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Cat 6 wiring of house - two storeys plus attic - best practice for wiring

Discussion in 'Home Automation, Lighting, Security & Climate' started by RossDublin, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. RossDublin

    RossDublin Member

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    Afternoon all,

    I am currently renovating my new home and in the process am having it rewired so that I have cat 6 connections in virtually all rooms.

    The house has three main living spaces downstairs, four bedrooms upstairs with one bathroom and one en suite. Almost all of these rooms will get one or more Cat 6 connections

    The converted attic is going to become my office space and will be home to the main network controls (my adsl connection will come in here and the main switch will be here).

    My question is how the house should be wired. Initially I was going to have Cat 6 cables run directly back from each Cat 6 wall connection to the switch in the attic/office. However, someone that typically knows more about these things than me suggested this was madness. They suggested I have a switch on the ground floor which I connect all the ground floors Cat 6 wall connections, running a single Cat 6 cable from this swith to the main switch in the attic. They suggested I do the same for the first floor, so in effect I have one main switch in the attic and one smaller one on each of the ground and first floors.

    Does anyone here have any thoughts on which of the above is best practice or is there another alternative? :)

    Many thanks,

    Ross
  2. hornydragon

    hornydragon Active Member

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    depends what you want to use the system for if it just data then what your knowledgable person has suggested is fine (means more switches tho) if you want to use it for more than data then a normal star config as you suggested is better (telephone for example)
  3. smjxm09

    smjxm09 Member

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    Why would you need Cat 6? Cat 6 needs special treatment when it is installed and special terminations so you can't use CAT 5 plugs and sockets otherwise the speed drops. If you share a CAT 6 or CAT 5 connection the speed drops so normal practice is to run individual cables.
  4. RossDublin

    RossDublin Member

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    Thanks for the replies so far.

    I have been reading more since I posted and a star network configuration does seem best - as outlined at http://www.copper.org/applications/telecomm/com_wire_home.html

    -----------
    Use a Star Wiring Pattern
    With star wiring, each outlet (jack) has its own individual “home run” of cabling extending back to a central distribution device. There are three major advantages to this:

    flexibility– all changes in distribution of services can be quickly and easily made at the central distribution device. Each outlet can be treated independently from all others. (In loop, also known as “daisy chain,” wiring—that is, where a number of outlets are tied together in series—outlets cannot be treated independently.);


    isolation of problems– when an interruption takes place (nail through a wall and into a cable, etc.) only one outlet is affected; and


    quality of signal– each additional connection point is a potential source of interference and other problems which can cause a loss of signal quality.
    -------------------

    smjxm09 - i was going to use Cat 6 as I was of the belief that one should use the best cable possible. Do you think Cat 5 or Cat 5e would be a better option? Do you have any links to support this?

    Thanks a million :thumbsup:

    Ross
  5. Audiman1

    Audiman1 Guest

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    Cat 6 uses std RG45 cables/connectors - same as CAT5, CAT 6 will give you 10gb up to about 50metres, CAT5 will only give 1gb (MAX), installation of CAT 6 is no different to 5, you do need to be careful that cables are not cable tied tight together, they should be loose laid and only tied with velcro type wraps,
    If I were doing what you intend to do I would have one central switch where all cables congregate, unless your cables runs are over 90m or you are limited with space to route the cables. To put a switch on each floor is over complicating the situation and potentially introducing another device which could fail, I would be install a 48 port patch panel in your attic where all you cables come to/from put a switch in the patch panel and connect everything to that.
    Terminating Cat6 is no more difficult than 5, just a bit more fiddly, and you have to follow certain rules with length of untwists etc (but this is only for manufactures 20 year gntee' - so not really relevant). Difference in cost of cable is minimal, but to maintain any sort of throughput you should use Cat6 components throughout, patch leads included.
  6. smjxm09

    smjxm09 Member

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    So what runs at 10gb that is going to be found in a home? Come to that what runs at 1gb?


    I did a termination course for Cat 6 and we used different connectors. It was a real pain to terminate.
  7. pemberto

    pemberto Member

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    Ross,

    I went down the same path in my current house and I am now planning the same for my new house. I went for Cat5e from Blackbox, these are one of the main corporate network installers who dont mind talking to the regular Joe off the street.

    I use the Gigabase 350 Cat5e at £27.00 for 300m you cannot go wrong and you can afford to flood your house with cable. Each wall socket around the house has two feeds. These all run to my loft and connect in to a Gigabase patch panel. Termination is really simple and you dont need any special tools.

    From the patch panel I then connect into a 10/100/1000mb switch and away you go. I can have my kids using the both xbox 360 over the network, one on the web and me connecting to my corporate network without any performance hits.

    Blackbox website, http://www.blackbox.co.uk

    if you search for gigbase you will find the cable, wall sockets and patch panels.

    Hope that helps,

    Pemberto.
  8. picotto

    picotto Member

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    The question still remians tho, what are you going to use it for, Data or phone or prehaps abit of both?
  9. KW1816

    KW1816 Member

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    Add to that audio/video distribution via CAT5 and who knows what else. My advice would be keep it as flexible as possible - this means one patch panel where everything comes back to. Also known as Node 0 to home automaters :hiya:
    Have a look here for a wiring guide.

    Kevin W.
  10. Audiman1

    Audiman1 Guest

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    What ran at 1gb 5 years ago ?, unless you can predict what will happen in the future, it's best to install the best you can afford.

    I have also done a Krone installation course and yes Cat6 is more difficult but then Cat5 was more difficult than co-ax. If it were my house I'd be putting Cat 6a in to save petentially having to do it again in 5 years.

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