I am currently setting up the network in my new apartment and due to reading a couple of misleading articles, I ended up buying cat6a shielded cable (U/FTP) instead of unshielded because I thought it was going to be the "better" solution.
I now know the shielded cable is unnecessary for my environment but other than the fact I've spent extra money, I figured it wouldn't be a problem and just accept blaming myself for this mistake.
I have started the installation process but I have now hit some areas regarding grounding that I am not sure about so I'm hoping someone is able to advise me so that I can correctly install it.
So far I have:
- Pulled the cables through the ceiling (they probably come in close contact with some electrical cables in the ceiling void but I don't think that's enough to warrant the shielding). This took a long time and a lot of effort so re-doing this with unshielded cable would very much be a last resort.
- Attached the shielded keystone jacks to the ends of the cables that are going to be put into the faceplates
- Terminated the other ends of the cables in the shielded patch panel
The following are the areas I am not sure about.
Grounding the Keystone Jacks
I have terminated the cables in the keystone jacks based on the instructions included with them and some YouTube videos, etc.
Is my understanding correct that what makes this end of the cable "grounded" is the drain wire being in contact with the metal jack (as per the instructions)?
Or is there more that needs to be done on this end to ground it?
Grounding the Cables in the Patch Panel
I have terminated the cables in the patch panel by following the instructions included with it.
However, the patch panel contains an earth cable on the back that clearly should be attached to something.
What should I be connecting this to? Should it attach to the server cabinet but if so, how do I ground the server cabinet?
Grounding via the Switch?
Instead of using the earth cable on the patch panel, I saw somewhere that mentioned about using at least one shielded cable between the patch panel and my switch (UniFi managed 16-port PoE+ gigabit switch) and that will ground everything because the switch itself is grounded via its power cable -
is this a possible solution for grounding this end?
Both Ends of the Cable Grounded or Just One?
On a bit of a side note, there seems a lot of conflicting ideas about whether both ends of each cable should be grounded.
It seems that grounding both ends is considered the "correct" solution, however, there are concerns that there could be issues of a ground loop so at times, only grounding one end is recommended.
My network is all contained within one apartment that is all wired to a single consumer unit so I don't think creating a ground loop is a concern - is this correct?
Safety if Not Fully Grounded?
I imagine there are safety risks if I don't get everything fully grounded but how much of a risk is there?
Risks to Equipment if Not Fully Grounded?
If I am unable to get everything grounded, will there be a risk to any equipment that is connected to the network?
Performance Issues if Not Grounded?
If I am unable to get everything grounded, will the performance of the cable/network be impacted at all or will it be the same as just using unshielded cat6a cables?
Some other information that might be useful.
Other than the hardware I have already mentioned/linked to, the following are going to be added into my network (I have already bought them, I just haven't set them up):
- LMS 9u server cabinet
- UniFi Dream Machine Pro gateway
- UniFi FlexHD access point
The following are other considerations that might have an impact on the approach I need to take as far as grounding is concerned.
- I am based in the UK
- My apartment is in a high-rise building
The following are similar questions but I didn't feel their answers fully addressed my questions:
Hopefully someone has some advice that will allow me to complete the installation.