Isn’t data cabling all the same? What makes NATG special about it?
Lots of good questions
A few answers: over the years I have seen a lot of bad cabling, unfortunately, a real lot of bad cabling!!! The characteristics are usually the same; messy, disorganized, no plan, haphazardly done, wrong length patch cords, or one of my favourite mistakes, no patch cords with ends directly crimped on the cable, and generally done unprofessionally.
When NATG does Data cabling, we aim for a professional job that we would be proud to say “Yes, we did that”. Sure we might be a bit more money, but the differences are significant; especially when compared to some of the disasters we have cleaned up!!!
Some of the key differentiators with NATG from start to finish:
~ Colour coded patch panels: you know what you’re looking at: White for Voice, Blue for Data, Yellow for Wifi, Green for Cameras.
~ Matching patch cords to patch panel inserts.
~ Short patch cords. Our preference with 24 port switches is: patch, switch, patch, switch. Or if using 48 port switches; then patch, switch, patch, patch, switch, patch. Organization is important; grouping voice runs, data runs, Wifi, and cameras - it makes it so much nicer.
~ A labelled floorplan. Run numbers labelled and identified with both the patch panel and jacks labelled with all runs terminated properly.
~ All runs tested with a proper data tester, not some simple pair tester but actual printable test results showing length, certification, and speed performance.
~ Using one manufacturer of cable, not random boxes of the cheapest cable deal of the week.
~ Using cable of one colour, not random left over bits from the last five projects in eight different colours.
~ Cabling that would pass code and certification. This means properly secured cabling using cable suspension such as J hooks, Velcro, and loose cable ties.
~ Distance and length rules are followed. Cat5e / Cat6 cables should only be a total length of 300ft. At 300ft there needs to be an uplink to another data closest (called an IDF) with a data switch or a longer fibre cable to a distance of approx. 550ft. This allows the cables out of both closest to meet under 300 feet from each other.
~ All cables terminated in an area with enough space for the equipment. Enough room to breathe and enough room to keep the equipment cool.
~ All the equipment up off the floor to protect against a flood.
~ Using a consistent brand: NATG installs end to end Wirewerks or Panduit wiring for certified installations with 25 year performance warranties.
~ We have the test equipment to back up our work.
A few nightmare jobs we have seen:
~ Runs labelled alphabetically: lol - it doesn’t get much worse especially after “z” then what “aa”?
~ Network loop. Cables are such a mess - it’s not possible to tell where anything goes, so someone mistakenly plugs both ends into a switch sending the network into a feedback loop that floods the network and results in a total network crash until removed. As everything is a mess, finding it takes forever and is almost impossible without disconnecting pretty much everything and starting over.
~ Patch panels at the ceiling or some other random spot as the cabling is too short or stuffed under a desk.
~ Random network design: no regard to distance limits or best practices the network is designed totally wrong.
~ Ends crimped on the cables so poorly that touching a wire causes all sorts of disconnections
We love doing great work! We want your network to perform and last. It’s amazing, even when we come and clean up some of the worst messes, afterwards the comments we get back, is that everything is working so much faster, so much better, and coincidentally reliably.