House Homerun or structured wiring
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Author:  Ruben Rocha [ Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: House Homerun or structured wiring

T-Bone wrote:
Thanks for the info. Im trying to find parts for my network right now. Im not sure who makes the best patch panels. With all the runs and ability to install camera's Looks like Ill need a 48 and a 24. I have about 55 cables going in. A friend of mine said patch panel is a patch panel. I just want something good that wont be a bottle neck.

Leviton and square d make some nice panels for structured wiring.
That is what the electrical trade calls it.

Leviton has a nice brochure to start with. ... site=10251
Some components can be found at like homedepot but others can be found online or at electrical supply houses.

Author:  NolesFan [ Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: House Homerun or structured wiring

I would look at Leviton patchpanels as well.. Sometimes you can find some Leviton Cat6 panels on ebay WAY below what it would cost you from an electrical supply house.. Also another great site to use is

I would run at least 2 cat6 lines to each cable outlet, that way you can use one for a video balun and one for network if needed. I have been in the low voltage trade for about 12 years now doing new construction and retrofit.. If you have any questions, just ask!

Good luck!


Author:  TxDot [ Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: House Homerun or structured wiring

GGHTPC wrote:
First of congratulations on the new house.

I have been using my home office as an "Ice Bucket" to cool off :banana: for years. Last year, I upgraded our home with a gigabit network.

I bought 800' of CAT6 from craigslist for $50, crimping tool for $20 :beerme: If you are retrofitting, your challenge will be to fish the wires through the walls. My strategy was to piggy back on coax runs. This way I was able to drop a new Cat6 cable in the same wall cell where the coax lives. Depending on the need, I was able to simply switch wall plates and insert RJ45 jacks without cutting the wall. Only in one case, I had to open the wall and install a brand new box. I am using OnQ/Legard inserts and wall plates. You should be able to find the coax runs in your house in the attic or crawl space.

Chances are they all converge in one area to go out of a floor. To cross floors, my buddy taught me a neat trick - I simply drilled a hole from the 2nd floor in a corner (above my garage) and then pressed through the sheet rock with a skewer (cat6 was duct taped to it). After neatly tucking the Cat6 run on both sides of the floor, close the hole with "Great Stuff". If you don't want to push a whole bunch of wires through a corner, you can terminate all the run in a floor to a switch and connect two floors using a backbone.

All my network equipment neatly fit in a wall unit from OnQ. I don't use OnQ's switch, I use a gigabit switch and wireless router :P Let me know if I can offer you any more details.

Where do you have your wireless router mounted? I like the idea of a nice neat wall unit but it seems that putting the wireless router inside of it wouldn't work well. Having it outside the cabinet defeats (at least to a degree) the wall unit. Maybe you would post pictures?

Author:  EricE [ Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: House Homerun or structured wiring

T-Bone wrote:
Thanks for the info. Im trying to find parts for my network right now. Im not sure who makes the best patch panels. With all the runs and ability to install camera's Looks like Ill need a 48 and a 24. I have about 55 cables going in. A friend of mine said patch panel is a patch panel. I just want something good that wont be a bottle neck.

Yes, for the most part and especially at home and with the short run you have, patch panels are patch panels. Holy cow - others recommending Leviton for home? I mean it's good stuff but talk about overkill 8)

First, great site: Lots of good info there.

For general parts for your system I would use Monoprice. I have lots of stuff from them and it works great.

Patch panels: ... 1&format=2

Since you are talking about 55 (!!) cables that's a 96 port panel. It's about $10 more for cat6 so you might as well. Parts are going to be the least cost - labor is huge, even if you do it yourself (which you should, it's ridiculously easy to run and terminate cable)

4 U wall bracket to mount that panel to the wall: ... 1&format=2 If you want to get a coax panel and wall mount it, spring for the 7U panel (the 96 port panel is 4 U and the coax panel would be 1 U so you need 5 U - 7 U gives you some room to grow).

Wall Plates: ... p_id=10517

Jacks to go into the wall plates: ... p_id=10513

In most parts of the country low voltage like network cable does not have to be in a box, so these wall brackets are a great way to mount a data wall plate to the sheetrock - just cut the right sized hole in your sheetrock, put the bracket in, pull the cable through, punch down to the jacks, snap the jacks into the wall plate, attach the wall plate to the bracket in the wall: ... 25#1042507 They simply grip the sheetrock holding the bracket into place, the wall plate screws into the bracket. Not appropriate for locations with 110V power!

Bulk cable: ... p_id=10234

Punchdown tool to punch the cable down to your patch panel at one end, and your wall jacks at the other end: ... 1&format=2

Patch cables to go from the patch panel to your switch, and you'll also need patch cables to go from the wall to your devices on the other end: ... p_id=10232 So many colors to pick from!

Installing is pretty easy once you get the cable pulled from your central location of your patch panel to each drop. Assemble the drop locations with the instructions I provided above. For where your patch panel will be located, I highly recommend getting a scrap piece of at least half inch plywood, although 3/4 is better, and give yourself about three times the amount of space you think you will need - if you can swing it. Ideally your cable will be coming down from the attic in to the wall cavity, and then out through a hole in the sheetrock where your patch panel will go. Cut a hole in the back of the plywood in the right spot so the cables coming out the wall can get through the hole after the plywood is mounted, then mount the plywood to the wall. Mount the wall bracket for your patch panel to the plywood and punch down all your cables to the patch panel. Poke the extra cable back into the wall and that's pretty much it.

Now a couple of tips. First, punching down the jacks and the punchdown panel is not that hard. It's color coded! Just pick one of the standards (568A or 568B) and stick with it. If you can color by numbers you can punch down a network cable. I think 568B is the more common of the two and what I have used in the past. Yes, the punch down tool will befuddle you the first couple of times you use it - but it's pretty straightforward once you actually do it a few times and stop over-analyzing it 8) If not there are tutorials on smallnetbuilder and youtube that show you exactly what to do. Second, leave extra cable in the walls! The last commercial building I worked in, the installer left an extra three feet or so in the wall behind each drop. That is, the cable came down from the ceiling, went a good 1.5 to 2 feet beyond the box, then looped back up to the box. That extra cable gives you slack that makes punching down the jacks easier, and lets you change your wiring configuration a few times before running out of cable in the wall. It get's harder near the patch panel, especially if you are anticipating 56 cables! So, split the bundle between two stud bays. Put half on one side of a 2x4 then the other half on the other side of a 2x4 - hopefully you have two cavities that don't have electrical in them. Again, let the cable come down from the attic, pass up where your hole is and inside the wall loop back up to your hole and then out to the patch panel. Makes punching down loads easier too!

Oh yeah, don't run data cable parallel to electrical cable. It causes interference and can induce enough current to cause hardware failure if you run it parallel long enough. It's always best to cross electrical perpendicular to power for the least amount of interference. Fluorescent ceiling lights and their ballasts should be given a wide birth and avoided at all costs - keeping at least a couple of feet away should be sufficient.

Good luck! I'm pulling about 24 cables in some conduit (thank goodness I had the sense to add it when the house was being built!) from my basement to my attic to hit all my bedrooms probably tomorrow after the temperature dives here. I've estimated out the length of each run and have all of them cut so I can make one pull as my conduit is going to be pretty full. Even so I'm still pulling a pice of nylon pull twine with the cable to leave in the conduit in case I attempt to stuff more into it :) I already have 12 drops on my first floor that came up through my basement into each location. My patch panels are under the stairs in my basement.

My switch came with "ears" to mount to a rack - most switches (not all so check if you can) support rotating the ears 90 degrees so you can wall mount the switch - it's trivial to mount to plywood if you followed my advice and put the plywood on the wall 8) The cable modem from my cable company had screw holes on the bottom so it was easy to mount it to the wall/plywood as well - and my router was an embedded PC that was wall mountable. I upgraded it to an HP Microserver I got on sale, so I picked up some shelf brackets from the local hardware store, again had a piece of scrap plywood to make a shelf on top of the brackets to support my router. I need two more brackets to use with another piece of scrap I have to make a second shelf for my WHS to sit on.

If you have cats or earthquakes :lol: these guys are awesome: ... 1&format=2 They have screw holes - screw 'em into your plywood and then use cable ties to secure the stuff on the shelves to the wall so it can't slide off. Makes a very neat and secure installation. I set up a server for my vet and I took advantage of the plywood on the wall in her office the alarm guys put up (they covered the whole wall and only used 1/3 of it - sweet!) to put a shelf and then secure the devices on the shelf as she does have roaming cats from time to time!

If you are OCD like me, you'll probably want to wall mount your outlet strip and then use those cable tie mounts to secure all the power cabling to the wall. Don't go nuts with the network cabling - you don't want sharp right angle corners - gentle bends. I generally don't like to strap the network cabling down. I do have fun with color coding - a red patch cord goes from my cable modem to the WAN port on my router/firewall, and green from the LAN port on my router/firewall to my switch. Orange to the server, and grey from the switch to the patch panels (I have two 12 port wall mounts, but now wish I would have gone with what I recommended for you!)

Also notice that Monoprice has coax cable and ends - again, the first couple of times you crimp a connector onto coax will be wierd but it gets easier pretty quickly. They have wall mountable panels for coax too, although I just bring it out of the wall and into a splitter mounted to - you guessed it - the plywood. Notice a theme with the plywood? It's your canvas for your cabling :beerme:

Then again if none of your runs are over 100 feet (remember, you have to go up the wall, add an extra two feet for bends, from top of wall to attic, etc. then over to your drop location, another couple of feet plus probably six feet down to the wall outlet) you can just pull their pre-made coax cable and screw the end into the back of the keystoene jack at the wall drop and then directly into your splitter at your central location. If you have extra cable that won't fit in the wall, neatly coil the extra in the attic (just not near power cable!). I had the coax and crimp tools so I'm pulling raw cable, but if you are only talking a handfull of runs under 100 feet total just get the pre-made cables and move on.

For each of my bedrooms I'm dropping a coax for TV/Cable and two networks (for a Tivo and Game console or box like AppleTV/Roku). I'm using a three hole wall plate with two data and one coax of the keystone jacks. In my office upstairs I have a wallplate with four drops on one wall for my computers, Tivo and a printer as well as a coax. Since they don't make a five hole plate I just got a six and plugged one of the holes with a blank. On the other side of that wall is my master bedroom with a two network/coax drop - convenient! The other side of the upstairs office has a wall plate with two drops for another printer I have and future expansion as I also dropped a coax there too in case I wish to move the TV to a different wall.

Of you do it all yourself, you could easily do the network for under $1000 and that would include a switch or two. BTW - a fantastic switch for home since it has very good performance and agressive power savings: ... 6833156294 On sale for $99 - a great deal! Wall wart free which is another bonus.

As for home automation - forget Creston. Again, good stuff but ridiculously expensive for average home use. Zwave is a step up from X10 and seems to be picking up steam. The Schlage locks that they want to charge you $10 a month to access over the Internet can be operated for free if you have a Zwave controller and some home automation software. Theres a ton of programs out there and most will run on your windows home server just fine. I'm running HomeSeer on my Windows Home Server with a USB two port serial port - one for the Zwave controller and the other serial port for my alarm system (haven't finished that project yet - d'oh!) There are outlets, switches and plug-in modules for lamps and other stuff. You want to start sinking money, get into home automation :rofl: SmartHouse can be good, but they can also be expensive. And they push Insteon which was their answer to X10. What I like about Zwave is every device is two way, and they have radios as well as use powerline communication. The network is self forming and self repairing, and Zwave devices will repeat for other zwave devices that are out of range of your master zwave controller. The practical upshot - setting up a Zwave network is literally plug and play/set it and forget it. Unlike X10 where sometimes only half the devices would work unless the dryer was on and other weirdness. If you want to know why the dryer was significant I can explain....

There might be other home automation software now, and it may be cheaper - but check out the user base and support forums for it. One of the big reasons I picked HomeSeer was they have a VERY active and fanatical userbase where getting tech support - like in this forum - is easy and plentiful. That level of support can be worth more than the cost of the software over time...

Author:  EricE [ Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: House Homerun or structured wiring

TxDot wrote:
Where do you have your wireless router mounted? I like the idea of a nice neat wall unit but it seems that putting the wireless router inside of it wouldn't work well. Having it outside the cabinet defeats (at least to a degree) the wall unit. Maybe you would post pictures?

You want a central location with as few walls as possible between the router and where you will be using devices the most with it. Since your wiring your house, I'm going to assume any desktop PC's will be wired (bravo!). So I'd assume the place you will use the wireless the most will be your living room with a laptop and/or cell phone/tablet.

If your wifi router is also your firewall (and thus needs to be connected to your cable modem as well as your network switch) that's not a big deal - run an extra drop to the living room location where your router will be so you can run from the cable modem to your router, and then a drop back to the switch in your central location. Or put the cable modem in your living room with the router. There is no right way to do it 8)

I put my wifi router in my living room when I first moved in just because that's where my only drop was for cable and thus the cable modem as well. I find I like having it visible where I can watch the activity lights - if that matters not to you than have at it.

At my parents house, my mother really isn't that interested in seeing flickering lights - indeed, that's a negative for her :) so I put their router on top of a bookshelf. It gives it good coverage for the house - even though it's in a corner of the house - and keeps it out of sight, which is my mom's main concern. It's in their living room which is where she uses her laptop and my dad uses his iPad, so for them it's the best spot. All other equipment in the house is hardwired.

Author:  T-Bone [ Wed May 23, 2012 8:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: House Homerun or structured wiring

So things are progressing a little slowly on my networking project then I had hoped. I got my cabinet rack and 1-24 port patch panel. Currently, Ive had to funnel all my money into replacing my water heater and bringing it up to code. It was an old house so wanted to make sure it was done right. Being as my garage was a mixture of plywood and unfinished sheet rock I had to get that all taken care of to pass the cities inspection. The garage is completely done except for some shelving and a work bench. Looks nice but way way to expensive.

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Author:  T-Bone [ Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: House Homerun or structured wiring

This project couldnt be going any slower if it was moving backwards. Well had another setback in the wiring of the house, sink clogged up and caused me a world of pain. We called plumber out check sink and when he went to snake the clean out on the outside of the house, it broke off in the wall. It ended up costing up 3750 to replumb the kitchen which ended up with cutting a 4x2 foot section out of the new drywall we put up in the garage to replumb a vent that was completely clogged. While he was under the house we had him look at the rest of the plumbing lines as the were also galanized. Yep you guessed it they didnt look that great either. We video snaked the lines to see what condition they were in and in the front yard there was a huge bow which caused standing water. So after a long long decision making process and a lot of talking it over with the other 1/2 we ended up biting the bullet and getting the rest of the house done to the street. So after another 10000 Im putting this project oh hold til next year maybe tax return can bring this project back from the dead.

I have been getting equiptment as I see deals so hopefully it wont be as bad when I restart the project.

Author:  T-Bone [ Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: House Homerun or structured wiring

So this project is still limping along. right when I thought I was going to catch a break my HVAC system gave up the ghost. When we bought our house the home inspector told us the unit was only 5 years old. Come to find out the heater was 20 and the ac was 21. So we decided to invest and get the highest efficiency unit we could. This translated into getting a lennox Signature series unit. because of this the project got a false start this year. I ended up getting a bigger cabinet for my network equiptment. I have also hung the unit, which is a good start. one thing that im thinking about doing before officially holding on the rest of the install is putting my internet in the cabinet.

Im also thinking about getting this when I move the server into the cabinet. ... MT1500RM2U

Any one have experiance with a unit like this?

There are numerous types of cat 6 cable how to I know what one to get there is UTP, STP, an what looks to be different frequencies. my patch panel is Leviton eXtreme cat6+ not sure if that makes a difference. I have found out that quickport connectors are ungodly expensive.

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Author:  T-Bone [ Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: House Homerun or structured wiring

So my project is still going forward but really really slowly. So, I'm getting parts from eBay (24 port and 48 port Leviton patch panel Killer deal I got both new $200-ish). I'm getting cable from a vendor at worked (leftover stock they would trash). I got the network cabinet from a demo at work for $200.

So I've been reading a little about cabling and talking to the vendor about my project. I have heard you can get 10G from cat6a cabling. I'm wondering if cat6 is good enough or should I move to cat6a? I would have to start over. since Ive only installed the cabinet this might be the best place to start over.

I'm thinking about having conduit installed based on this post:


As I'm looking at installing insulation soon I would like to protect my investment and be able to pull new cable if the need arises. Plus it would protect my cable from anyone in the crawl space or attic that could disturb what I have installed.

We have been also doing some audio installs at work, which makes for the perfect time to talk to audio installers about what I want to do at the house. while no one likes to work on peoples homes they usually don't mind pointing you in the right direction. So my next question is HDMI. I've been told that there are new HDMI cables on the market that are a hybrid cable of fiber and copper. They can now run about 300 feet. This would be easier then finding the parts to do a cat-linc setup. I could run 2 or 3 cables to each TV location and problem solved. The cable is one directional (there is a transmit and receive end). Cat-linc on the other hand lets me run longer lengths and I can change ends if technology changes. It would also be easier to run all the cable to the garage then to shelving in the front room.

for the high end euiptment like AV, DVD/Blu-ray player or PS3/4 I would like to keep on shelving in the front room or bonus room. I would like to put all the switchers and such in the garage. This way It would be easier to switch cables around.

Author:  Ruben Rocha [ Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: House Homerun or structured wiring

For hdmi cables I have been using atlona.
I had a lot of issues with other brands due to hdcp problems.
Never had one with atlona
They used to make a flat cable with internet with extended lengths up to 200 feet.
It is discontinued now but they now have Atlona LinkConnect PRO Select High Speed HDMI Cable w/Ethernet
up to 50 feet. And it is certified not just listed to tomorrows standards
I don't think you will find any other hdmi cable with similar specs. And it is rated to be run in walls. ... ernet.html

Now I don't get why you would desire 300 feet,myself I have always tried to keep hdmi as short as possible, there are issues with long runs on hdmi and signal loss and hdcp. That is why you see three meter limits on most other brands of hdmi.

back to conduit.
The user stated it is just central vac pipe.
well that is like 1 1/4 inch pipe. but they usually use plumbing fittings for 90's and 45's.
This is not ideal for pulling wires in. I am talking about the bending radius of the fittings. The pipe size is going to be how big you need for how may wires are in the run. 1 inch or 3/4 may be fie for a normal say tv outlet with two coax and two cat5 cables but a hdmi cable will need a pipe size to fit the end in and with leftover room to get around the bends.
Due to a fish tape will not make it to the other end usually if you have say a 90.
also if it is a hard pull due to you filled the pipe using plumbing fittings.
Electrical fittings or bends have a gradual sweeping bend.
You need to contend with broken wires in the cable since they are usually 22 awg or smaller and the cable may not break but the wires inside may if it is a hard pull.
Also when you have to deal with cables with factory connectors.
the wires may fit but then when you bundle them together, the ends will need to be tapered back like a pencil to make room for them to fit in the pipe. So you may need several feet more per run and I suggest wire pulling compound

As far as cat version.
I would go with the highest I can afford minimum cat6 today.
Just bear in mind that the male and female jacks need to comply with cat6, so they cost more.
Also your patch panel may only be cat5 rated.
as far a number of cables I would add at least one extra per outlet for coax and cat6 as a minimum.

One last comment.
I saw in another post you mounted you tv on the wall and had the issue of the wires running up the wall.

Leviton makes a reb box you can mount behind the tv for power and signal. ... tion=39935
that you can fish in the wall to same below and it has a optional cover.
or for that matter buy a couple of cut in boxes or cut in rings and mount them behind the tv and do the same thing.
either one will look better than installing a cover running up the wall on the surface.

Author:  T-Bone [ Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: House Homerun or structured wiring

Thanks for the information Ruben Rocha.

The 300 feet was just a random example of range I saw. I was told about atlona, very nice stuff.

The conduit Im not sure if I would use anything like that I was thinking more like metal conduit or PVC. I have also seen seen this installed on some UPS's at work: ... quid+tight
I figured this would work nicely.

Yeah the minimum that I am going to do is Cat6. I have leviton Cat6 Extreme 6+ patch panels currently. The Cat6A panels are a little expensive running 400-600 for the 2 I own. I only paid 139 for the 48 port and 100 for the 24 port. I think I'm going to put the dream of cat6a to bed I can't afford that at all

Yeah those are pics of Dbones install. I do have my TV mounted to the wall but already ran power to the rear of TV. As soon as I get my network wiring going Ill have ethernet and coax behind there also. I have just an outlet but Ive been looking at something like this as I move forward ... tv-box.htm

Author:  Ruben Rocha [ Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: House Homerun or structured wiring

liquidtight is okay but ENT(electrical non metallic conduit) serves the same purpose and you can get it for a lot less.
liquidtight is made for outdoors and rain/wet areas where ent is not.
you can get it at any electrical supply house or lowes or home depot.
it comes in a couple of colors.
blue is usually used for power circuits and orange for communication.

Some people call it smurf pipe. because when it first came out there was only blue

Author:  T-Bone [ Fri Jul 31, 2015 11:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: House Homerun or structured wiring

So its been a long while since i posted on this topic. Lots of things have happened some good and some bad that kept me from working on my home network wiring. I have plans to install a few cables in a couple weeks. I do have some questions, as I have gotten smarter and done more research my equipment has changed. I originally planned on running everything over ethernet with baluns, while I still think this is do able I have been talked into at least running HDMI to 2 Tvs. The Main front room tv and the tv my son uses in our "game room". This makes the signal more reliable since Im not in the position to put down a couple grand on a matrix switcher. so Ive got 3 tvs locations Ill be running cable; 1) My bedroom 2) front room 3) game room. The bedroom tv will get power (of course) 6 cat6 and 2 Coax cables, this seems pretty standard from what I've read. This allows extra cable or 2 for just in case and the rest to route video, internet and future proof. The Game room Im going to do power, 6 cat6, 2 HDMI, 2 coax. Since Im going to be running HDMI to this TV I think 6 Cat6 is overkill and 4 might be enough? The Front room Im running power, 6 cat6, 3 HDMI, 2 Coax, and surround sound in the future. There is a cabinet under my tv I use for decoration, I was thinking to run 1 HDMI down the inside of the wall to this spot under the TV. This allows me to avoid wires running up the outside of the wall if I use the cabinet to hold electronics, I would also run 2-4 cat6 plugs. These plug would serve internet to the devices on the cabinet and give me a convent location to plug into when I want to hardwire. If I do this do you think 6 cat6 behind TV is too much? I was thinking about reducing it to 4. I want to do best practice but some of what I'm thinking about it a little overkill. i want to avoid putting to much in and really wasting time and money... Guidance would be very much appreciated. No turning back now I've already committed money to getting this done in the next 2 weeks. Just need help finalizing best practice solutions to the problems I listed.

Author:  Ruben Rocha [ Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: House Homerun or structured wiring

Well I don't know why you would run 6 cat cables to a tv.
Most tv's if they have a ethernet port only have one.

But anyway FYI.
Not all HDMI cables are rated for in the wall installations.
I know that atlona did have some hdmi cables rated for in wall use.

Author:  T-Bone [ Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: House Homerun or structured wiring

Yeah I got atlona cl2 or 3 rated cable.

My thinking for Ethernet was the Bulans usually take 2 cables an if I put Apple TV or something behind TV that's another cable. Plus rs232 over Ethernet also for home automation like control4

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