Tyler Whitaker's Infotech

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Solving a Home CATV Wiring Problem

February 23rd, 2008 · No Comments

Yesterday I had an interesting experience helping a good friend and neighbor set up some CATV wiring in his basement. Now I’ve done this kind of stuff in past jobs and even in my own basement. So you would think that there should be no problem whatsoever. Think again.

To be fair, he hasn’t had that much experience with Ethernet, 10-base-T, CATV, or the like. He was able to run all of the cabling himself. He followed the instructions on modular wall jacks. He had picked a wiring scheme (T568A) and was consistent. The problem was getting connectivity. There was none.

We were able to isolate the problem to one section of cabling and the connectors on each end. We verified the right order of the colored wire pairs on each end of the connection. But still no luck.

We came to the conclusion that it had to be one of the follow problems:

  1. He had miss labeled the some/all of the 15 different cables.
  2. The cable had been cut or damaged during the dry wall installation.
  3. The ends were incorrectly wired despite following the diagrams.

This is the point when a good cable tester is an invaluable tool. Luckily I had suggested that he pick up a LinkMaster – Network testing device from IDEAL.

This little tester is great. It was able to quickly show us the problem with one of the connections. Despite following the wiring diagrams exactly, the tester turned us onto a problem that the manufacturers connector wiring diagram was printed incorrectly. It showed the connector upside down, from the text. A quick fix on that end of the cable solved everything. It’s a good thing we had the LinkMaster CATV/10-base-T tester.

Tags: Technology

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