Follow up: Networking in the house

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 Question by Scott McLellan posted 28 Aug 2005
 Follow up: Networking in the house
ok. my concerns then are :
1. Having a hub in the attic in the Southeast isn't the greatest idea. Temps can go over 100 and dip to below the 20s. Those temps are outside the operating range of most hubs. If I put the hub in the attic, how can I keep it cool? Can I just create a box for it and put a couple small electronics fans on either side to blow air in one side and out the other? Or do I need to put it in a special enclosure?

2. How do I make the cable in the attic longer? If I put the hub in the home ofice so it's in a controlled environment, can I just put a female RJ-45 end on the cable in the attic and then add a male end to the cable I run to the home office to keep going? Then once I'm in the home office, I can terminate that at the wall outlet in a female and use a standard patch cable to go to the hub.

Other comments:
- No, the builder didn't leave a conduit for running cables later. If they did, it's on the front wall buried under insulation and I sure can't see it even in the basement looking up.
- A neighbor gave me the end of a roll of cat5 solid wire. Any problems with using this along with stranded wire?
- Can I use a 110 block in the attic instead or do I really need the hub?
- What would using a patch panel buy me? Could I just put one of those in the attic instead of the hub or 110 block?

Thanks again for your help!
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 Answer by Joseph Golan posted 28 Aug 2005
Dear Scott,

1. I aree with you that a ub in this environment is not the best choice if planned out. addind a fan would do little to improve that situation.

2. Yes you could extend it as you propose and it may work fine if the workmanship is up to snuff.

Other:
Even though the builder did not leave a conduit, you still might find a pathway from the attic. One of the best is to use the plumbing chase if the bathrooms are stacked on the 1st and 2nd floors, also the waste vent pipe will go through the attic to vent out the roof. You may need the help of a professional if you do not have the skills or tools, each home has different situations.
On stranded wire - I am not an advocate of this for horizontal runs as there is additional attenuation and it is more difficult in terminating it on jacks, blocks and patch panels. As long as the impedence of both types of cable are close to being the same, it will not be an additional point of attenuation.
A 110 block is only a point of termination unlike a hub which can provide additional points of network connection.
A patch panel is nothing more then a glorified block with some additional management. They are both passive devices unlike a hub which is an active device. It will help in keeping order to the terminations and yet provide an easy way for changes in the future.

Sincerely,
Joseph Golan, RCDD

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