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Discuss Extra data ports question in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net


Electrician's Arms
Hi guys, appreciate any advice here, I generally dont do much data but I have a client who wants 25 additional data points put into an office. Problem is the comms cab is upstairs 2 floors and over the other side of the building. Is there an easier solution then running 25 separate cat5 cables from the cab to the ports? Thanks in advance.


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If they are never going to require POE, you can squeeze two ports down a single cable, but a better solution might be to run a single Cat 6 down and install a small wall mounted cabinet with a network switch in it. Use the Cat 6 to gain a 1Gbps connection to the core network then run the additional ports to the local switch.

Failing that, buy 8 boxes of cable and run them in blocks of 8 (yes, I would run in 32 and leave 7 spares just in case).


Electrician's Arms
A SC has suggested, one CAT6 back to the main switch then have another switch for your distribution network.

If you run one CAT6 in it's always advisable to run a second spare in just in case of any problems or future expansion.

If they need a large amount of data transmitting it would be worth looking at fibre and a couple of media converters instead of a CAT6.


Electrician's Arms
Thanks for your opinions guys. They want to use Voice over IP phones, I am led to believe that method would not work with 20+ phones over a cat6 cable? I will probably have to run in separate cat5 cables and some spares as SparkyChick advised.


Regular EF Member
Run the 25 cables all the way or you could encounter problems.

If they run their phone system over the cat5e, whether it's a modern digital system or older PBX system, they will need/want to patch them in at the comms cab.

Even if they use VOIP, adding a small cabinet nearby means the client will likely need to buy two switches to go in there(one for data, one for voice), easily another £3000 the client will need to fork out. Whereas if they have spare ports in their existing switches in the comms cabinet, they just need some patch leads.


EF Member
You want to be a bit careful with this. If you start using 'dumb switches' (like at home, connecting a switch to your hub to gain 5 ports instead of one).

Assuming this is a reasonably well set up corporate network:

A crude explanation, but most 'large' organisations will have sub networks (VLANS) within the main network. Often you'll have VOIP, Computer Network Traffic, CCTV systems etc on different VLANS - this won't replicate properly over a 'dumb' switch. Further down the line they may find they're unable to do what they want. The switch you're patching back to is most likely to be a 'Managed Switch' which can deal with this.

I would suggest liaising with their ICT guy or ICT contractor if they don't have an on site guy, or just pull the 25 - they can then assign the individual ports to whatever VLANS they wish (if indeed they are using a 'proper' corporate network)


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Electrician's Arms
The client is paying, run the 25 cables and 5 spares it will save you a lot of hassle in the future as you said he wants to run VOIP phones and they can take up bandwidth, what is the setup on the back end like ie switches, free ways in the patch panel as can it accommodate the additional circuits?

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