Can anyone out there fill me in on what CAT5 communication cabling is and why a client would want it in addition to standard CATV and phone cabling? What does it connect to, what sort of site infrastructure is needed in a new housing development of 100+ detached units, and what does it offer over high speed internet connections via phone or CATV?
The client is rather computer systems savvy (I’m not…but I can’t tell HIM that!) and wants to be able to link up to corporate computers from home. He wants connection points in each major room in the house. That would be 10 jacks, plus a service connection I’m sure.
Cost per opening? Cabling costs, approximately?
Thanks in advance.
Here's a start. http://www.lanshack.com/cat5e-tutorial.asp
There's quite a bit here from recent discussions - Try searching the archives and see what turns up.
CAT5 is baically network cables. They all have to run to a central location somewhere.
What if the hokey pokey really is what it's all about?
I would take a look at structured cable. You can get it with 2 RG6 (high quality CATV) and 2 CAT5e cables. Costs more quicker and easier to pull.
You can aslo use CAT5 for phone.
Cat 5 wire is basically 4 pairs of wire twisted at a different shedule. The twisting variable prevents crossover - noise/ sound from one pair of wire transfering to another pair. Like when you're on line 1 and you can hear the fax signal from line 2. I think the twisting also speeds up the signal.
Cat 5 is used for Ethernet wiring - wiring for one computer to "talk" to another. For that only two pairs of the wires are used but we usually connect all four. Beleive it or not, it's easier.
We no longer use regular phone wire. Everything is cat5 Keeps things simple.
Every phone, data, computer location should have a homerun. This is a wire that goes from the point of use to a central hub which is usually the point of entry to the place. There you should have a "box" where all the wiring is integrated, ie: dif punch down blocks or network panels. This is where the router(s), Client provided, should be. The main cable modem should be there too. This way you connect the router to the cabnle modem and then any computer wire to the network will have internet access. Very cool!
Don't use the same wire for tel and comp even though there are enough pairs. Keep everything separate. I even like to use white wire for tel and yellow wire for comp. The blue cat5 wire is called plenum (sp?) This is used in commercial applications. It doesn't give off poisonous gases when it burns. For that ya gotta pay - Cha-ching!
For cable/ coax cable use only RG6U which is quad sheild. Much better signal transfer and it won't be interfered by a stray bx or romex wire crossing it's path. Florescent lights are a big problem too.
FHB had an article a few mos back about connectors for coax wire. One of the brands of connectors and tools/compression pliers (require for the connectors) was Thomas Betts, another was...... aw shucks, now I forget. Look it up. These are the best. Once they are on ya gotta cut the wire to get rid of them. Much better than the crimping type. You can buy them on-line. If you go local, look for a electrinics store or call the manufacturer and ask for a dealer. They are very helpful. Same goes for the cat5 end connectors. Try to stay with the same brand. Some have one tool fit 5 types of wire. You will also need a punch down tool. Ideal is okay for this. You may need a dif blade than what comes with the unit.
Lutron makes a Quick-Port line of wall receptacles. I think they are great. Nice look and you can mix and match. Any configuration you'd like. Kinda pricey but worth every cent. If the guy knows a lot he'll pay for it with a smile. Their catalogue also has wiring diagrams that will be very helpful.
We charge 2/3's the cost of a 120v. point per cat5 point. That's per point NOT location. One location may have 2 or 3 points. It may sound like a money maker but a lot of time is used sorting wires and making connections.
Pull all your cat5 wires AFTER the bx or romex is installed. electricians really don't care how close they come to it and you won't know until after the walls are closed and painted.
Hope this helps. let me know if you have any other questions.
Cat5 is a cable made up of 4 twisted pairs of wire. Is is rated for 100mbs. The new standard is cat5e (enhanced) that is rated for 1,000mbs. Cat3 cable is rated for only 10mbs and suitable for voice (Phone only, no data). I understand that cat3 is the minimum standard for phone wiring today.
A 500ft box of cat5e runs about $50. The jacks in bulk are roughly $5 a pop.
Cat5e cable can be used for the phone lines, allowing 4 separate lines in one cable. It is also what would be used to network the computers within the house. It is not recommended that you use the same cable for both, so you would run two Cat5e cables to each jack location, one for phone and one for the network.
Each one of these cables should be "home run" back to a central or common spot like Boss suggested. It does not need to be central but doing so shortens all of the runs. The CATV RG6 Cable should be "Homerun" as well. A Structured cable will have two RG6 cables plus two Cat5e cables in the same jacket. IMO it limits you to the destination of all four cables on each end. (I have my RG6 on one side of my family room by the TV and the cat5e running to opposite wall by the couch.)
Let explain what I have done here as an example.
For the phone system: I have a Cat5e cable coming from the telco's demarc point on the side of my house to a "bridged telephone module". This has 10 punch down (IDC) blocks that give you nine parallel connections. I actually have two of these, one feeding the other because I had more than nine phone jacks throughout the house. http://www.leviton.com/lin/pdf/productcat/voicedata.pdf describes it in a little more detail. Then I have twelve cat5e cable runs from this point to twelve phone jacks throughout the house.
For the computer's internet connection and local network: I have cable internet. The cable co. ran a RG6/coax cable from the alley to the side of my house. Then this connects to an RG6 cable in my attic that goes to my "Network closet". That cable is connected to the cable modem (with RG6 just like to a TV). The cable modem connects to the house network (a router in my case) with a cat5e patch cable. This looks like a phone cord on steroids. The cable modem and router would be the responsibility of the client, you are just providing the "in wall" wires. Then from this closet I have run 11 cat5e cables to various points in the house, they terminate right with the phone jacks. All the network cables homerun to the network closet. On each end of the cable I have a RJ45 jack (looks like a modular phone jack only it is slightly wider and is labeled "Cat5e". In the rooms they would connect to a PC (with a patch cable). In the closet they connect to a router which is connected to the cable modem, which is connected to the internet via the cable co. By the way, I have an 8 port router and 11 data outlets through the house so three are not connected. It is a simple matter of moving a patch cable from one jack to another I did this for furniture moves and what not.
I also ran similar home runs with RG6 cable for the TV signal.
I would assume your client would have a high speed internet connection to hook up to work, either DSL from the telecom or broadband cable form the cable provider. More importantly I would assume one or both of those services are available to the residence. DSL has distance limitations and Cable Internet in not everywhere yet, even in upscale neighborhoods here. He may have to dial in to the office directly via a conventional modem in which case the cat5e cable run for the phone would suffice. The connectivity to the telephone company is up to them to the demarcation point on the house.
That may be way more than you wanted to know but there you go.
Something some contractors around here are doing that you may consider. They are wiring in a communications system w/ conduit. That way they can wire in CAT5, or whatever else the customer wants now. But, at a later date the system is easily upgradable in.
Obviously this adds to the initial system cost, but if your client is a real computer guru he should realize that no matter what he puts in today, he may want something different in 5 years. With a conduit system it is easy and cheap to change later.
Just a thought.