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Old 10-19-2012, 01:42 PM   #496
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1958 Ranch Home, Full of Character - First Home, First Major Project


Slow progress around here, lately.

Had the networking drops in the living room half way to where they need to be. Because I had to get through a block on each one, I figured it'd be best to run the drops extra long originally, then route them later. That turned out to take a lot longer than I had planned... at least 4 hours to drill the holes of a decent size and get the coathanger through. Even then, pulling the cables through, the coathangers kept coming un-taped, so it was mostly a manual job. After all of that, I terminated all 3 living room drops, clipped them into the face plates, and installed against the wall. Phew.

I then meticulously removed every face plate and mudded up any edge I'd messed up drilling... in the entire house. Waited for cure, sanded, second coat, waited for cure, buffed, painted, reinstalled face plates. That covered all of the pencil marks, dirt marks, spackle knife marks, etc. Everything looks many times better.

Today, I pulled the office apart again to get to the two pieces of drywall I had to remove. Mudded up one wall, finished mudding the closet, sanded both, and now I'm waiting a little bit to do the second coat of mud on the wall. Don't have enough mud for the second wall, so looks like I'll be headed into town for materials today. Also painted the top portion of the wiring closet. Hopefully it will dry so I can do a second coat, then knock out the shelves and put in the Rubbermaid closet today.

Also had the pest guy out a few days ago after seeing two mice and finding a few droppings. He cleared cobwebs, set glue and snap traps, sprayed for bugs around the perimeter and in the crawl space, etc. Apparently we must have opened up a hole into the house during the renovations. At least one trap has snagged a mouse and he's coming back to reset today. It did cost a little more, but now I know how to do it like the pros would, so future traps and will be set by me.

Edit: Also looked at the original color key I placed the networking materials order from... turns out I'd planned for the APs to be orange and, as such, ordered those parts in orange. Had to go back and tear down the red, then replace with orange.

Phew! It's going to be a long day.

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Old 10-20-2012, 05:45 PM   #497
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1958 Ranch Home, Full of Character - First Home, First Major Project


Been a busy day, again. :S

Turns out, I had a few pictures waiting on my camera.



This is what the back of each media drop looks like. In this case, it was taken from a living room drop (note the black keystones). Yes, the voice jacks fail Cat6 spec... but that's fine, because phone is designed on Cat3 specifications anyway.



Took this picture before I repainted over all of the pencil marks.
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:50 PM   #498
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Last night, I tore out the rest of the original 1950's painted wood shelves in the hall closet and spackled over all of the holes and messed up trowel texture.

This morning, I painted the bottom 2/3's of the wall and the ceiling, each with two coats.

Since the rest of the house will be getting crown eventually, I figured it would be easier to do it here before the closet was filled. Unfortunately, when I went to paint the crown, I realized I was out of interior trim paint. As a result, it went up with just primer for the time being. Yes, those are dirty fingerprints.

Also installed the 7U server rack on six drywall anchors with fender washers. They're rated at 51 lbs each in 5/8" drywall, but I'd bet this install wouldn't hold over 51 lbs total. Wish the mounting hardware had been included so it'd be black to match, but oh well.



Luckily the Paslode was still charged after sitting idle for almost 6 months. I got that in just before noon.



Chopped down a 4' top rail to fit this closet (28" wide), then filled it with shelves. As it turns out, the spacing is perfect, as the rails are 24" O.C. and the shelves are 26" wide. Had been ready to chop down shelves to fit, but was glad to find it wasn't necessary to.

Also installed baseboard. Again, without a finished coat of trim paint. :\
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:33 AM   #499
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I hate telephone punch down blocks. They're just so ugly and don't work well in a rack mount environment. In days past, an office would use a 25-line or 50-line punch down block with bridging clips selectively placed to share common groups. The major expense involved was paying for a technician to punch down each and every phone line individually. The Type-66 ones looked like so.



This one is a 50-pair version on eBay for $16 plus $8 S/H. I'm sure they could be had for under $20 shipped. They are big, cheap and ugly. They didn't fit in a rack environment (built before the 19" server rack was common), but rather directly on a wall, with or without a cover.

OnQ has made some smaller versions for use with their modular racks. Other companies have followed suit with similar products. Because they're specialized and specific to the manufacturer's bolt-in patterns, they can command a high price for them. These proprietary devices start at about $20 for a cheaper 6-pair and run well past $80 for a 12-port with additional features like coaxial or ethernet distribution.





Lower demand for wired voice blocks has made prices creep higher. Rack mount versions are difficult to find and far more expensive.

However, these can be essentially made at home in a rack-mount environment cheaply, bypassing the insane price markup on these devices... and that's what I did last night.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:06 AM   #500
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Start with a standard patch panel. I went with a 24-port model because that's the highest density you'll be able to reasonably find in 1U size. Even though I only needed 11 ports, the price difference between a 12-port model and a 24-model was only $2. Always plan for future expansion.



Additionally, I went with a Cat6 specification panel even though only a Cat5 model is required. This will allow me to re-use it if I ever wanted to go through and remove all of the telephone wiring for more ethernet wiring some day in the future - a difference of $2 again.

Here's what they look like.



The idea here is that you bridge all of the punch downs together so that each port is a mirror of each other.



To bridge the punch downs, we cut down about 6' of cable, then strip the jacket and untwist the pairs from each other. My whole install is to TIA/EIA 568-B specification, so the color key labeled "B" in the picture was used.



We continue with all 4 pairs of wire until every punch down slot is filled. Be careful not to use a Type-110 punch down tool that has a "cut" side labeled, otherwise you'll be spinning your wheels. A metal putty knife works well in a pinch.



When it's all done, you'll have done 192 punch downs. If any of them are bad, that port will not work properly on one or more lines. On a large 96-port 4U model, that would be 768 punch downs would have to be done without error... better off patching four 24-port models together than trying to wrangle that beast.

All 24 ports are now mirrored to each other. Plug the incoming line in on Port 1 or 24 or whatever you like, and the rest will have a dial tone on all activated (paid for) lines. This is how I have 4 phone lines going to each of 9 locations.

Total cost, about $25 with tax and shipping. Total time spent, 90 minutes.
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:42 PM   #501
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Just finished the cable chase. Thought I was going to have to wait until Wednesday for parts to come mail-order. Luckily I was able to find them locally at a reasonable price.

Originally wanted a 3-gang or 4-gang grommet plate setup. However, they only seem to go up to 2-gang. Ended up instead with three 1-gang decora-style brush plates.



I cut in and installed a 3-gang low-voltage plate, then screwed in all three 1-gang brush plates, then covered with a 3-gang decora cover that I had purchased separately.



There color isn't a perfect match (matte white plastic plate vs gloss white nylon plate), but it's close enough that I couldn't tell the difference visually once installed.

Now to start bundling, bending a service look, and then zip-tieing. Wish I'd bought a cable comb...
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:29 PM   #502
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Service loops are done.


Flipped the shelf up-side-down and installed it to simulate a hard floor for where the switch will sit. That way, I knew exactly how long I could make them without loading downward force onto the switch from hanging loops.

Ready to punch down the networked ports. Port order and color scheme are created.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:35 PM   #503
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Finished punching down the first 18 jacks. That completes the 18 active ethernet runs.



Next, 9 telephone runs, 9 coax runs, 9 spare ethernet runs, 4 access point runs, two cable demark runs, and two phone demark runs.

Wow, that makes it sound depressing!
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:28 PM   #504
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Progress!



Started on the 2U patch panel. Not sure I'm a big fan of the way the keystones stick out, honestly. I only ordered the 2U because I was worried about the width of the Cat6 keystones due to some of the product reviews; the fit is tight, but I could fill all 24-ports without a problem. Ordered two 1U patch panels like the one below it to replace it and will have to re-dress the service loops to match.

The white keystones are the telephone ports. They'll be pulled off and re-punched with ivory keystones to visually differentiate them from the spare ethernet ports. The leftover white ports will go on the unterminated spare ethernet cables.

I'm going to need 18 patch cables from the lowest patch panel to the switch; 9 patch cables from the telephone patch panel to the telephone distribution panel; and a few spares from the spare ethernet ports on the patch panel to the switch. I'll also need to patch in the router to the switch, router to the access point patches, access points to their wall plates, etc.

Patch cables will have to be measured out, and I'll probably color coordinate. I mean... why not if I'm going this far? Already have a few test cables on hand for measuring out: 6", 1', 2', 3', 5', 7'. Since patch cables are difficult to make by hand to Cat6 spec, I'll be buying those premade.

The cable demark runs have already been compression fitted and coiled. Next, the phone company needs to move the demark, pull a modern drop, and rebond the ground.

Drilled additional holes in the rack shelf to accompany a 1U device overlapped on it's top half (see picture). Rackmount surge protector arrived today, a day late, and will be installed tonight. I'll also need to make cables to patch the coax to the splitter and back. And buy the splitter.

Ivory keystones, patch panels and replacement banana plug decora straps are in shipment. Once they arrive, I should be able to get the 7.1 install back to being functional. Already have some of the replacement speaker mounts on hand. This wouldn't have been an issue if we hadn't lost so many parts repairing the fire damage.

Just have to keep pushing onward!
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:58 PM   #505
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Parts arrived today. Woohoo!

Pulled the white keystone jacks (pictured previously) off the phone lines. Re-punched them all down with ivory keystones from today's shipment. The idea being that phone lines are "old timey", and thus ivory should be a good indicator that they're not... ethernet spares. Also replaced the 2U 48-port keystone panel with two 1U 24-port keystone panels. The old one was cheap, and stamped out of the single piece of sheet metal, which allowed the keystones to move and flex in their slot. The new ones have a backing that the keystones click into, holding them firmly. This was especially important with the coax keystones, which can have quite a bit of pressure behind them from the service loops.

Here's where we stand... completely punched down; ready to start measuring, ordering, and then installing the patches.



Punched down the second-to-last drop at one of the office wallplates. Don't have the energy to finish the last one right now. It will have to wait until tomorrow.

Temporarily patched modem to the router to the switch, then patched my desktop in. Now I can take down the 100 ft patch that used top run to the top of the refrigerator.



Yes, replaced 6mbit DSL and traditional (POTS) phone service today with 30mbit cable, 80 channels of TV on 3 TVs, and free HBO. For the same price... go figure.

Old connection tested at 4.5 mbit downstream / 300 kbit downstream. Check out the new connection.

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Old 10-31-2012, 08:58 AM   #506
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Spent most of the day locating, unpacking, restoring, and reflashing my two backup routers (Cisco E2000s). Flashed over the factory firmware with the most recent version of Tomato available for them, then set them up as access points (same SSID, same WPA2-PSK, turned off NAT and DHCP). Also updated my static DHCP tables to account for the ethernet NIC mac in all of my devices.

Installed both routers, one in the living room and one at the end of the hallway. They look about how you'd expect them to.



Also measured out, wrote down, and ordered all of the patching cables. Hopefully I didn't forget too many. Have at least a dozen cables on hand, just in case I forgot some. This is what a patch cable order looks like for a project of this size... and it only includes a few of the devices at the wall plates.


Code:
Product	Qty.	Price	Total
 2302	7FT 24AWG Cat6 550MHz UTP Ethernet Bare Copper Network Cable - Black	1	$1.67	$1.67
 2303	7FT 24AWG Cat6 550MHz UTP Ethernet Bare Copper Network Cable - Green	1	$1.67	$1.67
 2292	1FT 24AWG Cat6 550MHz UTP Ethernet Bare Copper Network Cable - White	5	$0.71	$3.55
 2291	1FT 24AWG Cat6 550MHz UTP Ethernet Bare Copper Network Cable - Yellow	4	$0.71	$2.84
 3422	2FT 24AWG Cat6 550MHz UTP Ethernet Bare Copper Network Cable - Orange	2	$0.88	$1.76
 3413	3FT 24AWG Cat6 550MHz UTP Ethernet Bare Copper Network Cable - Orange	2	$0.98	$1.96
 3434	5FT 24AWG Cat6 550MHz UTP Ethernet Bare Copper Network Cable - Yellow	2	$1.29	$2.58
 2113	1FT 24AWG Cat6 550MHz UTP Ethernet Bare Copper Network Cable - Blue	4	$0.71	$2.84
 2289	1FT 24AWG Cat6 550MHz UTP Ethernet Bare Copper Network Cable - Green	4	$0.71	$2.84
 2288	1FT 24AWG Cat6 550MHz UTP Ethernet Bare Copper Network Cable - Black	6	$0.71	$4.26
 3424	2FT 24AWG Cat6 550MHz UTP Ethernet Bare Copper Network Cable - Red	2	$0.88	$1.76
 3419	2FT 24AWG Cat6 550MHz UTP Ethernet Bare Copper Network Cable - Black	2	$0.88	$1.76
 2297	3FT 24AWG Cat6 550MHz UTP Ethernet Bare Copper Network Cable - Red	1	$1.03	$1.03
 2296	3FT 24AWG Cat6 550MHz UTP Ethernet Bare Copper Network Cable - Green	1	$1.03	$1.03
 7505	0.5FT 24AWG Cat6 550MHz UTP Ethernet Bare Copper Network Cable - Red	2	$0.57	$1.14
 7500	0.5FT 24AWG Cat6 550MHz UTP Ethernet Bare Copper Network Cable - Gray	9	$0.57	$5.13

Subtotal : $37.82 
Shipping & Handling Cost : $7.99 
CA Sales Tax : $3.32 
GRAND TOTAL : $49.13
Hopefully I can get everything patched in a few hours once they all arrive.

Also installed the banana plug wall plates for the surround left, surround right and front center surround sound channels. Looks like better without cable hanging out of the ceiling. Hooked up the surround left and surround right to the back of the 8.2 distribution panel, then put it all back together. Only rear left, rear right, and front sub left to dress up. Will take pictures when that's complete.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:11 AM   #507
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Cable shipment arrived. It was delayed a day because the UPS driver didn't want to leave it on my doorstep like he has the past thousand times. This wasn't a large or expensive shipment, either.

Preliminarily patched the closet. It took about 20 minutes to unwrap all the cables and then 10 minutes to do the actual patching.





Yeah, I color coded. Also bought color coded patch cables for each device that I know will be hardwired (desktops, smart TVs, XBOXen, etc).

If you give cables a twist between the cable management and the wall, they'll form a loop on their own when possible. For example:



At full 36" extension.



Stowed against the wall.

Still think I'm going to drop the cable channels. Can't watch this standard definition stuff anymore. Feels like I'm watching TV on a potato, especially when blown up to 50". How did we deal before?
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:00 AM   #508
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Got off my lazy butt this morning and cleaned up the patching.

The router and switch both got stowed on the rack shelf, the wiring tucked behind, and everything cleaned up pretty nicely. Also patched in the NAS that has been sitting unplugged since June (stupid fire!).



Can still see the activity lights on the modem (from the floor) and router (from a step ladder). Had to wash the picture way out for the flash to penetrate back to them.



This is the mess of temporary and measuring patch cables I've been using the last week or so. Surprised I don't have more.



The 100' one at top somewhat resembles the FSM.
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:03 PM   #509
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Youre incredible! I just read this entire thread and I'm amazed. Keep up the good work.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:38 PM   #510
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Been trying to take it easy lately. Not so easy to do, it seems. Between a hospital visit, surgery, and the new dogs, we've been pretty darn busy lately.

The wife invited friends over for Thanksgiving dinner, which puts me under the gun to have the kitchen looking halfway decent and usable. That leaves... 2 off-work days after today? Lovely.

Pulled everything back out of the kitchen. Painted the walls, as we'll have to be looking at them for at least another year. Can't put up the backsplash I bought until the new cabinets are purchased, and that will be the long wait. Laid out the center field of tile for the floor.



Tried to start cutting the tile, but it was already too late and too dark to start. Gave up and installed two of the last three surround sound face plates instead.

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