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Nich...

Networking a new house

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Similar to what kikz outlines in http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php?showtopic=39193 from a few years back.

 

Dad's building a new house, and I kind of sold him on the idea of networking it properly: NAS to handle media storage and serving properly, rather than running HDMI extension cables all over the room to a desktop PC; at least one network point in every (major) room.

 

Current rough plan is to run cat6/a throughout the house, using conduit in the walls to take cable from wall sockets up into the roof, and then run down a central channel that feeds back down to a network cabinet. Cabinet probably in the linen closet, because there aren't a lot of options without a study.

 

I figure the cabinet will need a patch panel and a switch, and attached to them will be the NAS and modem. Somewhere more centrally located, a wifi AP, for better signal coverage. Probably a HP microserver or something for the NAS.

 

I have my head around most of that, tho' still not sure on some of the details.

 

 

I found out the other day he'd like to have some security cameras set up around the place, so he can see if people enter the property along the driveway, and I guess maybe on the main entries to the house/shed. I'm not sure if the main purpose is to just see who's coming and going when he's home, without having to get up and find a window, or if he wants to record it for playback purposes if something happens. Assuming the latter, I've only dealt with that kind of setup in a business scenario, where the cameras feed back to a 4-way PIP monitor and what looked like a PVR box that stored x days of footage.

 

Is it worth wiring up that kind of security camera, or using wifi IP cameras? Is software for recording that kind of thing onto a NAS complicated to set up/use, or, also, particularly expensive? Pointers on style of camera needed, or how much bandwidth they'd use?

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As Chrisg said in the other thread, at least two points per room and I would go four in any "media" or lounge room. You soon use them up with smart tvs, BD players, Networkable amps etc.

Also if fitting conduit make it big enough to have plenty of spare space and leave a pull string in each one so you can pull extra cable later on if needed.

For the rest? Can't really help. Only played with one IP camera some years ago and it's file size was a couple of hundred meg an hour, but the image quality was pretty crap and low res.

It was this one from memory

http://www.tp-link.com.au/products/details...TL-SC3130G#spec

Most of them have a PIR sensor built in so they only record when they sense movement and the "domestic" one I used came with it's own config and record software. Not sure if the software would work on a NAS (would be NAS OS dependant)

Would go wired over wireless as multiple cameras streaming over the same wireless will rapidly use up all the wireless bandwidth.

 

Oh and if you want to see what a super duper setup looks like at the "hub" end, a user on whirlpool linked to his setup

https://www.dropbox.com/s/l3jv3dejdigaw78/C...b%20labeled.jpg

 

I can only dream of being that organised and neat.

Edited by aliali
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OK.. My experience with cameras and networking.

 

FAARRRRKKKK!!

 

Now that's out of the way.

 

Most IP security cameras (For some god-forsaken reason) use multicast.

 

For some reason, it's really screwy on wifi if you have more than 1 camera. So. Don't. Use wired.

 

Next, they are bandwidth hogs. For a good quality feed from a 'domestic' camera, assume 10Mbps - 20Mbps will be consumed by the camera.

Next of all. If you are looking at the driveway or whatever, don't bother with 'low-light cameras' or crap like that. Get a black and white camera and use a sensor floodlight. Unless you're willing to spend $1k upwards. Otherwise you just get a grainy mess of video.

 

Finally, for trunk cabling and conduit, I strongly advise to run 1 empty conduit beside the trunk and put the draw wire/string through that. Pulling the string with cable attached will tend to 'burn' the cable in an existing conduit. Having a large empty conduit will mean that you have an opportunity for 50% expansion of backbone cabling.

 

Any questions, post em up.

 

AD

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Thanks, that's all good to know.

 

Not sure whether to fork this next bit off into its own thread or keep it here, but this will do for now:

 

I've been thinking about what to attach to the network once it's installed.

 

Would it be easier to build a minirack to hold the switch and file/media server together, or just use a 24 port or whatever GBE switch for patching, and have a separate microserver?

 

And, then, is it considered overkill to run free/openBSD on it and use the modem/router in bridge mode? Otherwise, while ZFS looks interesting, I'm likely to probably just use a windows server install on it, and a RAID5 instead of RAIDZ.

 

I think the only TV it'll be serving media to is a Samsung that's capable of reading MKV from an attached USB HDD, so I'm hoping it'll read them fine via a DLNA server. In which case the microserver would be tucked away in a closet, rather than in the open next to the TV. Just not sure if the TV will be able to easily navigate over the network. Also hoping that native MKV on the TV means that transcoding will only need to take place, maybe, when watching TV on tablets in bed - I don't know if Android video players can handle decoding MKVs locally.

 

WRT the security cameras, if IP cameras are used, is there something that's cheap/free that provides ease of use/quality, as far as recording for later playback as well as live monitoring? A family friend used to just have two small CRT monitors sitting below his TV to watch his (analogue) security cameras, but I was hoping there'd be an easy way to handle the live viewing on the TV rather than needing separate screens. (separate screens make kind of more sense as far as watching who's around without having to get up, but I'm thinking of the power that'd chew through)

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:)

 

AD has forgotten more about this stuff than most people know, all good advise that he has given.

 

IP cameras are indeed bandwidth hogs, I don't install systems but I do do packet analysis for a security mob quite often and the amount they use is a bit annoying especially as it's UDP.

 

Wi-Fi is a bit of a gimmick for cameras especially in domestic setups, you still have to power the camera so its most sensible to use PoE, pay a bit more for the switch but not much, save on getting a separate power feed to them.

 

Some mates who mess around with this stuff say good things about this software:

 

http://www.ispyconnect.com/download.aspx

 

Seems to be Windows centric but doesn't sound like that will be any problem..

 

I'm always a bit wary of just where a cabinet, and yes one is a good idea, goes in a house, whilst domestic kit is pretty tolerant the environment does need o be a consideration. A linen closet will lead to a lot of dust around and they are usually in or near the laundry with moisture considerations.

 

However you really do not need a lot of room, 6U would be generous, patch panel, switch and a rack mount NAS for preference, all 1U each. The last can get a bit expensive but in a 6U cabinet the little Seagates can sit in there fine and there are other choices. I'm always a bit averse as well to sitting kit in the bottom of the rack, common practice in small offices and inevitably becomes a mess which is why I prefer rack mount but it can be addressed at install with good cable management and some velcro at a minimum. ( Sounds a bit fussy but it isn't really when having to go back in there later for troubleshooting etc.)

 

If you wanted to go with a single brand solution although I'm a bit surprised to be saying it DLink can cover all the bases and their product really is pretty good these days.

 

Sounds interesting :)

 

Cheers

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Ahoy. Sorry. Missed the additions.

 

I'm a big fan of racks. They tend to say "Here is the heart". It makes it nice and easy to put the patch racks, network switch, small server and a UPS (plus modem etc). With a rack you can then do some nice cabling and then SHUT THE DOOR! Problem solved. No bumps. No knocks.

 

I've seen racks in linen cupboards before. And it all works until (invariably, but not always) the wife decides she can probably slot some towels in there for more storage, and the pushing and pulling of towels invariably catches a cable and you lose a port.

 

Have a dedicated space. You'll appreciate it.

 

I've not experimented with any open-source IP camera viewing solutions. However, I'm aware of it existing. I'm well aware that there are various linux distros that support this.

I'm aware of LinuxMCE which is supposed to have mediaPC support combined with IP cameras designed to be a "When someone rings the bell a 'picture in picture' will appear with the security camera footage". That type deal.

 

Not used. Don't know how good/bad. Good luck.

 

AD

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Had totally forgotten PoE until Tick mentioned it elsewhere. Worth the investment, or just as easy to separately power cameras separately from the betwork cabling?

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Totally worth the investment. Not only does it save on power wire\sparky costs for each camera, but if you intend to use IP phones for your house, it saves extra power cables from your walls there too.

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Totally do PoE.

 

I have installed a couple of setups. One just uses a Synology NAS (with it's security suite), a PoE switch dedicated to the cameras with a separate switch for the LAN. The Synology isn't doing much more than security stuff and very basic backup so I can't really give you any idea how much traffic is going through the Synology's single ethernet interface.

 

When I did this a year or so ago, 10/100 PoE switches were cheaper than the Gigabit versions making a separate switch for cameras a cheaper investment. An 8 port 10/100 with 4 ports doing PoE was around the $80 mark.

 

Depending on how many cameras he wants though, you could always get a decent Gigabit switch and PoE injectors too.

http://www.scorptec.com.au/product/Network...t/55063-LACPI30

 

Then again, this switch isn't too bad:

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_p...oducts_id=26247

 

This setup was really simple. I installed the NAS, put in the extra licenses and installed 2 Cisco cameras. The client (a friend of mine) bought other cameras (D-Links I think) and just added them in. The beauty of PoE is that when you have a camera mounted in say, a ceiling, to reset it should it have an issue you simply pull the plug from the PoE switch. Same goes if you were mounting WiFi hotspots which also run off PoE in a roof.

 

The other ones I have been dealing with lately are for a larger client - the PVR is the PoE switch. It's proprietary stuff and the main reason we went with this solution is it's backed by a national installer footprint (I deal with 60 retail stores around the country).

 

For ease of use, it might be worth looking at something like a cheap, single drive Synology NAS. It would also free up a beefier media streaming NAS like a HP microserver for other tasks. The remote configuration is really simple for the Synology and I know my friend likes the fact that they can easily iPad it in remotely if the alarm goes off at their small business, check on staff or record incidents. Quality is pretty good.

 

I set them up with a 2 x drive system in a Raid 1.

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That sounds pretty sweet.

 

When I bought my house I got someone to come in and install some data points all leading to my study where my switch is. Not on the same scale, but it's bloody handy.

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House hasn't started being built yet - I doubt I'll have much to update until at least November, and possibly December or January.

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I have toyed with the idea of setting up a couple of CCTV cameras around the house. Primarily in the back yard to see what the dogs are doing, but if I do that, I'd probably get some data points set up to the external part of the house.

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In the next two to three weeks the eletrician will be in to run power cables and etc, so I guess it's time to revisit this and make up my mind on some things.

 

 

Is it worth having a patch panel that collects the cables from each room and then connects to a switch, or just a 12/24 port switch will be fine?

 

Dad's co-worker has just played around with some new wifi dlink cameras that he thinks will be awesome - remote calling if they go off when you're not home, using photos rather than video, to monitor etc etc. I still think PoE cameras will be better, but not sure on price comparisons for a 4-5 camera system yet. If I go with PoE, is it just a case of plugging the PoE switch into the normal switch?

 

Hub location has changed from linen closet (far end of the house) to one of the shelves in a bedroom's wardrobe (almost literal centre of the house). Ducting up into the roof to vent some heat, etc. Hole in the ceiling to feed cable down to hardware. I guess a double powerpoint to power stuff. Phone point to plug modem into. I assume that should cover most of it? Might skip a rack and just stack the switch(es) (and patch panel if needed) and sit modem/HP Microserver/UPS on top of or beside them.

 

Dunno if it'll be worth setting op IP phones - I don't know what kind of speeds will be accessable when phone/internet is eventually connected.

 

 

Another thing brought up today while we were standing in the shell of the house: FTA via coax. He wants a point in basically every room, just in case he wants to put a small TV somewhere at a later point. Which is cool. But is there a way to do it over Cat6 that'll be going to each room anyway? Or even if that was possible, it'd need a separate run anyway?

 

Only other concern is whether to have a small HTPC - NUC or whatever - set up to control the media browsing and etc on the TV? I keep forgetting to try running Win MEdia Centre on his desktop as a DLNA server and seeing how easy/shitty it is to browse across the network from the Samsung TV. Other option there I guess is to run an 8m length of HDMI along one wall, so his desktop in one corner can be used (via wireless mouse) to control stuff on the TV.

 

 

I like the sound of the separate Synology NAS to handle security only.

 

At this point, probably happy to swap favours including cake/food/car cleaning if either of you aren't too busy, Tick, AD : p

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For a fairly complex network I would definitely go the patch panel. Why? Because you can then easily swap the port duties around.

As far as

 

FTA via coax. He wants a point in basically every room, just in case he wants to put a small TV somewhere at a later point. Which is cool. But is there a way to do it over Cat6 that'll be going to each room anyway? Or even if that was possible, it'd need a separate run anyway?

Then something like http://www.altronics.com.au/p/l2040-4-way-cattv-cat5-tv-distribution-amplifier/ and

http://www.altronics.com.au/p/l2042-kle02-balun-transformer-cable-to-suit-cat01-distribution-amplifier/

should do it. Limited to 4 tv ports at once.

Do note I haven't used this gear so no idea how effective it is and what problems it is likely to cause.

 

Advantage is with the patch panel you can designate any Ethernet port in any room to be a TV out port (or a even a phone port), must bypass the switch to work of course.

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+1 patch panel.

 

I'll also remind you that HDMI can be done over CAT6 with adaptors; so anywhere that might have media, more ports.

CAT cable also carries un-amplified audio pretty well too to plug into a home theater reciever.

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Went window shopping today, looks like we can probably safely fit two runs of cat6 and a run of coax down a 20mm pvc conduit, and some 32mm conduit to run to locations that'll need6+ cables pulled through. 4m pieces means we can cut them in half to have an active one and a spare to pull cables into as needed in the future.

 

Aim will be to have the wiring in place with a patch panel by the time we move in, and just use my desktop as a file server (running off my gigabit switch) for the time being until all the other stuff is sorted out.

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OK. You have most in hand.

 

Patch panel: Handy to have. It means you can 'over-cater' the ports and label them easier. Further, if you go analogue phone it means you can patch the phone-line anywhere (Phone goes over Cat5/6 fine).

 

The PVC will work. Just remember. Put a length of strong string (Typically called "Jet line") run through the length as you install. Makes installing cables a breeze. Tie one end of string to cables, go to other end and pull string. Cables don't push very well through conduit. Especially if there are any curves/flex/corners in the conduit. Pulling tends to be fine however.

 

Always over cater if you can. Rate for 8 and install 4 is the idea (Not those exact numbers). But double what you think you'll need and install that.. There's nothing worse than finishing. Getting everything in place.. And finding that the place where you have a double socket needs 3 data ports 6 months down the track due to new equipment.

 

AD

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Suggestions on brands/locations/stores/sites to buy the following from?

24 port switch (pref at least 4 gbe ports)(Also, I'm still not entirely sold on the price increase for it being managed)
48port (or 2x24p) patch panel(s)
Rack to house them in (with space for wifi AP/router/modem, and future microserver purchase, and, uh, maybe a Synology NAS and a small 4/6 port PoE switch).
Those HDMI/Cat6orwhatever dongles that let you run HDMI over a pair of network cables.




Postscript: ended up running cabling the before the plaster went up, but after the insulation was installed, so that was a fun afternoon in a face mask. Some rooms have one or two data points and a coax point, a few locations - two options for TV placement, desktop PC where HDMI cable will be running from - have 7 or 9 data points. At this point I think a 24 port switch will safely handle all active ports with a margin of safety.

Edited by Nich...

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Was told by Chig to specifically avoid TPLink. But he was also pushing managed options :p

 

That 24p tplink I think I saw on a few different sites, or something similar. Was confusing (I didn't have time to check model numbers, blah) because all around the same price but some said every port was 10/100/1000 and some said that it was 20p 10/100 and 4p 10/100/1000 kind of thing.

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Well I have had very little trouble with TP-Link in domestic situations, but these have all been fairly lightly loaded ones most of the time and only up to the 8 port switches.

 

 

As far as the

 

was 20p 10/100 and 4p 10/100/1000 kind of thing.

If you mean the TL-SG1024 then all ports are Gigabit according to TP-Link.

http://www.tp-link.com.au/products/details/?categoryid=224&model=TL-SG1024#over

People may be getting confused with the likes of the

TL-SL1226 which is 24 10/100Mbps + 2 10/100/1000

http://www.tp-link.com.au/products/details/?categoryid=224&model=TL-SL1226#spec

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