A new correspondence course from Iowa State University and ELECTRICAL
CONTRACTOR magazine allows you to learn data communications at home, at your
own pace, and for a very reasonable price. It covers structured cabling,
Category 5 cabling, the new Level 6 and 7 cabling, digital telephony, the
Internet, and even the installation of optical fiber.
If you need to get trained in data communication, this may be the
opportunity you are looking for. Provided by a leading trade magazine and a
top University, the certification that comes with this course carries a lot
Here is what the course covers:
Lesson 1 The Basics Of Data Communications. Intro to the course. An easy-to-
understand tutorial in how and why data signals are sent from one place to
another. Signal quality versus signal strength. Digital versus analog.
Digital signal failure. Basic communication network structures.
Lesson 2 Types of Data Networks (Category 5, 6, 7). Why we need networks,
and how they are built. The fundamental concerns in network "architecture".
Common types of data networks. Ethernet, EIA/TIA 568, Structured Cabling,
Lesson 3 Designing Data Networks (Category 5, 6, 7). Network components.
Understandable explanations of servers, bridges, routers, multiplexers. LAN
equipment, WAN equipment. Sample network diagrams, etc.
Lesson 4 Data Cables & Hardware (Category 5, 6, 7). Characteristics and
applications of Category 5, Category 6, Category 7, and fiber cables.
Termination devices, outlets, patch panels, splicing trays, etc.
Lesson 5 Installation of Data Cabling (Category 5, 6, 7). Installation
mechanics, pulling tensions, twist patterns, layout and working drawings,
as-builts, cable marking, cable management. Cable protection, crowded and
hazardous environments, separation from other systems, etc.
Lesson 6 Testing Data Cabling (Category 5, 6, 7). Understandable
explanations of data testing, including, continuity, pair-reversal, NEXT,
ACR, skew, and power-sum tests. Test documentation. Certification of drops.
Customer or municipal inspection.
Lesson 7 Outside Plant Installations. Outdoor cables. Network distance
limitations. Inside/outside transition techniques. Surge and lightning
protection. Aerial runs. Underground runs. The use of fiber for long runs.
Cable splicing and tagging.
Lesson 8 Hybrid Copper/Fiber Networks. The use of fiber backbones and copper
for the last 100 meters. Campus hybrid networks. Fiber/copper transitions.
Sample network structures. Vertical versus horizontal backbones. Problem
Lesson 9 Data Transmission over Telephone Lines. Telephone system network
structure. Switched versus routed networks. The limitations of old-style
phone wires. Modems. Applications of data-over-phone technology. Future
developments. The effects of the internet on new telephone installations.
Lesson 10 ISDN & T1 Digital Phone Lines. Explanation of what digital phone
lines are, how they differ from standard (analog) lines, how the phone
companies handle digital lines, etc. Installation and operation of ISDN, T1,
ADSL, other digital circuits.
Lesson 11 The Internet & Intranets. What the internet is, how it developed,
how it works. TCP/IP protocols. Limitations and capabilities. Using the net
to turn LANs into WANs - or "intranets". Dealing with ISPs to set up
intranets. Internet-to-LAN transitions.
Lesson 12 The Datacom Business. How the data communications business differs
from electrical construction. Estimating, bidding, RFPs, negotiating,
training, certification, oversight, project management, purchasing,
obtaining trained workers.
Registration For The ISU/EC DATA COMMUNICATION INSTALLATIONS Course:
City ________________State _______________Zip _________________
Phone _______________________________ Fax_______________________________
The registration fee of $375.00 will be handled as follows:
___ Enclosed is a check payable to Iowa State University
___ VISA ___ MasterCard ___ Discover Exp. Date__________
Mail or fax this completed form and registration fee to:
Iowa State University
102 Scheman Building
Ames, Iowa 50011 Fax: (515)294-6223
Is this a college course? Yes it is. The course is a joint venture of
Electrical Contractor magazine and Iowa State University (College of
Engineering, Dept. of Continuing Education). Electrical Contractor magazine
is covering the course in a twelve-part series of articles.
How Does The Course Work? This course is conducted completely by
correspondence. You will get all of your lessons by US mail, along with the
textbook and exercises, about two weeks after you register. (The cost of the
textbook is included in the course fee.) After you complete your lessons,
send them back to the instructor. He will grade your papers and send you the
How Long Does It Take? There are twelve lessons in the course, and most
students spend between two and six hours on each lesson. However, how
quickly you complete the course depends on you.
Do I Get Some Type Of Credit? When you complete the course, you will receive
a certificate of completion from Iowa State University, along with 6
Continuing Education Units (CEUs). All segments of the course must be
completed to gain the CEU credit for the series; partial credit will not be
awarded. The credits will be permanently recorded by the Department of
Extended and Continuing Education. Each person who earns credit will receive
a certificate of completion from Iowa State University.
Is There Any Time Limit? Yes, all course work must be completed by April 1,
Are There Prerequisites? There are no prerequisites for this course,
although a general understanding of electricity is assumed.
Can I get more information?
Sure. For registration questions call Carole Seifert at 515/294-6229. For
course content questions call Paul Rosenberg at 312/409-2992.