Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hard Wired

It was not without its difficulties, and in fact, its not quite finished, but 99% of the work for home-networking is done. This required hours under the house over the past few days. That just gets harder and harder every year. I no longer refer to it as a “crawl-space”. From now on it will be called a “slither-space”. It is just brutal working under there. But its done, that’s the important thing.

First, the finished product….

I was able to get the trim on, but no doors yet. I hope to do that next weekend. The cabinet is 16-inches deep, so I can fit the printer in there and keep it open. On the top-left is the NAS and the router. You really can’t do anything with the NAS once its turned out, same with the router, so it should not be a problem having it on the top shelf.

Below that is the Stern box with all of the wires. I’m reasonably happy with it. The thing I don’t like are the little plastic tabs that keep the individual nodes in. I broke two putting them in. If I had to pull them out and move them I would most likely break more. Aside from that, they seem well made. This routs telephone, TV, and internet to 7 rooms.

The other issue are the face-plates that mount on the wall to hold the keystone jacks for phone, cable, and networking. The original one I put in the kitchen was sized for a GFCI faceplate. I could get a faceplate to match all of the other cast brass faceplates in the house. I can’t find those anymore. Everything now is the basic ivory faceplate. Its not the end of the world, really. All of these will be behind a piece of furniture, so you will never really see them.

Now for the problems. ...

In the parlor, back in the 20s, they mounted an outlet in the baseboard. In fact, all four outlets in the house they mounted on the baseboards back in the 20s. This means that for the sake of consistency I needed to mount the new box for cable, phone, and internet next to the outlet on the baseboard. I did not like cutting in to the baseboards, but it needed to be done.

The big problem with this is that the wall that the baseboard is on is the wall with the pocket door. It was just a really touch operation. And wouldn’t you know it, where I decided to mount the box was directly over a doubled-joist. It took forever to drill the holes and I broke one of my 54-inch drill bits. Those things are like $60 each. I eventually got the wires pulled, but what should have been a half-hour job took and hour and a half.

Once everything was in place everything worked except the networking. Phone and cable work fine, but I’m not wiring the CAT6 keystone jacks properly and it is really frustrating. I won’t go in to what I tried and why I think it doesn’t work. After reading several things on-line and trying to follow the tiny, tiny instructions that came with the jacks, I just sort of put it on hold for now.

I was going to call my brother and ask him. He did this for a living for many years. I was concerned that I would get in to an endless cycle of miscommunication. (No, with your finger in the top tab while holding the clip face-up, clip the white/green wire in to the clip at the bottom. No, face-up!). I’m going to take one in to work with me tomorrow and beg our net-adim for help.


Carlos said...

Saw your post on pocket doors and we have the same doors. Can you advise us on how to remove the pocket doors from the wooden track so that we can refinish them? Please email me at Thanks!

Greg said...

I'm happy to help if I can. Do you know it your rollers are made by Ives? Mine have a single, large wheel per roller. Is this what you have?

capdiamont said...

Fix the network jacks yet?

Greg said...

Yep! The net admin at work straightened me out. There are 8 pairs of wires (blue, orange, green, brown). The color coding seemed to me to indicate to me that the middle two pairs should go white-green+orange and then white-orange+green. Really what it meant was that I could have both of the green wires be pair number 2 or both of the orange wires. It doesn't matter just so long as they are the same at both ends of the cable.

I'm on-line in every room!