What Your Rental Business Should Know About Cabling and Wireless Devices

Did you know that 80% of device failures that are reported to the InTempo support team are the result of inadequate cables, improper cable termination or IP address conflicts? These scenarios can cause serious problems for your rental business, and it can feel like you’re grasping for straws when trying to identify the culprit. That’s why it’s important to ensure your cabling is set up correctly. First, let’s take a step back. There are two main types of cables rental businesses commonly have installed:

Flat Satin Cable: This is a flat grey-colored six or eight wire cable. The six-wire variety of flat-satin cable can no longer be used and must be replaced prior to any system upgrade. While the eight-wire cable is acceptable for serial devices such as dumb terminals, serial printers, and modems, it is a low grade stranded wire that may fail, especially in runs of cable greater than 50 feet. We recommend it be replaced with CAT5 cable you can source locally and have professionally installed by local services.

CAT5 (Category 5) Cable: CAT5/CAT5e cable can be used for all computer devices whether they are serial or network devices. This cable can be run 100 meters, or about 328 feet, without signal loss. Just about any local networking or wiring company is familiar with how to run and terminate these cable runs. Most new buildings are being built pre-wired so there are network termination ports in convenient areas throughout the building.

Cat5 Cable

Cat5 Cable  Source: Justin Marty

Also related to this discussion is wireless technology. With the advent of out of the box plug-n-play wireless routers and access points, people have attempted to add these devices to their work environment without having the proper network structure behind them. A wireless device indiscriminately placed on an existing network can bring the whole network or key devices to an inoperable state. If a wireless device tries to take on the IP address of an existing device, like your InTempo server, client devices will become confused and not know how to connect. A network professional should be consulted to verify that any wireless devices have a different and segmented range of addresses than existing devices or they may conflict with each other.

Given that devices failures can spell disaster for your business and customers, you may want to consider professional installation of new cabling or devices. If you’re an InTempo customer in doubt about what type of cable you have, don’t hesitate to ask us. Regardless of what software you use or who your vendor is, it’s a good idea to learn about the importance of proper computer cabling and networking. You never know when the day will come, but rest assured — someday you’ll thank yourself.

Written by Tim Johnson, Customer Care Manager 

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