Saturday, June 2, 2007

While We're At it, How about Television?

Since the basement is exposed, now is the easiest time to run low voltage cable and network wiring to various places within the house. We've been living with merely one coax cable line running in to the basement, which is a step up from Dorothy's existance, where there were zero coax cable lines. We do not know if she favored rabbit ears, or was simply TV-free.

I have a decided that we need 15, count ‘em, FIFTEEN outlets for network & cable. For the network/cable boxes, we figure we will run 3 cat 6 lines and 1 cable – this will give us the opportunity to have up to 2 data, 2 phone, and television from every outlet location. Excessive? Not for two techno-geeks like us!

Sadly, once I saw the materials bill, I thought otherwise – $389 for 1000 feet of Belden 1694A quad shield coax cable from Westlake Electronic, and another $429 for 2000 feet of Systimax Cat 6 cable from Accu-Tech. We actually needed closer to 3000 feet, but Martin had managed to find 1000 feet on Ebay and squirreled it away some time ago.

Why Cat 6, and not Cat 5? We are not content with a paltry 100 Mbps!

Really, although Cat 6 is a premium cost, and Cat 5 no doubt fulfills all our basic network needs, the real work here is pulling cable, so we might as well go for the best so we NEVER have to do this again.

We are setting up our central network panel and terminate cable and cat 6 in our future “utility room”. You can get off the shelf panels from Leviton, but we'd like the flexibility to use the components of our choosing, so we're going with the Sheet of Plywood option, where we will simply make our own termination panel, mounting the components to the plywood.

And here it is - just a bunch of cables at this point.