shop/real-world-certifier-rwc1000k/

Great Mid Range Network Cable Tester from Byte Brothers

Great Mid Range Network Cable Tester from Byte Brothers

Some great points about this tester is the pricing! Overall tests different cabling with stress testing and speed testing as well. Print out reports for the clients or yourself can be done with this unit which is great! One flaw is the tests could be tainted or changed by a tech if there is a bad cable and then just want to sweep it under the carpet. So with most service ticket vendor outfits, like Field Nation, they will not accept these reports for completed work. However if the price typically under $400 most techs can carry this tester in their gear daily. Imagine even your newest tech carrying a tester like this, installation “proof” or their workmanship is at another level. The other month a larger computer cabling installation company was about to buy 1 Fluke, see below, tester for around $5000 and decided on outfitting all their 9 trucks with these testers instead. The speed tests on these testers really do the job with clients. We use these testers on 50% of our installations as most of our clients do not even require testing or cabling reports on our installs. Just nice to give the client for peace of mind!

High Level Testers….the top of the top! FLUKE. Yes, every in the business has heard and respected this name. Dependable testing and rock solid reporting is know with Fluke. Really not much needs to be written with the Fluke testers. For enterprise level clients or printable reports for the clients this is the best way to go. Fluke runs a series of tests on the cables and then creates PDF report for each cable. The testers are built rock solid as well so they are meant to last for years, with a price of around $5000 you would expect that. A great option for smaller outfits to to rent the testers for a week to avoid such a huge cost to the project. Typically the only compliant is the life of the batteries in these units here at Bridge Cable. Buy a spare! So most techs will agree fluke is the top of the line and not much is need to be written, if you need more information or this name is new to you then we would suggest just using the Byte Brothers unit.

The leading TOP network tester is Fluke....for years now!

The leading TOP network tester is Fluke….for years now!

Let’s taking the time to read this and would love some feedback below. Newer tester? Tell us your two cents!

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Call us any time for help with your project at 877-832-1206

 

 

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Dog bites while doing network cabling and repair work wasn’t in the manual.

So a dog broke my skin the other day just trying run some wiring down a wall the other day. As you can guess this job was a residential job. To the non-installers out there doing a cabling job at a office or a house would be the same right? Way off my friend.

Let’s talk about some challenges with residential work shall we?

First is the telephone call from the customers. Sorry folks we just run the wiring in your office or home, we can not activate HBO or CNN. We typically get a few calls per month in the Philadelphia area for cable service. It’s cute 🙂 So after understanding we will professionally run the wiring we review our process. So on the East Coast we have Comcast as one of the major backbones for the net. As scores of people will tell you anyone with a large drill bit and ladder can work for them. We review with our customers we take pride and not into drilling a hole in the middle of your dining room and snaking miles of wires into your living room. Comcast techs get paid for the job and first hand you can see it the finished job. Hats off to those guys, they take a beating and even this author work for a few days with them. However Bridge Cable techs have been trained to reduce the sight of your wiring. Residential is more of a art than anything. With a office you can just cut out a hole in the drywall and pop a few ceiling titles. Ever worked with horse hair plaster walls? Philly is famous for their older houses. Oy Vey!

Parking?!

Parking in New York City

We hope we can find a spot!

New York and Philadelphia Center City can cause chain smoking just to find a spot close to the job site. Better to work with a teammate as one can unload and then the other tech take an hour to find a spot. Forget about the steps on older houses, pack wisely my friends.

 

 

Watch my mother’s high school pictures!

Walk SLOWLY

Walk SLOWLY

We understand everything is precious in your house and even juniors’ art project that is holding together with glue for the last 10 years. Make sure to tidy up the house before any trades come in the house. If you forget to tell the customer to clean up or clear a path most houses are like running a Marine gauntlet.

Every one is nervous with hiring a contractor and we do our best with the first time meeting with them for a quote. We have been onsite places that have video cameras set up just to watch us work. I guess our teams are handsome….not my type, but who am I too judge.

lock up the puppy

What a pretty puppy….SNAP

So the Dog Bite.

Okay, I write about this as I’m smiling from ear to ear. Most of our techs have dogs….I guess network cable installation techs are dog lovers? Not so much cats. Anyway, the reason this blog was started to review how different home and office jobs are. The other day I was onsite and the dogs ran over and gave me a bit of a smell and some yapping. Everyone did kisses and bit of a rub down. For a few hours the dogs walked around the site with us inspecting our work more than a Union City Inspector. Without warning one of the dogs went for a snack and left me with two bloody teeth marks on my calf above my boot. Surprise! The owner was indeed sorry and mentioned that every so often he does that without warning. I guess it was nap time.

Another time cats have went crazy on us, to wrap this up……we love kids and animals, but let’s play another time when we are not trying work. Hence the reason our techs carry a first aid kit.

Clear a path.

You miss laundry day....or month.

You miss laundry day….or month.

To avoid longer work times and more cost home owners need to remember to clear a path. As most of our techs are not so tidy at home we do not need to walk on your piles. Lately I was drilling in closet that I had to walk sideways. That is totally fine but just keep in mind more time is more money. We generally try to give heavy discounts for residential jobs in the Philadelphia areas but help us make the most of our time.

 

Beware of Craigslist! 

Hire someone with insurance.

Hire someone with insurance.

Accidents are not planned but happen from time to time. Constantly we are cleaning up installations from either untrained electricians or general help found from the internet. A recent fix was a customer looking for some network cabling from the 3rd floor to the basement. Turns out the cheap help terminated the connections wrong and left a nice hole in the ceiling. Another friend of mine, the author, had a security system installed with damage to his ceiling vents. He felt bad asking the author as he knew the author was working back to back days……wished he had asked. Wrapping it up….ask for insurance….just in case.

 

Call Bridge Cable for any help….Professional Network Cable Installation for New York, New Jersey and of course the best city in the world, Philadelphia, PA

(877) 832-1206

@bridgecable

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