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By Steven deSteuben, Jul 21 2016 09:02PM

We get many calls a year from customers who highered an electrician to run their data network. We do work with many electricians and they are very good. However, there is a group of them who do not seem to know much about the importance of a computer network, and how to run them correctly.

Just the other day we did a job for a client who had his house built recently. Somehow in the process of this, he was under the understanding that his electrician was going to be running all the data and phone lines for him. The electrician ran the wires to each room, though some of these locations were less then ideal. In the end the electrician apparently has no intention of terminating them in the electrical room. So when he signed off on the job, the wires were run, and terminated into plate covers. However, there was still no terminations on the other end. He did not leave any labels on either end of the cables.

So we came into a bundle of 50 cables for phone data and coax, with no labels. They were not even grouped together per room. This meant that our first job was to tone out all the cables, find them in the network room, and label both ends. Then we had to build a network rack, and terminate these cables. Lastly we need to then test all of them. The cost to the homeowner was nearly 60% of what we would have charged them anyway had we did the whole job.

Beyond that, Those wires were run together with electrical wires. This meant that the phone lines all had a hum in them from the A/C Current. Whoever it was that ran these did not understand the effects of AC current on Tel/Data cabling. This also effected the overall throughput of the network. That ac hum created interference on the data side as well. The cabling did certify however it was much lower performance then it should actually have seen.

one company last year had hired a kid who was on summer break to run cables for their new network. He had no experience running cables. But they all figured, how hard could it be? It took him all summer and he never completed the project. When the client ultimately called us in, most of what he had run was not up to building codes and had to be removed. Not only did they waist cable but they also had to pay for it to be removed. The cost of highering someone with no skills is very high in the end.

We always suggest that you select a company that knows computer networking. Some cabling contractors do not really understand these items too. In one commercial job we did a repair on, the contractor has run speaker wires in bundles with fire alarm cabling. This meant that all the speakers in the building has a slight ax hum to them from the fire system. To prove this we put the fire panel into test mode and then turned it off. The hum was gone. the only three options were, 1) keep the slight hum 2) install a filter at each speaker through out the building, 3) run new cabling that avoided those fire cables.

Nashua Data Solutions takes great pride in their work. We have specialized techs who know and understand IT and computer networking. This adds a value to the work we preform. We understand what the end result is, and what sort of things need to be avoided in the installation. We will always try to do the best quality job. Our quoting process is very complete. We try to keep our work on our pricing. This means that the majority of our estimates are right on the mark with the final invoice, less any customer changes along the way.

Feel free to give us a call and see how we can help you properly plan your next project

Nashua Data Solutions

(603) 821-0441

By Steven deSteuben, Jul 3 2014 03:14AM

Perhaps you have noticed that there are many companies that offer Data Cabling and Structured Cabling installation planning and design. Some Electricians will even offer these services, often at far less then Data Cabling Companies. What are the differences, and what should you look for?

First off I personally work with a few very good electricians which we sub out some of our 120/240 work to. They are great guys. However, any one who specializes in an area of study will do a better job then a general all around guy. Take your primary care doctor. No doubt you trust them a lot, but when you need surgery you call the expert in the field.

Data Cabling is really the same thing. It does require a special understanding of how computer networking works, what environmental factors will effect the data Transmission, and all the special parts that will give you a neat install.

Cat 5e and Cat 6 Cables are actually rather fragile. While Building codes do spec some requirements for Data and Phone cabling, there are many "good idea" points about installing a computer network, or a VOIP phone network, which are not described in the building codes. Only computer network, and IT pro's would really know what they need from these installs.

At Nashua Data Solutions, we ensure that our Patch Panels are installed in a way that everything is neat and labled. We build in wire Management into our racks so that your network closet stays neat.

Second thing to consider is that not all cable that says Cat5e or Cat 6 is the same from brand to brand. We recently had a job which needed a special color. We were not able to order it from our normal supplier because this was an emergency job that had to be done in less then 1 day. So we went to our local Electrical Supply Store which had that color in stock. However, it was made by Honeywell. This cable was physically 1/2 the size of the cable we normally use. While running the cable we noticed that the outer jacket of the Cable was very easy to tear, almost by hand. When the install was complete, we ran our Network Certification Tester on these cables. The results were terrible. While they technically passed the test, the brands we normally use rate much higher and have less delay these "generic" cables that most shops use. We did end up having to replace those drops with the higher quality cables.

The end result is, Price is not the only factor to consider. What brands will your vendors use? Will they be Plenum when its required? Will they use outdoor rated when its in wet locations, or outside the building? Will they certify the network to 1gigabit speeds, or are they only going to give you a "pin out" Test?

We always recommend quality brands of cable, and take the extra time to run cables in a way that protects your network speeds.

Give us a call today to see how we can make your network wiring project a success.

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