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Structured Wiring My House

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I've spent the last few months wiring my house, so I thought I'd share my experience and the process.


The Goal

My house was built in the 60's, so had no structured wiring of any kind. The telephone wires were 4 untwisted pair, which predated CAT3 by about 20 years. Lukily, just about every room in the house had a telephone drop, so I figured I could replace each drop with CAT6.


Thinking about it some more, since I didn't already have cable to each room I figured I might as well bundle that in as well. The goal for phase one was to add 6 drops, each with 2 CAT6 and 1 RG6. Each drop was to terminate in the coat closet due to its central location in the house. This would become my network closet.


The Materials

  1. 1000' CAT6
  2. 1000' RG6 quad sheild CCS (this was a mistake, more on that below)
  3. 100' RG6 dual shield pure copper
  4. 100' CAT5e
  5. 10 pack of 4-slot keystone wall plates
  6. 200 pack of CAT6 connectors and matching boots
  7. 25 pack of CAT6 keystones
  8. 8 pack of RG6 keystones
  9. 10 pack of blank keystones
  10. 10 pack of low voltage wall inserts
  11. Hinged 4U wall mount rack
  12. 24-port CAT5e patch panel
  13. 24-port CAT6 patch panel
  14. 2 desk grommets (2 3/8")
  15. 1 RG6 4-port splitter
  16. 1 RG6 8port directv splitter
  17. RG6 external enclosure
  18. Tools:
    1. Punch down tool
    2. RG6 compression tool
    3. RG6 cutter
    4. RG6 stripper
    5. Wire strippers (only needed to strip the CAT5e to connect to the telephone NID)
    6. Philips head screwdriver


The Process

I planned the following drops:

  1. Master bedroom
  2. Bedroom 1
  3. Bedroom 2
  4. Bedroom 3
  5. Kitchen
  6. Living Room

I would also neet the following utility drops:

  1. Network closet to external enclosure for CATV and SATV utilities
  2. Network closet to Telephone NID

This is what I was replacing at each drop:



I estimated the distance between the drop location and the network closet, then added 5 to 10 feet to ensure excess, and in some cases, avoid electrical lines in the attic.


I cut the RG6 and CAT6 from their spool and labeled each, then attached to the existing telephone line and climbed in the attic to pull through.



Lucky for me, the following was true:

  1. In the 60's low voltage wires did not have to be stapled down.
  2. 2 CAT6 and 1 RG6 is just thin enough to fit through the 1/2" opening already drilled in the joist. Due to the sloe in the roof it would have been impossible to increase the diameter of these holes

Punched down



Compression fitting



RG6 quad shield CCS was a bad choice for a couple reasons. First, Directv requires pure copper for the SWIM. That's why I had to get another 100' of RG6. Second, manipulating quad shield CCS is super difficult. That stuff is rigid. I wasn't able to pull RG6 through Bedroom 1 because that drop went down and made a 90 degree turn through a stud. The quad shield couldn't handle it.


While RG6 CCS is fine for video, it sucks for pulling, and has the added limitation of more resistance than pure copper. If I did this again I would have gone pure copper dual shield.


The finished product



Next I drilled two 2 and 3/8" holes to drop into the network closet. I inserted the rubberized desk grommets to prevent insulation from falling out of the ceiling, and pulled through.



The CAT5e is gray. I daisy chained this across the first 8 ports of the CAT5e patch panel. This allows me to patch through telephone to any one of my drops. Each telephone port supports up to 4 lines.




You can see here I'm patching the phone into my office.


After running the CAT5e for the telephone (and my internet). My speed changed from 7.26 Mbps / 0.92 Mbps to 7.28 Mbps / 2.20 Mbps.

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I don't even know who I would hire to do this (electrician?, network tech?), so I guess I had no choice Haha.


Slip the closest Datacenter Network Engineer a Benjamin, offer him lunch, and politely ask him to take a ride with you? :)

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I'm a few months away from doing this at my new house. Mike (Licensecart) sent me the link to this when I said I was doing wiring! I don't call anyone to do anything electrical from AC to low voltage DC!

One of the advantages of not needing to do anything right away, is I have the time to think through the whole process. 

How did the rest of your project go?


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I finished the project a while ago, though there is still some tidying up that needs to be done.

The power I ran is feeding a zyxel 1U 24-port gigabit switch, my router, cable modem as well as a security camera dvr.

I have plans to also power the directv swim box, just haven't relocated it yet.

Also thinking of adding something like this https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004OG94VW/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_oog5ybFTT0BAA to track power consumption. Ideally I would run a rack mountable surge protected network managed power supply, but they're expensive and I have no room left in my rack at the moment.

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Awesome, I am going to be doing this in my own house soon... probably within the next few months as I gotta get settled and set all the things up... and no doubt deal with all the little things that come up that you forget while dealing with major stuff.

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I have finally uncovered some of the gear I will need to work on my configuration. I've managed to get the alarm panel wired, and reconnected in the new house. Talk about needing to get several things in place first! My basement had a total of three outlets. Two were already in use by the sump pump and ejector pit, and the other one was underneath the breaker panel.

My first new outlet was to my desk so I could replace the precarious extension cord that my UPSs kept complaining about! Then, once we got some more pressing things done, I finally added two more duplex outlets to what will be storage and my workshop. I then added an outlet in the ceiling, and fished the power cord for the alarm panel through the wall to the hallway between the garage and the rest of the house. 

Now, as time and financial resources allow, I'll be installing new z-wave switches, and other sensors to bring some home automation to my new home. You don't realize how much you enjoyed having those systems in place, until you've had it, and now you don't!

Once I've got a bit more done, I'll upload pictures!

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