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© August 2003 Dirk Hart

Do as I say! (and not as I do)

Web Site: MailStarUSA.com

It started out with just a single PC. I swear I didn't know what a mess I was helping to create.

This client had 48 terminals and printers and there was loose talk of adding another 16-port serial board to the mix when some wag asked if it was possible to use a PC instead of a terminal. There it started, so innocently, so subtly but wires and mess go together as surely as yellow dogs and pickup trucks.

These folks like to do things themselves and besides, I just hate getting fiberglass ceiling tile bits in my hair, so I didn't complain - perhaps I even urged them along - when they started doing wiring themselves.

Sigh. I knew my days of reckless wiring abandon were coming to an end when I paid a visit to these otherwise good folks today, opened the closet for the backoffice wiring point and saw the wiring situation there.

Let this be a lesson to you: Start off right with your wiring center. Get a rack. Get a patch panel at least twice the size you think you'll need. For crying in the sink, always without fail use wire markers on BOTH ends of the wire. Use a nice faceplate and keystone jack at the workstation end. Get nice patch cords just a little long but not so long that it makes a mess. NEVER cinch those cable ties around CAT5 as tight as you can. Use velcro ties.

I could go on but before your attention wanders, just let me say this. Never be a party to this:

(Large Image of wiring closet)

Copyright August 2003 Dirk Hart All rights reserved

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-> Do as I say! (and not as I do)


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By the way, that's tape not a strap holding the switch to the closet rod.

DhWiringCloset :

I have seen worse, though I do love the strap holding the switch to the closet rod..

I know of one where the wires from the switch to the patch panel are so long that they form coils on the floor.


Hey man that sounds like US!

--Jason Raymond

I feel your pain. Our main building has a hodge podge of all kinds of wires. No patch panels, and a nice mixture of Cat-5 and Cat-5e cables running to the hubs. I have taken the old engineers approach of "If it ain't broken, don't fix it".
And, indeed, everything works. I use a wire tracer if I ever need to track down where the wire goes in the main cable room, and leave all cables plugged into the hubs, just in
case someone decides to pull the cable back through the wall.

We recently purchased a new building a couple of miles down the street. I was able to set this one up the "right way": patch panels, more wires than we will ever need to each jack, and everything is neatly labeled and terminated in a nice rack. Maybe someday I can tackle the mess at our main building, but I'm leaving that hornets nest alone for now.

- Bruce Garlock

Reminds me of a bank's system that we rewired about 3 years ago. Only thing was they had mice living in the mess. We called it the "jungle project" because the tangle of patch cords, line cords, umbilical cords, and building wiring looked like the interior of central Africa.

See this NYTimes article:



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