Wired Network Retrofit

Linksys Gigabit 5-port workgroup switch...
August 2, 2009 at 21:20:11
Specs: Windows XP
Current State:
Every phone jack in my house is connected to
the 66 block by cat5e cable.
Desired State:
Half the existing rj11 "outlets" have become
rj45 data outlets.
There are specific phone jacks i need to keep
as-in. How do i identify those on the 66
block? Basically, how do i identify any phone
jack on the 66 block?
For the cat5e runs i'll be changing to data, I
know i need to change the keystone jack to
rj45. But what do i do in my wiring closet with
the 66 block? Do i just remove one of the
twisted pairs completely from the 66 block,
add a rj45 male connector and plug it into my
Linksys 5 Port Switch?

See More: Wired Network Retrofit

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August 3, 2009 at 04:22:23
I'm really not a phone guy but I think that they would just add the jacks & cables that are needed to the existing system & avoid all the extra conversion work.

If you still want to do it the way you described & you don't have a wiring diagram from the original installation, you would have to check for continuity between the wall jacks & the block. That will tell you what belongs to what.

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.

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August 4, 2009 at 14:40:30
You could do it your way or this is how I just did it. Install a
real Cat-5 patch panel for the data and replace the 66 panel
with a bridged phone module. It's a little more work but the
results look much more professional and cleaner.

My homemade wire tracer is: an old phone lead connected to
a 9 volt battery and my multimeter.

To identify the wires, disconnect all of them at the 66 panel. .
Plug the battery into a phone jack and then check for power at
the disconnected ends. It should be the blue/blue white pair
that are live. Do one at a time and label them.

You can connect a phone to your NID temporarily while you're

Then connect the newly identified phone jacks to the bridged
phone module and the Cat-5 to the patch panel. You'll then
use standard patch cables to connect to your switch.

It really doesn't take that long to do and it's not that
expensive. I think it was $24 for the bridged module and
about $20 for the patch panel. It will also allow you some
room for expansion in the future.

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August 5, 2009 at 21:31:42
DanJ - A fantastic answer. Precisely the type of insight i was
looking for. Thank you!

Might you have pictures of anything you mention and/or a link /
model number for the bridged module and the patch panel?

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Related Solutions

August 6, 2009 at 08:25:09
My homemade wire tracer is: an old phone lead connected to a 9 volt battery and my multimeter.

Cool idea!

I'm a network technician by trade and work in the Telecom & Networks unit and therefore have a "tone generator" for tracing cables/wires so I wouldn't have to bother, but this solution is simple, effective, and a whole lot easier than spending money on a tone generator that you'll only use once in your life.

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August 6, 2009 at 09:58:35

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August 6, 2009 at 15:02:42
If you wait a few days I can get you some pictures. I'm away on
vacation right now.

As for my wire tracer: necessity is the mother of invention.

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August 6, 2009 at 15:17:02
Sorry, missed it before. Here are some links:

The bridged telephone module: http://tinyurl.com/mjog6m
The patch panel: http://tinyurl.com/lbb4bj

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August 7, 2009 at 08:22:12
It's worth your while to locate both the data patch panel and the bridged phone module reasonably close together. Which is to say, within a foot or two of each other and at the same height above the floor.

You'll want to put a shelf about a foot to two feet below the patch panel and phone module. This is the ideal location for your SOHO router, switch and DSL/cable modem.

You can buy prefabricated shelves as seen on the link below:


But if you have a piece of plywood the right size already, you could get two metal brackets and build your own shelf a lot cheaper.

It's worth noting that there are the wall mount brackets on that same page like the one you'll need for the patch panel. You'll want to make sure you have one of those too so get it while you're picking up your patch panel.

Lastly, when you're done punching down your cables in the patch panel and at the RJ-45 outlets (oh yeah, you'll need a punchdown tool for that) you will want to test them.

I'm not a big fan of the blinking light testers since I have two real testers here at work. However, you most certainly don't want to spend $2,500.00 or $10,000 for a tester you'll likely only use once. In fact, you probably don't want to spend whatever the blinking light tester costs either since you'll only be using it the one time. If you know anybody who's an electrician, talk to them, they'll likely have exactly the type of tester you need and for the price of a few beers could bring it over to test/certify your connections for you.

In fact, if you have a buddy that's an electrician, toss in a steak and baked potato dinner with the beers and he'll bring the punchdown tool too and help you do the connections...........I know I would!

If you don't know an electrician, call a couple electrical contractors and ask them what they would charge you to test/certify how ever many connections you will have. It might be cheap enough to make it worth your while to have it done professionally.

Worst comes to worst, spend the $ on a blinking light tester because you do want to test the connections before you're done.

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