Learn the Basics of Cabling on Your Own

Below are various questions we hear on-site or just from emails. Let us know some other questions as well.

What is Network Cabling?

Cable is the medium through which information usually moves from one network device to another. There are several types of cable which are commonly used with LANs. In some cases, a network will utilize only one type of cable, other networks will use a variety of cable types. The type of cable chosen for a network is related to the network’s topology, protocol, and size. Understanding the characteristics of different types of cable and how they relate to other aspects of a network is necessary for the development of a successful network. BridgeCable.com handles all types of network cabling installs.

Review our Tutorials on YouTube as well, email us for ideas as well for more videos you would like to see posted. Here is one video: Installation trick or tip for securing the main bundle of CAT 6 Wiring for your network.

Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) Cable

unshielded twisted pair cableTwisted pair cabling comes in two varieties: shielded and unshielded. Unshielded twisted pair (UTP) is the most popular and is generally the best option for business networks. The quality of UTP may vary from telephone-grade wire to extremely high-speed cable.

The cable has four pairs of wires inside the jacket. Each pair is twisted with a different number of twists per inch to help eliminate interference from adjacent pairs and other electrical devices. The tighter the twisting, the higher the supported transmission rate and the greater the cost per foot.

Unshielded Twisted Pair Connector

rj45 connection

The standard connector for unshielded twisted pair cabling is an RJ-45 connector. This is a plastic connector that looks like a large telephone-style connector. A slot allows the RJ-45 to be inserted only one way. RJ stands for Registered Jack, implying that the connector follows a standard borrowed from the telephone industry. This standard designates which wire goes with each pin inside the connector.

Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) Cable

A disadvantage of UTP is that it may be susceptible to radio and electrical frequency interference. Shielded twisted pair (STP) is suitable for environments with electrical interference; however, the extra shielding can make the cables quite bulky. Shielded twisted pair is often used on networks using Token Ring topology.

Coaxial Cable

Coaxial cable is generally for older systems.

Coaxial cabling has a single copper conductor at its center. A plastic layer provides insulation between the center conductor and a braided metal shield. The metal shield helps to block any outside interference from fluorescent lights, motors, and other computers.

Although coaxial cabling is difficult to install, it is highly resistant to signal interference. In addition, it can support greater cable lengths between network devices than twisted pair cable. The two types of coaxial cabling are thick coaxial and thin coaxial.

Thin coaxial cable is also referred to as thinnet. 10Base2 refers to the specifications for thin coaxial cable carrying Ethernet signals. The 2 refers to the approximate maximum segment length being 200 meters. In actual fact the maximum segment length is 185 meters. Thin coaxial cable is popular in business networks, especially linear bus networks.

Thick coaxial cable is also referred to as thicknet. 10Base5 refers to the specifications for thick coaxial cable carrying Ethernet signals. The 5 refers to the maximum segment length being 500 meters. Thick coaxial cable has an extra protective plastic cover that helps keep moisture away from the center conductor. This makes thick coaxial a great choice when running longer lengths in a linear bus network. One disadvantage of thick coaxial is that it does not bend easily and is difficult to install. One FREE SERVICE we here at Bridge Cable is we provide a free Site Survey before your network cable installation in order for the proper wires are in place.

Coaxial Cable Connectors

BNC connectors for coaxial cabling.

The most common type of connector used with coaxial cables is the Bayone-Neill-Concelman (BNC) connector (See fig. 4). Different types of adapters are available for BNC connectors, including a T-connector, barrel connector, and terminator.

Connectors on the cable are the weakest points in any network. To help avoid problems with your network, always use the BNC connectors that crimp, rather than screw, onto the cable.

Fiber Optic Cable

fiber optic cable is used for network backbones.

Fiber optic cabling consists of a center glass core surrounded by several layers of protective materials (See fig. 5). It transmits light rather than electronic signals eliminating the problem of electrical interference. This makes it ideal for certain environments that contain a large amount of electrical interference. It has also made it the standard for connecting networks between buildings, due to its immunity to the effects of moisture and lighting. We do indeed do all types of network cabling services for your company.

Fiber optic cable has the ability to transmit signals over much longer distances than coaxial and twisted pair. It also has the capability to carry information at vastly greater speeds. This capacity broadens communication possibilities to include services such as video conferencing and interactive services. The cost of fiber optic cabling is comparable to copper cabling; however, it is more difficult to install and modify. 10BaseF refers to the specifications for fiber optic cable carrying Ethernet signals.

Facts about fiber optic cables:

  • Outer insulating jacket is made of Teflon or PVC.
  • Kevlar fiber helps to strengthen the cable and prevent breakage.
  • A plastic coating is used to cushion the fiber center.
  • Center (core) is made of glass or plastic fibers.

Fiber Optic Connector

The most common connector used with fiber optic cable is an ST connector. It is barrel shaped, similar to a BNC connector. A newer connector, the SC, is becoming more popular. It has a squared face and is easier to connect in a confined space.

Wireless LANs

Wireless Networks installed.

Not all networks are connected with cabling; some networks are wireless. Wireless LANs use high frequency radio signals, infrared light beams, or lasers to communicate between the workstations and the file server or hubs. Each workstation and file server on a wireless network has some sort of transceiver/antenna to send and receive the data. Information is relayed between transceivers as if they were physically connected. For longer distance, wireless communications can also take place through cellular telephone technology, microwave transmission, or by satellite.Wireless LANs have several disadvantages. They are very expensive, provide poor security, and are susceptible to interference from lights and electronic devices. They are also slower than LANs using cabling.

cat5 pinouts for your installation.

Above is the T568A pinouts for the network cable.

Crossover network cable pinouts
Above is the pinouts for a network crossover cable, very useless for connecting two computers together without a hub. Great for backups and sharing files from one computer to another.

Network Cable Diagrams

Network Cabling Management

We also offer network cabling management solutions as well.

We also provide solutions for network cabling management for all your projects. We serve the local Philadelphia Pennsylvania areas as well as New York City and surrounding New Jersey cities.

What is cable management? The placement of your cabling, certainly in a enterprise situation, provides ease of wire management for troubleshooting and replacement of cables.

Network Cable Installation Pricing

network cable installation pricing for the philadelphia area.

What are the cost associated with the various installs of all the types of low voltage wiring including data and voice?

Without a local Project Manager that BridgeCable.com, Bridge Group Services, sends out this is a difficult question. Many of our competitors will just send a template proposal but without looking at the structure where the installation is to occur this might be overlooking certain challenges. A firewall in a drop ceiling might be in place, various pipes?

For the most custom proposal of services just call us to arrange the best solution for you today.