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ajkidle
2009-11-11, 17:33
Very curious to see if that subject line draws any views. In the case that it does...

If I were going to run ethernet throughout the house (new construction,) what kind do should I use? Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6, etc.? I'd like to be able to run gigabit speeds, and have some measure of future proofing as it's difficult to re-run ethernet once the drywall is up. I also don't want to spend a fortune needlessly on wiring.

Andy

Keymaster
2009-11-11, 18:05
Totally drew my eye...LOL :)

pfarrell
2009-11-11, 18:05
ajkidle wrote:
> If I were going to run ethernet throughout the house (new
> construction,) what kind do should I use? Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6, etc.?
> I'd like to be able to run gigabit speeds, and have some measure of
> future proofing as it's difficult to re-run ethernet once the drywall is
> up. I also don't want to spend a fortune needlessly on wiring.

When one drags cables through a house, the cost of the wire is a tiny
portion of the cost. So go with the best you can. At least Cat6 these
days. Also, read up on the specs. Cat6 does not tolerate being pulled
hard through small holes, or in tight radius. The bits will fly out of
the curves.

Run the good stuff, and never worry about it again.

If you can, drag some of the blue bendable conduit through the walls to
a common place (basement, wiring closet, etc.) its fairly cheap, and if
you need it later, you will love having it in place.

Also drag good, high bandwidth cable for the TV, and put a box with
Ethernet behind every place you could ever want a TV. In the future, you
are likely to download or stream TV shows.


--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

pski
2009-11-11, 18:17
I'm with Pat:

I would use Cat 6 because the bulk price does not add to the price (as he says.) I'm not sure anyone has bulk Cat 7 and (as usual) the making of the connection can be as important as the cable in-between (though connections can be re-done.)

Proponents might point out that 5e should do very high speeds, I think the quality of the connection components might limit that.

P

jmpage2
2009-11-11, 19:55
CAT6 is definitely more future proof. You can run 1 GB over both CAT5e and CAT6 but it's likely that CAT6 will eventually be able to handle even higher speeds.

I also agree that if you can run some of the small diameter "smurf tube" conduits since it will make it easier in the future to backhaul fiber, etc, through the same spaces.

Also, make sure whatever you run is rated class-2 or class-3 for in wall use. Some cheap cables are not rated for in wall use and technically can spread a fire or toxic fumes if there is a fire.

pfarrell
2009-11-11, 20:01
jmpage2 wrote:
> Also, make sure whatever you run is rated class-2 or class-3 for in
> wall use. Some cheap cables are not rated for in wall use and
> technically can spread a fire or toxic fumes if there is a fire.

Speaking of fires, if you run any cable through a heating or
air-conditioning duct, or even a ceiling plenum, then you *must* use
plenum rated cable. The plastic in regular cable forms toxic fumes when
in a fire. Its not that much more expensive, and its totally required by
code.

Inside walls or exposed in a basement, you don't need plenum rated
cables, but the fumes are serious, so if you need it, you must do it.

I believe that about $100 worth of tools are all you need to properly
and professionally handle the wiring. You need a punchdown tool, and you
will save yourself a lot of headache if you get a proper Cat cable
tester than can show miswired, shorted or open connections.

While not technically needed, I strongly recommend that you run all the
cables to a real patch cable bay. I've got a 24 cable patch bay in my
basement. It really ends up making life a lot easier, and the patch
racks are not that expensive.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

SuperQ
2009-11-11, 23:03
Run conduit that you can fish cable through if you have the walls apart.

When I remodeled the 2nd floor of a house 5 years ago I ran EMT steel conduit to all of the wall jacks. It was a pain in the ass and it cost a lot more money. Five years later I could, if I still owned the place, pull out the cat5e I installed and pull fiber, or whatever.

pfarrell
2009-11-11, 23:21
SuperQ wrote:
> When I remodeled the 2nd floor of a house 5 years ago I ran EMT steel
> conduit to all of the wall jacks. It was a pain in the ass and it cost
> a lot more money.

That's why I suggested the blue flex plastic conduit that they sell at
Home Depot or Lowes, its cheap, easy to install, and still lets you pull
cable years later.


--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

JJZolx
2009-11-12, 00:42
Plenum rated network cable in home construction is a waste. Your sofa burning will give off more toxic fumes than it takes to kill a herd of elephants. Even if the cabling runs through air delivery or return spaces, it's not the same situation as being in a hi-rise, where a fire on the 32nd floor could potentially deliver toxic fumes to your office on the 5th floor. Once your network cabling is burning you have much more serious issues to worry about.

cunobelinus@mac.com
2009-11-12, 03:12
Or use Homeplug. Certainly not as neat, given the size of the adaptors, as having cables installed, but much less expensive, and it works.

On 12 Nov 2009, at 01:05, Pat Farrell wrote:

> ajkidle wrote:
>> If I were going to run ethernet throughout the house (new
>> construction,) what kind do should I use? Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6, etc.?
>> I'd like to be able to run gigabit speeds, and have some measure of
>> future proofing as it's difficult to re-run ethernet once the drywall is
>> up. I also don't want to spend a fortune needlessly on wiring.
>
> When one drags cables through a house, the cost of the wire is a tiny
> portion of the cost. So go with the best you can. At least Cat6 these
> days. Also, read up on the specs. Cat6 does not tolerate being pulled
> hard through small holes, or in tight radius. The bits will fly out of
> the curves.
>
> Run the good stuff, and never worry about it again.
>
> If you can, drag some of the blue bendable conduit through the walls to
> a common place (basement, wiring closet, etc.) its fairly cheap, and if
> you need it later, you will love having it in place.
>
> Also drag good, high bandwidth cable for the TV, and put a box with
> Ethernet behind every place you could ever want a TV. In the future, you
> are likely to download or stream TV shows.
>
>
> --
> Pat Farrell
> http://www.pfarrell.com/
>
>

radish
2009-11-12, 06:40
I've been wanting to do this for ages but am a little worried about regs. I know it can vary by locality, but does anyone know if in general (in the US) a homeowner can do this kind of work without getting permits/inspections etc? I'm concerned about insurance companies having a "get out" if they decide you had unauthorized wiring in the walls after a fire (even if it wasn't a contributing factor). I'm perfectly confident I can do it safely, and would of course use the in-wall rated stuff.

pfarrell
2009-11-12, 07:49
cunobelinus (AT) mac (DOT) com wrote:
> Or use Homeplug. Certainly not as neat, given the size of the
> adaptors, as having cables installed, but much less expensive, and it
> works.

What do you mean, much less expensive? I'll agree that paying for labor
to pull wires in existing construction is expensive, but the OP is
talking about new construction, before the wallboard goes on. A 1000
foot roll of CAT5 is under $100, and even Cat6 is under $200.

You do not need junctions boxes in the walls for low voltage stuff, you
can just use mud rings.

For new construction or serious remodeling, you can do a whole house for
the cost of a few homeplugs.

Its been a few years now, but I dragged 1600 feet of cat5 through my 20
year old house. It took a while, and I had to cut out a patch of drywall
about a foot square in one wall to get the bundles from the basement to
the attic (two story house).

I also have Wifi, but real ethernet is very nice and tons more reliable.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

pfarrell
2009-11-12, 07:52
radish wrote:
> I know it can vary by locality, but does anyone know if in general
> (in the US) a homeowner can do this kind of work without getting
> permits/inspections etc? I'm concerned about insurance companies having
> a "get out" if they decide you had unauthorized wiring in the walls
> after a fire (even if it wasn't a contributing factor). I'm perfectly
> confident I can do it safely, and would of course use the in-wall rated
> stuff.

Check with your local building code/permit folks. But in general, low
voltage wiring (POTS, alarm systems, ethernet) can be done by the homeowner.

In my county, the homeowner can even do their own 120v AC work, after a
class and passing a test. You still have to get any main-power work
inspected, but you can do that work yourself.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

jmpage2
2009-11-12, 08:14
I've been wanting to do this for ages but am a little worried about regs. I know it can vary by locality, but does anyone know if in general (in the US) a homeowner can do this kind of work without getting permits/inspections etc? I'm concerned about insurance companies having a "get out" if they decide you had unauthorized wiring in the walls after a fire (even if it wasn't a contributing factor). I'm perfectly confident I can do it safely, and would of course use the in-wall rated stuff.

The problem is it varies by locality. Generally speaking you don't need to get a permit to do low voltage work such as alarms, doorbells, network and audio/video.

You just need to make sure that the cables are rated class-2 or class-3 for in wall use, or plenum rated cable for use in heating ducts or drop ceilings as Pat indicated.

pfarrell
2009-11-12, 08:22
JJZolx wrote:
> Plenum rated network cable in home construction is a waste. Your sofa
> burning will give off more toxic fumes than it takes to kill a herd of
> elephants. Even if the cabling runs through air delivery or return
> spaces, it's not the same situation as being in a hi-rise, where a fire
> on the 32nd floor could potentially deliver toxic fumes to your office
> on the 5th floor. Once your network cabling is burning you have much
> more serious issues to worry about.

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion, but legal advice should
not be taken from an Internet forum.

I agree that a typical sofa emits amazing amounts of toxic fumes when
heated, but that was not what I was addressing.

Part of the code is for the safety of the firefighters, not the occupants.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

MuckleEck
2009-11-12, 09:43
Over on this side of the pond I would recommend using the best cable you can afford labour costs totally outweigh the cost of the materials.

Using some form of pre-roped ducting is great although knowing some of the building pratcices I have seen they won't respect that fact that tight bends are a no-no.

When we had our extension built I had ducting run from the house under the extension out to my garden office, and being a fibre person I ran 150m of fibre .....future proof...

Since the UK requires building inspections during construction you will require LSOH cables or plenum cables in walls, or voids.

cunobelinus@mac.com
2009-11-12, 10:02
A lot less expensive than a professional rewiring of an existing property. A lot less trouble than doing it oneself. And from what I've experienced so far, just as reliable.
That's what I mean, since you ask so politely.

On 12 Nov 2009, at 14:49, Pat Farrell wrote:

> cunobelinus (AT) mac (DOT) com wrote:
>> Or use Homeplug. Certainly not as neat, given the size of the
>> adaptors, as having cables installed, but much less expensive, and it
>> works.
>
> What do you mean, much less expensive? I'll agree that paying for labor
> to pull wires in existing construction is expensive, but the OP is
> talking about new construction, before the wallboard goes on. A 1000
> foot roll of CAT5 is under $100, and even Cat6 is under $200.
>
> You do not need junctions boxes in the walls for low voltage stuff, you
> can just use mud rings.
>
> For new construction or serious remodeling, you can do a whole house for
> the cost of a few homeplugs.
>
> Its been a few years now, but I dragged 1600 feet of cat5 through my 20
> year old house. It took a while, and I had to cut out a patch of drywall
> about a foot square in one wall to get the bundles from the basement to
> the attic (two story house).
>
> I also have Wifi, but real ethernet is very nice and tons more reliable.
>
> --
> Pat Farrell
> http://www.pfarrell.com/
>
>

pfarrell
2009-11-12, 10:13
cunobelinus (AT) mac (DOT) com wrote:
> A lot less expensive than a professional rewiring of an existing
> property. A lot less trouble than doing it oneself. And from what
> I've experienced so far, just as reliable.

This thread is about new construction.

But for an existing house, by all means try homeplugs


--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

cunobelinus@mac.com
2009-11-12, 12:51
So it is. My mistake.

On 12 Nov 2009, at 17:13, Pat Farrell wrote:

> cunobelinus (AT) mac (DOT) com wrote:
>> A lot less expensive than a professional rewiring of an existing
>> property. A lot less trouble than doing it oneself. And from what
>> I've experienced so far, just as reliable.
>
> This thread is about new construction.
>
> But for an existing house, by all means try homeplugs
>
>
> --
> Pat Farrell
> http://www.pfarrell.com/
>
>

jmpage2
2009-11-14, 14:42
A lot less expensive than a professional rewiring of an existing property. A lot less trouble than doing it oneself. And from what I've experienced so far, just as reliable.
That's what I mean, since you ask so politely.


I politely disagree. Powerline adapters are very expensive and have limited utility since they max out at about 1/5 to 1/10 of what is possible with traditional cat5e or cat6 cables.

100MB dedicated duplex connections are just barely fast enough to stream high quality 1080P. Most power adapters cannot pull this off.

For the $100-$200 per cable run that power adapters cost you can usually find an electrician who can run the wire, even if you have to terminate the connections yourself.

cunobelinus@mac.com
2009-11-14, 15:41
Adapters cost here about 30 at each end for a single ethernet port, or 70 for an extension with three ethernet ports and seven power sockets. That's a lot less expensive than any quote I've had for running equivalent concealed cables within the walls and floors round this place. Terminating anything (other than an occasional salmon, or perhaps the odd pigeon in the park) holds no appeal for me.

Whether they're fast enough for video I don't know, but I've found that the latest flavour - the 200Mb variety of which I've quoted the price - are certainly fast enough for full res uncompressed music without problems of any sort to and from multiple Squeezeboxes, which is my only concern.

On 14 Nov 2009, at 21:42, jmpage2 wrote:

>
> cunobelinus (AT) mac (DOT) com;484626 Wrote:
>> A lot less expensive than a professional rewiring of an existing
>> property. A lot less trouble than doing it oneself. And from what I've
>> experienced so far, just as reliable.
>> That's what I mean, since you ask so politely.
>>
>
> I politely disagree. Powerline adapters are very expensive and have
> limited utility since they max out at about 1/5 to 1/10 of what is
> possible with traditional cat5e or cat6 cables.
>
> 100MB dedicated duplex connections are just barely fast enough to
> stream high quality 1080P. Most power adapters cannot pull this off.
>
> For the $100-$200 per cable run that power adapters cost you can
> usually find an electrician who can run the wire, even if you have to
> terminate the connections yourself.
>
>
> --
> jmpage2
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> jmpage2's Profile: http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=41
> View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=71301
>
>

RonM
2009-11-15, 06:22
We built our house ten years ago, and seized the opportunity to install cabling in the walls (at the time, to support distribution of satellite tv and also ethernet to computers). We put connect boxes in a whole lot of places, all terminated at a patch panel -- still bristling with multiple cable ends. Am not sure of the cabling CAT type, not sure if 5e was out and about at the time.

However, the cabling works well and is supporting HD satellite at 1080i (as high as it gets). The ethernet supports several computers in several locations, including links to the dedicated Fit2 music server, as well as the router. Unfortunately, we did not put enough connect boxes, and have been unable to use it for the SB system itself -- had to drill a hole in the floor to get ethernet to the router for our main system, use wireless for the alternate (where there is one cable connection, but not ehternet). So I fully agree with the advice to install LOTS of connect boxes.

Overkill at initial construction is the obvious strategy. When we upgraded to HD satellite recently, it was clear that the existing siamese cabling (two cables in one piece) was sufficient to support the signal, but limits us to two receivers in the house -- need a separate cable for each receiver if you are to tune the TVs separately). Would have been best to install a total of four cables from the dish location to the patch panel, giving options for additional TVs/receivers in the house -- the switch to split the incoming sat signal is at the dish, and our supplier will only install it at the dish not inside the house, perhaps there are technical issues.

The other thing we did when building was install good speaker wire in the walls, from the obvious location for the main stereo system, to the obvious main listening area. This was a great idea, but too limited. I wish we'd installed more locations allowing connectons through some sort of patch panel to multiple listening areas, and probably multiple options for location of the SBs/amps, etc. Of course, SB type systems were not yet a factor in our consciousness.

Ron

jmpage2
2009-11-15, 09:13
We built our house ten years ago, and seized the opportunity to install cabling in the walls (at the time, to support distribution of satellite tv and also ethernet to computers). We put connect boxes in a whole lot of places, all terminated at a patch panel -- still bristling with multiple cable ends. Am not sure of the cabling CAT type, not sure if 5e was out and about at the time.

However, the cabling works well and is supporting HD satellite at 1080i (as high as it gets). The ethernet supports several computers in several locations, including links to the dedicated Fit2 music server, as well as the router. Unfortunately, we did not put enough connect boxes, and have been unable to use it for the SB system itself -- had to drill a hole in the floor to get ethernet to the router for our main system, use wireless for the alternate (where there is one cable connection, but not ehternet). So I fully agree with the advice to install LOTS of connect boxes.

Overkill at initial construction is the obvious strategy. When we upgraded to HD satellite recently, it was clear that the existing siamese cabling (two cables in one piece) was sufficient to support the signal, but limits us to two receivers in the house -- need a separate cable for each receiver if you are to tune the TVs separately). Would have been best to install a total of four cables from the dish location to the patch panel, giving options for additional TVs/receivers in the house -- the switch to split the incoming sat signal is at the dish, and our supplier will only install it at the dish not inside the house, perhaps there are technical issues.

The other thing we did when building was install good speaker wire in the walls, from the obvious location for the main stereo system, to the obvious main listening area. This was a great idea, but too limited. I wish we'd installed more locations allowing connectons through some sort of patch panel to multiple listening areas, and probably multiple options for location of the SBs/amps, etc. Of course, SB type systems were not yet a factor in our consciousness.

Ron

The big expense is the labor. If you are doing such a major construction project and the general contractor is amenable the smartest move would be to run your own wire everywhere, and put some of the 3/4 inch smurf tubes for future use as well. Terminate it all to a patch panel in the basement, crawl space, etc.

A friend of mine paid $3300 to have his entire house wired while it was being built. They would not let him do it because he wasn't a licensed contractor. So, he ended up with about $500 of wires installed at a cost of $2800.

At the end of the day though he's still better off for it. He has cat5e and speakers pre-wired to pretty much every part of the home.

aubuti
2009-11-15, 10:29
The other thing we did when building was install good speaker wire in the walls, from the obvious location for the main stereo system, to the obvious main listening area. This was a great idea, but too limited. I wish we'd installed more locations allowing connectons through some sort of patch panel to multiple listening areas, and probably multiple options for location of the SBs/amps, etc. Of course, SB type systems were not yet a factor in our consciousness.
Actually I think one of the great things about networked audio systems like the SBs is that it can eliminate the need to run a lot of speaker cable around the house. Shift the paradigm from home run speaker cable to every room to just running cat5e or cat6 to each room, and then put an SB with amp+speakers or self-powered speakers and you're good to go. To me that was one of the great attractions of the SB system, getting whole house audio without having to shell out for extensive new wiring. I've wired things the way you describe for our recent addition, pulled cat5e wherever I can in the older part of the house, and rely on wifi in the few spots that are just too much of a pain for me to pull cat5e.