Pricing for data cabling
Pricing on structured cabling has many variables and this should be used as a guide, not an actual quote.
Cat3 vs Cat5e vs Cat6. Which one do I choose?
Cat3 vs Cat5e
The main difference you will find when you are comparing cat 5 vs cat 3 cabling is speed and usability. You will find that when you use cat 5 wiring instead of cat 3 you will have much higher speeds. The cat 5 is also able to resist outside noise much better than the cat 3 wiring. With the cat 5 wiring you can work up to 100baseT wiring , whereas with the cat 3 you can only use the 10baseT networking.
When you are comparing cat 5 vs cat 3 you should always keep these factors in mind. Since the creation of the much faster and smoother cat 5 cabling the only practical advantage that Cat 3 has over cat5 wiring is for telephone lines, small networks, and for someone working on a reduced budget. The cat 5 wiring cost almost $70 per 1000 feet while cat 3 is a great deal cheaper than that.
Many people believe that cat 3 wiring is becoming obsolete what with the recent addition of cat 6 wiring, this however is simply not true. Cat 3 wiring is still in regular use for phone lines, dial up modems, and 10mbps internet connections. The only cable that has become truly obsolete is the old untwisted quad cable. It is very conceivable that in the near future cat 3 wiring will become obsolete. An objective option would be within the next seven to ten years. You should take all of these factors into consideration when you deciding between cat 5 vs cat 3.
Cat5e vs Cat6
There has been a great deal of speculation over the cat 5 vs cat 6 topic. The differences between cat 5 and cat 6 are vast and numerous. The most general difference comes with the processing speed. While cat 5 can process MHz at a rate of 100 MHz , the cat 6 can process over 200 MHz. The cat 6 also features much better insertion losses, NEXT (Near End Crosstalk), and a much better return loss. When are you comparing cat 5 vs cat 6 you should take all this improvements into consideration. The cat 6 will result in a much higher reliability and data rates that are virtually unachievable for the cat 5.
The difference between cat5 vs cat 6 for frequency range is a whooping 250 MHz while the cat 5 and the cat 5e are limited to only 100mhz. This allows someone using a cat 6 cable to transfer data more than 100 percent faster than the others. This is mostly important for transferring large amounts of data over a short period of time. The cat 6 cable runs a NEXT of almost 40DB while the cat 5 and cat e run at 27 and 30 Db respectively.
The ARC difference between the cat 5 vs cat6 are very impressive running almost three times faster than the cat 5e at 18.2DB. The cat 6 has almost made slight improvements on return loss, functioning at almost a 20 percent better rate then the Cat 5 and Cat 5e cables. The cat 6 cable has remained the same in the area of delay skew running the same 50 nanoseconds as the cat 5 and the cat 5e.
66 blocks or Patch Panels. Which one do I choose?
- Lower Initial Cost. 66 Blocks are less expensive than patch panels and take less time to termiante.
- It’s harder to maintain order with 66 blocks as different venders (Security, Low Voltage, Fire Alarm, etc) all have different ways of termianting which in turn, creates a messy area
- Snagging cross connects unintentionally or distrubing previous installations while terminating new cables can possibly render random phones offline is not uncommon.
- Higher future maintenance costs as technicians take a little while longer to diagnose and navigate the 66 blocks, especially if the blocks are not documented or messy.
- Higher Initial Costs. Patch panel materials are more expensive and take more time to terminate. A lot of other costs along with Patch panels like, wire mangment, patch cables and a rack or wall mount bracket.
- Much easier to maintain as current wire mangment systems make rack systems resemble works of art when installed correctly.
- Unintentional disconnects are a lot less common. An accidental disconnect can easily be remedied with plugging it back in. No special telecom punch tool required.
- Lower future cost as moving a phone from one location to another is as simple as plugging the cord into the right port. Less future maintenance costs as trouble shooting can be easily done via plug and play.
Certified vs Pinout Testing. Which one do I choose?
1. Modular plugs are not terminated properly
Use the right type of plug (stranded vs. solid conductor and follow the color code).
2. Pair-twists are not maintained
If needed, add an additional twist to the pair when terminating the modular jack, when terminating ensure that the cutter on the termination tool is facing the right direction.
3. Too much of the cable jacket is removed
Keep the cable jacket intact up to the connector, only remove enough jacket to terminate the pairs.
4. Poor cable routing
Keep cable separation from power and other telecom cabling as needed, do not exceed 25 lb of tension on cables being pulled, watch for cable twisting and rubs on nails, screws, and even poorly drilled joists and studs.
Why Should I Certify my Cables?
- 1. Certifying is less expensive than repair.
- 2. Product warranties are limited.
- 3. Certification and recertification will futureproof the infrastructure.
Who typically does not certify their cables?
not everybody needs to certify their cable. If the installation doesn’t require documentation of the tests and/or the equipment on the network is not data intensive, cable certification might be an expense your business can live without.
- Tests Include
- Propagation Delay
- Delay Skew
- Cable Length
- Insertion Loss
- Decibels vs. Voltage
- Return Loss
- Near-End Crosstalk (NEXT)
- Power Sum NEXT (PSNEXT)
- The Equal-Level Far-End Crosstalk (ELFEXT)
- Power Sum ELFEXT (PSELFEXT)
- Attenuation-to-Crosstalk ratio (ACR)
- Power Sum ACR (PSACR)
- DC Loop Resistance
- Tests include
Do I Need a Building Permit?
Low voltage Permits
During renovations and alterations that require a general contractor to generate a building permit, a low voltage permit must also be obtained. Lead Communications can obtain them or the general contractor can.