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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm at a point where 803.11g wireless isn't cutting it - I'm tired of waiting for multi-GB file transfers. So I'm going to wire some cat5e drops to about 6 rooms. This will be my first structured wiring project. I'm pretty sure this will be as simple as cutting hole in plaster/lath for old-work box, running cable up from basement, and terminating to the wall plate's RJ45 keystone port with punchdown.


The goal is gigabit to these rooms, to/from a gigabit switch that I haven't purchased yet. For now my wireless 100mb/s router will suffice.


My basement is unfinished, and I want DSL modem, router and switch to end up down there. It doesn't need to look pretty or be very expandable. So, should I terminate in the basement to a patch panel? Or just crimp RJ45's on the other end of my cable runs? Using a patch panel would save me to cost of buying a RJ45 crimper and connectors, but I doubt I can buy a patch panel at the local hardware store.


Nothing has been purchased yet - I'm heading to Lowes/Home Depot/Menards after work tonight.


Any tips, suggestions, warning, experience for me? Anything I should avoid doing? Mistakes you made or things you wish you had done differently?


Thanks!
 

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You're on the right track. I ran cables from all my rooms to a patch panel in the basement for flexibility, as well as being easier than fitting those tiny wires into a RJ45 plug & crimping. Try not to run the cat cable next to electric wires to reduce interference. Take your time when drilling through the floor - check above & below for electrical wires. After carefully cutting the outlet box hole in the wall, I was able to stick my digital camera inside the wall cavity to snap a picture to see what was there.


I mounted my cable modem, router & switch next to my circuit panel where all my services enter the house. It's not pretty, but works
I then have a 5-port switch mounted to the back of my A/V cabinet to reduce the number of cables going to the wall in that room.


Home Depot & Lowes do have patch panels. If you're not in a huge rush, you can order all the parts from Monoprice.com for a lot less today and have them for next weekend.
 

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If you are going through the effort, I would pull 2 cables in every room. You can use cat5 for both phone or ethernet. I woud definitely recommend installng a patch panel, it gives you much more flexability.
 

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Actually, if you are making the effort...I'd run CAT6 instead of CAT5E. It is only marginally more expensive, and offers a much better bandwidth for future upgradability.


And as suggested, (If you can afford it, or want to afford it), run atleast 2 cables to each drop (I'd actually run 3, one for data, and 2 for...well..running HDMI over CAT in the future..if need be)..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
[EDIT] Jeez, you guys are posting too quick.[/EDIT]


Yeah, monoprice rocks. Their 12-port patch panel is only $16 and includes all the connectors and a punchdown tool. I can definitely wait a week. I can get almost everything from them...


Shopping list:

1) 12-port patch panel, $16.53

2) twelve 2-ft cat5e patch cables, $0.50 each . (I don't need 12 yet, but they're cheap)

3) six RJ45 keystone ports, $1.36 each

4) six keystone wall plates, $0.46 each

5) 1000ft cat5e CMR, $50.60


But no old-work electrical boxes (or I can't find them at monoprice). Those I can get locally.


CMR/riser cat5 is fine for in-wall, as long as I'm not running through ducts, right? I don't have any ducts, so I don't need to worry about that!


Does this look complete?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone /forum/post/15438964


Actually, if you are making the effort...I'd run CAT6 instead of CAT5E. It is only marginally more expensive, and offers a much better bandwidth for future upgradability.

I initially thought about cat6, but decided against it for a few reasons, cost not being one of them. Based on a few internet sources, consensus is that cat6 for the home is overkill for gigE, is more difficult to terminate, and may not work with future ethernet standards. As I understand it, cat5 is qualified for gigE on 2 pairs, cat5e is qualified for gigE on all 4 pairs, and cat6 is certified for gigE. I'm not worried about 10Gb right now, as I can't afford the intermediate equipment (nics & switches). And we don't expect to be in this house for more than a few more years.


To: kapone & brotker

Running 2 drops is a great idea. I'll certainly have enough cable!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_S /forum/post/15438428


My basement is unfinished, and I want DSL modem, router and switch to end up down there. It doesn't need to look pretty or be very expandable. So, should I terminate in the basement to a patch panel? Or just crimp RJ45's on the other end of my cable runs? Using a patch panel would save me to cost of buying a RJ45 crimper and connectors, but I doubt I can buy a patch panel at the local hardware store.


Nothing has been purchased yet - I'm heading to Lowes/Home Depot/Menards after work tonight.


Any tips, suggestions, warning, experience for me? Anything I should avoid doing? Mistakes you made or things you wish you had done differently?


Thanks!

Based on my experience putting in 22 CAT6 Gigabit runs in my house:
  • Do not buy stranded cable, you want solid.
  • Use CAT6 it's not that much more expensive
  • Pull at least 2 drops to each location
  • Terminate using a CAT6 patch panel in the basement and CAT6 punchouts on the other end.
  • Don't buy the stuff at any of the stores you mentioned or you will pay way too much (assuming they even sell it)

I'd recommend buying your stuff from www.Monoprice.com . I used these parts: Cable , strippers , keystones , patch panel , and wall plates .


Also, you most likely do not need plenum rated cable unless you are putting the runs inside your HVAC duct work, but you might want to check your local building code to be sure.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_S /forum/post/15439139


But no old-work electrical boxes (or I can't find them at monoprice). Those I can get locally.

In most parts of the country you don't need boxes for low voltage wiring. I just cut a hole in the drywall and used small plastic anchors for the screws of the faceplate to fasten to.
Quote:
CMR/riser cat5 is fine for in-wall, as long as I'm not running through ducts, right? I don't have any ducts, so I don't need to worry about that!

Yes, unless your local building code is unusual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hopefully this doesn't become a cat5e vs cat6 battle. I'm willing to use either. My cost breakdown looks like this:
Code:
Code:
cat6          cat5e
---------------------------------------------
 1000ft cable x1   77.05         50.60
    keystones x12   1.76          1.36
12-port panel x1   18.85         16.53
  wall plates x6    0.46          0.46
   2-ft patch x12   0.80          0.50
---------------------------------------------
        total:   $129.38        $92.21
That's for 2 runs to 6 rooms. The $37 difference isn't a lot of money, to be sure (although it's a 40% increase!), but I'd rather not spend it if I don't need to. Yes, cat6 is rated for higher bandwidth. Can anyone summarize how this benefits me? I have no plans for HDMI over UTP at present, phone doesn't need cat6, and I have no 10Gb equipment. So why cat6?


Thanks for everyone's comments/help so far!
 

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10gb equipment is gonna become real cheap real fast...
Why? Oversupply.


You don't wanna have to rerun physical cables...just to save a measly..$37...
Future proofing...You may not need it "right now"...but...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Status update:


Ran Cat6 over Saturday and Sunday. Pulling cable was straightforward. Terminating was a PITA. The Monoprice "tool-less" Cat6 keystones are impossible to work with. You have to thread all 8 wires into the connector, fan them out over the correct "teeth", TRIM THE WIRES so they don't hang out the sides of the keystone, and then hold them all in position while closing the lid. I was unable to terminate a single one.


I fooled around with ONE for several hours, before giving up and running to Home Depot for Leviton quick-port keystones. Although way more expensive, these are MUCH EASIER to work with.


My advise: skip the cheap Monoprice "tool-less" keystones. Get the Leviton's - they're worth the additional cost. I love Monoprice, but these keystones are horrible.


Next step is cleaning out an area in the basement for the rack & patch panel... This may take some time - my basement is a dungeon, and hasn't ever been cleaned & sorted.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_S /forum/post/15534350


Status update:

Next step is cleaning out an area in the basement for the rack & patch panel... This may take some time - my basement is a dungeon, and hasn't ever been cleaned & sorted.

Why are you going to get a rack? Unless you have some serious router and switches to install you're just wasting a money. Racks are expensive. Just buy a wall mounted patch panel.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davisjl /forum/post/15534536


Why are you going to get a rack? Unless you have some serious router and switches to install you're just wasting a money. Racks are expensive. Just buy a wall mounted patch panel.

I agree, even less expensive is to mount a sheet of plywood on a wall. Then mount your router on the wall - you can organize the LAN cable with tiewraps or other plastic clips for a less expensive method.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Folks - by "rack", I mean "piece of plywood with shelf that I will make tonight or tomorrow". It was easier to summarize that as "rack". Sorry for the confusion. My patch panel did not come with a wall-mount kit - its face includes rack ears. I'll just screw it to some pine attached to the plywood shelf - ie, a "rack".
 

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don't buy 1 1000' box. buy (at least) 2 500' boxes. It will cost more, but you can pull multiple wires at once. It will save you time. also run at least one rg-6 to each drop.


look into on-q panels. I've had them in a couple of houses, and the work great.
 

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When you are done, feel like coming over to my house and run some cat 5 for me? I'll buy the pizza and beer. LOL
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_S /forum/post/15534350


The Monoprice "tool-less" Cat6 keystones are impossible to work with. You have to thread all 8 wires into the connector, fan them out over the correct "teeth", TRIM THE WIRES so they don't hang out the sides of the keystone, and then hold them all in position while closing the lid. I was unable to terminate a single one.


I fooled around with ONE for several hours, before giving up and running to Home Depot for Leviton quick-port keystones. Although way more expensive, these are MUCH EASIER to work with.


My advise: skip the cheap Monoprice "tool-less" keystones. Get the Leviton's - they're worth the additional cost. I love Monoprice, but these keystones are horrible.

I had no issues with the "Tool-less" keystones. I suspect you didn't use them correctly. First, strip off the insulation from about 1.5" of the CAT6, cut out the plastic center core and then push the wires through the hoop. Fasten the cable to the keystone with the included zip tie. Then you use your fingernails or a small straight screwdriver to push the wires into their respective cracks leaving the excess hang out. When done, press it closed with the included black lever. After testing cut off the excess wire from the sides.
 
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