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#108345 04/23/04 06:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
iwire Offline OP
I got a call to one of our regular customers, a large super market chain.

It seems a printer in the mangers office was not working, they had their IT subcontractor in to look at it and the IT people said it was a bad cable.

That is our job, run the cables from patch panel to outlet.

Here is 'The Data Center'

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

I would like to say this is unusual but I have been to maybe 70 of the stores and most are like this or worse.

The Company I work for has nothing to do with the work between the patch panels and the piles of equipment you see.

We are also never allowed to pull out old cabling as they "might want to use it again"


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
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Ha! I have seen neater piles of scrap wire.
This reminds me of countless service calls for powered office furniture systems where the furniture folks have said " Oh no power to the cubes? Well the power must be off." It never is and is always a lose connection in the modular wiring system. It's just gotta be the electricians fault, right? [Linked Image]

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,438
That almost looks like one of the bins atthe recycling yard I went to the other day! what a mess! [Linked Image]


Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,289
This isn't an extraordinarily bad "IT Special" patch cord job.
Seems like if it starts in the right jack, and ends in the right jack, many IT guys don't much care what is in between.

What really gets me, though, is to go into a room like this one to add something, and be told that I can't use any surface mounted conduit or boxes because it "doesn't look good". The IT guy wants a cut-in box with a stainless plate, and seems like about 1/2 the time, they want it cut into a fire rated wall. [Linked Image]

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
iwire Offline OP
What really gets me is they still build the stores like this!

Buy some racks already!

If you look you can see the carpenters build a Formica "Wire Management Dam" to keep the wires from flowing out onto the floor. [Linked Image]

If you look at the large IBM machine you can see the "Wire Management Dam" has been folded down permanently.

This equipment handles the registers, deli scales, inventory, payroll etc.

In my mind that would mean it should get a little more consideration.

When the printer went down one of the mangers called the help desk they told her to go into this mess find the box marked Catalyst and cable such and such and move it to another spot.

I work in this mess and it will take me a while to find a cable in the pile, they think a untrained person is going to find it. [Linked Image]


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 368
Looks like there is some IBM token ring mux units hung from under the center of the first picture. Its too bad that your client will not let you remove that to reduce the clutter. I can almost guarantee they won't be installing cash registers using that wiring system.

Probably at the bottom of this mess is some coax or twinax cable from the first generation of IBM cash registers depending on how old the store is.

On the plus side if your being paid by the hour to sift through this mess, its better than working in a hot attic.

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 886
This is a perfect example of why I have no love for IT types. Doesn't matter how neat and organized you make it for them, after they get done this is what it always looks like.

Unfortunately they don't teach neatness in those Microsoft certification courses. These guys need to learn how to get their hands dirty. Lose the white shirt and tie and carry more than that little tool case!


Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 394
Some pictures make you want to scream out loud.
The amazing thing is the whole facility relies on those rooms working perfectly. That room dies and they can't sell a thing, they probably can't even turn the lights on or off because the energy management computer is there too. Suits who stumble by these quickly close the door and just "don't want to know". I've been on both sides of the fence and I still cringe at the work some of my network compadres do. I've been known to stand at a patch panel for an hour trying to make it so you could service it if needed.

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
iwire Offline OP
I can see you all see the same things I do. [Linked Image]

Looks like there is some IBM token ring mux units hung from under the center of the first picture.

We where still installing these about 3 years ago, often the plans for a new store would have nothing removed but new stuff added.

So we had been pulling cat 5 right beside the IBM stuff.

Then the IT guys would show up and ask what the IBM stuff was for. [Linked Image]

Even once all the cash registers and deli scales switched to cat 5, one customer deli kiosk (a place to pre order you deli stuff) used the IBM cable.

Now they are doing a lot of wireless equipment.

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
LK Offline
If one of those stores have a fire, in that room, there is a good chance that someone working that fire could become tangled, and trapped in that mess, I guess they don't get fire inspections where they are.

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