Home Networking Advice


I've been scouring the net for what bits and pieces I can. But I want to verify my choices.

I want to wire my house with Gig E. I will install wall jacks in 6 rooms, each with 6 ports. 4 of the ports will be used as inputs. 1 will be a dedicated ethernet uplink and 1 will be a dedicated RJ-11. The purpose of the uplink and RJ-11 is so I can move my DSL into any room, plug from the phone jack to the RJ-11, and it'll in-turn wire into the DSL modem in the closet. The same for the ethernet uplink, so I can switch to cable/satellite broadband and just plug it into any uplink rather than running another wire throught the house.

Question 1: That said, in the "datacenter" closet I will install a 24-port Gig E switch. Each of the wall ports will lead into the closet. The cabling I should be using is solid wire I gather. Should it be plenum? or is UTP sufficient (standard residential). There is a significant price difference.

Question 2: The wires should terminate at a patch panel? From the patch panel to the switch using no more than 3ft./1m patch cable, standard twisted? Some places mention a punch-down board or something like that? Is it necessary? Is there any reason I can't just terminate the wall cables with standard cat6 connectors and directly plug into the switch and avoid the patch panel all-together?

I thought about running a single wire to the walls, then using the 3COM wall-mount 4-port switch with 2 uplinks. Look exactly like what I'd need. But it is limited to T 10/100 and won't do Gig E. Also, it is $179 each box. I'd need 6 of them. The price is too high so I'll do it the old fashioned way.

Question 3: Do I run the cables directly through the walls or should I run them through something like PVC? Do I use a plastic or a metal box that the wall plate bolts to?

I will installing a vent into the door of the close for ventilation and will also install a fan into the room to help keep it cool in there, can get hot in the summer days. I might, but not sure, extend my standar A/C to vent the closet. I plan to put my NAS boxes in there, I have a few multi-terabyte RAID NAS devices that I'd like to move out of my computer room.

Thanks, Shawn

Reply to
Shawn B.
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Not sure why you'd want to move the DSL, just have it installed in the same place as your switch, patch panel etc and patch the ethernet from it there. Also you can use a voice adaptor in an RJ45 socket and move it like that. Basically keep everything RJ45 - RJ45.

Depending on where you are going to install it and how it is contained and also what local regs apply to where you are. But solid core definitely.

Yes connect all to back of patch panel. You can use up to 5mtrs of patch cable. I would not suggest that you direct connect solid cat6 into an RJ45 plug, bit of a pain and also restricts you physically when you are moving services about. Keep the patch panel is my advice.

Answered yourself here, keep it simple!

In a house, I would run em through the walls if it is new build (walls not finished yet) or use PVC if the house is already finished. Just use a 44mm deep PVC wall mounted back box at the outlet end, you'll need this for the bend radius of the cat6.

The AC and vent sounds like a winner, especially if you've got that muck kit sitting in there.

Hope this helps.

Reply to

Shawn B. wrote in part:

I'm really not sure why you think you need all that wire! The std would be two runs to each room. One for voice, the other for data. At most three (voice, 100 and GigE) if you really need GigE on the comp in the same room as DSL.

Move DSL and SoHo router into any room, plug DSL into voice and router WAN. Plug uplink and comp into router LAN-side if 100 will do on that comp. If not, plug comp into GigE and router into 100. You couple probably make do with two runs by putting 100 on the unused pairs of voice (use splitter boxes).

This depends on local fire codes. For non-air duct runs in typical N.Am stick-built construction, UTP is more than sufficient. But some jurisdictions call for plenum anyways.

Crimping plugs is much more difficult than it looks. Punching down is easier than it looks. Yes, you can skip the patchpanel and patchcords at your peril. Even when properly done, solid crimped plugs are unreliable with movement.

It's low voltage so you can run any which way. Avoid staping. If you can, put in PVC conduit, especially as vertical chases and for hard-to-reach outlets.

Sounds like lots of actives. Add up your heatload. You will need AC unless you have large (or powered) transom vents and intakes. A room fan is unlikely to do much -- if properly installed, the box fans will keep the room air stirred up enough (contant temperature). It's not as if electronics sweat!

-- Robert

Reply to
Robert Redelmeier

Plan out how many access point locations you need for full-signal WiFi coverage and provision for power over ethernet at your wire center. A few WiFi pulls might save you a fortune in copper pulled to places where it will never be used.

Put APs at those locations only when you find you need network access in a particular part of the house. Radio is only going to get faster and faster and upgrading APs as-needed will be cheap.

With planning, APs can be hidden in closets and crawl spaces. PoE means you don't need to have a nearby power receptacle.

Reply to
Al Dykes

Yes there is. Your local codes will tell you whether you need plenum. Generally in our area, you do not need plenum in any residential.

Yes. Not necessarily, but it's hard to construct a scenario where you'd need longer than 3' patch cords. The punch-down board is on the back of the patch panel. Yes, the reason is you wanted Cat-6. There are barely Cat-5e plugs that you can "crimp" on a cable and doubtful that Cat-6 modular plugs exist for field termination.

Good thinking.

It depends. I can't see into your walls and attic/basement, and I don't have your local codes, so my advice would be worth every penny you paid for it. I wish I had done my construction with smurf (Carlon flexible) tubing to a common point so I could have run new Cat-5e cables to locations I never dreamed we'd need data. The home improvement store sells this stuff in, I think, 250 rolls (1/2 and 3/4 inch). My mounting box of choice for old work is the Caddy MPLS single gang box with screws

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It's forgiving in that you cut a hole and tighten up a band to grasp the drywall and your hole doesn't have to be exactly level because the plate can shift about an 1/8 of an inch either way. Here, low voltage doesn't have to be in a box, it can be in a plaster ring. In "old work" boxes, if it ain't level to start with, it ain't level :-).


Reply to
Carl Navarro

In regards to your heat load in the closet, I have done roughly the same thing, A couple of 1U servers, a couple of 4U servers, 4U UPS and a bunch of 4U SCSI storage racks. 24 port switch, DSL modem and associated equipment. Wife acceptance factor went thru the roof, with me being back to just a desktop in sight! Unfortunately, the resulting almost 10,000 BTU load was a little high for the space. I had on hand, a small blower, and associated pipe work to duct it out the roof with a line voltage thermostat mounted on the ceiling. This keeps it at ambient temp + 10F on the hot days. The total number of fans on this equipment is at least 15 "prime mover flow thru the boxes" to keep the equipment supplied with cooling air, and it will stay within reasonable range of manufactures specs for all equipment. You should watch the temp climb in an un-vented space that is tight, passive "gravity" cooling will be "iffy" the moment that you put some CPU power, or HDD dissipated heat in there. Drawing inlet air from the bottom, exhausting out the top has worked for me in an essentially non-conditioned space but it took exhausting the heat out of the room. YMMV.

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