My house wiring odyssey

brotsten

Active Member
http://cableorganizer.com/phone-data-connection-blocks/

Down about halfway.... $6.95

Cocoontech search is your friend.

If you have a 110 punchdown tool, you might be able to just get a 66 blade for it.

Ooooo....kayyyyy. :rolleyes: this is all new territory for me.

I can't, just by looking at it, figure out how I'm going to use that to test my Cat5 and 6 connections.

I understand the whole deal about punchdown tools now...it punches it down and trims it. The only punchdown tool I have is a very little entirely plastic tool, about 3" long. It just punches down, it doesn't trim. Since I don't care about trimming at this point, I'm wondering if it would do the job, so I don't have to buy 2 of these punchdown tools (1 for me, 1 for her).

But to use these (whether with my little punchdown tool or not), I'd just buy 2 of those $6.95 tools? I have to do this like now if it's going to be here in time to be of use. Ill have to order on faith.


The little plastic ones that come with the keystone jacks won't work at all for a 66 punchdown. Even if they did, you would wear your fingers out. I can send you one loaner. Let me know.

Brian
 

beelzerob

Senior Member
The little plastic ones that come with the keystone jacks won't work at all for a 66 punchdown. Even if they did, you would wear your fingers out. I can send you one loaner. Let me know.

Brian

Hehe...is this a great community or what?? :rolleyes: I appreciate the offer....I know for sure I'm going to need a punchdown tool, for when I get serious about terminating this stuff, so I'll probably end up getting a nice one for the wife to use and I can wear down my fingers with the little stubby. :D

I've got one more thing to try, though....a couple years ago, I bought a terminating board from home depot made by Leviton. It let you terminate 5 Cat5's onto a board and gave you the RJ45 female to connect to...a patching board, I guess. Well, I'm going to make the 40 mile journey to the nearest home depot (they're building one in our city as we speak....across the street from Lowes no less) to see if they have those, and if they do, then I think they'll work. Hopefully if I'm carefully about pulling up the punched down wire, they'll last long enough for us to make a dent in the wiring bundle.
 

Photon

Active Member
If you are willing to spend the time to punch down each end of every cable to a temporary test rig, why not just do the final termination to the wall jacks and patch panel? I've punched hundreds of terminations, and I when I test them I rarely find an open circuit in the cable. Reversed terminations, yes. Open circuits, no.

Best wishes for a sucessful project. Looks like you had it well-planned.
 

beelzerob

Senior Member
If you are willing to spend the time to punch down each end of every cable to a temporary test rig, why not just do the final termination to the wall jacks and patch panel? I've punched hundreds of terminations, and I when I test them I rarely find an open circuit in the cable. Reversed terminations, yes. Open circuits, no.

Best wishes for a sucessful project. Looks like you had it well-planned.

Well, I've had LOTS and LOTS of help with this. The planning was born out of desperation. ;)

What I've decided is that we're only going to reall worry about the door and window sensors, since they've undergone the most painful routing, and involve parts and connections besides, and are most likely to be hurt by the drywall and insulation guys. So, I bought a bunch of terminal blocks, I'll screw down every wire, and then we can just do a quick check with the continuity tester, and that way I can do a re-test after the contractors are done.
 

pkoslow

Active Member
In my opinion, if you're testing your wires before the drywall goes up... you're wasting your time.

In jobs where I do all the pre-wire, I'm always confident in my work. There are always a couple wires that might get kinked during install (but you usually know it) so they can be either tested or replaced as required. An exception would be in another trade had been near your wires after installation. It seems fairly common for the plumbers, HVAC, or electricians to get back in for last minute change orders or to make some fixes to pass inspection. If this is the case and I find out about it, I'll usually inspect the areas they worked in and test/repair as necessary.

My experience has been that 90% of the wiring problems are created during the drywall & finish phase of construction. Even taking great care using nail plates, etc. sometimes it just happens. It's also common for the drywall guys to cover up some of your wires too... I've even seen them cover up high-voltage work boxes.

Bottom line is you ran all the wires yourself, so unless you pulled on them too hard, kinked them up, or physically damaged the cable pulling it through holes or around corners it should be ok.
 

brotsten

Active Member
I've even seen them cover up high-voltage work boxes.

This is really common as they trim them out after installation of the hard board.

I'm pretty sure lots of people move into their new house and think, "Gee I thought there was an outlet here, oh well"

Brian
 

heffneil

Active Member
I have a silly question: why did you run all that CAT 5 and 6 (network and telephone) to the basement? Copper is expensive. Wouldn't it have been easier to run a trunk between the wiring room (presumably in your basement) up to your attic? I guess you don't really have an option for the alarm panels unless you put an expansion cabinet upstairs and trunked that as well. Just curious...

Thanks,


Neil

p.s. Couldn't the same be said for the RG59 and potentially the RG6? Multiswitches can be stacked.
 

DJK

Member
Bellzerob,

Thanks for the great write up. I've been so busy pulling cable myself, that I haven't had time to update my showcase.

Keep up the great work!

If you are willing to spend the time to punch down each end of every cable to a temporary test rig, why not just do the final termination to the wall jacks and patch panel? I've punched hundreds of terminations, and I when I test them I rarely find an open circuit in the cable. Reversed terminations, yes. Open circuits, no.

Best wishes for a sucessful project. Looks like you had it well-planned.

Well, I've had LOTS and LOTS of help with this. The planning was born out of desperation. ;)

What I've decided is that we're only going to reall worry about the door and window sensors, since they've undergone the most painful routing, and involve parts and connections besides, and are most likely to be hurt by the drywall and insulation guys. So, I bought a bunch of terminal blocks, I'll screw down every wire, and then we can just do a quick check with the continuity tester, and that way I can do a re-test after the contractors are done.
 

beelzerob

Senior Member
I have a silly question: why did you run all that CAT 5 and 6 (network and telephone) to the basement? Copper is expensive. Wouldn't it have been easier to run a trunk between the wiring room (presumably in your basement) up to your attic? I guess you don't really have an option for the alarm panels unless you put an expansion cabinet upstairs and trunked that as well. Just curious...

Thanks,


Neil

p.s. Couldn't the same be said for the RG59 and potentially the RG6? Multiswitches can be stacked.

Where were you 1 month ago when I was planning this???? ;)

Just kidding. :(

Amusingly, I had the same idea about the sensors and other such stuff, and I asked for opinions in this thread, and the overwhelming opinion was that I should just homerun everything.

The layout of the house really didn't make that a worthwhile option. There's only 2 locations upstairs that are across the house. The other locations are almost directly above the wiring room, so that's a short run.

Also, the copper wasn't as expensive as I thought it'd be....$75 for 1k ft of Cat5e, that's pretty reasonable. And I didn't want to have to deal with multiple routers to maintain upstairs and down. I think you're right, overall I could have probably gotten away with less copper if I'd really wanted to.

The RG59 and 6 were more expensive, but I'm not sure how those could be used in the configuration you're talking about....how can you use a trunk line with component video signals?
 

heffneil

Active Member
By the way very nice work and a great job documenting everything for everyone. I certainly appreciated reading about your long cold days from my lanai in Florida :( But seriously you did a heck of a job and you should be very proud and I am confident it will pay off.

When you say component what do you mean? I was thinking just cable TV or antenna. Thats easy enough to split from the attic and trunk down to the basement. I didn't think you could split satellite TV too many times but I was wrong. When I had directv we put a multiswitch in the attic and ran two lines to the multiswitch in the basement so I could split out the signal to any of the bedrooms. It worked pretty well without incident.

Also are people considering running fiber with all of these connections? It seems very speculative and putting usable ends on it isn't for the faint of heart but I was wondering if you considered it?

Thanks!

Neil
 

beelzerob

Senior Member
By the way very nice work and a great job documenting everything for everyone. I certainly appreciated reading about your long cold days from my lanai in Florida :D But seriously you did a heck of a job and you should be very proud and I am confident it will pay off.

I alternate between impressed with what we've done, and slightly concerned about what I've put us through. I think this effort kind of crosses the line between hobby and weird obsession. I think the worst part is I can actually say with a straight face "Ya, I don't think we'll even ever use half of this stuff....".

When you say component what do you mean? I was thinking just cable TV or antenna. Thats easy enough to split from the attic and trunk down to the basement. I didn't think you could split satellite TV too many times but I was wrong. When I had directv we put a multiswitch in the attic and ran two lines to the multiswitch in the basement so I could split out the signal to any of the bedrooms. It worked pretty well without incident.

Well, I'm following the mantra of "If you aren't sure what you're going to need wiring for, wire for everything". So I have 2 RG6QS to every TV location, in case I end up with satellite or cable boxes all over (unlikely, but who knows). Then I have the 5 RG59 for component (RGB) video, and analog (L/R) audio (or I can send coax digital audio instead). Any switching or splitting I'll need to do will happen in the wiring room.

Also are people considering running fiber with all of these connections? It seems very speculative and putting usable ends on it isn't for the faint of heart but I was wondering if you considered it?

I never really considered fiber...nothing I own nor plan to own anytime soon needs fiber, except digital audio, which I can just use the coax for (I think there are optical to coax converters for that). I did look into HDMI, though, as that is much more useful and pertinent to me...but I decided against it for several factors, including cost and um....cost. :( You have to buy cables in fixed sizes, and there were no sizes that would reach where I needed without being ridiculously expensive. Since most equipment I have with an HDMI also does component out, I decided not to make the effort just for HDMI. As a future hedge, though, I also ran 3 Cat5e's with every TV....so if I really need to do HDMI in the future, I can just shell out for baluns and be set.
 

heffneil

Active Member
Sounds good. There are some in expensive HDMI cables available online. I was reading in a PC magazine that they tested Monster HDMI vs an off brand and 4 people couldn't tell a difference in the picture quality. The went on to say that it was digital and the signal is the signal. Probably true but under certain lengths I would think there might be loss. I am glad I am not in your position to have the option to wire everything for a new home. I would be totally neurotic about it and would always wonder if it was enough. The truth is leave room in a chase and if worse comes to worse you add it later.

Keep up the good work. Can't wait to see pictures of your finished wiring room!

Neil
 

beelzerob

Senior Member
Sounds good. There are some in expensive HDMI cables available online. I was reading in a PC magazine that they tested Monster HDMI vs an off brand and 4 people couldn't tell a difference in the picture quality. The went on to say that it was digital and the signal is the signal. Probably true but under certain lengths I would think there might be loss. I am glad I am not in your position to have the option to wire everything for a new home. I would be totally neurotic about it and would always wonder if it was enough. The truth is leave room in a chase and if worse comes to worse you add it later.

Hehe....ya, it sounds like I am living out your nightmare. Pray you don't build a custom house then...you won't be able to resist the temptation of getting all this done.

I still do wonder if it's enough, though I'm skeptical that I'll even use half of this stuff within the first 2 or 3 years. It'll take a whole lot more money to get equipment that can even use this. The first thing we did was put in the 3" pipe for future pulls to the attic, so we're set for future. The only thing we can't reasonably do is first floor ceiling, but there's not a lot of things that ever need to go there that we haven't already wired for.

Keep up the good work. Can't wait to see pictures of your finished wiring room!

Neil

Wiring room....oh ya.....that. :( That's one of those things that I've not even begun to consider how to do, I think out of sheer terror. That will most likely be its own little odyssey, and its own post as I try to figure out how the heck to organize all that stuff. I'm not sure yet if I'm going to go ghetto "screw it to the wall" first, and then nice/organized after I've figured out a system, or try to afford panels right off the bat. Dunno on that one, but I can't wait to see pictures of it too! :D
 

heffneil

Active Member
I bought my house already built. I am a huge fan of recessed lighting. My electrician came in and installed about 20 lights in the first floor. I had to patch the notches and re-paint but it was worth all the hard work, time and mess. So don't count your ability to get things in to the first floor ceiling!

Neil

p.s. Pegboard :( Just kidding...
 
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