....(Phone) & data wiring questions?


Old 07-13-14, 06:36 AM
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....(Phone) & data wiring questions?

Our home has DSL and thats all we can get where we live. Thats not a problem but I need to streamline the phone/data lines in our house. Like a lot of homes these days we do not use a landline except for data. The wiring for the various phone jacks are a mess and the crawlspace is a crisscross of a few phone lines. I want to start new from the phone box on the outside of the house and run data line and jacks to the far ends and the middle of the house and one in the basement. The only one that will be used by us is the middle jack where the wireless router is, but if we eve do move I want a few jacks to be there.

(side note - if these extra wall jacks aren't needed I'd be glad to cancel those plans. With everything moving wireless, I doubt in 5 years phone or data jacks not being present in a home will not be a big deal but we aren't planning to move anyways.)

So, I can access the backside of the phone connection to the house in the crawlspace. I want to run the best wire I can over about 25' and up 3' to the living room to create a data jack next to a wall outlet for the router.

I an reasonably handy but have never dealt with phone lines or data lines in a house like this so I'm in the dark as to how to do so correctly. Do I use data line from the phone company box or phone cable or what?

Thank you for your assistance.
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Old 07-13-14, 08:08 AM
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Yes, this is the right forum.

If the phone lines are Cat5 the still can be used. However, if they are Cat3 they will only be good for POT lines.

It sounds like you want to start fresh so here is what you should do:

From the Demarc (the box outside) run a Cat5 to the location where you will have the DSL modem. Next to the modem is normally where you would have the modem connected to a router which will then distribute the network to the rest of the house. The rest of the network can be wired, wireless, or both. I have both which works well for us so our computers are wired, and our handheld devices are wireless. I find wireless a little iffy sometimes (we have a multi level home) so anything I want a good connection I run a cable to.

If you want your un-moving devices (computers, TV, coffee maker ) to be wired, you will need to run a Cat5 from the router to that location.

If you have a lot of devices to be wired you will likely also need a switch with enough ports to get the job done. A router normally only comes with 4 ports so a switch will give you the extra ports you need. The switch will go after the router.
Old 07-13-14, 12:06 PM
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Hi Tolyn, thank you for the helpful reply. Settle in my friend, because I have no idea what some of the stuff you're talking about means. I 've heard about Cat 5 lines and I have seen them as usually blue, but that's where my knowledge dies. lol Below is a pic of where the phone company line enters my house and as you can see, it's just regular OLD phone line. It's not even clear phone line but that old "pink/tan" colored line. If I can upgrade the line I'm game, it seems rather simple to connect the colored wires to the corresponding screw. Have phone lines changed in the past decade or two? This line is about 25 years old I'd bet. The inside lid of this connection says "THIS PHONE HAS A 30 AMP RINGER". That was written by the phone company man moons ago. I don't know if that changes anything but I figured I'd include it.

Most devices are wireless but I would like to have a hard connection in the office. Is it best to have a "hub" of sorts in the basement mechanical room and then run the lines to the various jacks to either connect to the device hard wired or to the router? The basement can be a bit iffy like you said your house is, so a wired connection would be nice and easy to do. The layout of my house though makes it easy to run a connection to the basement for a hardwired set up.

Thank you for your patience and assistance!
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Old 07-13-14, 01:05 PM
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OK, so I've been online reading and I am wondering a few things.

1) I developed a tentative plan in my head to do the following. From the exterior phone connection (see pic in my previous post) I run a new line into the crawlspace and down to the basement where I set up an Ethernet hub. From there I run a line to the two rooms I want a hardwired connection in and to the wireless router upstairs. The benefits I see to this is that everything from the phone company into my house is new and I know exactly where it is. Currently, It is a labyrinth of old phone wires and connectors.

2) While having things new and streamlined, I wonder if I will see any improvement in my data performance? Even if I do not this doesn't seem like an expensive project nor terribly time consuming. I have been trying to streamline the mechanicals of this house for a few years now and this is one of the last projects on my list. At least with a new layout trouble shooting would be MUCH simpler.

Thanks again for your assistance!
Old 07-14-14, 12:29 AM
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The best method is to run TWO cables from every point where you want a telephone AND a data receptacle. I use Category (Cat) 3 cable for the telephone and Cat 5e cable for data. You could use Cat 6 but I think it is overkill in a residential system. If you prefer to use the Cat 5e for both telephone and data that is acceptable but it makes tracing the different cables a bit harder.

At any rate, terminate the telephone cables on a "punch-down block", either a 66 or a 110 style. (Do a Google) and terminate the data cables on individual "keystone jacks that you can snap into a faceplate and then mount the faceplate on a cut out piece of plywood. "Strap" (telephone lingo for connect with a small piece of wire) all of the "tip" connections together and then all of the "ring" connections together and then connect the incoming wires from the NID (outside telephone box) through a DSL filter to the tip (green) and ring (red) terminals. Having the DSL filter at this central location eliminates the need for multiple filters at each telephone.

At this point connect the modem input to the telephone line and connect the modem output to the data line where the modem is positioned. At the location of all the jacks plug the router input into the corresponding jack for the cable assigned to the modem and then connect cables from the router output jacks to the data jacks you want powered. Best to use factory made Ethernet cables for these connections. This will give you the most versatile and easiest to troubleshoot system available.
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