Cabling for Best Practices Performance

Optimize the infrastructure now


SD&I magazine assembled these best practices, resources and tips to use in specifying cable, so take a look at these pages for information to get the job done-the right way the first time out and with an eye to the future.

In the Interim
UTP cable today can be used for analog CCTV with the use of baluns (a type of electrical transformer). With many access control systems the controllers have an embedded processor and are linked via UTP cable. IP video today is using the UTP cable and fiber, with the latter starting to be a key player in installations. Source: Thomas E. Martin RCDD and BICSI certified trainer, TK Training Solutions LLC, Omaha, Neb.

Beware the 100 Meter Rule: Zone Cabling Offsets Distance Limitations
First, reference this PDF chart/document on zone cabling strategies. Using an IP-based infrastructure provides better administration and flexibility to support both IP-enabled video and building automation system (BAS) applications. In this example, a zone wiring architecture allows for extended distance support by effectively extending the reach of IP-based cameras and BAS devices for those instances where these devices are located beyond the 100 meter limit of twisted-pair Ethernet. One of the negative perceptions of IP camera technology is that it is limited to the 100 meter rule of Ethernet because nearly all IP cameras today use copper interfaces. Using zone wiring, distances up to 650 meters (2,132 feet) can be realized using a combination of OM3 multimode fiber and Category 6 copper cabling. Source: Chart courtesy of Anixter, www.anixter.com.

Tip: Consider the Bend Radius
All cables have a minimum bend radius that must be maintained both during the pulling process and after the cable is installed so as not to damage the cable. -- Information Transport Systems Installation Methods Manual, 5th edition, 2007 BICSI.

Tip: Watch That Pull
Cable is susceptible to damage during pulling. Exceeding the maximum pulling tension of the cable may adversely affect the transmission characteristics of the cable. The minimum bend radius of 4-pair, 24AWG cable should be four times the cable diameter. Physical damage to the cable jacket of insulated conductors must be avoided. Stretching, kinking, excessive spiraling and other forms of cable damage will adversely affect the cable transmission performance. -- Information Transport Systems Installation Methods Manual, 5th edition, 2007 BICSI.

Tip: Pulling Cabling in Open Ceilings
The procedure for cable installation in open ceilings is different from that in conduit. Cables shall be supported according to local code requirements and manufacturer provided instructions. Source: American National Standard NECA/BICSI 568-2006 Standard for Installing Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling published by NECA and jointly developed with BICSI.

Tip: Pulling Horizontal Cabling
Horizontal cable is installed between the telecommunications room and work area outlets. Cable shall not be bent or kinked. Should the cable become damaged, do not attempt to repair, instead replace the entire cable. Source: American National Standard NECA/BICSI 568-2006 Standard for Installing Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling published by NECA and jointly developed with BICSI.

Title: 3 More Tips to Get It Right

  1. Plan for the future
  2. Use a higher gauge cable to handle PoE (i.e. a 24-gauge is Category 5e; 23 is Cat 6. The smaller the gauge number, the larger the cable).
  3. Extend beyond the 100 meter rule with zone cabling

Source: Andy Jimenez, Anixter