cabling

Wiring headaches

I do not have do cabling very often, but know how it supposed to be done.  I mean what is so hard about putting on an RJ45 plug and connecting a new WiFi router.  I can never remember the order of the wires but a quick search on Wikipedia and I was away.  I have a nice crimping tool I bought from my previous employer when they went out of business, so I was all set.  I figured that adding this extension to my kids school network would be a piece of cake.  I unfortunately hit a snag as soon I arrived.  I could easily get onto the WiFi, but could not get onto the wired network.  I was using my Macbook and am not all that familiar with the networking on it but at home it has always been simply plug and play.  I knew it would be no use putting on the plugs if I could not even connect on an existing working cable.  I figured that I could log onto a PC and see the network setting and configure the laptop to connect.  But alas… I did not have any of the passwords for the PC’s and could not get hold of anyone to get the passwords.  I figured that I may as well put the on the RJ45 plugs and test the cable my test tool and verify that the cable test matched a working cable.  After crawling around in and out of the basement putting on plugs cutting off plugs I finally gave up feeling quite frustrated.  The following day with passwords in hand and two laptop, my faithful HP tablet running Ubuntu Linux and my Macbook.  It turned out that my Linux laptop simply worked once connected to the existing Ethernet.  A quick check of the main router and I saw no weird settings to prevent me adding to the network.  That was a good sign as I would be able to test the new cable.  Excitement soon led to dissapointment.  The cable would not work.  Replace the plug on one end of the cable, still no workee, replace the plug on the other end, grr still not working.  In and out of the basement, now I am wondering if the cable is too long and I start pacing it out but cannot trace where it has been run too when it disappears through a hole.  I finally called a friend who has a tool to specifically test Ethernet cables.  20 minutes later with new tool in hand I test the cable and yes it is failing on some pins.  There are no crossed over wires, which is a good sign.  I cut off the plug insert the wires and then decide to pull the cable out before crimping.  Sure enough there was one wire that was  all scrunched up that had not gone into the plug correctly.  I trimmed the ends of the wires and tried again.  This time they all went in nice and smoothly.  A quick race down to the basement to replace the plug on the other end and yet another test.  Yahoo!! the cable tester verified the cable was good.  I plugged it into the laptop and was online surfing the web.  If only I had been more careful about checking the wires had gone in all the way.  Next time I have to do cabling I will have to remember that little trick to ensure the wires are in snug.  Today I connected the Linksys WiFi router and made sure that it worked in the class rooms.  It didn’t take too long to do.  I setup a new subnet and simply left the router acting as a gateway.  I will probably change it to be a router if there is a need to send and receive files between computers on the two LANs.  But it is all working and confirmed to be working using a Mac, Windows XP and Linux.  I wish the hardware part of this project had gone as smoothly as the software.

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