[TriLUG] [OT] Wired/wireless networking in house

Rick DeNatale rick.denatale at gmail.com
Sun Jan 9 10:26:32 EST 2011

On Sat, Jan 8, 2011 at 12:33 PM, Martin Streicher
<martin.streicher at gmail.com> wrote:
> I am renovating a house and need some guidance on how to wire it for wireless and wired access.
> Specifically, my home office needs wired access, as does my son's room and the family room for higher throughput console and AppleTV connectivity. The rest of the house can be wireless. The house is a ranch style house with a metal roof and ample attic and crawlspace access.
> My initial plan is to have the cable modem in the office with a wireless N router. The router could then feed Cat-5 cables going to the other two rooms. This means that a bunch of Cat-t cables have to get pulled into the office.
> Another option would be locate the cable modem and wireless router in the attic and pull Cat-5 cables to the office, son's room, and family room. In the office, I could then connect another wireless router for wired and wireless connectivity in that end of the home.
> If you have wired your house, please let me know what you did. Is the attic sufficiently heated and cooled for the equipment to be there? Where did you place wireless and wired routers?

As others have already noted you definitely want to run the cables to
a 'home base'.  It used to be a trend to install what are/were called
structured wiring systems in new homes.  Several companies built
'cans' to hold routers, TV distribution amps, phone wiring
connections, etc.  The can is the equivalent to a circuit breaker
panel, only for low voltage stuff.

The leaders were OnQ, Leviton, and Home Director (which was spun off
from IBM).   My wife worked for Home Director when we built our house
in 2001-2 and we put in a pretty extensive structured wiring system
with two large 'cans' in the laundry room.  I tried to put at least
two cat-5 outlets (for phone and ethernet), and 1 or 2 RG6 runs
everywhere it made sense. I used 2 RG6s where I thought I might put a
satellite receiver so that I could send the signal back to the can for
redistribution to other rooms.

I'm still a big believer that, when possible, lan devices which stay
put, printers, desktop computers, home-theater stuff, should be wired
to the lan.  But that's a lot easier to do if you put the wires in
before the sheetrock goes up.  Even with all the wiring we put in,
there are some places I wish I had more.

You don't need a proprietary structured wiring 'can' though, home base
can just be a place where wiring comes together, and equipment can be
mounted on shelves or a plywood panel or ...

I would advise against putting electronics in the attic.  The problem
is that unless the attic is finished and air conditioned it gets very
hot in the summer.  I put my wireless access point in the attic when
we moved in, and it died after a summer or two.  Now I've got two, a
WRT54G which lives in an upstairs room at one end of the house, and an
airport express in the downstairs master bedroom at the other end of
the house. I'm actually using both of these as WAPs rather than
routers, they are wired back to my router which lives in one of the
cans and use the same  SSID but different channels.

The best place for a home base might be a closet.
Rick DeNatale

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