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A question on network router cabling

mikefamig

Senior Member
I am trying to neaten up some wiring in my ethernet network and have a question for the group.
 
My Uverse lightspeed router/gateway has one rj11 connector input signal and four rj45 ethernet service ports out the back. In my installation I have port1 homerun to the elk, port2 homerun to the dvr, port3 homerun to an upstairs bedroom and port4 connected to a 16 port switch that is carrying about 8 other devices. I would like to balance the load and neaten up the wiring.
 
The router is on the ground floor with five cat cables leading to the basement in a wall cavity. One cable comes in from the outside service to the router and four cables out of the router ethernet ports to the basement and onward. All cables are terminated with male plugs and plugged directly into the back of the router.
 
 Now these cables all enter through a rough hole in the wallboard which is what I would like to neaten up. My first thought was to run one cable from one ethernet port in the router to the basement where it would connect to a large switch. Then it occurred to me that this would put the entire load on one router port. Now I realize that it would be better to continue to run all four ethernet cables/ports to the basement and connect to two or more switches in order to balance the traffic.
 
So my question is: How can I make this neater and more professional? What is the best way to install five RJ type connectors in a wall? I am picturing five RJ type sockets but I don't know how to mount them in the wall.
 
TIA, Mike.
 
 
 

pete_c

Guru
Relating to my first and only FIOS box I bridged the connection to one ethernet port and left the coaxial connections (television) in place for two networks.  The 100Mb Ethernet port then went to my own firewall router then switches.
 
I have kept using a Comcast Motorola modem here which today has a Gb link to the PFSense firewall.
 
Going a la carte isn't really neat but is only my preference.
 
You can make up a little patch panel using a plastic box and cover for it.
 
keystone.jpg
 

mikefamig

Senior Member
It just occurred to me that I can put the router in the basement eliminating all of the wires in the wall and then run just one wire up to a wireless access point.
 
Mike.
 

wkearney99

Senior Member
Since it's just low voltage you don't need a box.  You can just use a trim ring, like one of these:
https://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Betts-SC100RR-Carlon-Voltage/dp/B000W09PQI
 
Or go two-gang if you've got the room and would like more space to for the wires (or any future expansion).
 
The single gang keystone plates seem like a great idea, until you have to start cramming wires into them.  You "can" do it but it can get annoyingly tedious, especially if anything's larger than twisted pair kinds of wire.  Coax, etc.  
 

video321

Active Member
As for your switch, I'd run everything, except the Elk, off of it with a single uplink to the router. This way the network runs off what is typically a full speed capable switch keeping the traffic (except for Internet) on the single backplane. By running the Elk off the router directly you have 1 less point of failure to worry about when you need to connect remotely or receive emails/texts.
 

mikefamig

Senior Member
video321 said:
As for your switch, I'd run everything, except the Elk, off of it with a single uplink to the router. This way the network runs off what is typically a full speed capable switch keeping the traffic (except for Internet) on the single backplane. By running the Elk off the router directly you have 1 less point of failure to worry about when you need to connect remotely or receive emails/texts.
 
Is the one port going to supply the same bandwidth of the four ports added together?
 
Mike.
 

RAL

Senior Member
mikefamig said:
Is the one port going to supply the same bandwidth of the four ports added together?
 
Mike.
 
Ultimately, yes.  The router/modem has an ethernet switch internally that produces the 4 downstream ports and the one upstream port to the ISP.  It is most likely a simple, inexpensive switch design that will perform more poorly with traffic from multiple ports, vs whatever larger switch you have to handle the rest of your traffic.
 

pete_c

Guru
Here utilized that 6 port multiple keystone jack behind three LCD TVs paired up with an autonomous 120VAC outlet.  I know it was tight but I liked the footprint. 
 
IE: kitchen flush mounted LCD TV used one with HDMI (2), OTA coax (2), ethernet (2) in a deep set angled wall box mounted in a standard depth wall.
 
41E16zl2YzL._SX425_.jpg
 

pete_c

Guru
6 and in box it is crowded and with an open ring it is not. It does make for a nice small footprint.
 
For coax here went to using thin (expensive) coaxial cable for satellite, cable or OTA from the wall to the TV.
 
Typically though 2-4 keystone jacks are all you really need. Inside the wall also went to using a short run of thin coax.  HDMI was a PITA also to fit.  Started the endeavor using rapidrun cables here. For my externally mounted speakers here utilize keystone jacks with double keystone speaker wire post wall plates. Same on the AVR receiver side for 7.1 surround sound speakers (mix of in ceiling an separate speakers).

I do not like using or running cables straight out from the boxes or holes here. It is sloppy and looks very mickey mouse having a BB cheapo install look to it. They would just drill two holes in drywall for power and run an extension cord up to the LCD TV.
 

mikefamig

Senior Member
It looks like I can do an LV ring with three jacks,
 
1 - rj11 service from pole
2 - rj45 elk,
2 - rj45 to switch in basement
 
The rest of the wires I will stuff in the wall in case they are needed later.
 

pete_c

Guru
You can do a 3 keystone wall plate or a 4 keystone wall plate with one blank keystone cover.  I have done this before.
 
keystone3-4-blank.jpg
 
At the local big box store also found very thin metal flat rings that used drywall screws connected to folding clips.
Sharp edges but made for a more flush mounted wall plate.
 
First generation LV plastic rings had thick edges and you had to utilize a deep wall plate with them.  The metal LV rings are very thin except that they have sharp edges.  IE: for my Russound wall controllers used the plastic LV rings and deep wall plates cuz they looked like crap with regular wall plate covers.  I purchased the metal LV plates in bulk packs where one bulk pack was equal in price to one plastic LV ring.
 
 
metalring.jpg
 
 
 

wkearney99

Senior Member
There are a ton of ways to do a faceplate.  Single and double-gang plates that have a variety of holes already in them.  Then there's the style where you have a Decora-style insert.  Those can have a variety of keystones in them, from one to six.
 
If you have the wall space then don't restrict yourself to too small of a faceplate.  It's hard using 6 gang keystones when you've got all six wires AND their working lengths of extra wire crammed into a single gang box.  If you're going back into an empty wall cavity using a trim ring you're going to have more working room for the added lengths. 
 

mikefamig

Senior Member
I've seen these keystone sockets before but it seemed to me that two or three were all that would fit in a single gang face plate. I'm surprised to hear that you can squeeze six in there. I'll probably be good with a single gang trim ring and a four wire plate for now. I can distribute the cables in the basement at the switch.
 
I had an interesting problem with the Elk in this process. In addition to moving some cables around I'm upgrading my router from an 802.11G WIFI to dual band 802.11n.ac. The new router is pre-configured by Frontier Communications and they configured it using a different sub-net than my old router. I realized this after the Frontier tech installed the new router and went down the street in his van.
 
So now I had a LAN that could not see the Elk because it is on a different subnet and while I do have an old laptop with a serial port, I don't know if I have an old serial cable around here to connect to the XEP. After a short silent scream it occurred to me that I do have an IP router on the shelf. What I did was to disconnect my laptop from the new LAN and connect it to the Elk via the spare router. I remembered the static IP address of the Elk and just put the router in the same subnet and that allowed ElkRP on my laptop to see the panel and allowed me to change the XEP's Ip address to the new subnet.
 
Nothing is simple.
 
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