Troubleshooting Networking Cables - dummies

By Glen E. Clarke, Edward Tetz, Timothy Warner

For your compTIA A+ Certification Exams, you need to know some basic information about troubleshooting networking cables. Most network professionals use cable testers to test the cabling and verify that the cable is properly crimped and making contact with the networking devices.

For example, cable testers for CAT5 cabling identify whether each of the eight wires is crimped properly and identify other problems, such as wires being crimped in the wrong order.

EMI

Another problem you need to be aware of when running cable throughout a building is that twisted pair and coaxial cables are susceptible to outside interference from other electrical components. For example, do not put networking cable alongside the electrical cabling because the electrical cabling could cause interference that could make the data on the network cable unreadable.

Plenum

Here is one last point to make about cabling to help you prepare for the A+ Certification Exams. Plenum — the space between the ceiling tile and the floor above — is a popular place to run cables. If you are going to run cables in this area, make sure that you are use plenum-grade cabling, known as Teflon-covered cable. If you are using nonplenum-grade cabling, such as PVC cover cabling, in this space and a fire happens, the PVC coating can give off a toxin that could be spread throughout the building.

Splitter and signal quality

It is common to want to split a signal travelling through a cable in order to send that signal to multiple places, such as to send the cable signal for one TV to an additional TV. There are a number of different types of cable splitters that correspond to the different cable types. For example, to split your TV signal you need a coaxial cable splitter. It is important to note that when you split the cable this way, you lose signal quality due to the fact that the power carrying the signal is split as well. The less power, the weaker the signal.