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Your Network Should NOT Look Like a Rat’s Nest

Network Installations Should be CLEAN – and NEAT

I’ve been doing large scale wiring projects for almost 50 years. My first introduction to precision wiring was in my first year college Electronics Fabrication classes. Our instructor was a stickler for precision. If your project didn’t look like the inside of a Tektronix Oscilloscope it didn’t pass. I still own a Tektronix today.

This set the stage for my long and interesting wiring career. Over the years I have wired recording studios, Industrial buildings and more computer networks than I can hope to count.

During the course of my tenure running JBL’s electronics production line I had the good fortune to oversee some assemblers who were NASA trained. Their level of workmanship was an order of magnitude better than all the rest and I learned a lot from them.

And then there is Motown Records. During my time at Motown as a Technical Engineer, I had the good fortune to work side-by-side with wiring women who were also NASA trained. I learned a lot about how to wire something well – and with lasting results. Anything that has to withstand 6-8 Gs needs to be pretty well assembled, right?

This particular patch bay wired in 1978, is famous in some circles for a certain characteristic only aficionados of Bug Rogers might understand.

Recording Studio patch bay. Richmond, California 1978

Recording Studio patch bay. Richmond, California 1978


























Following are a couple of Before and After images of some recent work we’ve done. Since October 2017 we’ve been remediating the damage caused by a direct lightning strike on a large facility in Dallas. There was NOT ONE SURGE PROTECTOR in the entire building. The only UPS (battery backup) was in the Telco rack and it was disconnected, with all the equipment plugged into a $2.98 outlet strip. Needless to say, a lot of equipment had to be replaced.  There was trash, wads of cable, sheetrock dust and debris of all kinds piled up in the mass of cables back in the corner between racks.  It was a mess.  No one had taken any interest in cleaning this up for YEARS.  There as a decommissioned Dell server and UPS sitting under the network rack.  A non-functional Cisco router was still plugged in and fastened to the wall.  A lightning damaged Netgear POE switch was still in the rack, powered up and had a cable from the Meraki firewall plugged into it.  This switch had been replaced by the UniFi POE switch you see in these photos – but it was still plugged in.  The rack shelf for the Meraki firewall was upside down.  People who do this for a living are supposed to know better.  So far I’ve found only one Cat5 cable that was incorrectly crimped, but I expect to find more.  It was actually wired WRONG.  This is not rocket science.  There is a standard.  And cable testers are cheap.

We have replaced dozens of outlet strips with Effective lightning protection. Make no mistake, there is a HUGE (YUGE?) difference between surge protection and lightning protection. Read my blog for recommendations.

Network rack before / after

Network rack before / after
















Telco Rack Before / After

Telco Rack Before / After













We still have a lot of work to do on the Telco rack. You’ll notice all the rack modules are canted down at the rear. This is because whoever installed them only put in two screws each instead of 4. They also installed the two screws at the top instead of the bottom, causing the front panels to bend under the weight. They also used the WRONG SCREWS, so all of the tapped threads are stripped and the wrong size now. AND… The rack is not fastened to the floor. It’s held in place by gravity and good fortune. Should someone accidentally back into this rack (with tens of thousands of dollars of equipment,) it would fall into the wall. We also need to replace a few far too long Cat5 cables to neaten up the wiring and remove a few non-functional modules. These are all matters that anyone competent would have handled long ago.

And someone was PAID to do this shoddy work. We are being contracted to get this all in order. Due to the stripped threads we cannot properly fasten the UPS at the bottom, so we are fabricating a support to hold it up in the rear.

So… If you want it done right, give us a call. We take pride in our work, show up when we promise and always make sure YOUR interests are first and foremost.  And we don’t use cheap cable testers.  We use the high end product that tells us how long the wire run is and the quality of the signal.  That way we actually KNOW what we are working with.

Name of author

Name: Wizard

Short Bio: The Computer Wizard (TCW). TCW was founded by Warren P. Harris in 1994 to service and repair computers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Relocating the business to Plano, Texas in 1999, TCW continued to flourish when an unfortunate loss of data for a wedding Mr. Harris photographed, caused him to research data recovery options. Realizing he would have to either pay someone to recover the photos or find out how to do it himself, the rest, as they say "is history". Approached by a friend who was a Private Investigator in 2006, Mr. Harris studied for his Investigator's license and began honing his skills in Computer Forensics. The company was renamed DFW Computer Integration in 2015.

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