Tuesday, June 17, 2008

On The Home (Net) Front

I got soooo lucky. Four years ago or so, when I rewired the house for electrical, I pulled two coaxial cable TV and 2 networking cables from under the house all the way up in to the attic. At the time I knew I would be doing this project, but I wasn’t really sure where the brain center for the house would be. I knew it was going to either be some place in the scullery or the butler’s pantry, so I bundled the excess cable under the house and strapped it to a floor joist. That is where is has been until this weekend.

So now came time to fish the cable from under the house and in to the wall I built a few years back. This wall divided the butler’s pantry making one third the laundry room and the other 2/3 the now slightly reduced in size butler’s pantry.

I picked a spot on the wall for the Stern Home Networking panel, drilled the holes and fished in the cable. I was sure I was going to be on my back in the dirt splicing cable. I just knew there would never be enough and I was dreading this job. As it turned out is was almost exactly enough. Each of the 4 cables that go to the attic made it in to the box with about a foot to spare. Whew!

In total there are 2 home-runs to the phone company's box. There is one home-run to the cable company's box. Then there is a network, phone and cable TV to both the kitchen and front parlor. And finally, the two network and two coaxial cables to the attic. These will get split to run to the four bedrooms.

Inside the box will be the distribution hubs I showed in another post a few weeks back. There will also be room for the router. I’m building a cabinet with no back on it that will hide this box. Once the cabinet is up I will run two electrical outlets in to the cabinet. This cabinet will also hold the NAS (the poor mans network server), and a networked printer or two.

Because heat build-up inside a closed cabinet could be an issue, I’m borrowing an idea from the beginning of the century. Remember the California Cooler (You can read about it here). That was designed to keep things cool with open shelves and vents to the outside. Instead of vents to the outside, my cabinet will have open shelving – slats of wood, along with an open bottom and top. With the doors closed it will look like any other wall mounted cabinet, but inside there will be plenty of air flow. I’m going to make it out of remnants of the salvaged beadboard I use for the laundry room.

That is the plan anyway. We’ll see how it works.


Norah said...

Adapting a low-tech Victorian idea to your high-tech modern system--it has a pleasing symmetry. Nice!

Greg said...

What's old is new again.