Q: I am a telecommunications manager with the military, and we are planning the installation of a new building distribution system for our headquarters building. We plan to install two voice and one data jack at each work station. My question has to do with your recommendation of the type of voice jack to use. Should we use six-position or eight-position jacks?
We plan to install two 4-pair Category 5 cables per outlet. One cable will service the two voice jacks and the other will service the 8-position data jack.
Also, what are your thoughts on the Siemon Category 5 66-type punchdown block? How does it compare to the 110 block?
CWO4 Jerry Norris
U. S. Marine Corps
Cherry Point, NC
A: I suggest you follow the guidelines outlined in Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 174. This is the federal government version of EIA/TIA-568. FIPS Pub 174 mandates that all outlet/connectors be T568A. T568A is an 8-pin plug and jack with all eight pins terminated. This means you cannot split the Category 5 cable that you are installing for voice between two jacks and comply with FIPS Pub 174.
Why are you installing Category 5 cable for voice? At the University of Texas at Austin we install a minimum of two Category 5 4-pair cables to each work area. But we do not dedicate the cable for voice or data. We are installing a Category 5-compliant horizontal subsystem that can support any application operating to 100 MHz.
As for 66 versus 110 termination hardware, if it is Category 5-compliant, use what best meets your needs. We use 110 hardware because of its increased density. q
Donna Ballast is a communications analyst at the University of Texas at Austin and a BICSI RCDD. Questions can be sent to her at Cabling Installation & Maintenance or at PO Drawer 7580, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78713. Phone (512) 471-0112, fax (512) 471-8883. Internet ad