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Wiring Problems CAT5

By flynmonkey ·
I have a client who had his home wired with network(CAT5) and speaker wire all through out the house. I went over to hook up a wireless access point utilizing the CAT5 wiring and could not get a connection. Found the wiring was done wrong re-punched the wires tested out the wires and all pairs test clean straight through. When I hooked up the network and tested the wire using my laptop I get signal for a split second and then it drops of and Windows XP Pro says Network cable disconnected. Is there anything that could be interfering with the signal? Like power lines or the speaker wire? I am at loss since all of the pins are terminated correctly?

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Interference wouldn't be surprising in this case

by TomSal In reply to Wiring Problems CAT5

You even point the initial problem out..

" I have a client who had his home wired with network(CAT5) and speaker wire all through out the house." then "Found the wiring was done wrong re-punched the wires tested out the wires and all pairs test clean straight through."

It sounds like whoever your client had install the wiring definitely were not professional network cable installers. No self-respecting cable installer who calls themself a "professional" would have left the job site without fully testing and certifying the connectivity of each segment installed.

That being said and from you saying you did verify your work after you "re-pinned" the connection. There really is only one logical culprit to point our fingers at right now -- interference.

There is an easy way to test this though.

Simply plug YOUR laptop (the reason is you want to use a device you personally know for FACT has no networking issues related to the OS, configuration, nic, etc.) into your OWN patch cable then direction plug the patch into the router/switch/whatever the network situation is there.

The point is to connect to the SAME network but by NOT using the pre-installed cable. This will tell you if the issue is likely to be interference with the cable installation in the walls or not.

Since the original cable installers don't come off to me as professional it would not suprise me in the least if they literally just did a sloppy install and put wires right up against electrical outlets, next to light fixtures, etc. Also wouldn't surprise if they used low-grade cable and yes all CAT 5 cable is *NOT* the same.

Aside from that...are you sure the wireless router just isn't defective, possibly misconfigured?

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Router

by flynmonkey In reply to Interference wouldn't be ...

The router works I tested it. I also tested the cable using my laptop direct connected to it and it did not work. I'm thinking it is the cable it self.
Just bad CAT5 installed poorly so it does not work.
Now I'm need to figure out how to get signal throughout the house without it. I'm thinking of a wireless repeater or extender.

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Pre-N?

by kevaburg In reply to Router

If you want to go wireless, maybe think about a pre-N router. The range is greatly improved over closed spaces and is much more reliable throughout building made of pretty much anything.

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Sorry but I can't agree

by kevaburg In reply to Interference wouldn't be ...

Even though I do agree with what you say about the quality of the work done, your assessment of the problem being interference related I can't agree with.

I have installed UTP (albeit somewhat foolishly with hindsight!) in areas of high EMF (Electro-Magnetic Interference) with no major adverse effects. The network did slow down because of the amount of corrupt packets arriving at their destination but it did work. Additionally, having installed network cabling in office areas in the same trunking and conduit as the power cabling I can say with my hand on my heart that it really did not matter.

The point is that normal speaker cable in a household or small office environment will not even be noticable as interference to UTP.

This situation definately smacks of broken cables to me.

I hope I haven't offended you with me appraisal.

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I'm not sure what is causing the problem

by flynmonkey In reply to Sorry but I can't agree

The only reason I think it is not a cut cable is on my testing unit I get all 8 wires testing straight through.

Thank you for your input.

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Solid or stranded CAT5?

by kevaburg In reply to Wiring Problems CAT5

As an electrician in the IT industry I have seen instances where low-quality solid UTP has snapped inside the outer sheathing. This results in exactly the symptoms you describe. All it takes is a single small movement of the cable and the connection is broken.

I don't think with the scenario you describe that the problem is interference. This is because each of the pairs in the cable is tightly twisted and this prevents Radio Frequency (RF) hazard. The second reason is that there is no equipment in the scenario capable of generating the magnetic flux required to significantly distort an electrical signal in the cable.

The last problem could be with a trapped cable somewhere or a cable with a nail or screw through it. This would result in a split second signal that would be cut-off because of the resulting short-circuit.

The two probable scenarios mentioned here are more than likely the problem but at the end of the day, if the cable installer left this job in this state then its time to get him in to rectify the problem.

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Cat5

by flynmonkey In reply to Solid or stranded CAT5?

Thanks for the information. I don't think it is a nail or screw because my tester shows all pins connected. Could it show that and still have a nail through it?

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Maybe

by kevaburg In reply to Cat5

It does depend on how reliable your tester is. Some testers will show straight through even if a short-circuit is present. This is because essentially, the cable is still straight-through!!! Strange but true!

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That could be it

by flynmonkey In reply to Maybe

It is an inexpensive tester. There are 4 cat 5 wires running to the room I'm trying to connect to and I've tried all of them with no luck. It is just the strangest problem and since it is in the walls there is no way to look at the wire.

Thanks for you help

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