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June 25th, 2008

Ethernet

Tonight's Field Day prep work was on Ethernet cables.
We're going to set up a local network of computers among the various radio stations at our site, and so we had to get the cables ready for use. During Field Day, we'll be keeping an electronic log of all our contacts. Using a network like this can help us immediately identify when we have contacted the same station more than once. It will also help us to keep an eye on the traffic at the different stations.

To get the cables ready, we started by stripping off the insulation at both ends in order to get to the four pairs of twisted strands inside. They were different colors: brown and white, orange and white, blue and white, and green and white. We had to unravel these pairs and then lay out the wires in a certain order. Once they were straight and aligned, we measured them against our phone jacks and trimmed the ends. Then we crimped the jacks onto the ends and prayed that the wires were correctly snagged by the jack. We tested each strand to make sure they matched up. We only ruined one out of eight - not bad for a night's work! And I even got free dumplings for the effort :)

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