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
punch down blocks. The
telephone end of each cable is
terminated onto a
Surface Mount Jack
Flush Mount Jack.
Also see our page on "How
To Wire A Phone Jack"
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.
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.
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'
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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
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.
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.