find mysterious in-wall CAT5 cable + fishing question - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-20-2009, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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ok actually I have two questions:

1) My house is wired with CAT5 cables for phone and I've pretty much successfully convertered them all to data / network use except for one. As stupid as it sounds, I don't know where it is! Basically I have this extra CAT5 cable coming out in the basement (where the other CAT5 are coming out). However, I can't find the extra (matching) phone jack anywhere in the house. Is there any type of tool to be able to find a CAT5 wire somewhere in the wall (I assume that's where it is)? I used a tone tracer to match the phone jack with the other end in the basement for the other CAT5 cables but it doesn't seem to be good enough to find in-wall cables.

2) For one of the CAT5 jack in the kitchen, I would like to run a second CAT5 cable. I'm a complete noob when it comes to wall fishing but I figure since there is already an existing CAT5, there should be some type of tools that let me pull the new cable along the old one?

Thanks in advance for any help
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post #2 of 14 Old 06-20-2009, 06:39 PM
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If there is such a tool.. to locate the cat5 in the wall when you have no idea where it is.. its probably more expensive than it would be to just have a wiremunky pull a new one for you.

The wire might go to the attic or out to the telephone box or to the alarm panel. It may be in the wall with an RG6 but not terminated. Check all of your data & TV jacks.

As far as the kitchen phone line goes..As long as its not taped or tacked to something and you can find both ends of it and its not around to many 90 degree bends.. you could tie on a nylon rope 'pull string' to the cat5 in the kitchen. Get some one to help you push at the kitchen end while you pull at the other end. Once you pull the cat5 all the way thru and only the pull string is hanging out.. tie on the second cat5 and use the pull string to pull them both back to the kitchen.

If pulling the cat5 requires more force than say tieing your shoelaces.. stop what your doing so you dont detroy it or pull it off the nylon rope. It would suck to lose the cat5 half way in the wall and not be able to get it back.

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post #3 of 14 Old 06-22-2009, 05:10 AM
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In regards to tools, most can be found at Lowes or Home Depot. A long 54" flexible drill bit, and fish sticks are what I normally use. Depends on what your layout is and accessibility. You might need to call in a pro.
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post #4 of 14 Old 06-22-2009, 05:48 AM
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In regards to 2), if the intent is for data you really don't need to fish in another cable. You can add a tiny Ethernet hub/switch for more cat5 ports or...

with 100basetx Ethernet, only two pairs of four are used in the cable. You can reclaim the usused pairs (blue/brown) for another data connection. Just need a handybox with two 110 cat5 keystones on each end of the cable run.

here's an instructional link for making one

Digital Convergence News Blog: http://www.copperbox.net
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-22-2009, 08:37 AM
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post #6 of 14 Old 06-24-2009, 06:55 AM
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Shot in the dark on the missing phone jack, but do you have an alarm system in the house? If so, there is probably a phone line running to it. That was the case for me...I think I still have one left to find.
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-24-2009, 07:53 AM
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That missing cat5 cable may be run to the area behind the TV/Stereo. It was common practice to have a phone jack there.

Look for a blank wall plate in the garage, or in the basement.

2 cat5 cables may have been run to the home office location - fax + multiple phone lines may have been a consideration.

Good idea about the alarm. If you don't have an alarm, look for a blank wall plate in the master bedroom closet, a popular alarm panel location.

Extra cat5 may be run to a thermostat, for remote operation.

The local home inspector may have your house plans on file, which could possibly include the phone drop locations.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #8 of 14 Old 06-27-2009, 06:24 PM
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If you are running a cable down to the same location where one exists and it isn't stapled to the wall you could run two above the wall, tape it to the existing wire and use it as a pull string to get you to the ring. In other words sacrifice the current cat 5 to pull in two more. Otherwise if you have wood studs and want to do this a lot they make a neat tool I have tried but had little success with. It is a magnetic bullet looking device and has a magnetic roller to get it down to the hole. I have metal studs so it is useless. Fish sticks are the best in my opinion.

Good luck!

Neil
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-27-2009, 08:37 PM
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One of those magnetic devices is called the Magnepull, from LSDI, but pretty expensive for the homeowner (~$125).

http://www.magnepull.com/

LSDI makes MANY tools for pulling wire - good site, cool toys.

http://www.lsdinc.com/content/main

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post #10 of 14 Old 06-28-2009, 11:10 AM
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I would look behind every wall plates in the house to see if you can find an unused cat-5 cable. Start with the most obvious places - office, family room, or multi-media room.

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post #11 of 14 Old 07-04-2009, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone who has responded

Here are some updates:

1) I finally found the missing CAT5 phone jack! It's behind the 140 inch screen in the media room! When I mounted the screen, I thought I won't have an use for the phone jack anyway and only recently have I learned that what I have there for the phones are actually CAT5 cables.

2) Wwall fishing is at the moment out of question. I discovered that the hole in the basement where the CAT5 cables leads into the wall (the roof to be exact) is well tiny. The builder did a great job making the hole exactly the size to fit the existing CAT5 cable. Unfortunantly, I do not have the tools nor can I reach the area to make the hole bigger. However, the idea with a switch is a great idea. It saves a lot of time for only ~$20.
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post #12 of 14 Old 07-06-2009, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerolife View Post

do not have the tools nor can I reach the area to make the hole bigger. However, the idea with a switch is a great idea. It saves a lot of time for only ~$20.

Are you looking to make it a second network jack or a phone jack??

Networks only actually use 2 pairs Orange pair and Green pair. Just replace where the 2 greens go with the 2 blues and the 2 Organge with the brown.

It will work fine, wont need a switch in the kitchen, just get a plate with 2 holes in it.
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post #13 of 14 Old 07-06-2009, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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@bighick

good idea, but I already used the other two pairs for phone lines
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post #14 of 14 Old 07-06-2009, 09:14 PM
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If you're implying you used the other 2 pairs within the Cat 5 cable for phone lines, you might want to rethink this. You risk damaging the attached network gear running on the other 2 pairs within the Cat 5 bundle. Phone connections run on 48V and during the situation where there is a ring tone generated on the phone line, that's a significant signal which can induce a spike on the network cable pairs. You can use the other 2 pairs in the Cat 5 bundle for an additional network connection. But it is general not recommended to use any of the extra pairs of a Cat 5 bundle for phone drops.

I had this very situation in a location where I did pull a Cat5e drop but never thought I would want to get a multi-function printer. Well, I ended up getting one. After much thought about whether I wanted to risk damaging my backbone switch, I decided the risk wasn't worth it and went through the headache of pulling an extra Cat5e drop for the Fax line of the printer.
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