i need some help on this one....
i recently bought a house that was built in 2006. i have been doing some research on smart homes and audio video distribution, and i remember the real estate agent pointing out a box in my closet. The hub box. i know a little about home networking and thought oh thats nice i have house wired for network. then i investigated tonight and.....
i pop open the hub box and there is a junction for all my cable lines and a nicely wound in tape, collection of cat 5e wires. 9 total, for nine rooms. no ethernet plugs on them, just wires. ok i just need to wire up some plugs, no problem,
then i started thinking. i don't remember seeing network ports in any of my rooms? did some looking and sure enough, my house is wired, but i do not have any ports in any of the supposed 9 rooms???
so where are the ports???
i guessing this was a add on feature when you bought the house new, and the previous owner didn't get that option. i am the second owner.
so how do i go and find the missing end to my cat 5e wires?
is this DIY project or do i need a CE pro?
Look to see if you can see a brand name on the hub (probably on the lid), as that will tell you which "modules" will be easily compatible with the mounting hardware in the box.
Go from there - if you have the wiring in place, terminating the wires with "keystone" jacks and punching down a patch panel is not too difficult. If anything, practice both skills on some scrap cat5e wire... The parts and tools to do all this can be purchased at Home Depot / Lowes / etc., or ordered from Monoprice.
now i'm really lost,
so i did what you said and open up one of the cable outlets in a spare room. so this is what is going on. the cable outlet is a duel outlet, cable and phone jack. so i open up the out let and the only wires are cable and what i think is the phone line. the cord had plaster all over it but i believe it read cat 5, not 5e. i checked the plug and verified that it is indeed a phone plug, not ethernet.
. then i investigated further and found whats going on in that junction box and i notice that the cat 5e is spliced. i guess like the article i read, because as you can see in the picture. only the blue and white wires are spliced. so now i am assuming this is the telephone lines. but i am a little confused on the splicing. i am hypothesizing that:
between upstairs and downstairs
2 phone jacks
6 cable/phone jacks
1 line in
equals 9 wires spliced in a box in my upstairs closet.
so i figured this much out, if i am right, my next question is this can you run phone and network on the same lines at the same time?
Actually, you did your homework quite well...
And since you did that, I'll give you the long answer.
"Category" wire is phone wire. It's been adapted for use as networking wire over the years. The various types of "twisted pair" wire are improvements made to allow for higher speed transmissions... Your wire may be 'plain' cat5, not cat5e, but as you'll see later, for your situation, it's probably not going to matter.
You're not confused at all - you've got it right!
The builder SHOULD have installed a small 'telephone block' in that nice panel box and neatly punched down all the cables for phone service. But that costs $50 and takes time, so they did it the cheap way. For normal phone service, you only need two wires, and they can be connected any way you want (all together, daisy-chained, etc. it doesn't matter for phone). So they've used the blue/blue-white pair, and quickly just spliced all the lines together. The good news is that at least all the wires have been brought to this "structured wiring" box, so you have the opportunity to change things. Homes built in the decade before yours would likely just had the phone wire hopping from outlet to outlet with no central structure.
You do, and you can, with some limitations. And it will some time...
Since you only have one cat5 cable per room, you'll have to share that one wire between phone service and Ethernet. Since 10/100Mb Ethernet only needs two twisted pairs to operate, and phone service only needs one pair - you've got enough pairs for both. Gigabit Ethernet, however, requires all four pairs, which means you won't be able to get that support. But don't worry, most folks don't need anything approaching even 100Mb speed - our bottleneck is normally our Internet service, usually running only ~5-30Mb/s anyway...
So what you'll need is to buy a networking module (a small patch panel) for your structured wiring enclosure. I can't make out the brand on the box, but figure that out so you can buy the matching module which will easily install in the mounting holes. You should also buy one of the telco blocks so the phone wire is cleaned up nicely (although you could just put it back the way it is - but you're going to have it all apart while you're doing the rest of the work).
You then strip back enough of the outer jacket of each of those wires, so you can separate the pairs (keep each pair twisted together though!). You'll take the blue (and brown, why not) to the telco block, and the green and orange pairs to the networking block. In each room, you'll pull off the orange and green pairs from the phone jack (assuming these are 'keystone' jacks - otherwise you'll need to replace them), and attach them to RJ45 / cat5e keystone jacks. Then a few replacement cover plates to get those back into the wall.
Once all the wiring has been done (and I would recommend getting an inexpensive wire tester so you can verify you've got everything correct and functional), it's time to install an Ethernet switch in that enclosure. Now, the other big question - I can't tell for sure in the picture - is there an AC power outlet in the bottom of that enclosure? If so, great, any $10 Ethernet switch will do fine for you. If there's no power, and no outlet nearby, you'll have to get a "Power over Ethernet" (PoE) powered switch that will cost a lot more than $10...
Then it's just a matter of using some short RJ45 patch cables to connect the Ethernet switch to your new networking patch panel module. Connect one wire to whatever room contains your router/modem, and the rest of the rooms will have full service.
Digest all that, do some more reading, and you'll be on your way!
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That's an excellent suggestion, and now I'm kicking myself for not suggesting that, too... Much easier and both systems work better...