It’s been quite a long walk from the mainstream and simple approach to cabling. Over a decade ago, you only needed four pairs of dual copper wires connecting a unit to other components.
Today, the game has changed significantly, and cabling has evolved to more futuristic and complex systems. Companies that value versatility and enhanced communication and power systems have come to prefer structured cabling systems.
These systems have proven to be more reliable, flexible, and easier to navigate and troubleshoot. We’ll discuss the benefits and components of a structured cabling system, but let’s start with the basics.
What Is A Structured Cabling System
Structured cabling is an innovative system for telecommunication components. Companies use it as a campus to load an array of telecommunication elements called structured cabling subsystems. These structured cabling systems come in different forms.
However, there are common factors that affect how all structured cabling systems work, including;
- The installation procedure and equipment required for installation and the possible need for future adjustments.
- The nature and structure of the building that houses the structured cabling systems
- The warranty from the manufacturing company.
- The previous cabling materials and their response to the new structured cabling equipment
Due to the significant evolution of cabling systems, the standard connections, cables, and components have also changed. Materials like copper, coaxial, and fiber cables now need standard connectors to ensure the smooth running of the cabling system.
Importance Of Structured Cabling
Despite its efficiency, structured cabling may still seem worthless to people who have yet to understand its importance fully. So let’s go ahead and look through some advantages of installing a structured cabling system.
Structured cabling reduces total downtime
Structured cabling systems are much more organized than standard cabling units. They are well labeled and categorized, which in turn considerably reduces downtime. Plus, thanks to their composite nature, structured labeling systems have more resistance to interference.
It keeps your space organized and neat
Let’s be honest; no one wants to walk into a space and see a mess of wires snaking through the floors. This is one of the major advantages of structured cabling. Most of the cables are either well-hidden or entirely out of sight. As a result, even when maintenance or repairs are required, the wires are easy to identify and well within reach.
Most routine moves, repairs, and additions to the system are guaranteed to run faster, which saves time and money. In addition, the well-engineered structured cabling system guarantees enhanced productivity and is highly efficient in troubleshooting and other advanced applications.
All in all, structured cabling systems have proven to be the reliable, budget-friendly, and efficient choice for organizations that prefer a neat, fast-paced, and innovative work environment. This is especially important today since workstations and buildings need a lot more tools and equipment for smooth operations.
5 Structured Cable System Components.
There are six major structured cable system components, including entrance facilities, the equipment room, backbone cabling, horizontal cabling, the telecommunications room, and the work area.
Let’s go ahead and discuss these five major cable system components.
The Equipment Room
As the name implies, the equipment room is a compartment designated for all the complex equipment in the structured cabling system. Telecommunication materials largely make up the materials in the equipment room.
For example, switches, fiber-optic cables, routers, and telecom towers. The equipment room should not be mistaken for the Telecommunications or wiring closet. The former contains more complex technology like termination devices and servers.
For more electrical applications, especially when installing underground cables, think railway electrification. This industry trend has doubtless come to stay, with many railway companies adopting the approach.
Over the years, underground cables have replaced overhead powering lines. Solid cables and pipe-type cables like Macs Pipes offer superior insulation, enhanced durability, and more resistance to fire hazards.
2. Entrance Facilities
All structured cabling systems come with an entrance that loops the internal and external connections in a building. One of the equipments you’ll see at the entrance is network demarcation points. There’s also the link between where a public telecommunications firm’s network ends and where the receiving company’s network begins.
Additionally, the entrance includes connecting devices, cables, protective equipment, and other tools required when linking a public or private network provider.
For railway cabling, signaling cables play a crucial role in guaranteeing the smooth running of the network. A structured cabling system would ensure uninterrupted transmission of signals between all trackside communication equipment.
Furthermore, sectionalizing switches guarantee the reliable functionality of all electrical and communication hardware. These switches are great for both commercial and transit operations.
Both bolted pressure and knife-blade designs work to disconnect from remote locations safely. You can also use SCADA systems to allow for remote operations and round-the-clock monitoring.
3. Backbone Cabling
Backbone Cabling is also known as vertical cabling. It involves the creation of connections between different compartments in the structured cabling system. This means that the entrance facility, equipment room, and network provider all need the backbone cabling system’s connection to function optimally.
Due to its crucial function, a backbone cable usually spans a significant amount of space in any structured cabling building. Backbone cabling sometimes runs through buildings, across floors, or covers significant distances within the same floor.
Usually, backbone cabling requires a long UTP, Coaxial, STP, or fiber-optic cable that measures not more than 100ft. These cable sets must also meet the cabling requirements of the ANSI/TIA. Only fire-resistive cable systems should be used for backbone cabling.
4. Horizontal Cabling
Horizontal cabling caters to the telecommunication resources in your workstation. This type of cabling connects telecommunication rooms to specific outlets on the floors. The cables span from the telecommunication outlet to the telecommunication enclosure (TE) or room (TR).
It generally follows a star pattern, as shown below, connecting each work area to the main telecommunication room. This pattern is flexible to work with, as all the cables stem from the same location.
The Horizontal cabling system usually includes a horizontal cable, a telecommunications outlet, mechanical terminations, patch cords, and, optionally, a consolidation point.
5. Work Stations
The workstation is where the end user’s equipment connects to the horizontal cabling system outlets. As the name implies, this is where you set up the network and all communications between other components.
Using at least two power outlets, patch cables, and communication outlets, the workstation connects users with the network available within the building. It’s also the area that powers all the devices, computers, laptops, and any other hardware required for work.
Structured cabling systems are more than just the present-day solution to enhanced connectivity. For now, it’s one of the best industry-leading approaches to controlling voice, data, video, and communication systems at large.
As mentioned above, the major sub-units of this cabling system are the equipment room, entrance facilities, backbone cabling, horizontal cabling, and the workstation.