Lab 4 – Structured Cabling

Objectives: The objective of this lab was to further my knowledge on patch cables and to learn how to assemble and repair them should the need arise.

Equipment list: The equipment used for this lab was a crimp tool, a wire cutter, a cable insulation stripper, a roughly three foot CAT5 UTP, two RJ-45 connectors, and a network tester.

Notes and Observations:

As I first entered the lab, the goals of the activity were made clear: to create two different kinds of ethernet network cables. The first kind of cable for assembling was a straight-through cable. The process for assembling this cable started with cutting both ends of a UTP cable, stripping the wire and untwisting the wire pairs. With the wires now untwisted, I arranged them according to the standard wiring code and inserted them into the end of an RJ-45 connector. The only thing left to do was to make sure the wires were properly connected by crimping them with a the tool of the same name. The other end of the cable had been handled by my partner, so the straight- through cable was complete.

With the cable complete, the time had come to test it’s functionality by inserting it into a cable testing device. Much to our delight, the cable passed the test.

The next cable connection that needed to be assembled was that of a patch panel to an RJ45 data jack. Luckily my partner was more well versed in this practice than I, and was able to aid greatly in the heavy lifting of the assembly. The first part entailed using a punch-down tool to connect one end of a CAT-5 cable to a patch panel by inserting partially untwisted wires.

The next step in the assembly entailed connecting the patch panel and cable to a data wall jack.

Once again the time had come to check whether the cable could effectively transfer network data, and to me and my partner’s repeated gratification, the cable tester confirmed it could.

The last thing to do before exiting the lab, was to inspect the assortment of historic network cables scattered throughout the room.

The yellow cable is known as Thicknet

The grey cable is known as Thinnet.

The black cable is a fiber optic cable

References:

Spurgeon, C. (n.d.). Ethernet: The definitive guide. Retrieved February 21, 2021, from https://www.oreilly.com/library/view/ethernet-the-definitive/1565926609/ch01.html

The history of network cabling. (n.d.). Retrieved February 21, 2021, from http://www.datacottage.com/nch/cablinghist.htm#.YDnc3tWSlPY

Conclusions:

This lab was especially enlightening, as before this class I didn’t even fully grasp how instrumental ethernet still was to the networking world; or how practical learning how to operate network cables really is. This activity was also a lot of fun to do, as it involved wiring that had just the right amount of simplicity and challenge. This was definitely an undertaking that I won’t soon forget.

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