Thursday, March 27, 2008

Big Preppin' (Data Cable-1 Feb 02)

Writing about pre-wiring the shades was taxing, actually doing the work wasn’t that bad.

It went so much better than I expected, I started thinking I should expand my wiring plan.

I had originally figured I’d add a wire or two to a few jacks and that would be it, but now the possibility of adding two data lines to every data location became very alluring. I knew it was going to be a lot of work so I set out to do as much prep as possible.

Pre-measuring, cutting, and bundling the wire for an easier pull through the house was the plan. First, I’d need wire.

Lots of it.

When I ordered the shade wire I also ordered some nice cat-5 cable and then I managed to get six boxes of lower quality cable that were slightly used but had close to 1000’ in each box.

Interestingly, the price of the wholesale cable was slightly higher than the same length at Home Depot. This bummed me out until I actually started to use it. The jacket of the “pro” stuff was higher quality and seemed sturdier during the pulls. We’ll see if that carries into the actual termination.

So there I was with about six thousand feet of cable. Now what?

While running the shade cable I realized a truth that had eluded me prior. Related to the “Hole Don’t Move” rule, this was much more inclusive and elegant. Like a unifying theory that ties together the rules for very big things and very small things, this truth was all-encompassing and absolute.

I call this the “House pretty much don’t change shape, size, or length or width” rule.

Armed with my newfound enlightenment I measured from a central spot to each jack once and then had all the information I needed for the rest of the job. Part of the problem was that it was still cold out, but the big monkey hanging from the ceiling was that I really wasn’t supposed to do any of this.

Guardian was going to come in after the walls were up and they would be ready to terminate one jack per box, but I was going to have at least three lines at each box. Even the dimmest of wiring guys would see that three was more than one.

He’d just sit there for a while, staring at the “not-one” cable trying to sort out what to do next.

This isn’t good, he’d think. This is definitely NOT one cable. Paperwork’s all wrong. "All wrong!!" he'd scream.

Then he’d hear the voice and shudder uncontrollably, “It puts the cable in the jack, or it gets the hose again…”

When he regained consciousness he’d phone the main office and tell them that there was a “situation” and they’d have to send Hank out. Hank would figure out what had happened, file a report and the Fulton police would raise the price of the house.

Well, perhaps not, but I’m sure they wouldn’t be pleased about it and Paul would catch some heat. Paul’s a really good guy and I didn’t want to complicate his life.

I’d have to figure out how to hide the wires, allow guardian to do their work, and retrieve the extra wires after the house closing. More on that later, for now, I had cable to measure.

Cable measured, cut, wrapped, categorized, and labled we set off to install.

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