"smart" house v "simple" man - Help please

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"smart" house v "simple" man - Help please

Postposted on Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:03 pm

Moved into a new house this weekend. (not brand new... only 7 years old, but amazing.) Anyhow. The house is supposedly wired for internet in every room, as in, every room has a jack that has two cat5 ports on it.

I have a box in my closet with what appears to be cat5 marked for each room of the house. All of these go into one of these: on-q/ legrand tm1478 4x12 telecom module with rj31x Is this thing for phones only? Or can I use it to somehow push my internet connection to all the ports in the house (that are plugged into it)

I have internet via my cable provider. I currently have a cable modem (surfboard moto type), and my router. Over the past couple of days I have been racking my brain on what i need to do in order to get the house up and running. I don't want to play video games from my closet... especially since there is cable ran through the house.

Any help ... is greatly appreciated.

thank you!
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Re: "smart" house v "simple" man - Help please

Postposted on Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:11 pm

That module is just for phones, it will split 4 lines to 12 phones and also support a security system plugging in.

What you need to do is buy a Gigabit switch and put it in the same box. Don't worry about trying to find one that mounts specially in the box, as long as it fits in there then it is OK. Hopefully each wire is labelled with where it goes to. As each room has two jacks then you can set up one of the jacks for a phone by plugging the wire in to the module, and the other jack for network by plugging it in to the switch.
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Re: "smart" house v "simple" man - Help please

Postposted on Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:29 pm

Sweeeeet. I was thinking a switch might be the answer. Thanks.
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Re: "smart" house v "simple" man - Help please

Postposted on Sun Jun 15, 2014 3:53 pm

Now THAT is how you wire a house! No more useless phone line garbage, just cat5e/cat6 everywhere. You can get HDMI and USB transmitters that run through those cables too.
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Re: "smart" house v "simple" man - Help please

Postposted on Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:11 pm

I am excited to get it all working.

Next step is to build an HTPC / cut the COMCAST cord

I already have all my gear set up - now just need the internetsss... and good to go.

Anyone heard of any problems splitting a cat5 signal? I was thinking of adding an adapter to one of the lines so I can use the signal on my xbone / ps3 instead of running two cables...
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Re: "smart" house v "simple" man - Help please

Postposted on Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:41 pm

dractultoo wrote:Anyone heard of any problems splitting a cat5 signal? I was thinking of adding an adapter to one of the lines so I can use the signal on my xbone / ps3 instead of running two cables...


You can just put a cheapo 5 port switch on the end of your single cable and connect 4 devices to that. The only real problem with this (with a small setup like your house) is reliability and the additional mess associated with having the switch and its power brick tangled up with all the other cables. I'd say, if you're going to the trouble of running a cable then you might as well run two. However part of my job is doing cabling so I then to suggest everything should be "properly" cabled :wink:
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Re: "smart" house v "simple" man - Help please

Postposted on Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:51 pm

Cable is already ran, don't really want to run another one.... could be a nightmare. I will try the switch.
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Re: "smart" house v "simple" man - Help please

Postposted on Sun Jun 15, 2014 6:18 pm

Just a suggestion but you can get WiFi access points with a built in switch. That would kill two birds with one stone. If you go this route make sure it's an access point you get and not a router.

I mention this as I'm guessing your closet won't be the ideal location for your WiFi either.
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Re: "smart" house v "simple" man - Help please

Postposted on Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:02 pm

dractultoo wrote:every room has a jack that has two cat5 ports on it

dractultoo wrote: I was thinking of adding an adapter to one of the lines so I can use the signal on my xbone / ps3 instead of running two cables...

Just connect both Cat5 cables in that particular jack into your Gigabit router back at the hub. You won't be able to have a phone in that jack, but you'll be able to hook up both devices to internet.
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Re: "smart" house v "simple" man - Help please

Postposted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:56 am

As cheesyking said, you just throw another switch in there if you need more ports at an outlet.

I have an 8 port switch in the cabinet in the basement with my server sitting there as well, that switch has the server and all the ports throughout the house that need network plugged in to it. Behind my TV I have another 8 port switch, one port to the wall jack and the others plugged in to the smart TV, BluRay player, HTPC. In my study I have yet another switch with my PC, printer and wireless AP all plugged in. Yes, I could have used 5 port switches for these other 2 but the difference in cost is minimal compared with the hassle of running out of ports and the benefit of quickly being able to plug in a laptop if required.

Don't plug 2 wires in to a switch and expect to get double the bandwidth, you need a fancy managed switch for that. What you will actually do is create a loop that will bring your network to a halt very quickly.

You don't need crossover cables if you are using Gigabit switches, part of the Gigabit specification is that ports have to autodetect and do crossover automatically.

My AP is in my study rather than down in the wiring closet in the basement, I get better coverage of the house that way. My in-laws have theirs in the wiring closet and it is fine.
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Re: "smart" house v "simple" man - Help please

Postposted on Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:50 pm

dractultoo wrote:I am excited to get it all working.

Next step is to build an HTPC / cut the COMCAST cord

I already have all my gear set up - now just need the internetsss... and good to go.

Anyone heard of any problems splitting a cat5 signal? I was thinking of adding an adapter to one of the lines so I can use the signal on my xbone / ps3 instead of running two cables...



Unless I'm misreading this, DON'T SPLIT IT. The ends, punchdown block, and keystone jacks use all eight wires. get a switch (gigabit, if you can find it inexpensively enough (you can find used Cisco 3550 multilayer switches for $80. 24 100Mb FE ports (that can also supply 802.3af POE), and 2 GigE GBICS (4 cables, 2Rx 2Tx). The RouterBOARD people offer some sweet looking gigabit switches, but I haven't used that since their initial boards were used as outdoor dual radio .11N WRAPs.

Worst case, fine a cheap 5 port switch for now. 3Com used to sell NJ220 5 port switches. The rear port was for backhaul to another switch, the 4 in the front for clients. It could mount flush with the wall, replacing the other ports, and it also supports VLANS.

Since you've got a chance to re-wire the house, spend a little extra dough and get 2 multilayer switches, a few cheap Access Layer Switches. You want to use VLANs to segment out broadcast traffic (and keep the kids comps from being able to see your comp on the network, QoS and traffic rules. Netflow that updates stats to your PTRG machine, so you can see exactly what's happening on the network. ACL, VACL, PACLs, port security, hot standby routing protocol, etc... The list goes on and on. Oh, and seriously consider cat6 (definitely buy a cable tester, since it has tighter tolerances.)

Oh, and far as cutting the cord, does your TV support WirelessHD, and are there computer dongles to enable a PC to transmit? It's the same 60GHz spectrum as the upcoming WiGig, and it's fast enough to carry HDCP content and audio.
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Re: "smart" house v "simple" man - Help please

Postposted on Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:09 pm

Or, you could forget about trying to play CCNA and just get a bunch of these for $37 a pop.
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Re: "smart" house v "simple" man - Help please

Postposted on Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:59 pm

Captain Ned wrote:Or, you could forget about trying to play CCNA


I'm playing CCNP, thankyouverymuch. :P


Captain Ned wrote:and just get a bunch of these for $37 a pop.



I've got issues with that trendnet:

a) it's unmanaged. Those are major pains in the ass, from past experience.
b) One of my former CTOs got kickbacks from TrendNET for every device he bought for our company. They sucked so hard, we almost re-enacted the printer scene from Office Space. So I'm a bit bitter towards them.


Alternative is one based off Mikrotiks RouterOS and RouterBOARD, but here's a 24port GigE (and one SFP cage) Multilayer Switch for $205. Also does VPN, .11N AP, and firewall.


Oh, and those NJ220s are cheap in quantity. Replacing the existing ports with one of the 3coms, and you double port density at each access location.
Last edited by Hz so good on Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "smart" house v "simple" man - Help please

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:12 am

Captain Ned wrote:Or, you could forget about trying to play CCNA and just get a bunch of these for $37 a pop.



Oh, and one of the other perks of being a network nerd, is my ideal smart house design would make Bill Gate's house look positively quaint. It would cost more than I can afford in my lifetime, but it would put the USS Enterprise-D to shame. Gotta admit, a functional LCARS UI would be pretty badassed
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Re: "smart" house v "simple" man - Help please

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:45 am

I've spent most of my career writing networking software, including 11 years at Cisco where I was part of the group that did the worlds first 100Gb interface. My home runs unmanaged switches, admittedly D-Link rather than Trendnet, but just plain 8-port unmanaged boxes.
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Re: "smart" house v "simple" man - Help please

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:03 pm

notfred wrote:I've spent most of my career writing networking software, including 11 years at Cisco where I was part of the group that did the worlds first 100Gb interface. My home runs unmanaged switches, admittedly D-Link rather than Trendnet, but just plain 8-port unmanaged boxes.



My hatred of unmanaged switches stems from one example in particular. Imagine 15 apartment buildings, each one with two unmanaged TrendNEt 24 port swtiches (every apt had RJ45 jacks in each room, as well as 2 APs per building. All 30 switches connected back to a a 48port unmanaged switch in the clubhouse, with then uplinked to the PtP backhaul radio. Sure they worked (technically), but everyone was part of the the same L2 broadcast domain, so users were able to fart around with each other, print porn to the office printer, etc...

Even at home, I'd prefer being able to segment traffic out into private-vlans. That way, kids, quests, important computers, voip lines, etc... would all be in separate domains, although the WAN modem would be the only promiscuous vlan that everyone could reach.
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Re: "smart" house v "simple" man - Help please

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:37 pm

Apartment buildings is a different kettle of fish, I agree you need managed switches there and similarly in a business setting. I think you are taking things to far at home to go to multiple VLANs.
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Re: "smart" house v "simple" man - Help please

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:47 pm

notfred wrote:Apartment buildings is a different kettle of fish, I agree you need managed switches there and similarly in a business setting. I think you are taking things to far at home to go to multiple VLANs.



Not if you have kids, a home office, and a HTPC/NAS setup. Comes in very handy when the little turds crud their machine up with viruses/malware, and prevents them from broadcasting to every device on the home LAN. :)

I can think of about a dozen other good reasons to implement specific VLANs throughout a home network, but all that depends on money/time/perfect world/etc... (and being a Uber-network nerd like me).
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Re: "smart" house v "simple" man - Help please

Postposted on Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:07 am

Hz so good wrote:
notfred wrote:Apartment buildings is a different kettle of fish, I agree you need managed switches there and similarly in a business setting. I think you are taking things to far at home to go to multiple VLANs.

Not if you have kids, a home office, and a HTPC/NAS setup. Comes in very handy when the little turds crud their machine up with viruses/malware, and prevents them from broadcasting to every device on the home LAN. :)
While in the strictest sense you have a point, I have to ask: why do you let the kids run as Admin in the first place?

Hz so good wrote:I can think of about a dozen other good reasons to implement specific VLANs throughout a home network, but all that depends on money/time/perfect world/etc... (and being a Uber-network nerd like me).
When you have a hammer? :P The OP does not necessarily have the knowledge on how to set these complicated VLANs up, plus there is a cost consideration.
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Re: "smart" house v "simple" man - Help please

Postposted on Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:18 pm

Flying Fox wrote:While in the strictest sense you have a point, I have to ask: why do you let the kids run as Admin in the first place?


Same reasons I learned a lot about PCs and OSes when I was a kid: They break it, they learn to fix it (within reason). :P

Flying Fox wrote:When you have a hammer? :P The OP does not necessarily have the knowledge on how to set these complicated VLANs up, plus there is a cost consideration.


We're gonna have to agree to disagree on this. VLANs really aren't complicated at all to set up, and with a single managed switch in the closet, that's the only place OP would have to set any of it up. And most of us here (I know I would) would be happy to help walk OP thru setting them up. Plus, cost is less of a factor now. The RouterBOARD managed gigabit switch and AP I linked to is around $200 brand-new, and a used Cisco 3550/3560 24-port multilayer switch can be had for $80. Heck, you can even pick up 5 port MPLS routers for $40 these days.

*EDIT*

I had forgotten about it, but another bonus of using a 3550/CRS125 is traffic policing and shaping, and MLS QoS. Good way to make sure certain traffic doesn't slow it down for other users, and perform it as close to the source as possible.
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