When wires get crossed…

Recently I ran into a little problem of a cat5e cable passing a cable test but, failing to work properly. Granted, this tester was just a basic one and did not have any advanced functions. However, I knew the ends were good because I had put them on myself about a year before as that was the problem the last time this particular cable failed. Plus, the cable passed the test so it had to be something else causing it to suddenly stop working for random amounts of time. Just when I was about to chalk it all up to a motherboard issue, I switched computers and the same problem occurred. I then knew it was definitely the cable but, had no way to prove it. In the end, I came to the conclusion that this particular cable was suffering from crosstalk due to being flattened by people walking on a floor that was placed over it. (Although, I do not have the right equipment to confirm my theory therefore, we will never truly know.)

So, next time you’ve racked your brain against the wall for days on end on what could cause all your headaches and you have a similar situation, take a moment to think about if crosstalk could be your answer. It’s something I never thought of, even though I should have. In fact, another helpful IT pro tipped me off that it might be crosstalk.

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