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New House networking wiring

Last response: in Networking
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March 1, 2013 2:03:48 PM

I am building a new house and here is the floor plan with AV/data wiring recommendation from the builder.

Do you think I have enough data cable connection(cat5e/RJ6)? Builder will include 3 cat6 cable connections only. Where should I put the cat6 connection? I am a newbie so please help me on this.


Any other recommendation and suggestion? Thanks a lot.
March 1, 2013 3:12:11 PM

Do not worry about the difference between cat5e and cat6. They both can run 1G if you ever would need to run more than 1G you need to run cat6a or cat7 cable so your cat6 cable would not work anyway.

It appears they are running cat5e for the phones even. If they run all the cat5e cable they have indicated on this plan you should have more than you can ever use.

Although cat 6 cable is technically better on paper it makes no difference because you cannot buy equipment that will use the ability of the cable and they skiped to 10g as the next point up in speed which cat6 cannot support.

March 1, 2013 3:12:36 PM

Are you assigning one of the rooms to be a home office? I am assuming the space labelled "study" would be your home office. I would have your Cat6 runs from there. Don't bother with Cat5e. It's already pretty much obsolete. If they won't run Cat6 but in 3 places, make sure they centralize here. Honestly I would run at LEAST one Cat6 to each bedroom, living/ family rooms. Wherever you will have a TV, set top box I would have a cable run for each, so assume you have a PS3, a Wii, and a SmartTV in the living room, your best configuration is to run 3 Cat6 cables to wherever you want to put that entertainment center... See if you can pay them extra to do it right the first time. MUCH better than tacking on later...

In the office you will want a single, large enough switch for all your ports, and a few extras if you decide to add on later.

Yes you can, and many do go with WiFi. Which is great for phones, and in a pinch desktops, but honestly, unless you are out in the sticks, you WILL run into WiFi interference from time to time, which causes anything from reduced performance, to downright outages. The radio waves are crowded!
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March 1, 2013 4:03:04 PM

Yes. The Study is the Home office location. The closet in Bedroom3 with a "SWP" is where the Structured Wiring Panel located which is where all the networks calbe centrailized. Each room has 3 cat5e and 1 RG6 from the builder drawing. The 3 additional cat6 is not included in the diagram yet and I still have to decide where to put them. I can upgrade all 30+ cat5e connections in the drawing to Cat6 but it will cost me another $1000.
If I just have 3 additional cat6, should I run the cat6 to family room, study and Media room? Sorry for dumb question but does the cat6 use the same patch panel the cat5e use in the wiring panel?

Should I install conduits from some of the location to attic for future wiring? If yes, which locations should I put the conduit?

Off topic, for each speaker wiring, they are using 16/2(16 gauge 2 wires). Do I need 14/2 or 16/4?
March 1, 2013 4:16:24 PM

Do not spend any money to upgrade any of the cable.

People can say....oh cat 6 will allow future ...but we know already this is not true.

There is nothing that is going to be invented that will run between 1G and 10G. So if you want to future proof your house so you can run 10G you must run cat7...most likely for much more than $1000 since it needs very expensive connectors.

It is pretty easy to drill into the wall cavities from the attic to the top floor. I would only run a conduit from the attic to a lower level room. Mostly I would be concerned with video type of cables since those still have very short distance limits on them.

The gauge of speaker wire mostly depends how long the runs are and how loud you play the music. It very much depends on the speakers you use and the amplifier. I would suspect for your average user it will make no difference but unlike digital stuff there is no simple answers.

March 1, 2013 4:40:55 PM

bill001g said:
Do not spend any money to upgrade any of the cable.

People can say....oh cat 6 will allow future ...but we know already this is not true.

There is nothing that is going to be invented that will run between 1G and 10G. So if you want to future proof your house so you can run 10G you must run cat7...most likely for much more than $1000 since it needs very expensive connectors.

It is pretty easy to drill into the wall cavities from the attic to the top floor. I would only run a conduit from the attic to a lower level room. Mostly I would be concerned with video type of cables since those still have very short distance limits on them.

The gauge of speaker wire mostly depends how long the runs are and how loud you play the music. It very much depends on the speakers you use and the amplifier. I would suspect for your average user it will make no difference but unlike digital stuff there is no simple answers.


Thanks a lot! For the video type cable, can I just do baluns over cat5e to increase the distance?
March 1, 2013 4:43:00 PM

I do agree, if they are already running Category 5e and not Category 5 cable, there isn't enough difference in the two to make that much of a difference.

I do disagree...

partially...

with the assertion that you must use Cat 7 cable for 10Gbase, we use Cat6 at work and it works fine. I would NOT use Cat6 in a high interference area such as when the Structured Wiring Panel is right next to say a high power audio amplifier, or your main breaker panel is right next to it. However for short runs (under 100') in a data center, it has worked flawlessly. HOWEVER it is also true that frequently folks do run into problems using Cat6 on 10Gbase networks. Again in electrically noisy environments in particular Cat6 is a BAD idea for 10G...

Now with all of that hot air expended. Like I said, if you already have sufficient Cat5e going to where you want it to go, and they want to upcharge you $1K to run Cat6. Save your money. The difference in cost between a 1000' box of quality cat5e, and cat5e connectors versus cat 6 is maybe $100.00. Toss into the mix that chances are they will be tying into a cat5e rated patch panel for your structured wiring panel (not many of them are Cat6 for some reason), and it makes sense to stay with 5e.

The cable will already be there, so if you want to upgrade later, it is a pretty simple process to back pull say Cat7 if you ever want to go that fast and can afford the connectors, cable, NICs, switches etc... Or if prices drop radically... (10G over any media, copper, filber, whatever is EXPENSIVE!).

Best of luck with the build, and enjoy the new house!
March 1, 2013 5:19:21 PM

finalfantasyfan said:
Thanks a lot! For the video type cable, can I just do baluns over cat5e to increase the distance?


The ones I have used are not baluns. They have a HDMI connector and take a pair of ethernet cables. I think the limit is about 75ft on the ones I used.

Saw this over at home depot home show NX-HDMIX-ET-IR-120-1 (will not let be link the url). This thing somehow transmits 1080p over a normal ethernet network using normal gig switches. Kinda expensive and I don't know if you need to buy 2 or if you get the tranmitter/receiver as a pair.
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