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Old 08-03-2008, 10:59 PM   #1
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Multi-story Ethernet cable runs


I am looking in to running an Ethernet cable(or two) from my office upstairs to the living room downstairs in my place.

I do not have a basement, just a small crawl space in the attic that's maybe 36" high at the peak

I'm looking for suggestions on how to make this job as easy as possible. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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Old 08-04-2008, 07:47 AM   #2
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Multi-story Ethernet cable runs


hook a small stone to a thread. Throw the stone to the other side of the place and then pull the network cable with the thread

If you have large size pipes - hook a wire to a piece of plastic bag and push it in one end. Suck it from the other end with a vacuum cleaner

If you have any pipes there - there is a tool for this. It is made of thick plastic wire with metallic loops in the ends. You push it to the pipe and then pull in the wires in with it (pulling it out) It is called shtalband or something similar in slang (once they were made of steel bands)




You may use a single cat 5 cable to connect 2 computers - If you dont mind connection at 10 mbps or 100 mbps half duplex (instead of true 100 mbps or 1000 mbps)

Instead of connecting all 8 wires connect only the orange and the green pairs (pins 1 2 3 6 in the plug) and use the remaining wires for the other computer

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Old 08-04-2008, 07:58 AM   #3
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Multi-story Ethernet cable runs


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Originally Posted by Ash View Post
hook a small stone to a thread. Throw the stone to the other side of the place and then pull the network cable with the thread

If you have large size pipes - hook a wire to a piece of plastic bag and push it in one end. Suck it from the other end with a vacuum cleaner

If you have any pipes there - there is a tool for this. It is made of thick plastic wire with metallic loops in the ends. You push it to the pipe and then pull in the wires in with it (pulling it out) It is called shtalband or something similar in slang (once they were made of steel bands)

You may use a single cat 5 cable to connect 2 computers - If you dont mind connection at 10 mbps or 100 mbps half duplex (instead of true 100 mbps or 1000 mbps)

Instead of connecting all 8 wires connect only the orange and the green pairs (pins 1 2 3 6 in the plug) and use the remaining wires for the other computer
Actually Ash what I think you are referring to is called Fish Tape, and in the US it usually is flat steel. They come in many lengths, I think the one I have is 125 feet and has done just about everything I've needed it to do.

Also, you are wrong on the Ethernet split pairs. Standard 10/100 only uses 2 pairs even for full duplex, gigabit uses all 4 pairs. So you could split the pairs and still have 2 10/100 connections in full duplex. I have on occasion split the pairs when the run is rather long or if its difficult to run a second line and I only need one extra jack. Just about any tester will call it a bad cable or "open" on pins 4, 5, 7, 8.

Also, to run wire they make a tool (that I can't think of the name right now) that has multiple screw together sticks that basically allow you to "push" the wire rather than pull the wire as with a fish tape. Usually works pretty well in drop ceilings to not have to pull down every ceiling tile, though I think the intended use is to pull rather than push with this rod. Its not very bendable like the fish tape is, so its only really used for straight runs.
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:57 AM   #4
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Actually Ash what I think you are referring to is called Fish Tape, and in the US it usually is flat steel. They come in many lengths, I think the one I have is 125 feet and has done just about everything I've needed it to do.
I was planning on using some fish tape to guide my wire runs through the wall.

I'm mostly concerned about dealing with the obstacles in the wall along the way. I'm not too familiar with how houses are framed up but it seems like in order for me to run my wire I will need to drill a hole in the attic through the top of the frame on the wall on dropping and then inside the room below I'll need to cut out some drywall to drill another hole through the top of the frame for the first floor as well. Is this a good guess?
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:19 AM   #5
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Multi-story Ethernet cable runs


Exterior walls have insulation you will need to deal with. Interior walls are much easier. You are correct, you drill through the top plate of the wall, Usually 3" thick. Then you make a 2x4 inch hole in the drywall where you want the wire to come out. Push, pull, or fish the wire, install an old work electric box and a cover.
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:24 AM   #6
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Unfortunately the layout if my first floor is completely open so I'm definitely going to be dealing with an external wall.

Are there any tools that I might want to consider purchasing to minimize the amount of dry wall I'll need to cut out for the drilling through the top plate? I was already considering a 90 degree adapter for my drill.
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Old 08-04-2008, 10:23 AM   #7
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i'd cut a rectangular part of the wall with a disk and then insert it back
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:22 AM   #8
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And you don't want to use WiFi because ???

Regarding splitting the cable pairs for half duplex: Why bother when a hub/switch on one end will allow multiple computer usage. With 10/100/1000 (gigabit) ethernet you'll be hard pressed to saturate the connection.
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:39 AM   #9
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Wired network is healthier for people and better working for computers
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Old 08-04-2008, 01:24 PM   #10
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And you don't want to use WiFi because ???
Several reasons:
  1. XBox 360 lives in the Living room and I do not want to buy a WiFi adapter
  2. I do a lot of video streaming to the XBox so I want a nice full duplex connection to the XBox(AFAIK, all WiFi technologies except for the MIMO varieties are Half-Duplex)
  3. I don't like broadcasting everything I do on my network, WiFi is just for convenience. When I go to login to my bank I am going to make sure to use a wired connection.
  4. I think having GigE over copper in my house would be awesome.
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Old 08-04-2008, 05:19 PM   #11
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Multi-story Ethernet cable runs


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Unfortunately the layout if my first floor is completely open so I'm definitely going to be dealing with an external wall.

Are there any tools that I might want to consider purchasing to minimize the amount of dry wall I'll need to cut out for the drilling through the top plate? I was already considering a 90 degree adapter for my drill.
You did mention you had little height in the attic. Can you reach the top plate of the wall from up there to drill down into the wall cavity?

I do a lot of this type of work and I have long (up to 6 foot) flexible shaft drill bits which will drill up through the plate from a 2x4 access hole later used for the box. I also use fiberglass rods made for fishing wires.

But for a one shot project I would consider cutting and repairing the dry wall just below the top plate to make the hole. Or simply using a chisel to cut a groove in the plate boards for the wire and then covering the groove with a metal nail protection plate. Another hole down at receptacle height for the outlet box would make the fishing project fairly easy. Coat hangers can be used to fish the wire down the wall. Then patch and paint the drywall. The insulation will just make it slightly harder to fish the wire down the wall cavity.

Some times people wish to pay me more to take the time not to damage an antique crown molding or old lathe and plaster. That is when I need the special tools and extra time required to drill and fish.

I don't use WIFI in my home for the same reasons you stated. I like wires. They are faster and more secure.
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:29 PM   #12
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Multi-story Ethernet cable runs


Why would you go in your attic anyway?

You're going from 2nd floor down to first floor, correct?
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:57 PM   #13
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Why would you go in your attic anyway?

You're going from 2nd floor down to first floor, correct?
Actually in my house I had to go into the attic to run cable from the main level to the basement, due to where I wanted it to be run upstairs and where the data closet is downstairs (right outside the furnace room in the center of the basement). Went down an inside wall to run the main trunk of cable, and then it branches out to different areas upstairs. I find its easier to drop down from the ceiling to an outlet on the wall. Also, the basement ceiling is all finished so that wasn't really an option.
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:58 PM   #14
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Multi-story Ethernet cable runs


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Originally Posted by fungku View Post
Why would you go in your attic anyway?

You're going from 2nd floor down to first floor, correct?
Hmmm, good question.
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:20 PM   #15
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Why would you go in your attic anyway?

You're going from 2nd floor down to first floor, correct?
Correct, I am going from 2nd floor to first floor. I figured there was no way to run the cable under the floor to get the wire from where it starts upstairs over to the side of the house where it needs to drop to the first floor.

If there is better way, please, please tell me.

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