Monthly Archives: February 2019

  1. History of Ethernet

    Ethernet cables are used to connect everything with an Internet connection today. Even wireless devices like tablets and smartphones have to connect to other devices like routers that are themselves run off ethernet. While the world wide web did not start booming until the late 90s, ethernet’s origins can be traced back to the 1970s.


    Robert Metcalfe, the engineer who laid the groundwork for the Internet by co-inventing ethernet.


    1974:

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  2. Network Setup Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

    Setting up a network sounds easy. Just run some ethernet cable, plug it into your computers and other equipment, and everything is good to go. However, that is a bit of an oversimplification. Under ideal conditions, things really would be that simple. But conditions do not start out ideal and how close they are to the mark largely depends on the prep work.

    The best way to prevent any problems is to avoid them entirely. Knowing which mistakes

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  3. Ethernet Splitters vs. Network Switches

    The term splitter gets thrown around pretty often when it comes to cables. The average splitter works by taking an input signal and dividing it into multiple output signals. For example, on a two-way splitter each output will have half the normal strength since the signal is divided by two. However, this is not how ethernet signals work.

    Simply put, ethernet signals cannot be divided the way audio/video signals can. There are devices called ethernet splitters, but they work differently from other kinds of signal splitters. However, a different device called a network switch can be used with ethernet cables for the same effect.

    Ethernet Splitters

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  4. Wired or Wireless? Ethernet vs. WiFi

    The ability to just click a button and connect to WiFi on almost any modern device is hard to pass up. On the other hand, ethernet is still around after years of WiFi so surely it has its advantages. The truth is that both options have ups and downs. Your priorities as a user will be the ultimate deciding factor for determining which is better.

    Wired Connections - Ethernet

    Ethernet is older and better tested than WiFi, maintaining a number of benefits. Physical connections are faster and provide greater reliability,

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  5. Patch Panels

    Patch panels are simple pieces of equipment designed to house a large number of jacks. Typically, they are mounted onto rack or cabinets. The panels themselves are easy to install, but there are a few details to know before getting started.

    Horizontally, patch panels are 19 inches (the industry standard size). Vertically, patch panels are measured in rack units (RU). Patch panels are rectangular and secured with four screws, one on each corner. A single RU is the amount of space one row of jacks will take up on a unit (1 RU = 1.75 inches). Typically, a maximum of 24 ports can be squeezed onto a single RU.

    There are two main types of patch panels, pre-made

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  6. Pinouts (Wiring Schemes)

    “Pinout” is a term describing how an electrical cable is wired. Some cables do not have pinouts because they only contain a single internal wire, like coax cables. But if a cable has multiple pins on the end of the cable, it will have a pinout.

    Each type of multi-pin cable has a standard pinout or two, but these layouts are not set in stone. Some machines will require non-standard pinouts; this will require users to use a custom cable.

    Pinouts also come into play when using a cable with two different ends. For example, going from DB9 (9 pins) to DB25 (25 pins) will mean the DB25 side has 16 unused, “dead” pins.

    If you need to know what pinout a cable needs, ideally there will be a spec sheet h

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  7. Cable Distance Limits - Data

    Every type of cable has a maximum distance. These distance limits can vary greatly from one type of cable to the next. Along with determining whether a cable will work, distance limits will also determine how well a cable works. Knowing the fundamentals behind cable distance limits is the first step in selecting the best cable for your needs.

    Cables will always have some sort of “maximum signal” rating, depending on the type of the cable. For ethernet cables, it will be the maximum upload/download speed. For HDMI, it will be the maximum resolution of the video. And so on and so forth for other cables. Any type of “maximum” rating should be taken with a grain of salt.

    Those ratings are the best possible rating the cable is capable of under t

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  8. Making & Mending - DIY Surface Mount Box

    Surface mount boxes are great little alternatives to wall plates when running cables to a keystone jack. A surface mount box can be easily affixed to the wall, floor, or ceiling when setting up a keystone jack. This makes them perfect for setting up connections without having to pull cabling through the walls as well.

    In the guide below, we will be attaching an ethernet keystone jack to a single port surface mount box. A video guide is available at the bottom of the article.

    Step 1: Gathering the Supplies

    The main item will be the surface mount box itself, which will come disassembled in a few separate pieces. Not all of these pieces will be used; some will be left over depending on how you secure the mounting box to the wall/floor/ceiling. Aside from the box, you will also

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