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The Basics of Telephone Wiring and cabling

Most telephone wires are one or more twisted pairs of copper wire. The most common type is the
4-strand (2 twisted pair). This consists of red and green wires, which make a pair, and yellow and
black wires, which make the other pair. One telephone line needs only 2 wires. Therefore it follows
that a 4-strand wire can carry 2 separate phone lines. If you need to run more lines than just 2, you
may want to use a 6-strand, or higher.

Unshielded Twisted Pair (4 pair)

UTP cable is comprised of four pairs of carefully
twisted pairs of copper wire, insulated with
carefully chosen material to provide high
bandwidth, low attenuation and crosstalk.
The cable is terminated mostly in jacks,
connector receptacles that have punchdown
terminations on the backside.
Some snap into work area outlets, others are
incorporated in rack mount patch panels.
Patchcords are used for connecting network
equipment to the outlet or patchpanel.
The connector (plug) is properly called a "modular 8 pin" but usually is referred to as a RJ-45 .

UTP cables are terminated with standard connectors (plugs and jacks) or punchdowns. The
plug/jack is often referred to as a "RJ-45 or RJ-11"

Plugs: The plugs are terminated by straightening our the wires in proper order
and crimping on a connector. Like we said before, you MUST keep the twists as
close to the plug as possible to minimize crosstalk.
The most common types of modular plug is the RJ-11 which uses only 2 of
the wires in a 4 (or more) strand wire.

Patch cords: It is used for making connections from one port to another in a
patch panel. Generally stranded wire is used for flexibility but can be made with
solid wire for higher performance. Note that plugs may be different for each type
of wire, so make sure you have the right type.

Jumper Wire: It is used for making connections at MDF

Jumper wire bundle

single pair jumper wire

Main distribution frame(MDF)

MDF is a signal distribution frame for connecting equipment to cables and subscriber carrier
equipment. The MDF is a termination point within the local telephone exchange where exchange
equipment and terminations of local loops are connected by jumper wires at the MDF. All cable
copper pairs supplying services through user telephone lines are terminated at the MDF and
distributed through the MDF to equipment within the local exchange.
Trunk cables may terminate on the same MDF or on a separate trunk main distribution frame

MDF Krone unit

MDF Krone properly cabled

MDF to MDF connectivity using jumper wires

Cables going from MDF to Patch panel

MDF to MDF connectivity using jumper wires

Sometimes there are cross connects using
punchdowns in the telecom closet, more common
on telephone wires than data. These are called
punchdowns because the cable is punched down
into the IDC contacts with a special tool, called a
punchdown tool.
Punchdowns come in 4 varieties: 110, 66, Bix and
Krone. Most popular for LANs is the 110 , for telcos
it's the 66, and for Telephont the Bix and Krone .

IDC tool/Krone tool/punching tool

Insulation displacement connectors (IDC) are a quick and reliable way of connecting solid
telephone cable to sockets and connectors.
The contacts do not work loose like screw
terminals, and do not risk shorting by having
too much insulation stripped away. You can
normally push four wires in to each IDC point
if necessary.
You can use a simple plastic IDC tool to push
the wires in to the contacts, or you can use a
professional IDC tool with a cutter that neatly
trims excess wire, steal one from a BT engineer if you can.

Color Codes For Punchdowns:

Punchdowns of all types are always made with the pairs in
order with the white/stripe wire (tip) first, then the solid
colored wire (ring).
Pair 1(w/blue-blue)
Pair 2 (w/orange-orange)
Pair 3 (w/green-green)
Pair 4 (w/brown-brown)

Patch Panel
Patch panels offer the most flexibility in a telecom
closet. All incoming wires are terminated to the back of
the patch panel on 110-style punchdowns . Then patch
cables are used to interconnect the cables by simply
plugging into the proper jacks.
Patch panels can have massive number of cables, so
managing these cables can be quite a task in itself. It is
important to keep all cables neatly bundled and labeled
so they can be moved when necessary. However, it is
also important to maintain the integrity of the cables,
preventing kinking or bending in too small a radius which may adversely affect frequency

Patch panel front

Patch panel back pane

Cable management
Cable management refers to the installation of equipment to secure cables in a building. Cable
management is important in IT, communications, and power distribution.
Cable management both supports and contains cables during installation, and makes subsequent
maintenance or changes to the cable system easier. Products such as cable trays, cable ladders,
and cable baskets are used to support a cable through cabling routes. Below are some examples of
proper cable management.

Properly spaced patch cords in a Rack

Properly managed cables using cable ties

Different colour cables used for different purposes

Properly bundled Cables in a cable ladder

Properly arranged cable connecting MDF to Patch panel back pane

Properly arranged cable connecting MDF to Patch panel back pane

Properly bundled Cables in Vertical Cabale managers

Cabling tips:
1. Every cable should have a label on both ends, even short runs and patch cables.
2. Keep patch cables short.
3. Stick with a single color for your patch cables and cable runs. The only time you should
break that rule is when using a specific color cable for a specific purpose. That will make it
easier to follow cable runs and troubleshoot issues.
4. Cable trays should not be overloaded. Suspended cable trays are mounted to something
either ceiling mounts or support from a rack underneath. If its too heavy, they can fall off
the wall/ceiling etc.
5. Remove abandoned cables
6. Use cable ties to hold groups of data cables together or to secure cables to components.
7. Cable must be pulled from the reel or box without kinking
8. Cable must not be pulled around sharp corners or kinked
9. Inspect the cable routs for surfaces that may abrade the cable
10. Cables must be supported to prevent stress. Cable supports should not have sharp edges
that may distort the cable
11. Cable ties must not be so tight as to distort the jacket of the cable. They are only used to
prevent unnecessary movement of the cable, so snug is tight enough.