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Network wiring station for home


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#1 hagak

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 09:20 PM

So I am about to embark on running network wiring finally in my home. Plan is to run 2 cat6 and 2 RG6 to each room. Familiar with wiring for a datacenter but not so much for a home. Plan to home run everything back to a room in the basement. This room is finished but thankfully has a drop ceiling. I already mounted a 28" ELK can on the wall in the room.

Question I have is I want to bring the Cat6 back to a patch panel, and something similar for the RG-6. Maybe just bring the RG-6 back straight to the spliter.

Question 1: Most patch panels I know of are for 19" racks so not really designed for a 14" wide can. What do they make for cans?

Question 2: Do they make a patch panel for RG-6 and should I bother with it if they do? Or just run the RG-6 straight to the spliter.

Question 3: Since the Cat6 will be going from the patch panel to the switch that will be on the order of 15-18 Cat6 running to the switch, I assume if I use a can with a patch panel I will just not have a cover on it since a 24port switch most likely wont fit in a can.

Other idea I had was to just have a large conduit come through the drop ceiling and have all the termination in a 19" rack. What is the thought of this style installation. Anyone have photos of other ideas?

Thanks

#2 wuench

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 10:07 AM

Yes, they make can termination for CAT5/6 and RG6. For CAT5/6 there are punch down and RJ45 options. You can look at something like the Leviton website for details under "Connected Home" for details or a website like Automated Outlet.

I am a network guy so my mind naturally gravitates towards 19" patch panels also, and I bought a SuperPro panel which seemed like the way to go in my mind. I would highly recommend against going that route, it is a PITA to wire and maintain. If I had to do it all over again I would have stuck with residential wiring standards and structured wiring panels. The CATx options seem sloppy in comparison to 19" patch panels but I think it is cleaner when it is all done. The downside to all of this is that the cans solutions are made for residential switches/routers which are pretty featureless. But 19" patchpanels really need proper access from the front and the back, whereas the residential cans are designed for easy access from the front only. It's flatter and more "veritcal".

You could consider a hybrid approach, have a 19" rack for network equipment and a regular patch panel, then put some terminations in the can. I would put all the RG6 in the can though. There are 19" RG6 patch panels or Leviton Snap In panels, but the snap ins totally suck, I have one of those too and they are always popping out. I guess if you really wanted to do RG6 on 19" racks, you could buy a blank faceplate and drill them out for baluns.

You can look at my website below for pictures of what I did, but again I would stay away from the SuperPro. It may look neat on the front but wiring the back is a PITA and I don't think non-techies appreciate seeing all the wires, which you should consider if you ever plan to sell the house. Also look at the CT galleries, there are a lot of examples of what to do (and what not to do :))

Edited by wuench, 11 December 2011 - 10:16 AM.


#3 Ira

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 11:41 AM

For Catx wiring, I use the Channel Vision C-0538 mounted inside the can. If you decide to use this type of patch panel, make sure it is rated for what you want, e.g., 1000Base-T. A lot of the older ones are only rated to 100Base-T. They have similar panels for phone (which I've used) and RG6 (which I have not used).

#4 hagak

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 11:52 AM

I know I want a managed switch for at least 24 ports. I doubt such a device would fit in a standard can. However I do prefer termination in a can for the main reason wuench points out and that is non-geeks do not want to see wires. I guess if I terminated with the can but kept the lid off I could then run the patch wire to the rack. If I sell the house I could just take my rack out and put a lid on the can (maybe put in a cheap switch that will fit in the can). The RG-6 wiring, termination and splitter, amp and cable modem could all of course be in the can.

#5 wuench

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 12:07 PM

They make "pockets" or whatever that you can slide a switch into vertically in a can. Look at Electron's gallery for an example. Not my favorite way to mount a switch, but it is the solution that the vendors offer.

If you get deeper fingered raceway you can mount it between the 19" and the can, you could make a nice transition. That is say 4-6" deep. So the raceway would be recessed the normal 2.5 inches and you can knockout a side port in the can to route into the raceway. And since the raceway sits proud of the wall by a couple of inches you can route the wires into your horizontal wire management for your rack. But again, if you are mounting a patchpanel in your rack it is really nice to have access to the back. You could used a hinged rack or something, but you'd be in the same boat as I am with the superpro.

#6 Neurorad

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 01:29 PM

Small rack on casters, as 1 option.




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#7 Neurorad

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 01:33 PM

Hinged wall-mount rack

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#8 Neurorad

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 01:36 PM

Hinged wall-mount rack looks very nice

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Edited by Neurorad, 11 December 2011 - 01:37 PM.


#9 Work2Play

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 12:51 AM

Neuro, you stalker - that's the exact rack I use! A trip-lite 12U. Basically in one stud cavity, I have the 20" can that came with the house; above it I installed another 50" Channel Vision can with the plexi cover. I could've made that work, but residential can terminations and switches are pretty costly; and I also run an HP MediaSmart WHS, DirecTV with all of its components, and an 18-port switch and a full 19" wide firewall... so to the left of those cans I had just enough room to mount the 12U enclosure above my safe and make it all look nice. I moved the CatX and RGx to the wall-mount since that's where most of the connections to the switch would happen.

Normally I would prefer things nicely terminated into a patch panel, but when I bought the house they had already cheated and just put RJ45 ends on each wire... so instead of cutting those off, I just bought one of these and enough of these to make it work. The advantage is that, on move out, I can just run the wires back into the can and keep my rack. The other advantage is that you can get keystones for the coax as well; though I just went lazy and have mine hidden out of sight in the back of the rack going to the DirecTV splitter since I'm only using 2 receivers.

Unfortunately, it's WAY too messy to take pictures of at the moment.

#10 hagak

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 12:26 PM

The more I think about putting the network switch in the can the more I do not like that idea. I plan to use a 24port managed switch with POE and they produce a decent amount of heat that is not designed to be mounted vertically.

I think I still want to do a can for the termination for resale value. So I was thinking have the patch cables exit the panel via a punch out on the side and have the tube exit the wall via a junction box.

#11 video321

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 01:41 PM

The best thing to use for a coax patch is one of two things:
1. a blank rack plate and drill holes
2. a piece of angle iron and drill holes (or find a slotted one w/the right size holes)

I went with option #2 since it was free for me. I painted it black and mounted it under my patch panel. The vertical connections really work well too.

#12 Charles Anderson

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 02:12 PM

How about one of these http://www.monoprice...&seq=1&format=2
monoprice product ID 7255

Plus One of these
http://www.monoprice...&seq=1&format=2
monoprice product ID 8623

For a total of $23

This combo or the 48 port equivalent would be nice. I installed this in the attic and ran patch cables down into the can. Where I patch the ports into
My netgear switch mounted to the can. Prosafe FS116 16 port 10/100 switch. When the price per port comes down I will upgrade the to the 10/100/1000.

#13 pete_c

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 09:32 AM

I initially purchased the hinge wall rack mentioned above for home installation in Florida. About 2 years after I installed it; removed it and put in a Leviton can.

I still have it and decided to "install" it in the attic of the house a few weeks back.

Here in the midwest went to just wood mounted on 2X4's on both sides of the fuse panel with one Leviton / HAI can. It does make for a nice footprint in the future utility room. Over the years I've moved the base infrastructure around a bit to set up the utility room. All wiring in the home home runned to this location.

In addition moved plumbing, water heater, water softner, etc with a kind of adjacent area for a connected secondary utiliity room.

The final pieces will really be like three utility rooms; one already mentioned; one for the cabling and the third for just servers et al.

If I was starting all over again though I would have utilized 3 leviton 42" cans instead of one.

I am today though using a small 24 port 100Mb switch inside of the Leviton can. Doesn't get warm and I replaced the PS twice now in maybe 8 years. I have found a similiarly size 24 port Gb switch that I will probably utilize to replace this one inside of the Leviton can. Meanwhile though have converted the network to Gb with now two other 24 port Gb switches and 4 smaller 8 port Gb switches. (patching cables patch panel to patch panel).

I did entertain utilizing the commercial methodologies for home use. Ideal for a dedicated closet was an open rack in the middle of a small room putting patch panels on the rack, switches and / or servers. Easy to work on but large footprint. In a commercial environment (airports) I used the mini racks under check in counters and they did work fine in the limited space available. I also used customized smaller do all cans; actually custom built for just a patch panel, switch, router and UPS. (no servers). (don't recall the vendor at the time).

In Indiana helping a friend during construction; he had the contractor build out (foundation) a utility room under and adjacent to the garage. The fuse panel though is on the main floor and using a common wall to the basement is the Leviton Can. The cement "room" is about 8'X10'. Recently started to bring wires into the leviton can and added multiple outlets and lighting to the small cement walled room in the basement. Every LV wire installed throughout the house ends up here; even the great room was wired to this room. So basically all of the MM cabling and adjacent to the LCD TV ends up in the wiring "Closet" along with all of the speaker wiring; such that it can be patched in the basement utility room.

#14 Work2Play

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 06:46 PM

Keeping those patch panels in the attic isn't the best idea; at the very least you really should put some dust covers over the open ports. I've learned from experience that after a few years of being exposed like that, they develop a sort of film over the contacts that will make for unreliable connections.

Also - I know it goes against everything you learn in IT, but just putting an RJ45 plug on the end of the wire isn't the worst thing in the world in a residential scenario; those patch panels do take up a lot of space. For the OP though, I think the rack will suit you well - especially if you have dedicated space in a basement and want to use larger networking equipment.

#15 pete_c

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 10:57 AM

Thank-you for your suggestions Work2Play.

Haven't connected any patch panels in the attic yet. Just moved the whole structure up there. Over the years though have somewhat rearranged and added to the attic space. Originally I did it such that I could drop wires to the second floor. Today though it is pretty illuminated with areas for storage and multiple walking paths here and there. (high ceilings in the attic). One of the most difficult endeavors was a chandelier lift which was about twice the size and weight of a garage door opener; it was a bit difficult to get into the attic.

Yes all of the main house wiring goes to the basement. Ideal location. I did the same in the home previous to this one in the midwest.

Yes OP; easiest to manage the cabling in the basement.




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