Cable Riser

Introduction
Just as water pipes and power lines run hidden beneath building floors and behind
walls, riser cable performs its vital functions out of sight of the people it serves. And like
its invisible cousins, riser cable`s "out of sight, out of mind" status moves rapidly to the
forefront of awareness when service is disrupted. That is why cabling installers must be
familiar with the standards governing riser systems--so their finished job conforms to
these standards.
Riser cable, first named thus because it "rises" between the floors of a multistory
building, is also called backbone cable. It is the primary conduit of a premises
distribution system carrying voice, data, and video from the point where those
communications enter a building--the outside plant interface or service entrance facility.
The cable itself is but one part of the building`s backbone system, however. Other
components, in addition to the service entrance facility, include cable pathways,
telecommunications closets, equipment rooms and related hardware, and support
facilities.
Riser cable can be used for data communications (including video), video alone (as in
community access or closed circuit television), or voice communications. Since cable
requirements differ for each service, planning can become difficult. This is because
future uses of the backbone wiring can range from the predictable to the entirely
unknown. Facility managers of owner-occupied buildings feel hard-pressed to predict
what their requirements may be only a few years ahead. This fact makes it advisable to
suggest separate riser systems for different applications (such as voice and data) that
follow parallel routes through pathways, closets, and equipment rooms.

50/125. Those relating to optical-fiber (as well as copper) cable backbone systems are contained in the ansi/tia/eia568a standard.or 100/140-micron multimode optical fiber. . issued jointly by the American National Standards Institute (ansi--New York.62. In the case of multimode fiber.singlemode optical fiber. They will make the trade-offs necessary to deliver the widest range of services through their backbone system. .5/125-micron multimode optical fiber. NY). VA). . and taking into account the site size and user population. these specifications cover . Other factors affecting their design include providing a flexible medium with respect to supported services. In addition to copper shielded and unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cable and coaxial and twinaxial cabling systems. knowing the required useful life of backbone wiring.Types Definition Choosing the medium If they can do so while remaining within budget. VA) and the Electronic Industries Association (EIA--Arlington. system designers will attempt to be all things to all users. the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA--Arlington. the numbers represent the core and cladding diameters. Fortunately. standards are available to guide the cable specification process.

since any copper wire used for voice or data may be subject to electromagnetic interference from nearby electrical services. Telecommunications closets should not be collocated with electrical closets. Open cable shafts and enclosed metallic raceways or conduits are alternatives to sleeves or slots. Note that no more than two levels of crossconnections--the main and one intermediate-should be employed in a star wiring topology. not including the horizontal crossconnect. Moreover. a riser cable system in a multiple-floor building will pass through vertically aligned closets using connecting sleeves or slots. While the ansi/eia/tia-569 standard contains general guidelines for sizing floor sleeves and slots. Some economies may be realized. risers can extend to telecommunications closets. as well as local fire codes.connects that serve a remote telecommunications closet or a single floor of an installation. a rule of thumb is to design sleeves with a 4-inch diameter. unless the building`s structural engineer rules otherwise or obstructions are present. This design provides every floor with access to the backbone sheath and permits circuits to be distributed to each floor. and otherwise conform to the National Electrical Code. The telecommunications closet is where backbone systems interface with horizontal wiring. Vertically aligned closets also ease management of a riser system because identification of each cable`s function is simplified. as well. From the main crossconnect. depending on system requirements. intermediate crossconnects that serve multiple telecommunications closets. which serve a designated area. chapters 7 and 8. Ideally. fill-requirement tables provide recommendations on the amount of cable that can be installed and the minimum radius of bends. Smaller-diameter sleeves do not save money. connections between any two telecommunications closets should pass through no more than three crossconnects.Installation criteria Physical locations that support a riser system include the telecommunications service entrance and the nearby equipment room that houses the main crossconnect. or horizontal cross. but elevator shafts are not an option. When raceways or conduits are used. Specifications covering the permissible length of riser cable are geared to help ensure that the system can accommodate data transmission loads. be equipped with firestopping. and installing extra sleeves during initial construction will save labor costs later when system expansions are required. They do not necessarily . by placing intermediate crossconnects on every "nth" floor. Note that slots and sleeves must extend above the floor level by a minimum of one inch.

Also. 155-Mbit/sec Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) service. Optical-fiber systems. you can show interest by asking if the riser cable capacity (in megabits per second) is properly sized for the application. connecting cables can be no longer than 98 feet. anticipate that customers will check your credentials and reputation.apply to telephony or low-speed data. .5/125-micron optical-fiber cable. To be able to take advantage of public ATM service now or in the future. looking for potential problems. Telephone companies are beginning to offer high-speed. it is probably a wise choice to install ATM-compatible cable at the outset. the use of open shafts. including handling and splicing optical-fiber systems. the maximum distance between main and intermediate crossconnects is 8200 feet. Although specifying the cable may not be your responsibility. However. But you should expect them to be visible to your crews frequently. Understand that building managers or end-user MIS and IT personnel do not have the time to monitor an installation full-time. For 62. you should welcome these inspections. and you can ensure that spare fiber pairs are allocated for expansion and redundancy. Spotlight your familiarity with all aspects of the system. volunteer to provide them. and if they are not asked for. and building structural members that may be employed to support the weight of the cable as well as other hardware associated with the project. it is recommended that intermediate and horizontal crossconnects be no further than 1640 feet apart. Installation guidelines Even before the job begins. the maximum recommended distance between main and intermediate crossconnects is 4920 feet. Be prepared to offer references. If telecommunications equipment is connected directly to an intermediate or main crossconnect. For singlemode fiber. because of low signal loss when properly installed. because a single walk-through inspection at the completion of a job is not the best way (or time) to spot work that may need corrective action. Indeed. the distance between main and intermediate crossconnects can increase to up to 6560 feet (4920 feet plus 1640 feet) as the intermediate-horizontal crossconnect distances decrease from the maximum recommended value. Schedule meetings with the customer and the building`s structural engineer to obtain specific information about floor penetrations. while the maximum intermediate-horizontal distance is 1640 feet. for example. accommodate longer runs than copper systems.

standardscompliant products.Do not tie riser cable to vertical steam or water piping. and changes to the network are highly likely. moves. proven. . Permanent cable supports should be in place before the cable is lowered. their reliance on riser systems will increase accordingly.Deliver complete. including sprinkler system piping. As the installer of such systems. . Be sure to follow the manufacturer`s recommendations in spacing support members. optical-fiber cable should be lowered from the top floor using winches and rolling hitch knots in conjunction with other protective devices to minimize the stress of weight on the cable. you should put your trust in accepted. As rapid access to data and real-time exchange of information become more crucial to the success of enterprises.Deliver passing test reports regularly during the construction of the riser cable system. and clear diagrams of the installation--preferably computer-aided design drawings--showing all routes and equipment related to the riser system.A riser/backbone system is the heart of a telecommunications infrastructure. . . It should extend to horizontal wiring and must be kept current by end-user personnel or the independent . it must be plenum-rated. Remember that installation costs represent a substantial portion of building the network and that ongoing additions. accurate.Do not use bend radiuses greater than those permitted by the cable manufacturer. the following checklist may be helpful in ensuring that guidelines are followed and no vital steps have been omitted. This database becomes an ongoing record of the system. Riser cable should be snugged to support systems that are firmly toggle-bolted to walls. .Make sure that conduits.Permanently identify the cables so that there will be no confusion as to what each carries and where it goes. When budget permits. and innerducts through which cable may be pulled are large enough to accommodate future additions to the network. raceways. . engage the services of a qualified consultant to assist in the overall planning and design process if you do not have the necessary expertise in-house. ventilating. . . or air conditioning air returns.If the installation requires riser cable to pass over work areas and above ceilings used as heating. Pay close attention to reports on the performance of optical-fiber splices.Telecommunications closets and electrical closets cannot share the same space. . Project Checklist As work on your installation project proceeds.Is the cable being protected from stress during installation? If the work area permits.

. it is also called riser cable. horizontal cable runs link the intermediate crossconnects to workstation equipment. From the closets. especially. Large systems. . should be equipped with computer support to quickly identify problems that develop over time. and changes. it is backbone cable that typically runs from the main crossconnect in the equipment or computer room to intermediate crossconnects in telecommunications closets on each floor. Within a building. and it helps protect you as well.Insist on a complete inspection and certification by the cable manufacturer. This is essential if the manufacturer`s guarantee is to be honored. moves. Because this backbone cable often rises vertically from floor to floor.contractor responsible for adds.