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post #1 of 87 Old 12-19-2012, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all:

I recently purchased a new home and it came with ethernet ports in every room. I am assuming it is pre-wired but will obviously have to verify. From what I understand, each outlet either is, or should be, wired (behind the walls) into some central "hub" - correct?

So my question is, assuming everything is wired up, how do I "power" each ethernet port to be internet-ready?

I currently have cable hooked up to a modem and the modem is connected to my wireless router with an ethernet cable. I'm using wireless but the signal is weak upstairs.

Is it as simple as hooking up one of the router's ethernet output ports to any one of my ethernet outlets, and somehow the rest become internet ready? I'm confused on how to get internet access supplied to the various outlets.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 87 Old 12-19-2012, 02:59 PM
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You're close... Assuming the wiring is correct, you should have a set of RJ45 jacks in your structured wiring panel (where all the wires go). You'd just need a cheap Ethernet switch to place there to tie all the rooms together. Find your panel - it's probably in a closet, open it up and see what gear is inside. Post a picture of the stuff and we'll tell you what you've got.

So you'd connect a patch cord from your wireless router to the wall jack. Then in the wiring panel, connect that room's wire to an Ethernet switch (we'd call this the 'uplink' port, but these days all ports on the switch will work). Then connect any other room to the switch, and you're live...

A 5-port gigabit switch is dirt cheap - like $10-15. Hopefully your structured wiring panel has a power outlet inside so you can do this easily.

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post #3 of 87 Old 12-19-2012, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Jeff. This will sound silly but I haven't seen the panel (haven't lived here long). I suspect it may be in the master closet but it has been sealed off with paint - I'll spend some time this evening sleuthing and find it and I'll post up the picture. I'm glad to hear I don't have to stick the router into the closet as well, because in the main room I have multiple devices hardwired to the router, and there is only a single ethernet jack in the wall at that location. Will post up tonight. Appreciate it.
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post #4 of 87 Old 12-19-2012, 08:12 PM - Thread Starter
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And here is my panel. The wires are actually labeled, the 3 bedrooms (all upstairs) are connected to the ports as shown. There is a 4th wire (presumably connected to an outlet somewhere that is NOT connected to anything - the end is bare and ready for me to strip the insulation and connect it up. It is labeled "HR B" - no clue what this could mean, but I'm pretty sure the only other ethernet outlet in the house is in the family room (where the tv and router are) - I am assuming for some reason they didn't connect that outlet?

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post #5 of 87 Old 12-19-2012, 08:44 PM
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You're set up better than we normally see... Yes, looks like you're wired for 3 rooms for Ethernet - those connections are on the lower "network block", ready for a short patch cable to go to a small Ethernet switch you can shove into that box - and look, a power outlet!

"HR B" probably means the second jack in a room - could that be "FR" for family room instead? If there's a jack in the family room, that's probably it. Is there a phone jack also in the family room? Hopefully so, and yes, the next step is to identify that wire and that jack. Probably a reasonable assumption that these are related. I'd get a punch tool and punch down that last cable - those wires aren't connected inside the block - they just feed to the RJ45 jacks above each punchdown, so there's no harm in connecting the other wire.

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post #6 of 87 Old 12-19-2012, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

You're set up better than we normally see... Yes, looks like you're wired for 3 rooms for Ethernet - those connections are on the lower "network block", ready for a short patch cable to go to a small Ethernet switch you can shove into that box - and look, a power outlet!
"HR B" probably means the second jack in a room - could that be "FR" for family room instead? If there's a jack in the family room, that's probably it. Is there a phone jack also in the family room? Hopefully so, and yes, the next step is to identify that wire and that jack. Probably a reasonable assumption that these are related. I'd get a punch tool and punch down that last cable - those wires aren't connected inside the block - they just feed to the RJ45 jacks above each punchdown, so there's no harm in connecting the other wire.
Jeff

Thanks for the timely response Jeff! You may be right, it may be meant for "FR" as there are an "HR A" and "HR B" for the cable wires, and there are in fact 2 ports where the tv goes in the family room. The only thing is I just checked and its actually a phone port, not an ethernet port, behind my tv. I did a complete hunt downstairs. Moved all furniture, even removed the panels that house the kitchen and family room phone ports to look for cat5 wiring that is there in the wall but not connected to an outlet, and nothing. I'm at a loss.. why would they not include a cat5 hookup downstairs? I also confirmed that each bedroom only has one cat5 port. I'm stumped.
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post #7 of 87 Old 12-19-2012, 09:35 PM
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Take off the cover plate on that phone jack, you'll probably find the other end of the wire there... biggrin.gif

Hopefully that's the case, then it's just a matter of adding an RJ45 keystone jack there (replacing the plate with a two-keystone plate) like:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=105&cp_id=10517&cs_id=1051703&p_id=6727&seq=1&format=2

And then punching down the other end onto the network block, add some patch cables, and a switch to hook it all together...

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post #8 of 87 Old 12-19-2012, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately, the other end of the "HR B" wire is not behind either phone jack wall plate cover downstairs (family room or kitchen). I can't seem to find the other end.

This is probably a dumb question, but could I use the phone jack cable instead of a cat5 cable? it seems like both have multiple wires inside that I could use - basically remove the end of the phone line wire that plugs into the wall plate cover downstairs and connect them into an ethernet wall plate cover. Then unplug the end of that phone line in my "phone network block" and punch it down onto the "ethernet network block"? I suspect the wires are somehow intrinsically different but thought I'd ask.
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post #9 of 87 Old 12-19-2012, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 123 View Post

This is probably a dumb question, but could I use the phone jack cable instead of a cat5 cable? it seems like both have multiple wires inside that I could use - basically remove the end of the phone line wire that plugs into the wall plate cover downstairs and connect them into an ethernet wall plate cover. Then unplug the end of that phone line in my "phone network block" and punch it down onto the "ethernet network block"? I suspect the wires are somehow intrinsically different but thought I'd ask.

Maybe. The phone wire may very well be cat5e. If you can use a flashlight back in the panel, see if you can make out any markings on those grey wires to see if says "Cat5e" on it. You'll see similar stuff on the blue wires, too, for example. The fact that the wires are a different color could mean it's either the slightly cheaper cat3 (phone wire), or they used a different color wire to keep things straight during installation. 50/50 on which of those is the case. biggrin.gif

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post #10 of 87 Old 12-20-2012, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Maybe. The phone wire may very well be cat5e. If you can use a flashlight back in the panel, see if you can make out any markings on those grey wires to see if says "Cat5e" on it. You'll see similar stuff on the blue wires, too, for example. The fact that the wires are a different color could mean it's either the slightly cheaper cat3 (phone wire), or they used a different color wire to keep things straight during installation. 50/50 on which of those is the case. biggrin.gif

Fantastic, I will check. What are the disadvantages of using cat3 for internet connectivity (in case it is in fact cat3)?

Now this is my first home so please bear with me. Would it make sense to climb into the attic to try to find the 4th blue (cat5) cable and try to deduce where it might go? I assume the wires are all routed through the attic?
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post #11 of 87 Old 12-20-2012, 09:31 AM
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Fantastic, I will check. What are the disadvantages of using cat3 for internet connectivity (in case it is in fact cat3)?

It's a different cable type (not nearly as many "twists" per foot) - see Wikipedia if you want the full history. But cat3 isn't rated to carry twisted-pair Ethernet. For very short runs at lower data rates it *might* work, but it also could be very flaky or have poor performance (which with consumer devices is difficult to detect or diagnose).

Since you also have coax available, if there's no cat5 where you need it, there are Ethernet-over-coax systems (MoCA) that can get you there, too.
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Now this is my first home so please bear with me. Would it make sense to climb into the attic to try to find the 4th blue (cat5) cable and try to deduce where it might go? I assume the wires are all routed through the attic?

If it were my house I'd certainly want to know where all the cables go - especially if I was trying to use them! biggrin.gif

Since that wire isn't terminated, I'd also check the telephone interface box (on the outside of the house) to see if there's a extra wire there. And if there's any blank plates anywhere in the house, time to take those covers off...

Jeff

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post #12 of 87 Old 12-20-2012, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jautor View Post

It's a different cable type (not nearly as many "twists" per foot) - see Wikipedia if you want the full history. But cat3 isn't rated to carry twisted-pair Ethernet. For very short runs at lower data rates it *might* work, but it also could be very flaky or have poor performance (which with consumer devices is difficult to detect or diagnose).
Since you also have coax available, if there's no cat5 where you need it, there are Ethernet-over-coax systems (MoCA) that can get you there, too.
If it were my house I'd certainly want to know where all the cables go - especially if I was trying to use them! biggrin.gif
Since that wire isn't terminated, I'd also check the telephone interface box (on the outside of the house) to see if there's a extra wire there. And if there's any blank plates anywhere in the house, time to take those covers off...
Jeff

Got it RE: cat3. Not an option. I suppose if I get desperate then I will look into MoCA.

Exactly, it is going to drive me nuts now until I find the other end of that cable. There are no blank plates and I really don't want to pull EVERY cover off to find it. I will check outside as well.

Thanks for the help!
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post #13 of 87 Old 12-22-2012, 10:27 PM
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I'm betting "hr b" means home run b. If you look for the demarcation point in your house, you would probably see the unused cat5e.

Demarcation point is the area where your services enter the house, power, telephone, tv, etc.
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post #14 of 87 Old 12-23-2012, 06:50 AM
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Where the wires are run depends on the area of the country and how they construct houses there. Some places without basements are heavy on wiring in the attic, here in New England with mostly full basements, everything done there is more likely. I don't know how they build houses in SoCal.
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post #15 of 87 Old 12-23-2012, 05:31 PM
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Southern California is too big to lump us in a certain wiring standard. Everywhere is different and this also depends on the builder as well.
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post #16 of 87 Old 12-25-2012, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm betting "hr b" means home run b. If you look for the demarcation point in your house, you would probably see the unused cat5e.
Demarcation point is the area where your services enter the house, power, telephone, tv, etc.
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It's a different cable type (not nearly as many "twists" per foot) - see Wikipedia if you want the full history. But cat3 isn't rated to carry twisted-pair Ethernet. For very short runs at lower data rates it *might* work, but it also could be very flaky or have poor performance (which with consumer devices is difficult to detect or diagnose).
Since you also have coax available, if there's no cat5 where you need it, there are Ethernet-over-coax systems (MoCA) that can get you there, too.
If it were my house I'd certainly want to know where all the cables go - especially if I was trying to use them! biggrin.gif
Since that wire isn't terminated, I'd also check the telephone interface box (on the outside of the house) to see if there's a extra wire there. And if there's any blank plates anywhere in the house, time to take those covers off...
Jeff

Correct guys, the other end of the wire is at the demarcation zone:



This is actually on the opposite side of the house from where I need the wire to go, so I imagine snaking the wire to where I need it would be a real bitch (please correct me if I'm wrong). The good news, however, is that I looked at the grey (phone) and blue (ethernet) cables at the demarcation zone and both are identical, only the sheath color is different. Both are Cat5e. So I think my easiest course of action is to replace the wall "outlet" that is currently behind my tv (2 coax + 1 telephone jack) with a 2 coax + 1 ethernet jack and rewire the telephone line as an ethernet and call it a day. If that is settled, then I still need confirmation on how to finish this off. So assuming I get my ethernet jack set up where I need it, and I re-terminate that phone line into one of the ethernet ports in the panel upstairs, then I do the following:

Plug my router into that 'new' ethernet jack. In the panel, connect the ethernet port corresponding to the router's jack to the other 3 ports via a "switch" device, which will also use an electrical outlet. At that point, all my other ethernet jacks have internet availability? How does the IP address get issued, is my router still in control?

Really appreciate the help fellas.
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post #17 of 87 Old 12-25-2012, 12:03 PM
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Plug my router into that 'new' ethernet jack. In the panel, connect the ethernet port corresponding to the router's jack to the other 3 ports via a "switch" device, which will also use an electrical outlet. At that point, all my other ethernet jacks have internet availability? How does the IP address get issued, is my router still in control?

Yep. The path is cable modem -> router -> switch -> devices...

Every device is behind the router, so that they get their configuration from the router. Glad they used cat5e for everything, that makes it simple!

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post #18 of 87 Old 12-25-2012, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes! Thanks for all your help and very timely responses! I'll post back again in a week or so when I get parts in and everything configured. Hopefully it goes smoothly and I have no more questions.
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post #19 of 87 Old 12-29-2012, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Yep. The path is cable modem -> router -> switch -> devices...
Every device is behind the router, so that they get their configuration from the router. Glad they used cat5e for everything, that makes it simple!

Just ordered this 5port switch:

http://www.amazon.com/Linksys-SE2500-5-Port-Gigabit-Ethernet/dp/B004TLIVBQ/ref=cm_cmu_pg__header

For my own clarification, another option is to stick my modem and router into the panel, and connect cable to modem, modem to router, and the various outlets directly into the router ports, right?
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post #20 of 87 Old 12-29-2012, 11:26 AM
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That will do fine. I prefer D-Link or other brands over these simply because they're physically smaller (easier to fit in the panels):

http://www.amazon.com/D-Link-Systems-Gigabit-Desktop-GO-SW-5G/dp/B008BGXZUC/ref=sr_1_8?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1356808915&sr=1-8&keywords=d-link+5+port+gigabit+switch
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For my own clarification, another option is to stick my modem and router into the panel, and connect cable to modem, modem to router, and the various outlets directly into the router ports, right?

Yep, you got it! The only thing to watch for is placing a wireless router inside those wiring enclosures - the metal box will reduce the wireless range. A solution is to mount it on the wall above the panel, and add a scoop wall plate to get the cables in/out of the enclosure.

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post #21 of 87 Old 01-03-2013, 08:38 PM
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I also have a new house which got the prewired ethernet. I'm currently using a cable modem with a wireless router in the main level. But my smart TV is very slow using the wifi signal. I'd like to utilize the ethernet connection behind the TV instead.

There are 6-8 unconnected ethernet cables in my media box ( in the basement level). Do I need to move my cable modem and wireless router to the basement? And add a switch to connect them all? My router only has 4 output ports. I'm worried the wireless signal will be low. Can I add another router upstairs? OR, can I keep the modem/router upstairs, only add a switch in the media box to connect the ethernet cables? I'm confused. Please help me with the right choices.



Thank you all!
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post #22 of 87 Old 01-03-2013, 11:00 PM
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There are 6-8 unconnected ethernet cables in my media box ( in the basement level). Do I need to move my cable modem and wireless router to the basement?

Nope, as long as you have an unused wire running from your router's location to the media box, you can use that to connect the two. Then place a small switch (like the ones mentioned above) in the media box, connect your router link to one port, and as many other links as you have switch ports...

So the chain looks like: router port -> cat5e patch cord -> wall jack (to media box) -> switch <--- (~4-7 other cables in media box) <- wall jack behind TV <- patch cord <- TV

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post #23 of 87 Old 01-04-2013, 11:37 AM
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Thank you very much Jeff!!! It worked. I configured a spare router into a switch and tested the setup. It works as you said. Will purchase a switch with more ports to replace it.
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post #24 of 87 Old 01-05-2013, 08:51 AM
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You might want to grab a gigabit one. I've had good luck with D-Link gigabit switches. You might not need it now, but they're getting so cheap that it's worth it to just put gig in.
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post #25 of 87 Old 01-05-2013, 11:04 AM
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You might want to grab a gigabit one. I've had good luck with D-Link gigabit switches. You might not need it now, but they're getting so cheap that it's worth it to just put gig in.

All of the switches mentioned in the thread so far are gigabit models...

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post #26 of 87 Old 01-07-2013, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Take off the cover plate on that phone jack, you'll probably find the other end of the wire there... biggrin.gif
Hopefully that's the case, then it's just a matter of adding an RJ45 keystone jack there (replacing the plate with a two-keystone plate) like:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=105&cp_id=10517&cs_id=1051703&p_id=6727&seq=1&format=2
And then punching down the other end onto the network block, add some patch cables, and a switch to hook it all together...

Hey Jeff. I tried to tie a long ethernet patch cord to the existing coax wire and pull the coax wire in an attempt to easily snake an additional ethernet cord, but no dice. I guess the damn wires are taught around corners or maybe even restricted. So I am going to stick with the original plan to re terminate the telephone cat5e cable as an ethernet cable. Could you describe how to remove an end that is already punched down on the network block? I know I can just cut it out, but I would like to remove the wires from the network block as well (I'm anal). The wires simply pulled out of the telephone keystone jack after I removed the "cover," but they seem to really be jammed into the network block. Also, is a punchdown tool imperative for punching the ends down on the new keystone jack and the network block? If so, could you maybe point me in the right direction? Thanks for your help.
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post #27 of 87 Old 01-07-2013, 11:32 PM
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Could you describe how to remove an end that is already punched down on the network block? I know I can just cut it out, but I would like to remove the wires from the network block as well (I'm anal). The wires simply pulled out of the telephone keystone jack after I removed the "cover," but they seem to really be jammed into the network block.

Grab each wire and pull towards you - the punchdown is like a pair of scissor blades holding the wire in place. You can use a needlenose pliers if you can't get a finger around the wires. Pulling more than one may be easier - just don't yank and bend the punchdown...
Quote:
Also, is a punchdown tool imperative for punching the ends down on the new keystone jack and the network block? If so, could you maybe point me in the right direction?

The keystones can be done with the little plastic punchdown tool that comes with Leviton pieces, but I'd recommend getting a punch tool - a cheap one will be better than nothing, but that is one tool where you can tell the difference between a cheap and a good one. Here's a cheap one that at least has decent reviews (and the typical dings against them):

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=105&cp_id=10509&cs_id=1050903&p_id=7041&seq=1&format=2

And if you're going to do more than one or two keystones, a "puck" or similar product to hold the keystone in your hand while you punch is really helpful:

http://www.amazon.com/Cables-Go-33100-Keystone-Punchdown/dp/B000O7F2DO

Jeff

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post #28 of 87 Old 01-14-2013, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Grab each wire and pull towards you - the punchdown is like a pair of scissor blades holding the wire in place. You can use a needlenose pliers if you can't get a finger around the wires. Pulling more than one may be easier - just don't yank and bend the punchdown...
The keystones can be done with the little plastic punchdown tool that comes with Leviton pieces, but I'd recommend getting a punch tool - a cheap one will be better than nothing, but that is one tool where you can tell the difference between a cheap and a good one. Here's a cheap one that at least has decent reviews (and the typical dings against them):

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=105&cp_id=10509&cs_id=1050903&p_id=7041&seq=1&format=2

And if you're going to do more than one or two keystones, a "puck" or similar product to hold the keystone in your hand while you punch is really helpful:

http://www.amazon.com/Cables-Go-33100-Keystone-Punchdown/dp/B000O7F2DO

Jeff

Thanks again for the help! I went ahead and bought that punchdown tool and the keystone jack and a few 1ft and 2ft patch cords, and everything arrived today. I have just one more question to ensure I get it. I have 3 bedrooms upstairs, which are all on the network block already. The router and jack I am converting to ethernet is located downstairs. I've drawn up a schematic showing my network.. I am really only trying to hook up one of the bedrooms upstairs. Therefore, this schematic I've drawn seems logical (I'm just trying to confirm the way the network block works); essentially I have created one long connection from downstairs to the upstairs bedroom in question, with various connections and even a network block along the way, right? This is fine for hooking up just the one bedroom? And if I want to hook up the other bedroom and/or the master in the future, I would interject my switch into the "patch cord" line, and then output patch cord(s) from the switch to the various bedrooms on the network block, right? Just thinking I don't need to hook up the switch for my current needs.

Appreciate the help.

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post #29 of 87 Old 01-14-2013, 03:58 PM
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You got it!

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post #30 of 87 Old 01-14-2013, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Jeff. Really appreciate your help.

UPDATE: Everything went without a hitch and my ethernet jack in the bedroom is now functional! Thanks again Jeff!

As an aside, the tool you recommended had a little swivel-out file and a 'hook' - the hook made pulling the wires out of the punch VERY easy.
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