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 Question by Pol Kontos posted 07 Apr 2007
 cat5e home cabling

I'm an amateur in cabling (not so in computers) and I've started cabling my 44 years old house from the need to share home computers and ADSL internet, with a low budget.

In two years period I've put in a central position the router with a FastEthernet switch, 4 cables cat5e, plastic channels where needed, and recently one access point for wireless access.

Cables were connected to switch and PCs directly through RJ-45 jacks with directions from Internet and with the help of a tool I bought.

As you know better than me, needs are growing with ADSL2+ and cableTV coming after 2 months and I want to put:
a) RJ-45 double plugs to each position
b) telephone lines on cat5e cabling
c) a patch panel to better control the panic!

My questions are:
1. What is the IDC and LSA+(Krone company related?) technics for plugs and patch pannels?
2. Can I buy a tool to make the cable connections to plugs and patch pannel as I did with RJ-45 jacks?
3. Can I make it without a rack? (low budget)
4. Will this scheme (what else can I call it:)) run for a Gigabit Ethernet when switch and nics are changed?

Thank you for any answer and bravo for the special and great work you do here!
 Answer by Dmitri Abaimov posted 25 Apr 2007
Dear Pol,

I'll order my answers according to the numbers you gave to your questions:

1. IDC (and there are several kinds thereof) and LSA are all Insulation Displacement Connections that do not require to strip insulation off a wire while connecting it. By far the most widely spread is the 110-Type IDC and I would advise you to stick with this type. I'm not sure about Europe but here in US they sell 110-type punch down tools required for IDC connections in regular home improvements stores like Home Depot and such

2. I am confused by this question but I think you might be talking about the tool I was just referring to in the paragraph above. The same tool is used for punch-down IDC terminations on RJ45 jacks as well as the patch panels. As far as plugs go, there were plugs with IDC connectors in them few years ago but they were incredibly bulky and noone makes them anymore (or they are hard to get, more accurately). So, for plugs you are going to have to buy a specialized tool (crimping tool). In addition to that I would caution you against crimping your own RJ45 plugs as factory-made ones usually preform much better than field-terminated and they are really cheap this days.

3. You absolutely can. Residential cabling cabinets they sell that can be used in lieu of racks are actually more expensive than racks ('cause they make it look better by concealing the rats nests?). However, you can certainly get away with mounting a piece of plywood (3'x4' or larger) on the wall and then purchasing patch panels that have legs instead of 19" rack-mount holes. Also, with a set of right size L-brackets (also an inexpensive hardware store item) you can adapt any 19" rack mount device to mount it on a wall (some aesthetics considerations may be required).

4. "Scheme" has negative connotations to it, I would call is a system instead. Just kidding :-) Whatever you call it, as long as you stick with CAT5E-certified components throughout, you should be able to run Gigabit Ethernet on it. Just make sure you do not split one cable between the two RJ45 jacks that you've mentioned in your question because Gigabit Ethernet needs all four pairs per one connection.

Good luck!

Dmitri Abaimov, RCDD

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