CAT6 question - I'm confused - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 04-07-2012, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Happy Passover and Happy Easter everyone.

I am just about ready to start running my CAT6 cable in my basement (in the process of finishing it), from the electric panel where I have a switch, to the other side of the room where my A/V+TV will be.

When I started reading about CAT6 and looking for places that offer good deals on cable (need around 300-350'), all of a sudden I found myself getting confused between solid and stranded cables. One is good for patch panel, another for standard RJ45 connectors.

The problem is, that in my situation I have standard RJ45 connectors in the panel end (connecting to a standard switch) whereas the other end of the cables will be punched into a wall plate connector.
In addition to that, I read too many people saying that "you shouldn't patch your own cables". Why not??

Cost wise, I found it to be cheaper if I buy six individual 50' CAT6 cables from Monoprice, cut one end of it and patch it into wall plates as oppose to get a 500' cable, run it multiple times and then patch 12.
Does it make sense, or should I get bulk cable instead? And if bulk, what do I need for my situation - solid or stranded?

As I said, I am confused.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 21 Old 04-07-2012, 08:29 AM
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Solid cable is what I ran. I don't think you will have a problem with solid unless you are constantly moving your cables around. Event then, I have my doubts as to whether a solid cable would fail in a residential application (how much could you possibly move things around?)

If you go with stranded, be sure to get connectors that are compatible with stranded wire.
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post #3 of 21 Old 04-07-2012, 09:15 AM
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I'd suggest using a jacks at the switch end too. You can get either a pre built patch panel that you can punch down the Cat6 cables to, or get a gang mount that accepts regular keystone jacks. You don't want to be handling the "installed" cabling if you need to move/reconfigure/replace the switch.

"you shouldn't patch your own cables". Why not??
It's time consuming. Pre made patch cables are really cheap from Monoprice.

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post #4 of 21 Old 04-07-2012, 09:36 AM
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Stranded is for making short patch cords between panels. Use solid.

I have found a local supplier to me to have good prices on Cat6 and HDMI

http://www.mycablemart.com/store/car...duct_list&c=79

I just had my contractor pick up Cat6 at half the price price of HomeDepot. I just needed 200' and not a whole box to finish off my basement. I am at 1200' total.
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post #5 of 21 Old 04-07-2012, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by petew View Post

I'd suggest using a jacks at the switch end too.

Yes, that's what I meant - standard RJ45 jacks straight into the switch and on the other end of the cables using a wall jack, so if I run a bulk cable (times the number that I need), I'll have to patch six RJ45 jacks near the switch, and six wall jacks near A/V.

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Originally Posted by petew View Post

You can get either a pre built patch panel that you can punch down the Cat6 cables to, or get a gang mount that accepts regular keystone jacks. You don't want to be handling the "installed" cabling if you need to move/reconfigure/replace the switch.

So, if I understand you correctly you suggest that the runs, being 'permanent' and not moving anywhere after buried in the wall, will be terminated to a patch panel, and then from the patch panel run short pre made cables to the switch, in case the switch will need to be moved around in the future?

Quote:
Originally Posted by petew View Post

It's time consuming. Pre made patch cables are really cheap from Monoprice.

Hence my question about getting the six 50 footers pre made cables, keep the standard jacks on one end of it, and cut/patch into a wall jack on the other hand. It turns out cheaper than a 250'/500' bulk cable, and it saves me time on running (I can run all six together) and patching (I'll only need to patch six ends as oppose to 12).
Question is - are these pre made cables good for this application (running inside the wall, and they will not move anywhere)?
Are pre made solid or stranded?
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post #6 of 21 Old 04-07-2012, 12:24 PM
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Got to get the terminology straight here.

Jack


Plug


So, if I understand you correctly you suggest that the runs, being 'permanent' and not moving anywhere after buried in the wall, will be terminated to a patch panel, and then from the patch panel run short pre made cables to the switch, in case the switch will need to be moved around in the future?

Yup that's what I meant. Use something like this at the switch end.

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post #7 of 21 Old 04-07-2012, 12:33 PM
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Let's get the terminology down first:

Plug



Jack


Keystone Wall Plate

Used to house the keystone Jacks in various port densities as your needs will determine.


At the "head end" of your installation where all of your various Ethernet runs converge to be connected to your switch, you'll want to punch those down to a patch panel:


Between the keystone wallplate (and its Jacks) and the Patch Panel you'll want to use solid CAT6 UTP. Punch down on both ends with a punchdown tool which will almost certainly use a 110 blade.

Cross connect between the Patch Panel and your Switch by using short (1'-2') premade stranded patch cables from Monoprice or some other vendor. Bought from Monoprice they are very inexpensive and reliable. You will also use longer patch cables 3' - 12'+ to go between the keystone wallplate jacks and attached equipment. Again, these patch cables will be stranded.

Basically:
- the wiring that is in the walls should be solid.
- the wiring that is outside the walls and used to connect between equipment and potentially moved is stranded.
- stranded wire is more flexible and tolerant of bends without breaking the wire over time
- solid wire is easier to manufacture and has slightly better conductive properties

Besides the time usage issue in creating your own patch cables, maintaining the twist ratios when creating a DIY patch cable is difficult to do and still end up with a cable that will test out to CAT6 tolerances.

My 2 minute graphic below illustrates the following connectivity chain:

CABLE MODEM <> patch cable > ROUTER <> patch cable <> SWITCH <> patch cable <> PATCH PANEL <> CAT6 UTP wire (in-wall) <> keystone jack <> patch panel <> networked device (like a Blu-ray player)
LL

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post #8 of 21 Old 04-07-2012, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you petew and KingLeerUK. Yup, I should have gotten the terminology down first. Plug is what I meant

And it seems that going with a patch panel is what I should do. Thank you for pointing this out. No doubt the original configuration that I had planned looks awkward (jacks in one end of the run).

I looked up the keystone jacks on Monoprice (and other sites) and it seems that they cannot be plugged side-by-side in a wall plate. I was hoping to be able to get a 6 port wall plate. Anyone knows if there is any way of keeping 6 CAT6 jacks in one wall plate?
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post #9 of 21 Old 04-07-2012, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SBI View Post

I looked up the keystone jacks on Monoprice (and other sites) and it seems that they cannot be plugged side-by-side in a wall plate. I was hoping to be able to get a 6 port wall plate. Anyone knows if there is any way of keeping 6 CAT6 jacks in one wall plate?

The Monoprice CAT6 keystone jacks will easily fit into any of their keystone wallplates of any density. If you have a 6-position keystone wallplate you can have 6 CAT6 keystone jacks installed in it, no problem. This is a cornerstone of the keystone system; any keystone jack of any type should be co-locatable in a keystone wallplate with any mix or match of types.



Here is the recessed 12-position keystone wallplate I have behind my Kuro.

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post #10 of 21 Old 04-07-2012, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingLeerUK View Post

The Monoprice CAT6 keystone jacks will easily fit into any of their keystone wallplates of any density. If you have a 6-position keystone wallplate you can have 6 CAT6 keystone jacks installed in it, no problem. This is a cornerstone of the keystone system; any keystone jack of any type should be co-locatable in a keystone wallplate with any mix or match of types.

That's what I thought, but this is what it says in monoprice.com and in two other sites that I looked at.
LL
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post #11 of 21 Old 04-08-2012, 07:10 AM
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If anything, that's probably alimitation of the monoprice keystone wallplates, not of the keystone jack.

As you can see in KingLeer's photo, he has (2) cat6 side-by-side.

I myself have multiple keystone plates with rj45 side-by-side, up, down, and so forth. I never had an issue.

Honestly, I wonder if that is some sort of typo.

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post #12 of 21 Old 04-08-2012, 08:14 AM
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If nobody chimes in, just go with Leviton keystones from HD.

I think that Monoprice disclaimer comes from using the Monoprice female keystone connectors in a Decora insert keystone blank, and not a regular non-Decora plate.

I don't know for sure, as I've used Leviton keystones exclusively, and haven't tried Monoprice's.

Decora keystone plate is much more crowded:

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post #13 of 21 Old 04-08-2012, 04:01 PM
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I can confirm the toolless keystone jacks from Monoprice won't fit side by side. I'm not sure about the punch down ones as I've never ordered them. If using six I'd go with the double gang plate with 3 on each side.

Adding from my experience:
I am in the process of switching over from in wall keystones to a patch panel. I didn't like them on the wall because it was putting a lot of stress on the electrical boxes (LV boxes don't have a chance) and all the wires hanging out were hard to organize nicely. Let me know if you need any specific pictures. I've already removed the wallplates and inserted a bulk wire plate though.
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post #14 of 21 Old 04-08-2012, 08:35 PM
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Connectors are always a likely point of failure, too. I don't like to have too many in the circuit.
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post #15 of 21 Old 04-09-2012, 04:29 AM
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Ethernet specification says 2 connectors, one at the patch panel in the closet, and the other at the point of use.

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post #16 of 21 Old 04-09-2012, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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You mean, CAT6 connectors were too heavy on the wall plate?? I was planning on using LV for CAT6 and RG6 behind the TV/AV equipment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scl23enn4m3 View Post

I am in the process of switching over from in wall keystones to a patch panel. Let me know if you need any specific pictures. I've already removed the wallplates and inserted a bulk wire plate though.

Absolutely, if you can I would appreciate it.
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post #17 of 21 Old 04-09-2012, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Had a chat with Monoprice Tech Support a short while ago regarding the punch down RJ45 and their fit (or lack there of) side-by-side in a wall plate. Here is what he said:


JXXX L: actually 6 keystones will fit on there.
JXXX L: on one description i believe it says does not fit side by side, they have already fixed that issue
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post #18 of 21 Old 04-09-2012, 04:14 PM
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The main issue with using the Monoprice 50' cables is they are not rated for in-wall use. You want cable rated for in-wall use if you're running it in a wall, else there are issues with fire codes. (Not likely you'd get "caught", but if there was ever an actual fire, you'd find out the reason those codes exist really fast, and you might have issues with your insurance company if the fire report makes note of the incorrect cable types.)
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post #19 of 21 Old 04-09-2012, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalani View Post

The main issue with using the Monoprice 50' cables is they are not rated for in-wall use. You want cable rated for in-wall use if you're running it in a wall, else there are issues with fire codes. (Not likely you'd get "caught", but if there was ever an actual fire, you'd find out the reason those codes exist really fast, and you might have issues with your insurance company of the wire report makes note of the incorrect cable types.)

Haven't thought about that, but I dropped the idea of pre-patched cables.
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post #20 of 21 Old 05-19-2012, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SBI View Post

Had a chat with Monoprice Tech Support a short while ago regarding the punch down RJ45 and their fit (or lack there of) side-by-side in a wall plate. Here is what he said:


JXXX L: actually 6 keystones will fit on there.
JXXX L: on one description i believe it says does not fit side by side, they have already fixed that issue

Did you ever order the cat6 punch down keystones and confirm they fit side by side in a wall plate? If so, can you confirm the product numbers of the jacks and plates?
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post #21 of 21 Old 05-19-2012, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalani View Post

The main issue with using the Monoprice 50' cables is they are not rated for in-wall use. You want cable rated for in-wall use if you're running it in a wall, else there are issues with fire codes. (Not likely you'd get "caught", but if there was ever an actual fire, you'd find out the reason those codes exist really fast, and you might have issues with your insurance company if the fire report makes note of the incorrect cable types.)

I know the OP isn't using the pre-made patch cables in-wall, but just wanted to point out that the Monoprice cat6 patch cables, at least the 50 foot I just checked, is rated for in-wall use. Under Specs, it says 'CMG', an appropriate substitute for CL2 (CMG is 'higher' rating than CL2).

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...#specification

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