Getting connectivity between tables 4 and 5 in the middle would require a different solution. The side view drawing below shows that the tables would be about 3 feet apart, and a cord protector would span the distance on the floor where both power and data cables would travel. Again, the back table would be tied in to the middle lab station. This is not a heavily trafficked area.
Below is an attempted perspective drawing, standing at the front of the room looking towards the back not showing any of the classroom computer embedded tables, just showing the lab islands in the back. In the upper left-hand corner you can see the classroom switch and the network cables coming from the right hand triple tables. The idea is to use Plenum data cables so that they could be above the hanging ceiling panels.
You can also see the network cables coming from the middle island and the far left island. Cord protectors would be on the floor, spanning the short distance between the lab islands and moving on to the wall. Upon reaching the wall the cables would travel up to the switch (this is not shown in the drawing).
Cody came up with an interesting solution where we wouldn't have to run so many network cables to the switch. As seen in the drawing below there would be an 8 port switch hidden in each one of lab islands. The gigabit port would then be connected to the built-in wiring in the lab island which would connect to the main switch in the building tech closet. The building wiring is Category 5e, unofficially rated up to gigabit speed. I'm not sure how well this would work in a thin client environment however, but I'll find out.
A few points remain to be investigated:
- Can we have the built-in "power strips" inspected instead of buying and installing after market power strips?
- If this were so, then we would simply cut down the length of the power cord and still be able to use the nicer built-in solution.
- Is it true that the length of cord on a power strip can not exceed 25 feet?
I can't help but wonder if instead of using orange power cords for our power strips we had instead used white ones, would the fire marshal have been so upset and instead worked with us to find a solution?
Finally, big thanks to Fred, Cody and of course Christen for their help in taking down all of the previous wiring that Fred had so beautifully installed. Thanks too, to Judy the school secretary and the building engineer Ramon who helped in getting us the 8 foot ladder without which, of course, nothing would've gotten done!