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Cabling Tips

But my other brilliant move made the missing labels moot anyway. In my rush to get everything organized for termination, I lopped 6 to 10 feet off of all the CAT 5e cables along with, yup, any labels that had survived the wire pulling and construction process. Fortunately, I had planned on needing to do some cable sorting and had ordered a cable tracing kit along with my connection supplies.

I used a B&K Model 262 (Figure 1), which includes a tone generator terminating in alligator clips and RJ11 plug and a tracer probe. I got mine for a little under $70 (including shipping) from Tequipment.net.

BK 262 Tone Generator & Cable Tracer Kit

Figure 1: BK 262 Tone Generator & Cable Tracer Kit

While this isn't a tool that I'll need on an ongoing basis, it paid for itself in the time I saved sorting out the mess of cables that I created.

The other thing that was helpful in sorting cables into their proper bundles were "Velcro" cable straps and releasable cable ties. I got the cable straps from DeepSurplus and picked up the Thomas and Betts Releasable Ties from Lowe's. I fastened 10 inch staps to the bottom of my floor joists as shown in Figure 2, using a T&B plastic tie base and a couple of sheetrock screws to form a sort of U-channel that allowed me to pull the strap back and forth as needed.

Releasable cable strap detail

Figure 2: Releasable cable strap detail

Figure 3 shows the finished product, which holds the cable bundle neatly, but still lets me get at individual cables as needed.

Cable raceway w/ Velcro straps

Figure 3: Cable raceway w/ Velcro straps
(click image to enlarge)

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