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Topology or architecture of structured cabling systems

20
CD

Campus distributor

BD

BD

Building
distributors

Campus
backbone
cabling

Building
backbone cabling
FD

FD

Floor distributors

Directly connected
distributors

TO

TO

Horizontal
cabling

TO

TO

Telecommunications
outlets

Fig. 3.7 Directly connected distributors.

defined as not being a point of administration, no longer appears in


any of the standards apart from a brief mention in TIA/EIA-568-B.
The CP may be composed of IDC (insulation displacement connector) punchdown blocks, 8-pin plug and sockets or patch panels.
Some of the basic rules for using CPs are:
The CP shall only contain passive components and shall not
be used in a cross-connect format.
A CP shall be considered as part of the administration system.
A CP shall be placed in an accessible location.
A CP shall serve a maximum of twelve work areas.
When using a CP, it should be located at least 15 m away
from the floor distributor, when using twisted pair cable (this is
to reduce the chance of return loss problems).
Figure 3.8 represents the disposition of a CP.
A similar component is the MUTO assembly. A single-user TO
will have two connections, the first should be a 4-pair balanced
copper

Telecommunications
outlets

Floor distributor
Consolidation
point

Fixed horizontal
cable
Consolidation
point cable

Fig. 3.8 Consolidation points.

cable and the second should be another 4-pair cable or a pair of


optical fibres.
A MUTO can serve up to 12 work areas and thus looks more
like a wall mounted patch panel. Work area cabling, that is the
patch cords, can now be made much longer, up to 20 m, with a
corres- ponding reduction in the length of the fixed horizontal
cabling to account for the extra attenuation caused by longer patch
cords. The rules for determining these lengths are covered later in
this book. A MUTO may be appropriate for open plan or open
office use or for temporary project offices, temporary
repair/restitution or large retail spaces where connections have to
be made between points-of-sale and structured cabling outlets
placed in overhead gantries.
An interconnect method of connection means connecting the
TO to a patch panel via the horizontal cable and then connecting
the front of that panel to the active equipment by way of a patch
cord. This is shown in Fig. 3.9.
The interconnect method is the simplest and cheapest method
of effecting a horizontal structured cabling system but at the loss
of some network flexibility.
Cross-connect means having two patch panels at the end of
the horizontal cabling. One is connected to the horizontal cabling
and the other is connected to the active equipment. The appropriate
con-

Floor distributor
Telecommunications
outlet

Horizontal cable

Fig. 3.9 Interconnect model.

Floor distributor

Telecommunications
outlet

Horizontal cable

Patch cord or jumper

Fig. 3.10 Cross-connect model.

nection is then made by patching between the two patch panels.


This is shown in Fig. 3.10.
Cross-connect gives the greatest flexibility by having one set of
patching dedicated to the cabling and one set dedicated to the
equipment. The downside is that there will be twice the number of
patch panels required, consuming twice the space and doubling the
amount of crosstalk and possibly return loss within the system.
For very large installations it may be impossible to get the
active equipment and the patching equipment close enough
together to get

(a)

Equipment
cord

Permanent link

Work
area
cable

Channel
(b)

Jumper

Permanent link
Channel

(c)

Equipment
cord

Consolidation
point
Permanent link

Work
area
cable

Channel
(d)

Permanent link
Channel

Fig. 3.11 Horizontal cabling models: (a) interconnect-TO, (b) cross-connect-TO, (c)
interconnect-CP-TO, (d) cross-connect-CP-TO.

away with just interconnect. For the more sophisticated intelligent


patching systems that monitor what they are connected to it is essential to have cross-connect, or double representation as it is
sometimes called. Intelligent patching systems usually work by using

Telecommunications
outlets
Horizontal
cabling

Floor
distributor

Consolidation poin t
FD
FD

FD
Building
distributor
FD
Campus
distributor

BD

Interdistributor
link
Building
backbone
cabling

CD
Campus
backbone
cabling
Link to external
telecommunications

Fig. 3.12 Generic campus cabling system.

special patch cords that contain extra connections that are used
to identify what is connected to what. This is only possible with
cross-connect.
We can see from the above that four combinations are possible:

Interconnect-TO.
Cross-connect-TO.
Interconnect-CP-TO.
Cross-connect-CP-TO.

All four possibilities are shown in Fig. 3.11.


Figure 3.12 gives a three-dimensional view of a campus cabling
project showing virtually all possible combinations.
Most installations today have active equipment in the floor distributor (FD); a typical installation might consist of Cat5e copper cable
to the desk running 10BASE-T with an Ethernet switch in the FD.
The switch would be most likely to connect to an optical fibre
backbone using a protocol such as 100BASE-FX. It is possible,
however, to