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Converting existing cat5 telephone lines to dual network/phone

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  • Dec 12th, 2009 10:53 pm
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Converting existing cat5 telephone lines to dual network/phone

Just moved into a new home. The telephone jacks are wired using cat5, but only one pair. I've followed the cables out to the phone box, and found all the lines. However, the phone box is outside.

Telephone service is not yet connected; will hook up with Shaw home phone free trial on Dec 17.

I think I can rewire the indoor jacks to be telephone and ethernet (but 10/100mbps only) using the unused pairs in the cat5 lines. However, I don't know how to deal with other end. If the phone box were in a basement, I'd just crimp RJ-45 connectors onto the end and hook it up to a switch. However, since the phone box is outside the house, and there doesn't seem to be an AC outlet nearby.

What does a network-installer normally do?

Thanks!
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kitty wrote:
Dec 9th, 2009 1:02 pm
Just moved into a new home. The telephone jacks are wired using cat5, but only one pair. I've followed the cables out to the phone box, and found all the lines. However, the phone box is outside.

Telephone service is not yet connected; will hook up with Shaw home phone free trial on Dec 17.

I think I can rewire the indoor jacks to be telephone and ethernet (but 10/100mbps only) using the unused pairs in the cat5 lines. However, I don't know how to deal with other end. If the phone box were in a basement, I'd just crimp RJ-45 connectors onto the end and hook it up to a switch. However, since the phone box is outside the house, and there doesn't seem to be an AC outlet nearby.

What does a network-installer normally do?

Thanks!
Every time your phone rings, wouldn't the burst of high voltage disrupt and reset all your ethernet connections?
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I believe that if you only wire it for 10/100MBps, one pair is left unused. That pair would be used to carry the telephone signal; whilst the remaining 4 pairs would be used for the network. So the phone and network signals would be on separate wires.

The other way is for me to only go with cordless phones throughout the system; and leave my rewire my existing telephone jacks for dedicated cat5 allowing full gigabit speeds.
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The telco box is about the size of a tissue box. I don't know the exact size of the S110 patch panel, it is similar to this?

http://www.monoprice.com/products/produ ... largeimage

Running additional cables into the house sounds like an excellent idea, but this has exceeded my own skills. I will likely have to call in a professional network installer.

Anyone know a reputable installer in the Vancouver area?

Also, Shaw locked off the CATV box when they put in cable. Will they also lock off the TELCO box, and will the installer have any problems getting into the box?
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Apr 29, 2007
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I am in Ontario. My house built in 2006 also had CAT5e for
the telephone rough-in. My installer found out that they were in
a loop. This works for telephone, but not well for Ethernet which
needs star topology.
He was able to use 1 pair for all the phone jacks, then the other wires for 1 Ethernet jack.
My point is, if your rough-in is a loop (as opposed to a star as it would
be for your cable TV rough-in), then it wouldn't support Ethernet to all
rooms. Something worth double checking.
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kitty wrote:
Dec 9th, 2009 1:45 pm
The telco box is about the size of a tissue box. I don't know the exact size of the S110 patch panel, it is similar to this?

http://www.monoprice.com/products/produ ... largeimage

Running additional cables into the house sounds like an excellent idea, but this has exceeded my own skills. I will likely have to call in a professional network installer.

Anyone know a reputable installer in the Vancouver area?
If you're going to call an installer, it's best to get a fresh set of wires installed.

It costs about 120 - 150 per drop including hardware.
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sunjwd wrote:
Dec 9th, 2009 1:46 pm
I am in Ontario. My house built in 2006 also had CAT5e for
the telephone rough-in. My installer found out that they were in
a loop. This works for telephone, but not well for Ethernet which
needs star topology.
He was able to use 1 pair for all the phone jacks, then the other wires for 1 Ethernet jack.
My point is, if your rough-in is a loop (as opposed to a star as it would
be for your cable TV rough-in), then it wouldn't support Ethernet to all
rooms. Something worth double checking.
What a pain to deal with. However, I'd wager a guess that you can inelegantly fix that by re-wiring the loop into a point-to-point manner. But that would require unsightly hubs/switches to be installed at each jack and somewhat complicated wiring.... which I could handle, since it's all interior and doesn't require any holes to be cut in walls.

I looked in my telco box, and I see a bundle of cat5e cables, which I assume to mean one cable for each jack. So hopefully it's a star (crosses fingers).
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kitty wrote:
Dec 9th, 2009 1:57 pm
What a pain to deal with. However, I'd wager a guess that you can inelegantly fix that by re-wiring the loop into a point-to-point manner. But that would require unsightly hubs/switches to be installed at each jack and somewhat complicated wiring.... which I could handle, since it's all interior and doesn't require any holes to be cut in walls.
Why would you rewire a loop configuration rather than running new drops? Running new drops is FAR cheaper and FAR easier ...
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coolspot wrote:
Dec 9th, 2009 1:52 pm
If you're going to call an installer, it's best to get a fresh set of wires installed.

It costs about 120 - 150 per drop including hardware.
That price actually quite reasonable. However, new wires installed probably means they'll have to drill holes in walls and stuff, right?
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kitty wrote:
Dec 9th, 2009 2:03 pm
That price actually quite reasonable. However, new wires installed probably means they'll have to drill holes in walls and stuff, right?
Depends on the layout of your house and where you want to put your drops.

But in general, it's not much of an issue unless your basement is finished.
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coolspot wrote:
Dec 9th, 2009 2:39 pm
Depends on the layout of your house and where you want to put your drops.

But in general, it's not much of an issue unless your basement is finished.
Unfortunately, my basement is finished. It looks like I'm stuck with the one cat5 line per jack running out to telco box for now, since I'm unwilling to put any holes in my walls.
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You do know that shaw digital phone uses their own special CABLE modem - the telephone traffic will leave via phone modem -> coax.

So the wires leaving the house to the telco demarc are going to be useless ;)

I say give it a shot with the two unused TP's. Just remember not to untwist them too much ;)
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Dec 22, 2004
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sunjwd wrote:
Dec 9th, 2009 1:46 pm
I am in Ontario. My house built in 2006 also had CAT5e for
the telephone rough-in. My installer found out that they were in
a loop. This works for telephone, but not well for Ethernet which
needs star topology.
He was able to use 1 pair for all the phone jacks, then the other wires for 1 Ethernet jack.
My point is, if your rough-in is a loop (as opposed to a star as it would
be for your cable TV rough-in), then it wouldn't support Ethernet to all
rooms. Something worth double checking.
I just did this same thing a couple weeks ago. My house was built in 2005. All the telephone jacks were wired with cat5 using only one pair in a loop. At least they connected all four pairs the entire way around the loop. So I was able to leave the phone pair intact and I was able to crimp on a Rj45 jack onto another pair and there was my network connection from my basement up to my new office.

If your house is wired in a loop you should be able to install two network connections at any two jacks. You would essentially be cutting the loop in two than running one network connection around each side of the loop.
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How many pairs your cable has? Usually they came as either 2, 3 or 4 pairs. If you are lucky and you have 4 pairs you can have a phone and 4 network locations in the house (central point will have 3 jacks and each will be connected to the switch/router and other 3 - single jack through the house). To do this you will have to interconnect 3 matching pairs in telco box - so cable which runs to you central location will have all 4 pairs used and other 3 cables just 2 pairs - one for network and one for the phone. In theory this should and probably will work (I even use cat3 between my PC and WDTV box and getting 6-8MB/s). But because you are mixing phone and several network connections inside the same cable quality won't be impressive especially when you are on the phone and just using G wireless network may be not much more expensive but provide comparable speed and better flexibility.
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