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Kothos

Cabling up a new house - cabinet/rack mount patch panel, or no?

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So after 4 years since we started looking for a plot of land, our 6 month house construction is now half-way through (3 months to go) and we're getting to the point of doing the cabling.

 

I've mapped out 32 data points and a handful of phone and antenna points - all of which will terminate in the garage (which is roughly central in the house) along with the NBN NTD box.

 

I was wondering, is it worth installing a cabinet in the garage with a rack-mounted patch panel and switch? Is this easy and/or worthwhile?

 

I'm of two minds whether to bother. It would be nice, or I was thinking of just putting in 3 of these: http://www.4cabling.com.au/cat-6-12-port-rj45-wall-mount-patch-panel.html

 

Anyone got an opinion?

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http://forums.atomicmpc.com.au/index.php/topic/56101-networking-a-new-house/

 

I think I went with a couple of rack-mounted patch panels - 24 ea, maybe? And one (cheap) managed switch to plug in actually active points.

 

I think it's essentially sitting within a 4 or 6 RU housing, because that's all I could fit into the wardrobe on the shelf.

 

 

Should you have something to tuck it away in and keep it tidy? Sure. Does it need to be an actual cabinet? Shrug.

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I don't really know what kind of equipment I want yet. Certainly I'll need a switch of some kind and I'd like at last a back-up/file server, and perhaps a firewall box.

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Be careful of overkilling\overcomplicating things.

TP-Link make some pretty sweet unmanaged switches, with about 8\24 ports being POE too.

 

A network engineers mind feels better when its managed, but really, you're not going to load a home network enough to cause mass colisions or overwork an unmanaged.

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Yeah, I'm still working on a server. Can't decide what exactly I need, to spec it properly.

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Yeah, I'm still working on a server. Can't decide what exactly I need, to spec it properly.

 

I just ended up with OpenMediaVault and SnapRaid.

I have a Raid5 of old drives for a "Scratch Disk" which then gets emptied onto the Snap.

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I mean, I don't know what I actually want it to do. The Samsung tv is smart but very old, so right now with Plex I need something to transcode. But if I get a NUC or a cheapXB/PS to connect to the TV to offload smarts, then I don't need a transcoding server.

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Ah, that.

 

Yeah, dump the transcode idea and get some of these:

https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/258266

 

Its the 21st century man; dont rely on a server to decode your data, we have more CPU than that :P


I mean, I don't know what I actually want it to do. The Samsung tv is smart but very old, so right now with Plex I need something to transcode. But if I get a NUC or a cheapXB/PS to connect to the TV to offload smarts, then I don't need a transcoding server.

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Yeah after reading Nich's thread, and the experiences of two people online who set this up, and a friend who also did the home networking thing, I'm gonna go a rack cabinet and rack-mount patch panels as it's the safest and neatest way to go.

 

And I remembered, I scored a free 12RU cabinet from work A DECADE ago and it's been collecting dust in my mum's garage ever since. Saves me $500!

 

Only problem is, I just noticed it's only 400mm deep and the ones online these days seem to be 450mm, and a quick Google shows that some rack mount devices use up the whole space.

 

Obviously patch panels are fine, and switches only seem to be about 200mm deep, but some rack mount NAS unis are 440mm.

 

Is this likely to screw me over?

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Hmm, after bit of research you can still get the 400mm deep racks, and some are even only 300mm deep.

 

So, what's best to get?

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I didn't look at rack mounted NAS specifically, but any rack mounted server I found seemed to focus on being loud and cool, because full racks in data centres.

 

My rack is small enough (and I think my rack is essentially made from some bunnings bits of metal), that I plan on putting whatever server I get, beside it. Or, in your case, inside of it, if it closes and won't get invaded by dust.

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I suppose I'll install it and if I'm desperate I'll just get the rack mount units that fit and have to ignore the ones that don't - or else just get tower units and put them outside the rack.

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I've mapped out 32 data points and a handful of phone and antenna points

I would not bother with the dedicated phone points as you can use the data points for phone when using a patch panel.

Just use these

http://www.4cabling.com.au/line-cord-rj12-rj45-5m.html to go from 8p8c Ethernet sockets to the phone jack.

 

I would also be tempted to dump the antenna points and have the antenna going to a central location then use some TV to Ethernet Amps

You have this at your Antenna central location

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

then at the TV ends you use http://www.altronics.com.au/p/l2042-kle02-balun-transformer-cable-to-suit-cat01-distribution-amplifier/#fancy-inner to go from Ethernet to normal antenna input.

 

Doing this means one type of cabling only and all Ethernet points in the house can be phone, Ethernet or TV. So max flexibility.

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Wait, COAX can be replaced with ethernet?

 

Isn't the design of coax (shielding around a core) required for the signal?

That's what the balun transformers do, convert the unbalanced RF collected by your antenna to a balanced signal suitable for transmission over twisted pair.

 

You need a matching transformer at the TV's end to "un-balance" the signal from the TP cable. (this will have said transformer somewhere along the cable, possibly integrated into one of the connectors)

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Wait, COAX can be replaced with ethernet?

 

Isn't the design of coax (shielding around a core) required for the signal?

That's what the balun transformers do, convert the unbalanced RF collected by your antenna to a balanced signal suitable for transmission over twisted pair.

 

You need a matching transformer at the TV's end to "un-balance" the signal from the TP cable. (this will have said transformer somewhere along the cable, possibly integrated into one of the connectors)

 

 

Can you expect a user noticable loss doing this?

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Not with DVB-T, for obvious reasons, unless your signal was ultra-borderline to begin with.

 

Like mine.

Roger that, not risking it :P

 

To this day I get ALL digital channels perfectly on my roof antenna.

But have to switch to Bunny Ears to get anything from 10 (11, 12, OneHD etc)

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Throwing this out there, too: When we cabled the house, we included a heap of extra pairs near the TV, and the PC sitting in the loungeroom. For purposes of running HDMI over ethernet. To be clear, these extra pairs run directly from port to port, and not via the patch panel.

 

What we didn't do was actually terminate and test any cables until after the walls were put up and finished. Unlucky for us, there are a few dead pairs - unsure if bad runs of cable or bad terminations or something happened after we put it in. Technically we can fix this, but we /really/ overprovisioned and so just ignore those ports.

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An ex colleague of mine cabled up his house recently and told me to put drawlines in every cable run to make replacing or adding cables easy.

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Yes. It helps, but if your place is anything like here, that involves not just climbing into the roof cavity, but trying to line up new cable to draw at the very edge, where there is the least space with how roofs angle down.

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That's really interesting - says it might need a pre-amp though?

Well if you are in a low signal area you may need a masthead amp with it but you would still need one even without the Cat5 TV Distribution Amplifier, especially if splitting the antenna output to several rooms.

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