Project Tomorrow (formerly known as NetDay) would like you to know that the information and links on this page may be outdated.

Cable Installation Guide

Install the Cable Step 1:
Run the Cable to the Schoolrooms

Cable Routing Basics

Route A cableIn Part I, you'll route cable from the central point to the exact places in the schoolrooms where you'll install the jacks. When you've run a pair of cables to all six schoolrooms, you've finished Part I.

Use a relay system - passing the leading end of the cable from one person to the next, and so on - to get the cable from one end of each run to the other. We'll show you several different ways to mount cable along walls and route it through dropped ceilings and inside walls. Your school's facilities administrator is the key person in deciding on the best way to route cable at your school and exactly where to route it.

These instructions show how to route cable simply and safely in many situations. They provide for cable routing only within a building, not between buildings. Discuss these instructions with the person who manages facilities at your school. See the NetDay How-To Guide for more information on doing a site survey and planning wiring at your school.

You'll run two cables to each schoolroom, so that you can install two jacks per room. That way, after NetDay, computers can be plugged in at either end of the room - for example, one for the teacher to use up front, and one for students to use at the back of the room. Having two or more jacks per schoolroom also makes it much easier to find the source of a problem if something ever goes wrong with the network.


DO make the longest run first, so that you can take advantage of the pull string on the shorter runs.

DO make a "cut sheet" - a rough diagram showing where the cable runs are and the numbers of the schoolrooms they go to. Later, when you wire the patch panel, the cut sheet will tell you what order to position the wires in.

DO use tie-wraps to cinch runs of multiple cables.


DON'T EVER cut unlabeled cable. Label cable before routing it, or you'll lose track of which cables go to which schoolrooms.

DON'T label cable "Ms. Scholl's classroom." Instead, use a label that will be understandable to someone years later, such as "Rm. 103."

DON'T plan runs longer than 328 feet. Data will travel more slowly over longer lengths of cable.

DON'T allow cable to be stretched, pinched or kinked, or data will travel over it more slowly. Don't tie tie-wraps too tight - they should be able to slide a little.

DON'T cut corners with cable - leave ample slack. A few feet of cable costs a lot less than the time it takes to redo a run because of wiring mistakes or stretched cable. When you wire the jacks and patch panel, you shouldn't be tethered up against the wall. Leave enough slack to reach the floor and extend another 2 or 3 feet at both ends of the cable. In addition, it's standard practice to leave a service coil - a few extra feet of cable coiled up inside the ceiling or other out-of-the-way place.

Routing the First Run of Cable

1. Your kit will contain two spools of cable, and you will route two cables to each schoolroom. Label the spools "A" and "B" so you can tell them apart.

2. Label the end of the cable from each spool in a similar way, but include the name of the schoolroom you're about to run cable to - for example, "103/A" and "103/B." Write the label on the cable sheath. Use a permanent marker that won't rub off easily. Label the cable three times, about 2 feet apart, so that you won't lose the labeling if it rubs off or if you cut off some of the sheath later when you're wiring up the ends.

3. Using electrical tape, tape together the two cable ends and the end of a pull string, as shown in the photo. (The string doesn't need to be labeled.) Whether you use a telepole or not, tie a few half-hitches around the cables with the pull string before taping, and use plenty of tape. Skimping on tape could cost you time later if the string or cables pull out.

4. Pull all three - cable A, cable B and the pull string - along the run. The next topics show some techniques for routing cable along walls, inside attics and ceilings and inside walls. Allow enough cable to reach all the way to both jack locations in each schoolroom, plus enough slack to reach the floor and extend another 2 or 3 feet.


6. Go back to the central point. Write labels ("Rm. 103/A" and "Rm. 103/B" again) on the cable just inside of where you want to cut it.

7. All right, NOW take out your wire snips and cut the cable and the pull string. See? Now the cable is labeled at both ends.

Routing Subsequent Runs

Often, two or more runs follow the same route part way, then diverge. In that case, do this:

1. Strip a few inches of sheath off the cable. Then, just as you did for the first run, label both cables.

2. Attach the tail end of the first pull string to the leading end of a subsequent pull string and the cables as follows:

a. Bend the stripped cables into a hook shape and loop the tail end of the first pull string around the hook. Tape the first pull string securely.

b. Knot the subsequent pull string around the two cables with half-hitches. Tape the cables and the pull string together securely as shown.

3. Go to the spot where the runs diverge and use the first pull string to pull the new cables up to that point. The new string will now be in place for the next run.

4. Now run the new cable pair by itself the rest of the way.

Glossary of Terms