Asking for help setting up home network using existing cat 5e cabling - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 01-20-2012, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I've gotten to the point where using my wireless router is really hampering my network speeds just mainly due to the number of devices that use the internet these days. I'd really like to improve my setup by using my existing cat 5e cabling to set up a proper home network whereby I can plug some of these devices into the ethernet jack instead of relying on a wireless connection.
I've been putting this off for a few years now partly due to laziness and partly due to the notion that "wireless was good enough". Also, I've never really had to do this before so my knowledge of how it all works is lacking.

I've been doing some research so I can try and do this on my own. My first step was to see where all the cat 5e cables are going to in my basement. I took a picture of where they all terminate and where it appears my DSL comes into my home. My first question is that this doesn't seem to be a patch panel that I've been reading about. So my first questions is do I need to buy one and rewire all the terminating cabling into it?



Once this problem is solved, I guess the other things I'll need (switch?) will come into play? Does my DSL modem need to be relocated to this spot for the incoming DSL line to plug into? How does that work?

Any help or points in the right direction would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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post #2 of 33 Old 01-20-2012, 04:21 PM
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Hi Maestro,

That is a punch-down block, and may not be suitable for your Ethernet. I've used them in the past for the old 10mbps Ethernet, but I doubt it will work for gigabit, which is what you will want. It also looks like that setup was meant for phone service, as all of the brown pairs are not hooked up.

Are you sure it is Cat5e? If it was intended for phone use, then it could be Cat3. Also, Cat3 was used for 10mbps Ethernet, which only used two pairs. That might explain why the brown pair is unconnected.

In any case, you would need to replace that punch-down block with a suitable patch-panel, with all four pairs hooked up for gigabit Ethernet.

As for your DSL modem, it just needs to have access to power, the phone line and one Ethernet line. If it is also a router, it will have a built-in switch, and to have it there with the patch-panel may save you a small amount of money. But you may need more connections than the four that a router typically provides, so you would be shopping for a switch anyway.
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post #3 of 33 Old 01-20-2012, 04:31 PM
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get a gigbyte router ,run the DSL modem into that
most router have 4 outlets on the them run 4 lines off that to the rooms that need service then run 5 outlet switches in each room that will just about cover everything in each room
need more room then daisy chain switches
it's all very simple ,I run 4 rooms
2 offices & mancave & bedroom off 4 gigabyte switches
Make sure you buy a gamer router as those have the fastest speeds @ the best price buy pre-terminated cat 5 cable from Mono-Cable to connect every thing from switch to component

then You can rent a cat5 crimper to make the ends for the per-existing cat5 cables get teh ends from Radio Shac

Mike

JAZZ IS NOT DEAD IT JUST SMELLS FUNNY ; FRANK ZAPPA
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post #4 of 33 Old 01-20-2012, 04:41 PM
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Does the wire say Cat5 on the outside of it? If so, you can salvage that mess you have. That punch down block is for telephones. You can't jumper from that to Cat5/Cat6 and expect any goodness. Your crosstalk would go off the scale. Here is my cheap setup, and some ideas for you. I have a Dlink DIR-655 wireless router upstairs. It has 5 GB/1000MB ports on the back. I run my cablemodem into it. I run wires from the Dlink to where I can. One of those goes to my basement and plugs into a $34 Keebox 8 port GB/1000MB switch from Newegg. This gives me 8 Gigabit ports in my basement. And just because the wire is the wrong type, don't think it won't go faster. As long at it is twisted pair ethernet of some flavor Cat3/Cat5/Cat6 you got a chance. Cat 6 specs are 1000MB up to 330 feet. Cat5 will usually run 1000MB 50-100 feet just fine! Cat3 I'm not so sure about. Pull the wires off of that block and crimp some Ethernet ends to them. Mount a cheap GB/1000MB switch there and see what it is capable of. Also remember your internal house internet speed won't see a gain. A good stable 54G wireless connection is way faster than the internet. You will see a huge gain from PC to PC, PC to NVR, etc. I hope this is helpful to you.
- Joe
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post #5 of 33 Old 01-20-2012, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkHotchkiss View Post

Hi Maestro,

That is a punch-down block, and may not be suitable for your Ethernet. I've used them in the past for the old 10mbps Ethernet, but I doubt it will work for gigabit, which is what you will want. It also looks like that setup was meant for phone service, as all of the brown pairs are not hooked up.

Are you sure it is Cat5e? If it was intended for phone use, then it could be Cat3. Also, Cat3 was used for 10mbps Ethernet, which only used two pairs. That might explain why the brown pair is unconnected.

In any case, you would need to replace that punch-down block with a suitable patch-panel, with all four pairs hooked up for gigabit Ethernet.

As for your DSL modem, it just needs to have access to power, the phone line and one Ethernet line. If it is also a router, it will have a built-in switch, and to have it there with the patch-panel may save you a small amount of money. But you may need more connections than the four that a router typically provides, so you would be shopping for a switch anyway.

Well, the writing on the cabling is pretty faint but there looks to be 2 things written past the "CAT" part, so I assumed the 2 digits were a 5 and an e. The first digit is certainly either a 5 or 6 so I'm pretty sure it's 5e.

Not sure what you mean by "all the brown pairs not hooked up". My DSL modem does not have a router.

Thanks for answering my question about needing a patch panel or not. Looks like I do which I thought I did before asking for help. I guess that's the first step but I'm still unsure about your brown pairs comments and what they mean.
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post #6 of 33 Old 01-20-2012, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeLansing View Post

Does the wire say Cat5 on the outside of it? If so, you can salvage that mess you have. That punch down block is for telephones. You can't jumper from that to Cat5/Cat6 and expect any goodness. Your crosstalk would go off the scale. Here is my cheap setup, and some ideas for you. I have a Dlink DIR-655 wireless router upstairs. It has 5 GB/1000MB ports on the back. I run my cablemodem into it. I run wires from the Dlink to where I can. One of those goes to my basement and plugs into a $34 Keebox 8 port GB/1000MB switch from Newegg. This gives me 8 Gigabit ports in my basement. And just because the wire is the wrong type, don't think it won't go faster. As long at it is twisted pair ethernet of some flavor Cat3/Cat5/Cat6 you got a chance. Cat 6 specs are 1000MB up to 330 feet. Cat5 will usually run 1000MB 50-100 feet just fine! Cat3 I'm not so sure about. Pull the wires off of that block and crimp some Ethernet ends to them. Mount a cheap GB/1000MB switch there and see what it is capable of. Also remember your internal house internet speed won't see a gain. A good stable 54G wireless connection is way faster than the internet. You will see a huge gain from PC to PC, PC to NVR, etc. I hope this is helpful to you.
- Joe

Thanks Joe. Appreciate the help. I have the exact same wireless router as you and also use it in my upstairs area where I have my DSL modem connected to the phone plug in the bedroom. If I try to simulate your setup, I'm going to run into problems because I can't run any ethernet back from that bedroom modem/router to the basement (where that punch block is) without making a mess and putting holes in walls. I see what you are saying and I like the idea, just not sure I can pull it off with my setup.
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post #7 of 33 Old 01-20-2012, 05:58 PM
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Hi Maestro,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro J View Post

Not sure what you mean by "all the brown pairs not hooked up".

I might be misinterpreting your photo, but it looks to me like the green, blue and orange pairs are hooked to the punch-down block, but the brown pair is wrapped around the insulation of each cable and left unconnected. Am I seeing it wrong?
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post #8 of 33 Old 01-20-2012, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Ah yes, now I see what you are referring to. Yes, that's correct.
So that's going to be a problem or do I need to just make sure those wires are included in any patch panel I install?
If I install my DSL modem at this location, where or how would I get a phone line coming into it? That part confuses me. Any suggestion?
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post #9 of 33 Old 01-20-2012, 08:23 PM
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Where does your phone line enter the house now? If possible you need to run a line from your demarc outside of your house to your patch panel. Then you can put your DSL modem there and hook it right into your network. Is there a phone jack near your wiring now? My guess is that there is, since that wiring looks like it feeds the rest of the jacks in your whole house.

Alex
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post #10 of 33 Old 01-21-2012, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaggedEdge View Post

Where does your phone line enter the house now? If possible you need to run a line from your demarc outside of your house to your patch panel. Then you can put your DSL modem there and hook it right into your network. Is there a phone jack near your wiring now? My guess is that there is, since that wiring looks like it feeds the rest of the jacks in your whole house.

In the picture that I put in the first post, is that what the wire is that is on the left side of the punch down block? So incoming on the left side and outgoing on the right side? It has to be.
I take it that on any patch panel that I buy, there's a place for that incoming phone/dsl wire?
Sorry for what probably are stupid questions.
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post #11 of 33 Old 01-21-2012, 06:14 AM
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Yes, wire on he left is incoming, wires on the right are feeding the jacks to the whole house. Now, I would leave that block there with the incoming wire attached. Then you can feed a wire out the right and put a jack right there where you will attach your DSL Modem. Then you need to decide which jacks in the house you will want as network jacks and which you will want as phone jacks. You can't have both. The ones you want to remain as phone jacks, leave those punched into the existing blocks. The ones you want as network jacks, you will punch into a new patch panel.

Alex
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post #12 of 33 Old 01-21-2012, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaggedEdge View Post

Yes, wire on he left is incoming, wires on the right are feeding the jacks to the whole house. Now, I would leave that block there with the incoming wire attached. Then you can feed a wire out the right and put a jack right there where you will attach your DSL Modem. Then you need to decide which jacks in the house you will want as network jacks and which you will want as phone jacks. You can't have both. The ones you want to remain as phone jacks, leave those punched into the existing blocks. The ones you want as network jacks, you will punch into a new patch panel.

Ok, I think I got it and that makes sense to keep that block there and separate out the phone and network cabling. I didn't know that they couldn't be both.

So I guess now I have to determine which cable goes to which jack in the house so I know which ones to touch and which ones to leave alone? Whoever installed the cabling didn't label them at all but maybe that's common. I wonder what method would be best for that. I guess I'll look around for some sort of signal detector like they sell for electrical outlets.

Is this the type of patch panel I need?


And I probably need this tool?


Thanks much! You guys are a huge help.
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post #13 of 33 Old 01-21-2012, 07:41 AM
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If you need to identify what wire goes where.... you can go to lowes or home depot and pick up a wire tracer for about $40. It is two devices: One part puts a signal onto the cable you are interested in, and the other you carry around with you and visit each of the plugs and it will let you hear the signal. If you hear it beeping, than that wire is connected to the one downstairs with the transmitter on it. The one I use can also be found online if you search for "Gardner Bender Lan-Tracker Wire Tracer"

In terms of your Gig switch... DO NOT BUY CHEAP. These are not yet commodity items, even though some manufacturers want you to think that they are. You can get solid performance from something around $100. If you want to do tweaking and remote monitoring of it, you'll want a managed switch. Cost more, but may be worth it if you are a tweaker.

-Mike


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This is basically how my network is set up. Everything comes down into a patch panel. I can get the wifi to the end of my drive, which is about 75ft from the router in the basement.

There is a connection point down there for both catv if needed, and telco. Switch is a Netgear gs-108.

Attachment 234880
LL
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post #15 of 33 Old 01-21-2012, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbahr View Post

If you need to identify what wire goes where.... you can go to lowes or home depot and pick up a wire tracer for about $40. It is two devices: One part puts a signal onto the cable you are interested in, and the other you carry around with you and visit each of the plugs and it will let you hear the signal. If you hear it beeping, than that wire is connected to the one downstairs with the transmitter on it. The one I use can also be found online if you search for "Gardner Bender Lan-Tracker Wire Tracer"

In terms of your Gig switch... DO NOT BUY CHEAP. These are not yet commodity items, even though some manufacturers want you to think that they are. You can get solid performance from something around $100. If you want to do tweaking and remote monitoring of it, you'll want a managed switch. Cost more, but may be worth it if you are a tweaker.

-Mike

Will something like this suffice? Is this a good one?
http://www.amazon.com/D-Link-DGS-100...7089981&sr=8-1
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post #16 of 33 Old 01-21-2012, 08:12 AM
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I wired my house with Cat5e cable that I got for free from the comcast guy. He gave me a box that had a roll, which was 3/4 full.

Anyway, I bought a toll set for $40 from Lowes that comes with instruction on how to terminate the cables. It's pretty easy.

So, I've got my cable modem in my living room --->WNDR3700 router--->xbox slim--->PS3--->Mede8er--->TrendNet 5 port gigabit switch in bedroom ----> AIOS--->xbox360.

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post #17 of 33 Old 01-21-2012, 08:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro J View Post


Will something like this suffice? Is this a good one?
http://www.amazon.com/D-Link-DGS-100...7089981&sr=8-1

I would not go cheap. Go with the Netgear, it is a rock solid switch.
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post #18 of 33 Old 01-21-2012, 09:19 AM
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Monoprice has an 8 port Gigabit switch for $25. I have two of them and both have been rock solid for over a year. For in home applications, having remote monitoring is way way overkill.

Alex
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post #19 of 33 Old 01-21-2012, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaggedEdge View Post

Monoprice has an 8 port Gigabit switch for $25. I have two of them and both have been rock solid for over a year. For in home applications, having remote monitoring is way way overkill.

Ditto. They prices on cable is probably the best as well!

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post #20 of 33 Old 01-21-2012, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I'm about to buy everything I need for this and I want to make sure I'm not leaving anything out.

Patch Panel
Gigabit switch
Punch down tool
Some patch cables
LAN wire tracer

Am I forgetting anything?
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post #21 of 33 Old 01-21-2012, 10:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro J View Post

Ok, I'm about to buy everything I need for this and I want to make sure I'm not leaving anything out.

Patch Panel
Gigabit switch
Punch down tool
Some patch cables
LAN wire tracer

Am I forgetting anything?

Kick the wife or girlfriend out along with kids if you have them, while you install everything.
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post #22 of 33 Old 01-21-2012, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

Kick the wife or girlfriend out along with kids if you have them, while you install everything.

That's a given!
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post #23 of 33 Old 01-21-2012, 10:55 AM
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Dudes,

You guys don't even wanna go there with the kids and wife...they drove me crazy. That probably why I had to terminate almost all of the cables twice

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post #24 of 33 Old 01-21-2012, 10:56 AM
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Ditto. They prices on cable is probably the best as well!

+1 on the MonoPrice switch


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro J View Post

Ok, I'm about to buy everything I need for this and I want to make sure I'm not leaving anything out.

Patch Panel
Gigabit switch
Punch down tool
Some patch cables
LAN wire tracer

Am I forgetting anything?

Not sure how your jacks are terminated now, but you might need new keystone jacks for your network connections. Pick them up at Monoprice while you're there.

Alex
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post #26 of 33 Old 01-21-2012, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

I would not go cheap. Go with the Netgear, it is a rock solid switch.

I've been using at least a dozen of the older versions of the Dlink DGS1008 and 1005 gigabit switches for years. I've never had an issue with any of them. They have been powered up 24/7/365 for years now and have always been rock solid.

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post #27 of 33 Old 01-21-2012, 02:00 PM
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I've been using TrendNet switches as well, and they are excellent. I haven't had a problem with mine, and I got it on sale for $15.00 bucks shipped. It's a 5 port gigabit switch.

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post #28 of 33 Old 01-21-2012, 03:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

Dudes,

You guys don't even wanna go there with the kids and wife...they drove me crazy. That probably why I had to terminate almost all of the cables twice

Tell me about it. It happens when you have to do a hundred connections in an office, and you have everyone and their brother coming in bugging you. headphones on help whether you have something playing or not. Same with pulling out the cellphone when someone walks in on you, and you act like you are calling to talk to someone.
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post #29 of 33 Old 01-21-2012, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

This is basically how my network is set up. Everything comes down into a patch panel. I can get the wifi to the end of my drive, which is about 75ft from the router in the basement.

There is a connection point down there for both catv if needed, and telco. Switch is a Netgear gs-108.

Attachment 234880

Is your wireless router between your modem and gigabit switch or do you go from modem to switch to wireless router?
Is there an advantage either way?

Edit: Looks like I need the router between the modem and switch for firewall purposes is what I'm reading....
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post #30 of 33 Old 01-21-2012, 04:59 PM
 
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For U-Verse, the 3600hgv-b RG is the router & modem, then the switch is there to just serve those jacks that are a computer, xbox-360, and Sony Blu-Ray. The 2 set tops & dvr are on the RG, so that the multi-cast traffic from them is kept separate from those devices on the GS-108. I have three jacks that are not being used right now, so they do not have any patch cords to them at the moment, but are there for reserve in case we ever need them.
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Reply Networking, Media Servers & Content Streaming

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