Always measure before running your data cables!!!

I got the request for 5 new data drops for a new system in a warehouse. I was directed to have a vendor come in and run the new data lines from an existing switch. The distance looked fine, but I was skeptical about the distance. I used a measuring wheel to measure the distance. After walking 300ft (100M), I stopped and started measuring to another switch, same problem, it was too far.

Due to the distance, we ordered a switch, cabinet, power outlet and a fiber run. The cost on these data connections went way up due to distance to the closest switch.

If I wouldn’t have measured the distance with a measuring wheel the vendor would have come out and run the data lines (CAT5). The distance would have been around 400ft and they wouldn’t have worked. After finding out that the data lines were too long, I would have had to start the process of ordering a switch, cabinet, power outlet and a fiber run.


By measuring the distance, I was able to install the appropriate equipment in a timely manor. I saved the company time and money.

Always measure your cable runs so you don’t wast time and money having to do them over when they are too long!!!


Tell us a time where you stepped in and saved a project!!!
Share a time where planning wasn’t so good and you had to come up with an alternate solution after you already paid for a solution!!!

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3 thoughts on “Always measure before running your data cables!!!

  1. I have had a contractor come in and run a CAT5 line for me, then after he was done he told me that it wouldn’t work. He then explained to me that the run was around 450ft and ethernet doesn’t work at distances over 300.

    The guy knew that it wouldn’t work, yet he still ran it over 300ft and still billed us for it.

    Luckily for me, the wireless access point this run was connecting could do a wireless backhaul.

  2. I just ran into a similar situation at my facility. Our electrician thought he would help me out and go ahead an run CAT5 to a new robot. The distance was 515 ft. I ended up just adding a NEMA box with a switch half way to act as a booster. I got lucky in that it also happens to be at a point that may be useful for future expansion of the network.

  3. It all depends on the devices, but there’s usually a good chunk of wiggle-room. I wouldn’t encourage it, but I’ve done 1000Base-T at about 600 ft., and 10Base-T at nearly 1,000 ft. You’ll usually see the BER increase before it just drops out.

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