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TheFrunj

Adding gigabit networking to existing house

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So the plan is to move, from bigpond broadband cable (the only option here as ADSL isn't possible due to some obscure phoneline fuckup) to ADSL2+. That means I'll need to change ISPs, which is easy done (I'm almost inclined to stick with Telstra for free Steam downloads, or go to internode), but I'll also need to change the network pretty significantly, too.

 

The phoneline connection is available in bedroom 5 at the top; presumably the Billion 7800N modem/router would be best for my needs as the house is ~1.7km from the exchange (based on some online tool). Connected directly to the Billion is a PC in that room, then the two TVs set up in the lounge and family room. If I need to connect more than one device to each TV I'll use a 100mbps switch I already have, or buy a cheap gigabit switch if I need higher bandwidth for streaming etc.

 

The fourth connection from the Billion goes across the house to a Netgear N600 router kept in a cupboard, which currently does most of the heavy lifting. Presumably I'll turn off DHCP and it'll work as a wireless access point and switch, but I'm not too sure about that (need to check). From there the three remaining bedrooms that need cabling will be connected to the Netgear; any phones or laptops in the house will be served by the two overlapping wireless signals.

 

Posted Image

 

Since we'll be cabling it up and really only want to do it once, and likely will be adding a windows home server or some backup solution to the network for streaming (near the Billion 7800N I suppose), is this the best way to configure the network? Would it be better to simply buy a many-port gigabit switch, plug the switch into the Billion, and wire each room back to the top of the house? We'll be wiring with Cat6 most likely, as I don't see much point in threading Cat5e through the house in 2011 with the NBN coming in the next decade.

 

There's a blank copy of the floorplan if you're feeling diagramatically inclined :)

 

Thanks all!

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I recently did this in a friends house who has a similar lay out to yours.

 

We had the house cabled by a licensed guy and everything fed back to a linen cupboard close to wear your bedroom 5 was. We ended up using his existing D-Link DSL-2740BR RangeBooster N Wireless ADSL2+ Modem Router which turns out to be a solid little unit a ASUS RT-N10+ Wireless N Router @ $39 as another AP in the house and a TP-Link TL-SG1016D 16-port Gigabit Switch for everything to feed back into.

 

 

I've currently got him setup with WHS with a HP N36L microserver as well with just a few 2tb drives and thats also located in the linen cupboard. Just turn DHCP off on the Netgear and set it to re broadcast the AP that the Billion is producing.

 

 

Should be very easy to setup.

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Sweet. Would you recommend the wiring that I have above, or how you did it with everything to a single point and a large switch?

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In my last bunker I ran a dedicated cat6 from every room in my house back to my home office, and put a 20 port gigabit switch there which connected to the ADSL router.

 

The only variation was that I plugged my gaming PC directly into the ADSL router to avoid that tiny extra bit of lag that would have been incurred going first to the switch and then to the router.

 

So I had 10 ethernet cables hanging out of the wall, but it was just the easiest and fastest way to get all the gear talking to each other.

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If you're going to do proper cabling, then the path of least resistance is the way to go, i.e WAN->Billion7800N->GbE Switch->LAN.

You'd only need the switch in there if you exceed the port limit on the Billion.

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I have nothing to add to the infrastructure discission, but it should be noted that telstra isn't your only option for free steam content, as iiNet also offer this via 3FL (just select the right mirror in steam), so this may either help, or hinder your decision on ISP choice. iiNet also offer free xbox live content if thats relevant too (I am with them at the moment, and used to work there if u have any queries).

 

Cheers

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I have nothing to add to the infrastructure discission, but it should be noted that telstra isn't your only option for free steam content, as iiNet also offer this via 3FL (just select the right mirror in steam), so this may either help, or hinder your decision on ISP choice. iiNet also offer free xbox live content if thats relevant too (I am with them at the moment, and used to work there if u have any queries).

 

Cheers

Yep and Internode unmeter steam content from every available AU based steam server.

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Looks ok from my eye.

 

My suggestions for you to consider.

 

1) Cable ALL phones in the house with Cat5e. Bring back to a patch panel (Doesn't have to be a rack. I've hidden them in linen cupboards). Ensure that the point of entry for your phone is as close as possible to your patch. This will allow all sorts of jumpering and expansion. Will also help to keep missus happy with phones and sockets. (Trust me on this)

2) If that is not possible, consider the phone cable from '1st socket'. This is where Telstra or whoever enter the house and terminate at first point. THIS is where your modem should be. Talk to Raydex about how many megabit I added to his connection when I fixed up his internal phone cablilng. (I think I added something like an additional 3 or 4 Mb onto the connection be scrapping the crappy Cat3 wire.

 

Cat6 trunk is good for the internal link. But, you may want to consider just putting the modem in a more central point with a higher gain antenna, thus service your entire house with wireless. (Think 'wireless voip phone' for a good reason why this is a good idea).

 

If you want more suggestions or want to go over it with a finer tooth, let me know.

 

Otherwise, shop around for cable. Jaycar, Dick Smith and Bunnings are expensive for cable. Find your local TLE. They will sell to the public, and you'll save yourself a ton of cash. (Easily a 1/3 the price) You may actually find it cheaper to buy 1 x 300m box of Cat6 and use that everywhere.

 

Be aware that Cat5e IS gigabit cable and even supports it fully. It just has lower rejection of noise. So, smart cabling = no problems with this issue.

 

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I would probably run all my cables from next to bedroom 4 as you have half of them there and its not much extra cable to do so and in the future for what ever reason would be easy to upgrade/change/troubleshoot problems with having it all in a single place, I would put a switch with decent traffic handling and then connect bother the AP and ADSL router directly to the switch.

 

Its hard to say some people will have rough flat fee for installing the network like $x for 3 ports and $x for 10 ports and they might not knock much off for you supplying the cable. some others would.

just get a quote sent them your floor plan, some times its good to tell them you have been else where but werent happy with them, even if you haven't then the people doing the quote will know then they have to be straight with you or you'll go else where.

Also what is your house made of?

Brick all round?

Brick with fibro walls?

All fibro?

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The answer is a bit 'maybeish'.

 

If you (and the REAL boss) are the kind of people that like to put things in place once and never move them again, a patch panel is a waste of money.

 

If either of you are the kind where every few months, or even years, like to shake things up a little, a patch panel is awesome. You are no longer bound on where your data points are.

 

However, it is becoming less important with VOIP (Before you, of course, had to seperate voice and data).

 

As for supply your own, I'd suggest asking the mob for a time and materials breakdown if you are stressed about it.

 

But to help you out, I'll give you a 'rough rule of thumb'. A data socket + Wallplate = $20. Cable approx $1/m. Thus, 2 sockets + wallplates and a 20m run will be approx $60.

 

A patchpanel will be approx $10/socket (For the bulk number of them). Thus a 24 port should be around $240. (This is just generic brand. Don't worry about the really expensive stuff).

 

If terminating directly to RJ45 plugs and not sockets (I don't really recommend this in some circumstances, explained later), it will be approx $10/plug (Including labor). Thus, if you had a plug for the modem headend and then a wallplate for the room with the same 20m run, it will be $50.

 

For modem headend, consider whether you will be plugging/unplugging the cables. In wall cable is solid core, and it doesn't like to be moved around alot. If you will be changing where is plugged into what, then consider wall plates/patch panel and patch leads. It's cheaper to replace a patch lead than to reterminate a cable whose plug is now dicky.

 

It may be worthwhile asking a quote for a patch panel at a single head end point and then starring out from there. The cost of a single patch panel (although expensive in itself) may be cheaper because of the bulk quantity aspect. As for cable. Let them buy it. It causes less heartache. It may have a premium attached to it, but we are talking about a difference of about $50 for the job. A cabler who gets told "You have to use this" will be grumpy when doing their job and will probably do a worse job.

 

For the size of your house, don't worry too much about Cat6. Cat6 is all about noise rejection over the length of run. Provided you run the Cat5e in compliance with TS009 and AS3000 you'll have gigabit speed with little/no issue.(Ask for a TC01 form upon completion from the installer. It's a guarantee that they have complied with the standards. The form is free to download, so don't let them charge you 1c for it. It's a guarantee of their workmanship. Not an auditing process).

 

At the end, I think a better question is (And to help you formulate):

How many sockets around the house will you have? All up. (DO NOT INCLUDE THE HEAD END WHERE YOUR SWITCH WILL BE!)

 

Is it greater than 15? Do you think you will benefit if you have a centrally managed switch? Did you have the 2nd switch because you were worried about gigabit at the other end of the house?

 

If you have Cat5e run correctly, you will get the gigabit speeds all throughout your house without need for a second switch.

If greater than about 15 sockets, then you may find it cheaper to bring all cable back to a single point and terminated into a patchpanel.

 

Remember, any quote you got is based on the cabler doing what you asked, not on what they recommend or what is cheapest.

 

You will be looking at an average of about 30m of cable per run. (Remember 3m up, 3m down if cabling is done in the roof. 2.4m ceilings + 30cm or so for terminating and making it possible to work and approx 10% oh F#$K factor). The short runs cancel the long runs.

 

If you have 15 sockets around the house I'm guessing:

$300 for tail end sockets.

$400 patch panel and termination (Allow approx 2 hours to terminate. It shouldn't take that long, but better to overguess)

$450 cable

-------

$1150 install VERY VERY ROUGH WITH NO CONSIDERATION OF WHAT YOUR HOUSE IS LIKE

 

----------------------------

If you do go the patch panel option, I then STRONGLY suggest that the you request the cabler runs 1 cat5e cable from 1st socket (Building Entry or whatever you want to call it) to the patch panel. Thus you have the plain phone line coming into a place where all your PC/Networking equipment will be. I assure you, it's worth the effort.

 

If you want more details, or have more questions, don't hesitate to ask. But speak to your cabler.

 

Think about what you are trying to achieve. Address your concerns, and think about practicality. If you have a switch at a remote point, you also have to pay an electrician to run power to that point. If it's in the roof/under floor, it means servicing it will be a pain in the bum. I'm guessing it's you that will be the one servicing your switch. If you don't want to climb in rooves or under floors, don't install stuff there. Domestic grade switches die quickly in roof cavities and under floor. Roof = heat. Under floor = dust.

 

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Wow, thanks for the information! Very, very helpful :D

 

I haven't gotten a quote yet, will be doing that in the next week or so. I'll post again when I've gotten one.

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Finally in the house (there's a million things to clean or fix up ._.), and got a quote from an electrician. It was quite a HOLY SHIT moment.

 

They wanted $1400 for just the six points, with no patch panel. On the quote is $650 worth of materials :/ All up it was $3500 for the network, a doorbell, mounting a fan, and a handful of power points - very unimpressed.

 

Suffice it to say we'll be looking for an alternative installer!

 

 

Also decided to go with a Fritz!Box 7390, getting sync speeds of ~5mbps. Very slow compared to the 18mbps we were enjoying before, but it's not too bad for most things. Wouldn't sync with Telstra's DSLAMs at first, but updated firmware from shipping (early April) to the latest beta (august) which fixed the problem. Had a lot of trouble with wifi using the default setting too, but changed it manually to channel 6 and touchwood it seems fine.

 

Reception's fine in the family room, but it's a bit sketchy in the bedrooms, so I'll still wind up needing that second router.

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Triple post, yadda yadda, I know :P

 

Got another electrician to quote for all the work, was in the range of $1200 - in other words, go for it you nicely-affordable tradesman!

 

Unfortunately while one electrician did the electrical work around the house and strung the actual Cat6 cable, he left the termination to another electrician who had apparently just completed his networking cert...leading to six hours on saturday running around, testing devices, assuming the cables were faulty. Which they probably aren't, now I've had a good look at the termination on them :/

 

The four near the router are in the A style, and are correct after his ridiculously long time spent on them. The one in the hall cupboard is terminated like this (after the image):

 

Posted Image

 

Green

WhiteGreen

WhiteOrange

Blue

WhiteBlue

Orange

WhiteBrown

Brown

 

...And hence doesn't work very well. The Fritz!Box 7390 can see it and register it's there, but only with 100mbps and not reliably enough to share internet. A re-termination shoud fix that, I hope.

 

The other three are terminated in wall sockets, which again were intermittently working - I pulled one plate off to have a look, and what I saw didn't make any sense to my brain at all:

 

Posted Image

 

Vs: Posted Image

 

There's even a colour-coded diagram on the inside of the socket that clearly shows the wrong colour has been used :s

 

So yeah...any pros have any idea what the sparky's done to the wall plate? I assume it needs to be the style/diagram I linked, but don't know for sure.

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That 2nd last picture looks ok in colour coding.. Bit rough, but possibly ok. I'll get to that in a minute.

 

The way the colour coding works in the socket is the socket will identify A and B.

 

In this case, looking at the picture, the A is the double column on the right. If you look carefully, you will see that the bottom 2 pairs are brown and green. He has matched the pairs to their colours correctly. This one looks ok.

 

If you get the other end and take a picture of that, make sure it is an A too. A few electricians are notorious for doing A on one end and B on the other.

 

Further, I am a little disturbed by the un-eveness of the cuts and the fact that the cable looks a bit warped in the centre leading into the IDC part of the socket. The brown/white is extremely obvious. Further, a few of the cores look damaged on entry.

 

A proper punchdown tool would not have that unevenness and all the cuts would be even.

 

I'd be taking this electrican to task personally.

 

BTW, don't worry about your last picture which you posted. Each manufacturer has their own coding for how the pairing works. Krone, Pacom etc are all different. Look at the socket for correct termination.

 

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The wall sockets seem to be correctly applied, all the colours match the appropriate holes, but I'm unsure that the wires themselves are contacting the rails - it's not very clear. I've taken a picture of the four terminated cables at the router end, and checked them against that diagram I linked earlier, and they're definitely type A:

 

Posted Image

 

I'm not sure what to try next - should I buy a tool off ebay and try my hand at terminating these myself? Or should I go off at the electrician?

 

*edit*

Here's a shot of the hall cupboard termination - it should be just clear enough that the two green wires are the wrong way around:

 

Posted Image

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I'd do my na-na at the electrician personally.

 

Can you hook your patch leads from a switch to the modem and ensure you have network connectivity? (They look ok to me from that angle).

 

The termination of the sockets however is bad.

 

It almost looks like he just used a screwdriver and a pair of sidecutters. If that is the case, those sockets are just worth removing and chucking out.

 

He was paid to terminate and he hasn't done the job properly. If he works for a company, talk to his boss. If he is a self-employed, then take it further. Telstra would be interested to hear about a sparky doing poor quality telecommunications wiring. It attracts $100k+ in fines if it interferes with phone infrastructure.

 

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And you edited whilst I was posting.

 

YES.. They are the wrong way around. You will get NO connection with that..

 

 

 

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Can you hook your patch leads from a switch to the modem and ensure you have network connectivity? (They look ok to me from that angle).

I've hooked the patch leads (well, the terminated leads in the study cupboard) directly into the modem/router, but haven't tried hooking them into a switch - I decided to eschew more than four direct connections.

 

The hall cupboard port detects that there's a device at the end of it, but doesn't connect properly, and drops out.

 

The lounge does the same, though I have been able to reach the router through it and configure via web interface - but intermittently.

 

The study port connected once, but I haven't gotten it to do so again.

 

The bedroom port doesn't connect at all (it's the one pictured above).

 

Thanks muchly for all the advice.

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Posted Image

Christ he hasn't even managed to get the cable sheaths crimped in the plug properly, I'm not even qualified and I could do a bloody better job than that FFS. What a mess.

Bet the bugger didn't even sign a compliance form and he obviously didn't do no damn testing.

Personally I would put in to here

http://www.acma.gov.au/interforms/Cabling_Complaint_Form.asp

for charging for such shoddy work.

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He's back now, trying his hand at terminating a single length of cat6 cable from the box to go between the router and a PC. He didn't seem to think re-terminating the hall cupboard was important, even though I mentioned it multiple times...

 

His boss is also on the way, so I'll let him be for now. It's bossman that'll be worth talking to anyway; this guy is clearly out of his depth.

 

Will post again with the result.

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So that cable worked, hooray!

 

He then went on to re-terminate the hall cupboard, which worked fine (once it was actually correct).

 

His boss showed up, I explained what had happened straight up (not accusational, just descriptive). He said to replace the cable runs. The lounge was first up, replaced, and functional - I oversaw the termination of the wall socket and he did it correctly and neatly this go 'round. That connection worked without a hitch.

 

Then the study socket was removed and replaced with a RJ45 connector, which didn't work at all. Computer couldn't talk to the router. So the whole length was replaced, and lo, it worked too.

 

The bedroom didn't work, and never did, so it was replaced. Re-terminated, no connection... We eventually determined that the box of cable had a fault every ten or so metres, and any length of cable with that fault in it would not function (or be intermittent). Cutting the bedroom length in half and splicing in a known functional cable worked, and thus the network is complete.

 

It's a bit annoying that it took him eight hours overall to do this, but the cable was dodgy and his knowledge clearly not up to scratch. Haven't got the bill, nor paid, but I'm not intending on giving them extra for this stuffing around.

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We eventually determined that the box of cable had a fault every ten or so metres, and any length of cable with that fault in it would not function (or be intermittent).

Well that's a new one, have to wonder how many boxes of cable out there have the same problem because if one box has such a manufacturing fault you can damn well bet a lot more do.

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Good to know its now all up and running for you Mate.

 

I am going to guess that he didnt have his cable tester handy when terminating.

Every cable i make, gets a whirl in the tester. 99% of the time its all good. but their is the odd one that gets through with a last minute twist in the crimp.

 

I cant say I have had a box of cable with that problem. And I have been through a few boxes in my time of installing network cables for various jobs.

 

Enjoy the speed!!

 

8)

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ali: Not really. It's common with box cable for people who aren't careful.

 

You have the box of cable. You lie it down on an odd angle. You pull the cable. It doesn't draw properly. Internally, 1 loop of cable has now 'choked' a big bunch of cable. Novice data installers (*cough* electricians *cough*) yank the cable and really mangle that bit of cable that is choked.

 

I'm glad things are working now.. Must be a relief. Hopefully, if nothing else, the company itself has learnt a valuable lesson too.

 

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