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VO2Max
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Installing a Cat6 home network

You don't often see me posting here because I'm not very computer-savvy. So do please enjoy the opportunity to demonstrate this in whichever way you fancy (without being too blatantly callous) .

I'm installing a home network after all my building work - don't ask me why, it just seemed a good thing to do!

Seriously though, I thought I'd future-proof my house (and myself). Stuff like multi-room Virgin cable, a home cinema in an upstairs room, the ability to plug in a computer anywhere in the house, having a Smart-TV that connects up to the internet, and a bunch of other stuff that I haven't even thought of yet, where connecting up/linking up rooms will come in handy.

I know diddly-squat really but basically I've put 6 ethernet sockets in rooms around the house and they each have a Cat-6 cable running to and terminating in the understairs cupboard. Got myself a funky little Krone-type punch-down tool to connect the cables to a patchstrip which is fixed to the wall in there. So the patchstrip now has 6 ethernet sockets labelled with roomnames.

I'm going to reroute my incoming Virgin Broadband cable so that it comes into the house inside this cupboard as well.

I just ordered this to connect all 7 cables up: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004G9IXS...986871_TE_item. It's the same make as my Virgin Broadband Modem (and even I know Netgear are a good company) and it seemed like a highly-specced switcher capable of very fast speeds. This will serve to connect everything up to everything else, so that anything that needs to talk to anything else can do so, yes? And I get the impression that if I ever learn to 'move files around', it will do it stunningly quickly. And of course, some dinky little 0.5m ethernet patch cables to connect all this up, nice quality Belkin ones.

Have I missed anything? I didn't think I'd need a separate firewall because I have pretty good protection on my computers and I believe the Virgin firewall is pretty good too.

If anyone thinks the switcher I got isn't up to much (I think it's an oldish design) please say so quickly because I can still cancel it before it gets dispatched .

Thanks chaps!
 
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No problem with Netgear stuff. I've used the 16-port version of that in my home office for about five years now, with no complaints.

6 ports for the room sockets, plus one for the broadband box, plus one spare sounds fine for a small home network. If you need more ports in future, you can still use that 8-port switch somewhere else.
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Dont waste your money on Belkin cables. You can get in bulk from places like Comms Express
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Cables is cables. The only thing to note with ethernet is that stupid tab
on the conncectors can easily break so get ones with the rubber hood that
goes over the plug and tag.


Have your thought if you'll need power-over-Ethernet for any application
such as surveillance cameras etc.

This allows you to inject DC power into your network so the connected device
doesn't need a power socket...

(Twice the price for the switch: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Netgear-Port.../dp/B004BM3LYA)
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Cables is cables. The only thing to note with ethernet is that stupid tab
on the connectors can easily break so get ones with the rubber hood that
goes over the plug and tag.


Have your thought if you'll need power-over-Ethernet for any application
such as surveillance cameras etc.

This allows you to inject DC power into your network so the connected device
doesn't need a power socket...

(Twice the price for the switch: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Netgear-Port.../dp/B004BM3LYA)
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EddieGTA
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For a home network that switch + the virgin firewall would be sufficient. I only wonder why you went for Cat6?

Assuming relatively short runs which are direct you should be OK, but in my experience Cat6 is not as reliable as Cat5e which is more than capable of running gigabit. From speaking with the wiring guys we have, Cat6 has much tighter tolerance on the way the cable is twisted and terminated. Things we have experienced are servers suddenly dropping back to 100Mb, and in certain cases have found patching in with one patch lead you get no connection swap for another patch lead and you get a connection.

We have in many instances ended up ripping the cable of the patch panel and putting an RJ45 connector on to connect directly to the switch.
 
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Thanks chaps!

Quote:
Originally Posted by biggreenzebra View Post
Dont waste your money on Belkin cables. You can get in bulk from places like Comms Express
The 7 0.5m patch cables I got are only about 2 each anyway. According to the research I did, cables can make a small difference to data rates, but I guess only at the top end, which I'll never get near - certainly at the moment anyway. And the ones I got are snag-free, like TTFN suggests below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tata4Now View Post
Cables is cables. The only thing to note with ethernet is that stupid tab
on the conncectors can easily break so get ones with the rubber hood that
goes over the plug and tag.


Have your thought if you'll need power-over-Ethernet for any application
such as surveillance cameras etc.

This allows you to inject DC power into your network so the connected device
doesn't need a power socket...

(Twice the price for the switch: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Netgear-Port.../dp/B004BM3LYA)
I hadn't thought about power over the network! However, if I got security cams that needed power for example, presumably an independent power adaptor thingy could be hooked up at the switch end of the relevant cable run, with the camera at the other end?

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Originally Posted by EddieGTA View Post
For a home network that switch + the virgin firewall would be sufficient. I only wonder why you went for Cat6?

Assuming relatively short runs which are direct you should be OK, but in my experience Cat6 is not as reliable as Cat5e which is more than capable of running gigabit. From speaking with the wiring guys we have, Cat6 has much tighter tolerance on the way the cable is twisted and terminated. Things we have experienced are servers suddenly dropping back to 100Mb, and in certain cases have found patching in with one patch lead you get no connection swap for another patch lead and you get a connection.

We have in many instances ended up ripping the cable of the patch panel and putting an RJ45 connector on to connect directly to the switch.
I must confess, I just got Cat6 to make the whole thing as future-proof as possible. Hopefully my cabling skills will be up to scratch! The maximum cable run is around 10m. My install will be fitted and then just left, there won't be a lot of plugging and unplugging like in a professional environment. Hopefully it'll be a case of getting it to work and then just leaving well alone. My field is audio, certainly I'm aware of some very nice sound gear which doesn't like being rigged and derigged every day, getting all temperamental. As I say though, it'll just be set up and pretty well left alone.

And regarding the potential temperamental-ness of Cat6, maybe it was worth me getting semi-posh patch cables with nice gold connectors?

Last edited by VO2Max; 20-01-14 at 14:41.
 
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And regarding the potential temperamental-ness of Cat6, maybe it was worth me getting semi-posh patch cables with nice gold connectors?
On that front I would say don't bother, either get bog standard ones or make your own but make sure the crimp tool is decent.

We started using molded patch leads and they can be just as crap. Had one connection that didn't work with one patch lead, used another "identical" one and it worked. I think it is all about the cable twists.
 
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Well if any problems emerge, suggesting that one or more of the patch cables is dodgy, I shall return for a refund/replacement!

I shall be connecting everything up this weekend, will let you know how I get on.

In the meantime, our gingers at work are lending me their network cabling tester overnight, tomorrow! You get little numbered boxes which you plug in at the far end (sockets in the rooms) and then you plug the tester into the patch panel at the other end, one circuit at a time. Continuity, connection integrity, potential shorts etc are all displayed on the 'Black Box'. Hopefully I've done a good job on the cabling, and then I can move my incoming Virgin Cable from where it currently comes into the house, to the new hole which I drilled today from the outside into the understairs cupboard.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VO2Max View Post
Seriously though, I thought I'd future-proof my house (and myself).
The trouble is though in five years time your house will look like a Victorian one with the equivalent of the state of the art 10 watt light bulb (which nobody had back then) and a wiring system which cannot support the all new 10 times better 100 watt ones.

"Future-proof"- contradiction in terms I am afraid.

Personally I go for the minimum I need to survive right now and update in stages as technology improves.
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When doing this, the important bit is the ducting. When I did my place, it was part of a wider renovation, and I put proper ducts in the walls. When GigE is no longer enough for UltraSooperDuperHD, I will be able to install multimode fibre (or whatever) by lifting a floorboard and pulling cables though.

Every time I have played with Cat6, the termination has been very hard.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieGTA View Post

We have in many instances ended up ripping the cable of the patch panel and putting an RJ45 connector on to connect directly to the switch.
Surely you mean 8P8C connector?

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The trouble is though in five years time your house will look like a Victorian one with the equivalent of the state of the art 10 watt light bulb (which nobody had back then) and a wiring system which cannot support the all new 10 times better 100 watt ones.

"Future-proof"- contradiction in terms I am afraid.

Personally I go for the minimum I need to survive right now and update in stages as technology improves.
I'm hoping that with high capacity Cat6 cabling in place, any further developments can be taken care of with adaptors at either end, Paul!
 
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Sure you don't want to go fibre....?

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Now then, here's a thing: I'm off work today with sickness but I'm able to gently potter about - I've borrowed a Black Box LAN Solution Network Tester to check out my wiring so I set about having a tinker.

Firstly, the cabling (it's radial, not daisychain) round the house is brand new and Cat6 spec, the outlet plates in the rooms are Cat6 and the patch strip under the stairs is Cat6 - in short, everything is Cat6 spec.

OK then, upon connecting the Black Box to the patch strip under the stairs via a short cable - with the remote little numbered boxes at the far end, in the rooms - I have the same fault diagnosis coming up on the Black Box on all the circuits. The number of the remote box is correctly displayed in each case, all the conductors are intact, but pairs 3&6 (white/orange & orange) are coming up as 'miswired', as are pairs 4&5 (blue & white/blue). I'm taking this to mean that 3&6 are crosswired with each other, as are 4&5. BUT...I have found a little back-to-back connector in the kit which says 'Cat6 coupler'. Ah, maybe Cat6 is a different wiring protocol methinks! So I put the coupler in-circuit and hey presto, all the numbers match up now, 1to1, 2to2, 3to3, 4to4, 5to5, 6to6 etc, but the screen still displays 'Miswire'.

What the hell is going on! Eddie, you are Mr. Network...WTF! Or indeed, anyone else who may be able to shed light on this!

NB it appears there are TWO Cat6 protocols (or maybe this applies to Cat5 as well?!), A and B. The marking on the room outlets is Type B. So I wired up these outlets accordingly. When I wired up the patchstrip under the stairs, I respected the same protocol.

Which is:

Pin5 white/blue
Pin4 blue
pin1 white/orange
pin2 orange
pin3 white/green
pin6 green
pin7 white/brown
pin8 brown

HELP!
 
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Sure you don't want to go fibre....?

FibrePoint
Not after I've just wired the whole place in Cat6, NO!

We sometimes use fibre at work - and it's as flaky as ****! We end up going back to bloody copper half the time!
 
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Luddite!


(& a skiver too!)

Are you colour blind? That might explain the wiring problem.

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At least your internet is still up and*********************************************** *************************************




[NO SIGNAL]
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Luddite!


(& a skiver too!)

Are you colour blind? That might explain the wiring problem.

Get it right you garlic-sniffer, I'm half-blind! Until the bloody NHS can finally sort me out, that is!

And I'm not skiving, I'm having a lovely attack of Colitis! Which, being a cyclist, I am treating with large amounts of corticosteroids, at both ends, mind! And I hope that puts you off your frog's legs!

And if you weren't a luddite yourself, you'd know about this ****!
 
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At least your internet is still up and*********************************************** *************************************




[NO SIGNAL]
Even I'm not stupid enough to disconnect what I have, until I know what I'm going to actually works!
 
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Taking some of your medicine the French way?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostyDog View Post
Surely you mean 8P8C connector?

Pedantic so and so

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Originally Posted by VO2Max View Post
Now then, here's a thing: I'm off work today with sickness but I'm able to gently potter about - I've borrowed a Black Box LAN Solution Network Tester to check out my wiring so I set about having a tinker.

Firstly, the cabling (it's radial, not daisychain) round the house is brand new and Cat6 spec, the outlet plates in the rooms are Cat6 and the patch strip under the stairs is Cat6 - in short, everything is Cat6 spec.

OK then, upon connecting the Black Box to the patch strip under the stairs via a short cable - with the remote little numbered boxes at the far end, in the rooms - I have the same fault diagnosis coming up on the Black Box on all the circuits. The number of the remote box is correctly displayed in each case, all the conductors are intact, but pairs 3&6 (white/orange & orange) are coming up as 'miswired', as are pairs 4&5 (blue & white/blue). I'm taking this to mean that 3&6 are crosswired with each other, as are 4&5. BUT...I have found a little back-to-back connector in the kit which says 'Cat6 coupler'. Ah, maybe Cat6 is a different wiring protocol methinks! So I put the coupler in-circuit and hey presto, all the numbers match up now, 1to1, 2to2, 3to3, 4to4, 5to5, 6to6 etc, but the screen still displays 'Miswire'.

What the hell is going on! Eddie, you are Mr. Network...WTF! Or indeed, anyone else who may be able to shed light on this!

NB it appears there are TWO Cat6 protocols (or maybe this applies to Cat5 as well?!), A and B. The marking on the room outlets is Type B. So I wired up these outlets accordingly. When I wired up the patchstrip under the stairs, I respected the same protocol.

Which is:

Pin5 white/blue
Pin4 blue
pin1 white/orange
pin2 orange
pin3 white/green
pin6 green
pin7 white/brown
pin8 brown

HELP!
Hmmm really not sure. The cable order between Cat5 and Cat6 is the same, like you say there is an A and B standard and you should cable the same throughout and at both ends to have a straight through cable, if you cable one end A and the other B you have a cross over cable. If you've done both to Type B that should work. Have you untwisted only a minimal amount at either termination end? I have heard this can cause issues.

On a side note your experience of fibre is interesting as like I say we have had the opposite, fibre has been rock solid compared to the Cat6. We've gone 10Gb here now for a lot of links and would never entertain anything but fibre, though I insisted on OM3 spec fibre as a minimum.
 
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Taking some of your medicine the French way?

The French are used to taking it up the bum, normally from the Germans.
 
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Hmmm really not sure. The cable order between Cat5 and Cat6 is the same, like you say there is an A and B standard and you should cable the same throughout and at both ends to have a straight through cable, if you cable one end A and the other B you have a cross over cable. If you've done both to Type B that should work. Have you untwisted only a minimal amount at either termination end? I have heard this can cause issues.

On a side note your experience of fibre is interesting as like I say we have had the opposite, fibre has been rock solid compared to the Cat6. We've gone 10Gb here now for a lot of links and would never entertain anything but fibre, though I insisted on OM3 spec fibre as a minimum.
Eddie, firstly I want to apologise for the French comment to Nev!

I note your comments, but it's weird that me putting in that 'Cat6 coupler' should apparently change the wiring order? The same protocols apply between Cats 5&6, yes?

Like all the things at our place, stuff gets rigged and derigged repeatedly - maybe our fibre connectors are cheap'uns, knowing us, they would be. I should have explained, when we 'go back to copper' it's sound circuits down nice chunky, dependable XLR's, and video down coax with nice big BNC's on the end and DA's where required!
 
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Eddie, firstly I want to apologise for the French comment to Nev!

I note your comments, but it's weird that me putting in that 'Cat6 coupler' should apparently change the wiring order? The same protocols apply between Cats 5&6, yes?

Like all the things at our place, stuff gets rigged and derigged repeatedly - maybe our fibre connectors are cheap'uns, knowing us, they would be. I should have explained, when we 'go back to copper' it's sound circuits down nice chunky, dependable XLR's, and video down coax with nice big BNC's on the end and DA's where required!
Nowt to apologise for.

I have to admit I am stumped, I tried to find a manual for the tester but failed. All I can say is what I said before, I have heard that Cat6 can be picky about the number of twists etc and that at the termination only the absolute minimum should be untwisted. I even had one wireman say that it needed to be overlapped in a certain way to maintain the standard. It sounds BS but when he was saying this he was redoing a panel where we had had numerous connections drop off the network or drop back to 100Mb for no reason. I would also try a different patch lead from the tester. Again I think down to the twist count changing depending on the patch lead I have had a device completely fail to come up when patched in with one lead and then be fine with another supposedly identical one.

Working for a broadcaster we've got pretty much every connector here too. Not that I touch anything other than the network, although if like I had on Monday you have a switch reboot while investigating a fault, you manage to cause an outage on dozens of channels
 
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