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Computers & Hardware => Networking => Topic started by: michty_me on August 25, 2018, 01:30:24 PM

Title: Help building a new home network
Post by: michty_me on August 25, 2018, 01:30:24 PM
Good afternoon all!!
Following on from a couple of previous threads I had on extending wireless networks and go to router manufacturers, I think I require some assistance in picking some equipment.

Since these threads, I have decided to lift my floorboards and run Cat5e through several rooms in the house down to a cupboard under the stairs which is central to the house and has my master socket through a plasterboard wall.

I estimate at present I'll have 7-8 Ethernet cables running to the cupboard so I would require a switch to be fitted here.

I'm considering getting the master socket moved to the inside of the cupboard so I can place my Zyxel modem in there too. Just to keep everything in the same area.

I will require a router to connect to the modem also. I've had a look at Ubiquiti products but by the reviews, I have a feeling I would get very lost very quickly and not using it to near its full potential. Most probably overkill for my needs. Are there any high end routers similar but quite user friendly?

Perhaps I would be best to stick to a more plug and play setup from TPLink, Dlink, Netgear etc?

Can someone point me in the right direction for switches, routers and AP's that are novice friendly but possibly offer enough extra features that I can expand my knowledge?
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: michty_me on August 25, 2018, 10:24:06 PM
Ok maybe swaying towards a Ubiquiti edgerouter and one of their access points now...
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: burakkucat on August 25, 2018, 10:51:16 PM
The first thing to consider is the number of Ethernet cables that you propose to run. Whatever the number you decide upon, double it. The cable should be Cat5e, at a minimum, or Cat6. It should be solid core not stranded core cable. (Solid core cable for structured wiring, stranded core cable is for patch leads.) You should consider fitting a patch panel in the understairs cupboard and modular sockets throughout the rest of the house. Once all the structured wiring is in place, standard patch leads are used to connect the various items of equipment throughout the house to the modular sockets. In the understairs cupboard, standard patch leads are used to connect from the patch panel to the various networking items. A switch, a router, etc.

Switches can be unmanaged or managed; simple plug and play or complex devices.

For a router, the range is similar. With regards to an actual type, I wouldn't like to make a suggestion . . . as I have never needed to use a separate device. I am aware that Ubiquiti have a number of devices and have heard good things from people who use models from the "EdgeRouter" range. (if you really want to start spending money on a router, the starting point would be a Watchfront FireBrick FB2900, then Cisco and Juniper devices!)
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: sevenlayermuddle on August 26, 2018, 12:14:41 AM
Agree, in particular, about doubling number of cables you think you need, ie several to each room. Otherwise, youíll end up having to install more and more switches around the house.  These cost money to buy and money to run, wheras a few more feet of Cable with just one switch will be cheaper.

Another consideration for equipment in an understairs cupboard, assuming the cupboard has not much ventilation,  is heat dissipation.   Apparatus that runs hot can dramatically shorten its life expectancy, as well as being a safety risk.  Perhaps, check out power consumption of devices on your shortlist, and prioritise the more efficient ones?

I have one TP-link switch in my collection which has impressed me by its low consumption.   It also has an internal PSU, which helps to keep wiring tidy.  Very pleased with it, been in use for several years and hasnít missed a beat.  Assuming modern version is same as mine in these regards (check before buying!), this is it...

https://www.tp-link.com/us/products/details/cat-42_TL-SG1008.html

..also available in versions with more ports, I believe.
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: michty_me on August 26, 2018, 05:13:51 AM
Morning all,

Yes, from reading loads of threads, the consensus was to run more than the required amount of runs. At present I will only be using one connection per room but looking to install 2 minimum per room as well as a draw string for any issues I may encounter.

I think before purchasing anything else, I need to ensure my cabling is run and terminated correctly.
I have a 305m box of Excel Cat5e solid core cable sitting at home but may sell this and get cat6 instead. I'm undecided about this at the minute.

Once that is all run in and terminated, I'll be looking to make a final decision on the equipment to use.
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: phi2008 on August 28, 2018, 03:41:29 PM
Depending on your property there is a trick you can use that avoids pulling up floorboards. If you run a cable to the loft you can place wireless access points on the plasterboard, in the loft, above each room. It works very well(I use it) and no need to remove floorboards or add sockets to each room.
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: michty_me on August 28, 2018, 04:04:04 PM
I have considered this also.
My current WiFi setup covers my full house and parts of the garden anyway.
I've always wanted to have my home properly networked so just thought that as the floorboards will be getting worked on, I be as well lift them and get some cables in there.

On a side note. Is anyone on here using the Synology RT2600AC device?
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: phi2008 on August 30, 2018, 01:23:58 PM
If you need any trunking here's a link to D-Line (https://www.d-line-it.com/trunking/) which I used myself, cheap and easy to fit.
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: michty_me on August 30, 2018, 03:33:19 PM
If you need any trunking here's a link to D-Line (https://www.d-line-it.com/trunking/) which I used myself, cheap and easy to fit.

Ah great!! I have been looking at trunking for routing cable into the central point where my cables will be fed. Thank you very much. That stuff looks loads better than the other stuff I was looking at.
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: phi2008 on August 30, 2018, 03:41:19 PM
There are also installation videos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1Q_-CY2NJk) on YouTube.  :)
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: michty_me on August 30, 2018, 04:38:36 PM
There are also installation videos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1Q_-CY2NJk) on YouTube.  :)

Excellent. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!!
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: DaveC on August 31, 2018, 11:32:07 AM
I'm considering getting the master socket moved to the inside of the cupboard so I can place my Zyxel modem in there too. Just to keep everything in the same area.

Do you use telephones for voice?  Something you probably already know, but hasn't been mentioned in this thread is that you can also use your structured wiring for voice.

I don't use voice (I just have a DECT VOIP phone), but have had success running a CAT5e cable from A+B terminals on the front plate of my master socket (located by the front door) to my comms cupboard under the stairs (about 5m away).  By leaving the master socket where it is, it's then easy to isolate internal cabling as the cause of any fault (and of course is a DIY job).

This depends on the quality of your connection though - the general advice is to locate the modem next to the master socket to keep loss to an absolute minimum, but in my case (VDSL syncing slightly over 80/20), the CAT5e extension made no measurable difference.

I have two lines, so just used two different pairs within the same CAT5e cable for the run from the master sockets to the comms cupboard.

Something else to consider is mounting the equipment in the cupboard - I have a small "6U" 19" rack-mount data cabinet, and this has filled up over time.  So if you do buy a cabinet, buy the largest you can fit in the space, to give room for future bits of kit.  At the very least, you'll need to mount a patch panel somewhere to terminate all your cabling.
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: michty_me on August 31, 2018, 11:39:28 AM
Do you use telephones for voice?  Something you probably already know, but hasn't been mentioned in this thread is that you can also use your structured wiring for voice.

I don't use voice (I just have a DECT VOIP phone), but have had success running a CAT5e cable from A+B terminals on the front plate of my master socket (located by the front door) to my comms cupboard under the stairs (about 5m away).  By leaving the master socket where it is, it's then easy to isolate internal cabling as the cause of any fault (and of course is a DIY job).

This depends on the quality of your connection though - the general advice is to locate the modem next to the master socket to keep loss to an absolute minimum, but in my case (VDSL syncing slightly over 80/20), the CAT5e extension made no measurable difference.

I have two lines, so just used two different pairs within the same CAT5e cable for the run from the master sockets to the comms cupboard.

Something else to consider is mounting the equipment in the cupboard - I have a small "6U" 19" rack-mount data cabinet, and this has filled up over time.  So if you do buy a cabinet, buy the largest you can fit in the space, to give room for future bits of kit.  At the very least, you'll need to mount a patch panel somewhere to terminate all your cabling.

Hi Dave,
I do use the line for voice although not very regularly.

My connection is very stable sitting around 73/16. I'm unsure at present if I should leave the modem and wireless stations in the current locations and have everything else in the cupboard.

I have looked at 10" racks for the cupboard but will need to check for space when I get home next week. I'll keep in mind what you suggest about expansion on the network.
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: shambly on August 31, 2018, 11:47:06 AM
I also use my structured cat6 wiring for HDMI (using the older, cheaper, transcoders that need a pair of cables), receiving / transmitting Infra-Red, and for carrying SP-DIF. I probably use it as much for this as for network data.

I also have the analogue phone line patched into a few outlets of my patch panel but don't feed it to any rooms at present (as all my uses of the phone line are within the cabinet that houses the panel)

I put 6 cables behind each TV as well as two runs of co-ax. Even with that, in one room i've had to resort to splitting one network cable into two 10/100 connections (using 4 cores each) rather than one 1000 one (using all 8 cores).
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: michty_me on August 31, 2018, 12:25:03 PM
I also use my structured cat6 wiring for HDMI (using the older, cheaper, transcoders that need a pair of cables), receiving / transmitting Infra-Red, and for carrying SP-DIF. I probably use it as much for this as for network data.

I also have the analogue phone line patched into a few outlets of my patch panel but don't feed it to any rooms at present (as all my uses of the phone line are within the cabinet that houses the panel)

I put 6 cables behind each TV as well as two runs of co-ax. Even with that, in one room i've had to resort to splitting one network cable into two 10/100 connections (using 4 cores each) rather than one 1000 one (using all 8 cores).

That sounds like a fair setup you have there and probably way more than I require.
All I'm really needing to network is a PC, a couple of PlayStation's, a couple of TVs and a few pulls to unused rooms just while it's all up.
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: michty_me on September 04, 2018, 09:45:20 PM
Is something like this a reasonable price?

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F161002261645

Ideally looking to hang on the wall in the cupboard or potentially sit on the floor at the back of it.
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: DaveC on September 05, 2018, 10:22:07 PM
That seems a reasonable price, although you may not really need the power strip or brush panel. 

Do you not have room for a more standard 19" cabinet?  This would give you a much wider choice, and would probably be cheaper (or at worse, the same price).  As well as a little more breathing room, this would also give you the future option of rack-mounted switches, routers etc, if you wanted to get something a little more "professional".

TP-Link for example do some cheap 19" rack-mountable switches, but I've never seen anything that is compatible with a 10" rack.
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: michty_me on September 05, 2018, 10:27:21 PM
It was just really to keep everything tidy and safe in a cupboard. I will however look at the larger size. I get home tomorrow so I can do some measuring once I'm home for space.
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: sevenlayermuddle on September 05, 2018, 11:30:51 PM
Just to reiterate earlier comments, if you are entering territory where you need to rack mount equipment, you probably donít want to put it in an unvented cupboard under the stairs.  You could install fans in the cupboard doors, but are you prepared for the noise nuisance?   And are you (or anybody here) qualified to do the maths for airflow requirements?

Appuratus that runs too hot will fail prematurely.   If you are lucky, it will just stop working.   If you are unlucky, failure mode might involve ignition of components, with possible fire hazards.

Imho Your main consideration, for an under stairs cupboard, needs to be cool running.  That equates to low power consumption, above all other considerations. :)
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: michty_me on September 06, 2018, 05:20:28 AM
Just to reiterate earlier comments, if you are entering territory where you need to rack mount equipment, you probably donít want to put it in an unvented cupboard under the stairs.  You could install fans in the cupboard doors, but are you prepared for the noise nuisance?   And are you (or anybody here) qualified to do the maths for airflow requirements?

Appuratus that runs too hot will fail prematurely.   If you are lucky, it will just stop working.   If you are unlucky, failure mode might involve ignition of components, with possible fire hazards.

Imho Your main consideration, for an under stairs cupboard, needs to be cool running.  That equates to low power consumption, above all other considerations. :)
I totally agree, if it was going to require something that needed cooled, I wouldn't put it under the stairs. Too much risk there.
I only plan on having a small 8 port switch, modem and router in it but probably sit the wireless router outside on a shelf.
It was mainly to keep everything tidy.
I guess, I would need to but what I need and see how warm it runs out with a box first?
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: michty_me on September 07, 2018, 07:38:25 PM
This is proving more difficult than I first anticipated.
Luckily I have a pre cut hatch where I want to run the cables to but every location I want to go to appears to be blocked by multiple foundations. There are two across my living room so will need to lift several boards and probably most of the carpet.

Same with the other room downstairs.

Gave up for today after spending several hours trying to think on how to get round this.
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: sevenlayermuddle on September 07, 2018, 08:56:30 PM
A guy who worked for the same company I once did with used to moonlight doing structured cabling.  He offered useful advice, like using the boxing-in around a soil pipe to get from downstairs to upstairs, and using built-in wardrobes to get into the loft, then back again in a different room, maybe through a partition wall.

Point is...  to get from one room to another, any chance of going upstairs, around the loft, and downstairs again?   Cat 5 is cheap and, for gigabit ethernet, a 90 metre run will work just as well as a 2 metre run. :)
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: michty_me on September 14, 2018, 09:27:59 AM
Sorry for the delay, Been busy with work commitments so this took a bit of a back burner.
Having sat down and thought about it, I still think in this house, It will be easier to go through the floorboards. I'm currently looking to purchase this to create some little access hatches beside where I'm looking to pull in the cables.
It also saves me lifting or cutting full boards and gives me access in the future if anything goes wrong. Relatively cheap and a lot quicker compared to going and buying a board saw.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFdvMmpjVpk

All my carpets will be coming up for replacing in the next few weeks so perfect time to get this done and dusted!!
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: sevenlayermuddle on September 14, 2018, 10:20:34 AM
Looks like a neat tool.   I can think of a number of occasions that I could have used it, over the years.

If you go through with this plan (sorry for pun), do let us know how well that cutter works. :)
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: jelv on September 14, 2018, 02:54:01 PM
Reminds me of an incident many years ago. I worked for a computer company in their OS support department. In the computer room it was a mess of cables behind the computers so the boss decided to tidy it up by making a cheap false floor from 3x2 wood with loose laid chipboard on top. He needed to make 3" diameter holes for the cables so brought in his drill from home and a circular cutter.

Unfortunately his drill was only a 250W, the cutter kept jamming in the chipboard and stalling the drill and before long he burnt out the drill (he wasn't exactly taking it easy which didn't help).

I offered to bring in my drill which had been upgraded to a 850W by Black and Decker. I told him that he wouldn't stall that.

The next day he had another go with my drill and attacked the task with the same lack of care. I was right in one respect, he didn't stall the drill. However the cutter did still jam - something had to give! There was an almighty bang and the cutter disintegrated in to scores of pieces which went all over the computer room. How no-one was hurt was a miracle!

I think he was lucky in one way - if the cutter hadn't exploded he'd have broken both wrists!
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: michty_me on September 14, 2018, 03:08:19 PM
Reminds me of an incident many years ago. I worked for a computer company in their OS support department. In the computer room it was a mess of cables behind the computers so the boss decided to tidy it up by making a cheap false floor from 3x2 wood with loose laid chipboard on top. He needed to make 3" diameter holes for the cables so brought in his drill from home and a circular cutter.

Unfortunately his drill was only a 250W, the cutter kept jamming in the chipboard and stalling the drill and before long he burnt out the drill (he wasn't exactly taking it easy which didn't help).

I offered to bring in my drill which had been upgraded to a 850W by Black and Decker. I told him that he wouldn't stall that.

The next day he had another go with my drill and attacked the task with the same lack of care. I was right in one respect, he didn't stall the drill. However the cutter did still jam - something had to give! There was an almighty bang and the cutter disintegrated in to scores of pieces which went all over the computer room. How no-one was hurt was a miracle!

I think he was lucky in one way - if the cutter hadn't exploded he'd have broken both wrists!

I've seen something similar on an oil rig but cutting through metal. The results were broken wrists though!
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: michty_me on December 19, 2018, 08:56:13 AM
Reviving this post again after its long hiatus.
Last night I had a few spare hours so with the assistance of my little brother, I have now managed to get 2 x cables in to my living room and 4 x cables into another room downstairs which houses the Playstation and Smart TV.
That floor cutter was a life saver and saved loads of faffing about.

Just need to do the upstairs runs now which after looking at it last night, I'm going to try and run the cables from the cupboard on the ground floor up through the wall into the loft where I'll then try drop back down into the room where my PC is and have another couple of pulls for AP's being situated in the loft.
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: Weaver on December 19, 2018, 12:21:42 PM
One suggestion, donít know if this is applicable to you, but apologies if not.

I wished that I had run tubing, conduit, to make the run of future cables smooth. If at all possible I would put some sort of small piping or conduit in place, but it might make no sense in a particular situation.

If you can do so, run string though so you can pull additional cables through.

Consider running the best cable - highly over-specced - in case you need to upgrade one day. Of course this doesnít matter if you can replace the cable easily.

Consider running additional cables through, for extra capacity future-proofing, and because itís more hassle having to pull additional cables through later.

Donít kink the cables, vital. (Especially with overall-foil-shield type posh cable as the foil will snap.) bending the cable to too small a radius will damage the noise resistance of the cable causing subtle errors data loss unreliability and slowness if youíre lucky, and it may or may not recover if you unbend. Donít even bend cable temporarily.

Just a few thoughts. Things that I havenít done as often as I should have.
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: michty_me on December 19, 2018, 12:30:23 PM
Hi weaver,

I already owned a 305m cable reel of cat5e cable so I just used that. The runs are quite easily accessable after using the floor saw to get access under the house.
I've put in additional cables to each area (one additional in the living room, 2 additional in the other room) and left the draw string there.
Unfortunately there isn't really any way I can put in conduit as I'm going under and through existing walls and floors. I do have some bits of conduit that I can utilise if needed though!!
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: Weaver on December 30, 2018, 11:57:28 AM
Good for you. Wish I had done the right thing when I had the chance.
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: michty_me on December 31, 2018, 09:33:56 AM
I'm not really any more further forward than where I was a few weeks ago. I didn't want to distract my brother through his Christmas holidays with his new born so told him just to wait until the new year before we continue.
We should manage to finish it all in a few hours though.
I remember someone saying (possibly Dave) to utilise cupboards and that may be the easiest route to get cables run into the loft from the stair wall.
Have a happy and healthy new year.
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: Westie on December 31, 2018, 10:46:50 PM
Take the day off, and start with a clear head next year!
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: michty_me on January 01, 2019, 06:39:50 PM
Don't worry westie, we have had a few weeks off it now  :D
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: michty_me on January 24, 2019, 09:46:40 PM
It's not the best picture but everything is in, Hooked up, Tested, Secured etc.
I just now need to Get permanent power in there and my master socket with modem and a quick tidy up of cables and I should be finished.
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: chenks on January 25, 2019, 10:48:50 AM
are you using two switches?
and where is your modem currently?
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: michty_me on January 25, 2019, 02:01:32 PM
No chenks, I have one switch taking each feed from the patch panel then into eth1 on the Edgerouter. I have WAN on eth0 and PoE out to the AP on eth4.
My modem is in the hall still, I just ran a 10m cat5e cable to it yesterday to set it up. This will be moved to where this equipment is shortly.
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: chenks on January 25, 2019, 02:10:28 PM
oh that's a patch panel (the big black box)
Title: Re: Help building a new home network
Post by: michty_me on January 25, 2019, 04:57:17 PM
Yup, Just a big wall mount bracket to hold it in place really.
I think I went a bit wild with the cable pulling. I've got 15 cables in place and utilizing two at present.