Need advise on running extended external ethernet from router to office

CreamBean

Novice Member
Good evening.

Moved into a new house last month that had an extension on the front and made into a home office. Virgin supply us with 350Mbps speed. There are no access points in the ”office” and the only internet access is WiFi. Now the WiFi barely connects and have looked at Powerline - but office is on a different circuit to the lounge and the speed is terrible. I have also looked at boosters but lag and latency is barely acceptable at best, not to mention the speed tops at 50Mbps.

Our Coax cable for the virgin goes from a brown wall based external box next to our front door, cable runs round the front of the house and the office, down the side of the property and into the wall and into a small box in the corner of our lounge next to our WiFi router.

I have decided the best course of action is to run an ethernet cable from the virgin box, out through the existing hole the Coax cable exits and hug that existing cable with the ethernet all the way down the side of the house until the office wall then drill through the brick and single sheet on internal plasterboard into the ’office’ and have a box on the wall with a keystone that I can plug the PC.

So, questions..

1 Execution.
Is there a way of doing this that I haven’t already thought of?

2. Access Point for office.
I don’t necessarily want to put a sunken “Back Box” in the office wall as I don’t want to start hammering into the brick, so looking for a box that i can install on the internal plasterboard that will protrude and cover the hole so the wire can run inside and I can wire it up to a keystone . I can’t find any boxes online apart from ones that sink in the wall? Unless there is an alternative or they can be used for both purposes?

3. Cable / Keystone

I have already bought 2 cables for the run which is about 12 metres ( I’ve been told to run 2 just for future proofing)
TanQY Outdoor Cat 7 Ethernet Cable 1M, Cat7 RJ45 Network Patch Cable Heavy-duty 10 Gigabit 600Mhz Lan Wire Cable Cord for Modem, Router, PC, Mac, Laptop, PS2, PS3, PS4, XBox 360 (1M/3Ft) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07X1VWXNV/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_7OoHEbWH09C5T
Yes I know Cat 7 is overkill and potentially now going to cause me major headaches but I’ve made that jump now so I will have to deal with it and especially as it has the RJ45 pre installed on both ends. I’m also aware I will be/have to use Cat6 hardware.
I was going just to run the cable into the office, with a hole drilled large enough to fit both the RJ connector through and just leave the cables hanging out the wall and plug it in the PC. Im purely going for the box & keystone due to aesthetic’s.

What keystone will I need that will work with the Cat7 cable, what duel box will it fit in and how the hell do I wire it in? Do I just cut the existing RJ45 off and strip the wires? Is there a connector I can get to put in the wall box that is female for the existing cable & has a female slot on the other side to plug things into to save me stripping the wire?

I know a lot of this information may not be relevant to the questions, but hey, full picture.

Appreciate the help :)
 

neilball

Well-known Member
Unless you can find RJ45 “straight through” modules (RJ45 connectors on each side of the module) then why not fit a single gang patress box on the wall (surface mount, not recessed) and use a brush plate faceplate to allow the cable to enter/exit at each end and plug directly into your equipment?

If you cut off the plugs you are unlikely to terminate the cable properly (it appears to be a shielded stranded patch cable rather than solid core) and will probably struggle to find the correct modules needed.
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
I would suggest the following:

If you are running a 'patch cable' out of doors, it needs to be run inside a conduit. Patch cables are not weather or UV proof and are subject to degrading (quite quickly in some cases) they are also subject to mechanical and worse rodent damage (rodents love the outer sheath of Catx cables).

Do not try and re-terminate a patch cable, you wont! Especially being Cat7. Use a brush plate on the back-box and bring the cable straight through a brush-plate and plug it straight into the switch in your office.

Make sure that the patch cable is long enough so that there is at least a metre of extra cable at each end.

When pushing your patch cable through the wall, ensure that you tape up the plug to prevent mechanical damage.

I have to say that in general running patch cables like this is not good practice as for patch cables, to retain their Catx certification should be no longer than 5m max otherwise they are no longer a Catx cable. So at 12m you no longer have Cat7 cables (but they will probably be fine for domestic use).

To do this properly it should have been run in solid, multicore Catx cable, and for outdoor use, should be done either in Outdoor or Duct Grade Catx cable. It should have been terminated at either end with a punchdown or keystone jack rated for the type of cable that is being installed. For Cat 7 that would be a Cat 7/8 GG45 or ARJ45 field termination or keystones, which are not the same as standard RJ45 jacks used for Cat 5/6. If you do not terminate using these connectors then you lose the Cat7/7a certification and you effectively have very expensive Cat5 cable.

Which is another reason why I suggest that you do not, under any circumstances, cut the pre-moulded plug off.

Sorry for the lecture, but I dont like seeing people waste money on Cat7 cables only to really achieve Cat5 connectivity.
 

CreamBean

Novice Member
I would suggest the following:

If you are running a 'patch cable' out of doors, it needs to be run inside a conduit. Patch cables are not weather or UV proof and are subject to degrading (quite quickly in some cases) they are also subject to mechanical and worse rodent damage (rodents love the outer sheath of Catx cables).

Do not try and re-terminate a patch cable, you wont! Especially being Cat7. Use a brush plate on the back-box and bring the cable straight through a brush-plate and plug it straight into the switch in your office.

Make sure that the patch cable is long enough so that there is at least a metre of extra cable at each end.

When pushing your patch cable through the wall, ensure that you tape up the plug to prevent mechanical damage.

I have to say that in general running patch cables like this is not good practice as for patch cables, to retain their Catx certification should be no longer than 5m max otherwise they are no longer a Catx cable. So at 12m you no longer have Cat7 cables (but they will probably be fine for domestic use).

To do this properly it should have been run in solid, multicore Catx cable, and for outdoor use, should be done either in Outdoor or Duct Grade Catx cable. It should have been terminated at either end with a punchdown or keystone jack rated for the type of cable that is being installed. For Cat 7 that would be a Cat 7/8 GG45 or ARJ45 field termination or keystones, which are not the same as standard RJ45 jacks used for Cat 5/6. If you do not terminate using these connectors then you lose the Cat7/7a certification and you effectively have very expensive Cat5 cable.

Which is another reason why I suggest that you do not, under any circumstances, cut the pre-moulded plug off.

Sorry for the lecture, but I dont like seeing people waste money on Cat7 cables only to really achieve Cat5 connectivity.

Thankyou for the lesson Mushii.
I have literally 0 experience with cabling but have tried to do research as far as my own knowledge will let me explore. ‘Keystone’ and ‘Cat 5/6/6e/7’ were terms I had never even heard of until I started researching a few days ago - complete novice.
Diddnt even think about conduit, makes sense now you explain the benefits, sounds like the best way to run it - I’ll get some today ready for the day I bite the bullet and get it done.

I will not be cutting off the existing RJ45 connectors and will leave them be as per your advise as it sounds like wiring them up to a keystone and faceplate is much more difficult than YouTube leads me to believe - plus I read testing post install is a must and requires equipment I do not have or want to buy.
I do not have a switch in the office as was just going to run 2 wires in and plug them directly into the PC.
Would running just a single cable into the office into a 5 port switch suffice? I can then run an ethernet cable from that switch to the PC and suppose I can plug in any additional equipment I need into the empty switch ports as time goes by? Will 1 cable powering that switch be enough?

Appreciate your time and input
 

CreamBean

Novice Member
Unless you can find RJ45 “straight through” modules (RJ45 connectors on each side of the module) then why not fit a single gang patress box on the wall (surface mount, not recessed) and use a brush plate faceplate to allow the cable to enter/exit at each end and plug directly into your equipment?

If you cut off the plugs you are unlikely to terminate the cable properly (it appears to be a shielded stranded patch cable rather than solid core) and will probably struggle to find the correct modules needed.

sounds like solid advice, looking at some female to female connector is now that I could potentially use with the faceplate as a straight past through rather than cutting the cables :)
Thankyou Neilball
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
I've had a length of bog standard Cat5e strung along the north facing wall of our home for more than 15 years. No UV or rodent damage to report - in fact the only damage was when the wife got carried away with the shears while trimming a bramble back! Fortunately there was enough slack in the service loop to pull the damage indoors and re-terminate.

15M of cat5e, a handful of connectors, a crimp tool and tester won't break the bank, but if you are committed to the cable you have bought, then you could use some of this: 25mm x 25mm Cable Guard - 2Mtr Length - Black to cover it. A bit of silicone each end and you will have a sealed trough for your cable.
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
Sorry, I didnt mean to lecture. You will be fine running the cable into the back of your PC for now. At a later date, you can always install a small switch if you needed to add additional equipment or extend your wifi coverage in your office. 2 cables is always better than one, but you will need bigger holes to get a cable and the second plug through.

What I would suggest with the conduit you put put an end-stop terminator on each end (round box with a lid) then use a small hole saw to cut a hole out of the back, the same size as the holes in your wall. Use mastic to seal this to the wall over your drilled holes. This will then provide you a weather sealed conduit end to end.
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
I've had a length of bog standard Cat5e strung along the north facing wall of our home for more than 15 years. No UV or rodent damage to report
I have several clients who have farms with a lot of CCTV around them. Last year we had to replace several hundred meters of previously installed surface clipped cat5e that had become brittle with UV and had let water in between the outer sheath and inner cables. The water had tracked inside the cables sheath and eventually made its way to the switch and took out a £200 poe switch. Bad investment for the sake of using completely the wrong cables for the job. That is why Outdoor grade Catx exists.
2 other runs had to be replaced in conduit as rodents had eaten through the cable completely.

I have installed and replaced a lot of network cabling that has been run externally and either de-graded or become damaged.

Additionally patch cables use more plasticizer in their out sheathes to keep it more flexible than standard solid core. More plasticizer generally means that it will degrade faster under direct UV.
 

neilball

Well-known Member
Unprotected outdoor cable will not protect against rodents or garden tools :)

Once we’re out of lockdown I’ve got a job to replace a few hundred metres of outdoor cable with armoured Cat5e as squirrels just love chewing on the cabling! It was originally installed by others, just surface clipped without any additional protection, for outdoor colour-change lighting control at one of my customers properties. Mind you the squirrels are nuts as they also chew on the lead flashings around the roof!!
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
I agree with the suggestion that rather than having to "lash up" a solution (e.g. brush plates and all that,) due to the initial cable choice, you'd be better off to just suck up that cost, chuck it (or sell it on) and go get some solid core unshielded cat5e/cat6 and terminate it both ends onto regular IDC "punchdown" sockets. By all means install it into conduit and/or use external grade cable as others have recommended.

Sometimes it's better to accept we've made a poor choice, rip it up and start again rather that save up problems for the future by compounding the initial poor choice in what we have to do to work around it. Now is the time to address the problem rather than a few years when we end up ripping it out and doing it all again.

I think brushplates (accepting that sometimes there's no alternative) are as ugly as sin, act as dirt magnets and offer little if any mechanical support for you cable runs.

There's lots of great advice in this thread from professional cabling guys, following is a link to my favourite "DIY" guide to UTP - it has lots of pictures of the pin outs, plugs, sockets, etc.... How to wire Ethernet Cables

You mentioned "will one cable powering the switch be enough?" That's a slightly ambiguous statement, in that it could refer to electrical power of data handling capacity, so for the avoidance of doubt:

Ethernet swithes do not run on electrical power from the ethernet cables, switches have their own power supply - either by a normal "kettle lead" for the bigger ones or usually from separate "wall wart" PSU for little "desktop" switches.

Due to the way ethernet works, you must have only a single "uplink" ethernet cable between an ethernet switch and any other ethernet switches (including the built in switch inside your SOHO "router.") If you connect multiple uplinks (in the absence if a technology called "Link Aggregation") you will create a "loop" in the network topology which will kill it very quickly as the network gets filled up with endlessly circling broadcast traffic.

Whether the uplink has the capacity for your network usage - welcome to the black art of network planning! :D Unless you spend all day copying Blu-Ray rips around, a "gigabit" (1000mbps) capacity uplink will probably serve a small SOHO LAN just fine for many years. Thus, procure a "10/100/1000" (aka "gigabit") switch and connect it to a gigabit port on your router. If your router does not have gigabit ports, then bad luck, you'll "only" have a100mbps uplink, but a lot of routers have Gbit ports these days.
 
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CreamBean

Novice Member
Guys thank you all so much for your help, I have pieces from all your suggestions and have new cable on the way, new conduit, new switch and access points. Parts coming tomorrow, we’ll see how this goes !
Thanks again all
 

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