Cat 5e cabling - Does using a 66 block violate the standard?

I am troubleshooting problems at a location that has cable locations terminated with a 66 block?
I know this was commonly used with Cat3 cable. I thought it was discontinued with Cat5e. Since the cable is untwisted when installed on the 66 block, is it possible that the block is causing errors that might be solved by terminating to a patch panel or wall jacks? If so, where can I find this in writing to quote to my customer?

Thanks in advance for your help.
Bob
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Robert WardlowPresidentAsked:
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pseudocyberConnect With a Mentor Commented:
THE official document is from the TIA/EIA - TIA/EIA-854.  To obtain it will cost you, $100.00 USD.

http://www.tiaonline.org/standards/catalog/
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
66 blocks or at least any I have seen are not CAT5 compatible.
You will get a lot of cross talk, and as a result lost packets and reduces performance or possibly even lost connectivity, though a continuity meter will show all pins as connected.

You likely won't find specs that say a 66 block is not CAT5 compliant, however you will find 110, and BIX ones that do. I know it's difficult to prove to a client.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
By the way, ALL CAT5 approved equipment will be labeled as such. CAT5E will say CAT5E or in some cases "PowerSum".
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Robert WardlowPresidentAuthor Commented:
I am looking for some documentation to show my client. I think there is a Cat5e spec that requires x number of twists per inch. When punched on the block the wire pairs are untwisted. I think this is what violates the spec and causes cross talk etc etc like you mention even though continuity is fine.

Thanks for your comments
bob
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Rob WilliamsConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The actual specs (TIA/EIA 568) are hard to find, or rather not hard but you have to buy them from BICSI:  http://www.bicsi.org/content/index.aspx?file=publicationsmain.aspx

You are absolutely correct about the twists. The twist should be maintained to within 7/16th of an inch as I recall, and the jacket should be cut back only enough to make the connections. Both can cause increased cross talk. However, the other issue is the connections within the 66 block itself. They can be bare parallel connections causing incredible cross-talk.

There really is only one solution to the problem. Any cabling install should be certified after installation. This requires the use of a cabling certification meter such as a Fluke DSP/DTX
http://www.flukenetworks.com/fnet/en-us/products/DSP+CableAnalyzer+Series/Overview.htm
These meters are >$6000 but most quality cabling companies own them. They will come in and do a certification of the network. They can then provide you with an un-editable 1 page report and/or summary report for each cable tested. This provides information such as pass-fail, headroom, measured near and far end cross talk, signal loss, and much more.
I have several software vendors that will not install their applications on my clients systems until this report is provided. You will often be surprised at what passes and what fails. Regardless, then you know you are starting with a good infrastructure. It is very possible to use the right equipment and have bad results, so the test is well worth while.

It's important the network cabling be"perfect". Unlike telephone wiring where if you have a connection it works, it is very common for a poorly cabled network to work, but not realize it is not performing properly or to capacity. The certification report as to whether your network passes or fails.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Sorry pseudocyber. I didn't see your post.
--Rob
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pseudocyberCommented:
NP - you were busy typing ... ;)
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Yes, I am slow......must be an age thing :-)
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pseudocyberCommented:
I get better with age ... ;)  Typing that is.
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Robert WardlowPresidentAuthor Commented:
Thanks
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Thanks Rwardlow. Good luck with it.
I have found that a cabling report, by a 3rd party, that says failed, carries a lot of weight.
Cheers All !
--Rob
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