Category 5 and modular furniture

Q: What is the proper way to terminate and extend Category 5 cable from the telecommunications closet (TC) to the consolidation point and into modular furniture? Standard practice is to terminate the cable to a female T568A connector. But if a female T568A connector is used as the consolidation point for the cable coming from the TC using the standard color code, how should the cable from the consolidation point to the modular furniture be terminated on that connector? Don?t the pairs need to be

Q: What is the proper way to terminate and extend Category 5 cable from the telecommunications closet (TC) to the consolidation point and into modular furniture? Standard practice is to terminate the cable to a female T568A connector. But if a female T568A connector is used as the consolidation point for the cable coming from the TC using the standard color code, how should the cable from the consolidation point to the modular furniture be terminated on that connector? Don?t the pairs need to be reorganized at one end to maintain a proper color code at the modular furniture? If so, is the male T568A the best place to reorganize them? Will this cause the entire link to fail a telecommunications systems bulletin tsb-67 test? tsb-75 doesn?t seem to cover these details.

Jim Walton

U.S. Army Signal Activity

Fort Belvoir, VA

A: tsb-75 is purposely vague to allow for manufacturer innovation. Or at least that is what was said during the Telecommunications Industry Association standards meeting when I called for less innovation and more details. I asked, OWhat does the thing look like, and what does it have to do?O A show of hands later, innovation reigned.

At the next meeting, I passed around my Onew product.O It consisted of eight 3M Scotch Locks in a plastic sandwich bag with an instruction sheet and a label that read ODonna?s Consolidation Point.O The text was then revised to read, OThe consolidation point is an interconnection point within the horizontal cabling, using tia/eia-568a-compliant connecting hardware installed per tia/eia-568a and rated for at least 200 cycles of reconnection.O My career as a connecting hardware manufacturer was over?I just couldn?t get those Scotch Locks to do 200 cycles.

Your scenario uses T568A connecting hardware (plug and jack) as a consolidation point, but you could just as easily have chosen to use a terminal block. In any case, terminate all the connecting hardware per the manufacturer?s instructions regardless of where you choose to use it in the channel and it will pass the tsb-67 wire-map test. Still not convinced? Build a complete channel on your test bench; put in all the components, starting at the equipment cord and continuing through the work-area cord; and test the wire map.

Donna Ballast is a communications analyst at the University of Texas at Austin and a bicsi registered communications distribution designer (rcdd). Questions can be sent to her at Cabling Installation & Maintenance or at

PO Drawer 7580,

The University of Texas, Austin, TX 78713;

tel: (512) 471-0112, fax: (512) 471-8883,

e-mail: ballast@utexas.edu.

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