Saturday, 21 April 2012

Home Networking

Photo by Beth
We've just finished a fairly major project at home in doing up our living room (right).  It's been fairly major in that the room is quite large and has an open stair well so we've had to include the stairs and landing too.  It's been a complete overhaul with the fire you see in the picture having been fitted, the upstairs ceiling plastered, new carpets, a little wall paper hung, painted and thoroughly decorated.  However, one thing I wanted to do as part of the redecoration was to run Ethernet cable between the TV point in the right of the picture all the way around the room past the door on the left to the computer point in the kitchen.  Basically, I've been long since fed up of wireless being slow, if not dropping out entirely.  So here follows a few notes to remind myself what I did with the hope it might be useful to someone else out there too.

I started out by planning the route for the cable and researching the kit I would need to buy in order to complete the job.  I decided to channel the cable into the wall where the fire is, using a channel I had the fire fitter make behind the fire when it was fitted.  For the rest of the run along the green wall and into the kitchen the cables are sunk into the back of the skirting board. Having replaced the skirting, I routed out a channel just big enough for 2 Ethernet cables and re-hung the skirting back in place.

The next decision was what type of cable to buy, Cat 5e or Cat6, Solid Core or not?  I already knew I wanted 2 cables, driven mainly by the fact it seemed pointless just to run one and a lot of Ethernet wall face plates have 2 sockets in them so that's what I decided on.  Then I went shopping.

I already had a couple of single metal backing boxes to mount face plates on, the rest of my shopping list consisted of the following for the sum of just under 40 quid:

As you can tell from that little list, I decided to go with shielded Cat 6 and bought 2 cables with ends already attached.  I found it was cheaper to do this than to buy a reel of cable!  It was simple enough to cut the ends off and as you can tell from the rest of the list I decided to use whatever length was remaining to make up some Ethernet cables using the ends and crimper tool.

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