IDF rewiring project

We’ve been working with our Facilities Dept. since March on a new office suite for our pastors of caring ministries who handle the traditional "pastoral" functions such as sacraments, weddings, funerals, hospital visits, counseling, and worship leadership.  Over the last 5 years this group outgrew one office and spilled over into two additional offices in separate parts of the building.  We hired a contractor to come in and remodel a set of classrooms into an office suite large enough to consolidate all three groups of staff. 

The part of the building where the new suite is located is served by IDF 2E. Like the other IDFs in the older East Bldg., 2E was originally wired by well-meaning volunteers who had no concept of professional cable installation.  Everything was a tangled, unlabeled, undocumented mess.  There was a wall-mounted half rack for the data patch panel and a traditional telecom mounting board with a 66 block for the voice.  There was no way to expand the existing design to accommodate the additional 40+ voice/data pairs for the new suite.  Plus, the long-term plan is to convert that entire wing of the building from classrooms into offices.  So it made sense to completely rebuild the IDF to make it neat, well-documented, and expandable.

The electrical contractor for the new wing installed all the jacks and pulled the new cable to the IDF.  They installed a standard 2-post rack and dropped the cable through the ceiling in a pair of large sleeves.

Unfortunately, I didn’t think of taking pictures until halfway through the project.  Here is a typical tangle of four different colors of existing voice wires in the ceiling above the IDF.  This is actually much better than it started because by the time I took this we had already cleaned up all the data cables.


Here is Ian working on the new rack.  All of the old data lines have been moved and he is almost finished with the new data lines.  You can see the fiber tray at the top, a rack-mounted power strip, two HP 2650 switches, and four rows of patch panels.  All the new cabling is Commscope UltraMedia Cat 6 – blue for data and white for voice.  The unterminated bundle of white voice lines is at the right.


We used the beautiful (but expensive) Panduit Cat 6 RJ45 jacks and their companion patch panels.  You can see how Ian had carefully labeled each wire with the new numbering scheme we will use throughout the wing served by this IDF.


The Panduit patch panel allows you to connect a jack to each wire separately and then snap the jacks into plastic brackets holding 4 jacks each.


This is the almost finished rack.  All of the new voice lines have been terminated.  We still need to move all of the old voice lines.  Notice the really cool floor plan pinned to the wall showing every jack location and its number.



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3 thoughts on “IDF rewiring project

  1. Tony Dye May 20, 2008 / 3:13 pm

    I don’t see any hint of the “water attraction” in these pictures. Isn’t that a key part of network plumbing? 🙂

  2. jason May 21, 2008 / 10:14 pm

    clif what labeler do you use?

  3. Clif Guy May 22, 2008 / 12:11 pm

    It’s a Dymo. Ask @cyberentomology on Twitter for details.

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