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Home networking

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January 15, 2013 3:03:13 PM

I have RJ11 phone lines networked throughout the home. Bear in mind they are UNUSED! None of them are connected to the outside world except the one for the router.

Can I simply switch out the jacks to RJ45? I read if you use only 2 pairs, you'd get only 100mb/s which is fine for us.

More about : home networking

January 15, 2013 3:24:37 PM

2 pairs will give you 10base, and if you're VERY lucky (and the distance is 10-15m or less) you might get 100base.

Here is the wiring diagram you would need for the connectors to work.

Pin No. strand color Name
1 white and orange TX+
2 orange TX-
3 white and green RX+
4 NC *
5 NC *
6 green RX-
7 NC *
8 NC *
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January 15, 2013 6:28:57 PM

Not a good choice. It might work, but it would be more effort than it would be worth. HOWEVER, the presence of the RJ-11 indicates you have some 2 pair cable in the walls. You can use this to backpull cat5e or cat6 four pair cable , and then use that to centralize your modem / router / switch setup for your home network. Assuming that is, that the RJ-11s are where you want to put RJ-45s...
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January 15, 2013 8:13:20 PM

dbhosttexas said:
Not a good choice. It might work, but it would be more effort than it would be worth. HOWEVER, the presence of the RJ-11 indicates you have some 2 pair cable in the walls. You can use this to backpull cat5e or cat6 four pair cable , and then use that to centralize your modem / router / switch setup for your home network. Assuming that is, that the RJ-11s are where you want to put RJ-45s...


Didn't think about that option. Definitely a much better option!
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January 16, 2013 2:58:17 PM

itzdanielp said:
Didn't think about that option. Definitely a much better option!


Anything to make the job easier. Category 3, or even non E rated cat 5 cable is now pretty much considered obsolete. Cat 6 is actually pretty much a $20.00 or so upgrade per 1K feet that unless you are dead broke, there really isn't a good reason not to string cat 6 instead of 5 and future proof yourself.

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January 17, 2013 9:48:00 PM

dbhosttexas said:
Not a good choice. It might work, but it would be more effort than it would be worth. HOWEVER, the presence of the RJ-11 indicates you have some 2 pair cable in the walls. You can use this to backpull cat5e or cat6 four pair cable , and then use that to centralize your modem / router / switch setup for your home network. Assuming that is, that the RJ-11s are where you want to put RJ-45s...

Unfortunately that's not easy to do. All the phone lines throughout the house are connected in parallel.
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Best solution

January 18, 2013 2:22:00 PM

brncao said:
Unfortunately that's not easy to do. All the phone lines throughout the house are connected in parallel.


By definition, that isn't a problem. A parallel circuit is a star topology of sorts, which means all these cables go through the walls somewhere to come out to a single central point, which is what you want. Now if the phone wiring is in series, meaning the phone lines daisy chain, one off the other, off the other, this discussion is completely moot, however since you said it was wired parallel, which is what I would expect, I am going to dive in deep here.

I do agree, wired networking IS quite a bit more involved than wireless. It is also FAR more secure, and when you consider the impacts of RFI interference, and network traffic, Gigabit ethernet is MUCH faster than any of the current WiFi standards.

Yes it will be a project. But in all modesty, I have to encourage you here, if you are at all interested in havng a serious network, it is a project with benefits that radically outweigh the efforts you put into it. If you have any DIY in you, this is a project that pays off big time in the long run.

So I have to assume you haven't done this before, so I wrote up a little howto hopefully this will help you.

Okay here goes...
And I am assuming your lines run to your attic, or basement, and you know where they penetrate. I did within a month of moving in to my house... (But then again, I am a bit OCD on matters of tech, and construction...)

You mention you have a phone line going to your router. I therefore am making an assumption that you have DSL for your broadband.

I also have to make an assumption that you have a central point that you want to place your modem / router, and any ethernet switch to distribute your network from. A home office, a communications closet, a utility room etc...
Lastly, because you don't mention it, I am going to assume you don't want a huge port density going to your distribution point. I am basing this off of 8 network ports being distributed through your home.

Tools and materials needed.
- Pull box of Category 6 ethernet cabling. You CAN use category 5e, but cat6 is only about $20.00 more for 1000 feet depending on the vendor, that it doesn't make sense not to future proof the network. THe savings in labor later on is worth the $20.00 to me!
- Sufficient quatity of at least category 5e rated RJ-45 keystones. You need 1 keystone for each end. So for 8 drops, that would be 16 keystones.
- Sufficient quatity of RJ-11 keystones. You may not want to reuse your land line, but if you go to sell your house, potential buyers might. You ought to have them there. So 16 keystones on our assumption.
- Sufficient quantity of single gang, double keystone wall plates. These are just blank wall plates with square holes for your keystones. You need 8.
- 1 double gang low voltage mounting bracket. Sort of an old work electrical outlet box with no back and hardly any sides. Home Depot has these on the cheap.
- Drywall saw, and pencil.
- 1 double gang 9 port keystone wall plate. (8 ethetnet, and 1 RJ-11)
- Bucket of electricians pull cord. The guys at Home Depot will know what this is. It is just a simply poly twine kind of stuff in a bucket. It unspools easily and is used to pull cables through walls.
- Network punch down tool. Sometimes the keystones, if you buy them in bulk boxes come with them. The ones they come with are junk. You want an impact punch down tool as they do a MUCH better job seating the wires.
- Network cable tester. Believe it or not, workable units can be had CHEAP. I got a Chinese made tester, that I actually use in our data center at work, for about $7.00 on Amazon. It works, does its thing, and if it breaks, who cares?
- Wire cutters / cable strippers. You can cut and strip the cable using heavy duty scissors or diagonal cutting pliers as well, there are however specialized tools sold to do the job easier...
- Already made, or make your own cat 5e or cat 6 jumpers, cables that run from the wall outlet to the conected devices. If you opt to make your own get a pair of cable crimpers, I LOVE my TrendNET TC-CT68 crimpers BTW, and a bag of RJ-45 cable ends. You can add anti snag boots if you want. Some folks love them, some despise them. Just as a heads up, the 110 punch down tool I own, the crimpers, and the cable tester are all on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Network-Telecom-Blade-Punch-Insta... just look at the frequently bought together grouping... It's all there...

Step #1. Prepare your distribution point. I am going to assume again, I know bad idea, but work with me here. I am going to assume that you have a phone line that is carrying your DSL signal in to this area, and the walls are sheet rock, and not something like block wall etc...
-1a. Remove the face plate for the phone line from the wall outlet. If you are lucky, you have an old work type low voltage mount. Just unscrew the wings and slide this out.
-1b. Carefully mark your drywall for the larger double gang mount, and cut out the hole.
-1c. At the source point, disconnect the RJ-11 wall plate from the cable, create a loop in the cable, and secure that loop with electrical tape.
-1d. Create a corresponding loop, passing through the loop of phone wire, with ethernet cable, and pull cord. Secure the ethernet cable with electrical tape, but not the pull cord.
-1e. On the attic or basement or whatever pass through where the phone line penetrates, slowly and carefully back pull the phone line while a helper makes sure the cat6 and pull line pay out to you. Once you get the ends where you are, unloop the phone line, pull enough cat 6 through such that it won't come out when you pull back, or secure it temporarily to the framing of the attic etc... and pull an equal, or greater amount of pull cord up. The idea is you are going to use the pull cord to get the phone line back down to the outlet, while leaving enough pull cord in the wall and attic for you to just grab that and pull more ethernet cable up.
-1f. Secure to the new stop point on the pull cord, the phone line, and pull the line back down to the outlet.
-1g. pull your cat 6 to the penetration point for wherever you want it to go, say where the phone line in the master bedroom passes through.
-1h. In a sort of reverse manuver, pull the phone line and pull cord from the outlet end such that you are using the phone line to get the pull cord up into the attic, you will then use the pull cord to pull the rest up. It might be easiest to go 2 or 3 cables at a time. *NOTE*. Before you cut any cables, make sure you leave at LEAST a 3' slack in the attic area. You do not want your cables too tight!
-1i. Repeat process until you get all your ethernet cables from the source, to the destintation points.
-1j. Punch down the ethernet cables to the RJ-45s, punch down the phone cables to the RJ-11s. With a helper, and known good jumpers, use a cable tester to verify the cable. You will likely have to yell the results across the house, but the idea here, with most testers is that the lights light up in order, not jump around...
-1k. Once all cables are tested, both cat 6 and phone, install keystones into faceplates, and install faceplates into the wall.
-1l. You now have ethernet and telephone cables run from wherever you opted to base your network at, to each of your previously existing phone wall plates. You can now assemble the rest of your network equipment such as your DSL modem / router, and switch by connecting power and the cat 5e / cat 6 jumpers, likewise to your computers and other network attached devices.
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February 25, 2013 10:59:36 PM

Best answer selected by brncao.
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February 25, 2013 11:29:12 PM

Update!

Sorry, dbhosttexas I didn't see your reply when I left; I'm sure it would be useful to others. Btw, the phone lines in our home daisy chains, my bad. But there was no need to pull phone lines. We simply drilled holes in the wall where the wall plates are to be mounted, and used fiberglass wire (see image below) to pull up the ethernet cables from the basement to the first and second floor. A special drill was needed to drill holes behind the wall to allow the wires to run up/down.



It used to be a complete hassle when using wifi; The router sometimes disconnects a device or having to put up with bad or outdated drivers and compatibility issues. Now, it's a breeze :D 
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