Bought home constructed in 2004... wired RJ45's everywhere but cannot locate distribution panel - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-01-2013, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
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We've recently purchased a 2500 sf home built in 2004. This house was built by Estridge in Indiana, one of the early adopters of structured wiring.

I'm an IT geek and old-time audiophile, and I managed to locate all of the wiring for whole-house audio and cable distribution. That was simple.

For the life of me, I cannot find where the CAT-5 from all these jacks ends up. I've looked in closets, in accessible attic spaces, and even behind the wall in the little alcove where the audio stuff terminates. No 4 pair CAT5 anywhere.

The jacks are wired, so they go somewhere. Any suggestions for hunting this down?

Thanks,

John
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-01-2013, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jkelleyus View Post

I'm an old-time audiophile

eek.gifeek.gifeek.gif

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For the life of me, I cannot find where the CAT-5 from all these jacks ends up. I've looked in closets, in accessible attic spaces, and even behind the wall in the little alcove where the audio stuff terminates. No 4 pair CAT5 anywhere.

One would expect they ran to the family room and bedrooms with Ethernet as the intended use, but they may not have spent the time/money to terminate them. If you have coax plates on the walls, pull one off and see if there's an unterminated cable there.

Otherwise, a high-power (aka not cheap) fox&hound unit to locate them in the walls may be in your future.

Jeff

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post #3 of 11 Old 03-01-2013, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Jeff. I think there should be a BUNCH of cables SOMEWHERE. All of the RJ45's I have opened up are terminated (have wires on the keystone jack) and must end up at a distribution panel I have yet to locate.

We don't really know any of the neighbors yet (wintertime in Indiana) but maybe they can shed some light on where Estridge might have hidden this darn thing. It's a real mystery to me.

John
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-01-2013, 05:28 PM
 
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Inside a cabinet, etc.. The problem is, it could just be point to point phone, with it starting at the NID, and ending at the last jack.

If it was truely structured wiring, there would be a easy to find panel with all of the wires inside it.

Believe it or not, structured wiring started in the mid to late fifties.
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post #5 of 11 Old 03-01-2013, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Greg, this is not point to point phone. I've opened up the jacks and there are single 4 pair Ethernet to each. No series.. The wires go somewhere.

The home is a Fannie Mae repo that looks like it had some serious damage prior to rehab. I didn't do the work... Fanie Mae did. At this point I'm worried they buried the distribution panel in a wall some where.

I'm an IT guy and also a Journeyman Electrician. Foxing it may be the only way to go... I was just hoping somebody might know where the builder (Estridge) liked to hide these things.

Thanks,

John
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post #6 of 11 Old 03-01-2013, 08:48 PM
 
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If there was damage, possible the panel was removed & covered with drywall. You could do a Fox & hound, or metal detector trace to figure out where the wires are running back to. Most common place would be in a utility room, laundry, next to the power panel if in the garage or basement, and then there is always the closet.

Find a neighbor like you mentioned before, talk to them and if they have the same model of home, then the layout should be the same in where their panel is, and that should give you an idea where your's may be hidden.

Of course when my wife's grandmother moved into her condo, we ended up finding the catv & phone connection point in the master bedroom closet, behind a double gang blank.
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-01-2013, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkelleyus View Post

Thanks, Jeff. I think there should be a BUNCH of cables SOMEWHERE. All of the RJ45's I have opened up are terminated (have wires on the keystone jack) and must end up at a distribution panel I have yet to locate.

D'oh, sorry - I thought you couldn't find where all the wires GO, not where they CAME from... smile.gif

Definitely open up the phone network interface / demarc and see if they all went there. If you have or can borrow a decent-to-good network tester, you can use the TDR function to determine the length of the cables, which if you check a few of them, might give you an idea of where they all go.

Any looking in the attic / basement to see if you can get a glimpse of them heading one direction or the other? Very odd for mid-2000's structured wiring to have audio/coax going somewhere different than the cat5...

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post #8 of 11 Old 03-01-2013, 10:53 PM
 
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jautor, I would not state odd. For some, the whole idea of structured wiring, is to pull all wires from the various jacks, to the one location those jacks will serve. Back in the early 2000's, most thought that structured wiring meant taking telephone wiring to the Demarc, Coax to one point or point to point, with a splitter at each wall plate to continue the run as one long run, with one coax serving the whole "loop". Same for telephone.

Nothing like it is today, or for those that take the time to do things right for the next guy.
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-02-2013, 09:26 AM
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Unusual spots to consider may include the attic, MBR closet, guest BR/office, service entrance.

Pull off all the plates of everything.

Prob the same place as the coax home run location.

Might be a good excuse to go shake hands with neighbors this weekend. Certainly the easiest solution.

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post #10 of 11 Old 03-02-2013, 09:29 AM
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http://www.cedmagazine.com/news/2009/05/builder-installs-moto-wireless-in-indiana-town

Estridge in the news. Could this have been a retrofit into your older home?

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

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
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post #11 of 11 Old 03-02-2013, 06:44 PM
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Where do you live?
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