NETWORK SETUP NEW HOME PREWIRE FREE cabling and networking Helpdesk
 Question by DAVID WALTERS posted 08 Jul 2003
Hello, I just purchased a new home and I would like to setup a network. The home has a distribution panel with the following outputs:
- one coaxial cable running to living room
- one coaxial cable running to master bedroom
- one cat5 cable running to kitchen
- one cat5 cable running to master bedroom
- one cat5 cable running to spare bedroom
- all wall jacks are the standard one outlet phone jacks.
I want to use the spare bedroom as an office with two computers networked so I can share files and an internet connection. There will be a fax machine in the office as well. Since there is no coaxial cable running to the spare bedroom can I connect the cable modem to the distribution panel some how? I have a router with a built in 100Mb Switch, where should I connect this, at the distribution panel or in the spare bedroom? Also, would it be ok to use a wall jack in the spare bedroom which has one standard telephone connection and one cat5 connection. It seems like it would be better to have two cat5 cables running to all of the rooms, but the house is already completed and I want to avoid running new wires if possible. Please Help!!
 Answer by Dmitri Abaimov posted 15 Jul 2003

I would recommend installing the cable modem and the router at the distribution panel. This way you can connect network devices in the kitchen, master bedroom and spare bedroom via Ethernet. Beware of those outlets: the way you described it makes me believe they split a cable onto two jacks, which they were not supposed to. Although it may still work if the pin layout is correct, you will need same type of split patch cord on the other end, by the switch. Else you won't be able to use both computer and phone at the same time. Anyway, it is strongly recommended to have one cable for one jack.
Also, I would like to point out that existing cables may (or may not, do a reality check!) greatly simplify installation of new cables if used as a pull string. Just tie in two new cables to the existing one, and try to pull it all the way to the distribution device. This way you will have two cable for two jacks. This may not always work because builders tend to staple cables, but if so, it is very likely that the CAT5E performance is already ruined anyway, so you will have to figure out another way to pull a new cable.

Dmitri Abaimov, RCDD

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