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Discussion Starter #1
I have been an avid reader (um....Lurker) of this forum for almost 3 years now. This is my first post. I guess its time to start giving back to the community that has inspired me.


I recently had a home built and the builder was gracious enough to let me run my own low voltage wiring prior to the drywall going up. I don’t think he realized I was going to go to the extreme that I did, but I wasn’t letting this opportunity pass me by. With the help of two relatives, we ran 9600 feet (almost 2 miles) of cable. I ran everything I could think about. Cat5, RG6-QS, intercom, whole house audio, speaker wire, etc. We did a very professional job and kept everything nicely bundled going down the main runs and just branched off to the rooms. It turned out very clean and we kept it away from all power sources.


I terminated everything into a 19' Chatsworth rack. So far I have the following punched down.
54 drops of cat5

54 drops of RG5-QS

3 source drops for fm antenna

5 source drops for CATV

5 drops for analog phone



The following will also be added to the rack when I get the systems to support it.

Source for Digital Satellite

Whole house audio

VoIP

Cameras


The rack also houses all my data equipment. Web server, mail server, routers, firewalls, cable modem, kvm, tape drives, etc.


What this allows me to do is distribute just about anything imaginable to or from any location in my house by simply patching it in. Its proven very handy so far.


Thanks AVS for helping make this possible. What do you guys think?


Front of Rack: http://webpages.charter.net/jackson....rack/Front.JPG

Back of Rack: http://webpages.charter.net/jackson..../rack/Back.jpg http://webpages.charter.net/jackson....rack/Plate.JPG


Ronnie Jackson
 

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Looks good, but I would have went with a black rack instead of the aluminum rack. Just kidding looks good very clean. You probably owe your two relatives big time for helping. :D
 

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If I were an electrician, I'd say turn the screws on your plates vertical, but I'm an engineer so instead I'll say, "I'm jealous"!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys.


Dustin, I wanted black racks also, but I found 2 of these on Ebay and picked them up locally for $65. Then I turned around and sold one of them for $75. A free rack :). Cant argue with that.


Ronnie
 

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Beautiful! I have a similar set up, but much smaller - 12 drops each of CAT5E, Cable and fiber (not terminated yet) all going to a 6U space in the rack to a customizable patch panel. I hammerd the patch panel into rack ears that I bolted to the back of a 23" deep rack, so it is recessed and have a hinged door to hide this. A 0U shelf right underneath holds all the network, cable modem and video distribution splitters/amps etc.


Worked out way cheaper that a wall mount box.


The sources: MCE computer, Network DVD, Pre pro,, cable, AV center for TV, 3 Zone audio all terminate there as well. as you said, its a breeze to play with things.


My question: the network ports go through so many patches: from wall - rack - patch cable - patch cable to router etc. Is there a performance degrade because of this?


I am using 2 MCE Xbox extenders to drive two bedroom TVs through this network and performance is great, but simply curious to know your experience.


Thanks for your commments.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Quote:
My question: the network ports go through so many patches: from wall - rack - patch cable - patch cable to router etc. Is there a performance degrade because of this?


I am using 2 MCE Xbox extenders to drive two bedroom TVs through this network and performance is great, but simply curious to know your experience.


Thanks for your commments.
SFBAYPP. That is nothing to worry about as long as all your connections are good. All my internal things get almost a 0ms response time. My home network is nothing in the way connections go as compared to a real LAN.


Think about the internet or even this message im typing. How many connections and devices do you think it went through?


Ronnie
 

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Neat setup!


I'm curious what the demarc end looks like.


Did the cable TV and phone company bring one line each to your demarc box from the pole?


How did you bring those signals into the main panel? Where did you split the CATV signal for TV and data feed for the cable modem?


Thanks!


(oh, and what's SFBAYPP?)
 

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Very nice, indeed. If you are like me, you often go sit in your "closet" (as my wife calls it) and just look at it, and tell the wife you're working!!!


Anyway, I would like to know more specifics about whats in the rack.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWScott
Neat setup!


I'm curious what the demarc end looks like.


Did the cable TV and phone company bring one line each to your demarc box from the pole?


How did you bring those signals into the main panel? Where did you split the CATV signal for TV and data feed for the cable modem?


Thanks!


(oh, and what's SFBAYPP?)



Yes, 1 cable from each utility comes into the dmarc. Just the standard wiring that would come with most homes, nothing special.


From the demarc coming into the home there are 2 cat5 lines. One goes to my alarm system and the other goes to my patch panel. I stripped the wire about 6 inches long and looped it over 5 ports (ports 44-47 in the pic). These are outputs that I can patch into any port I wish to connect a phone to. I only really use 1 port which goes to my Seimens base station. I have 5 cordless handsets that complete the system. The other 4 are there because I had plenty of room left over. I also tied all my existing (3) phone lines that the builder ran and combined them into a single port (port 48 on the pic). I have everything punched down for 2 lines (2 pair), but I will never have 2 landlines. So basically, I just patch from one of the 5 ports into this port and I have service at 3 of the original locations (patch 47 to 48). Once I get the VoIP, I will patch it into the panel the same way. That way I can redirect it to any port in any room if needed.


The cable company dmarc has a two way splitter. One cable goes directly into my modem which is sitting in the rack. Its not patched anywhere. The other goes into a powered 4 way splitter and is currently feeding 4 tv's. I plan on installing satelite tv and patching a receiver and the multi switch into the panel. I would like to have 1 receiver in the rack that I could redirect to several locations and just use a remote. The other locations will have thier own receiver.

http://webpages.charter.net/jackson....rack/Phone.JPG


You should have seen the look on the Charter Communications (cabel tv and modem) guys face when I had him come over to troubleshoot an issue that turned out to be something on their side. He freaked out and pretty much did anything I asked after he saw this.


Hope I answered you questions.


Ronnie
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwcatlga
Very nice, indeed. If you are like me, you often go sit in your "closet" (as my wife calls it) and just look at it, and tell the wife you're working!!!


Anyway, I would like to know more specifics about whats in the rack.


LOL, ya, it looks pretty cool in there with the lights out :D It definitely provide the WOW factor for those that see it.


I have had several messages asking whats in the rack. Here is the list starting at the top of the rack, then working from left to right on the shelves. Some of the items on this list are at the bottom and you don't see it in the pics.

3 24port "F" connector panels (96 ports total)

2 48port cat5e patch panels (96 ports total)

3com 3300xm 24 port switch

Linksys BEFSR81 router/firewall/switch

Linksys WAP11 wireless access point. (i know.... its old :) )

Motorola Cable Modem

Linksys KVM switch (used once I add more servers)

HP DLT-70 tape drive

Dell PowerEdge 350 server. runs my web and mail services.

Tripplight ISObar power protection.

APC Back-UPS Pro 1400.



I currently have a 19" monitor sitting to the side on a filing cabinet, but soon will have a 15" flat panel attached at the top of the rack with a bracket and angled downward. I am also replacing that horrific keyboard tray with a unit that will slide all the way into the rack for a flush look when not in use.



This room is adjoining to my soon to be theater room and it will also house another rack full of equipment for the HT. Nothing purchased yet for that project.


Ronnie
 

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That's a sweet rack. I am building a new house and will be using a rack like yours. I have looked all over and I can't find a place to buy the "24port "F" connector panels" do you have a part number and supplier? I also like your cable management setup. What part numbers did you use there. Thanks for your help.


Jon
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by provelocity
That's a sweet rack. I am building a new house and will be using a rack like yours. I have looked all over and I can't find a place to buy the "24port "F" connector panels" do you have a part number and supplier? I also like your cable management setup. What part numbers did you use there. Thanks for your help.


Jon
I picked up the 24 port "F" panels on Ebay about a year ago. The box has the following identification on it:

30-6024 24 Port "F" Conn Panel Unloaded.


Im not sure who makes it. I thought about using the patch panels that accept the keystone jacks, but they just didnt seem sturdy enough. The one I chose is rock-solid.


A quick google reveals the following location that has decent prices. http://www.onevisitmedia.com/patchpanelf.html


Here is a pic of my panel and connectors. http://webpages.charter.net/jackson....ack/fpanel.JPG



All my wire management is made by Panduit. Its great stuff. Used in many datacenters I have been in. I used the following peices.


WMPVS20 4 of them for the side vertical mgmt. Dual sided.

WMPF1 front horizontal mgmt. 2U

WMPFSE front horizontal mgmt. 1U


Ronnie
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by gijay
What are the black "flanges" on either side of the rack? and is the rack mounted on the floor? What is dmarc?


The items you refer to as "black flanges" are called wire management. Its a very clean way to keep all your wiring hidden. I used Panduit. Here is a link to their cable management stuff. http://www.panduit.com/products/browse.asp?classid=986

Look at the NetRunner Vertical Cable Managers for what I used on the sides of my rack.


My rack is a standard 19" Chatsworth aluminum rack. Its floor mounted.
http://www.chatsworth.com/main.asp?id=67


A demarc (an abbreviation for demarcation point) marks the point where communications facilities owned by one organization interface with that of another organization. In telephone terminology, this is the interface between customer-premises equipment and network service provider equipment.


For us common folk, its the box on the outside of your house where the cable and phone connect to your internal house wiring.
 

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What do you guys think?
C’mon Ronnie, didja honestly expect anyone to say “it sucks?†:D


Seriously, speaking as a former installer, that’s a beautiful rack! I assume you did it all yourself? It looks as good as the best professional rigs I’ve seen.


Regards,

Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Wayne. Honestly, I posted for several reasons.


1. I was proud of it and yes, I did everything myself.

2. I thought I could help others to possibly install something similar.

3. After lurking for about 3 years, I needed to contribute.


My background is in I.T. and im pretty handy with all this stuff. I also want to contribute to this forum because I am about to embark on building out my16x20 home theater room and I will need tons of help with that.


I really appreciate all the kind words I have recieved so far. This is truly one of the best forums around.


Ronnie
 

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It's freakin beautiful.


.... of course you do realize that very soon your rack will be come self-aware and either apply for citizenship in the Caymens or attempt to exterminate all carbon-based life forms.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnie_jackson
You should have seen the look on the Charter Communications (cabel tv and modem) guys face when I had him come over to troubleshoot an issue that turned out to be something on their side. He freaked out and pretty much did anything I asked after he saw this.


Hope I answered you questions.


Ronnie
Yes, that's great! I'm coming to the point in my install where I'll be adding connectors and jacks, then arranging the wiring cabinet.


It's still confusing me, but slowly I'm sorting it out.


I'll be back with many more questions, I'm sure!


Thanks!
 
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