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Can I chain 25 pair cables?

Posted on 2008-10-14
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I need a 250 foot run of 25 pair for a new T1 install.  Having a custom cable made is cost prohibitive.  Can I purchase pre-made lengths and connect (chain) them to together?  Are there any performance reasons for not doing this?  Do I need CAT5 or will CAT3 work?
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Question by:Bud
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14 Comments
 
LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:pseudocyber
ID: 22711029
You can simply get some Telephone Grade cabling (Cat3) in whatever length you want - 250 ft is no problem, and then terminate it on either 110 or 66 blocks on both sides.  Then from your termination blocks - connect your T1 devices.  No problems.  Very easy.
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Author Comment

by:Bud
ID: 22711134
Are there performance differences between a CAT5 and CAT3 25 pair cable?  I don't have any experience with this.  I have two options, from different vendors.  One is to order a custom made CAT5 RJ21 250 foot cable at $3.14 per foot ($785).  The second is to purchase pre-made CAT3 25 pair cables (2 - 100 foot lengths at $120 each and one 50 foot length at $65).  Are there an issues with going with the second option?  Is chaining the separate lengths together, to achive a 250 foot run, a workable solution?
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:pseudocyber
ID: 22711201
If I understand you correctly, you want to extend a T1 signal (which comes in over phone lines (cat3)) 250 feet, right?  As I said, you can terminate the Cat3 cable (pair count does not matter) on both ends to a 66 or 110 block, then patch over to it hope on your new "backbone" to the other location 250 feet away, where you patch off it to your device.

The cable cost itself is not much - I googled 25 pair cat3, clicked on the first link, got a cost of US $ .66/ft = $165.00.

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T5GGLL_enUS257US257&q=25+pair+cat3

The installation costs may add to the cost, but this is fairly simple in design.

Why do you need a 25 pair for a single T1!?!?
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:pseudocyber
ID: 22711248
A 250 foot run for telephone is nothing - it's actually a minimum purchase for "thicker" cables on a roll.  They typically come in 1000' lengths.  I don't know, but I suspect your issue with your vendors is you're telling them how you want it done.  Instead, tell them what your problem is - and I suspect they'll come with a design very similar to mine - which will be more pragmatic and less expensive.
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Author Comment

by:Bud
ID: 22711433
Actually, this is the Telecom vendor (Cbeyond) telling me what I need to do before they can install their equipment.  This is a new office space/warehouse.  Cbeyond sent us a list of requirements, one of those is to run a 25 pair from the post outside to the new telecom room (250 feet).  Can I get away with running a single length of CAT5 instead of going thru the expense of a 25 pair?
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LVL 27

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pseudocyber earned 250 total points
ID: 22711483
That is up to you.

Technically yes.  A T1 will travel fine over Cat5.

However, if you're having a vendor put in a system, and they give you a requirement, and you don't meet it ....
1.  They could be fine with it as long as it works.
2.  They could be OK with it, but won't support it - so if it doesn't work, they'll point the finger at you (which can get you in trouble with your boss)
3.  They won't be Ok with it and won't install their system until you fix it.

A 25 pair Cat5 will be more expensive than a 25 pair cat3.

If I were you, I would do the 25 pair cat3 as I described.  This should cost you <$500 with labor.  Then, you've got 24 pairs of "future use" telco connections which you can take advantage of at some point.

- or - you can go back to your vendor and ask them why they are charging/making you install 24 extra pair when you only need 1.  Ask them can you just install a Cat5 cable from here to there instead.  They might agree with you - odds are they're "playing it safe" with the 25 pair - but you have to pay for it, one way or another.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:kdearing
ID: 22711545
If all you're doing is extending a T1, then CAT5 is fine.

Something is odd though.
It is the telco's responsibility to provide connection up to the demarcation point (dmarc).
Are they saying the dmarc is a post outside?
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Author Comment

by:Bud
ID: 22712560
Is purchasing pre-made CAT3 25 pair cables lenghts (with M-F connectors) and chaining them together to achive the run a viable solution?
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:pseudocyber
ID: 22714111
I suppose you can, I just am failing to see why you would want to?
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Author Comment

by:Bud
ID: 22714222
Timeframe needed to complete may not allow the wait on having a custom cable made.
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:pseudocyber
ID: 22714619
You DO NOT have to make a custom cable.  You (or your installer) simply buy the length you need, install it, and punch it down on both ends.  
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:kdearing
ID: 22714715
Budstear must be talking about using a 25-pair with the amphenol-type connectors.
You don't have to use those, you can punch down your cables directly onto the 66-block.
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:pseudocyber
ID: 22714879
Yeah, I keep saying that ...
You don't have to use those, you can punch down your cables directly onto the 66-block.

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Author Comment

by:Bud
ID: 22715595
Yes, I was indeed referring to amphenol-type connectors.  Sorry that I did not specifically clairfy that.  Don't really care to spend the time punching down 50 wires when I can simply plug something in.
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