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Wiring new house for computer network

Old 04-29-06, 06:32 PM
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Wiring new house for computer network

Hi,

I am about to start building my new hous (excited!!), and I would like to put in my own cat5e or cat6 network.

What do I need to purchase? Obviously, I need cable, but what about the jacks in the wall, and the face plates? What are they called? Where can I buy them (online or B&M), how do I wire the cable into the jack?

This shouldn't be too difficult, right? I have made patch cables in the past (crimper and then test them with a tester), so I think I should be able to do this myself.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 04-29-06, 07:41 PM
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Are you having it built by a contractor or through a home builder like Pulte or Beazer? If the latter, they will most likely not allow you to do your own work.

If you get to do it yourself, a simple google will get you all the info you need - very easy to do. Just make sure you put 'em everywhere including some closets for hiding stuff.
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Old 04-29-06, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by CRyan
Are you having it built by a contractor or through a home builder like Pulte or Beazer? If the latter, they will most likely not allow you to do your own work.

If you get to do it yourself, a simple google will get you all the info you need - very easy to do. Just make sure you put 'em everywhere including some closets for hiding stuff.
The contractor will allow me to do so. I have checked.

Google-ing would be great, but I don't know what the jacks are called, nor the face plats. Was hoping somebody here might be able to tell me.

BTW: I live in Canada, so it would be great if a website or B&M in Canada could be found...
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Old 04-29-06, 11:29 PM
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RJ45 jacks. Home Depot and similar stores will have kits for installing these.
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Old 04-29-06, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Ranger
RJ45 jacks. Home Depot and similar stores will have kits for installing these.
Maybe I am confused. I thought RJ45 was the "male" end, which you find on patch panels. I need to know what the "female" end is called, basically what you would plug your RJ45 into.
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Old 04-30-06, 12:04 AM
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Well, what I figure is that you put in the cable trhough the wall, attach a rj45 jack at the end put that on the faceplate for you to plug in your cable from your computer. The jack is meant to connect the cables.
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Old 04-30-06, 02:37 PM
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You do not need to Google a specific term. Here is what I got with a simple generic search. Probably everything you need to know.

I searched install home network cable

And on the first page is a perfect link..

Wire Your Home with Network Cable

That gives you step by step...

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
Step 5

And here is another one on page two of that same search.
Connected Home

Last edited by CRyan; 04-30-06 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 04-30-06, 05:08 PM
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Just research Leviton Quickport! That's the answer for easy to install jacks!

Sonic
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Old 05-01-06, 12:08 AM
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And.. DONT get tempted by bundles on ebay.. you can get cat6, plates and all very cheap, but they are complete crap.. I bought some.. cables are terrible...
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Old 05-01-06, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by LolaRennt
Maybe I am confused. I thought RJ45 was the "male" end, which you find on patch panels. I need to know what the "female" end is called, basically what you would plug your RJ45 into.
I believe they're called Cat5e or Cat6 (whichever standard you decide) keystone jacks.
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Old 05-01-06, 02:30 AM
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most wall jack require punch instead of a crimper, other then things like the keystone and quickport there are the standard blocks that put the plug sideways. Since you are building a new house I would recommend something like the quick port that way you can put network, phone, cable, or others. I have seen them used alot at my school and in corporate offices.
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Old 05-01-06, 10:31 AM
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I just did this last July in my home, and you defintiely won't regret it. I had never done this before, so there was plenty of learning to be done.

Leviton has structured media solutions (where you buy their switches, routers, etc), but I wanted to use my own hardware. I bought this box here: Leviton Media Versatile Panel

It fit perfectly between two studs, and sits a couple of inches out from the wall. I put it in our utility room. I had the electrician run a run of coax cable into it for my cable modem and then ran all the ethernet cable to it. It has a wood backing, so with the appropriate mounting hardware, I just screwed in my Netgear switch, Linksys router, and cable modem in the wood. Don't forget to have them run power to the box! I just had a 4 plug-in box put in it. Or your could just get one run and use a surge protector.

I used the Leviton Quickport system. This way you can have tv, phone, and ethernet all in one faceplate instead of having separate ones for each. You will most definitely need a punchdown tool for the female terminations. Don't buy a super expensive one though. A cheap one from Home Depot worked fine for me.

A couple of things I learned: definitely label the wires as you are going. You can number them with a tag. I used color coded cable ties. Doesn't really matter, but it saves lots of time when you come back to test them.

Leave yourself plenty of slack on the female terminations if you've never done them. It took me a few tries to get the method down. However, when you leave the slack, roll it up, cable tie it, and stuff it back in the gang box. Don't leave it hanging out, because there's a chance it would get cutoff. The guys that did our sheetrock I guess didn't realize that cables were important, and hacked off a few of them. Luckily I barely had enough slack to terminate them. Accidental or not, stuff the wire back in the box so they don't get cut.

I don't know how much you're into music, but I also put speakers up in every room. That is probably one of the best investments I've made. With the Apple Airport Express, we play music with iTunes throughout the house all day.

I learned a lot from here: AVS Home Distribution
Just search for "structured wiring." Granted, a lot of people here are talking about audio and video in addition to ethernet, but you can still learn a lot.
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Old 05-01-06, 01:58 PM
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Xanager - what speakers did you use? I'm looking for speakers to use w/ airport express around my house now.
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Old 05-01-06, 02:33 PM
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I was on a pretty restricted budget of about $100/pr, but I've been thoroughly pleased with what I got. After reading a good bit in the avsforum speaker section, I came to the conclusion that NXG made some of the best "bang for buck" speakers. I bought 3 pairs of the NXG 60C speakers and one 60 DVC (has dual tweeters in it, good for a small room like a bathroom where only one speaker is needed). I think I paid about $440 for all of those, plus the rough-in kits. The rough-in kits were more $$ than I expected, but they were definitely worth it IMO. The sheetrock people cut around them perfectly for me, so I just had to put the speakers up w/o any drywall cutting.

I think that the NXG 62C speakers have replaced the 60C. Just google and you'll find plenty of places with prices.

I'm sure that these aren't the best sounding speakers in the world, but they sound fine to me. I'm not doing any "critical listening" anyways with this music. I probably wouldn't use them for my home theater, but they serve their purpose very well. It was also cheaper for me to get a receiver to drive them rather than an amplifier.

I also bought a pair of AV123 Outdoor Speakers and these are great.

edit: and to keep the thread from getting too off track, check out www.smarthome.com for wallplates, leviton stuff, etc. I don't know if they are the best prices around, but I've ordered with them before with good luck. I think that's where I ordered my structured wiring cabinet from.

Last edited by Xanager; 05-01-06 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 05-02-06, 12:33 AM
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Sorry for the hi-jack, we'll get back to original topic when OP is back

I am actually not looking for in-wall speakers, but something decent to hang.
Do you use an amp with them? I'm looking for a small, cheap amp w/ decent sound to power the speakers unless i can find powered ones.
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Old 05-02-06, 07:59 AM
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Sorry I can't give you any advice on hanging speakers. You might try asking in the hardware section, but if no one replies, try asking in the speaker section over at AVS.

Initially I was going to use an amp, but I found it was cheaper to just use a receiver. I waited until CircuitCity or BestBuy was running a deal on one of their lower end receivers. I picked up a Sherwood receiver for $70 when it went on sale: Sherwood RX-4105

I have all the speakers first running to these: Dayton Volume Controls and then onto this: Dayton In-Wall Speaker Splitter and then onto the receiver.

If you have a much higher budget Niles, Russound, and Cestron make packages that do this. Most of the higher end systems have a separate amp for each set of speakers. That was a little overkill for me. You could also check out www.sonos.com if you're doing a retrofit.
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