Author Topic: Why many CATx cables?  (Read 1568 times)

posde

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Why many CATx cables?
« on: April 25, 2010, 10:06:59 am »
Hi,

food for thoughts: I just read totallymaxed post regarding putting at least three CAT cables to any place where you consider needing a media device.

My question is: Is that really needed? I understand the point of the broken cable, even though it never has happened to me on fixed installed cables, but other than that, why not put a switch near each outlet? I've come to the conclusion, that a local switch solves a lot of issues for me, and if I use not only a regular small switch, but one of these small linksys router devices, I have an extension in my wifi cloud as well.

In the past, I needed many cables because of different cableing techs needed, but these days, all I need is a network connection.

Different opinions anyone?!

_if_

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Re: Why many CATx cables?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2010, 11:54:19 am »
Hey posde,

one point would be powerconsumption - if you got a switch in every room that will totalize it.
Another thing is bandwidth - in case you get 100Mbit/s from one cable, the switch will segment it (depends on how many devices will be connected to the switch). So if you only connect 2 devices you will have 50Mbit/s for each...

greetz
IF


golgoj4

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Re: Why many CATx cables?
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2010, 12:17:34 pm »
My perspective is this on cat6

Pull as many as your budget can afford. Why?

Because not all the services may be lan related. With those in place, you have  high quality transmission lines for some low voltage applications like an ir bus or some very simple 2wire sensor. Who knows? :)  It gives you flexibility for all sorts of things that may come later.

Also, for now there is the linuxmce box that connects to the network. But soon there will be connected tv's in addition to whatever other network devices we may be seeing in the future. There is already the roku netflix box, in my case a ps3 but in a broader sense a network connected game console and who even some blu-ray players. A switch may be more than adequate but who's to say it will be for all applications.

I think the biggest consideration in this is if you have a chance to pre-wire a home, leave some media conduits for easy future additions. the builders involved will know the relevant local codes for the carpentry, but if your unsure now but know there will be future expansion, investing in getting proper cable support and conduits in places saves tons o cash (metric AND english!) when doing upgrades.

just my 2c
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rndinokc

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Re: Why many CATx cables?
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2010, 03:09:16 pm »
I second the conduit.  I put conduit in the wall to the attic and left it at that.  Fixed budget.  It has saved my butt several times already.
Randy

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Re: Why many CATx cables?
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2010, 03:45:31 pm »
Hi,

food for thoughts: I just read totallymaxed post regarding putting at least three CAT cables to any place where you consider needing a media device.

My question is: Is that really needed? I understand the point of the broken cable, even though it never has happened to me on fixed installed cables, but other than that, why not put a switch near each outlet? I've come to the conclusion, that a local switch solves a lot of issues for me, and if I use not only a regular small switch, but one of these small linksys router devices, I have an extension in my wifi cloud as well.

In the past, I needed many cables because of different cableing techs needed, but these days, all I need is a network connection.

Different opinions anyone?!



We always recommend running at least 4 x CAT5/6/7 per media location because of the following reasons (in no particular order);

- After you finish cabling and have completed a continuity and compliance test on the individual CAT5/6/7 cables all is ok. However then several other construction related activities happen around your working cabling and after you have dry lined/plastered/painted/ carpeted etc etc... you now find that somehow, some way a cable has failed (Cable hardly ever fail after this point in the process ie once the walls are skinned/sealed). At this point it is just not practical or economic to trace/fix the fault along the wall/floor/duct...and it is now that the 'spare' CAT5/6/7 runs may prove a 'life saver'.

- As golgoj4 points out you may want the flexibility to use the CAT5/6/7 runs for something other than data... CAT'X' cable has become the 'de-facto' cable standard for running almost all types of signal around a building... the more you have the more ready you are for some new application or some change in use of the installed cabling or indeed the space within the building itself. We for example often centrally locate some MD's in the central rack - having 4 x CAT5/6/7 mean that you can hanlde HDMI Video over 1 pair and use another single cable for in room USB devices for example. Having the 4 cable means you leave all of your options open at any time in the future.

- Of course using a switch in-room to allow for additional IP devices to be attached is definitely another option as you suggest (and one we use too I have to say). The Power consumption of a modern compact Megabit switch is really not going to ruin your 'Green' credentials even if you use several around your installation ;-)

All the best


Andrew
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Crawtech

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Re: Why many CATx cables?
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2010, 04:15:26 pm »
I am with Possy
Only one for me  ;D

totallymaxed

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Re: Why many CATx cables?
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2010, 04:19:26 pm »
I am with Possy
Only one for me  ;D

Well at home I do the same as you...but if I was building a new house I would run at least 4 x CAT5/6/7 cables. You may never use them but the marginal extra cable cost is lost in a new build easily.

All the best


Andrew
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Tred

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Re: Why many CATx cables?
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2010, 09:41:31 pm »
Cat6 has come down to about $100 for 1000 ft... why not prewire at that price? All the hassle and all the expense is the installation and if you look at pretty much all commercial installations that's what they do as well...  In my opinion it's better safe than sorry.

mhorst

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Re: Why many CATx cables?
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2010, 10:14:44 pm »
If you have to option, I'd run multiple cables while you're at it.

I didn't have the option in my house; I had to run the cables through existing conduits. I now have a small local router in my living room and one in my upstairs study. They use power over ethernet (802.3af) to get their power so I didn't have to put them near any power outlet and just tucked them away in a corner.
Works like a charm, and so far I haven't run out of connections.

Techstyle

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Re: Why many CATx cables?
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2010, 01:40:47 am »
Previously, I would have run 4 also, have my MD's centralised and have my cable boxes sent through a HDMI matrix (RS232 to the core) I would have the same number of outputs on the Matrix as entertainment areas then any cable box can be attached to any entertainment area. Also have the same number of MD's as entertainment areas.  Then use another HDMI Switch to send either the MD or the output from one of the Matrix outputs to the entertainment area using HDMI over CAT5/6.  In paralell, send USB over CAT5/6 like Andrew said.  Allowing the 4th line to be the network drop in that room where a telephone or IP camera or a switch if you need more could be plugged in. 

Now that MD's can be small and fanless and the HD-PVR works, the method described above may not be necessary.  If I had a new build I would still probably run 4 but I do think there will be some regional differences with this.  In the UK (as Andrew is) there are no basements and newbuilds tend to have concrete floors and breezeblock structural walls.  in the US they have basements and walls are timber framed and it is much easier to add cables later.

just my 2 cents

B34N

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Re: Why many CATx cables?
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2010, 03:01:23 pm »
Am I current in my understanding that CatX has eight leads of which only four are used? Would it be possible to run two pairs of signals down one cable or would there be interference problems?


_if_

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Re: Why many CATx cables?
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2010, 04:12:41 pm »
@st8ofmi9d: thats how it works for gigabit-ethernet (if I got your question right)

posde

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Re: Why many CATx cables?
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2010, 04:19:13 pm »
Thanks to all of your opinions. Much appreciated.

@st8ofmi9d: To quote wikipedia "1000BASE-T requires all four pairs to be present".

totallymaxed

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Re: Why many CATx cables?
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2010, 09:47:23 pm »
Previously, I would have run 4 also, have my MD's centralised and have my cable boxes sent through a HDMI matrix (RS232 to the core) I would have the same number of outputs on the Matrix as entertainment areas then any cable box can be attached to any entertainment area. Also have the same number of MD's as entertainment areas.  Then use another HDMI Switch to send either the MD or the output from one of the Matrix outputs to the entertainment area using HDMI over CAT5/6.  In paralell, send USB over CAT5/6 like Andrew said.  Allowing the 4th line to be the network drop in that room where a telephone or IP camera or a switch if you need more could be plugged in. 

Now that MD's can be small and fanless and the HD-PVR works, the method described above may not be necessary.  If I had a new build I would still probably run 4 but I do think there will be some regional differences with this.  In the UK (as Andrew is) there are no basements and newbuilds tend to have concrete floors and breezeblock structural walls.  in the US they have basements and walls are timber framed and it is much easier to add cables later.

just my 2 cents


Well at least 50% of our installations in new builds are in house that have basements... but all are built typically by German Basement construction specialists (they just build concrete basements...thats the specialism). But consequently running new cabling later is still not at all easy and really totally unnecessary if you just spend a little extra on running some spare cables when in construction.

I agree the flexibility of LinuxMCE means that you can pretty much distribute your MD's and other IP devices in any mix of centralised of de-centralised as you like - but time and time and time again we have seen customers not put the extra cabling in... and then it costs them dearly later when they find they dont have the spare cables needed.

Always put in more cables than you expect to need and even run them to places you may not need them too... it will save you money in the end and a lot of sleepless nights too ;-)

All the best


Andrew
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trentend

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Re: Why many CATx cables?
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2010, 12:05:33 am »
I haven't run as many cable as some of you, but probably more than the average person thinks is reasonable.

Generally I have one bedroom with only one Cat6 socket, but the others have two, three, and four respectively. I have 2 cat6 to the front door, along with a power cable and a KNX cable.  I have 2 cat6 to my boiler cupboard (one for the webserver for the heating system, plus an additional one just in case). I have none to the lounge (but all appliances connected directly to the electrical cabinet), one to the kitchen and two to the dining room.  In addition every door contact and pir is connected by cat6, as is every in ceiling speaker and fire alarm sensor or sounder. I also have a one wire circuit in cat6, along with a number of spares to the roof space (about five left spare).

There's over a kilometre of cat6 in my house, the conduits in the wall are packed full, and I've almost run out of potential cable runs that meet building regulations.

Wish I'd run a few more outside to be honest, although I may be able to service those needs from the spares in the roof space.

You could argue for more, but I've got enough.  There comes a point where there is a practical limit.  The cost of running the cable and terminating all the connections was not insubstantial.  Simply because there were a lot of them.

Remember to buy yourself a good label printer, label every cable at both ends as you lay it.  Don't miss one. It will pay off in the long run. We only have one cable that is not working (to the power socked in the walk in wardrobe), and one not used (was for an extra dining room light but we've decided to make do with the two). Considering how many cables that's not bad.

All of the cat6 has tested out ok.