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Location:
Where the phone system is installed is very important. The equipment needs to be mounted where it is dry (not humid), dust free, well lighted. The phone system and related hardware should be mounted on a plywood back board if possible. Allowing plenty of room for the equipment and future expansion. Few things are as frustrating as having to mount equipment and not having enough room or light to work. Think ahead. Location is important when considering cabling also. Cables need to be run from each telephone jack back to the telephone system. This is called a "Star" configuration. Individual cables are run from the phone system to each telephone location. The phone system end of the cables are terminated on patch panels, jacks or punch down blocks. The telephone end of each cable is terminated onto a Surface Mount Jack or Flush Mount Jack.
Also see our page on "How To Wire A Phone Jack"

phone
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phone--------telephone system---------phone
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phone

Some telephones, such as telephones purchased from consumer or office supply stores, are installed in a "Daisy Chain" configuration.  This is when cables are connected from the phone company lines to telephone to telephone and so on. One telephone is sometimes labeled as the main telephone or master telephone. This type of installation is ok for smaller applications as there are often limitations to useful features and the expandability of the system is limited.

phone-----------phone
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phone-----------phone

Telephones connected in this way are inherently prone to cross-talk, limited features, and little if any expansion. They are also more subject to being discontinued, important if you plan to expand you business in the future.

Installing Cable:
To install new cable you need to consider a few things. First of all the proper cable must be used. Cable is classified by "category". Telephones require category 2 or category 3 cable, not category 5. There are 8 wires or 4 "pairs" in this cable. Secondly, what is the best way to install cables and keep them concealed. Most office areas have hollow walls and suspended ceilings. In this case concealing cable will be relatively easy. First try to locate any "cross studs" in the walls. These are obstructions that run horizontally between the wall studs inside the walls. Cross studs are not all that common in newer construction but are found in many older buildings. Obstructions and wall studs can usually be located by lightly tapping on the wall. A lower thud sound should indicate a hollow behind the sheet rock. This is good. A higher or more solid sound would indicate a stud or obstruction inside the wall, this is bad. Since most wall frame construction runs vertically, there is a space between the studs is called a "bay". Bays normally run between 16' and 24' inches wide.

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Floor

The trick is to poke a small hole, about an inch in diameter, in between the studs in one of the bays about 18 inches off of the floor. This is where your telephone cable will come out of the wall and the jack will be installed. There are a few ways to get the cable from this hole to above the ceiling tiles. One is to have a "Fish Tape" or "Snake". Fish tapes can usually be rented and rental centers. They are expensive to purchase if you are not going to use them a lot. This is a coiled piece of wire that is pushed up inside the wall between the studs to come out above the ceiling tiles. The cable, that has been run from the telephone system, is connected to the end of the fish tape and pulled down the wall and out of the hole.  If there are no hollow walls where the phone needs to be placed you may need to look at alternative routes. Running cables under the floor and up is one option. Exposing the cable is another way. Running exposed cable is the last option.  Make sure that the cables you run are marked on each end for easy identification when it comes time to connect them.

Reusing Existing Cable:
Many older office spaces have existing cable. This is usually a good thing, but not always.  For one thing, not having installed the cable yourself, it many be harder to locate each end. In this case a "Toner & Wand Set" will come in handy. The toner is one of the  telephone persons most important tools. It is a small cube, about the size of a small brownie. It has two leads with clips on the ends. By connecting the leads to one end of the cable, usually the phone end, a tone can be transmitted over the cable back to the other end, usually the telephone system end (hopefully). This brings us to one of the other most important tools, a "Wand". The wand is an inductance amplifier. It can pick up electrically transmitted noise such as noise from a toner or even a florescent light. The wand does not have to actually touch the cable to work. It picks up sound signals from a few inches away. These two tools together can save professional telephone techs and "do it yourselfers" a lot of time. We have these tools in stock. Click here on "Tools" for description and pricing.

Connecting Cables:
Making mistakes or assuming can cause wasted time, frustration and possible damage to your equipment. This should be avoided. It is very important that the connection and termination of  telephone cables is done properly. To avoid problems follow directions in the installation manual if you have one or purchase one here. There are a few things to consider. First of all, how many wires are required to run the telephone you are connecting? Some telephones require 2 wires, some 4 wires, some require more. In addition to how many wires are required, the connection on each end is just as important.  Due to the many possible connection configurations it is not feasible to publish all of this information. If you have a question on wire connection, please contact us.

 

 

 


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