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Discussion in 'Networking' started by Brvsfn01, May 17, 2015.

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  1. Brvsfn01

    Brvsfn01 Thread Starter

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    Hi Everyone,

    Sorry for the newb question but my knowledge of the ins and outs of networks leaves a bit to be desired.

    I am going to be renting a 3 bedroom townhouse along with my girlfriend and when I toured the townhouse before signing the lease I noticed it was fully wired for phone, ethernet, and cable. In every room there is a wall plate with a cable outlet, a phone outlet, and a Cat 5 outlet in it. The ethernet port is labeled "Cat 5" and the phone jack is labeled "Phone" so from where I am standing it could get any easier for me.

    What we are going to do is have the cable modem put in a central room in the townhome then I want to make all of the Cat 5 outlets in the townhouse live but I do not know what I need or how to do this. I will say that in the master bedroom there is a panel and in previous houses I have been in the stuff behind the panel controls the cable TV throughout the house. So what do I need to do to get all the Cat 5 jacks in the townhome live? Is is as simple as running a Cat 5 cable from the modem to a router and then to a Cat 5 jack in one of the rooms or is there more to it than this?

    Thanks everyone. :)
     
  2. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    That would work if the ethernet cables are already connected to a switch (and the switch does not require a special 'upload' port be used), but it would be more typical to connect the router directly to the switch instead of to a jack in one of the rooms.
     
  3. Brvsfn01

    Brvsfn01 Thread Starter

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    TerryNet, with my limited knowledge of networking architecture I tend to agree with you. I doubt there is a switch behind the access panel in the master bedroom. When I got a look behind one of those panels a few years back the only thing I saw was some sort of box that looked like it directed cable inside of the house.

    Why would the builders of this community go to the expense and trouble of putting network drops into all the rooms if they can't be made active? This doesn't make sense to me. Can I make the network jacks in the townhome active by buying a switch with the "upload" port or is it more complicated than that?

    According to the dispatcher at the cable company their techs are backed up and will not be able to do the install until May 26th so it looks like my GF and I will be getting to know the Barista's at Starbucks very well for the next week. I think when the cable tech gets there next week I will ask him about this because it is very hard for me to wrap my brain around. Thanks for the help.
     
  4. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Easier and cheaper to do before the walls are finished. And people expect it, just as they expect coax cable and used to expect phone wiring (some still do I suppose).

    It is likely that all the ethernet cables terminate (or originate) at that panel you mention. Maybe they are just there, or maybe have connectors, or maybe connected to some kind of distribution panel, or maybe connected to an ethernet switch. You'll have to look to see what is there and what you'll need.

    Certainly makes sense if you are planning on a wireless router that will provide coverage to the entire house. But if you are going to take advantage of the ethernet pre-cabling it may be more convenient to place the modem and router near the panel or wherever the ethernet cables originate.
     
  5. Brvsfn01

    Brvsfn01 Thread Starter

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    Well, I just got back from the townhouse and my curiousity definitely got the better of me because I took a screwdriver with me so I could remove the cover to that access box. As I thought there was a small box inside that had six female coax connectors on it and I believe is used to distribute cable through the house.

    Also, I saw a box that was labeled US West 10BaseT which I know has something to do with Ethernet. There were a couple of terminals on it that had thin wires attached to it (I think they call them "punch down". There were also a couple of what looked like Cat 5 cables plugged into it and one of them was labeled "Test". I didn't see anywhere for a switch to be plugged into this box. I am going to talk with the cable tech when he comes out and ask him how the US West box works and what it is for but I have a feeling I am going to have to go with one of our computers hard wired to the modem and WiFi throughout the rest of the townhome. Oh well, its a good excuse for me to get the new $200 dual band, high througput "N" class WiFi router I have been wanting so it's all good. :)
     
  6. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Pictures would do wonders with trying to help you here.

    There are multiple ways of handling network drops. I used to have all the cable ends from all the rooms terminated with RJ45 male plugs and then I would just plug them into my switch or move them over to the patch panel I set up for analog voice. I have since re-terminated all the drops into a patch panel. I can now just use patch cable to make a specific wall plug function as either an Ethernet drop or an analog phone drop. The cable wiring for Ethernet (either T568A or B) allows backwards compatibility with existing phone systems. This is no accident as phone systems were the first "network" cabling. Here is a picture of my existing wall rack with the patch panels. At the top is where all the drops from various parts of the house are terminated. The other patch panel below it is for analog phone service.

    [​IMG]

    With what builders are putting into homes, these are structured wiring. The cables are all pulled to a structured wiring cabinet. The cabinet is specific to a manufacturer as the hole spacing to mount the various modules are not universal. Companies like Leviton and Legrand produce these types of cabinets. Instead of the patch panel I have in my wall rack, structured wiring cabinets will have a smaller version with a punch down strip to connect the cable drops. I don't have a picture handy but when I get out to my vacation property later this week, I'll take a picture of what I've done with the structured wiring cabinet the builder installed. You'll see why things are done this way.
     
  7. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    As promised, here's a picture of my structured wiring cabinet installed by my builder.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see there are two modules installed in the cabinet. The one to the left has the coax splitter/multiplexer and below it is the analog phone bridge module. The unit to the upper right is the 8 port network punch down board. Here is a close shot of the board:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, a cable is punched down to a particular port on the board. I use a patch cable to connect that port to the back of my ASA 5505 firewall to provide network connectivity.

    Hope this makes things clear as to what is needed to wire up a house using structured wiring cabinets. Oh and excuse the quality of the cell phone pics.
     
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