Multiple T1 Extension


I've spent a lot of time today looking into the proper way to extend a T1 circuit past the smartjack left by the telco but am left with a few questions. Before that, here's my situation:

There are 4 new T1 lines on smartjacks in the building telco closet. The routers that need to be plugged into the smartjacks are roughly 70 ft. away in a different area. Currently there are several cat5e runs between the two locations carrying ethernet and voice lines. These are currently somewhat messy and I wouldn't mind replacing them with a many pair cable. In the end, what I really need is 4 T1's, 4 100Mbit ethernet's, and 12 voice lines connecting the telco closet to my closet elsewhere. I'm in search of the best way to do it.

What I've come up with so far is that the *right* way to extend the T1's is via individually shielded twisted pair. What I don't see anyone talking about is where to buy it, or how to terminate and ground it. It also seems like LOTS of people are using cat5 for short runs (like mine) to do the same thing but keeping the tx and rx pairs in separate runs. Most of the people doing this seem to be of the mind to give it a shot and see if it works. Not having testing equipment or the knowledge of how to use it this seems like a bad plan in my situation.

What I'd really like to do (I think) is rip out all the old stuff and run some kind of 50 pair cable between the two locations with amphenol (or similar) connectors on each end that go into 110 blocks, or patch panels ... or both. I'm not sure if everything will play nice in one bundle though and it seems there are mixed feelings on this strategy in the newsgroups.

I guess my bottom line questions are what is normal practice in this situation, how likely is my plan to fail, and how would you do it differently?

Many thanks, Brad Hill

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You can use Cat 5e. We've dont it with no problems. Though you may want to bite your tongue and get schielded TP....

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You buy it from a wire distributer. Quabin makes some as well as other vendors, you can buy it from Graybar or AmeriCable or any number of distributers. I suppose T1 is specialized enough to not have Home Depot carry ABAM cable. You ground one end (and only one end) to your ground at the panel. Any backerboard dealing with telco should have a ground somewhere for the telco guys.

I've run 100's of T1s like this. Just keep the receive and transmit pairs in seperate wire bundles if you have several to cut down on cross-talk. Cat5 isn't needed, its harder to punch down than voice grade stuff. Typically, I'd put in two voice-grade or cat3 25-pair bundles from one location to the next and put them on both sides of the 66-block or two rows of a 110 block. The 25-pair is how all the LECs in the area do it too. I have only seen ABAM cable a very few times out in the field outside the LEC CO.

Sounds harder, but then again, I really hate CHAMP connectors. One of the abominations of the telco world. I can teach somebody how to punch in 30 minutes. Of course, it takes a bit more to get into the groove of it, but its not hard. Go with 110s. I think they are easier to start with once you understand how to use them.

I'd run two 25-pair voice-grade between the two locations for your voice/T1 circuits. Then leave the individual cat5 runs for ethernet, but maybe clean them up some. 25-pair cat-5 is heavy, expensive, thick (about 1" in diameter) and rare/special order. I've never seen a

50-pair cat5. You'll want to stick with seperate cat5 for ethernet runs.
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Doug McIntyre

Thanks a ton for the intelligible reply - this is exactly the kind of advice I was looking for. It sounds like you're out there doing it and know what's really being done.

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