Cat5e installed in my home leads directly to exterior as "home-run", next step?

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  #1  
Old 02-20-14, 05:21 PM
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Cat5e installed in my home leads directly to exterior as "home-run", next step?

I purchased a newly built house recently and to my delight just discovered several Cat5e sockets on the 1st and basement floors.

There's no interior panel I can find anywhere, however, and according to the contractor, these may be run straight out to the exterior of the house. I believe these are "home-run" installations. (Yes, it looks like a bundle of wires sticking out the side of the building). The electrician who wired the house hasn't gotten back to me yet. It's possible these are the connections for the telephone outlets and the cat5e cables go elsewhere.

The cable wiring was done similarly. When the cable guy came, he simply screwed a new box to the side of the house, threaded the 6 cables into the box (corresponding to the 6 cable outlets in the house), and completed the connection to the exterior cable drop.

Does it make any sense that the cat5e wires lead directly outdoors? I've seen some tutorials for home networking, but these were all worked into an interior panel with a powered network switch.
 

Last edited by Waylo; 02-20-14 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 02-21-14, 04:38 AM
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Cat5 cables likely pulled for telephone, but less likely for data. The reason is, telephone can be paralleled in a passive connection while data requires a switch or router.

You can verify which cables go where with a 9-volt battery and an auto light bulb. Strip a pair of wires at the wall and connect the battery. Strip the same pair of wires at the other end on all of the cables and touch them to the light bulb's contacts. Be careful not to short any of the wires while the battery is connected.
 

Last edited by Rick Johnston; 02-28-14 at 05:36 AM. Reason: Correct spelling
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Old 02-21-14, 03:42 PM
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I was thinking I might be mistaking the telephone cables external for the cat5e data lines. But there definitely are separate ports for the cat5e, and I opened up a wall port to confirm it was connected. Still trying to get the electrician to respond to my requests!
 
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Old 02-21-14, 11:18 PM
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Many electricians use cat5 for phone wiring. If you had separate phone and data ports there would probably be two jacks on one wall plate.

I use cat5 for phone and data. Most home builders only specify phone lines and no data.
 
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Old 02-22-14, 10:05 AM
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This might vary in the US but up here...
Your telco company will have a cable come in either overhead or underground into an exterior Network Interface Device (NID)
http://emuneee.com/blog/images/uverse/NID2.jpg
The telco cable is like a thicker Cat5 cable. They will use a single colored pair to establish service,

One half is for the telco company, the other half is for the home owner. The homeowner side is where your phones would be connected. They could run all the phone lines to the NID, or run a line in to the house and branch out to the jacks from there. As PJ said Cat5 is kind of the new standard for phone jacks.
To deliver the internet to you, the single pair goes into a filter, or pots splitter.
http://www.hometech.com/hts_images/su/su-649a1_2.jpg
http://www.ckeynetworks.com/images/P...20Splitter.jpg

These could be on the exterior, or usually interior. After the telco pair comes in to the splitter, the phones would be run off the voice terminals, and the modem would be run off the modem/data terminals. From there, there is a variety of ways to configure your network. But the key points are a splitter/filter and seperate cables for voice and data.

In your situation, the splitter may be in the NID, or you may have either an exterior one or an interior one you haven't found.
Start by following your modem. If no cat5 is plugged in to the back you are probably running wireless, if you have cables plugged in then you have data jacks installed in the house and they are activated through your modem.
To have the modem work it has to be plugged into the filter somehow. Generally a modem gets plugged in to a phone jack, but that jack is wired in to a filter. Try and follow the cable your modem is plugged in to and you will likely find your filter.
 
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Old 02-27-14, 02:43 PM
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Thanks for this bit of information (cat5 used for phone wiring) which was new to me. There is only 1 jack which has 2 ports. The other 4 have a single port, labeled only with "cat5" in the plate. There are 6 cables outside the house which makes me believe they all lead there.
 
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Old 03-01-14, 10:52 PM
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Ouch. This is exactly why sparks shouldn't be allowed to run datacom, alarm, A/V or any other specialty wiring. Ok first things first..

What will you be using for an ISP? Cable, DSL, or fiber optic?

Do you plan on installing landline/wired telephones?

Is there a phone box near where the wires come out?

Basically if the jacks are where they would be convenient to use as data, and you won't be using hardline telephone, you can get an outdoor/weatherproof box and install an ethernet switch inside of it to 'split' the network out to the rooms. Not pretty, but it'll work for you. You would install your wireless router in the room that has the two-port jack.
 
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Old 03-02-14, 10:19 AM
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Ouch. This is exactly why sparks shouldn't be allowed to run datacom, alarm, A/V or any other specialty wiring.
I take insult to that Matt. As a first year I re-did a couple of family members voice and data throughout the house. The lazy telco guys ran everything on the surface of ceilings, through floor ducts, and plopped the main line in the middle of a bedroom so the modem and everything was on the floor. They also left a rats nest at the service panel. When I was done there, there was literally a basketball sized ball of wire I removed that was unnecessary. I cleaned it up, labelled, and ran it all behind walls. Oh, and the security line wasn't installed correctly either. And I should show you a picture of the mess at my place.
Theres crappy electricians, but also crappy telco guys.
 
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Old 03-02-14, 02:11 PM
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I can honestly say I've never come across a prewire done right by a spark. They always do something stupid like daisy-chaining coax runs or stapling audio or data cables parallel to power. I had one where the finished basement was allegedly prewired to be a home theater.. When I went to install the in-wall speakers, I was thrilled to find Cat5 cable instead of speaker wire, and a single coax going to the projector location instead of an HDMI. Took me 4 extra hours to fish new cables.

And don't put words in my mouth. I didn't say the electrician did a crappy job. He could be the best electrician in Oregon and can rattle off code on cue.. But when it comes to specialty wiring he's obviously out of his league - and more often than not, that is the rule, not the exception.

What's even more aggravating is that they tend to charge exorbitant amounts ($80 apiece on average) for running extra jacks - at the same time as they're running the others. I WISH I could get away with charging $80 an outlet.
 
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Old 03-02-14, 03:57 PM
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Do electricians not do much data, audio, etc. in the states?
In my province we usually do everything. The security, audio guys etc. just do their devices but we run all the wire.
 
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Old 03-02-14, 11:34 PM
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For the most part, no. It's not something they normally do. But if their customer asks them to pull cable while the walls are open, they will usually happily oblige because it's lots of easy money for them. The customers usually think wire is wire and thus don't seek out prewire services from a network specialist.

The problem is though, unless they have training, electricians usually think the same way.. They tend to treat datacom and A/V cables as if they are electrical cables. And that's where you run into issues.. Catx and coax are run in bundles parallel to power cables - and many times stapled to the stud with hammer-ins, which crush (and sometimes cut right through) the Catx and coax, which compromises them further. The 'daisy-chaining' of outlets is another HUGE no-no in datacom, yet sparks do it all the time because that's how they run power cable. Another thing they're obnoxiously notorious for is in-line splices if a box of cable comes up short or a run gets damaged.

And this OP's issue is another prime example. Distribution is NEVER done on the outside of the house when it is prewired. That goes for cable, data, and phone. They are supposed to go to a panel inside the house, with a single or pair of cables going from the panel to the demarc boxes. The OP said the jacks say CAT5e on them - indicating they are RJ45 data jacks, not phone jacks. They should NOT have run to the outside.
 
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Old 03-03-14, 04:16 PM
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Ok I can't argue some of what you said. My first jman and I did the data in a warehouse converted into office space. There was 10' steel stud walls then open space above so he whipped the data lines as far as he could then yanked them the rest of the way. Tore open a few cables on wafer screws, so he just terminated jacks on either good end and stuck a 3' patch cable in.
I haven't seen a million houses but the ones I have seen have always had terminations in the house. However I've seen quite a few pictures on this site of cables running out to the nid.
 
 

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