Frequently Asked Questions

HELP, I have a small amount of work that I need right away, can SourceLink Help?

Our MAC department boasts a 24 to 48 hour turnaround time on moves, adds and changes up to 15 drops.

We are moving to a new location, how can SourceLink help us?

SourceLink will provide a complimentary site survey of your new location and determine the cable type required (whether Plenum or PVC is required). SourceLink can also demo the old cabling (when needed) and equipment from your prior location and move your equipment to your new location. We will also make recommendations on backbone and cable category requirement based on user loads and current hardware.

I have an emergency request for service, can SourceLink help?

Sourcelink offers same day emergency service for those issues requiring immediate attention.

What’s the difference between a Plenum and PVC environment?

The reasons for these two types of cable are for fire code safety standards of different types of buildings. Both cable types have the same speed performance. PVC stands for Poly Vinyl Chloride, which is the outer insulation jacket used around the copper wire. When it burns, it emits a poisonous smoke (think burning plastic). While, Plenum Rated jackets, a TEFLON® product, burns at a much higher temperature and is not nearly as toxic. So, when should I use PVC and when should I use Plenum Rated Cable? PVC cable is about 1/3 the price of Plenum Rated cable. PVC can be used in almost all inside wall or floor applications in home or business/commercial settings. PVC is used in well over 90% of all cabling applications. Plenum rated cable is used in commercial building air Plenum ceilings where the return air is forced through the ceiling (may include drop down ceilings), rather than being ducted through air conditioning tubes. Thus Plenum cable must be used in this situation to prevent toxic smoke from being flushed through the whole building in the event of a fire. If you are unsure if you need to upgrade to Plenum cable you should check with the Building and Safety Department of your City or the building engineer. Different municipalities have different regulations.

What is the difference between CAT5E and CAT6 Cable?

The general difference between category 5e and category 6 is in the transmission performance, and extension of the available bandwidth from 350 MHz for category 5e to 500 MHz for category 6. This includes better insertion loss, near end crosstalk (NEXT), return loss, and equal level far end crosstalk (ELFEXT). These improvements provide a higher signal-to-noise ratio, allowing higher reliability for current applications and higher data rates for future applications.

What is a firewall and can it be penetrated?

A barrier inside a building, designed to limit the spread of fire, heat and structural collapse. Yes it can be penetrated, but Penetrations through fire walls, such as for pipes and cables must be protected with firestop to prevent the spread of fire through the wall at this point. Fire walls must not be penetrated such that the wall is structurally weakened in a fire and could collapse.

What is a demarc extension and why might I need one?

Demarc extensions is the process of connecting your organization’s network to a data line–such as a T1, DSL, or POTS–provided by the telephone company or another vendor. The “demarcation point” (or “demarc” for short) is the spot at your location where the Telephone Company terminates their circuit. Beyond this point it is your responsibility to connect your network to that demarc. The demarc must be extended to reach a wiring closet or some sort of data distribution system in order to integrate with your network. Depending on your needs and the layout of the site, services for a demarc extension can vary greatly. SourceLink Communications has the experience to perform demarc extensions in any environment, including warehouses, hospitals, offices, schools, shopping malls, and high-rise buildings extensions.

How do I know what type of Fiber I need 62.5 , 50 Micron or Single Mode?

Both 50 micron and 62.5 micron fiber optic cables use an LED or laser light source. They are both multi-mode fiber. They are also used in the same networking applications. The main difference between the two is that 50 micron fiber can support 3 times the bandwidth of 62.5 micron fiber and 50 micron fiber also supports slightly longer cable runs than 62.5 micron cable. Single Mode is required for Distances over 600 meters (300 m for 10 Gbit/s).

What is a patch cord?

A patch cable or patch cord is an electrical or optical cable used to connect (“patch-in”) one electronic or optical device to another for signal routing. Devices of different types (e.g., a switch connected to a computer, or a switch to a router) are connected with patch cords. Patch cords are usually produced in many different colors so their easily distinguishable. A patch cable is required to connect your networking equipment to station and your station to the PC. Patch Cables can be molded, standard (non-booted or molded snagless. Many people prefer a non-booted cable over a booted because it takes up less room in a high density environment and is easier to plug in and out of equipment, however a molded cable provides great strain relief and is also easy to plug in and out. A molded assembly has great strain relief properties. The molded snagless style has a snag-free tab for easy removal from a bundle but is not as easy to plug in and out.

What size conduit do I need for my installation?

According to NEC Code and industry standard a 40% fill is suggested. The chart below will tell you what size conduit is needed based upon the number of cables installed.

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