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Network Cabling

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by imroberts, 16 Feb 2020.

  1. imroberts

    imroberts

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    I'm looking to install some network cabling around the house - I have quite a lot of network equipment dotted around and my wireless isn't particularly great and I've had some issues with Powerline adaptors as well. I installed network points all around my last house but I haven't had the time to do it since I moved last year.

    My main requirement is a bunch of network feeds to my TV for various equipment, a couple to my home office, and a couple into the loft where the NVR for my CCTV lives. I also intend to install an access point, probably a Ubiquiti on the upstairs landing to provide improved wireless to the bedrooms where I doubt I'll install any network points.

    My questions:

    1) Is there any need to consider CAT6 over CAT5E? My thoughts for home use are CAT5E should be more than sufficient?

    2) Is there much different between brands of cable? I'll buy solid copper rather than CCA or CCS but beyond that is there much difference?

    3) Is there any difference with external grade cable other than additional UV protection? Is it any different or harder to work with? In essence, if I end up having to run any of the cables externally, is there any harm in just buying external grade and using it for everything?

    4) At my main TV, as an example, I need a minimum of 4 network connections. Would I be better installing 4 cables (or probably 6 to provide some scope for future growth) or just install a single cable and add a cheap switch under the TV? I can see pro's and con's of each approach.

    5) I'm undecided whether I'm going to run all the cabling back to where my router is currently, or into one of the loft spaces, with a single cable running back from there to the router. Is there any downside to the latter approach? If I ran it all back to the router I'm going to need to add an additional 8 or 16 port switch anyway so keeping it all in the loft for neatness seems the most logical idea to me?

    6) I know to keep network and coax cables away from mains cables where I can. Is there any harm running CAT5E and coax (for TV and/or satellite) together?

    Anything else I need to consider?
     
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  3. chivers67

    chivers67

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    CAT6 just gives more distance doesn't it? External the outer sheath is slightly tough so it makes making off a little more fiddly but once you've done a couple you get the knack of it. Only you can decide how to run your Network as no one on here can see the easiest way without plans. I can't imagine you'd get much induction from coax/Cat5E next to each other but an inch away would make it easier to run down walls

    Why do you need 4 Network connections at your main TV. I just have one Cable at every one of ours from a Broadband source are you sharing something? Just curious.
     
  4. fluorescence

    fluorescence

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    I am not a networking expert but I'll try to answer some of your queries based on the research I did before networking my own house, which I did in a good quality Cat5e cable and I am using a couple of switches in places where more than a single cable run would have been difficult.

    Cat5e will do gigabit ethernet over a 100m run

    Yes as you've said get solid copper, never ever buy anything but. I would buy branded cable for the peace of mind, cheaper cable may have looser twists or other factors that could make it non compliant with the 5e standard

    External grade stuff is usually thicker and stiffer thus yes it's harder to work with. Any short runs you may need outside, you could use normal cat5e in trunking or some other containment?

    All them four cables will be going back to the switch within your router anyway so I don't see why you can't run a single cable and use a switch local to your TV for ease of installation, as long as you don't mind having another box to plug in etc.

    See answer above. Just make sure you use a good quality switch. You may want a managed switch so you can set priorities over certain ports etc.

    Coax for satellite TV has voltage on it usually for the LNB. I'd say that coax and cat5e souldn't be run side by side over long distances the same as with mains wiring.

    TV, HTPC, Games console, NAS box, smart TV box, another games console, smart speaker (pick any of above) etc...
     
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  5. crystal ball

    crystal ball

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    I buy most of my network gear from Comms Express, their own brand cable has always been ok, I like the Excel modules, easy to connect and make out the colours
     
  6. Sureitsoff?

    Sureitsoff?

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  7. SUNRAY

    SUNRAY

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    I doubt it
    I've installed all types and to be honest unless you're running to the limit on length [unlikely in a house unless it has 25 bedrooms] I doubt you'll notice the difference.
    However the difference in price is minimal so I'd go with copper.
    The performance of external should be identical to internal however external is horrible to control and I wouldn't recommend it for terminating directly into plugs or any form of flying lead.

    Weigh up the cost of a few metres of cat5e and an extra switch. I bet its 50:50 and running extra cable is unlikely to be difficult. in most applications only 2 pairs are used so consider that too.

    If you're adding an additional switch then it makes sense to add it in the most convenient location, I imagine it'll be out of the way in a loft.

    Consider that at an outside broadcast there will be big piles of assorted cables all mixed up and it works. I've regularly seen all sorts of data, audio, video, mains - single and 3 phase, transmitter & receiver aerial cables etc run in the same bundles, cable basket, cable tray, trunking, conduit etc and guess what? It usually doesn't matter. Get good quality cat5 with a spec of 300v.

    I have purchased and used multicore cables which contain a selection of uses, Camera cables will typically contain mains, video, data, audio, audio intercom in a sheath of 15mm diameter or less.
     
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  9. phatboy

    phatboy

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    For the cost difference of quality Cat5e & Cat6, I'd just get the Cat6.... it's good for 10GB too, which may seem completely unnecessary but things move fast.

    Install plenty of point everywhere.... never any point doing just 1 when the plate can take 2. Behind my TV I have 6, because it was minimal extra work at the time. It also means if you decide to distribute TV over HDMI baluns, or HDBaseT at some point, it's no hassle.

    Cable comes on a 1000ft roll, so may as well use it all up, even if you only terminate some of it for now.....
     
  10. SUNRAY

    SUNRAY

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    Very true.It's a lot of effort adding it later when you can easily do it now and I tend to add an extra or two as I go.
    The same is true for mains when I'm going a difficult run.
     
  11. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    Another vote for at least some CAT6 in the job- its a bit dearer than CAT5 but does let you chuck HDMI around the place. I'd also suggest multiple points rather than single point and local switchlet- multiple points gives you some redundancy in case a squirrel eats one cable and allows you to connect non-Ethernet stuff (HDMI for instance).
     
  12. fluorescence

    fluorescence

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    FYI if you did decide Cat5e was good enough and you happen to be passing a B&Q, they had 100m reels of Nexans branded cable for £15 each in the clearance bins at my local yesterday
     
  13. Kistelek

    Kistelek

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    Go with the cat 6. I can easily remember when 10meg networking "was more than enough". It won't get slower.

    Only use solid cores, you can't punch it down otherwise.

    Don't use internal grade outside without trunking. It goes hard and breaks as the phone extension installed here by the previous owner has demonstrated and can make for hard fault finding. Outdoor grade is fine indoors (glances at own internal wiring)

    I personally would put the extra ports in and wire everything back to a single place. Label everything well. It does to some extent depend on how techy you want to get with your network. I work in IT security so I'm very techy and paranoid. 99% of domestic users don't need to be. Also look at Ubiqiti power over ethernet which you could feed out from a central switch more easily for access points etc. The flip side is when the mrs decided the telly is moving to the other end of the room you'll only need to add a single wire if you've got a switch. (glances at redundant socket in lounge). Don't forget to put a socket wherever the router is going too, either a data socket near the phone master or extend the phone to be near the switch. Just remember you'll need to switch it off and on again occasionally so don't hide it too well.

    and finally, cat 6 cable is shielded. Run it where you like if you use grounded sockets.
     
  14. bineet

    bineet

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    Hi Kistelek
    Just want to understand more. What does the above mean. I am getting some cat6 installed in my home. Does it mean I need to get an earth connection

    Cheers
     
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  15. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

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