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Unit 1: Internetworking Overview
Lesson 1-3: Cabling
At a Glance
The physical pathway used to connect two or more computers together as a
network includes the transmission media. The quality of the network system
is dependent on its transmission media. The most common forms of electrical
and electronic transmission are solid and composite wire cables. There are
several types of cable, including coaxial, unshielded twisted-pair and fiber
optic. Each type adheres to standards set by the Institute of Electrical and
Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and the Electronic
Industries Association (EIA) standards govern all aspects of cable installation,
such as regulations on cabling distances and connector configurations.
In choosing cabling for a network, there are several factors to consider: cost,
expansion capabilities, bandwidth, signal attenuation, and EMI (ElectroMagnetic Interference). Each type of cable has different specifications that
affect these factors, and each organization has different needs. Considering
cable system factors is very important for building a network system that
meets an organization’s needs.
What You Will Learn
After completing this lesson, you will be able to:
•
Describe three different types of cable and their structural components.
•
Demonstrate an understanding of specifications and attributes for coaxial,
UTP, and fiber optic cable and how these factors guide decision-making in
building networks.
•
Identify and describe Ethernet cable crimping using proper TIA/EIA 568
wiring sequences.
•
Crimp and test Ethernet Category 5 cable and discuss cabling quality
issues.
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Lesson 1-3: Cabling
Tech Talk
64
•
BandwidthBandwidth represents how much information can be sent at
one time over a specific cable type, or the measure of information capacity
of transmission over a cable. Bandwidth is the difference between the
highest and lowest frequencies of the transmission, measured in hertz.
Bandwidth is a factor used to evaluate cable.
•
BNCThe “British Naval Connector” is the connector used with coaxial
cables.
•
ExpansionExpansion is the ability to increase the size of a network after
the initial installation. It is a factor used to evaluate cable.
•
Fiber Optic CableFiber optic cable uses light to transmit information
across a network. The core of the cable is made of glass, which is protected
by a layer of gel or plastic. A plastic cover surrounds the entire cable.
•
Hertz (Hz)Hertz is the unit of frequency measurement, which is equal to
one cycle per second (for example, one waveform per second). Computers
and related devices are often measured in kilohertz (kHz=1,000 Hz),
megahertz (MHz=1,000 kHz), gigahertz (GHz= 1,000 MHz).
•
EMI (Electro-Magnetic Interference)The interference of electrical
signals across a cable by outside electrical or magnetic devices. It is a
factor that is used to evaluate cable.
•
RJ-11A registered jack 11 is a telephone connector used on modern
telephone lines.
•
RJ-45A registered jack 45 is an eight-wire connector used to connect
computers to category 5 unshielded twisted pair cables in a network.
•
Signal AttenuationSignal attenuation is a factor used to evaluate cable
that relates to how long a signal can travel across a cable before the signal
becomes too weak to be recognized in a network.
•
Thin Coaxial CableThin coaxial cable is often referred to as ThinNet.
It consists of a copper wire surrounded first by a layer of plastic, then a
layer of metal mesh and a final layer of protective plastic. It is used for
peer-to-peer networking.
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Unit 1: Internetworking Overview
•
Transmission MediaTransmission media is the physical pathway used
to connect two or more computers together as a network and includes air
and space in addition to cable.
•
Unshielded Twisted-Pair Cable (UTP)UTP is network cable that
consists of up to 4 pairs of wires. Each pair is twisted around each other at
a different rate and the entire cable is encased in a protective plastic
covering.
Decision Factors in Choosing Cable for a Network
•
The bandwidth represents how much information can be transferred over
the cable at one time. The greater the cable’s bandwidth the faster the
information is passed over the network.
•
The further information must travel over a cable the more the electrical
strength weakens. This is referred to as signal attenuation. Each type of
cable can transmit information up to a specific distance without special
equipment to help boost the electrical signal.
•
EMI (Electro-Magnetic Interference) comes from electrical signals emitted
by equipment such as photocopiers, fluorescent lights, and electrical wiring
that may disrupt the transmission of information across a network. Some
cables are better designed to block out EMI (Electro-Magnetic Interference)
than others are.
•
Organizations may not always be able to build the largest network needed,
or their office may grow over time and need more computers added to their
network. The ease of installation and need for additional equipment affect
the expansion capability of the cable.
•
The cost of the cable used to build a network is very important. Most
organizations have limited funds and seek to build the optimum network.
Check Your Understanding
♦ List the factors to consider when choosing cable for building a network.
♦ Why are they important?
♦ The amount of information that can be transferred over cable at one
time is called?
♦ How does bandwidth affect a network?
♦ What is it called when information being transmitted over cable loses
electrical strength?
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Lesson 1-3: Cabling
♦ What can you do to prevent it?
♦ Why is cost a factor when planning a network?
Cables
Solid wire and cable are the oldest forms of electronic transmission media.
This lesson covers three basic types, still in use in building networks, coaxial,
unshielded twisted-pair, and fiber optic. Thin coaxial cable has a core of copper
wire and is primarily used for peer-to-peer LANs due to its low bandwidth and
problems with EMI (Electro-Magnetic Interference). Unshielded twisted-pair
cable has twisted pairs of wires as the core and is divided into five categories,
with category 5 used most commonly for building LANs. Fiber optic cable has a
core made of glass and uses light pulses to transmit information across a
network.
Thin Coaxial Cable
Early networks used coaxial cable to connect computers together. Many LANs
were built with coaxial cable. It is often referred to as ThinNet.
Coaxial cable has:
66
•
A core of copper wire surrounded by a layer of plastic.
•
A layer of metal mesh.
•
An outer protective plastic insulation sheath.
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Coaxial cable is terminated with British Naval Connectors (BNC).
Terminators used with BNC/thin coaxial cabling must be 50-ohm terminators.
Thin Coaxial Cable
BNC T-Connector
Outer Plastic
Layer
Metal Mesh
Inner Plastic
Layer
Copper Wire
Decision
Factor
Thin Coaxial Cable
Maximum
Bandwidth
10 megabits per second.
EMI (ElectroMagnetic
Interference)
Significant problems with neighboring electrical
equipment.
Signal
Attenuation
Maximum distance is 185 meters.
Expansion
Issues
Expansion into multiple rooms is difficult since
each computer must be connected directly on to
the cable in a chain fashion, often referred to as a
bus topology. The cable is thicker and less
flexible than unshielded twisted-pair cable. This
cable is best used for peer-to-peer networking in
a small workgroup LAN.
Relative Cost
Low.
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Lesson 1-3: Cabling
Unshielded Twisted-Pair Cable
Unshielded twisted-pair cable is separated into five categories designated by
the TIA/EIA 568-A standard.
•
Category 1 is telephone cable.
•
Category 2 was used for token ring networks and is not recommended for
Ethernet networks.
•
Categories 3 and 4 can be used with Ethernet networks, but suffer more
from EMI than category 5. Category 3 cables typically have two twists per
foot. Category 4 cables have more twists per foot, but less than Category 5
cables. The twisting of the wires in cables is to help prevent EMI (ElectroMagnetic Interference).
•
Category 5 cable is primarily used in LANs. The most typical connector
used with UTP is a RJ-45, which resembles a large telephone connector
(RJ-11). This cable has a very high twist rate per foot.
Unshielded Twisted-Pair Cable
Twisted-Pair
of Wires
Plastic Insulation
Sheath
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Decision
Factor
Unshielded Twisted-Pair Cable: Category 5
Maximum
Bandwidth
100 megabits per second.
EMI (ElectroMagnetic
Interference)
Each pair is twisted around each other at a
different rate, which reduces EMI (ElectroMagnetic Interference)between the pairs and
other electrical signals.
Signal
Attenuation
Maximum distance is 100 meters.
Expansion
Issues
The cable is thin and flexible, which makes
installation easy. Expansion is easy, but
specialized network equipment is needed to boost
the signal. This equipment increases the cost of
expansion.
This cable is used as a standard today in all
Ethernet LANs.
Relative Cost
Least expensive.
Within unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cable there are typically 2 to 8 wires, 1
to 4 pairs. Each pair is twisted around each other at a different rate, which
reduces EMI (Electro-Magnetic Interference) between the pairs and other
electrical signals. Each pair is color-coded, according to standards, and the
entire cable is inside a protective plastic insulation sheath.
In Category 5 UTP, there are usually 4 pairs of wires, with one wire of solid
color and one of white with the same color stripe in each pair:
•
1 orange pair
•
1 brown pair
•
1 blue pair
•
1 green pair
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Lesson 1-3: Cabling
The TIA/EIA 568 standard has two wiring sequences, T568A and T568B. The
sequence of the wires dictates how the wires are terminated on the
RJ-45 connector. Either sequence may be used to set up a network. Once a
wiring sequence has been chosen, using the same sequence throughout the
entire network is necessary. Data networks usually use the TIA/EIA 568B
standard. The wires must be correctly paired together for the entire length of
the cable to ensure signal quality.
TIA/EIA 568A Wiring Sequence
In both the 568A and 568B sequences, pair 1 is always designated as the blue
wires and pair 4 is always the brown wires. Pair 1 is always assigned to pins 4
and 5 in the connector. The solid blue wire connects to pin 4, as a ring (R) wire,
R4-8
T4-7
R2-6
T1-5
R1-4
T2-3
R3-2
T3-1
B ro w n
W h ite/B ro w n
Orange
W h ite/B lu e
B lu e
W h ite/O r a n g e
Green
W h ite/G r e e n
P a ir 4
P a ir 1
P a ir 2
R = Ring, or Recieve
T = Tip, or Transmit
P a ir 3
and the white wire of the blue pair connects to pin 5, as a tip (T) wire. Pair 4 is
always assigned to pins 7 and 8 on the connector. The white wire of the brown
pair connects to pin 7, as the tip wire, and the brown wire connects to pin 8, as
the ring wire. The terms tip and ring are old telephony terms used to
designate the tip (Tipping the telephone handset off the cradle to transmit a
signal that a phone number is about to be dialed) and ring (The response heard
on the receiving end of the handset once the number is dialed and the phone is
ringing on the other end).
The blue and brown pairs may not be used if the network system is set to use
up to 10 Mbps bandwidth. In this instance, the blue pair may be used for voice
transmission (telephone) and the brown pair dedicated to other network
functions. The orange and green pairs, pin positions #1, 2, 3, and 6, are used
for Ethernet transmitting (pins 1 and 2) and receiving (pins 3 and 6).
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TIA/EIA 568B Wiring Sequence
R4-8
T4-7
R2-6
T1-5
R1-4
T2-3
R3-2
T3-1
B ro w n
W h it e/B ro w n
Green
W h it e/B lu e
B lu e
W h it e/G r e e n
Orange
W h ite/O r a n g e
P a ir 4
P a ir 1
P a ir 3
P a ir 2
In the T568A sequence, the green pair is assigned to pins 1 and 2, and the
orange pair is split between pin 3 and 6. In the T568B sequence, it is the green
pair that is split between pin 3 and 6, and the orange pair that is assigned to
pins 1 and 2.
Pairs 2 and 3 are Assigned to Different Pins
Pair 2
Pair 3
Pair 3 Pair 1 Pair 4
Pair 2 Pair 1 Pair 4
1
2 3 4 5 6 7
8
1
2 3 4 5 6 7
8
T3 R3 T2 R1 T1 R2 T4 R4
T2 R2 T3 R1 T1 R3 T4 R4
T568A
T568B
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Lesson 1-3: Cabling
Fiber-Optic Cable
Fiber optic cable uses light pulses rather than electrical signals to transmit
information across a network. The cable may be used over many miles because
there is no electrical EMI (Electro-Magnetic Interference) and the bandwidth is
very high. Fiber optic cable is usually used for the backbone of a network.
Since glass and plastic cores can be cracked or broken, installation requires
care. Special monitoring equipment is required to locate a break in the fiber
optic cable.
Fiber Optic Cable
Plastic
sheath
Plastic Casing
Glass or
Plastic Fiber
Strength wires
The core of the cable may be made of glass or plastic, which is protected by a layer of gel or light reflecting plastic. A
plastic insulation sheath then surrounds the entire cable. Fiber Optic transmission speeds of 10Gigabits per second,
currently, 1.6 Terabits per second is being tested
Decision Factor
Fiber Optic Cable
Maximum
Bandwidth
10 Gigabits per second currently, though 1.6
Terabits per second is being tested.
EMI (ElectroMagnetic
Interference)
No EMI (Electro-Magnetic Interference) occurs
between the cable and other equipment.
Signal
Attenuation
This cable may be laid over several miles.
Expansion
Issues
The use of fiber optic cable is typically limited
due to the higher cost and difficulty in
installation and maintenance. Fiber optic cable
is easily broken requiring monitoring equipment
to locate a break in the cable.
The cable may be used as the backbone or the
main cable of LANs, WANs, and MANs in
Enterprise networks.
Relative Cost
72
Most expensive.
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Unit 1: Internetworking Overview
Check Your Understanding
♦ What advantages does UTP have over thin coaxial cable?
♦ With which type of basic networks would you use thin coaxial cable and
UTP? Why?
♦ Why is there no EMI (Electro-Magnetic Interference) with fiber optic
cable?
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Lesson 1-3: Cabling
Try It Out
Crimping Cable
In this activity, you will cut, strip, and crimp a piece of category 5 unshielded
twisted pair cable and attach it to a RJ-45 connector. Once you complete this
task, you will test your cable to see if your connections function properly.
Materials Needed
•
Category 5 Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) Cable
•
Crimping Tool (model 24-4680P, or equivalent)
•
Two (2) RJ-45 Connectors
•
Cable Tester (Brand and model in equipment package, or equivalent)
Procedure:
Keep a record of this activity as an item for your portfolio. As you go through
each of the steps, record any problems you encountered, and any observations
you think are important. Your ability to discuss problems and issues of
network cabling will be of interest to industry employers.
1. Look at the illustration below and compare it with your crimping tool. The
illustrated tool has a stripping blade, a cutting blade, an RJ-45 connector
insert for eight wire category 5 UTP, and an RJ-11 connector insert used for
six wire telephone cable. Your crimping tool may not have all these
features. In that case, you may need to use more than one tool, for
example, a separate wire stripper and/or cutter.
Crimping Tool
Cutting Blade
Stripping Blade
RJ-45 Crimper
RJ-11 Crimper
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2. Cut the category 5 UTP cable to a length specified by your instructor. The
ends must be cut squarely, not diagonally. To cut the cable, insert it
between the cutting blades and squeeze the crimper handles firmly to close
the blades.
Crimping Tool – Stripping/Cutting Blades
Cutting Blade
Stripping Blade
3. To strip the sheathing, insert the end of the cable between the stripper
blade with the cable end against the backstop. The stop prevents stripping
too much insulation from the cable. Squeeze the blades closed with a gentle,
continuous pressure. Too much pressure will cut the wires! Rotate the cable
to cut the plastic insulation sheath. Remove the cable from the stripper
blades and peel off the short section of plastic sheath.
4. Arrange exposed wires in pairs. If you don’t have eight wires (four pairs of
two); you may have cut through one or more wires when you stripped off
the insulation sheath. Cut off one inch and repeat the stripping if you don’t
have eight wires.
5. Closely examine the RJ-45 connector. On one side you will see the plastic
locking clip, and on the other, eight metallic pins. You will notice that the
pins are raised slightly above the surface.
6. Carefully insert the eight wires into the connector in the order specified by
the T568B wire sequence (see the illustration below).
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Lesson 1-3: Cabling
Use the T568B Wiring Sequence
Pair 3
Pair 2 Pair 1 Pair 4
1
2 3 4 5 6 7
8
T2 R2 T3 R1 T1 R3 T4 R4
T568B
7. Each wire must fit into one of the eight separate slots beneath the pins. To
make this task easier, separate the wires slightly. When you insert the
cable, each wire will slide into a separate slot.
8. Push the cable in with a steady firm pressure until all of the wires are fully
inserted into the connector. The ends of the wires must make direct contact
with the metal pins at the tip of the connector.
9. Insert the connector assembly into the RJ-45 crimping slot. Align the metal
connector contacts with the crimper teeth. Squeeze the handles to crimp.
Insert the RJ-45 into the Crimper
RJ-45 Crimper
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10. Check the metal pins to see if each individual wire is crimped. The way to
be sure is to look at the metal pins. You will notice that they are no longer
raised as high on the connector. If they remained in the same position,
realign the connector and crimp again. If the plastic cracked, make a new
cable cut and try again.
11. Record the color sequence of the wires on your portfolio record sheet as
shown in the table below. Hold the connector with the metal contact pins
facing you and the plastic locking clip facing away. Starting from either
side, record the colors of the wires in the table below. It is very important
to compare the order you placed the wires to the T568B wiring sequence.
Pin 1
Color
Pin 2
Color
Pin 3
Color
Pin 4
Color
Pin 5
Color
Pin 6
Color
Pin 7
Color
Pin 8
Color
12. Repeat steps 3 through 11 for the other end of your cable.
Pin 1
Color
Pin 2
Color
Pin 3
Color
Pin 4
Color
Pin 5
Color
Pin 6
Color
Pin 7
Color
Pin 8
Color
13. Present your cable and your wire color table to your instructor for
inspection and clearance for testing with the cable tester.
Rubric: Suggested Evaluation Criteria and Weightings
Criteria
%
Participation (Interest and Determination)
50
Complete descriptive entries in portfolio
20
Directions followed and data recorded as
specified
20
Successful test of crimped cable (repeat
attempts allowed)
10
TOTAL
Your Score
100
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Lesson 1-3: Cabling
Stretch Yourself
Cable Research
Materials Needed
•
Internet Connection
•
Spreadsheet software
1. Using the Internet, research three companies that sell network cables.
2. Write a short description of the companies and list their cable products and
prices.
3. Compare the prices and determine which company you would recommend
using for the purchase of cable.
4. Defend your choice with facts you have documented.
5. Create a table or spreadsheet to accompany your description that calculates
and/or displays the average cost of each cable type for the companies you
have researched.
6. List your web site resources including the URL for each site.
7. Present your work within the specified deadline.
Rubric: Suggested Evaluation Criteria and Weightings
Criteria
%
On-time delivery of assignment
10
Use of Web resources
15
Organization, table layout, format,
spelling, and grammar
25
Analysis and synthesis of information
50
TOTAL
78
Your Score
100
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Unit 1: Internetworking Overview
Network Wizards
Troubleshooting Cable
Materials Needed
•
Student-crimped Category 5 UTP Cable with RJ-45 Connectors
•
Microscanner
During the Try It Out activity, you created your own category 5 cable with RJ45 connectors. Some of your first attempts at creating a working cable may not
work. Cable making proficiency comes with attention to detail, care, and
practice. In this activity, you are going to troubleshoot potential problems with
cables using a microscanner. First, you will check existing cables found in your
lab and then you will check the patch cable you made. Patch cable is a common
term used for the short wire segments used to connect computer devices to the
main cable connection.
1. Test existing networking cable. Insert one end of the cable connector of an
existing cable (not the one you made) into the “main” port of the
microscanner as shown below. The other end of your cable should be
connected to the RJ-45 port of a computer workstation.
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Lesson 1-3: Cabling
2. Turn the microscanner on and press mode until the wiremap screen
appears.
W I REMAP
FAULT
12345678
36145278
ON
OF F
MODE
3. If there is a fault, the LED screen will show the word “fault” in the upper
right hand corner. In addition to the word fault, the numerical wire
indicators will blink.
Wiremap
Fault
12345678
123**6**
4. If the word “short” is displayed, a short in the wire is indicated. Shorted
pairs are indicated with a connecting bracket.
Wiremap
Fault
12345678 Short
[ ]345678
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If the word “Open” is displayed, it means that the wire does not go to the far
end of the connector. Open wires are indicated by blank spaces.
Wiremap
Fault
12345678 Open
123
678
5. If the connection is problem free, then the screen will display only the two
rows of numerals.
Wiremap
12345678
12345678
6. Another way to check for problems is to check the color order of the
connectors at each end of the cable to see if they are in the correct order.
7. Record results. Are there any problems? Explain how you might use this
tool for troubleshooting networks that are having problems.
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Lesson 1-3: Cabling
Now you will test your patch cable for faults, shorts, or opens.
1. Insert one end of the cable in the “main” port of the microscanner and the
other end of the cable in the “loopback” port as shown below.
2. Press mode until the wiremap screen is displayed. If there are any
miswires, the number of the faulty wire will blink.
3. Did your cable indicate problems?____________________ . If no, give the
cable to your instructor for further lab activities. If yes, what problems
were indicated?
4. How can you correct the problem?
5. Diagram the cable or cables, indicating where the problems exist. If your
cable was problem-free, diagram one of your peer’s cable problems.
6. Write a one-page paper on crimping and cable testing issues and list
several steps or precautions that would improve your ability to crimp
problem-free cable.
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Rubric: Suggested Evaluation Criteria and Weightings
Criteria
%
Individual initiative or active group
participation
50
Quality diagram suitable for reproduction
15
Analysis leading to a viable solution to reduce
crimping problems
35
TOTAL
Your
Score
100
Summary
In this lesson, you learned the following:
•
Three different types of cable and their structural components.
•
Specifications and attributes for coaxial, UTP, and fiber optic cable and how
these factors guide decision making in building networks.
•
Ethernet cable crimping using proper TIA/EIA 568 wiring sequences.
•
Cable crimping procedure and cable testing issues.
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Lesson 1-3: Cabling
Review Questions
Name__________________
Lesson 1-3: Cabling
Part A
Identify each cable and label the structural components.
1.
a.______________________________
Plastic
sheath
b.______________________________
Plastic Casing
Glass or
Plastic Fiber
c._______________________
_______
Strength wires
d. ____________________________
e. ___________________________
Cable Type
2.
a.
b.
c.
f.
Cable Type
84
d.
____________________
e
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Part B
In the spaces provided, write the cable type (UTP Cat.5, Thin Coaxial, or Fiber
Optic) that matches the specification or network.
Cable
Specification or Network Type
1.
Uses light to transmit information
2.
8 pairs of twisted wire
3.
Metal mesh protecting copper core
4.
The most expensive cable
5.
Standard Ethernet LANs
6.
Glass core
7.
High EMI (Electro-Magnetic
Interference) problems
8.
100 Mbps Bandwidth
9.
Least expensive cable
10.
Peer-to-peer workgroup LAN
11.
2 Gbps Bandwidth
12.
No EMI (Electro-Magnetic
Interference) problems
13.
10 Mbps Bandwidth
14.
Maximum distance 185 meters
15.
Maximum distance 100 meters
Part C
Describe how to crimp cable and discuss some of the problems you may
encounter, including a discussion on the proper wiring sequences.
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Lesson 1-3: Cabling
Scoring
Rubric: Suggested Evaluation Criteria and Weightings
Criteria
%
Part A: Identify different cables and their
structural components
30
Part B: Match cable types with attributes and
specifications
30
Part C: Describe cable crimping and the T568
wiring sequence, and procedural problems.
40
TOTAL
100
Try It Out: Cable crimping procedure
100
Stretch Yourself
100
For Network Wizards: Cable quality issues
100
FINAL TOTAL
400
Your Score
Resources
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[Online]. Available: www.compnetworks.com/solution.htm [1999, March 1].
Aschermann, Robert (1998). MCSE Networking Essentials for Dummies. IDG
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Baker, R. (1996). Data Communications Home Page. Available:
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Bert, Glen (1998). MCSE Networking Essentials: Next Generation Training
Second Edition. New Riders Publishing, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Black, Darryl P. (1999). Building Switched Networks: Multilayer Switching,
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Consortium Report [Online]. University of New Hamphsire InterOperability
Labs. Available:
www.iol.unh.edu/consortiums/tokenring/MACs_n_PHYs/Fall95/Special_Feature.html.
[1999, April 30].
Casad, Joe. et al. (1997). MSCE TestPrep Networking Essentials. New Riders
Publishing, Indianapolis, Indiana.
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Chellis, James; Perkins, Charles; & Strebe, Matthew (1997). MCSE
Networking Essentials Study Guide. Sybex Inc., Alameda, California.
CMP Media, Inc. (1999). FDDI fundamentals. In Data Communications Tech
Tutorials [Online]. Available: www.data.com/Tutorials/FDDI_Fundamentals
[1999, April 20].
Computer and Information Science, Ohio State University (No date). Data
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Computing and Communications Services Office, University of Illinois at
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