Wiring network switch

January 18, 2009 at 12:55:35
Specs: Windows XP, X2 3gb
I'm renting a 3 bedroom apt that used to be a small office, and there are cat5 plugs on the wall (8 locations in different rooms).

They all meet at a switch or hub type board in the attic.

The board in the attic is connected to a little box outside the house (via the big black, grounded wire you see coming out of the switch.)

How can I get this setup functional with my standard cable internet? I currently have a wireless router (hooked up), and a basic 4-port switch (not currently hooked up). Can I get this set up so I can run a cat5 from my router/switch to one of the jacks in the wall or to the board upstairs?

The board in the attic appears to be wired up the way it was when it was in use, but I'm guessing that I'll have to fiddle with the wires in the little box outside on the house.

So what needs to be done?


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January 18, 2009 at 16:07:31
The box outside and the black cable comming from it is for phone connections, not network connections.

It's hard to tell for sure, but it looks like the white cables connecting to the punch down blocks in the atic are cat5. If so, you can get a network patch panel and rework those connections.

The picture of the jack in the room has 2 connections. One can be wired for phone and the other for network.

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January 18, 2009 at 21:08:28
Hi Fishmonger, thanks for the reply.

The two jacks in the rooms are both ethernet jacks, not the skinnier phone jacks. I took the faceplate off them, and they have multiple wires wired to them, coming from the white Cat5 cables that are routed from the attic.

The black cable coming in from the outside box has many wires inside it, you can see the wires well in the top of the 4th photo. Are you sure this is for the phone? I thought phone lines only had 3 wires.

I should mention, as you can see in the 3rd photo, the third row (white) in the attic is labeled "Jack 1" "Jack 2", etc. up to "Jack 8", assumedly representing the 8 dual-jack outlets in the house.

Since the white cables are Cat5, you said I can get a network patch panel and rework them. Can I use the existing panel to rework the wires? And how do I hook up my internet to it, connect it via a Cat5 to my router or switch? Or connect a Cat5 from the router to my 4-port switch, then connect 4 cables from the switch to 4 of the 8 wall jacks (giving me only 4 functional jacks, which is fine)?

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January 19, 2009 at 07:45:21
That black cable is a phone cable. It's likely a Cat5 or Cat5e spec, but it's typically used for telephone.

The blocks in the attic are BIX blocks and again, are typically used for phones but can be used for network too. It's impossible to tell if those in the picture are wired for phone or network but judging from the color coding of the wires on the front of the BIX blocks, it looks like phone.

The reason I say that is, if you have a half ounce of brains, and you're going to use BIX blocks for networking, you take some of your left over (and there's always left over) Cat5 or Cat5e cable (like the stuff punched to the back of the BIX blocks) and strip it completely and use those wires, that are correctly color coded, for network connections. For striaght phone connections you only need one pair and typically, blue/not blue, is used. The images you've posted show blue/not blue so I suspect phone but can't say for sure. However, due to the number of blue/not blue wires, it's entirely possible those are network. I couldn't say for sure either way without testing them.

Since the white cables are Cat5, you said I can get a network patch panel and rework them

Yes you can. In fact, I'd recommend you do this as compared to using the existing BIX block. However, before you begin, get yourself a tone generator and confirm the RJ-45's in your 1st picture do indeed terminate at the BIX blocks. If you take the bix out of the panel, you could identify and mark, each white Cat5 cable as to location.

And how do I hook up my internet to it,

You would want to have a switch located next to the Patch Panel (or BIX block if you use that instead). Your Patch Panel Ports would plug into the switch. Your SOHO router would also plug into the switch.

As far as that goes, if you have a SOHO router with 4 LAN ports, and an 8 port switch, you could have 6 usable LAN ports (3 on the switch and 3 on the router as one on each would be used for the cross connect). However, if you have a router with a single LAN port, you plug that into your switch and are left with 3 usable LAN ports. Don't forget, you could also go out and buy an 8 port switch right.

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January 19, 2009 at 11:55:42
Hi Curt. What I noticed last night was that the white Cat5 cables are one cable per dual-wall jack, and that there are 6 wires connected to the blocks for each cable, but 8 wires connected at the wall outlet.

Since a dual jack would require two Cat5 cables for internet, that leads me to believe that the jacks are set up as phone lines. But wouldn't they have to be RJ11 jacks rather than RJ45?

Regardless, I think all I want to do is use these existing Cat5 cables to connect one wall-jack in one room to one in another room. So I can run a patch cable from my router to the walljack in that room to connect a computer in the other room via it's walljack. I only have one computer without WiFi outside of the room with the router anyway.

So cable modem > patch cable > router > patch cable > walljack 1 > *straight through* > walljack 2 > patch cable > computer.

So correct me if I'm wrong on the following:

-To connect walljack 1 and walljack 2 together at the patch panel, I need to connect the two Cat 5 cables straight through where they meet in the attic (rather than crossing over).

-They can be connected directly to each other, skipping the blocks entirely. Is it ok to do this and just twist caps on to cover the connection?

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January 19, 2009 at 12:33:12
This might sound like a sarcastic question, but it really isn't.

Do you want to do it properly, or micky-mouse it just to get it working?

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