Whole House/Computer network Wiring

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bill Kane, Aug 17, 2002.

  1. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    My cousin John recently suffered a house fire, one-quarter of it, and has a contractor to rebuild. John works at home in computer management information services and wants to wire multi rooms. I quickly suggested looking at SmartHome wire bundles, because I've seen it suggested here, but now I wonder if this is overkill since he's not into audio and won't have any AV piped other than to his living room TV center.

    What wire is used for what he terms an "ethernet" network connection to various rooms?

    bill

    edit: ok, I think I'm still gonna suggest the bundle plus SAT RG-6 so at least he'll be future-proof, or subsequent owner!
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I believe you'd be looking at Category 5 wiring for him to run his ethernet. All the runs could be terminated in say a central location like the basement. I'd imagine that running wire beyond his immediate needs might add somewhat to the resale value of the home but probably nothing enormous. Don't quote me Bill, but I seem to recall Belden having something along those lines of multi-wire bundles.
     
  3. Michael Mathius

    Michael Mathius Supporting Actor

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    Have you looked into wireless networking? I was going with the wired route but came across wireless networking and would highly recommend it. Plus the price of wireless cards and routers has gone down recently.
    I am now using a wireless card on my laptop to write this post. I guess you can say I'm totally wireless[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    wireless but not clueless...
    got a link for me?[​IMG]
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    CommCoast has a 'smart home' cable that bundles 2 RG6 quad shielded coax cables and 2 catagory 5 network cables into a single cable. Sells for about $0.50/ft.

    I highly recomend Panduit modular jacks (because they are easy to install with a pair of pliers), and they have wall-covers with snap-in sections.
     
  6. Lee Petty

    Lee Petty Stunt Coordinator

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    if you dont go with the panduit stuff, i recommend leviton quick port modules. its similar to panduit's stuff, but can be found at any home depot. its very versatile, as you can buy a wallplate with up to 8 ports, and put whatever you want in it: 2 phone lines, 1 ethernet jack, a coax cable jack, and 2 speaker binding posts. i use leviton stuff in my house, and have a hardwired home network. either product is great though, and which ever you decide to go with will work nicely.
     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    what are the limitations on wireless if one's running broadband?
     
  8. Tom_Maher

    Tom_Maher Stunt Coordinator

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    He'd most probably go with the 802.11b wireless standard which has a max transfer rate of about 11 Mbps. Considering that cable modems function over a 10 Mbps ethernet card (though it can also run over 10/100 card) and that max throughput is about 1.5 Mbps, basically there is no hit to performance whatsoever. 11 Mbps is way more bandwith than you'd need for a broadband connection. In terms of transferring files between computers, however, you will notice quite a difference between a wired 10/100 based network or an 802.11b wireless network. I run both in my house, computers wired with laptops running wirelessly. I really depends on what he wants to use the network for, mostly internet access and convenience is high on the list, go wireless. If he craves speed the most, then a wired network is still the way to go. If he does have a rather large budget, he can go with the with the 802.11a standard, which can transfer at 54 Mbps, even up to 72 Mbps in turbo mode. Also, remember that these max transfer rates are good for approximately 100 feet, after that, transfer speeds decrease as you move further away from an access point.
     
  9. SteveA

    SteveA Supporting Actor

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    I definitely recommend a wired network if you have a convenient opportunity to run cables, such as during construction or renovation. I bought 500 ft. of bundled cable (2 Cat 5e, 2 RG6 Quad Shield) from SmartHome.com for about $300 bucks and ran cable to every room in my new house while it was under construction. It was definitely worth it.

    The main advantages of wireless networking is convenience and flexibility, but a wired network is cheaper, faster, and more secure.
     
  10. Clay Autery

    Clay Autery Stunt Coordinator

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    WARNING: Very long, but pretty much comlete...
    I personally would NOT do wireless.... Do it the right way if you are doing construction....
    Pick the central location... AKA: data closet... where everything will be switched/located.... BAsed on the need to maintain short runs of COAX, the data closet/location should be as close the center of the house as possible to minimize cable run length ot the various SAT/OTA/cable drops...
    In the data closet, "I" would put in patch panels for coax (Canare BNC flush mounted) and TELCO/DATA. Use a CAT-5E or better patch panel for BOTH Telco and Data to make it neater.
    Use CAT-5E (CAT-6 preferably) solid conductor cable (plenum if required by local code, regular if not... it's cheaper) for all data and telco wiring.
    Bring in 2 separate runs of CAT-5E from the telco box to the data closet (that gives you 8 pairs to work with for future use if need be). Be sure to leave "future coils" of wire in the attic on ALL cables just in case you need to cut off and reterminate the runs at a later date.
    Bring in a Canare L-5CFB or better coax run from the ground cable box to the data closet (Check the cable ground while you are at it... make sure it is the SAME and GOOD ground as the household AC service to maintain the smae ground potential... ground wire AT least 8 GA solid copper in all apps).
    Depending on your SAT/OTA setup and equipment, bring in SIX Canare L-5CFB cable runs from your attennae array on the roof (1 ea. OTA/broadcast, up to 4ea. SAT (Dish Switch-64 in a Dish 500 + Dish 300 HDTV setup accomodating 4 receivers), and an FM ONLY coax run.... RG-11 is best here) (Install a PVC roof vent for wire passthrough with a J-bend at the top to keep the weather out... minimum 2" diameter (to allow for additional expansion).
    Now, you basically have all your source input cabling pulled to your data closet. Make sure ALL cable runs 9(source and drops) are at least 18"+ away from AC electrical wire runs, and that they cross (if necessary) at 90 degree angles.
    Now... From the data closet, you want to distribute your sources to any rooms you need and in the number required per room.... you do the math... The math determines the patch panel sizes... The idea is to terminate all source and drop cables to the rear of a patch panel such that you only need patch cords to connect/disconnect/route the various services to the drops....
    OTA: terminate the OTA coax at a distribution amplifier (variable gain) with sufficient output ports to suply all drops. Come out of the DA and terminate into the back panel of a Canare BNC/BNC flush mount jacks patch panel.
    SAT: terminate each SAT receiver run to a port on the back of the same Canare panel (source panel).
    FM: While FM reception is enhanced by running home run from antennae to receiver, the need for multiple FM drops will necessitate a similar approach to the OTA signal. Terminate the FM coax to an FM distribution amp (adjustable gain) with sufficient ports to supply the required FM drops. Then terminate the DA outputs via coax patch cord (F to BNC) to the back of the Canare source patch panel.
    Telco: How this is done depends on whether you have/want DSL service throughout the house. Assuming you want DSL house-wide, terminate one of the CAT-5E runs from the telco box (NID) to the back of port-1 on the data patch panel. Come out of port one into the Telco input of a Westell (or equivalent) whole-house DSL splitter (POTS splitter). Come out of the Telco out port on the POTS splitter and into Port-2 on the data patch panel. Come out of the POTS Splitter (DSL device port) to the input on a DSL Modem/Switch or a standalone DSL modem. If you have need for more DSL ports than supplied on available DSL modem/switches, then use a standalone DSL modem and connect it to the uplink port on a 100Mbps (or better) switch with sufficient ports to match your data drop requirements. (OR use a standard 4-port DSL modem/switch/router and connect one switch port to the uplink port on a second/larger switch with the required # of data ports)
    Now... Bridge Ports 2 through X (depending on the number of needed telco drops on the back of the patch panel with CAT-5E stripped of its outer insulation (try to keep the twists as close to factory as possible).
    Pull cable from drops to data closet:
    Pull three coax and 3 CAT-5E runs (full install) from each drop site to the data closet. The breakout is as follows:
    COAX #1 (Cable or SAT) - Terminate to the back of the second Canare flush mount BNC patch panel (or second row if use a 2U panel) (the output/distribution panel).
    COAX #2 (OTA/broadcast) - Terminate to the back of the second Canare flush mount BNC patch panel (or second row if use a 2U panel) (the output/distribution panel).
    COAX #3 (FM) - Terminate to the back of the second Canare flush mount BNC patch panel (or second row if use a 2U panel) (the output/distribution panel).
    You'll want to color code or otherwise identify all ports as to type and location. I segregate on the panel by type, then by location.
    CAT-5E #1 (Telco) - Terminate to the back of the data patch panel (on a separate row to segregate source ports from drop ports)
    CAT-5E #2 (Data) - Terminate to the back of the data patch panel (on a separate row to segregate source ports from drop ports)
    CAT-5E #3 (Spare: Data, Telco, or future use) - Terminate to the back of the data patch panel (on a separate row to segregate source ports from drop ports).
    Again, I separate by type and then by location.
    Now... At EACH drop location, pull all the cables through and install a single-gang existing construction box(blue plastic with flip out tabs). Terminate each cable to an appropriate type keystone jack.
    On data AND telco, I use CAT-5E or better keystone jacks. Using the standard 568B termination scheme, I can construct custom telco patch cords for use between the jack and the device to make phones work properly on the CAT-5E jacks... This saves having to worry about two types of data/telco jacks.... ALSO, using CAT-5E+ keystone jacks allows you to bring up to four telco lines PER jack to each location on each CAT-5E+ run... Depending on your telco devices, you can construct proper patch cords to match (1,2,3,or 4 line devices).
    They make coax keystone jacks... You can use either F or BNC at the jack plate depending on your preference. I use BNC for security and ease of removal (Canare brand of course).
    So, you have three CAT-5E+ keystone jacks and 3 coax keystone jacks... plug all the jacks into the back of a 6-place keystone face plate and secure the plate to the box.
    Getting close to the end... NOW, you have all of your sources terminated in the wiring closet/data panels AND all of your drops are terminated at the panels and their respective drop plates...
    Go back to the data center/panel/closet and distribute the sources to the drops (be sure to double check your labeling while it is fresh in your mind. Using standard Cat-5E or better STRANDED patch cords:
    a) Connect the incoming bridged telco ports to the telco ports on the distribution ports to suply telco service to each drop.
    b) Connect each data drop port to a switch/router port, a switch port, or a hub port (depending on your network equipment used) to supply DATA AND DSL service to each drop.
    Using BNC/BNC patch cords (Canare L-5CFB):
    a) connect OTA source ports to up to OTA drop ports.
    b) connect SAT source ports to up to 4 chosen SAT drops.
    c) connect FM source ports to FM drop ports.
    Be sure to place 75-Ohm BNC terminators on ANY of the OTA/SAT/FM source ports that are not in use.
    Now, power up your DSL switch/router, switch, distribution amps, et al... Ahhhh.... power...
    It'd be a good idea to install at least a double-gang box and a 115VAC quad plug (a QUALITY device like leviton hoapital grade).... You can break into an existing non-switched AC circuit for this as long as there is spare capacity in the circuit....
    Better... run a NEW 20AMP circuit with appropriate gauge ROMEX from the AC panel (or sub-panel) to the data closet...
    My goal is to move all my electronics into the data closet and run everything off 2 circuits with AC conditioners between the plug and components.... A whole house surge unit will be placed on the panel/sub-panel.
    Check all the drops to make sure you have services...
    Hope this helped...
     

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