Wiring Cat5e - could really use some help

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Old 02-08-15, 11:35 AM
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Wiring Cat5e - could really use some help

I'm having a very hard time wiring a single Cat5e cable in my house, and I could really use someone's help.

The house is already pre-wired with Cat5e all throughout the house (from prior construction; not my own). There is a central box in my garage with all the cables coming into it. I plan on putting my modem/router in this box.

None of the cables are labeled and I need to figure out which one corresponds to the jack on the fourth floor where my main computer sits. Toward that end, I purchased this network tester on Amazon.



The tester is simple - when you have a connection, the 1-8 lights turn on sequentially. I confirmed it is working by connecting the two parts directly with a 3-foot Cat5e cable.

The jack on the fourth floor looks like this:



I noticed that there were two Cat5e cables coming into this jack, and only some of the wires (blue and orange and their whites) were leading into the screws (the colors from each cable were combined and led into the screws). Because of my lack of familiarity with the jack, I just took it off and connected regular ethernet jacks to each of the wires, using the "B" connection scheme. Like so:



Now, back to the box in the garage. The numerous Cat5e cables coming into the box are unfinished on their ends. I prepared the wires and connected them all to this device in the box:



I also used the B-type configuration here, namely, white, blue, white, orange, white, green, white, brown.

After doing all this, I located the correct cable, but I can only get a partial connection! The one cable that shows any sign of life shows a blip on the network tester for wires 2 and 5. Yet, on another cable, I get a blip on wire 8. That doesn't make sense to me at all. How could I be getting blips on two different cables? Is something crossing in-between?

I made 1000% sure that I have good connections at each termination point, quadruple-checking each wire. What could be happening here? The fact that there were two cables coming into the jack on the fourth floor -- could that mean that the cables are crossed over or partial or daisy chained or something somewhere? Is there any way to fix this short of hiring an electrician?
 
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Old 02-08-15, 11:56 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

It looks like your wiring may have just been set up for phone use. You need to make sure the parts you use are at least cat5.

You can't have two data wires on the same port. By you separating the two cables at the jack... the second jack is most likely dead now.

Every one of those jack splice patch points is wired differently. Make sure it says cat5 on it and there should be two color codes listed... A and B. Must be wired the same on both ends.

You will more than likely need to pull out each jack in the house and ID the other end. You need to determine if there are two jacks connected together elsewhere. In newer house wiring.... must runs are home runs.

When wiring jacks for a network.... all 8 wires need to be connected to the jack.
Your jack only has the four wires on it and you have it wired for A not B.

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Old 02-08-15, 12:22 PM
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Thank you for the advice. I should have noted that the picture is not my own. I just found that one online. I think I may have some cross-over or partial connections elsewhere in the house. I may need an electrician for this one.
 
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Old 02-08-15, 01:28 PM
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Well... if you should decide to tackle it.... we'll be here to help.
 
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Old 02-08-15, 01:50 PM
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It seems to be common now to use Cat 5e for both data and telephone wiring. Often it will be used for JUST telephone but anyone seeing Cat 5e cable will assume that it can be used for data. The problem come when the original electrician "daisy chains" from one jack to the next as then it cannot ever be used for data. This is why I still prefer using Cat 3 for telephone wiring although even with telephone I always use star topology.

Star topology means that each and every cable, be it telephone or data, has ONE jack in the field and ONE cable at the hub. Sometime also called dedicated or home run wiring.

Also, for data speeds of 10 or 100 megabytes only two pair of a data cable are used. For gigabyte speed all four pairs are used along with a Cat 6 cable. My opinion is that few, if any, residential systems need gigabyte.
 
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