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66
votes
1answer
11k views

What happens when you plug two sides of a cable to a single networking device?

What is likely to happen when you plug two ends of a network cable to a single switch/router? Will this create problems on the network, or just be ignored?
37
votes
6answers
29k views

Why do ethernet cables have 8 wires?

This might seem a stupid question but why do Ethernet cables have 8 wires? Cat5 cables were just using 4 of the 8 wires, so only 4 are actualy 'needed'. Why not 12 or 16 wires?
31
votes
13answers
55k views

How do you organise the cables in your racks?

I'm migrating my current half-size rack to a full-size rack and want to take the opportunity to reorganize and sort our spaghetti-hell of ethernet cables. What system do you use for organising your ...
29
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do cat5 cables sometimes have the fluffy fiber bit in them?

Why do cat5 cables sometimes have the fluffy fiber bit in them?
29
votes
5answers
14k views

What is the actual difference between Cat-5 and Cat-5e?

From the title, this sounds a whole lot like a repeat of this question, but it isn't, I promise. Because he wanted to know whether you could tell from looking at a cable whether it was Cat-5 or ...
28
votes
14answers
65k views

What is a patch panel?

What is a patch panel? How it is different from (layer 2) switch? EDIT: I think my primary question (and confusion) is this: Why don't network connections go straight to the switch? Don't we still ...
25
votes
10answers
14k views

Network cable color conventions? [closed]

Are there any color conventions for network cable? I'm talking jacket color here, not the color of the individual conductors. I've seen and used mostly grey and blue which is what's usually readily ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

Connecting two desktop switches with more than one cable?

I was hoping to find a way to increase bandwidth between two desktop switches I have, and I wondered if connecting them with two cables (or perhaps three) instead of just one might increase ...
17
votes
6answers
3k views

What else do I get with Cat 6 beyond future proofing my wiring?

We are about to put in the wiring in an expansion of our office building and the vendor is proposing we use Cat 6 cabling because it is "faster." Gigabit works fine over Cat 5e which is what our ...
16
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the wiring for a patch cable?

What is the wiring order for an 10/100/n-Base-T patch cable? What about a crossover (x-over) cable?
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Tracing a network cable that is already connected to the network

Some remodeling was done while I was away from work, and I'm left with several unlabeled cat5 cables that are terminated with RJ45 keystone modules. On the other end, all of the cables are terminated ...
12
votes
15answers
969 views

Network cables - make them or buy them

First of all, I must say I've never had a problems with making cables by myself, last years stopped using cable testers just because they always say the cable I've made is ok. But I see there's a lot ...
11
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the difference between pvc and plenum cabling?

I'm looking into buying a few rolls of bulk Cat6 cable to wire up a few cubicles to a test rack we have. One of the choices is PVC cable versus Plenum cable. What is the difference? Will this make ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

Why straight-through ethernet cables?

I was explaining the difference between straight and crossover cables to my friend, and began wondering why on earth the early designers thought it was a good idea to use two different cable types? ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Industry Standards for Network Infrastructure Labeling

Are there any current industry standards IEEE, ISO, ANSI.... available that state how a buildings physical infrastructure should be labeled at the rack and jack and how the documentation should be ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Why is a suspended ceiling not allowed in a wiring closet?

I have read in the book Cabling: The Complete Guide to Network Wiring that wiring closets should not have a suspended ceiling. In a few Google searches, I see this concept repeated. I have not been ...
10
votes
2answers
795 views

Cable management strategy for a small chassis switch

I'm working with a small site buildout that contains a single HP ProCurve 4200vl chassis switch. The data cabling contractor did not provision for any cable management. I'm looking at the rack ...
9
votes
5answers
23k views

Cat 6e vs Cat 6a

From what I can understand, Cat 6e does not actually exist but a number of manufacturers are selling some cable labeled as Cat 6e. Some sources say that Cat 6e is just Cat 6a but the manufacturers ...
9
votes
1answer
296 views

LAN: What are the things to look at when arriving in a new place

My company is moving to a new place, and the only thing I know about the cabling is that there are cables and a patch panel. I have no idea about the cable speed, quality, and I'm a software guy with ...
9
votes
2answers
870 views

How do I label the network ports in our office?

We have a new office that was punched down with Ethernet in every office and every cubicle. The electrician didn't mark the ports on the patch panel or the wall ports, so I don't know where say port 1 ...
9
votes
2answers
706 views

Are SATA 1, 2 and 3 cables interchangeable?

I've got an older SATA drive (not sure if it's SATA 1 or 2). Same size plug as my new SATA 3 M/B. Are the cables interchangeable? Any decrease in performance from using a "lower" cable?
9
votes
1answer
891 views

Proper method for connecting multiple non-stackable network switches?

I deal with many clients in warehousing and industrial applications who have IT staff or local consultants. Many of these sites are still using a 10/100 Megabit switching backbone... I've managed to ...
9
votes
7answers
22k views

How to use a Tone Generator to trace a network cable

We have a tone generator kit for tracing network cables, but I am having trouble using it correctly. The tone generator end plugs into the network cable I am trying to trace, and then I assume I ...
8
votes
5answers
6k views

Gigabit with cat5 cable

Can a standard cat5 cable transmit at a speed of 1000 Mbit/s ? I've asked several people I know in the networking field and received different answers. I know a cat5 "works" on a Gigabit network but ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Effecient organization of spare cables and hardware

As many of you also likely do, I have a growing collection of cables, hardware, and spare parts (screws, connectors, etc.). I'm looking to find a good system of organization so that everything isn't a ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Server room wiring questions

I'm looking at rewiring our server room to be more presentable, organized, and easier to troubleshooting. Right now we currently have 4 HP racks (don't know the model right now). We do not have a ...
7
votes
8answers
992 views

Stripping cat5 cable which doesn't have a ripcord

I need to patch a couple of cables. Normally I'd work with cat5 cable which contains a ripcord. The ripcord is used to pull outer insulation off without accidentally cutting the individual strands of ...
7
votes
7answers
26k views

Are a RJ11 jack and a RJ45 socket physically compatible?

Can the smaller RJ11 jack be plugged into an RJ45 (technically a 8P8C) socket? I've seen the plug be plugged into the socket, but have not seen it used to transmit data.
7
votes
3answers
2k views

How to correctly run cables on servers in a data center?

I've read about a few key points, e.g. run all ethernet cables on the right side, all power on the left side, but if possible I'd like to know what you guys do from experience? For example, how do you ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

How to test/debug bad network wiring?

I recently bought a place already wired with Cat 5E (8 ports, leading to a central closet). However attempting to get link, nothing works. On closer examination, it was obvious that the ends in the ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

10GbE sfp+ cross over cable required? Is there such a thing?

To preface, this is my first experience with 10GbE networking and I have encountered an issue which my research does not seem to locate a solution for... I have two servers (older DL580G5 and ...
6
votes
10answers
22k views

Is there a difference between RJ-45 plugs for Cat-5e and Cat-6?

While looking around for some plugs to use for running and crimping some bulk Cat-6 cable, I noticed the online sites show RJ-45 plugs for Cat-5e and separate ones for Cat-6. Is there actually any ...
6
votes
6answers
584 views

Securing power cables

It's always annoyed me that while the sockets for network, serial, parallel and display cables all have securing mechanisms (ie a screw-in bolt, or a clasp) to stop them from being pulled out by ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Is APC's smart-signaling cable (940-0024) really proprietary?

First, not sure if this question belongs here or SU, so please advice accordingly before wildly down-voting or blasting me. We have a UPS unit for which we recently configured to work on our network. ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Structured Cabling Server Racks

We have the opportunity next week to rewire five server racks which is currently in a real mess. Each rack currently has a switch installed up top with lots of cables hanging around. We are thinking ...
6
votes
5answers
5k views

What's a reliable way to test patch panel connections?

I just had to run a total of 12 cat5 cables into a patch panel. This was the first time I'd actually done that. I'm reasonably confident that I got all the wires in the right order after some initial ...
6
votes
4answers
254 views

What's better for performance: rack-to-endpoint or rack-to-switch-to-endpoint

When putting Ethernet cables for an office there are two ways to put the cables: From the rack patch panel a cable to each end-point (workstation). From the rack patch panel a cable to each ...
6
votes
2answers
376 views

Can I use CAT 6a connectors with 7a cable (and get 6a performance)?

I'm re-wiring a building and want to get the best cable possible laid - it required re-plastering to make a change to the cables and the cables will be there for the next 10 - 20 years. Currently ...
6
votes
1answer
589 views

Is it possible to detect rx+ rx- tx+ tx- wires with multimeter?

Is it possible to detect rx+ rx- tx+ tx- wires of an ethernet cable having only a part of cable with multimeter or somehow else? I mean the situation when you have just one side of the ethernet ...
6
votes
1answer
394 views

Why do metal fasteners (e.g., staples) around ethernet cables impair network performance? [closed]

At one point I was living in a 6 bedroom home that had cat 6 ethernet wired to each bedroom. The internet connection to the bedrooms furthest from the cable modem had terrible performance, though I ...
6
votes
1answer
719 views

How to remove a stuck wiring Snake?

I've managed to get a Snake stuck in ribbed conduit. I managed to get about 15 feet of the snake in the tub before it stopped advancing and now I can't get it out. How can I remove it without ...
6
votes
2answers
442 views

Tool(s) for labeling cables with unique ID numbers

We are looking to (finally) implement a cable labeling procedure. We already have a labler. Now we need a system to maintain unique IDs not related to anything. I thought of getting a tally counter ...
5
votes
8answers
1k views

What do I need to know when burying some wire?

We just purchased a building that is right next to our current building with a small gravel "road" in between (that we own). I'm looking to run some wire in a conduit underground to the other ...
5
votes
3answers
481 views

Looking for this special RJ45 modular connector so I can terminate my own cables

We're doing a rewiring project at my work (server room is a mess of cables) and we've decided to go the route of cutting each cable to length and terminating them ourselves. In the past, I've used ...
5
votes
1answer
436 views

Planning to buy some cat5e cables. 568A or 568b?

I plan to buy about 20-30 feet of Cat5e (or 6) cables. I have 30 mbits connection. I was looking around and the ones we are considering are 568B. I was looking for quality in my cables. Is this ...
5
votes
3answers
630 views

Cable guides for CAT 5e in the rafters?

I've got to pull six or so lines through the rafters of this building. There's a mess of wire up there, and I'd like to keep these lines separated a bit. Are there any cable guides that could be ...
5
votes
7answers
537 views

What is a DB 9 to 3.5mm quad plug cable used for?

While cleaning up the office today we ran across two odd looking cables still in bags. On one end is a female DB 9 connector and the other end is a 3.5mm plug with 4 contact points. The types of ...
5
votes
5answers
821 views

Looking for a software alternatives to a Fluke Meter

I have cat5 ports through out the office that seem to not work 100%. I wanted to know if there is a software alternative to the $1000 Fluke Meters, that I can do the same thing with. Maybe something I ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What causes network cable to not work?

I've installed a bunch of cat-5 and when I check it for continuity and polarity it seems fine, but when I hook up a pair of laptops with a x-over cord and try to ping between them, they can detect ...
5
votes
8answers
15k views

Physical difference between Cat 5 and Cat 5e cabling?

(This isn't really server-related, but it seems more appropriate here than SO or SU.) When we had this house built, we had network cabling run inside the house, or so I'm lead to believe. It's ...