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Running Ethernet cable through (and outside) house

jock23

Active Member
I have just been having a look around this forum (due to my 3rd homeplug not working as well as I would like) and I have seen that it is possible to run long lengths of ethernet cable round the house. Can someone give me an idea on how hard it is/how much it will cost to do my house.

Basically I have a router downstairs in the front room, with a ps3 the other side of the room (currently attached by a 5 metre cable). Luckily our house is on the side of an alley so I can easily get the cable outside and down the side of the house. I have a PC in a room upstairs (about maybe 30 metres distance from the router) and would also like cabling to a bedroom as well (which is only about 20 metres from the router)

How would I go about doing this, is there a walkthrough somewhere?
Would the fact I am running it outside affect the cost/performance?
Would I need a Switcher next to my router? (luckily I have one from my old work!!)
Is there anything else that this network could do except stream video from computer to ps3?
 
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mattsouthgate

Standard Member
Hi Jock23,

I hope I can help you out, there are many points in your post and I'll cover the cabling outside the house aspect.

The major cost of running cables outside your house depends on whether you have the necessary drill and bits to make the holes, always being careful to avoid in wall wiring (quickly becomes a very costly and inconvenient job otherwise) and external water pipes. Use strain relief and where the cable enters and leaves the building bend it in a U shape so rain does not run down the cable into the house. See below:

O
\/
|
| O
\/

O : hole
if you don't bend the cable then rain will run down the cable. This way it will drip off at the bottom of the U.

In case of cable damage use a RJ45 coupler and patch leads inside where the cable enters so the cable run outside can be easily replaced without replacing the entire run.

I hope this helps if you choose to go this route.
As for what you can use it for then pretty much anything that needs a network connection.

Matt
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
General wisdom seems to be that there's no issue with running UTP cable externally, but it's UV light (sunlight) that "does" for them years down the line. You might like to consider getting hold of some flexible plastic tubing (it's quite cheap to buy) tack that to the wall and run your cables through it to afford a bit more protection.

Either way, as the last respondent indicates, the "hassle" with doing cabling is establishing the routes. Relatively, the cable itself is quite cheap. Whenever I have my sparkies install cable runs standing orders are to "always install 2" (or more) since it's easier to pull in two cables at the time of install than have to add aother one later on. A second cable will add about GBP 10 (or less) to the materials cost and take about 10 minutes longer to do the job. It's always handy to have a spare, and it's surprising how often one can find a use for it later.

EDIT - if you do go for tubing/conduit - it's handy to leave a "draw string" in it so that you can pull in additional/replacement cables later on down the line.
 
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jock23

Active Member
Thanks for the help.

Luckily most of the holes that I need are already in the walls (from previous sky installations) so thats not a massive problem for me.

I have been reading up on connecting the wires with the connectors and everything seems pretty straight forward, just need the cable/wire cutter/crimper.

Is there any need for me to get cat6 cable over cat5e?

Finally, I presume my setup would need to be

Router
Switcher
PS3 - Computer - Upstairs Connection

or would i even need a switcher?
 

jock23

Active Member
Well I have been having a look around and it seems I am best getting a gigabit switch to use as my PC has gigabit and my PS3 does as well, and I will be using it to stream hi-def so its going to be an advantage.

I presume it doesn't matter if my router isn't gigabit, as the PS3 and pc will be going into the switcher, not the router direct?
 

sancho1983

Active Member
I'm thinking about doing a similar project so will follow this thread closely!

I'm planning on buying a 5 port gigabit switch, then running (externally) cables to 3 upstairs bedrooms and round to the lounge, unfortunately the router is next to the 'party' wall, so i have to go all the way around the house!

Is there a limit on cable length with regards to functionality? Not sure on the exact figures but it must be 30 metres for the furthest one.

At the moment the only way i can see it working is if i put the Switch in my hall, next to the router, and then run the four cables out around the house, maybe putting them in some sort of trunking seen as there will be four.

Or is there another way that seems more sensible?

Also, anybody know where to get reasonably priced Cat5e cable? :)
 

mattsouthgate

Standard Member
Cat5e will be sufficient for your needs.

CPC have a good range of cabling.

A 30m run should not prove problematic, I have similar and longer length runs and achieve 350-450mbps throughput transferring files. Technically I believe the cable should be less than 100m. Just don't kink the cable!
 

Broadsword

Well-known Member
Your fine up to 100m with Cat 5e.

Cat 5e will run fine with a gigabit switch so the need for Cat 6 is more for future proofing than anything else.

It doesn't matter if your router is gigabit or not if you have everything else plugged into a gigabit switch.

If you only have the pc upstairs then you dont need a switch, just run the cable from the pc down to the router downstairs (I'm assuming its a hub to?)

If you ever want to add another device upstairs then just buy a switch.

Your network will run at 100Mbs like that, if you want a 1000Mbps setup then introduce a switch downstairs, and plug everything into that.
 

sancho1983

Active Member
Your fine up to 100m with Cat 5e.

Cat 5e will run fine with a gigabit switch so the need for Cat 6 is more for future proofing than anything else.

It doesn't matter if your router is gigabit or not if you have everything else plugged into a gigabit switch.

If you only have the pc upstairs then you dont need a switch, just run the cable from the pc down to the router downstairs (I'm assuming its a hub to?)

If you ever want to add another device upstairs then just buy a switch.

Your network will run at 100Mbs like that, if you want a 1000Mbps setup then introduce a switch downstairs, and plug everything into that.

Thanks for advice,

I have a PC upstairs in bedroom 2 an xbox that i network in bedroom 1 and i will have a PC in bedroom 3 so i thought i would put one in there just in case.

Also have xbox360, Blu-ray and WDTV that need network in the lounge, so think i will need another switch for there?
 

Broadsword

Well-known Member

mattsouthgate

Standard Member

TheWander35

Active Member

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Probably not for a SOHO install. The "shielding" in STP/FTP cabling is electrical shielding rather than mechanical (as in armoured cable.) Such shields/foils need to be earthed in order to be effective.
 

sancho1983

Active Member
Thanks

Have done a quick idea of how the network will be, does this make sense/work?

network.jpg


Anyone who actually draws topologies for a living please ignore what the pictures really represent, i just picked ones to label! :D
 

Kiangs

Active Member
Hi

Having recently completed a simlilar project myself, thought I'd contribute - didn't realise I'd never even registered on this forum, so this is my first post!!

Anyway, here's my 2p's worth, much of it echoing what has been said above:

1. Fit wall sockets at both ends of the cable run rather than just crimping a plug onto the end of the cable. Neater, doesn't add much to the cost, avoids future problems with wear & tear to the plugs / cable etc.

2. Use external grade CAT5e for outdoors runs unless you can fully protect the cable. Yes, normal CAT5e will work fine and may last for years, but for little extra expense its worth it as it wasn't a job I ever wanted to repeat if possible !

3. CAT5e cable & equipment is cheaper and easier to work with than CAT6. No problem getting Gigabit speed.

4. I can recommend the Netgear GS608 but there are several cheap unmanaged Gigabit switches which will do the job.

5. It's unlikely you'd need to go to the expense and hassle of shielded cable. UTP will be fine.

Enjoy :smashin:
 

Zooks

Active Member
Done this myself using black 20mm conduit (B&Q) on the outside wall to protect it.

I also found THIS kit handy as I could terminate my own cat5e cables after feeding them through the walls. That and a roll of cat5e and you have everything you need.
 

sancho1983

Active Member
just had another thought. . . . . Seen as i will be running 3 cables around the side of the house what will be the best way to attach the cables to the wall? Thought i might get away with nailing one as normal and using cable ties to hold the other two in place?
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
I use these d-link switches 8 port gigabit for £36. Try and avoid adding extra switches for network topology reasons - technically no more than 3 network segments to a router (someone please correct me, if more recent equipment alleviates this) and minimises energy consumption and space.

Interesting question:

With a switched infrastructure, I don't think there is an actual limit, (unlike the days when we had repeaters and hubs,) as each switch---device or switch---switch link forms it's own independent ethernet "collision domain" as it's known in the jargon. If there is a limit, it's certainly more than 3, (if not, my LAN at work would have failed years ago :D)

However, what can be more of an issue with daisy-chained switches is congestion on the uplinks if your LAN is really busy: Consider this illustrative example...

sw1---sw2---sw3

...and let's assume that each switch is an 5 port switch with 100mbps ports and they are all fully populated with devices which for some reason are sending as much data as the possibly can, (very unlikely in the real world,) and something in sw3 needs to send data to something in sw1.

Sw3 would have four devices in it sending at 100mbps each, thence that 400mbps of throughput needs to all shuffle along the 100mbps uplink to sw2. Obviously that 400 into 100 doesn't t fit so "congestion" occurs (just like a road) and packets have to queue up. Thence the 3 devices in sw2 add another 300mbps into the mix and again there's 400mbps throughput competing for the 100mbps uplink from sw2 to sw1.

The way that manifests itself is that devices in sw2 will "feel" like they are getting higher throughput than a device in sw3, but that's simply because devices in sw3 have had to compete for two sets of congested uplinks whereas devices in sw2 have only had to compete for one. Yet, at the same time, two devices in the same switch will be able to talk to each other full speed since they haven't had to compete for the congested uplinks at all.

Real world, it's very unlikely you'll ever be able to load up a LAN that much, especially if you use switches capable of gigabit uplinks. However, what you can do is try to design the fan out of the devices to reduce uplink congestion. If you had a "server" in the example above, you could put in the "middle" (sw2) so that end stations have to traverse less uplinks to reach it. Or connect your less busy (or rather less bandwidth hungry) devices at the switches at the "ends." However sometimes physical geography dictates what you can connect where and you're left with hobsons choice.

Having said all of that, TBH for a small LAN with of the order of dozen devices and two or three switches, I doubt you'll notice any difference unless you like to spend all day copying 10GB files about the place.

Cheers, M.
 
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mickevh

Distinguished Member
just had another thought. . . . . Seen as i will be running 3 cables around the side of the house what will be the best way to attach the cables to the wall? Thought i might get away with nailing one as normal and using cable ties to hold the other two in place?

I've seen it done - my sparkies will strap cables to anything handy, (existing cables, water pipes, phones lines, sticky out bits of wood that just happened to be in the right place...)

Though I quite like the idea that one of the previous respondents suggested of using cable trunking. That can be had for about a fiver for a 2m length (retail) and will look a lot neater if "domestic harmony" is an issue. A 20mm trunk should fairly easily cope with 3 UTP's, but it's available is various cross sections.
 
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jock23

Active Member
Well seeing as I am renting this house and not sure how long I will be there, I will be going down the cheapest route (nothing to do with me being scottish! ;) )

100m Cat5e solid is £24.09
100pcs UTP male RJ45 connectors £5.86 (more than i need i know but cheapest about)
Crimp tool £4.68

All from Scan Computers, which luckily is on my route to work each day!!!
 

sancho1983

Active Member
Well seeing as I am renting this house and not sure how long I will be there, I will be going down the cheapest route (nothing to do with me being scottish! ;) )

100m Cat5e solid is £24.09
100pcs UTP male RJ45 connectors £5.86 (more than i need i know but cheapest about)
Crimp tool £4.68

All from Scan Computers, which luckily is on my route to work each day!!!

Sorry for hijacking your thread!!

Couldn't see any cable at scan, will have another look. Do we get free delivery there?
 

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