Hello all. I'm a new home owner that recently purchased a "wired home." But after plugging into some of the ports I realized they weren't activated (like the one behind the TV.) It looks like I have 15 blue cables coming in from the wall to the patch panels. But then I only have 8 options on the hub- which then takes me down to a router that has just 4 jacks.
A couple of questions...
1. I know i will likely need another hub with another 8 ports - but I can't figure out what or how to connect that to the patch panels. I can't find any extra wires?
2. Do I need a new router with 16 ports?
Please help. i'm a novice who is handy, but knows nothing about AV wiring.
The name of the black device is "Open House Data Hub" with 8 ports.
thanks for the swith bit Oly - on the punch down block or the RJ45 - Is that something I can do? Not sure where the extra lines are that I need to connect to the RJ45 plugs. How would you put RJ45s on the lines?
As already explained, an additional 8-port Ethernet switch can be used to expand your total port count from the 4 on your router. Connect the switch to the router, and you'll have a total of 10 ports available (after you connect the two devices together).
Nope, any Ethernet switch will do just fine - spend the extra $5 and get a Gigabit Ethernet version...
If the rooms you want to use are already wired to this patch panel "module", then you just need the Ethernet switch to give you enough ports. If the jack behind the TV ends in one of those blue wires hanging down below the box, you'll need another small patch panel module to properly terminate them. Yes, you could also terminate the cables directly with RJ45s. But since you've already got a decent start on the structured panel, I would go ahead and do it "right"...
Since that's an Elan panel, and there's a mix of brands of modules in there already, pick any patch panel module that will fit. The OnQ / Legrand ones are well made, but not cheap. Something with a flat back can be easy to mount with velcro-backed pads.
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The bottom punch down block with the modular jacks labelled "Open House Data Hub" is simply a means to terminate eight cables with modular jacks.
The way everything is wired, you have eight circuits that can support Ethernet. If you want Ethernet on a cable that isn't one of those eight, you will need to rewire (that will require cutting and punching down one or more cables).
If you want more than eight Ethernet circuits, you can do as Jeff suggested and get another "Open House Data Hub" or equivalent, or just terminate the cables with a 8P8C modular (RJ45) plugs if they are long enough. It is not difficult, and you don't need a tester for home use. The cables will either work well, or not. And if they don't work well, you can always re-terminate them.
To support more than four Ethernet circuits, you need to add network hardware. Simplest way is as Jeff suggested, just plug a eight port switch into the router for eleven ports. However, depending on how you are going to use the network, it might be better to go with a sixteen port switch if you are going to have more than eight Ethernet circuits.
A gigabit switch is a good idea. It doesn't cost much more. It may save you an upgrade in the future. Just be aware that depending on how you are going to use your network, it may not give you any better performance, at least that you will notice. For one thing, the devices on either end, and everything in between, need to be gigabit capable or the switch will fall back to a slower speed for the link.