Does having multiple RJ45 jacks degrade the Internet signal a lot?

This is my first time installing cat5 cable in my house and I am unsure how to connect to RJ45 jacks that I need to put in the wall.

I've installed a WISP antenna 75 feet from the house & will be routing the outdoor cat5 cable into the middle of the house (another 25 or so feet) - but I have a few 'design' questions I'd like to ask those more experienced than I am.

Pictured here is what I have in the wall in the middle of the house:

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I'm not sure if it's best to route the wire all the way from the antenna to the middle of the house (about 75 feet to the house and another 25 or

30 feet zig-zagging to the crawl space and then up to the newly drilled hole at the wall).

I'm going to put a wall plate at the wall in the middle of the house; but should I also put a wall plate where the wire enters the house?

Does breaking the line into sections degrade the signal?

If I do put a wall plate at the entrance to the house, I'll likely put the POE (power over ethernet) at the wall inside the house (otherwise it will go in the middle of the house next to the WRT54G router).

When I put a wall plate in the middle of the house, would you add a second female jack (just in case for future use?). Or does that also degrade the signal?

In summary, I'm not sure if I should strive to keep the line intact and how I should terminate it.

Any advice?

Reply to
Chuck Banshee
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I'm a bit confused here. It should be one device per line, so what are you paralleling?

I'd put the router someplace like a closet in the middle of the house and run wires to each room as needed. There are "structured" wiring bays if you want to get fancy, rather than have wires dangling in the closet.

Kind of old school here. I think today you would just wire data. Forget the RF unless you insist on cable.

I've only see these in rack mounts, i.e. office environments. Wall mounts is what would make more sense for a house.

I'd put in the highest speed wire and patch you can afford. Also, there are issues with how you radius the wire. I don't think this is rocket science, but you do need to be scientific about it.

Your AM radio may hear these wires sing, but streaming radios are the way to go. I haven't used a broadcast radio other than shortwave in 4 or

5 years.

There are shielded cables to reduce the EMI. Probably OK for a short distance. There are ground mismatch issues with shielded cables.

Cat 6 is commonplace. Cat 7 is out there, though I don't recall seeing it in stores. A twisted pair guru told me (and I have no way to verify this) that once a company can do cat X, eventually everything the sell is Cat X, even if it is labeled Cat (X-1). Once you have the twist (balance) down, you eventually make everything to that grade as machinery gets fixed.

Some of the cat 7 wire has teflon insulation. I'd certainly rest easier at night knowing the wires in the wall are good for high temperature.

Incidentally I have a very old Zircon stud finder. They called it the video sensor. It works well. But your magnet trick looks good to me.

This device even found a shallow buried pipe that some rancher gypsy installed.

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Your description is somewhat vague, but I can give you some general guidelines. Assuming you're running standard 802.11 ethernet, it makes some difference whether you're running 10Mb, 100Mb, or gigabit ethernet. Faster requires more care.

In general, you can have exactly one device at either end of the wire. You can have plugs and sockets in the wire, but only one device on either end....not in the the ends of the wire. You cannot tap a device into the middle of a wire. Devices have to be on the ENDs of the wires. Doesn't matter if the unused end of the wire is disconnected...the extra wire can't be there.

You can have two sockets and a jumper wire. Remove the jumper to use the connector in the middle of the run, but that disconnects the rest of your system.

If one of those devices is a router, you can use one router port to continue the run while you use another router port to "tap" the signal.

What do you mean by "terminate"? You don't "terminate" the line as in impedance matching. That's done inside the devices you connect to the END of the wire run. If, by "terminate" you mean, do I solder it or use screw terminals, that's a different issue. Should be instructions with the socket you use.

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Cat5 is designed for 100m reach, within an office environment.

standard setup is 10m total of "patch" leads at each end, with a fixed "home run" cable between them.

Exactly what you use over the Cat5 dictates how sensitive the sugnals are to pushing the boundaries - but Cat5 is designed to have some room for long term degradation.

Various setups may increase the number of RJ-45 connectors - a power over Ethernet power injector within a run for example.

yes - but exactly how much depends on the device - find some cabling instructions on how to do it properly, but in general maintain the "twists" in each pair as much as feasible.

I think the punchdown style connections are easiest to do, and allow the twists to within a few mm of the connector.

Golden rule is treat this as flood wiring - put more cables in parallel than you think you will ever need, since cable is cheap and running wires in is disruptive.

Dont add extra jack points on an individual run unless you need to.

PoE is designed to work at 100m, so it doesnt sound like placement will matter much.

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The short answer is yes, you should keep the segment in one piece if at all [possible. Each connection can degrade the signal.

If you want to split the cable where it enters the building best practice would be to install an active switch (if you are running ethernet) at the entrance - you can go 285 feet (some say 100 meters, but that's stretching it) on both sides of the switch, and up to 4 switches in "series"

Terminate with cat5 or cat5e spec RJ45 jacks or plugs. (plug on end of cable goung ito and out of switch, jack in wall)

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Cat 5 or 6 cannot be made on the same machinery as cat7 because cat7 uses individually shielded wires, twiisted together into a sheilded cable. REALLY nasty stuff to work with. And 3 standards - cat7, cat7a and cat7f.

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Best practice would be to use a POE switch at the entry point - it provides the POE and retransmits the data, breaking the network into 2 segments (both of which have the theoretical 75 or 100 meter length capability)

Reply to

All computer and Internet devices are wireless and the rest of the electronic technology is close behind, such as TVs. Centralize a wireless router and forego wiring the house.

Reply to
Justin Time

It would seem to me the best thing to do would be to run one line from the outside antenna direct to a central distribution point in the house. At that central point, you put the switch. Then any RJ45 jacks in the house are run to the central point.

But a lot depends on what it is he's intending to do, the various uses, how easy it is to run cable, etc. For at least some of the uses, wireless may be a better option, as someone already pointed out. No wire to run. Wired to the various rooms/uses is still going to provide more reliable connection and better data rate. But if the WISP connection is the limiting factor, having 1 gig ethernet inside the house doesn't get you much, unless you;re moving data between devices.

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The basic idea is to build a "star" (also known as home run). Everything comes to a central location, where you locate a 10/100baseT ethernet switch. You can add additional ethernet switches at any endpoint that needs more than one connection (forming a "tree").

Very vague. What manner of hardware are you installing? Most WISP system use PoE to the radio/antenna on the roof, and ethernet to some manner of power injector. From there, you run ethernet to a local router, and then to the central ethernet switch. The router might be built into your unspecified model WISP radio. Note that I said "switch", not "hub". You do not want a hub.

Hopefully, you didn't run 75ft of coaxial cable between the radio and the antenna. That's much too long. Cable losses at 2.4GHz are quite high.

My Zircon stud sensor sorta works. However, I cheat. I have photos of what's inside my walls from before the drywall and paneling was added.

While it's nice to have the outlet box attached to a stud, it's not necessary. There are rework PVC device boxes, that attach to the drywall.

RJ45 jacks do not cause loss. Un-connected jacks do not cause loss. Unterminated cables do not cause loss. The catch is that you have to install one cable for each RJ45 jack. Since CAT5e has 4 pairs of wires, and ethernet uses only 2 pairs, you can split the cable pairs and wire two jacks on the wall jacks, and attach two RJ45 plugs at the other end of the cable. However, if you're using PoE on this segment, you'll need all 4 pairs to the wall jack.

Since you're running CAT5 through the wall base plate, you'll need to drill a large enough hole to accommodate the number of cables you need. If you only want to run one cable, then perhaps adding an ethernet switch near the wall plate might be easier.

Hint: a "wire" is a single length of insulated copper. a "cable" is a collection of wires enclosed by a vinyl jacket.

Hopefully, this cable is CAT5e. It will need to run from the rooftop mast, to the nearest convenient location that has AC power (for PoE). That's usually also the location of the central ethernet switch.

No. Wall plates are NOT waterproof. You should use a proper cable entry. For rooftops, that's a "rams head". For wall entry, cable entry with a drip loop. There are some tricks involved (such as slightly angling the hole in the wall upward so accumulated water drips outward). Also, leave a service loop for anything that you install in the wall. Talk to a DBS satellite dish installer for clues.

Nope, as long as there is an ethernet switch between each segment. However, if you're talking about running multiple segments and just splicing them together, that also works. I suggest you terminate each end with an RJ45 plug, and use a coupler to make the connection. It's a bit more complex, but much easier to troubleshoot when the kids, puppy, or mice, chew up the cable.

Do NOT hide anything INSIDE the wall. One little spark or overheated power device, and you'll have a fire in an inaccessible location.

Yes. As long as the 2nd jack is on a separate CAT5e cable, there's no deterioration in the signal. The problem is that there's NEVER enough ethernet wall jacks. If you expect that you'll need one, then install two. If you think you'll need two, then install four. 6 jacks is about the limit. Extra cable is cheaper than the time to do it over again.

There are also ethernet switches that will fit in the wall, but you won't like the price:

I think you're over your head a little. Best to Google the internet for CAT5 and ethernet installation instructions and examples. Also, talk to a professional cable installer before you make a major mistake. The danger is that if you have a house fire, and the fire inspector finds non-code compliant creative wiring, you run the risk of having your insurance company declare that you were the cause of the fire.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

I do wireless now, but given my druthers, I'd do it up all wired and put a server/Drobo/whatever in that closet. New construction has structured wiring as an add-on.

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Is there any code for wire beneath 48V? I though the whole idea behind low voltage wiring is that it is code free. Otherwise you would need an electrician to wiring up a new phone outlet.

The trouble with networking experts is these are all the guys who were run out of the alarm business when ADT and others started their free installations. They became networking experts, home theater experts, etc. Not that I blame them for finding new jobs where they can be self employed, but quality is all over the map.

Don't get me wrong. Some of these networking guys are really sharp. I use a local guy for auto parts that is a CNI. Trouble is it is more profitable to sell parts on the net than compete with the rest of the networking firms. I have a friend that does networking strictly for commercial and municipal jobs, and survives pretty much by having a long list of jobs well done. Nobody in city hall wants to be the guy that hired the clown network company, and so they write the bids with enough legal mumbo jumbo that few first timers want to compete.

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OK. I was told that in the cat 5e era, with cat 6 coming online.

With electronics, sometimes items are truly different and sometimes they are tested and selected for grade. If the construction is different, they can't be the same obviously. If the components are selected for grade, then often they sell "A" grade on the "B" grade line just to fill orders. In the IC business, the procedure is known as "paint and remark".

Now if 7, 7a, and 7f use the same materials, then there is a chance at some point they are the same quality.

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I agree. Wireless should be used when other methods (CAT5 or fiber) are not available. The reliability and speed of the connection is well worth the effort running the wires or fiber. If speed is less of an issue than convenience, consider using HomePlug or HomePNA.

For new installations, I usually recommend running conduit in the walls from a central location (star topology). This is roughly the way structured wiring is done. Bundles of CAT5, fiber, station wire, alarm wire, intercom wire, thermocouple wire, and coax cable are available for those who fail to appreciate conduit. Actually, it's not the usual PVC electrical conduit but rather "smurf tube" or HDPE (high density polyethylene) pipe:

However, if you enjoy dealing with interference from the neighbors, municipal wi-fi, wireless security cameras, TIVO, wireless TV, microwave ovens, etc, wireless is for you.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Yep. It's called signaling or communications cable. Network wiring and telco are covered as NEC article 800.

The basic it is to keep the stuff away from power cables.

There's no such thing as code free. If the NFPA had its way, there would be specifications for the toilet paper.

Nope. Real cable experts are usually BICSI certified:

Note that BISCI also has a wireless designer certification:

I'm tempted. Only $345... ouch.

However, I agree about the quality. I only got the jobs that no sane and competent installer would accept. If I make a profit, I might actually document my work or label a few things.

Yep. However, the reason is different. The convoluted specs are usually to avoid legal complications and to cover the customers ass when the whole mess goes to litigation. I've been asked to carry oversight insurance, with the customer as the sole beneficiary, just in case they screwed up the job specifications. (Hint: I don't do much wiring these daze).

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

I often hear/read about those rebuttals to wireless, but after many years of using wireless, I have yet to have any major issues. In fact, I had several machines connected. Some were wired and some wireless. I had more problems with some of the wired than I did with wireless. It's not foolproof, but it doesn't have the major interference problems you and many have stated.

Reply to
Justin Time

Well, what can I say? My experience has been quite the opposite. I derive a fair part of my income from fixing wireless problems. Perhaps I just see more wireless horror stories than you. Dunno.

It's not just the interference problems, some of which I itemized above. There's also some rather strange wireless clients, buggy wireless router firmware, compatibility issues, and just plain bad design.

Here's an easy one, that I hear all to often. Customer has a wireless PC laptop. He uses the laptop successfully on the office WLAN. He slams the lid shut, putting the laptop into standby or hibernate. He goes home, opens the lid, and the laptop resumes. One problem... he can't connect. A bit of tinkering finds that the laptop still thinks he's on the office WLAN, and is desperately looking for the office wireless access point that's not there. If the IP address of the office router and home router are the same, it's even more confusing (ARP cache). The DHCP lease time hasn't expired yet, so the DHCP client isn't going to break the RFC and initiate a premature DHCP renewal. There are plenty of ways to fix this (IPCONFIG, reboot, turn power on/off to the wireless card in the laptop), but it will usually drive one into frustration mode the first time they see it. This doesn't happen with a wired LAN.

Plenty of other ways to have wireless drive one nuts. I get a call from a dentists office wondering if I could do something to make their assorted wireless laptops work better. I arrive and find the outside of the adjacent building festooned with wireless security cameras. As long as they are running, Wi-Fi isn't working. I leave it to the dentist to convince the neighbor to switch the cameras to wired.

Need more stories? Just ask.

However, you are correct that there are also plenty of wired issues. I've had to deal with a few wiring and connector issues on network hardware. Learning to crimp CAT5 into an RJ45 is fairly easy, but does take some practice. I see far too many partial crimps and creative wiring. Still, they're minor compared to the wireless problems.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Yep. That's the ONLY way to do ethernet over twisted pair. Bus topology is for 10base2 coax and POTS phones. Ring is for fiber or token ring.

Not really. Ring topology is used for fiber because it offers improved reliability. Break the ring at any point, and the data simply goes around the long way until the break is fixed. Two breaks just means a small section of the ring is inaccessible. The rest of the ring still works. It really makes more sense over a large distance, such as going around the entire SF Bay area, rather than just around the house.

The problem with home networks and fiber rings is that there just isn't any affordable hardware available to make it happen. It's also not really necessary at home, unless you have kids, puppies, or rats chewing on the cables and need improved uptime.

The reason I keep mentioning star topology is that many users are very familiar with the common POTS (plain old telephone service) bus type topology. Find the cable that's snaking through the walls, and just tap in with the phone instrument. That's convenient, but doesn't work with 10/100baseT ethernet. It DOES work with 10base2 coax cable ethernet, but that's limited to 10Mbits/sec half-duplex. I just wanted to make sure that the OP doesn't try to wire his house in the style of the POTS phone.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Cannot run ring topology ethernet except on Co-ax.. AKA Slo-ax

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You want to try the job I had last year. Moved an insurance agency into a new build ing that had been pre-wired by the original tennant - who went bankrupt - and the IT guys that had not been paid for the server etc came in and lopped off all the cables 2 feet from the ceiling. 78 cable runs - undocumented - and half wired to "A" spec and half to "B". I ended up putting a switch rack above the door to the former server room, terminating all those cables - then tracing them back to their end-points, testing them, and re-wiring all of them that ended up "crossed".

Then running "home runs" from the switch rack to the relocated server room.

Then we added another kilometer of cable into a trough in the floor to serve another 12 workstations.

Half of the cables for corporate network - the other half for VOIP phone system (with POE).

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