Ran Cat 5e, Doesn't Work, Options? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 01-22-2014, 05:31 AM - Thread Starter
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HI Guys, I have a dilemma on my hands and I was wondering if you guys can provide me with some suggestions.

I ran a Cat 5e cable from my office (has my DSL modem, router, and file server) to my living room (tv, ps3, ps4). I got the installation done but found out that it doesn't work. I have the router on the office side and a switch on the living room, but neither of the two links (port status lights not lighting up).


Right now I'm using a TP-Link Power Line adapter which works well, so I know my switch and router are fine. But I figured I could get more performance out of my network by using a direct ethernet connection so I decided to retrofit the connection.


Any suggestions on what I should do next? I'd hate to pull the cables out and start over from scratch because of all the trouble I went through when installing this.

After work today I'm planning on grabbing another cat e5 wall port to see if one of the ones I'm using is bad. I also ordered a cat e5 cable tester from amazon to see if the cable is bad.





To bore you guys a bit more, here's some more details on my install. Both rooms are on the same floor but they have the kitchen in between. The office has an unfinished basement below, but the living room doesn't and the floor beneath the carpet is concrete. So I ran the cable from the office down to the basement and across the joists under the kitchen up until the concrete wall edge where the living room starts. I then ran it through the cold return duct which runs straight up to the living room. From there, I cut off a piece of the baseboard, removed it, and drilled a hole so I can run the wire from the duct to the room. I then ran it under the carpet to get to behind the TV. And Finally I cut off a piece of the baseboard again and drilled a hole to get the wire inside the wall behind the TV.

Since I cut up/damaged the baseboard, I had to nail them back and use a wood filler to fill in the saw gaps. I also hurt my back and my knee using the carpet kicker to put the carpet back. And finally I accidentally drilled a hole from the basement into a closet int he kitchen, my angle was off and I was an inch off of where I needed to drill. So yeah I was hoping I didn't go through all this trouble for nothing. And I'd hate to pull the cable out again because that means I'll have to take apart my baseboard again.


Any suggestions on how to troubleshoot and hopefully fix the issue would be appreciated.


Thanks
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post #2 of 22 Old 01-22-2014, 07:11 AM
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First thing I would check is if both ends of the newly ran cable are terminated correctly. Double check that none of the wires came loose from the wallplate jack and that they are in the correct slots.

I guess I am also assuming that you didn't accidentally nail through the cable when reinstalling the baseboard.
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post #3 of 22 Old 01-22-2014, 07:16 AM
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Agreed, do a basic connectivity test.. I have a belkin cable tester thats perfect for stuff like these, I find that its usually a bad connection on one of the rj45 plugs
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post #4 of 22 Old 01-22-2014, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vorkosigan View Post

First thing I would check is if both ends of the newly ran cable are terminated correctly. Double check that none of the wires came loose from the wallplate jack and that they are in the correct slots.

I guess I am also assuming that you didn't accidentally nail through the cable when reinstalling the baseboard.

I was careful with placing the nails but as a last resort I'll check that out.


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Originally Posted by strohj View Post

Agreed, do a basic connectivity test.. I have a belkin cable tester thats perfect for stuff like these, I find that its usually a bad connection on one of the rj45 plugs

Yeah I hope it's just a bad jack. Is it that common to get bad ones?




Now here's something I've been thinking about last night. The punch down plugs that I got has instructions for T568a wiring but looks like my ethernet wires use the t568b standard. Would that matter? I've read that as long as both wall ends have t568a that it should be ok if the cables I plug into the wall are t568b.
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post #5 of 22 Old 01-22-2014, 10:32 AM
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The only difference between A and B are the colors of the wires used at two locations (they are swapped). As long as BOTH ends are the same it WILL work.

If you are not used to punching down wires on jacks it can be easy to make a mistake.

You need to get a simple network cable checker - there are all kinds out there starting a $5-$10 bucks (real simple) to a lot more - a couple are shown below

http://www.idealindustries.com/prodDetail.do?prodId=33-856&div=2&l1=testers&l2=testers_twisted_pair&l3=33-856

http://www.trendnet.com/products/proddetail.asp?prod=210_TC-NT2

Look for ones that tell you if you have opens, shorts and incorrect wiring (swapped wires) .

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #6 of 22 Old 01-22-2014, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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ok so I did some more research and I think I know what the issue is. I bought the wrong cable, my cat 5e is stranded and not solid so it's probably not making good contact on the keystone punch down jack. If this was indeed the problem, any way to salvage the situation? can I splice solid wires to the end of the stranded ones so I can punch them down? or maybe add rj45 plugs to the end and get couplers instead of the punch downs? or are there non-punchdown jacks that work with stranded cables?

thanks
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post #7 of 22 Old 01-22-2014, 10:48 AM
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I would take the time to run the correct cable.

And be sure it is rated for in-wall use.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #8 of 22 Old 01-22-2014, 09:11 PM
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I would simply tin the ends of the wires and try that long before I ran new wire. That would be my last resort.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Strip-and-Tin-Wires-Like-a-Pro/
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post #9 of 22 Old 01-23-2014, 07:57 AM
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I have seen RJ-45 plugs that were made for stranded , and some made fro solid. The pins are different inside the jack for the different cable. I have never seen Keystone Jacks made for stranded. I have never seen anyone tin cat cables. The cable should be punched down with the insulation on. You can probably get the stranded to work with much patience applied, but it will never be right. May be intermittent.

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post #10 of 22 Old 01-23-2014, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post

I would simply tin the ends of the wires and try that long before I ran new wire. That would be my last resort.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Strip-and-Tin-Wires-Like-a-Pro/

I can try that. would probably take half an hour at most, I don't see any harm. I suck at soldering stuff though so hopefully I can make it look nice. thanks for the tip


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I have seen RJ-45 plugs that were made for stranded , and some made fro solid. The pins are different inside the jack for the different cable. I have never seen Keystone Jacks made for stranded. I have never seen anyone tin cat cables. The cable should be punched down with the insulation on. You can probably get the stranded to work with much patience applied, but it will never be right. May be intermittent.

good point, I'd hate it if it works now then stops working suddenly in the future because the connection wasn't stable. I'll try tinning the cable quick, if the connection seems flimsy I'll just rerun the cable.


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Originally Posted by fcwilt View Post

I would take the time to run the correct cable.

And be sure it is rated for in-wall use.

Would the cat 5e plenum cables from Lowes work? The other kind they have is the riser cable.
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post #11 of 22 Old 01-23-2014, 12:03 PM
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Plenum cables would be overkill - plenums are spaces in, say, a ceiling, used for air flow - wires for use in those spaces must be certain specifications as to how they behave in a fire - you don't want burning wire to fill the air space with nasty fumes.

There are also riser cables and plain old "in-wall" cables

They have different, less stringent requirements and are often a good deal cheaper.

Just ask for a spool or box of CAT5e (solid conductors) that is not plenum rated - it will suffice and save you money.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #12 of 22 Old 01-23-2014, 01:17 PM
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And if you're just doing a few "short" runs, see what Home Depot / Lowes offers off the "sold per foot" spools...

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post #13 of 22 Old 01-24-2014, 09:13 AM
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When you see the price of plenum, you will quickly change your mind.

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post #14 of 22 Old 01-24-2014, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcwilt View Post

Plenum cables would be overkill - plenums are spaces in, say, a ceiling, used for air flow - wires for use in those spaces must be certain specifications as to how they behave in a fire - you don't want burning wire to fill the air space with nasty fumes.

There are also riser cables and plain old "in-wall" cables

They have different, less stringent requirements and are often a good deal cheaper.

Just ask for a spool or box of CAT5e (solid conductors) that is not plenum rated - it will suffice and save you money.


to get it from my basement up to the living room, I had to run it through a cold air return duct. I'd say probably about 4 feet long is in the duct. Would I need the plenum kind for this or is the riser one ok?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

And if you're just doing a few "short" runs, see what Home Depot / Lowes offers off the "sold per foot" spools...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skytrooper View Post

When you see the price of plenum, you will quickly change your mind.

yep I only need about 70 ft so I was just going to buy them by the foot. If I remember correctly the riser one was 18 cents per foot. The plenum one I think is 35 cents
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post #15 of 22 Old 01-24-2014, 09:46 AM
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If it runs through an air duct of any sort (feed or return) it needs to be plenum rated - and since you don't want to try to splice in a short section just make the whole run plenum rated.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #16 of 22 Old 01-24-2014, 01:55 PM
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I would use riser-rated, and run it outside of the duct.

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post #17 of 22 Old 01-24-2014, 05:56 PM
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+1 A plenum is not a duct. Plenum cable is not allowed in ducts.
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post #18 of 22 Old 01-24-2014, 09:33 PM
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This is real life. No one is inspecting this install. 4' of cold air return is minimal, run what ever you want.
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post #19 of 22 Old 01-24-2014, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
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This is real life. No one is inspecting this install. 4' of cold air return is minimal, run what ever you want.

No but there are liability issues to consider.

Play it safe and do it according to code - whatever that may be in the OPs area.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #20 of 22 Old 01-25-2014, 08:49 PM
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Not to beat a dead horse, but...

We are talking a cold air return, not heated. Standard Romex is run though cold air runs all the time around here, it has no special properties. If the OP's house burns down he has bigger issues than 4' of CAT5 in a cold air return.
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post #21 of 22 Old 01-25-2014, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt L View Post

Not to beat a dead horse, but...

We are talking a cold air return, not heated. Standard Romex is run though cold air runs all the time around here, it has no special properties. If the OP's house burns down he has bigger issues than 4' of CAT5 in a cold air return.

Sure but if the house is sold and an inspector finds something like that - well you just never know what the consequences might be.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #22 of 22 Old 01-25-2014, 10:34 PM
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Just my opinion but I would buy a spool of cat6 and terminate cat6, most of the cost is in the time now, the premium for cat6 is not that much. Might as well have it all done up and ready for when hardware starts to support it. I also say buy a 1000 foot spool, once you run Ethernet you find it is very nice to have that option. Espeically now days with so many mobile / wifi devices interfering and making the wireless network crap.
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