Newbie here, home networking question

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Old 03-26-13, 10:57 PM
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Newbie here, home networking question

First post here, hope it comes across okay.

Our new home was wired, most rooms have a coax and a Cat5 in them. We have three TIVOs currently being operated through a wireless router, I would like to switch to a wired system using the cables in the house.

Right now the Cable company modem and wireless router is in the Den, which is fine with me but I would be okay with moving them to the Utility Room cable box. I just don't know. Here is a pic of that box and a diagram that sets out my connections.

Looking for a good way to get wired! Thanks, puttster



 
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Old 03-27-13, 05:14 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

It looks like the CATV is already wired properly: The feed comes in, hits a 2-way splitter. One side of that splitter goes to the modem; the other goes to the 3-way splitter for the TVs. At one point a 4th TV drop was added and is not connected. If necessary you could swap the 3-way splitter for a 4-way and connect all four.

I would put a face plate on that 120VAC receptacle to prevent anything from falling in and shorting.

The block of Cat 5's is telephone. Although you could use the same cables for both telephone and data it would be better if you could pull new from each room to the box in the utility room.
 
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Old 03-27-13, 09:45 AM
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I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it'll probably be difficult to run new Cat5 here unless there is unfinished basement and attic access. Whoever prewired did not plan ahead or was too cheap to run a second Cat5.

There is nothing wrong with running ethernet and phone on the same cat5 except that it precludes gigabit (that cable actually looks kind of thick, so it may even be Cat6). It just needs to be terminated properly.

Basically you are going to need what's called a patch panel. If you are OK with wiring coming out of that box to be connected, then you can use an industry standard one like this..



Otherwise you will have to buy one designed for a structured wiring box (we datacom guys hate those things, I personally never use them when prewiring), and they are actually very expensive.

You will also need a special tool called a punch-down tool ($15-20) to make the connections

I showed you this 24 port panel for one important reason: It has two rows of jacks. The 16 port panels have all the jacks in a straight line. Because you will be splitting the wires out of each cable to two separate jacks, and each group of jacks will serve a different and incompatible purpose, it is important to make them easily identifiable. Plus it gives you some room to expand later if you want.

Also, what kind of jacks are in each room? Are they standard phone plates



or do they have a removable insert (called a Keystone)?

 
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Old 03-27-13, 10:26 AM
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Thanks for the interest. Most of the jacks are the flat kind, with insides like this:



However in two cases there is a dual plate, a cable and a jack. In the den is a cable with a flat jack, in the living room is a plate with a cable and a Keystone. I saw a video on how to punch down a keystone and am pretty sure I can do it if necessary.

I like your explanation for using the double row patch panel! I guess how it actually would be used/connected/substituted/plugged in/attached, if necessary, will be in an upcoming post?

putts
 
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Old 03-27-13, 12:29 PM
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If you can identify the brand of that enclosure, they may have a replacement module to pull that phone party-line block out and replace it with individual ports. An off-the-shelf 110-style block with 12 jacks would work, but if the manufacturer has a pre-existing part it would be easiest. You'll need a 110-style punch tool as well, and you need to replace the receptacles with Cat5 or Cat5e keystones and single-position faceplates.
 
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Old 03-27-13, 02:33 PM
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My enclosure is a On-Q Legrand 14" enclosure. I looked it up and all I could find along those lines was a 4-jack switch on a bracket.

On-Q Product - 4-Port Router/Switch Module (364772-02-V1)

I'm thinking I might need more than four jacks (although that is all the ports my router has), for expansion. Besides, I will still need wireless the house for I-pads and such.

Maybe I will have to build a little shelf or a pegboard next to the utility box to hold the equipment?

putts
 
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Old 03-27-13, 02:41 PM
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It's a standard structured wiring box. The pattern of round and square holes are standard. They do have patch panels designed to go inside, but they are like 4-5x the cost of a regular patch panel. It's pretty stupid to pay that much when a standard panel will work. Not only that but I don't think they have 24 port ones that go inside.. Meaning he'd have to spend more money on plug-in pair splitters.



Puttster - yeah I was waiting to see what you had in the rooms and what your opinion of having the patch panel mounted to the wall outside the box was before I went into detail on how to wire it..

Basically all you have to do is take the cable from each room, strip the outer jacket, and connect it to the jacks on the patch panel.. Say you designate the top row for network and the bottom row for phone.. You would connect the orange and green pair to the orange and green terminals (marked A or 568A) on the top jack, and the blue pair to the blue terminals on the bottom jack. The brown pair would only be necessary if you have a second phone line. If you want to connect it, connect it to the orange terminals marked A on the bottom jack.



This pic shows a single row of jacks, but it's got a good pic of the terminals which is why I used it.. You would connect the orange and green pairs to the orange and green 568A terminals on jack 1, and the blue pair to the blue terminals on jack 2 (on the 2 row 24 port panel they would be jack 1 and 13)..

Repeat this for the cable coming from each room. If you have phone service from the phone company (as opposed to VoIP service like Vonage), one of the cables should be the feeder from the box on the side of the house. On that mini-block it is supposed to be the top terminals, but it looks to be labeled Kitchen, so I don't know which one it actually is. Find out and connect it to its own jack on the bottom row of the patch panel..



The top jacks will connect via Cat5 patch cords to your router. If you decide you want more rooms connected than you have ports for on the router, you can use a switch (basically an ethernet splitter)..



The bottom jacks will connect to phone line splitters..



You will need two of these (or one if you can live with only 5 phones connected - they just don't come larger than 5 port) and some short telephone cords. A standard phone cord will actually fit into an RJ45 (Cat5) jack, and it will work reliably if it is not subjected to abuse. Some techs don't like doing it that way.. I've never had an issue. If you don't want to do it, there are RJ45 to phone adapter cords that you can order. But basically connect the tail of the splitter(s) to the feed jack on the patch panel, then use short cords to connect whichever rooms you want phone in.



Now in each room, you will split the pairs up the same way, connecting the orange and green pairs to the orange and green terminals marked A on a Cat5e keystone, and the blue pair to the blue terminals on a phone jack keystone. For the plates that have coax, they make keystones for that too. Just use a 2, 3, or 4 hole plate depending on howmany keystones you have in a given room.

That should be about it.. Let me know if you need clarification on anything..
 
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Old 03-27-13, 03:38 PM
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I am almost getting it! In the utility closet, I am going to have to detach all the wires in my box and punch them down on the patch panel, the phone wires on A, the internet wires on B. On the incoming phone line, only punch down to A. Then install the router nearby and run four patch cords from there to the B jacks. Finally plug the phone splitter into the incoming phone line jack and plug its four patch cords into four phone jacks on the patch panel.

The utility box has two incoming Cat5, don't know which one is "live." I don't have a 2nd phone line or DSL, though conceivably I would get the latter at some future date. Yes,"kitchen" is on top.

Now, down in the rooms... Let me ask this. Right now in the den, the CATV/internet cable plugs into the modem and the modem plugs into the router using a CAT5 cord. Then two CAT5s run from the router to the PC and the TIVO. So the CAT5s are carrying both cable TV and internet simultaneously. With the design you describe, the CAT5 to each room will all be carrying TV, internet and phone? So the challenge there is to find connectors that will enable a person to use any or all of those three functions.
 

Last edited by puttster; 03-27-13 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 03-27-13, 11:03 PM
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Almost right..

When I refer to 568A, I am referring to the color code on the jacks and patch panel. There are actually two different 'standard' ways to wire jacks: T568A and T568B. If you look at the pic of the back of the patch panel, you will see that the two color codes are the same except for the green and orange terminals are reversed. It technically doesn't matter which one you use, as long as you are consistent. If you follow 568A at the patch panel and 568B at the jack, the network will not work. So either wire them all to A code or all to B code.. The "industry" standard now is A, so that's what I tell people to use when installing new networks. If you are adding on to existing network, you use the same as what's already there.

The top row of jacks on the patch panel will be numbered 1-12, and the bottom row will be numbered 13-24. So jack 1 (top row left) would be Kitchen Network, jack 13 (bottom row left) would be Kitchen phone. Jack 2 (top row, second from left) would be Master Bedroom Network, jack 14 (bottom row, second from left) would be Master Bedroom Phone. And so on. You could really use any patch panel, but it is easier to identify phone vs network with the two row.


As far as the existing setup, your cable, network, and phone are three separate services. The Tivo is not getting the TV signal from the Cat5, it just uses the Cat5 to communicate with the other Tivo units in the house (the router acts as a 'bridge' between the wired Tivo and the wireless ones) and also to the Tivo servers to validate your subscription. The only thing that will be running over the blue Cat5 in the walls is the network and phone. The TV still comes in over the coax, to your cable box, and then to the Tivo (if you have new generation HD Tivo units that use CableCards, the coax would go right to the Tivo).

The way it is set up now, your cable modem is fed off the 2 way splitter, and the three TVs are fed off the 3 way splitter. This is how it should remain. So when you move the cable modem and router to the utility room, you will disconnect the coax from the output of the 2-way and connect the modem directly to the splitter.

It just occurred to me that you have both the Tivo and the PC in the den - and you can only do one device per ethernet connection.. So in the den - and any other room that you may want to connect more than one device (say like an Xbox, a streaming video box, a PC in a bedroom, etc) you would simply connect a network switch.. As I said it's like a splitter for the network, and you can use them anywhere you need.
 
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Old 03-27-13, 11:30 PM
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If you're feeling adventurous, and if the devices are not Gigabit in speed, you could split the cable, using orange/green at each end for jacks, and blue/brown at each end for another set of jacks. This is a total hack and is not recommended for normal applications, but can be used in a pinch. But, it's only good for 10BaseT or 100BaseTX, which only signal over two pairs, the pairs on the second pair and third pair, respectively.

To clarify, the center two pins on a registered jack, regardless of its size, are the first pair. They are also blue and white-blue. Second pair is split on to either side of the center pair. In T568A those are white-orange and orange. On a three-pair setup, the next pair would also be split, but on a four-pair setup, the third pair is on one side (white-green and green) and the fourth pair is on the other side (white-brown and brown).

Wikipedia has a good article on Registered Jacks.

Normally when I see a split cable like I described, on the second set of jacks the blue replaces the green and the brown replaces the orange.

Splitting a cable fails with 1000BaseT because Gigabit Ethernet puts those extra two pairs into service. I suspect that the original standard using only two pairs for Ethernet was to allow backward compatibility with existing phone system wiring, as one could run one's phone on the center pair (blue) and could run Ethernet on the other two pair, and had a pair in case some wiring got partially damaged or if one needed a second phone line. Since I've never really seen implementations like that in the fifteen years that I've been in this line of work, I suspect that it wasn't widely used like that and engineers figured they could just use the wires instead.
 
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Old 03-28-13, 09:50 AM
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Jersey you are right about the cable. In my den cable there was a splitter under the bookshelves with one end going to the Tivo, one going to the modem. So here is my proposed layout for the patch panel. The router patch cords jack into one row, the tele splitter patch cord (RJ45?) jacks go into the other row.

On the flip side the Cat5s from the rooms and the outside telephone get punched down. Looking at my existing room outlet, the blue and orange pairs are going to the telephone so when I bring the cable from that room up to the patch panel I should punch blue and orange into the phone side, lined up side by side (using the T568B colors?). Then the green and brown go into the network side, lined up with their T568B colors.

Twx, I will adopt your plan to use one Cat5 for separate phone and network plugs in the individual rooms. By the time I need Gigabit, land lines may not even exist. So should I use a RJ11 and a RJ45 keystone for each plate? Or even those two plus the CATV cable all in one plate? What is the recommendation? Either way I am punching 4 wires where 8 should go, and should follow the color map for T586B on the connector.

OR, should I be looking at the plugs on telephone and data cords I am using and let that determine whether I should use T586A or T586b?

 
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Old 03-28-13, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by T-W-X View Post
If you're feeling adventurous, and if the devices are not Gigabit in speed, you could split the cable, using orange/green at each end for jacks, and blue/brown at each end for another set of jacks. This is a total hack and is not recommended for normal applications, but can be used in a pinch. But, it's only good for 10BaseT or 100BaseTX, which only signal over two pairs, the pairs on the second pair and third pair, respectively.

To clarify, the center two pins on a registered jack, regardless of its size, are the first pair. They are also blue and white-blue. Second pair is split on to either side of the center pair. In T568A those are white-orange and orange. On a three-pair setup, the next pair would also be split, but on a four-pair setup, the third pair is on one side (white-green and green) and the fourth pair is on the other side (white-brown and brown).

Wikipedia has a good article on Registered Jacks.

Normally when I see a split cable like I described, on the second set of jacks the blue replaces the green and the brown replaces the orange.

Splitting a cable fails with 1000BaseT because Gigabit Ethernet puts those extra two pairs into service. I suspect that the original standard using only two pairs for Ethernet was to allow backward compatibility with existing phone system wiring, as one could run one's phone on the center pair (blue) and could run Ethernet on the other two pair, and had a pair in case some wiring got partially damaged or if one needed a second phone line. Since I've never really seen implementations like that in the fifteen years that I've been in this line of work, I suspect that it wasn't widely used like that and engineers figured they could just use the wires instead.


Is that not what I just explained to him how to do? He only has one cable to each room and he needs phone and network. I just went over how to split each cable into phone and network at each end. Now you have him confused.

And while I agree it is not common, I do run into it every once in a while - normally in residential situations like this where there is inadequate cabling (more fuel for the "electricians should not be allowed to run datacom cabling" fight) and a service needed to be retrofit, and yes I have also done it.. But only in situations where a new cable just can not be run (like a second floor bedroom with finished rooms above and below).. I have yet to come across it in commercial though.
 
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Old 03-28-13, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by puttster View Post
Jersey you are right about the cable. In my den cable there was a splitter under the bookshelves with one end going to the Tivo, one going to the modem. So here is my proposed layout for the patch panel. The router patch cords jack into one row, the tele splitter patch cord (RJ45?) jacks go into the other row.

On the flip side the Cat5s from the rooms and the outside telephone get punched down. Looking at my existing room outlet, the blue and orange pairs are going to the telephone so when I bring the cable from that room up to the patch panel I should punch blue and orange into the phone side, lined up side by side (using the T568B colors?). Then the green and brown go into the network side, lined up with their T568B colors.
No. Just forget what TWX said. You use the T568A colors on ALL jacks. Since you do not have existing jacks wired to the T568B spec, there is no reason to do the new ones that way.

At the patch panel, ALL of your network jacks (top row) get the ORANGE AND GREEN pairs from each cable, punched into the ORANGE AND GREEN T568A terminals

At the patch panel, ALL of your phone jacks (bottom row) get the BLUE pairs from each cable, punched into the BLUE T568A terminals.

For simplicity's sake, just leave the brown pair disconnected - just wrap it back around the cable jacket

At each room jack, it is the same way - the network jack gets the ORANGE AND GREEN pairs on the ORANGE AND GREEN T568A terminals, and the phone jack gets the BLUE pair on the BLUE terminals.

Twx, I will adopt your plan to use one Cat5 for separate phone and network plugs in the individual rooms. By the time I need Gigabit, land lines may not even exist.
This is exactly what you were already doing. I don't know why he decided to interject and confuse you.


So should I use a RJ11 and a RJ45 keystone for each plate? Or even those two plus the CATV cable all in one plate? What is the recommendation?
Exactly. That's the beauty of the Keystone system - you can create a plate that has exactly what you need on it to fit the installation.

Either way I am punching 4 wires where 8 should go, and should follow the color map for T586B on the connector.
Yes on the RJ45 you will only have 4 wires. On the RJ11 you will have 2 (unless you want to hook up the brown pair for future use of a second line). No, you will use T568A.

OR, should I be looking at the plugs on telephone and data cords I am using and let that determine whether I should use T586A or T586b?
No, any patch cord will work regardless of its configuration as long as the in-wall wiring is ALL punched to the SAME configuration. The industry standard is now A, so use A.
 

Last edited by JerseyMatt; 03-28-13 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 03-28-13, 10:45 AM
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Here. This is what you are going to have at the room ends.. The patch panel will be set up the same way.

Oh, and if you end up needing extra 'stripped' cable length to reach both jacks on the patch panel, the length needs to be on the blue pair. Keep the stripped orange and green as short as possible (even shorter than what I have shown).

Also, I left the wire tails simply so you could see what goes where.. If you are buying a punch tool, it should cut the excess for you when it snaps. If it's a really cheap one though, you will have to cut them manually.




 
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Old 03-29-13, 07:51 AM
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Great pics, thanks for taking the effort. Currently the phone jacks use blue and orange. Most of those jacks don't need to be rewired as there is no network need there. If I can avoid unpunching and repunching the orange in those, I would prefer going that route.
 
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Old 03-29-13, 04:48 PM
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Now I've been thinking, always a tricky situation. Is pulling up all my professionally done connections and punching them down on a patch panel, a first time experience, a good idea? My eyes have never set on a keystone or a punch down tool. Also, buying the panel and a telephone splitter and maybe a dozen patch cords - is that most efficient use of funds? Seems like much effort and expense and (especially) risk of making rookie bad connections, just to get some Tivo's in wire instead of wireless...

Is there something more in the DIY spirit I could do? Maybe less professional but still serviceable. Or is this is, the only way.

puttster
 
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Old 03-30-13, 12:44 AM
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Puttster I am not the expert that JerseyMatt or T-W-X is but I have done some network wiring and it can be frustrating especially if you don't have the right tools but even I a real green horn managed to put network wiring into another room upstairs. You actually have it easier than I did as most of it is already run for you and I didn't have that. Follow what they say and you should be fine if you still want to change things.
 
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Old 03-30-13, 10:19 AM
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Using a punchtool isn't hard.

If you're not splitting out pairs for voice, slide a sharp tool around the jacket to score it about two inches from the end, bend the cable around until the jacket splits at the score, and pull the jacket off. Trim the nylon ripcord back to the jacket end. If you don't have a punch puck, use a small block of wood or something to punch against, and start away from the socket, laying the individual wires into their blocks, starting right at the end of the jacket itself, and then once the wires are laid in, start punching down. I recommend starting from the jacket end and working toward the front doing one side then the other, but it really doesn't matter as long as all get punched down.

Working a punchtool is easy compared to installing J-hooks and ladder rack into a false ceiling where the real ceiling is another 8' up and is dusty and full of sprayed-on fire retardant...
 
 

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