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LAN & WAN Basics

Running Cables - Pulling

While it might seem easier to merely snag one of these coax cable or phone wires and tie a pull string to it to run the cable up, this is not really the proper method. The reason is that these cables are often roughed in during the framing and electrical install portion of the construction of the home, and often the wires are stapled to the framing or studs.

Thus, when you pull on these cables they go nowhere. Doug and Jeff determined that the coax cable for the cable TV in the front bedroom was installed after the home was built and used a raceway to gain access to the attic before being dropped down into the wall itself. It was clear that they could follow this path next to the raceway to pull the cables up to the second floor.

The Project Shifts into High Gear, Continued

Securing cabling to framing

Each set of cables that goes to a specific plate is known in cabling-speak as a "run." A cabling run consists of the cables required for that specific plate. For example, a plate Type One run would consist of one blue CAT-6 Ethernet cable and one white CAT-5. As you can see here, the color-coding of the cables makes it easy to identify them as they are being pulled.

Before each "run" is pulled, it is important to label the cables with the correct number. In our setup, this means that we used labels to identify the plate number on the cable. As you can see in the picture below, the ends of the cable are taped together using electrical tape, and then taped to the cable fish. Once ready, the cables are fished up the path to the attic. It is important to remember to attach and send another pull string up with the cables, so that once the cables are fished up to the attic it is just a matter of attaching the cables to the pull string and pulling them up.

Label before pulling

Label before pulling

Once the cables are pulled to the attic, preparations are then made to figure out the final placement of the plate on the wall. While attics are often nasty places due to the insulation, proper safety precautions are a must. Due to the insulation covering open spaces, it is important that you know where you are stepping and that you are putting your weight on a solid place.

Besides that, you will notice in the pictures that Doug is wearing a mask, which is always the correct thing to do when working in this kind of environment. In our case, we had to move some of the insulation out of the way in order to uncover where the walls and ceilings were. Once we did this, we used a stud finder to make sure that we had the right spot before we put a hole in the wall. Once all of these evaluations were made, it was time to start knocking holes in the walls.

Doug works in the attic to get the cabling down the walls to the second floor

Doug works in the attic to get the cabling down the walls to the second floor

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