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Whole House Network?

Old 10-23-13, 09:16 PM
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Whole House Network?

Okay, first if all, thanks for any help you can give this relative tech boob!

When I moved into my house several years ago, it had an IBM Network Home Connector in the basement.

All the rooms in the home have two phone jacks and 2 Cat 5 jacks.

I'm currently running a CAT 5 wore from the jack to a DSL modem to a router and back out to my main computer.

Everything else in the house runs wirelessly. I will soon need a wired connection to a second computer and will be adding a Smart TV to the mix, as well. I can no longer settle for buffering!

What do I need to get all the ports juiced so that I can have multiple computers and wired devices (I'd love if I could hard-wire my network Blu-Ray players, X-Box, etc.!)

All I see downstairs is a box with a bunch of wires and I feel lost. I'd rather not have to call in a network professional if it'd be easy to do it myself.

Any ideas before I do so? Thanks!
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Old 10-24-13, 01:40 AM
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Re: Whole House Network?

I'm not sure what an IBM Network Home Connector is and google isn't very helpful with that phrase. Is it a device or is it a structured wiring panel of some sort?

I would guess that your house has "home run" wiring where there is wiring from all the rooms run into a central location. If that's the case, then you just need to put an ethernet switch at that central location, connect all the wires to the switch, then connect the router to the switch.

Of course, it's the details in each of those steps that determine how much work you have to do. For example, how are the wires in the box in the basement terminated? That is, are they already connected to a panel (usually ideal)? Do they all have an RJ45 connector at the end? (still pretty convenient) Or are they just a loose bundle of cabling with the wires cut at the end? (will require some work)

If you could post some pictures of the box with the wires in the basement, that would be helpful. (imgur.com is a good place to host the pics)
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Old 10-24-13, 09:34 AM
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Re: Whole House Network?

I'm thinking Mao got the term wrong, and he has an IBM Home Network Connection Center. Here's some relevant manuals:

http://john.ccac.rwth-aachen.de:8000...ns/hnccown.pdf
http://john.ccac.rwth-aachen.de:8000...ns/h298ins.pdf


It's a pretty old system, premiering in 1998:
http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/2460.wss
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Old 10-28-13, 09:23 AM
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Re: Whole House Network?

That is precisely what I have ...IBM Home Network Connection Center

Now, the question is...can I get it to work? I mean, obviously it's working in my main office where I'm wired already.

Do I have to put a modem between the wall jacks and any device I wish to use? Or do I need a bridge of some sort.

I have pictures of my specific box with wires and all, but, yup, that's the one.

Jay G. - thank for those manuals!

Last edited by Mao; 10-28-13 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 10-28-13, 09:52 AM
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Re: Whole House Network?

The manual seems to indicate that there's a only 4-port "Computer Network Module", but also a 24-port "Residential Telcom Module". If this is correct, then I'm guessing that most of the ports in the house lead back to the telcom module. They may be using an RJ45 jack, but they're intended for voice, so using them for data may be tricky.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RJ45_(...ications)#RJ45

Look to see if any of the jacks specifically reference the network module.


Also, to clarify the situation you have now basically its:

Outlet -> DSL Modem -> Router -> PC

Correct?

Last edited by Jay G.; 10-28-13 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 10-28-13, 10:25 AM
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Re: Whole House Network?

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
The manual seems to indicate that there's a only 4-port "Computer Network Module", but also a 24-port "Residential Telcom Module". If this is correct, then I'm guessing that most of the ports in the house lead back to the telcom module. They may be using an RJ45 jack, but they're intended for voice, so using them for data may be tricky.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RJ45_(...ications)#RJ45

Look to see if any of the jacks specifically reference the network module.


Also, to clarify the situation you have now basically its:

Outlet -> DSL Modem -> Router -> PC

Correct?
Correct....

Let me get some pictures hosted so I can show you.

Gosh, as long as I could get even the other three ports to get juiced, I'd be a happy camper! Could this mean that I could activate or use any ports I wished?

Last edited by Mao; 10-28-13 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 10-28-13, 01:50 PM
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Re: Whole House Network?

OK, I saw the images you uploaded, and it works a little differently than what I was thinking.

It doesn't look like your system has the network module, which is fine, because on further reading of the manual I think the network module was basically a network switch, likely 10-BaseT .

Before changing anything, be sure to document where everything is currently plugged in; a written list as well as photos.

Basically, you'll need to install a network switch in or near the cabinet, and take the cat5 cables for the rooms you want it to go do, unplug them from the telephony module, and plug them into the switch. The size of the switch depends on how many rooms you want to wire; the most basic is going to be a 5-port switch like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Cisco-Linksys-.../dp/B00003006E

I don't know if gigabit is going to be feasible on your Cat5 cables; probably not.

The tricky part would be to hook the switch up to the modem and router. You could move the modem and router down to the cabinet. If you can see which cable the DSL line is coming in on. If you use the router for wifi, this might affect your wifi range. However, you could use the outlets in various rooms to plug in wifi access points to extend range.

Or, if you want to keep the modem and router where they are, you're likely going to have to utilize the second cat5 outlet in the room with the router to run a line from the router in that room to the switch in the cabinet, and then back out to all the other outlets.
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Old 10-28-13, 01:50 PM
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Re: Whole House Network?





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Old 10-28-13, 01:53 PM
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Re: Whole House Network?

Thank you all for chiming in so far...any help I can get so I don't have to call in the big boys....
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Old 10-28-13, 06:19 PM
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Re: Whole House Network?

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
OK, I saw the images you uploaded, and it works a little differently than what I was thinking.

It doesn't look like your system has the network module, which is fine, because on further reading of the manual I think the network module was basically a network switch, likely 10-BaseT .

Before changing anything, be sure to document where everything is currently plugged in; a written list as well as photos.

Basically, you'll need to install a network switch in or near the cabinet, and take the cat5 cables for the rooms you want it to go do, unplug them from the telephony module, and plug them into the switch. The size of the switch depends on how many rooms you want to wire; the most basic is going to be a 5-port switch like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Cisco-Linksys-.../dp/B00003006E

I don't know if gigabit is going to be feasible on your Cat5 cables; probably not.

The tricky part would be to hook the switch up to the modem and router. You could move the modem and router down to the cabinet. If you can see which cable the DSL line is coming in on. If you use the router for wifi, this might affect your wifi range. However, you could use the outlets in various rooms to plug in wifi access points to extend range.

Or, if you want to keep the modem and router where they are, you're likely going to have to utilize the second cat5 outlet in the room with the router to run a line from the router in that room to the switch in the cabinet, and then back out to all the other outlets.
Okay, assuming I can get this up and running...what does the switch do that the box doesn't already do? And how does the modem fit into the picture? Do I not need a modem in between the connector and the wires running to the outlets? Will I lose any "speed" if running two, three or four wired devices?

I would like to maintain wifi as it stands on the main floor for ipads, androids and other wireless devices.

I am assuming those blu wires on the upper left hand side of the connector are the cat 5 wires that head up into the house.

And does this look like a DIY project or should I bring in the Geek Squad? My internet provider didn't seem to understand what I was talking about

Last edited by Mao; 10-28-13 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 10-29-13, 08:27 AM
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Re: Whole House Network?

Originally Posted by Mao View Post
Okay, assuming I can get this up and running...what does the switch do that the box doesn't already do? And how does the modem fit into the picture? Do I not need a modem in between the connector and the wires running to the outlets? Will I lose any "speed" if running two, three or four wired devices?
A network switch allows you to connect multiple wired devices to the same network. Network devices have to connect to each other a different way than telephony devices do, so the telecom module in the box that most of the wires are connected to isn't going to work for network devices.

The DSL modem is needed to convert the telephone signal from the phone line coming in to a data signal your devices can use. Typically a DSL modem only allows for one device connected directly to it, which is where the router comes in, which creates a network for multiple devices and routes all internet traffic from those devices through the DSL modem. Typically routers have a switch built-in (likely 4-port), but you can add a switch to a router if you need more.

For a basic layout, it would be:

Phone line in --- DSL Modem --- Router --- Switch --- Wired devices.


Where these items are in your house and how they connect is part of what you'll have to figure out. The main thing is that you'll need a switch in the Home Connection Center box if you want multiple outlets in your house to have a network connection.


Originally Posted by Mao View Post
I would like to maintain wifi as it stands on the main floor for ipads, androids and other wireless devices.
Again, you have two options: keep the router where it is and figure out how to get a network line from the router to the switch in the basement, or move the router to the basement and buy/install/configure a wireless access elsewhere in the house for coverage.


Originally Posted by Mao View Post
I am assuming those blu wires on the upper left hand side of the connector are the cat 5 wires that head up into the house.
That's what they look like, yes. They appear to be labeled for what room outlet they end up in. You might want to get a cable tester to confirm that the wires are properly labeled and are still functional:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16899261015


Originally Posted by Mao View Post
And does this look like a DIY project or should I bring in the Geek Squad? My internet provider didn't seem to understand what I was talking about
It's possibly a DIY project if you know what you're doing. Considering your lack of experience or knowledge though, you may want to get some help. I wouldn't necessarily recommend Geek Squad though. Do you have a friend/relative that's fairly computer savvy? Else, if you want a professional, I'd go with a company dedicated to wiring.
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Old 10-29-13, 06:54 PM
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Re: Whole House Network?

In the pictures, it looks like there's one blue cable for each room in your house and currently they are wired to provide a phone connection to each room. That is, you can get a dial tone from each of the RJ11 phone jacks in each room. Is that correct?

If so, unless there's another bundle of wires not seen in the pictures, the data jacks in each room may not actually be wired to anything. Have you ever pulled the wall plates off and look to see if there's a cable attached to the RJ45 ports? If there are cables attached to the RJ45 ports, then they're probably pulled to somewhere near the wiring panel in the basement, but left coiled in a wall or in the ceiling of the basement somewhere.

If there are no other cables, then you have the option in each room to leave the cat 5 cable connected for the existing phone line, or with a little work, you can connect it to the RJ45 port to use it for your network. To do that would involve doing something like what's show in this video for each data port in each room:



You may also need to crimp new RJ45 connectors onto the ends of the cat 5 cables in the basements if they are not wired to either 568A or 568B standards for ethernet cabling. That process looks like this:



You don't need to pay close attention to those videos yet, I'm only providing them to give you an idea of the work that's involved. The tools they use aren't too expensive. You can find most of them at monoprice for under $10 each.

http://www.monoprice.com/Category?c_id=105

If that looks like something you'd like to try to do yourself, then check to see what ports are actually wired in each room (take pictures) and look for any additional cabling that may be hiding somewhere.
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Old 10-29-13, 07:18 PM
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Re: Whole House Network?

You guys are awesome.....let me do some more investigating...
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Old 10-29-13, 08:37 PM
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Re: Whole House Network?

When I'm looking at the box downstairs and in the pics above...there's a line that says "Feed". What should mainline DSL look like...or am I thinking incorrectly?

Couldn't a mainline from the box into a modem, then from the modem directly to the ports (if wired) work? Sorry, I'm getting lost in my own thoughts thinking this should be so damn simple. Would getting a modem in each room be stupid, too?
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Old 10-29-13, 09:54 PM
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Re: Whole House Network?

Originally Posted by Mao View Post
When I'm looking at the box downstairs and in the pics above...there's a line that says "Feed". What should mainline DSL look like...or am I thinking incorrectly?
From what I can see, the cable labeled "Feed" is a video cable going into the camera module on the bottom, that's not the DSL line.

What might be the DSL feed is the box labeled "SC5-W 30X KLI". That looks like it's not part of the original config, so it may be something the phone tech did when hooking up the DSL.

How is the DSL configured in your house? Do you have a phone line as well as DSL service? If yes, are there multiple phones plugged into phone outlets, or wireless phones with just one base station plugged in? Are they plugged in near the modem, or does the modem pass out the voice line?

Originally Posted by Mao View Post
Couldn't a mainline from the box into a modem, then from the modem directly to the ports (if wired) work?
I'm not quite sure what you're proposing here. If you could draw a diagram it may help.

However, You can't go straight from the DSL modem to multiple other devices. You need at least a router in between. If the router has multiple free ports on the back, and you don't need any more, then you could use just the router without an additional switch. However, the router would have to be in the Connection Center.

Originally Posted by Mao View Post
Would getting a modem in each room be stupid, too?
The phone company isn't going to give you multiple modems unless you're paying for multiple DSL accounts. Even then, it may not be feasible to feed multiple DSL signals into your house, and they wouldn't be networked together. So best to just put this out of mind.
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