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Thread: Essential tools

  1. #21
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Just bought the snakescope. got 15% discount from petrolprices

    Thanks for the heads up

    Simon

  2. #22
    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    Seems to work straight off with Ubuntu using "Cheez" (?) application.
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    www.gumbrell.com

  3. #23
    Automated Home Sr Member MrFluffy's Avatar
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    If your still looking at rj45 crimpers, about the best you can get are made by amp. The die sets are replaceable if they ever wear out and you can get dies for different connector standards, so really theyre a lifetime purchase jobby. But yes, theyre expensive.

    For me, a cheap cat5 cable desheather, the amp crimps, a set of sharp diamond profile cutters, the cordless drill, a smaller straight screwdriver (drill is too awkward for small patress screws etc) a set of lucas automotive wire stripers for heavier stuff/de sheathing for non modular stuff, a stanley knife, a bottle of yellow 77 cable pulling lubricant (must have...) and a nylon fish for those awkward ones. And a box of wago connectors when doing power stuff. I love them
    I used to cable up data centres for a living, hence the expensive taste in crimpers

  4. #24
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Interesting - given the cost of all those tools (as you say, the Amps are not cheap), and the time that's likely to be involved, it's v.tempting (for a non-professional, like me, with quite a lot to do) to go for ready-made patch-cables instead - eg: by Belkin, who do them in various lengths, 0.5m all the way up to 30m, and a range of colours, with catch-free connectors to help with pulling - and then use a Neat Patch approach at the patch-panels to lose any excess lengths ... neat & relatively quick & perhaps more risk-free, in terms of achieved data-rates ... or am I being naive ? !

    Chris
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 16th February 2010 at 04:26 PM.

  5. #25
    Automated Home Sr Member MrFluffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_j_hunter View Post
    Interesting - given the cost of all those tools (as you say, the Amps are not cheap), and the time that's likely to be involved, it's v.tempting (for a non-professional, like me, with quite a lot to do) to go for ready-made patch-cables instead - eg: by Belkin, who do them in various lengths, 0.5m all the way up to 30m, and a range of colours, with catch-free connectors to help with pulling - and then use a Neat Patch approach at the patch-panels to lose any excess lengths ... neat & relatively quick & perhaps more risk-free, in terms of achieved data-rates ... or am I being naive ? !

    Chris
    Black box do a generic set of crimps which are still ratchet actuated, but Ive never used them to recommend...
    I'd never want to pull in premades and loose it in loops, firstly the loops will be a pain, and act as antenna's to pull in interference in.
    A parallel datacentre build which I cabled the sister site for took this approach and managed to have a higher faliure rate, which I for one was shocked at.
    Itll cost you an arm and leg... 305 or 500m reels of cable are cheap and are the right length
    Im 800m of data cable into my house so far + coax and that is only running ethernet and some dark cabling to strategic points for idratek or similar at a date in the future, maybe Ive got enough to finish. Ive coded the cables by boot colour on the patch and a cable schedule which I keep accurate.
    Finally, even with boots over the thumb release to make pulling less painless, sooner or later they'll get snagged, somewhere thats a pain and you will curse them loudly.

    For conduit I pull in the cables before I put the conduit itself in. Makes it much easier having it nice and straight and laid out

  6. #26
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    thanks, interesting ...

    cost-wise, using pre-made would cost about double, ignoring tools, so could be near-quits including tools ...

    yep, wondered about antennae effects of excess & loops, but a straw poll seemed to show no issues, at least with current demands on their networks ...

    conduits - must say it's tempting to run the cables without conduits - without them, running extra cable later would be impossible, but how easy would it be with them, when they're already half or more full ?

  7. #27
    Automated Home Jr Member Gangsta's Avatar
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    Waaaay back when I was doing networks (about 13 years ago) I bought a ratchet action crimper that does RJ45 and RJ11 Plugs. It wasn't expensive at 36. I have probably terminated in excess of 20km of cat5 with it, and never had a failed cable yet (due to the RJ45 connection, I have had broken wires etc but they had nothing to do with the tool) The cutting blades for the sheath and trimming the cable are going blunt. So you dont need to have the best tools, especially for a single house job. I also use the RJ45s from china (6.xx for 100) inc P&P. As I said above - not a single failure yet (make sure you get the right RJ45s - Solid for solid wires, Stranded for patch cable)

    Just lately a tool that has become invaluable to me is a little yellow handled screwdriver that maplin gave me free when I bought the MID. It has a small and slightly larger philips head in one end, and a small and slightly larger straight in the other. It has proved absolutly brilliant over the past month. The small straight is perfect for the brass screws inside light fittings (and DMX dimmer packs ), the larger straight is perfect for the brass screws inside plug sockets and light switches. The larger philips fits plugs really well, and I cant remember what I used the small philips for. Anyway I think they sell them for like 1.49 and its handy to keep in your pocket whilst 'automating' without having to lug your full toolbox everywhere.

    A cat5 tester is an essential too, I have a good one from before, but any tester is better than non.

    I got a little pen type thing where the tip lights up when you put it near mains electricity. That is handy for finding mains inside your walls, and also for determining if a cable is live before you cut it. Lucky I had it, as for some reason my downstairs hall light was not on the lighting circuit (which I had removed the fuse for) and if I hadnt tested it, I would have just gone ahead and cut it. That would have been painful

  8. #28
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    I've used this set of tools for crimping http://www.minitran.co.uk/pages/prod...n%20Tool%20Kit Unfortunately the tester didn't like being covered in cement, but I had another one which is of a similar size.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

  9. #29
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    >conduits ... how easy ... when they're already half or more full ?

    more 'think about it, more cable-trays make sense - if only their WAF didn't let them down !

  10. #30
    Automated Home Sr Member MrFluffy's Avatar
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    Im in France and conduit is mandatory here now, so Im stuck with having to use it. The conduit here is the sort of flexi but rubbed stuff, which is a royal pain to pull more stuff through later on if its got a few bends in it as the ribs snag the wires on the bends, but still possible with lots of yellow77 and a nylon fish and lots of patience and gentle steady pulling, preferably with someone the other end pushing the wires in at the same time. Ive had to do it a few times in situ when I forgot a extra conductor for some five way lights.

    One thing your also forced to have is what they called a GTL, or gaine terracement logistique, which is a huge floor to celing cable duct with front mounted panels for all the power and data cabling/consumer unit/electric meters etc.
    I just bought a GTL "kit" for about 80 or so which is just the ductwork in plastic with alterable tray seperators inside. It looks really neat and has that WAF thats needed, with the added advantage that its a doddle to put more cables in when needed up to capacity just by pulling the front trim off.
    Im sure you can get similar in england with the amount of hvac stuff going into places nowadays. Its like open cable trays for convienience, plus they always end up with tangled spaghetti in them after a few years of it.

    For the crimps, yeah it doesnt have to be amp, just make sure theyre ratchet ones or your playing roulette on if you get the crimp right or not every time.
    Its funny, I never owned a cable tester in all the years I was doing it as part of my job, we just terminated and plugged it in, and at that point the link light winked on and we knew it was ok. I was responsible for racking and commisioning stuff so I could check it on the fly myself. Now Ive got a cheap and nasty one which just lights a led in sequence for all the pairs which I find really useful. Expensive proper ones are TDR's (time-domain reflectometer) and cost thousands, so at our end of the budget, if it winks the lights itll do the trick for me, mine came from china direct

    On the loops, never ran the tests to find out for sure but Im a ex radio ham too, so shy away from looping things up to make them look a bit neater

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