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 Post subject: Home Network Layout help
PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:41 pm 
Klamath
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Gentleman, long time with no problems, so... :D

I am finally getting around to running a network throughout the house, and I need some guidance on where to put everything.

Hopefully I have all the info you need, but feel free to yell at me if I don't.

I have a three story house (basement, first, second), and right now I have my main box, WHS, and the router/modem/WAP on the top (second) floor office.

I want a plug in each bedroom on the top floor.

The second floor will have the HTPC, PS3, and TV in the den. I will also need a plug for the kitchen and library.

The basement is my woodworking shop, and really only needs a single plug at this point.

My question is should I leave the hardware in the office, and run from there or move everything but the WHS to the basement? Do I leave the WAP upstairs for better range?

Currently I have an older Linksys 8 port router, a Netopia 3310 modem, a Linksys WAP, and a Cisco 16 port switch.

I will upgrading those later, but now I need to know how best to run the wire.

Ok, what else.... Oh, the kids have a desk top, and want to watch movies stored on the server on their rooms. The wife wants the same movies on the plasma downstairs (hence the HTPC). I tried using PS3 Media server, but wireless is not working out so well.

If I can't use the crap I have, tell me what I need to get.

Please. :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 6:26 pm 
Hired Gun
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Where you place the equipment is dependent on the configuration of the house, and personal preference. A central location in the house is best if possible, especially with WiFi. It also keeps your cable runs shorter. Not a big issue in a house since, unless you live in a huge house, you won't exceed 100 meters on any single run. The main thing you want to keep in mind is ventilation. All that equipment in one area will produce quite a bit of heat. Basements are almost always cooler than the rest of the house, but if you have the equipment in a room with AC, it would be better then a basement that doesn't have AC in the summer. You also mentioned that you use your basement as a wood shop. Saw dust and computer equipment doesn't mix. That alone would detour me from suggesting putting all your equipment in the basement. Where ever you put your equipment keep in mind you will have quite a few cables running into that location that can be a big eye sore, which is why a lot of people put their central control panel in a basement, closet or in the garage. Remember to keep it aesthetically appeasing. A wire networked home raises the value of the house if it's done right, but if you have a mess of cables poking out of the wall with no wall plates, or out of a vent, it will turn off potential buyers.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:04 pm 
Klamath
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I keep my tools in a room that gets little dust now, and today I enclosed it better to house the junction.

I would like to stash the modem, router and switch in the basement, and leave the server upstairs.

Should I run a separate lead from the switch to each item in a given room, or can I run a single wire into that room, then split it? (eg: TV, PS3, HTPC in one room)

Coming from the modem to the router, what should plug into the router (8 port) vs the switch (16)?

I want to do this right so when I sell the house, someone else can take advantage of it.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:30 am 
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If you run just one line to each location, you'd then need a switch there to plug more than one device into. Obviously, wall ports are quite a bit cheaper than switches.
Don't worry about how much the cable costs - when you're wiring a house, getting the big pull-pack spool (it's a spool in a box) is the only sensical way to buy. ;)

As to what you connect to the router vs the switch: assuming that both have the same switching speed (say, 10/100), it really doesn't matter.
But, if one is faster, connect to that the things that you want to have a faster LAN connection (remember that this doesn't affect your internet speed one bit.)
That's how mine is set up - most of my stuff is connected to a 10/100 switch; however, my two Media Centers, 3 HDHomeruns, and two 360s are connected to a Gb switch (and, then main MC box's NIC gets rather busy when everything is in use.)
I value A/V data quality over speed of file tansfers to/from my WHS. ;)


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:38 pm 
Klamath
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Ok, after some reading I have some more questions.

I am thinking I should have a minimum of 2 drops per room, and probably 4 in the den. With that thinking I am going to kill my old 16 port switch.

Should I just suck it up and buy a nice 24 port switch?

Suggestions?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:18 pm 
Hired Gun
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This is the guide I used when I wired my house a few years ago. It should give you some good ideas.

As far as a bigger switch goes, it's more cost effective if you just add a second Switch. Adding an 8-port switch will give you 7 more ports and save you a lot of money. You can buy an 8 port gigabit switch for around $50.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:49 pm 
Klamath
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Thank you Hitman, that guide was the one I was looking for. I had read it awhile ago, and could not find it again.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:24 pm 
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Um, Hit? It's a net gain of 6 ports. ;)
where s1 is the first switch (or, router's switch), and s2 is the second switch:
s1_total_ports + s2_total_ports - 2 (connecting ports - one on each) = total ports.
So (example) 16 + 8 - 2 = 22.

But, even so, adding an 8- (or even 16-) port switch is far cheaper than throwing it all out, and buying a 24-port switch.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:29 pm 
Hired Gun
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cup wrote:
Um, Hit? It's a net gain of 6 ports. ;)
where s1 is the first switch (or, router's switch), and s2 is the second switch:
s1_total_ports + s2_total_ports - 2 (connecting ports - one on each) = total ports.
So (example) 16 + 8 - 2 = 22.

But, even so, adding an 8- (or even 16-) port switch is far cheaper than throwing it all out, and buying a 24-port switch.


Yeah I forgot about loosing 1 port on each end.

Ayrton wrote:
Thank you Hitman, that guide was the one I was looking for. I had read it awhile ago, and could not find it again.


While your running cable, you might think about running COAX and/Phone lines at the same time.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:08 pm 
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That's a good point.
Aside from that you'll most likely need (or want) the other two at the same location, and that you'll already be semi-shambled to do the job in the first place, and that a spool of RG6 (and, for that matter, a spool of phone wire (or Cat3) isn't expensive....
1- it's not all that hard to tape a couple of wires to what you're already pulling;
2- RG6 will take a fantastic amount of abuse when you're pulling it - far more than Cat5e or Cat6 will. Far better to pull directly on coax than on network cable (for where you absolutely have to use a fish tape and/or fish sticks.)

That, actually, is how I did my house when I pulled a network several years ago - (re)wire everything, and terminate it all in a nice, proper box in the laundry room (in the basement.)
And, you know what? The phones worked better with new, 'proper' wiring (instead of the spliced-and-respliced mess that it was), and my cable reception improved immensely (before, it was a split-and-resplit mess.)
Plus, it's all nice and clean now; and, I know where everything runs to - no more 'mystery splices.'


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:47 pm 
Klamath
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That may open another can of worms...

Currently we are a Direct TV house, but the wife is working me for AT&T U-verse.

I have phone jacks in most rooms, and can access most of the existing wiring. Replacing the current phone wires is doable, and I assume U-verse would use the same network.

All of this is just something to get us by for another couple of years. I would love to go all out, but I have plenty of house projects that have to be done as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:12 pm 
Hired Gun
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Ayrton wrote:
That may open another can of worms...

Currently we are a Direct TV house, but the wife is working me for AT&T U-verse.

I have phone jacks in most rooms, and can access most of the existing wiring. Replacing the current phone wires is doable, and I assume U-verse would use the same network.

All of this is just something to get us by for another couple of years. I would love to go all out, but I have plenty of house projects that have to be done as well.


It was only a suggestion, not every home is the same, and not all needs are the same.

When I wired my house I actually wired it for both CATV and Direct TV, because at the time I didn't know which service I would get. It's a little extra work, but it gives you options. I just labeled the jacks CATV or SAT.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:08 am 
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Hitman wrote:

When I wired my house I actually wired it for both CATV and Direct TV, because at the time I didn't know which service I would get. It's a little extra work, but it gives you options. I just labeled the jacks CATV or SAT.


Just a question on this. Couldn't use use the same wiring for cable and sat? I guess you would need two different sources coming into your junction box, but once there it could use the same cable? Or where you looking at having both cable and sat going at the same time?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:48 am 
Hired Gun
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jlh304 wrote:
Hitman wrote:

When I wired my house I actually wired it for both CATV and Direct TV, because at the time I didn't know which service I would get. It's a little extra work, but it gives you options. I just labeled the jacks CATV or SAT.


Just a question on this. Couldn't use use the same wiring for cable and sat? I guess you would need two different sources coming into your junction box, but once there it could use the same cable? Or where you looking at having both cable and sat going at the same time?


SAT unlike CATV needs a box for every TV. Most boxes will run two TV's, so that requires a jumper between the box and the second TV. CATV you can just split off the main source. If you had a box in every room you could run it off the same cable setup as CATV but that would be a waste of money.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 6:14 am 
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Hitman wrote:

SAT unlike CATV needs a box for every TV. Most boxes will run two TV's, so that requires a jumper between the box and the second TV. CATV you can just split off the main source. If you had a box in every room you could run it off the same cable setup as CATV but that would be a waste of money.


Yeap, I total forgot about needing multi boxes. :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Home Network Layout help
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:02 pm 
Klamath
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Ok, I have now run 4 drops to almost every room in the house. I managed to not destroy anything, and only had one wall "fubar". :mrgreen:

I have been cruising craigslist looking for some larger switches, and today I thought I have snagged an HP 2650 48 port. I was too late on that one, but it made me want to ask if there is any brand of model I should either look out for, or avoid.

I am eyeballing a pair of D-Link 24 models now.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:19 pm 
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cup wrote:
That's a good point.
Aside from that you'll most likely need (or want) the other two at the same location, and that you'll already be semi-shambled to do the job in the first place, and that a spool of RG6 (and, for that matter, a spool of phone wire (or Cat3) isn't expensive....
1- it's not all that hard to tape a couple of wires to what you're already pulling;
2- RG6 will take a fantastic amount of abuse when you're pulling it - far more than Cat5e or Cat6 will. Far better to pull directly on coax than on network cable (for where you absolutely have to use a fish tape and/or fish sticks.)

That, actually, is how I did my house when I pulled a network several years ago - (re)wire everything, and terminate it all in a nice, proper box in the laundry room (in the basement.)
And, you know what? The phones worked better with new, 'proper' wiring (instead of the spliced-and-respliced mess that it was), and my cable reception improved immensely (before, it was a split-and-resplit mess.)
Plus, it's all nice and clean now; and, I know where everything runs to - no more 'mystery splices.'


You have the kind of house that us cable guys love to work on. The did it right kind of house.

Ayrton wrote:
That may open another can of worms...



Currently we are a Direct TV house, but the wife is working me for AT&T U-verse.



I have phone jacks in most rooms, and can access most of the existing wiring. Replacing the current phone wires is doable, and I assume U-verse would use the same network.



All of this is just something to get us by for another couple of years. I would love to go all out, but I have plenty of house projects that have to be done as well.

If you have not run new lines yet and are thinking of U-Verse I would run a 2nd or even 3rd cat5e line. At&T sends everything through the router and out to remote boxes using cat5e if its there. I think i makes it much easier for them. They can use coax but I believe they prefer the cat5e.


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 Post subject: Re: Home Network Layout help
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:51 pm 
Klamath
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I think we are sticking with Direct TV, and may go U Verse for internet and phone.

I have already ran the cat wire, and am just waiting on my plates and jacks. Once that and my tester show up, the madness will begin next week.

I will use the hardware I have now, and watch to snag a bigger switch.


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