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ethernet cabling question

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ethernet cabling question

Postby Madman_Greg » Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:41 pm

In the middle of doing some house renovation

Have the opportunity to run Cat6 cable to various parts of the house. TV for example in prep for buying an internet TV in the future. Plus data ports as well.

Looking at buying a roll of cable, RJ5 connectors and the crimping tool

The crimping tools seems to vary from under a tenner to £30+

Anybvody got any recomndation is it worth paying the extra for this tool. This will be a one off and I am looking at around laying 12 cables or so to a network hub.

I should add if the more expesnive tool is worth it. I would buy, then ebay, OK would make a loss but say I take a tenner off the retail price, then someone gets a good deal.
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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby Folderol » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:13 pm

You want to go for a solidly chunky tool that clamps firmly and securely every time. Cheap tools have a habit of not pushing the contact cleanly through the wire insulation, resulting in intermittent faults (usually after a few months when the wire oxidises a little).

Get lots of practice with some short strips of cable first and be prepared to throw away a lot of plugs - good job they are cheap.

The trick is to have exactly the right length of outer casing so that the clamp section will bite into it, but also ensure the wires are long enough to reach right to the end of the plug. My way of doing this is to cut back too much sheath, get the wires absolutely straight and in the right order, then holding them securely cut the lot to the same correct length.

The wires will try to twist around all over the place, especially as you try to slip them into the plug, so watch out for the sneaky buggers swapping places!

When you get to the real job allow a loop of cable so that if you screw up a termination, you can chop the plug off and try again. Arrange your routing so that there are no sharp bends. If you have to go round a sharp-ish corner, bring the cable to it on a curve so it is eventually going along the crease of the corner then just 'rolls' round it and curves back.

See if you can borrow a cable tester - always a useful tool for this sort of job.

Finally, put in twice as many lines as you think you will need - with luck, in a couple of years time you'll find that your only short about half the number you want :D
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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby Madman_Greg » Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:27 pm


Any recommendations greatefully received Folderol
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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby Folderol » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:54 pm

I must admit that mine was bought for me by a previous employer, and was then a middle-of-the-road one. However, it is a proper ratchet one, and the cheapest I could see that categorically states that it's a ratchet is £46!

Where in the world are you? If you're not a million miles away, I could lend you mine. I wouldn't really want to send in in the post. Even though it's not very big, the weight would bump up the cost rather a lot.
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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby Exalted Wombat » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:10 pm

You need a punch down tool rather than a crimping tool, surely? Because you'll be installing wall boxes with RJ45 sockets rather than leaving a bunch of cables sticking out of the wall with RJ45 plugs on them.
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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby Folderol » Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:06 pm

Hmmm. I assumed he was going for the female-female faceplates that are basically just an adaptor.
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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby Madman_Greg » Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:28 pm


You are right I could use an ethernet patch panel and short patch cables

I will be using wall sockets next to the device (TV for example) or for wall data ports, the current plan was to have cables coming out of a boxed in space which will also contain electric cables as wire and just crimping the RJ45 plugs on. It would be hidden as there will be a custom made book shelf in front. The network switch would be here on the bookshelves.

But I had not realised that patch panels were relatively cheap, so thanks for that, it would be neater so will investigate further
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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby Folderol » Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:36 pm

All this incessant chatter :)
I was thinking of these:
http://shopper.cnet.com/network-cables/belkin-cat5-keystone-jack/4014-3115_9-3714155.html
that fit into any standard keystone plate. That's what I've got at home.

Sorry, I can't seem to find a UK site :roll:
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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby BJG145 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:14 am

Madman_Greg wrote:the current plan was to have cables coming out of a boxed in space which will also contain electric cables as wire
(...BTW you know you shouldn't run ethernet alongside mains don't you...)
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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby Madman_Greg » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:15 am

BJG145 wrote:
Madman_Greg wrote:the current plan was to have cables coming out of a boxed in space which will also contain electric cables as wire

(...BTW you know you shouldn't run ethernet alongside mains don't you...)


I didn't but i do now - thanks

I can reroute the cable, but I might have to cross the mains and lighting rings at some point, should I shield in someway, what would be best.

How close can I go to main cables ?

Thanks for all the advice, doing the job is not an issue as I have the skills, just not done it before so thanks for helping pointing out the pitfalls.
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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby Exalted Wombat » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:07 am

Folderol wrote:Hmmm. I assumed he was going for the female-female faceplates that are basically just an adaptor.


Why would he complicate matters by doing that?
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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby Folderol » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:18 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:
Folderol wrote:Hmmm. I assumed he was going for the female-female faceplates that are basically just an adaptor.

Why would he complicate matters by doing that?
How is it more complicated?

My experience is that - price for price - crimp tools give a far more reliable result than punch-downs and are generally easier to use. Also as you're going to have to put plugs on the other ends, and for any other odds and sods, you save by only needing one tool. The sockets and wall plates themselves are easier to manage, and unless you are using really cheap tat there is virtually no price difference.
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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby Dave K » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:46 am

Folderol wrote:
Exalted Wombat wrote:
Folderol wrote:Hmmm. I assumed he was going for the female-female faceplates that are basically just an adaptor.

Why would he complicate matters by doing that?
How is it more complicated?

My experience is that - price for price - crimp tools give a far more reliable result than punch-downs and are generally easier to use. Also as you're going to have to put plugs on the other ends, and for any other odds and sods, you save by only needing one tool. The sockets and wall plates themselves are easier to manage, and unless you are using really cheap tat there is virtually no price difference.

Every connection reduces reliability and introduces an impedance discontinuity, adding a small amount of reflected signal and reducing the noise margin on the line, thus reducing the maximum data rate the link will support (though the latter is not going to be an issue if you are only running GigE). Punch downs are better than plug/sockets in this regard.

It's OK to cross mains cables at 90 degrees, or thereabouts. With regard to bends, be sure to observe the minimum bend radius for the cable ( 4 x diameter). Bending tighter than this may not break the cable, but it changes the characteristic impedance of the cable, adding reflections and reducing maximum usable length and data rate.
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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby Exalted Wombat » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:34 am

Folderol wrote:
Exalted Wombat wrote:
Folderol wrote:Hmmm. I assumed he was going for the female-female faceplates that are basically just an adaptor.

Why would he complicate matters by doing that?
How is it more complicated?

My experience is that - price for price - crimp tools give a far more reliable result than punch-downs and are generally easier to use. Also as you're going to have to put plugs on the other ends, and for any other odds and sods, you save by only needing one tool. The sockets and wall plates themselves are easier to manage, and unless you are using really cheap tat there is virtually no price difference.

I'd always prefer a hard-wired connection to a plug and socket. I agree, punch-downs can be unreliable when done with a screwdriver blade! But the correct tool is inexpensive.
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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby Folderol » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:09 pm

Without getting too involved I must say I disagree with you both in practice.

Like for like, two joints are worse than one (unless you're smoking them). However these aren't like for like. A standard RJ45 plug makes a small and tightly controlled straight-line connection to the wires. The inline adapter also adds very little exposure to the wiring - the plugs are almost touching. Punch down and (especially) screw terminal fittings add a lot more metal, most of it at 90 deg to the wires, and the wires themselves are bent at odd angles.

Standard plugs have a full wrap around the wire, and grip the sheath as well. Most punchdowns I've seen make no attempt at all to contain the sheath and only grip the wires on two-and-a-bit sides. Ironically, the tool-less ones are slightly better.

In a perfect world you'll be installing these to a 50mm fitting with a nice clear running conduit, in the middle of a flat wall at eye level, with a strong light shining over your shoulder.

In reality it will be a 12mm back box, 6 inches from the floor and 3 inches from the darkest corner of the room (lit by a 60W bulb) with a scalding radiator 2 inches to the other side. The cable will be directly under the plaster and as you had to struggle to manage it at all, the wire to the fitting is significantly longer than you'd like. Therefore, the trick is to gently spiral it so that you can get it all behind the wallplate without crushing on kinking it. Only the trouble is, your poorly secured punchdown takes exception to this an pops one of the connections just after you reach the point where you can no longer see it. If you use my preferred method you coil up the cable before plugging it into the adapter then just ease it in as you align the wallplate the screws.

P.S.
You don't use one screwdriver. You use two - one either side of the tines :tongue:
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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby ef37a » Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:50 pm

Maybe I could shed some light of 10 years experience of the network sharp end?
I know jack about the software side, DCHP and all that swaddling but I was taught by and got to observe some of the best people in the industry re the hardware.

Will, sorry mate but I too think you are on the wrong track. AFAIK you cannot "home brew" CAT6 patch leads. Cat 5e needs to be done expertly if it is to pass the full bandwidth. The spacing inside a CAT6 plug is critical to get the full speed (same RJ45 outer but there is a "filler/spreader" part inside) In fact the company I was with gave up trying to hand build CAT 6 patch leads because of lack of consistant results and bought a special moulding machine.

You can of course make and use CAT5/(5e maybe!)cables for non-critical purposes, phones for example. Worth buying a bit of shielded cable since it makes an excellent 4pair audio tie line.

Punch down into KATT or Krone blocks is fine because that is how the system was designed and DECENT modules will have a loop on the label plastic to hook a small cable tie thru'. Mind you, you must take the twist as close to the block as possible to keep the performance up.

Tools are everything. Buy the special stripper to remove the outer without nicking the wires but if you buy a punchdown tool with "scissors" on it, take 'em off!
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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby chris... » Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:28 pm

I've made leads that do 1Gb/s ethernet just fine. That's plenty fast enough for home use, for the foreseeable.
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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby ef37a » Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:42 pm

chris... wrote:I've made leads that do 1Gb/s ethernet just fine. That's plenty fast enough for home use, for the foreseeable.

I am sure they are Chris but I doubt they would pass 1G a second.

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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby chris... » Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:53 pm

ef37a wrote:I am sure they are Chris but I doubt they would pass 1G a second.

Ah - sorry for being unclear. I indeed get close to 1Gb/s.
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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby ef37a » Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:37 pm

chris... wrote:
ef37a wrote:I am sure they are Chris but I doubt they would pass 1G a second.
Ah - sorry for being unclear. I indeed get close to 1Gb/s.

No! My apologies, well done.
Have a good one.

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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:34 pm

Madman_Greg wrote:Looking at buying a roll of cable, RJ5 connectors and the crimping tool

The crimping tools seems to vary from under a tenner to £30+

I know it's a little late in the day, but just before Christmas I wanted to get Belinda's PC onto a wired network to replace a rather dodgy wireless connection (we live in a converted barn, and there are three rooms including at least one 2-foot-thick wall between my wireless router and the other PC).

I started on the same route as you, but rapidly came to the conclusion that for adding a single PC to the network a decent crimping tool escalated the cost quite a bit.

In the end I bought a pre-made 20-metre network cable, carefully threaded it through holes in various walls, and then just plugged the far end into the other PC after tidying up the excess.

Result - no joins needed, and a total cost of £7.99! 8-)


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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby Exalted Wombat » Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:50 pm

Martin Walker wrote:In the end I bought a pre-made 20-metre network cable, carefully threaded it through holes in various walls, and then just plugged the far end into the other PC after tidying up the excess.

I have a similar link between two adjoining houses. But the size of holes required to get cable PLUS plug through the walls would have been unacceptable. I mounted wall boxes at each side and THEN used the cheapo extension cable. If I ever sell one house, it can easily be removed and the holes made good.
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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby damoore » Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:07 pm

If you want to be able to place TV you might want to think about running satellite ready (low-loss) coax too.
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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby ef37a » Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:37 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:
Martin Walker wrote:In the end I bought a pre-made 20-metre network cable, carefully threaded it through holes in various walls, and then just plugged the far end into the other PC after tidying up the excess.

I have a similar link between two adjoining houses. But the size of holes required to get cable PLUS plug through the walls would have been unacceptable. I mounted wall boxes at each side and THEN used the cheapo extension cable. If I ever sell one house, it can easily be removed and the holes made good.
Do you mean you fitted an outlet module both sides of the wall and then used network (solid) cable, punched down in each to link them?

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Re: ethernet cabling question

Postby Exalted Wombat » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:25 pm

ef37a wrote:
Exalted Wombat wrote:
Martin Walker wrote:In the end I bought a pre-made 20-metre network cable, carefully threaded it through holes in various walls, and then just plugged the far end into the other PC after tidying up the excess.

I have a similar link between two adjoining houses. But the size of holes required to get cable PLUS plug through the walls would have been unacceptable. I mounted wall boxes at each side and THEN used the cheapo extension cable. If I ever sell one house, it can easily be removed and the holes made good.
Do you mean you fitted an outlet module both sides of the wall and then used network (solid) cable, punched down in each to link them?

Dave.

No, I just mounted a box with a socket each side of the wall.
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