Installing new cat5e /cat6 in basement - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 02-27-2013, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not sure if this the right place to post this but, I'm finishing my basement and am starting to run all my data cables and am not sure how to do the cat5e runs.

It is a new house we are just finished in December. The whole upstairs has cat5e installed.

This is what I'm finding in the basement where it is hooked up.



Since it is all cat5e should I run everything in the basement with that or can I use cat6? What all will I need besides the cables? How do I hook it up?

I have ever been googling for hours trying to find videos to explain and am stuck. I really could use some help. Thanks!
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post #2 of 31 Old 02-28-2013, 05:37 AM
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That looks like a very old-school "66" type telephone company punch block. I'm really surprised the person who put the wiring in given that it's a new house didn't put it on a more user-friendly RJ45 female jack patch panel. This style of block is usually used for phone connections and not data. Maybe that's why it was done this way and not put on RJ45 jacks on a patch panel. One of these blocks used for data connections may work, but it's not recommended. If it works at all, your speeds will be fairly low through it.

If you want to attempt to use this for data and extend the wiring to another location, first you'll need to find a 66 type punch down tool. You strip about an inch off the jacket of the new wire (but don't strip the end of the actual wires themselves), then hook the wire tightly around the top of the hook on the end of the right-most terminal in the row so that it catches in the split down the middle of the terminal, then you use the punchdown tool to force the wire down into the split in the terminal all the way to the bottom. That action cuts through the insulation on the wire and makes the connection. The blade on one side of the tool has to be oriented so that when it hits bottom, it cuts off the loose end of the wire, and not the opposite side which would cut the wire where it goes into the cable. So you would just basically match the colors in the new wire to the same colors in the wires already on the block on the left side and punch down all eight wires in the new cable in sequence. Try to keep the amount of wire between where you stripped off the jacket and the terminals themselves to an absolute minimum. That's critical to keeping the data on the cable happy.

Wiggle the left side of one of the horizontal rows. If the right-most terminals wiggle at the same time, that means it's one continuous terminal across from left to right and that's good. Bit if the left side wiggles but the right end doesn't, that means it's a 'split strip' and you need to add a connection between the terminals on the left and the ones on the right to connect the two sides. You can either use a short piece of wire and punch it down on the two middle terminals to make the connection, or you can slide what's called a 'bridging clip' down over the two terminals in the center. Some blocks are made with the split, some are not.

Note that this is not a "110" type block. It's similar, but uses a completely different style of blade on the punch down tool to attach the wiring.

At this stage, you won't notice any difference if you added CAT6 wire to complete the connection instead of just using more CAT5E. Since the majority of the data run was done in CAT5E originally and is further hobbled by being wired to this block, adding a few more feet of CAT6 isn't going to help much. You'd need the whole run CAT6 from end to end and use a better way of terminating the wiring (either a 110 type block, or RJ45 jacks).

Here's a good article about 66 punch blocks:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/66_block
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post #3 of 31 Old 02-28-2013, 06:26 AM
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It looks like whoever set this up was a telephone guy. It is incorrect for networking. Does it even work? You will need to get rid of that punch block and put in a switch and a router.

Are you sure that isn't your telephone wiring? Most installers are using ethernet cable for phones.

Your setup should look like this:


You will need some tools like:
RJ45 crimp tool
ethernet connector
ethernet jack (for wall plates if you are going to install in your basement, optional)
A spool of cat5e or cat6 ethernet cable
A router if you dont' already have one (even if you use wired mostly, get a wireless N router for phones and tablets, guests, etc.)
A switch (if you have more connections than the router has ports).


At the end of every one of those blue cat5e cables, you need to use the crimp tool and connector so you can plug it in to the router or switch. Google or youtube can show you how to do this. This is a diagram of the 2 ways to wire the connector (ignore the crossover diagram). This video should help. Basically you need to just order the wires correctly, insert the wires one at a time into the connector, then crimp. There are 2 different ways to do it, and actually since you don't know how the other end is set up, you will need to try one way and if it doesn't work, re-do it the other way and it should work. It is easy.

To add network drops for your basement, first run the wire. On the router end, do the same as you did with the rest, plug it into the switch or router. On the wall jack end, install a jack instead of a connector, put it in something like this and install it in your wall. With mine, and this may be overkill, but I put one of these behind the wall plate to hold it in the wall securely.


As far as cat5e/cat6 cable, cat6 is more expensive, but cat5e will be good until network speeds exceed 10 gigabit. If you want to future proof, use cat 6, but since your house is already wired with cat 5e, I would just keep using that. It will be decades before cat5e is no longer good enough. Some will debate me on this but most people still aren't even using gigabit yet.
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post #4 of 31 Old 02-28-2013, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow is all I can say. Thanks, seriously, for those awesome responses. I'm not sure if it even works to be honest. As of right now I haven't needed to use it. I have my modem/router(its an all in one deal) sitting in my living room upstairs and we only use wireless. Ipad mini, nexus 7,laptop, xbox360, ps3 and our cell phones, so need for anything hardwired.

I figured while I'm finishing the basement I better run some thoughts, just incase. I'm sure if I don't I'll be regretting it.

We don't have a land line phone so I've never tried that either.

So, if it is set up as a phone line, if I change out the punch block to one of those rj45 patch panels, it will work fine for my data correct?
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post #5 of 31 Old 03-01-2013, 06:47 AM
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No, if that is your phone wiring, it won't work for data. Well, you'd have to convert it over with different jacks/connectors, but much easier than running ethernet behind walls like I had to do. Phone wiring only uses 1 wire pair (for a 2-line system it uses 2 pair). Most installers are using ethernet wire for phone because it is cheaper or something. If a homeowner decides to upgrade to a 2-line phone system, then it is simple to hook up the next pair instead of running new wire behind the wall.

If that is phone wiring (it looks like a phone setup instead of data setup), then the other ends of those blue wires go to phone jacks in the walls upstairs. It would be easy to make it into ethernet. In each of the rooms, switch out the phone jack and wall plate for an ethernet jack and wall plate and crimp on an ethernet jack instead of the phone jack that is on there now. Hopefully when you pull off the phone jack there is some extra cable to work with. Then, in the basement, crimp on ethernet connectors to plug into your router/switch.

So, upstairs in your house do you have phone wall plates or ethernet wall plates?
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post #6 of 31 Old 03-01-2013, 07:51 AM
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You're better off just doing a patch panel for the most flexibility. 110 patch panels are cheap at monoprice and the like. It's also easier than crimping connectors on anyway smile.gif
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post #7 of 31 Old 03-01-2013, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xcrunner529 View Post

You're better off just doing a patch panel for the most flexibility. 110 patch panels are cheap at monoprice and the like. It's also easier than crimping connectors on anyway smile.gif
+1
It's easier, much faster and makes more reliable connections than crimp on ends.

"If we ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space."
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post #8 of 31 Old 03-01-2013, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
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I have one of these in the living room and all bedrooms. I assumed it was data just because I didn't figure people would have a reason to put a land line in every room of there house in this day and age lol.

Btw, I don't know if I made this clear but I was hoping, on which I get this all done, to be able to keep my modem upstairs. Basically to keep the wireless signal strongest up her because that's where we use it the most. I was hoping to be able to hard wire it straight to the jack behind the tv. From there have it hardwired straight to my components on my av rack downstairs. Also be able to plug in something to any of the wall jacks downstairs and get signal.

Will I be able to eventually accomplish this?
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post #9 of 31 Old 03-01-2013, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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I guess it would help if I attached the picture.....
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post #10 of 31 Old 03-01-2013, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JReuter21 View Post



I guess it would help if I attached the picture.....
By the size it looks like a phone jack, but....
If you pull it out from the wall, ho many wires are attached to the modular jack? Telephone would be 2 wire for a single line or 4 wires for a two line phone circuit. 8 wires all connected would be for data.

"If we ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space."
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post #11 of 31 Old 03-01-2013, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by replayrob View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by xcrunner529 View Post

You're better off just doing a patch panel for the most flexibility. 110 patch panels are cheap at monoprice and the like. It's also easier than crimping connectors on anyway smile.gif
+1
It's easier, much faster and makes more reliable connections than crimp on ends.
Potato, potahto...http://www.avsforum.com/t/1460305/structured-wiring-setup/0_40#post_23025162 wink.gif
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post #12 of 31 Old 03-02-2013, 04:09 AM - Thread Starter
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So now Im thinking, would my best option be to just move my modem/router down to the basement where this panel is? The router has 4 "out" jacks on it. I could get one of these

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=105&cp_id=10521&cs_id=1052104&p_id=7857&seq=1&format=2 (is this what im looking for?)

and connect my router to it, and run all of my cat5e throughout the basement with this.

Then recrimp the other stuff coming down to that phone panel and hook it in to it and ill be good? My biggest fear of moving my router to the basement is loss of wifi upstairs. This is where the majority of our time is spent, expecially with wifi capable products.
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post #13 of 31 Old 03-02-2013, 06:27 AM
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Do you have a separate cable modem and router (two pieces of equipment)- or are they combined in one physical unit?

"If we ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space."
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post #14 of 31 Old 03-02-2013, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by replayrob View Post

Do you have a separate cable modem and router (two pieces of equipment)- or are they combined in one physical unit?

Theyre combined into one piece.
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post #15 of 31 Old 03-02-2013, 08:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Right now the cables come down into a room at the back of the basement. If I do a good job of running the cables through my floor joists, I think I could to my AV rack in about 30'. From there it is about another 40 ft of runs to where they would be placed inside the walls. Any recommendations on how many would be good to run throughout the basement? I was thinking 2 or 3 to the main wall where the main tv will be. Atleast one to another wall where it will be all wired for a possible 2nd tv (over by the pool table in the corner). Should I run any to just random places throughout the walls, or just where tvs will be?

Should I put in a patch panel in place of the one that is there right now and have the router back by it? Or is there some way to put the router or a switch of some sort by the av rack to cut down having to do multiple runs of 70' or so, and just be able to run it 40' or so from the av rack? I hope this is making sense.


This is not to scale by any means but just a quick mock of the layout.
In the SE corner is where the wire is now (the pictures I posted above). Under the stairs is going to be a built in AV rack. It will have my Home Theater receiver, DirecTV client box, XBOX360, and a Bluray player. I will leave some extra shelves for future upgrades.

I have run 1.25" grey electrical conduit from av area to both tv areas. I havent run ANYthing yet. Im actually putting together my list on Monoprice right now. Im trying to get it all in one order so I only have to pay shipping one time. As of right now I have HDMI w/redmere cable, 250' speaker wire, a bunch of banana plugs and banana plug walplates, RCA cable for sub, a wall plate for behind the tv that I can put 6 keystones in. I was thinking HDMI, 2 cat 5e(dont know if i should do more), rg6 coax (just incase), and 2 banana plugs for center speaker. To the other tv I was thinking about running HDMI, cat 5e and coax.

Outside of that and the speaker locations, Im at a loss on what else would be ideal to run down there. I WILL be drywalling the ceiling so I want to do it right the first time.

I know I kind of got off subject but just trying to give you guys an idea of what I have going on.

How would you wire this whole mess?

BTW I have 3 phone jacks upstairs right now that are wired with the cat5e that I wouldnt mind being able to be wired into this data system so I can atleast hardwire my DirecTV genie to so its all networked.
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post #16 of 31 Old 03-03-2013, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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This is the last things I need to add to my order before I place it. Dont mean to be pushy, but anyone have any recommendations?

Im getting antsy! smile.gif This is going on the order with all my speaker wire, hdmi cables, everything! I wanna get running the stuff. This crap has probably put me back 2 weeks trying to figure it out! I should have just bit the bullet and paid for shipping twice but im trying to pinch pennies here so I can put that money to good use somewhere else. Thanks! smile.gif
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post #17 of 31 Old 03-03-2013, 04:35 PM
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Well you're in luck if your cable modem has a built in router- then you can keep it upstairs like you want for good wireless signal and just run your cable TV coax to it for signal and one cat5 from it (using your existing cat5) down to a multi-port switch in the basement. The other rooms would get wired ethernet from that switch in the basement.
Of course this is assuming you will convert those telephone outlets to RJ45 jacks for data use.

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post #18 of 31 Old 03-04-2013, 03:22 AM - Thread Starter
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So the cat5e that would be running from my tv...
Would I route those all the way back to my patch panel or just to the AV rack? Or a mixture of the two.

I'm not familiar with how I will want these once it's all set up.

I'm assuming at least one if not all will need to go from my tv to the AV rack to connect to my receiver or anything else there. Would you run any straight from the panel all the way to the tv? How many do you think would be a safe amount to run from the panel to the AV rack?
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post #19 of 31 Old 03-04-2013, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JReuter21 View Post

So the cat5e that would be running from my tv...
Would I route those all the way back to my patch panel or just to the AV rack? Or a mixture of the two.
Your TV has a built in media player?
Then yes- it needs to run from the TV to the patch panel- then from the patch panel to the multi-port switch.
If you have other networking AV devices they should all end up at the patch panel then feed into the switch.
If you have several networked devices at/near the TV and only one cat5 lead at that location- you could set up a 6 port mini switch at the AV center then just run one cat5 cable from that mini switch down to the main switch near your patch panel.
There's a million different ways to do what you want to do....

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post #20 of 31 Old 03-04-2013, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't currently have any of my equipment. I'm waiting til I get a little closer to finish time to start purchasing it. I'm still running electrical so I have a ways to go beings this is diy.

Because of this I can't tell you if it will be a smart tv or not. Like I said above I will have br player, xbox360, directv receiver w/whole home dvr, and av receiver as of now in the AV rack behind the bar. I plan to have nothing by the tv(just hanging in the wall no stand nesrby) only kinect for xbox and any "eye" I might need for an rf remote I will have.


Looking through the future av rack, way in the back is where the patch panel is


Av rack on the far right under the stairs, main tv will be on the wall on the left.


Second tv will be mounted in the corner up top in the back of the room.


Idk if this helps see what I'm trying to accomplish.
http://www.monoprice.com/mobile/Product/Details/7255?mainCategoryId=105&categoryId=10514&subCategoryId=1051402#

http://www.monoprice.com/mobile/Product/Details/7857?mainCategoryId=105&categoryId=10521&subCategoryId=1052104

So, are these what I'll need? Will I need both? Really sorry if I'm not grasping this like I should. Please bare with me. If you were me what way would you do it?
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post #21 of 31 Old 03-04-2013, 09:54 PM
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From my experience with streaming for 3 or so years now I'd say stay far away from a"Smart" TV, get a real streamer. Treat it as an unneeded option, if the set you really like has it fine, but please do not shop for a set based on that feature. Good quality, full featured, WORKING streamers can be had for under $100, this will make your life much simpler. Most manufacturers implement the lest expensive licensing they can and most sets are hobbled in some way.

As to wiring, all you need to do is run a home run from each area to your media closet. you can add a switch in the room if you need more than one output, in my main viewing area I have an 8 port switch feeding everything. In my bedroom I use a 4 port switch and in my Library I use another 4 port switch. My modem has a router built in, but it's limited so I added a decent router and that feeds a 8 port switch that feeds the rest of the house. At last count I had 24+ net enabled items hanging on my network, each is assigned an address based on it's location. Odds are you will not have to go that route, but it makes life easier when you have a large network.
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post #22 of 31 Old 03-05-2013, 06:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Matt L, my exact thoughts on the smart tv. I just noticed a large amount of them are going to smart tv now. I honestly have no interest in smart tv or 3d,but if I found a good deal and it had it that's fine. I'm planning on having my 360 down there and hoping to use it for most of my streaming (which I don't do a ton of), do you know if the 360 is a very useful "streamer". I've read a lot about this xbmc, but know pretty much nothing about it. (had a kid 3 years ago, and feel like I've fell completely out of touch with all this).

As for the cat5e. I'm glad to hear that. That's what I was hoping to do. Can I hook my patch panel up, and convert my upstairs hookups to data hookups instead of phone jacks, then run 1 cat5e to the AV room to a switch, then from there run all my separate cables to receivers and wall jacks throughout the room? Instead of running the extra 30 for each one from the location all the way back to the patch panel?

Just didn't know if the one cord from the patch panel to a switch that is split off 8 or so ways would lag or could handle that much?
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post #23 of 31 Old 03-05-2013, 10:21 AM
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There is little if any impact incurred by using a switch, running an 8 port switch is fine. You are in good shape if your cable is CAT5/5e. Personally i don't know if you really need to go the patch panel route, it's nice and neat but depending on how many connections you are using it might just be simpler to terminate the cables with an RJ45 plug and just plug it into your router or switch at the modem end. How many active lines are you planning? I have a few lines that I swap in and out depending on my furniture arrangement, but really see no need to put all my various runs into a patch panel. I simply label each feed and attach and detach as needed.

With you basement I'd look around the room and run a cable to various points that might conceivably need a connection at some point. When i rewired an older home a few years ago I put generally 2 drops into each room, making sure that cables did not have to cross doorways or traffic paths. With open walls you have an easy time of it, I was doing an 2 story home with plaster walls, but I managed to get 2 runs per bedroom and several in the main living areas. I really don't believe in wireless for any application other than a tablet or laptop. If you have a small home odds are wireless will function, but there is nothing more frustrating than trying to stream content and having it drop out frequently.
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post #24 of 31 Old 03-05-2013, 07:20 PM
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+1 for the RJ-45s. People just don't reconfigure their home network all that much. But be careful where you say that. There are plenty of threads where you will be called the devil (or worse) for suggesting that...
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post #25 of 31 Old 03-06-2013, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Do I want rj45 plugs for stranded or solid?

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=105&cp_id=10513&cs_id=1051305&p_id=7245&seq=1&format=2

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=105&cp_id=10513&cs_id=1051305&p_id=7246&seq=1&format=2

Also need a crimping tool. I have a pair of wire strippers but I saw these at monoprice so I thought about getting one. Any idea if these are any good, or would I be better off getting some from Lowes? I would rather not spend a ton on them because they will probably just sit in my toolbox after I use them this time, but I still dont want to buy a POS that doesnt work when I could have just spend an extra $10 on something that does.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=105&cp_id=10509&cs_id=1050901&p_id=195&seq=1&format=2

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=105&cp_id=10509&cs_id=1050901&p_id=1385&seq=1&format=2

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=105&cp_id=10509&cs_id=1050901&p_id=8139&seq=1&format=2

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=105&cp_id=10509&cs_id=1050901&p_id=3352&seq=1&format=2

Thanks guys! With your help, Ill finally complete this order and hopefully be running some wire this weekend!!
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post #26 of 31 Old 03-06-2013, 10:13 AM
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Solid wire, either #2 or #4 look quite nice on the crimpers.
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post #27 of 31 Old 03-06-2013, 06:19 PM
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I posted a couple how-to vids on terminating CAT cables: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1460305/structured-wiring-setup/0_40#post_23025162
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post #28 of 31 Old 03-07-2013, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

+1 for the RJ-45s. People just don't reconfigure their home network all that much. But be careful where you say that. There are plenty of threads where you will be called the devil (or worse) for suggesting that...

Because you lose flexability doing it that way. What if you want to use it for HD Base T? What if you want to direct connect two rooms together whether for HD Base T or other reasons? A patch panel makes that very easy to do.
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post #29 of 31 Old 03-07-2013, 08:46 AM
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That may well be, but you can always add a patch panel in the future. 99.9% of people have no interest in HD base T. The OP is just trying to get a good functional system working he can modify later if the need arises.
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post #30 of 31 Old 03-07-2013, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

+1 for the RJ-45s. People just don't reconfigure their home network all that much. But be careful where you say that. There are plenty of threads where you will be called the devil (or worse) for suggesting that...

Because you lose flexability doing it that way. What if you want to use it for HD Base T? What if you want to direct connect two rooms together whether for HD Base T or other reasons? A patch panel makes that very easy to do.
You could plan for it in the first place? You could unplug the two cables from the switch and connect them with a less-than-one-dollar-coupler-like-this: http://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-Straight-Inline-Coupler-107280/dp/B005E2Y53M/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1362712006&sr=8-10&keywords=rj45+coupler instead of a $50 'patch panel'? I don't know.
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