Electromagnetic Interference, or EMI, can cause a noisy signal. EMI is caused by other electronic devices. In a manufacturing facility or on a government campus you might have a great deal of EMI. This means that you may have degraded data transfer or no data transfer. This problem can be fixed by using Shielded Twisted-Pair Cabling (STP). STP cabling protects your Ethernet cables from EMI by covering them in a foil ‘shield’.
STP cabling can also “virtually eliminate external signal detection and interception.” This can be key for government networks and/or networks that require additional security. This is outlined by the BerkTek Whitepaper: Cabling for Secure Government Networks. (ICG is a BerkTek certified installer)
When selecting your cable prior to installation, keep in mind the requirements related to EMI shielding that will be needed for your project. When a project does not have significant EMI, you can use Unshielded Twisted-Pair (UTP) Cabling in its place as it is a lower cost point. STP is more expensive for multiple reasons. Material costs will be higher. The shielding makes the cabling more expensive. Additionally, the connectors and the patch panel must also be compatible with shielded cabling making them more expensive. Lastly, terminating STP cabling is more time consuming than terminating UTP cabling due to the extra steps in the process. Add in the bonding and grounding requirements and your labor time will likely increase as well.
When your project is completed, you can test for data loss via a network cabling tester. Make sure to ask for certified test results from your installer that show all your cables pass the required tests to be considered functional.
Kathi BleaseBenefits of Shielded Cabling Versus Unshielded Cabling (STP vs UTP)
ICG is a network cabling and IP Security company. We’ve installed over 23,000 miles of cable and supported over 80,000 users across 14 states including both government and commercial accounts. Here is a day in the life of ICG.
Kathi BleaseICG – ISP and OSP Network Cabling (Video)
Cat 5e cabling is the same speed as Cat 6 cabling, 1000Mbps, at any distance over 55 meters. Under 55 meters, Cat 6 is 10x faster than Cat 5e at 10Gbps. For this reason, Cat 6 is often used for shorter runs to utilize its higher speeds.
Both are Ethernet cables, Twisted-Pair cables with four pairs of wires, but Cat 6 cabling has each wire protected from crosstalk (electromagnetic interference (EMI)) by a thicker sheath. It is also wound tighter than Cat 5e. Cat 6 is thus superior to Cat 5e as it is exposed to less crosstalk (which can weaken the signal).
The third benefit from Cat 6 over Cat 5e is increased bandwidth. Cat 6 operates at 250 Mhz while Cat 5e operates at 100 Mhz. This increased bandwidth allows more data to be transferred in a given amount of time.
Cat 5e is a useful cable but it has mostly outlived its useful life and is outdated. Cat 6 and especially Cat 6A are the new standard. Look for our next article on Cat 6 vs. Cat 6A.
Kathi BleaseWhat is the difference between Cat 5e and Cat 6 cabling?
ICG is an Axis Gold Channel Partner and authorized reseller and installer. This means that ICG has two Axis Certified Professionals on staff in addition to their in-house BICSI Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD). With the right professionals, ICG can help you design the most efficient and effective CCTV system within your budget- from cameras and encoders to an Network Video Recorder (NVR) and Video Management Software (VMS).
Whether you are transitioning your analog system to a digital VMS or installing a brand new digital Axis camera system, ICG can provide you with the know-how from beginning to end.
Axis is a best-in-class solution to your camera needs. They have been around since 1984 and invented the first network camera, first video encoder, and first network thermal camera. They are synonymous with quality and innovation.
As a Gold Channel Partner, ICG can resell and install Axis cameras nationwide. We are in South Florida but have performed work across the country with a focus on the Southeastern United States. Whether you are in the Southeast Florida Tri-County area or located across the United States, please contact us for a quote.
CCTV which can be known now as IP Video Security as the technology has moved away from analog and towards digital, Power over Ethernet (PoE) cameras. Since the cameras use PoE, they can be positioned more strategically and are not tied to an outlet. This flexibility can make a huge difference in terms of their placement.
CCTV allows for searchable records of footage, based on time, location, or other variables. These records can be searched by anyone with access on the network.
Many types of cameras interface with the CCTV network. There is the uni-directional camera, 360-degree cameras, and cameras that are remotely controlled so they can be pointed and adjusted as needed.
These cameras are higher resolution than legacy analog cameras allowing them to capture high granularity. They also have a higher frame rate to generate less choppy images.
CCTV is utilized as a security measure for both Inside Plant (ISP) and Outside Plant (OSP) applications depending upon the specific business or agency requirements.
ISP stands for Inside Plant and OSP stands for Outside Plant. According to Building Industry Construction Service International (BICSI), OSP is any network infrastructure installed external to buildings. Our scope includes optical fiber cabling, balanced twisted-pair cabling, and support structures to link locations.
OSP cables are underground, direct-buried, or aerial. ICG specializes in direct-buried which utilizes trenches, pedestals, and communication maintenance holes.
ISP refers to cable installed inside of the building. This includes everything from the patch panel, patch cord, and switch to the cables and jacks.
Each may require a different type of cable and a different method of installation. ISP utilizes wall and ceiling drops, while OSP will likely require trenching.
As-builts are another name for the blueprints a structured cabling company delivers to a building or campus network manager after the completion of a project. This will provide the network owner with data ports marked, usually with a triangle, as well as any other relevant ports (ex. TV, A/V, etc.). This is important for multiple reasons. Initially, it lays out a plan for the network design that will be installed by the structured cabling company. This then provides the cabling company an accurate view of the project, allowing them to give a fair and accurate quote. As-builts are also important throughout construction. They are the guide showing the structured cabling company where to pull and where to terminate cables.
Regarding installation: occasionally on the as-built, the ports are not clearly labeled, the IDFs are not properly marked and it can be unclear which IDF the cables are supposed to be directed to. This can create problems for the estimator and the installer. They must be remedied prior to installation to ensure both an accurate quote and an installation that satisfies that the end-user’s requests.
Upon completion, cables are labeled, typically with their IDF and the switch and port numbers. These labels and the corresponding as-built are the road map for any future adds, moves, and changes.
The as-built is also very important for the end-user. Network Managers and IT Professionals need to know the layout of their network to be able to troubleshoot. This could be anything from a faulty cable, patch cord, or jack to an AP that has interference issues, or a camera that stopped transmitting. Even if a structured cabling company is needed to fix the issue, the end-user can hire a new company, unfamiliar with the network layout to fix any network issues. With the help of a properly labeled as-built, the newly hired firm can quickly identify and solve any problems. Without this tool, problems can cause more than just headaches for a Network Manager. These problems can lead to network downtime and loss of revenue for a firm.
Because of the as-built, your network is not dependent on any one person or one company to correct these problems. Despite not being part of the installation team, a properly trained professional will be able to perform network adds, moves, or changes.
1. Always test – Test your cable when terminations are completed to be sure that all your cable runs, and jacks are functioning and properly connected to the switch and patch panel.
2. Have proper documentation – Have your as-built handy and correctly marked to be sure you are running the cable to the correct IDF/MDF from the correct jack. Also, don’t forget the permit!
3. Plan – If your company is not done growing then plan so that your infrastructure is able to support your business’ growth.
4. Make an informed decision – Fiber versus ethernet; Compare speed, price, security, durability, plenum or non-plenum environment, and capacity. Choose the backbone to your network that suits your needs
5. Get full coverage from your Wireless Access Points (WAPs) – Make sure that if you have Wi-Fi installed, there are no dead zones. This should be accounted for ahead of time.