IT Disaster Of The Week (12-06-19)

Cabling Tim Sauer Dec 6, 2019

Today's photo caption: The tradition of wrapping gifts. 

Welcome back to Tech Service Today's IT Disaster of the Week series where we showcase the ugliest IT environment our technicians ran into this week. 

Wrapping gifts is a tradition that has been around a long time. The reason it's so popular is that most human beings love surprises - both giving and receiving them. And the team members at Tech Service Today (TST) are no different.

Our technicians are always eager to see what surprises await them when arriving at a customer site to troubleshoot network or system problems/failures. In fact, many of those surprises end up being the featured photos used in this IT Disaster of the Week blog series. (If you want to know how often we encounter these "surprises", consider that we started this weekly blog over two years ago, yet our library of disaster images continues to grow larger every day.)

This week's disaster is a bit more subtle than many of our photos. When our technician first climbed on the roof of this facility and opened this outdoor-rated enclosure, everything looked least on first glance. But as Admiral Hyman G. Rickover once said, “The Devil is in the details.”

Upon a more thorough investigation, we found a cable that was terminated improperly. 2019-12-06_TST-IT-Disaster-Of-The-Week_IM28G31CActually, not only was the cable jacket cut too far back from the Cat5e jack on which it was terminated, the jack itself is one made for indoor use and is not the best choice for use in a roof-top enclosure exposed to such harsh environmental conditions.

While the outdoor enclosure prevents moisture (rain) from entering the cable sheath, it can not prevent ambient humidity from causing corrosion to the RJ-45 side of the jack, nor entering the cable where the jacket was stripped back too far. And when copper cabling gets wet, its dielectric performance is changed, which affects impedance and the related parameters of attenuation and return loss. That can have a serious effect on the cabling's ability to support high bit-rate data applications like Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet. 

According to DMSI's Andy Schmeltzer, a seasoned-veteran of the structured cabling industry, "if there is any possibility of your low-voltage cabling getting exposed to water - whether direct moisture or ambient humidity - I always recommend using waterproof Cat5e jacks or couplers."

If this month brings you disasterous gifts like the kind we unwrap every day, remember this:

If the weather outside becomes frightful. . . your network can still run delightful.
But if it ever starts running wonky. . . call TST, call TST, call TST.



Check back every Friday for TST's latest IT Disaster of the Week photo

which represents one of the thousands of customer sites our technicians visit every year as they install and service IT, networking, and telecom equipment & cabling for our clients. (You can also enter your email address in the Subscribe box to the right and we'll send you an email every time a new IT Disaster photo gets posted.)

Click here to see last week's IT Disaster photo.


Do you already have an IT disaster that needs to be cleaned up?

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to install a network. But to ensure that your equipment, racks and cabling are installed properly in an organized, efficient fashion, it does require the talents of a skilled IT technician. If you need help installing or cleaning up your network, contact Tech Service Today to have a skilled, seasoned Technician dispatched to your site.

Contact Us!

At Tech Service Today, We SIMPLIFY IT, SERVICE IT, and SOLVE IT.
Call TST when you need on-site technical services anywhere in North America, even same-day when time is of the essence.

Call (800) 973-2022 (option 1), or Email us at

Topics: Cabling, Beauty Stores, Eye Care, IT Services, POS, Network Systems, Restaurant Industry, Telecom, Information Technology, IT, IT Rollouts, WiFi, IT Executives, CIO, IT Infrastructure, Banking, National IT Rollouts, IT Field Technician, cable installers, cabling installation, Rollouts, Retail, On-Site IT Services