Low Voltage Again


Old 11-13-06, 12:15 PM
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Low Voltage Again

My (new const.) detached garage will have a telephone land line, fax line, and computer network connection. The feeds to the garage will be comming from the main house via underground 1" conduit. I bought the wire and cut open the cat5 cable. It appears there are 4 pairs of color coded wires similar to regular telephone wiring (Cat 3). Can I hook-up my garage land telephone line, fax, and computer network using three of the four pairs of wires in the Cat 5 cable leaving a spare pair. Or does the computer network require more than 1 pair of wires? Or is this wire different and unsuitable for ma bell. I would rather only have to run the coax and cat5 than coax+cat5+cat 3(telephone)......Thanks
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Old 11-13-06, 01:07 PM
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You wasted your money on cat 3. While it is true that cat 5 is less generally expensive than cat 5, it is usually cheaper to buy a larger roll of cat 5.

You need one cat 5 for the computer network. There are ways to use less than all four pairs for the computer, but these are less than ideal and may cause interference on the computer data.

Use a second run of cat 5 or a run of cat 3 for the telephone lines.

Run these wires and the coax in your conduit. Of course you will do this AFTER the conduit is assembled and the glue has dried. This conduit is of course separated from the electrical wires by at least one foot (more is better), and of course your electrical wiring is a four wire feed.
Old 11-13-06, 03:13 PM
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You can use the cat 5 for telephone. I have heard of people using the same cable for both but I don't recommend it. The computer actually only uses two pairs.
Old 11-13-06, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by joed
The computer actually only uses two pairs.
Not necessarily. GigE 1000Base-T connections use all 4 pairs, and is becoming increasingly common. I'd run two CAT5e cables and the coax.
Old 11-13-06, 04:01 PM
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should have primary and secondary lightning protection . on both ends
Old 11-13-06, 06:37 PM
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If you want to do it cheap, just run one Cat 5 with blue pair for phone, brown pair for fax, and green and orange pairs for 10/100 BaseT ethernet. I've never had trouble with this set up on 10 Mbps but it does not always work with 100Mbps.

If you are primarily doing internet traffic your DSL or cable modem is probably limited to <10 Mbps anyway. However if you are gaming (not gambling), or doing graphics or backups over the LAN without going to the internet, you may notice a big difference.

It's always best of course to give each connection its own cable since newer high speed schemes squeeze everything they can from the cable. You don't mention the distance or number of cross-connections and patch cables, but the more the worse, and "more worse" at higher rates. Usually in homes it's not hard to stay within 100 meters for 10/100 but I haven't kept up with what they want for Gig Ethernet.

Also remember unless you have a cable dryer hooked up to that conduit, it's going to get wet, so over time you may see performance worsen or fluctuate with the weather. It's usually best to seal the conduit on both ends although that will not stop the process. Again, this will be less an issue with 10 Mbps and more with Gig E.
Old 11-13-06, 08:59 PM
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Looks like 2 cat 5's + coax is the answer...thanks
Old 11-13-06, 09:27 PM
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Why not fiber? All for one.
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