1. Visiting from the US? Why not try DIYnot.US instead? Click here to continue to DIYnot.US.
    Dismiss Notice

Hiding Data Cables - PC, Router and TVs

Discussion in 'Audio Visual' started by Georgie73, 6 Feb 2016.

  1. Georgie73

    Georgie73

    Joined:
    8 Dec 2010
    Messages:
    380
    Thanks Received:
    5
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hello

    We are currently renovating a house which we hope to move into around June time. I've got electricians booked for a couple of weeks times, but it has just occurred to me that I can get rid of lots of cables (ie, sunk into the wall/walls).

    I will be having a computer station in the hallway under the stairs and I want to get rid of as many cables as possible.

    Router and telephone point is currently in the living room. Should I have these relocated under the stairs?

    My son will have a gaming pc and a tv in his upstairs bedroom. I guess he will need Ethernet Cable x two or three, plus a tv aerial connection. Can they all be mounted together in a socket/panel?

    In our current home, my son's bedroom looks like spaghetti junction with tons of cables coming out of the router and all curled up in the corner of the room. It is so unsightly and I really want to put a stop to this. We also have a sonos bridge coming off of the router (with tons of white cable)

    I'd be grateful if I can have recommendations for products/solutions.

    Many thanks
    George
     
  2. Sponsored Links
  3. Lucid

    Lucid

    Joined:
    10 Sep 2013
    Messages:
    1,786
    Thanks Received:
    1,033
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Yes, tidying all the cable away is perfectly possible. It's what those of us who are professional installers do for a living. A cable connection will always be faster than wireless because there's no additional overhead for packaging and unpackaging the data. There's also no conflicts and bottlenecks due to competing devices or legacy wireless support. With a little thought and planning there's no reason why you and your electrician can't work something out. Here's a few tips...

    (1) Check that your electrician actually knows what he's doing with Ethernet and aerial cables; don't just assume. Far too many Sparks think that a-wire-is-a-wire-is-a-wire and that they can just wing it with TV, AV and networking. The result is often that stuff gets wired the wrong way (daisy chain) because that's what they're used to with power circuits, and I also see cases where they used the copper clad aluminium cable (CCA) because it was quite a bit cheaper and/or "the guy at the wholesalers said it would be fine". Yeah, and that guy has less of a clue than the Spark; but neither he nor the Spark will be back to solve the intermittent or dead connections because the cable has been weakened or broken during pulling. Proper CAT cable is 100% copper and not the CCA rubbish. Aerial cable; use WF100 and accept no substitute. The cost difference compared to cheaper RG6 is negligible within the scope of a whole house refit, and the fact that it will last longer and deliver more signal because of lower losses will pay you back handsomely in the long term.

    (2) Long cables left trailing is a simple situation to resolve. Either use shorter pre-made Ethernet cables or make up something bespoke on site. Wiring up Ethernet plugs does require a bit of patience and skill though.

    (3) Siting the gear in a hub location is fine. Give a thought to ventilation and put in adequate lighting as a minimum. Remember too that wiring up this gear is no fun in a cramped space so think about putting in a rack and an Ethernet patch panel to go with the data switch. You'll also need power for all the bits so put in enough socket to cope with your immediate needs plus 50% extra for the things you'll add in the future (UPS, NAS drive, firewall, media server, IP CCTV gear etc)

    The house phone line can go in there too along with the wireless base station for the house phones unless you're planning on using hard-wired phones for door entry or other security. Have a think about any points in the house that might also need a hard-wired landline connection (e.g. Sky box).

    (4) Have a think about putting Ethernet points behind TV and AV equipment locations. "Smart" is everywhere and it's here to stay. Be ready for it. Even if the TV you're hanging today isn't Smart enabled then the one that replaces it will be.

    (5) Get the Spark to test and label everything. Insist on it!! Holding a bunch of 20+ Ethernet wires in your hub with no idea of where they go and whether they all still work is the start of a wasted day buzzing out all the connections. Finding broken wires because they've been pulled too hard or trampled on during the build is best done before walls are replastered and floors relaid.


    Grid modules are available so that you can mix and match Ethernet and RF in a single or double gang pattress.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Georgie73

    Georgie73

    Joined:
    8 Dec 2010
    Messages:
    380
    Thanks Received:
    5
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hi Lucid

    Thanks for your reply.

    Actually, my sparks aren't going to do this data cabling/wiring. It's just an after thought that I've had. I think they will freak out if I tell them I've changed my spec again!

    I haven't got a clue what a Hub is? Do I need a Hub?

    Basically, I think all I want to do is run the Ethernet cable from the router up the wall and under the floorboards, then bring it up again in my son's bedroom for his TV and PC. I want the back of his tv and workstation to be as free as possible from piles and piles of trailing cables.

    WF100 - is this the same product? http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/webro-foam-100-wf100-coax-cable-black-priced-per-metre-a42ra
     
    Last edited: 6 Feb 2016
  5. Lucid

    Lucid

    Joined:
    10 Sep 2013
    Messages:
    1,786
    Thanks Received:
    1,033
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    You're welcome and that's nice of you to say, but now please use the THANKS button to mark those replies that you find useful. (If you haven't ever used it before then hover your mouse below the '+Multi-quote Quote' text at the bottom right of each post). Using Thanks costs you nothing and helps others see when there's helpful info posted. :)

    A 'hub' is simply the name used for a room or central location for the gear. In your case your hub is the under-the-stairs cupboard. So it's a bit like the hub of a wheel i.e. the centre bit from which the spokes radiate out.

    If you're going to the trouble and expense of refurbishing a house then just running wires from the four or five Ethernet ports on the router is a missed opportunity. This afternoon I went out to price up a job where the family wanted music from the main Hi-Fi (a £1000 vinyl & CD system) in the lounge to be playing in the kitchen extension. They'd already wasted a bunch of time and money on Bluetooth devices that failed to maintain a connection. If they'd have wired Ethernet during their house refurb just 18 months ago then I'd have been able to do something simple for them that wouldn't have cost much at all. As it stands tonight they have spent £600 on Sonos gear from me to overcome the problem. It'll do a lot more than just port sound from A to B, and after discussing it then the extra benefits are something they want too, but the point is that had the wiring been there then £200 instead of £600 would have got them great music in the kitchen. While I was there I asked about the TV that was hanging on a wall bracket in the kitchen. They bought it for its Smart features, but with no wireless built-in (or optional dongle) and no Ethernet socket in the wall then that side of the TVs functionality is completely inaccessible.

    If you were a customer and I was advising then I'd suggest you put in an gigabit speed Ethernet switch - this Zyxel has 24 ports for just under £90 which is cheap - and I'd add a 24 port patch panel to go with it. There are 16 port gigabit switches but they're about the same money and take up a similar amount of space so it seems pointless to me not to go for 24 port. The 5 or 8 port switches are a bit cheaper, but again if you're going to wire the house then put in enough points to make a useful network even if you don't use them right away.

    Aerial cable - Webro WF100 is what you want. The Maplin stuff is the correct thing.
     
  6. mattylad

    mattylad

    Joined:
    27 Apr 2008
    Messages:
    8,198
    Thanks Received:
    623
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Please!
    Do not use the word "hub".
    A hub is a historic bit of equipment that is no longer used but still available on ebay.

    What you need is called a "Network Switch", they are more intelligent than a hub. (I have a pile of 24 port hubs if anyone wants them lol).

    I have my modem router and switch all under the stairs in a cubbyhole that's central to the rest of the house and from there I have run at least 2 ethernet cables to each room - terminated in a double socket. 1 is not enough, 3-4 is better.

    Mark the cables with unique numbers so that when taking the plate off the number can be read - do this both ends.
    Number the sockets. (makes identifying the cables a lot easier).

    I have not spent on a patch panel, instead I bought the crimpers, plugs and tester at a far lesser cost as I need them anyway and put plugs on the switch end.
     
  7. Lucid

    Lucid

    Joined:
    10 Sep 2013
    Messages:
    1,786
    Thanks Received:
    1,033
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hold on a second there. AFAICT no one in this thread is using the word "Hub" to describe any network gear except you. :ROFLMAO:

    Have another read, you'll see that "hub" is used in a different context: It is the description of a geographic location within the house that acts as the central equipment room. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. mattylad

    mattylad

    Joined:
    27 Apr 2008
    Messages:
    8,198
    Thanks Received:
    623
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Have another read yourself.
    See your first post #5.

    If (as it seems) you know your beans about networking, using the term confuses those that dont know and they may just go and ask for a hub\purchase one.
    Which as you know is not going to be very good.
     
  9. Lucid

    Lucid

    Joined:
    10 Sep 2013
    Messages:
    1,786
    Thanks Received:
    1,033
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Well I have had another read and I think I was very clear...

    "in a hub location" and putting in a "data switch". I dunno, maybe you're bringing baggage to your reading of the posts that's blinding you to what's actually being written.

    I'm not a networking specialist. My business is AV installation. What that means is that I plan and install part-house and whole-house entertainment systems which generally incorporates distributed music, TV and IP-based signals. As a result it takes in basic networking which is to say it involves installing wired and wireless networking gear and the cables to go with it to facilitate the functionality of the AV and IP equipment hanging off the ends. In my trade we use the word 'hub' to describe a central location. I fully accept that in other spheres of interest then that word has a different meaning. But that happens with words, doesn't it. Their meanings and use change and evolve over time or are set by context. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Sponsored Links
  11. Sam Gangee

    Sam Gangee

    Joined:
    24 Jan 2003
    Messages:
    1,875
    Thanks Received:
    284
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Probably and the Maplin price will be brilliant if they ever get any in stock.

    Try http://www.satcure.co.uk/accs/WF100_cable.htm
    Available in 6 different colours, with or without loose plugs, or plugs fitted for you.
     
  12. Georgie73

    Georgie73

    Joined:
    8 Dec 2010
    Messages:
    380
    Thanks Received:
    5
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Hi Lucid - I've clicked on the thank you button :)

    I've just come back down to the house and am gutted as my thoughts of having the PC station under the stairs isn't going to work. I will be at serious risk of knocking myself out when I stand up.

    I am definitely going to run Ethernet cables as you suggested - even if they are not all used for the time being.

    Can I ask, do I connect a 24 switch up to the router with one Ethernet cable? Also was is a patch panel used for?

    I will research properly about running the cables, if I can DIY, I would like to have a go. My husband retires in June so it makes sense to have a go ourselves. If it is too hard - then I will get in a specialist.

    Many thanks
    George
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  13. Lucid

    Lucid

    Joined:
    10 Sep 2013
    Messages:
    1,786
    Thanks Received:
    1,033
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Yes, one Ethernet cable from the 24 port switch to the router. The switch handles all the data moving about between computers, consoles, smart TVs etc within your home network. The router still provides access to the internet and the wireless side of networking as well as handling the assignment of IP addresses.

    The patch panel provides a convenient way to manage all the connections in the house. The wires coming back from all the network sockets get terminated at the back of the patch panel. There's no need to struggle fitting network plugs, the wires get punched down directly in to grips. The patch also has spaces where you can number or name (if you can write really really small :D ) the incoming connections. It's much easier to see the connections when they're grouped by room on the panel rather than trying to read tags on a bundle of cables as thick as a child's wrist plugged directly in to the switch. :)
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  14. Georgie73

    Georgie73

    Joined:
    8 Dec 2010
    Messages:
    380
    Thanks Received:
    5
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Thank you. I appreciate all the advice given.

    Many thanks
    George
     
  15. Ricardus

    Ricardus

    Joined:
    15 Feb 2007
    Messages:
    539
    Thanks Received:
    35
    Location:
    Essex
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    There is a bit of a knack to making up ethernet cables, mostly because they're small, fiddly and you aren't supposed to untwist them much - especially with Cat6, and it's easy to find a wire hasn't pushed home far enough to get crimped.
    But even if you aren't running in or making up your own cables, a mini-lan cable tester is well worth the investment. screwfix, Toolstation or other online suppliers do them for £10-15 and Maplins have one on offer at the moment for £5
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  16. Georgie73

    Georgie73

    Joined:
    8 Dec 2010
    Messages:
    380
    Thanks Received:
    5
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Thank you. I am all for saving money, so I'd want to have a go at making up the cables. I will definitely invest in a mini-lan cable tester. Thank you.

    Also, just a little update on this thread. We are having a largish pipe boxed in from our dining room which continues up into the bedroom and the loft. I intend to run the data cables alongside the pipe up to the first floor landing, and then run them under the floorboards to each bedroom. Once they are at the right location in the bedroom, I intend to chase the wall out and bury the cable in trunking. Does this idea seem sensible?

    I was thinking it would save channelling out downstairs walls to get the cable upstairs. Many thanks for further comments.
    George
     
  17. Sam Gangee

    Sam Gangee

    Joined:
    24 Jan 2003
    Messages:
    1,875
    Thanks Received:
    284
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Provided that the pipe isn't carrying hot water.
     
Loading...

Share This Page