This is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document for the comp.dcom.cabling newsgroup. Topics covered include the types of cables (fiber, coax, copper, unshielded twisted pair-UTP, shielded twisted pair), installation techniques, standards as well as fire and building safety codes.

Prepared and maintained by Peter Macaulay ( Constructive comments/updates are welcomed.

0.1 Recent Updates

The most recent changes are on the top of this list for easier identification of the new stuff (push down stack). Format of the version is year, month, day. 950305 – added approval, cable testing 950124 – added bending radius specs, ISDN cabling 950110 – added headers required for posting – expanded references with much help from Evan Gamblin

0.2 Copyright

Copyright (c) 1995 by Peter Macaulay, all rights reserved. This FAQ may be posted to any USENET newsgroup, on-line service, or BBS as long as it is posted in its entirety and includes this copyright statement.

0.3 Disclaimer

This article is provided as is without any express or implied
warranties. While every effort has been taken to ensure the
accuracy of the information contained in this article, the
author and contributors assume no responsibility for errors
or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the
information contained herein.


0.4 Acknowledgments (Bill Hughes) (Evan Gamblin)
jlundgre@kn.PacBell.COM (John Lundgren) (Mike Barker)
koeman@tc.fluke.COM (Henriecus Koeman)

 0.1 Recent Updates
0.2 Copyright
0.3 Disclaimer
0.4 Acknowledgments
1.0 Cable Types
2.0 Cable Ratings
3.0 National Electrical Code (NEC)
4.0 Not Used (Blank)
5.0 Specific Cable Classifications
6.0 Cable Conductors
7.0 Vendor Specific Suggestions
8.0 Cabling Standards
9.0 Standard EIA/TIA 568
10.0 Birds and Bees (Plugs vs. Jacks)
11.0 Standard Networking Configurations
12.0 Ethernet 10Base-T Cabling
13.0 Category Specifications
14.0 Sources for the EIA/TIA 568 Standards Documents
15.0 Cable Test Equipment
16.0 Cable Testers for Category 5
17.0 Typical Wiring Layout
18.0 How Far Away Should Cable be Installed from an EMI Source
19.0 What is the Minimum Bending Radius for a Cable?
20.0 Fiber Optic Cable
21.0 ISDN Cabling
22.0 Testing Unshielded Twisted Pair Cables
23.0 – 29.0 Not Used (Blank)
30.0 Sources of Additional Information


Subject: 1.0 Cable Types

Communications Cable: primarily for telephone cable
Class 2 Cable: signaling cable primarily for data communications
Riser: vertical shaft used to route cable between floors
Plenum: Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC) air return
area — mostly drop ceilings. Also below raised floors
(where the under floor area is used for ventilation).


Subject: 2.0 Cable Ratings

(Or What Are Those Codes Printed On My Cables?)
In the Hollywood movie _Towering Inferno_ (starring O.J.Simpson)
a fire spread from floor to floor using the building cables.  This
will not happen again (we hope) since everyone is using fire rated
cables!  These are important specifications if you are responsible
for defining a cable installation.

If interfloor penetrations are properly _firestopped_, the
cables can burn, but the fire will not pass the firestopping.

UL-910, FT-4 and FT-6 say nothing about the type or volume of toxic
combustion products produced. All they cover is performance on a
flamespread test.


The US National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) revises the
National Electrical Code (NEC) every 3 years.  The NEC defines
classifications of cable as per UL tests.

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) defines Premise Communication
Cord (PCC) standards for physical wire tests.  These are printed
on the cable as CSA-PCC-FT6.

FT4 = Flame Test 4 is described in CSA C22.2 0.3-1992
FT6 = Flame Test 6 is described in NFPA 262-1985 and ULC S102.4
Physical Wire Tests C22.2 214-M-1990.  These CSA documents can
be ordered from the CSA.  See sources below


Subject: 3.0 National Electrical Code (NEC)

  1993 National Electrical Code

Article 725, Class 2
725-38(b)1      CL2X    Class 2 cable, limited use
725-38(b)1      CL2     Class 2 cable
725-38(b)2      CL2R    Class 2 riser cable
725-38(b)3      CL2P    Class 2 plenum cable

Article 800
800-3(b)1       CMX     Communications cable limited use
800-3(b)1       CM      Communications cable
800-3(b)2       CMR     Communications riser cable
800-3(b)3       CMP     Communications plenum cable

OFNP (Optical Fiber Nonconductive Plenum)
OFNR (Optical Fiber Nonconductive Riser)


Subject: 4.0 Not Used (Blank)


Subject: 5.0 Specific Cable Classifications

CMS, CL2X (Restricted Cable) must be enclosed in conduit,
up to 10 feet exposed; must pass UL 1581 VW-1 test

CM, CL2 (General Purpose Cable) for use in areas other
than risers or plenums; must pass UL 1581 vertical tray test

CMR, CL2R (Riser Cable) for cable in vertical shafts;
must pass UL test method 1666

CMP, CL2P (Plenum Cable) for use in plenum areas (air ducts);
must pass UL 910 test for smoke and flame spread


Subject: 6.0 Cable Conductors

Cable conductor gauge is specified as AWG (American Wire Gauge).
A higher number is a smaller diameter.  Telephone cable used indoors
is typically 24 or 26 AWG, whereas household electrical wiring is
typically 12 or 14 AWG.


Subject: 7.0 Vendor Specific Suggestions

AMP NET CONNECT Open Cabling System
HP Site Wire
IBM STP (Type 1, Type 2, etc)
Northern Telecom IBDN


Subject: 8.0 Cabling Standards

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
Electronic Industry Association (EIA)
Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)

Current specification is the ANSI/EIA/TIA-568-1991 Standard
_Commercial Building Telecommunications Wiring Standard_ and
two Tech Sys Bulletins:

_Additional Cable Specifications for Unshielded Twisted-Pair Cables_
EIA/TIA Tech Sys Bulletin TSB-36, Nov 1991
[Transmission Characteristics of Category 3-5 UTP cables]

_Additional Transmission Specifications for UTP Connecting Hardware_
EIA/TIA Tech Sys Bulletin TSB-40A, Dec 1993
(Performance of Connectors and Patch Panels Above 20 MHz)

Extended Specifications for 150-ohm STP Cables and Data
Connectors – EIA/TIA Tech Sys Bulletin TSB-53, 1992 [Type 1A cable]

EIA-570: Residential and Light Commercial Telecommunications
Wiring Standard – EIA/TIA, 1991

EIA-606: Telecommunications Administration Standard for Commercial
Buildings – EIA/TIA (was PN-2290)

EIA-607: – Commercial Building Grounding and Bonding Requirements
for Telecommunications – EIA/TIA

EIA/TIA PN-2840 – [draft for the EIA-568-A standard, incorporating
TSB-36 and -40A, expected in early 1995]

EIA/TIA PN-2840A – [draft for next version of the EIA-568-A standard]

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/
National Fire Protection Assoc. (NFPA):
70     National Electrical Code (1993)
78     Lightning Protection Code

Canadian Standards Association (CSA):
C22.1-1994   Canadian Electrical Code, Part 1

CAN/CSA-T527: Bonding and Grounding for Telecommunications
in Commercial Buildings – Canadian Standards Assoc.
[harmonized with EIA-607]

CAN/CSA-T528: Telecommunications Administration Standards for
Commercial Buildings – CSA, Jan 1993 [harmonized with EIA-606]

CAN/CSA-T529-M91: Design Guidelines for Telecommunications Wiring
System in Commercial Buildings, – CSA [harmonized with EIA-568]

CAN/CSA-T530-M90: Building Facilities, Design Guidelines for
Telecommunications – CSA, 1990  [harmonized with EIA-569]

ISO/IEC 11801: [international equivalent of EIA-568 and CSA T-529,
includes 120 ohm Screened Twisted Pair cable]

IEC 603-7, Part 7 – [Modular connector physical dimensions, mechanical
and electrical characteristics. Level A: 750 mating cycles min;
B: 2,500 min; C: 10,000 min.]

ISO 8877: Information Processing Systems – Interface Connector and
Contact Assignment for ISDN Basic access interface located at
reference points S and T – International Organization for
Standardization [same pin/pair assignments for 8-line modular
connector as EIA T-568A]

National Electrical Safety Code Handbook (NESC):
Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)/
American National Standards Institute (ANSI):
C2-1993      National Electrical Safety Code
ISBN 1-55937-210-9 (order # SH15172)
[In USA, governs the area between the property line and the
building entrance]

National Research Council of Canada, Institute for Research in
Construction (NRC-IRC):
National Building Code of Canada (1990) – order NRCC 30619
Supplement to the National Building Code of Canada (1990)
– order NRCC 30629
National Fire Code of Canada (1990) – order NRCC 30621

A Guide to Premises Distribution
– NCR/AT&T order #555-400-021, Apr 1988

Building Network Design – Bell Canada, 1992

The Corporate Cabling Guide – M. McElroy,
Artech House, ISBN 0-89006-663-9, Dec 1992

Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual (1050 pages)
– Building Industries Consulting Service International (BICSI), 1994

Universal Transport System Design Guide, Release II
– Siecor Corp, 1991 [fiber-optic cable plant]

Requirements Beyond Jacks and Cable: an Installation Guide
– Leviton Telecom, Second edition, T15-00004-003, Jan 1994

Site Wire Twisted-pair Installation Guide
– Hewlett-Packard,  p/n 5959-2208, Jan 1988

Site Wire Planning Guide – Hewlett-Packard, p/n 5959-2201,
Sept 1989

Tech Ref Guide for Workgroup LANs
– Hewlett-Packard, p/n 5091-0663E, Apr 1991

Tech Ref Guide for Site LANs and MultiSite LANs
– Hewlett-Packard, p/n 5091-0666E, Apr 1991

Understanding Fiber Optics – J. Hecht
Howard Sams & Co., ISBN 0-672-27066-8, 1988

Optical Fiber Communications, I & II – S. Miller
Academic Press, ISBN 0-12-497350-7 & -5

Optical Fiber Splices and Connectors: Theory & Methods –
C. M. Miller, Marcel Dekker, 1986

Principles of Optical Fiber Measurements – D. Marcuse
Academic Press, ISBN 0-12-470-980-X, 1981

Single-Mode Fibers: Fundamentals – E. G. Neumann
Springer-Verlag, ISBN 0-387-18745-6, 1988

CATV Cable Construction Manual, 3rd edition – Comm./Scope Inc., 1980
[Outside Plant tools and procedures: trenching, boring, installing
aerial and buried cable]

Marking Guide: Wire and Cable – Underwriters Labs, 1993
[How to interpret UL cable jacket markings]


Subject: 9.0 Standard EIA/TIA 568

The ANSI/EIA/TIA-568-1991 Standard _Commercial Building
Telecommunications Wiring Standard_ defines pin outs;

9.1 Standard EIA/TIA T568A (also called ISDN, previously called EIA)

Pin    Wire Color

          T3   1   White/Green

 pair3  R3   2    Green

          T2   3   White/Orange 

 pair2  R2   6   Orange

          R1   4   Blue

 pair1  T1   5   White/Blue

          T4   7   White/Brown

 pair4  R4   8   Brown

9.2 Standard EIA/TIA T568B (also called AT&T specification, previously called 258A)

        Pin    Wire Color

          T2   1   White/Orange

 pair2  R2   2   Orange

          T3   3   White/Green 

 pair3  R3   6   Green

          R1   4   Blue

 pair1  T1   5   White/Blue

          T4   7   White/Brown

 pair4  R4   8   Brown

9.3 USOC (Universal Service Order Code)


         Pin    Wire Color                                                 

          T4   1   White/Brown

 pair4  R4   8   Brown

          T3   2   White/Green 

 pair3  R3   7   Green

          T2   3   White/Orange

 pair2  R2   6   Orange

          T1   4   White/Blue

 pair1  R1   5   Blue


         Pin    Wire Color

          T3   1   White/Green

 pair3  R3   6   Green

          T2   2   White/Orange 

 pair2  R2   3   Orange

          T1   4   White/Blue

 pair1  R1   5   Blue

Subject: 10.0 Birds and Bees (Plugs vs. Jacks)

The EIA/TIA specifies an RJ-45 (ISO 8877) connector for Unshielded
Twisted Pair (UTP) cable.  The plug is the male component crimped
on the end of the cable while the jack is the female component in
a wall plate or patch panel, etc.  Here is the pin numbering to
answer the question, where is pin one?

Plug                                                                           Jack
(Looking at connector end with the cable                      (Looking at cavity in the wall)
running away from you)                     

/________ /                                      /_________/
|87654321 |                                      | 12345678 |
|__        __|/                                       |/_          /_|
|____|                                                |/____|


Subject: 11.0 Standard Networking Configurations

With reference to T568B above;
ATM 155Mbps uses pairs 2 and 4 (pins 1-2, 7-8)
Ethernet 10Base-T uses pairs 2 and 3 (pins 1-2, 3-6)
Ethernet 100Base-T4 uses pairs 2 and 3 (4T+) (pins 1-2, 3-6)
Ethernet 100Base-T8 uses pairs 1,2,3 and 4 (pins 4-5, 1-2, 3-6, 7-8)
Token-Ring uses pairs 1 and 3 (pins 4-5, 3-6)
TP-PMD uses pairs 2 and 4 (pins 1-2, 7-8)
100VG-AnyLAN uses pairs 1,2,3 and 4 (pins 4-5, 1-2, 3-6, 7-8)


Subject: 12.0 Ethernet 10Base-T Cabling

12.1 Ethernet 10Base-T Straight Thru patch cord (T568B colors);

             RJ45 Plug              RJ45 Plug
=======            =======

                T2   1   White/Orange … TX Data +

       pair2  R2   2   Orange …………. TX Data –

                T3   3   White/Green …… RX Data + 

       pair3  R3   6   Green …………… RX Data –

                R1   4   Blue

       pair1  T1   5   White/Blue

                T4   7   White/Brown

       pair4  R4   8   Brown

12.2 Ethernet 10Base-T Crossover patch cord

This cable can be used to cascade hubs, or for connecting two Ethernet stations back-to-back without a hub (ideal for two station Doom!)  Note pin numbering in item 10.0 above.

RJ45 Plug  1 TX+ ————– Rx+ 3  RJ45 Plug
2 TX- ————— Rx-   6
3  Rx+ ————–TX+ 1
6  Rx- ————– TX-   2

12.3 Ethernet 10Base-T to USOC Crossover patch cord;

RJ45 8-pin Plug  1 —White/Orange— 2  USOC 6-pin Plug
2 ——Orange  —— 5
3 —White/Green—– 1
6 ——Green———- 6

12.4 Crossover Implementation

   A simple way to make a crossover patch cable is to take a
dual-jack surface mount box and make the crossover between
the two jacks. This allows using standard patch cables, and
avoids the nuisance of having a crossover cable find its way
into use in place of a regular patch cable.

12.5 Stranded Patch Cables
The color code used in stranded patch cables is different from
solid-conductor cables. For Nortel Digital Patch Cable (DPC),
the coding is;
Pair 1: Green & Red
Pair 2: Yellow & Black
Pair 3: Blue & Orange
Pair 4: Brown & Gray


Subject: 13.0 Category Specifications

     EIA/TIA Category Specification provide for the following cable
transmission speeds with specifications (Note prior to Jan94
UL and Anixter developed a LEVEL system which has been dropped
or harmonized with the CATEGORY system);

Category 1 = No performance criteria
Category 2 = Rated to 1 MHz (used for telephone wiring)
Category 3 = Rated to 16 MHz (used for Ethernet 10Base-T)
Category 4 = Rated to 20 MHz (used for Token-Ring, 10Base-T)
Category 5 = Rated to 100 MHz (used for 100Base-T, 10Base-T)

UL LAN Cable Certification Program – Underwriters Laboratories
publication 200-120 30M/3/92, 1992 [characteristics of Cat 3-5 UTP]


Subject: 14.0 Sources for the EIA/TIA 568 Standards Documents

     EIA Standards Sales Office -or-
Global Engineering Documents (east or west coast offices)
(See addresses in sources below)


Subject: 15.0 Cable Test Equipment

15.1 DVM
DVM = Digital Volt Meter (measures volts)

15.2 DMM
DMM = Digital Multi Meter (measures volts, ohm, capacitance,
and some measure frequency)

15.3 TDR
TDR = Time Domain Reflectometer (measures cable lengths,
locates impedance mismatches).

15.4 Tone Generator
Tone Generator and Inductive Amplifier = Used to trace cable pairs,
follow cables hidden in walls or ceiling. The tone generator will
typically put a 2 kHz audio tone on the cable under test, the
inductive amp detects and plays this through a built-in speaker.

15.5 Wire map Tester
Wire map tester: checks a cable for open or short circuits, reversed
pairs, crossed pairs and split pairs.

A least-cost wire map type tester that detects split pairs correctly
(using a NEXT test) is the Fluke 610, at $400.  MOD-TAP and UNICOM
make a similar device.

15.6 Noise Tester
Noise tests, 10Base-T: the standard sets limits for how often
noise events can occur, and their size, in several frequency ranges.
Various handheld cable testers are able to perform these tests.

15.7 Butt-in
Butt-in set: a telephone handset that when placed in series with a
battery (such as the one in a tone generator), allows voice communication
over a copper cable pair. Can be used for temporary phone service in a
wiring closet.

15.7 Fiber Testing
See section 20.7 for fiber optic test equipment.


Subject: 16.0 Cable Testers for Category 5

  _LAN cat V_     by Datacom Technologies
Everett, WA
Tel: 800/468-5557

_DSP100_       by Fluke Corporation
P.O. Box 9090
Everett, WA 98206-9090
Tel: 206/356-5400  800/44-FLUKE

_PentaScanner_ by Microtest, Inc
4747 North 22nd St,
Phoenix, AZ  85016
Tel: 602/952-6400  800/526-9675

_WireScope100_ by Scope Communications, Inc
100 Otis St,
Northbrook, MA  01532
Tel: 508/393-1236

_LANTech PRO_  by Wavetek, Inc
9145 Balboa Ave
San Diego, CA  92123
Tel: 619/279-2200  800/854-2708

At present some vendors are calling their instruments _CAT 5
conformance_ testing devices. Be aware that there is an on-going
standards process to define field testing of CAT 5 cables.  These
standards or guidelines (currently called PN-3287) will not be
complete until the June 1995 timeframe.

The TIA TSB number will be TSB-67 when PN-3287 is approved.

The standard is expected to define two accuracy levels of test
equipment, and provide minimum performance standards for each.
Current test equipment is likely to fall in the lower level. The
higher class (_Accuracy Level II_) is intended for subsequent
generations of test equipment capable of performing the
increasingly numerous and stringent tests now being developed.


Subject: 17.0 Typical Wiring Layout

17.1 Wiring Layout

   ……Wiring Closet…………..                ….User Work Area….

Where …
HUB = concentrator
PANEL = RJ-45 Modular Patch Panel

BLOCK = Telco Splice Block (Typically 25-pair)

Cross connect: Nortel BIX1A, AT&T 110 and similar cross connect
blocks accommodate 4-pair, 25-pair or larger cables on the
same mount. The same type of mount can be used for the voice
field as well as data.

Telephone-only (66) blocks are seldom used except for
low-speed data circuits such as are used for IBM 3270 terminals.
The newer types of cross connect mentioned above cost about the
same and accommodates growth much better. (The standard AT&T 110
and its BIX equivalent are rated at Cat 5).

LOBE CABLE = Cable run from user wall plate to wiring closet
WALL = User area wall face plate
STATION = User workstation network adapter
=====>  = RJ-45 connector
=====+  = Punch down termination (also called an insulation-
displacement/displacing connector, or IDC).

17.2 Cross connect Field Colors
The color of label used on a cross connect field identifies the
field’s function. The cabling administration standard (CSA T-528
& EIA-606) lists the colors and functions as:

Blue  Horizontal voice cables
Brown  Interbuilding backbone
Gray  Second-level backbone
Green  Network connections & auxiliary circuits
Orange Demarcation point, telephone cable from Central Office
Purple  First-level backbone
Red  Key-type telephone systems
Silver or
White  Horizontal data cables, computer & PBX equipment
Yellow Auxiliary, maintenance & security alarms


Subject: 18.0 How Far Away Should Cable be Installed from an EMI Source

     Northern Telecom IBDN User Manual contains an Appendix D titled
_UTP Separation Guidelines From EMI Sources_. The values are the
same as the cabling pathways standard, EIA-569, table 4.8-5.

Minimum Separation Distance from Power Source at 480V or less

     CONDITION                                                         <2kVA               2-5kVA            >5kVA
Unshielded power lines or electrical equipment
in proximity to open or non-metal pathways            5 in.(12.7 cm) 12 in.(30.5 cm) 24 in.(61 cm)

Unshielded power lines or electrical equipment
in proximity to grounded metal conduit pathway       2.5 in.(6.4 cm) 6 in.(15.2 cm) 12 in.(30.5 cm)

Power lines enclosed in a grounded metal conduit
(or equivalent shielding) in proximity to grounded     – –                   6 in.(15.2 cm) 12 in.(30.5 cm)
metal conduit pathway

Transformers & electric motors                              <—————– 40-in (1.02 m) —————>

Fluorescent lighting                                               <—————– 12-in (30.5 cm) ————–>

Source: Integrated Building Distribution Network (IBDN) User Manual
– Northern Telecom, doc # IBDN-UM-9105, 1991.

The EIA/TIA working group revising the EIA-569 standard is using the
results of field and lab tests to update the recommendations. The
target date for completion is Dec 1995.


Subject: 19.0 What is the Minimum Bending Radius for a Cable?

According to EIA SP-2840A (a draft version of EIA-568-x) the minimum
bend radius for UTP is 4 x cable outside diameter, about one inch.
For multipair cables the minimum bending radius is 10 x outside

SP-2840A gives minimum bend radii for Type 1A Shielded Twisted Pair
(100 Mb/s STP) of 7.5 cm (3-in) for non-plenum cable, 15 cm (6-in)
for the stiffer plenum-rated kind.

For fiber optic cables not in tension, the minimum bend radius is 10 x
diameter; cables loaded in tension may not be bent at less than 20 x
diameter. SP-2840A states that no f/o cable will be bent on a radius
less than 3.0 cm (1.18-in).

The ISO DIS 11801 standard, Section 7.1 General specs for 100 ohm
and 120 ohm balanced cable lists three different minimum bend radii.
Minimum for pulling during installation is 8x cable diameter, min
installed radius is 6x for riser cable, 4x for horizontal.

For fiber optic cables not in tension, the minimum bend radius is
10 x diameter; cables loaded in tension may not be bent at less
than 20 x diameter. SP-2840A states that no f/o cable will be
bent on a radius less than 3.0 cm (1.18-in).

Some manufacturers recommendations differ from the above, so it is
worth checking the spec sheet for the cable you plan to use.


Subject: 20.0 Fiber Optic Cable

  20.1 Multimode (MM) Fiber
Step index or graded index fiber. In North America the most common
size is 62.5/125; in Europe, 50/125 is often used.  These numbers
represent the diameter of the core (62.5) and diameter of the
cladding (125) in microns.  Multimode fiber is typically used in
applications such as local area networks, at distances less than 2 km.

20.2 Single Mode (SM) Fiber
Single mode fiber has a very small core.  Typical values are
5-10 microns.  Single mode fiber has a much higher capacity and
allows longer distances than multimode fiber.  Typically used
for wide area networks such as telephone company switch to switch
connections and cable TV (CATV).

20.3 Loose Buffer
The fiber is contained in a plastic tube for protection.
To give better waterproofing protection to the fiber, the space
between the tubes is sometimes gel-filled. Typical applications
are outside installations. One drawback of loose buffer construction
is a larger bending radius. Gel-filled cable requires the installer
to spend time cleaning and drying the individual cables, and
cleaning up the site afterwards.

20.4 Tight Buffer
Buffer layers of plastic and yarn material are applied over the fiber.
Results in a smaller cable diameter with a smaller bending radius.
Typical applications are patch cords and local area network connections.
At least one mfr. produces this type of cable for inside/outside use.

20.5 Ribbon Cable
Typically 12 coated fibers are bonded together to form a
ribbon.  There are higher density ribbons (x100) which have
the advantage of being mass-terminated into array connectors.
A disadvantage is that they are often harder, and require special
tools to terminate and splice.

20.6 Fiber Connectors
There are a lot of different types of connectors, but the ones
commonly found in LAN/MAN/WAN installations are:

FSD – Fixed Shroud Device, such as the FDDI MIC dual-fiber connector.
SC  – A push-pull connector. The international standard.
The SC connectors are recommended in SP-2840A.  The SC
connector has the advantage (over ST) of being duplexed
into a single connector clip with both transmit/receive fibers.
SMA – Threaded connector, not much used anymore because of losses
that change with each disconnection and reconnection.
ST  – Keyed, bayonet-style connector, very commonly used.

20.7 Fiber Optic Test Equipment
Continuity tester: used to identify a fiber, and detect a break.
One type resembles a f/o connector attached to a flashlight.

Fault locator:  used to determine exact location of a break.
Works by shining a very bright visible light into the strand.
At the break, this light is visible through the cable jacket.

Tone Generator and Tracer: used to identify a cable midspan or
to locate a strand at its far end. Similar in purpose to the
tone testers used on copper cable. The tone generator imposes
a steady or warbling audio tone on light passing down the cable.
The tracer detects and recovers the tone from light lost through
the cable jacket as a result of bending the cable slightly.

Optical Source and Power Meter: used to measure the end-to-end
loss through a f/o strand, or system of cable, connectors and
patch cables. Measurements are more accurate than an OTDR.

Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR): used to measure the length
of a cable, and detect any flaws in it. Can also be used to measure
end-to-end loss, although less accurately than a power meter.

Fiber Talk set: allows using a pair of f/o strands as a telephone line.

Fiber Optic Testing, standards: see EIA-455-171 (FOTP-171), EIA 526-14.


Subject: 21.0 ISDN Cabling

21.1 ISDN U-loop
ISDN Basic Rate Interface (BRI) is provided by a carrier from
a central office (CO) switch to the customer premise with a
two wire U-loop RJ-45 connector on the center pins 4-5.

RJ45 Plug
1  N/C
2  N/C
3  N/C
4  U-loop network connection
5  U-loop network connection
6  N/C
7  N/C
8  N/C

21.2 ISDN Network Termination (NT)
The Network Termination is a Power Supply and NT1.  In North
America this functionality can be provided in the terminal
equipment (i.e. ISDN digital modem) or separate as follows;

  U-loop=====Power Supply=======NT1=======TE
2-wire                U+PS2         4-wire            4-wire |
|==S/T bus      

RJ45 Plug for U+PS2
1  N/C
2  N/C
3  N/C
4  U-loop network connection
5  U-loop network connection
6  N/C
7  -48 VDC
8  -48 VDC Return

   The ISDN cables can be silver satin patch cables (the kind that
make 10Base-T Ethernet installers cringe).  The S/T bus can also
be silver satin but most installers use CAT 3 or CAT 5 with one
drop per terminal equipment.  It is true that only 4-wires are
needed on the S/T bus but see below for optional power needs.

21.3 ISDN S/T Bus (Point-to-Point)
One logical terminal is on the S/T bus which can be 1km long.

21.4 ISDN S/T Bus (Short Passive)
Up to eight terminals on the S/T bus which can be within 100 to

21.5 ISDN S/T Bus (Extended Passive)
Up to eight terminals on the S/T bus which can be up to 500m.

21.6 ISDN S/T Bus (NT1 Star)
Up to eight terminals on the S/T bus which are wired from a
central NT1 and can be up to 1km in length each.

21.7 ISDN S/T Bus Pin out
The S/T bus connects the NT1 with the terminal equipment.  See
section 10.0 for plug identification and pin numbering.  Note,
if power is not required an RJ11 (6-pin) plug could be used.
Some NT1 devices have a switch to turn off power if it is not
required by the terminal equipment.  For safety reasons the
power should not be put on the S/T bus if it is not required.
Typically, ISDN PC cards do not require power from the S/T bus,
but ISDN telephones do require power from the S/T bus.  Check
your vendor equipment specifications carefully.

  RJ45 Plug for ISDN S/T bus
1  N/C
2  N/C
3  White/Green ……….  RX Data +
4  Blue ………………….  TX Data +
5  White/Blue …………. TX Data  –
6  Green ………………..  RX Data –
7  White/Brown ……….  -48VDC (option)
8  Brown ……………….. -48VDC Return (option)

21.8 ISDN Cabling Guidelines
The North American ISDN Users Forum (NIUF) has produced a document
titled _ISDN Wiring and Powering Guidelines_ NIUF #433-94 which
describes residence and small business ISDN cabling.  See section
30.0 for the NIUF document ordering address.


Subject: 22.0 Testing Unshielded Twisted Pair Cables

22.1 Testing UTP Introduction
Many of the problems encountered in UTP cable plants are a result
of miswired patch cables, jacks and cross connects.

Horizontal and riser distribution cables and patch cables are wired
straight through end-to-end — pin 1 at one end should be connected
to pin 1 at the other. (Crossover patch cables are an exception, as
described later). Normally, jacks and cross connects are designed so
that the installer always punches down the cable pairs in a standard
order, from left to right: pair 1 (Blue), pair 2 (Orange), pair 3
(Green) and pair 4 (Brown). The white striped lead is usually punched
down first, followed by the solid color. The jack’s internal wiring
connects each pair to the correct pins, according to the assignment
scheme for which the jack is designed: EIA-568A, 568B, USOC or
whatever. (One source of problems is an installation in which USOC
jacks are mixed with EIA-568A or 568B. Everything appears to be
punched down correctly, but some cables work and others do not).

22.2 Wire map Tests
Wire map tests will check all lines in the cable for all of the
following errors:


Lack of continuity between pins at both ends of the cable.


Two or more lines short-circuited together.

Crossed pair

A pair is connected to different pins at each end (example: pair 1 is connected to pins 4&5 at one end, and pins 1&2 at the other).

Reversed pair

The two lines in a pair are connected to opposite pins at each end of the cable (example: the line on pin 1 is connected to pin 2 at the other end, the line on pin 2 is connected to line 1). Also called a polarity reversal or tip-and-ring reversal.

Split pair

One line from each of two pairs is connected as if it were a pair (example: the Blue and White-Orange lines are connected to pins 4&5, White-Blue and Orange to pins 3&6). The result is excessive Near End Crosstalk (NEXT), which wastes 10Base-T bandwidth and usually prevents 16 Mb/s token-ring from working at all.

  22.3 Length Tests
Checking cable length is usually done using a time domain
reflectometer (TDR), which transmits a pulse down the cable, and
measures the elapsed time until it receives a reflection from the
far end of the cable. Each type of cable transmits signals at
something less than the speed of light.  This factor is called the
nominal velocity of propagation (NVP), expressed as a decimal
fraction of the speed of light. (UTP has an NVP of approximately
0.59-0.65). From the elapsed time and the NVP, the TDR calculates
the cable’s length. A TDR may be a special-purpose unit such as
the Tektronix 1503, or may be built into a handheld cable tester.

22.4 Testing for Impulse Noise
The 10Base-T standard defines limits for the voltage and number of
occurrences/minute of impulse noise occurring in several frequency
ranges. Many of the handheld cable testers include the capability
to test for this.

22.5 Near-End Crosstalk (NEXT)
What’s NEXT, you ask? Imagine yourself speaking into a telephone.
Normally, as you speak you can hear the person on the other end
and also hear yourself through the handset. Imagine how it would
sound if your voice was amplified so it was louder than the other
person’s. Each time you spoke you’d be deaf to anything coming from
the other end. A cable with inadequate immunity to NEXT couples so
much of the signal being transmitted back onto the receive pair
(or pairs) that incoming signals are unintelligible.

Cable and connecting hardware installed using poor practices can have
their NEXT performance reduced by as much as a whole Category.

22.6 Attenuation
A signal traveling on a cable becomes weaker the further it travels.
Each interconnection also reduces its strength. At some point the
signal becomes too weak for the network hardware to interpret reliably.
Particularly at higher frequencies (10MHz and up) UTP cable attenuates
signals much sooner than does co-axial or shielded twisted pair cable.
Knowing the attenuation (and NEXT) of a link allows you to determine
whether it will function for a particular access method, and how much
margin is available to accommodate increased losses due to temperature
changes, aging, etc.

Forthcoming updates to cabling standards call for a number of new
tests which will add to this list.


Subject: 23.0 – 29.0 Not Used (Blank)

     These sections are blank for future topics.


Subject: 30.0 Sources of Additional Information

Addr: Harrisburg, PA  17105-3608
Tel:  1-800-722-1111
1-800-245-4356 (Fax back service, USA)
(905) 470-4425 Canada
(617) 270-3774 (Fax back service, Canada)

(An international cable products distributor)
see _Anixter 199x Cabling Systems Catalog_
Addr: Anixter, Inc
4711 Golf Road
Skokie, IL  60076
Tel:  (708) 677-2600
1-800-323-8167 USA
1-800-361-0250 Canada
32-3-457-3570 Europe
44-81-561-8118 UK
65-756-7011 Singapore

Addr: American National Standards Institute
11 W. 42nd St, 13th floor
New York, NY 10036
Tel:  (212) 642-4900

AT&T Canada:
Addr: Network Cables Div
1255 route Transcanadienne
Dorval, QC H3P 2V4
Tel:  (514) 421-8213
Fax:  (514) 421-8224

AT&T documents:
Addr: AT&T Customer Information Center
Order Entry
2855 N. Franklin Road
Indianapolis, IN 46219 USA
Tel:  (800) 432-6600 (USA)
(800) 255-1242 (CDN)
(317) 352-8557 (International)
Fax:  (317) 352-8484

Belden Wire & Cable:
Addr: POB 1980
Richmond, IN 47375
Tel:  (317) 983-5200

Bell Canada:
Addr: Bell Canada
Building Network Design
Floor 2, 2 Field way Road
Etobicoke, Ontario
Canada M8Z 3L2
Tel:  (416) 234-4223
Fax:  (416) 236-3033

Bell Communications Research (Bell core):
Addr: Customer Service
60 New England Ave
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Tel:  (800) 521-2673
Fax:  (908) 336-2559

Berk-Tek: (copper & f/o cable)
Addr: 312 White Oak Rd
New Holland, PA 17557
Tel:  (717) 354-6200, 1-800-BERK-TEK
Fax:  (717) 354-7944

BICSI:   A telecommunications cabling professional association.
Offers education, and administers the RCDD (Registered
Communications Distribution Designer) certification.
Addr: Building Industries Consulting Service International
10500 University Center Drive, Ste 100
Tampa, FL 33612-6415
Tel:  (813) 979-1991, 1-800-BICSI-05
Fax:  (813) 971-4311

Black box
Black Box Catalog: The Source for Connectivity (r)
Addr: Black Box Inc
P.O. Box 12800
Pittsburgh, PA  15241
Tel:  1-800-552-6816 USA
(412) 746-5500 Tech Support USA
(416) 736-8013 Tech Support Canada

Addr: Canadian Automated Buildings Association
M-20, 1200 Montreal Rd
Ottawa, ON K1A 0R6
Tel:  (613) 990-7407
Fax:  (613) 954-5984

Cable Talk: (racks & physical cable management)
Addr: 18 Chelsea Lane
Brampton, ON L6T 3Y4
Tel:  (800) 267-7282
(905) 791-9123
Fax:  (905) 791-9126

Cabling Business:
Addr: Cabling Business Magazine
12035 Shiloh Road, Ste 350
Dallas, TX 75228
Tel:  (214) 328-1717
Fax:  (214) 319-6077

Cabling Installation & Maintenance Magazine:
Addr: Cabling Installation & Maintenance
Editorial Offices
One Technology Park Dr
POB 992
Westford, MA 01886
Tel:  (508) 692-0700
Tel:  (918) 832-9349
Fax:  (918) 832-9295


Comm/Scope Inc.
Addr: POB 1729,
Hickory, NC 28603
Tel:  (800) 982-1708 (USA)
(704) 324-2200
Fax:  (704) 328-3400

Addr: Corning Optical Fiber Information Center
Guidelines – publication/newsletter on fiber technology
Fiber Fax-on-Demand: ???

Addr: Canadian Standards Association
178 Rexdale Blvd
Rexdale, Ont
Canada M9W 1R3
Tel:  (416) 747-4000, Documents Orders: (416) 747-4044
Fax:  (416) 747-2475

Addr: EIA Standards Sales Office
2001 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC  20006
Tel:  (202) 457-4966

Addr: Global Engineering Documents
1990 M Street W, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036
Tel:  (800) 854-7179 (CDN/USA)
(202) 429-2860 (International)
(714) 261-1455 (International)
Fax:  (317) 352-8484

Global Engineering Documents (West Coast)
2805 McGraw Ave.
Irvine, CA  92714

(An international cable products distributor)
Tel:  (519) 576-4050 in Ontario
Fax:  (519) 576-2402

Addr: Hubbell Premise Wiring Inc.
14 Lords Hill Rd
Stonington, CT 06378
Tel:  (203) 535-8326
Fax:  (203) 535-8328

Addr: International Electro technical Commission
rue de Varembre, Case Postale 131,3
Geneva 20, Switzerland

Addr: International Organization for Standardization
1, rue de Varembre, Case Postale 56
Geneva 20, Switzerland
Tel:  +41 22 34 12 40

(Previously called CCITT)
Addr: International Telephone Union
Place des Nations
Geneva 20, Switzerland

(Cable and Equipment Supplier)
Addr: Mod-Tap
285 Ayer Rd, P.O. Box 706
Harvard, MA  01451
Tel:  (508) 772-5630
Fax:  (508) 772-2011

NFPA (US National Electrical Code (NEC) and other docs):
Addr: National Fire Protection Association
One Battery March Park, P.O. Box 9146
Quincy, MA 02269-9959
Tel:  (800) 344-3555
Fax:  (617) 984-7057

Addr: U.S. Dept. of Commerce
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Technology Building 225
Gaithersburg, MD 20899

Addr: North American ISDN Users Forum
NIUF Secretariat
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Bldg 223, Room B364
Gaithersburg, MD 20899
Tel:  (301) 975-2937
Fax:  (301) 926-9675

Northern Telecom (cable and physical network products):
Addr: Business Networks Div.
105 Boulevard Laurentien
St. Laurent, QC H4N 2M3
Tel:  (514) 744-8693, 1-800-262-9334
Fax:  (514) 744-8644

Addr: U.S. Dept. of Commerce
National Technical Information Service
5285 Port Royal Rd
Springfield, VA 22161
Tel:  (703) 487-4650
(800) 336-4700 (rush orders)
Fax:  (703) 321-8547

NRC of Canada:
Addr: Client Services
Institute for Research in Construction
National Research Council of Canada
Ottawa, ON K1A 0R6
Tel:  (613) 993-2463
Fax:  (613) 952-7673

Addr: 595 Green haven Rd
Pawcatuck, CT 06379
Tel: (203) 599-1760
Fax: (203) 599-1774


Saunders Telecom: (racks, tray and accessories)
Addr: 8520 Wellsford Place
Santa Fe Springs, CA
Tel:  (800) 927-3595
Fax:  (310) 698-6510

Addr: Standards Council of Canada
1200-45 O/Connor St
Ottawa, Ont Canada K1P 6N7
Tel:  (613) 238-3222
Fax:  (613) 995-4564

Addr: 489 Siecor Park, POB 489
Hickory, NC 28603-0489
Tel:  (704) 327-5000
Fax:  (704) 327-5973

The Siemon Co (Cabling System Supplier)
Addr: 76 Westbury Park Rd
Watertown, CT  06795
Tel: (203) 274-2523
Fax: (203) 945-4225

Addr: Telecommunications Industries Association (TIA)
2500 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 300,
Arlington, VA 22201
Tel: (703) 907-7700
Fax: (703) 907-7727

Underwriters Labs (UL) documents:
Addr: Underwriters Labs Inc
333 Pfingsten Road,
Northbrook, Illinois 60062-2096 USA
Tel:  (800) 676-9473 (from CDN/USA East coast)
(800) 786-9473 (from CDN/USA West coast)
(708) 272-8800 (International)
Fax:  (708) 272-8129
MCI Mail: 254-3343

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