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BASIC TELECOMMUNICATIONS . WAO (WORK AREA OUTLET). Telecom Cabling. What do we plug our patch cords into? At the PC or telephone end, they are plugged into a W.A.O. or Work Area Outlet. Telecom Cabling.

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basic telecommunications


telecom cabling
Telecom Cabling
  • What do we plug our patch cords into?
  • At the PC or telephone end, they are plugged into a W.A.O. or Work Area Outlet.
telecom cabling1
Telecom Cabling
  • The W.A.O. is composed of a faceplate or block fastened to the wall using screws, anchors, boxes, or low voltage rings.
  • The faceplate contains the jacks which serve as the interface between two cables. In our case, the patch cord and the cable (UTP, STP, COAX, etc.).
telecom cabling2
Telecom Cabling
  • There are many styles, colors, and configurations for faceplates. However, there are two main sizes: Single gang and dual gang.

Single Gang Dual Gang

telecom cabling3
Telecom Cabling
  • On a single gang faceplate the maximum number of outlets we use are 6. On a dual gang, the number doubles to 12.
  • We call the outlets jacks or “ports”. So we might order a single gang, 3 port faceplate. One single gang faceplate with 3 jacks or ports. How many ports are on the faceplate to the right?
telecom cabling4
Telecom Cabling
  • Faceplates also come in a variety of colors and in some cases we use stainless steel faceplates. Colors are normally ivory, telco ivory, and white.
  • There are also different styles for the jacks we insert. Most are snap-in modular style.
telecom cabling5
Telecom Cabling
  • In many instances telecom jacks are not mounted into a faceplate, but are instead surface-mounted. The jacks are put into a box that is then affixed to the surface of a wall or cubicle.
telecom cabling6
Telecom Cabling
  • There are also several styles of jacks we can insert. Tel/data, F-style for coax, VGA, RCA, S-video, and even fiber outlets.
telecom cabling7
Telecom Cabling
  • If we are connecting a faceplate to a sheetrock wall, we must cut a hole in the wall at a code specified height and install either a box or ring to hold the faceplate in place.
telecom cabling8
Telecom Cabling
  • Low Voltage Rings

Single Gang Plastic Single Gang Metal (MPLS)

telecom cabling9
Telecom Cabling
  • Low Voltage rings and boxes.

plastic mud ring metal mud rings

telecom cabling11
Telecom Cabling
  • When we install a faceplate we must follow NEC code requirements. Today we install faceplates at 18” O.C., A.F.F.
  • That means 18” on center (the center of the faceplate), above finished floor.
  • We use our jab saw to cut the hole in the sheetrock.
telecom cabling12
Telecom Cabling
  • The jab saw – CAREFUL it has sharp edges!
telecom cabling13
Telecom Cabling
  • The process is as follows:
  • IMPORTANT: use a stud finder or your eyes to locate any studs. You cannot install a ring on a stud!!!

1- Use your tape measure to measure 18”


2-With a PENCIL, make a light mark at that


3-Place the low voltage ring on the wall and

use your level to level it.

telecom cabling14
Telecom Cabling
  • The process continued:

4-Use your PENCIL to make light marks in

each of the inside corners of the low

voltage ring.

5-If there is wallpaper on the wall, use your

razor knife to cut away the paper.

6-Place a piece of paper on the floor beneath

where you will be cutting to catch the dust

that will come down.

telecom cabling15
Telecom Cabling
  • The process continued:

7-Take your jab saw and make a

HORIZONTAL CUT first (in case you hit

a stud) to minimize damage.

8-Make your next horizontal cut, then your

2 vertical cuts and viola, you have a hole.

9- Insert your ring and secure with screws.

telecom cabling16
Telecom Cabling
  • Since the number one customer complaint about technicians is that they leave a mess…..never forget the next step.......

10-CLEAN-UP YOUR MESS and move on.

telecom cabling17
Telecom Cabling
  • There are other faceplates as well such as decora faceplates which are slightly upscale and involve an insert for the ports.
telecom cabling18
Telecom Cabling
  • Sometimes we place outlets flush to the floor in a device we call a “poke-thru”. Note that the cables come from the floor below.
telecom cabling19
Telecom Cabling

What do we call the box we use to mount the faceplate to some type of surface?