Building an Ethernet Backbone...

jklondon

Standard Member
Hiya,

Looking to install Ethernet Pipe throughout my flat, probably Gigabyte (cat 6) for future proofing, need some advice from some experts. I attach a little diagram to help illustrate what I am trying to achieve (maybe give others some ideas even)

1. Debating as to whether to do this myself or get someone in (would like to do the former but just don’t have time) – can anyone recommend someone? How much would the labour cost roughly? ... if you now what you are doing and can travel to West Hampstead then there is a an interesting project for you here (will throw in cash as well and some beer :D )
2. The biggest problem I can see is running the thing through door frames – I will need to patch the ends myself I believe, if I did this myself how complicated is it?
3. How do you split the connection, i.e. what product should I use (so I can get a point in the bed-room and one in the play-room).

Links to good suppliers also please.

Thanks in advance!

JK
 

Attachments

clockworks

Novice Member
This is pretty easy to do. You need to find a central point to bring all the cables to - domestic networks don't need a "backbone", more of a "star" layout, with the PCs/cables radiating from a central hub or switch. If your router has a 4-port switch built-in, you can just use that.

Once you've found the best place to site your switch, router and endpoints (RJ45 wall sockets), you just run a cable from each endpoint, back to the switch. It's actually a good idea to run 2 cables to each endpoint, in case you need more capacity, or a cable gets damaged.

At the switch end of each cable, fit an RJ45 plug, and connect the plug into the switch, using an RJ45 crimp tool. At each endpoint, connect the wires to the back of the wall socket using a punchdown tool. Plug the switch into the mains, and you've got a network!

Your router will just plug into an endpoint (or directly into the switch, if that's more convenient).
You don't actually have to use wall sockets (just leave the cable sticking out of the wall) if you want to save time or money.

Fitting RJ45 plugs is easy (5 minutes), as long as you buy a crimp tool, and you put the wires in the right place.

Running the cables is the hard part. How to do it depends on the construction of the walls, whether you have access to the ceiling void, whether you can lift the floorboards, etc. In a modern flat, it might be easiest to remove the skirting boards, and fit the cables behind.

Your local electrical wholesaler (a company like CEF) is a good place for cable, plugs & sockets, tools, etc.
 

McTroozers

Standard Member
Hi,

First off you will need to run individual lengths of CAT5/6 cable from your router/hub to each location (assuming you have enough outputs). You must not plit these runs with in-line connections etc. Each run will need to terminate in a CAT5/6 faceplate at each end location & then connect to device with patch leads. At the router end you will need to terminate each cable with RJ45 connector. Although not all connections are used there is a standard colour code to follow for connections. Special tools are required for these connections. All should be available from the likes of B&Q. Due to the nature of the project, correct termination is very important. You may indeed want to think about employing a local Electrical/Telecoms company to carry out the work. Have you concidered a wireless setup?
 

T0rNaDo

Moderator
if u got a local TLC near by u can get all u need from there

rj45 plugs/crimpers/cable
face plates,rj45 inserts, blank plates.
1 gang boxes
2 gang boxes

or they do nice brass , satan. chrome etc ones too.
depends wot u want....

even do the network lan tester.... for checking leads and from one network socket to the other.

wiring in rj45 plug

white with orange
orange
white with green
blue
white with blue
green
white with brown
brown

from top to bottom with cable going into the plug from left handside.
plug with plastic clip facing down.


this is where i got all my bits from...

i got 8 port router downstairs next to my modem.
and i ran cables upstairs under floorboards into the
3 bedrooms,and used 1 gang wall sockets with face plates etc.
i ran 1 round to back of av unit ( for PS2 ) and a few in different
places infront room for pc's

fairly easy if u get access to where u need and u now how to terminate the cables.
 
S

solutus

Guest
The fella above is right in saying that you can get your bits from B&Q but you'll pay a hefty premium there (several hundred percent!).

I got most of my stuff from minitran.co.uk although there are other online suppliers with similar reasonable prices.

It is also correct to say that once you have decided where to situate the LAN switch which will connect everything together, you will need to run individual cables to it for each device you intend to connect.

www.lanshack.com have a good tutorial on crimping RJ45 ends on - simply listing the colours in order tells you nothing as it doesn't tell you which way you need to be looking at the plug!

Punching down at the faceplate end isn't rocket science and doesn't need a specialist electrician provied that you are half-handy at DIY. If you are capable of rewiring a telephone socket, punch down and RJ45 shouldn't pose too much of a challenge.

I gave a bit of info about my install on the thread below called 'Ethernet - there is a bit of advice on there about cable types and hardware too.
 

jklondon

Standard Member
great responses so far .. thanks ... two questions

- do I need category 6 or will category 5 suffice - for HD I get the impression its worth going with 6. If I do will it work OK with my standard ADSL modem/router?

- may be a stupid Q but does the cable come in different dimensions? the thinner and more rounder the better.

Txs!
 

jklondon

Standard Member
McTroozers said:
Hi,

First off you will need to run individual lengths of CAT5/6 cable from your router/hub to each location (assuming you have enough outputs). You must not plit these runs with in-line connections etc. Each run will need to terminate in a CAT5/6 faceplate at each end location & then connect to device with patch leads. At the router end you will need to terminate each cable with RJ45 connector. Although not all connections are used there is a standard colour code to follow for connections. Special tools are required for these connections. All should be available from the likes of B&Q. Due to the nature of the project, correct termination is very important. You may indeed want to think about employing a local Electrical/Telecoms company to carry out the work. Have you concidered a wireless setup?
Have a wireless setup at the moment, aint great for streaming vids.
 
S

solutus

Guest
jklondon said:
great responses so far .. thanks ... two questions

- do I need category 6 or will category 5 suffice - for HD I get the impression its worth going with 6. If I do will it work OK with my standard ADSL modem/router?

- may be a stupid Q but does the cable come in different dimensions? the thinner and more rounder the better.

Txs!
CAT5e will suffice - it is specified up to Gigabit Ethernet. CAT6 is supposedly more stable and if money is no object you might as well stretch to it but I think I am correct in saying that it won't, in theory, make your network any faster. I went for CAT6 as a 100m roll of it was cheap from Amazon.

Either CAT5e or CAT6 will work with your adsl modem/router provided it is an Ethernet device as opposed to USB.

Cable doesn't come in different dimensions but it does come in 'solid' or stranded'. Solid is preferred for installed cabling as it is tougher but it is less flexible. If you need flexibility for where you are running it, you might be best going for stranded which is conventionally only used for patch/fly leads at either end of the run. The following is lifted verbatim from lanshack.com:

"Stranded vs. Solid Wire - Almost all patch cables that are made have stranded wire. Stranded wire is normally specified for use in patch cables due to it's superior flexibility. There has been some talk recently, in the technical sector of the structured wiring community, regarding the possible use of solid conductors for patch cables. The reason for the spotlight on solid wire is that it is supposedly more stable, under a variety of conditions."

If you do wire it up yourself, be sure to stick to the 568B standard. Google it to see what that means if you don't already know.
 

Paul Shirley

Novice Member
For cabling an entire house its worth considering seperate switches for each floor with a vertical gigabit link between them, a separate star layout on each floor. You'll use less cable and probably have a lot less work installing if you aren't just surface mounting the cables. I actually use wireless for that link - couldn't face drilling another hole in the ceiling and its fast enough for my needs.

For the terminally lazy flat Cat6 cables like http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/106456 should be usable layed under carpet
 

The Dude

Distinguished Member
Don't install Cat6 if you're not sure about things would be my advice, Cat5e UTP exceeds the requirements for gigabit networking anyway, and is much much easier to install correctly.

With Cat5e, all you really have to worry about is terminating to the correct wire-map.......
Using Cat6 there are some potentially serious cable installation issues to worry over.

This is what I'd be buying (though you will find better/cheaper elsewhere) :)


!! It's worth pointing out that you CANNOT use stranded UTP if you are terminating using wall plates and patch panels! !!
 
S

solutus

Guest
The Dude said:
!! It's worth pointing out that you CANNOT use stranded UTP if you are terminating using wall plates and patch panels! !!
That's a very good point and one which I should have made. Sorry for not mentioning it in my post! :blush:
 

jklondon

Standard Member
thanks cat 5e it is - got a quote for around £160 for around 50M setup (2 points) including all material ... might go ahead with that!
 

The Dude

Distinguished Member
That's a decent quote JK, go for it if you're happy paying for the work.
I'd charge £75 per point on a small job like that, certainly. :)
 

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