CAT 5 Wiring Unused

June 18, 2009 at 10:42:39
Specs: Windows XP
We purchased an unfinished home 10 years ago. We finished the inside of the home. The home was originally being built by a computer store owner to be a "house of the future." We were told that the house was wired with CAT 5 wiring, but were given no diagram/plan. I have no idea of which phone jacks have the CAT 5 wiring, nor where the central hub was to be, etc. Currently we have High Speed Internet through our Cable provider. I would like to set up a HOme Network that takes advantage of the CAT 5 wiring feature. Does anyone have any advice for me? Could I easily identify which phone jacks have CAT 5 wiring, find the central hub, and install a wired network via the CAT 5 wiring and cable provider? Or is this something I need a professional's assistance with and if so, I would I find such a person at a reasonable fee.? Eastern Michigan area. Thanks so much for your assistance.

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June 18, 2009 at 13:17:23
if the house HAD been wired you would know it. All the cat5 wiring would be coming out of the wall somewhere like in the garage or a closet in the house. There would be a minimum of one wire per room. There should be more. For example a living room can have many more so you can hook up gaming gear/home theater.

Since you don't mention that I would suspect this is not the case.

Cat5 wiring for network is not the same as using cat5 wiring for telephones.

Telephones can be wired in series. In other words all the phone jacks in a room could be using only one cat5 wire. In fact the whole house can be that way. Network can't be wired in series which is why it has to be home runned to a set location.

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June 18, 2009 at 13:44:40
Look in any service area for wire bundles. Might be in closet, basement or attic or anywhere. Normally it is accessible.

One could run POTS either from a central board or from point to point.

I doubt the 10 year old hub is any good.

Data connector is slightly larger.

I have to go to Mt Clemens next month.

"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10

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June 19, 2009 at 03:36:21
Sorry, I forgot to tell ya that there is miles of wire in the basement but I have no idea why there is so much or where it goes. Telephone and cable guys that have come out to the house have confirmed that it is CAT 5. I'm just completely ignorant when it comes to wiring. I don't know what to do with this wiring and how to take advantage of it's great features.

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June 19, 2009 at 08:25:57
That is great news. At least you know where they all terminate. Are they labled as to which room is which wire?

Do they terminate near a wall?
Do the phone jacks outlets in the rooms have network ports?

Here is the sequence of events to get these usable.

Put up a "green" board or 3/4" plywood on a wall with enough space for everything. I usually do a 4'x4' half sheet of plywood.
Run a 20amp circuit to the mount board or tap into an existing circuit and bring power to the wall board.
Buy and mount a surge protector

Install a patch panel with enough ports plus a couple of extra for all the wire runs.
Punch down the wire to the port jacks and mount in the patch panel.
Bundle up all the wires with zip ties so you have a clean straight run [no loops or kinks] of wires going to the patch panel.

Mount a shelf. Buy a switch with enough ports to accomidate all the wire runs plus extra. You will need a minimum of one extra port in addtion to all the wired runs for the internet router.

Buy patch cables [3' or less] and patch from patch panel to the switch.

Buy and connect a internet router to the switch.
Run a patch cable from the internet modem to the internet routers wan port. Configure the router.

Connect your workstation to a network outlet and you are off and running.

You can pick up most of this at a Lowes or Home Depo and do yourself if you are construction/mechanically inclined.

Otherwise you want to find a low voltage electrician in your area to come in and do all of this.

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June 19, 2009 at 14:25:05
Be sure there is no voltage on those wires with a meter just in case some idiot did something.. (always test circuits you life only takes 40 ma to kill)

Might have to get a tester or use two people to label wires from and to if not already.

Try to draw it out on paper or with spread sheet form if it makes more sense to you would be a place to start.

"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10

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June 20, 2009 at 18:46:19
I have the same problem as hubdaddy... Got this wiring but not a clue how to make use of it.

I have no technical skill nor desire to 'do it myself'.

An electrician is the right professional to hire to do all that wanderer describes?

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June 21, 2009 at 06:06:33
Most electricians also install network cabling and would have the required equipment (ie: tester, tone generator). It would cost you a bit of money to have a professional come and terminate and test all the cables in your house (assuming they aren't already terminated) but if you don't have the equipment and experience, it would make sense to hire a professional.

Typically, the cables are pulled to a central location and then terminated on a patch panel. If the person doing the cabling has an ounce of brains, he/she labels the patch panel ports according to the room the other end of the cable terminates in.

For example, say the master bedroom has one RJ-45 outlet. You toned out the cable and punched that to port 1 on the patch panel. I would label Port 1 on the Patch Panel as "MB" (master bedroom). In the master bedroom, I would put "1" on the outlet faceplate.

Once all cables are punched down, you need to test them.

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