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Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Network Cabling Your Own House

You don't need a cabling degree or pay a huge bill on credit to Network your own house. Networking I had a crazy day on Sunday and decided after a long time deliberating, to run a 40m network cable inside my walls, the loft and into the dining room where BT telecoms had glued the fibre box to the wall without asking where we wanted it (because there box was on the wall outside the point).  

The reason for doing it was the increasing number of Wifi hits and attempts on our Wifi Routers, although I've only been hacked into a few times (despite hefty security) each attempt takes up router time and slows the connections down significantly. By going to high speed CAT 6 and 6e flat cable I have achieve a significant speed increase and less wifi points to bother.

The house was built around 13 years ago with ultra-thick glass fibre insulation.  

Although it is great for energy efficient the thick insulation is a complete pig to work around. The route I chose ran 8m from my workshop/ computing room 

up into the loft space. Then 20m across the loft space to a foul water pipe conduit 

that went to the conduit in guest bedroom, to connect to that toilet. I drilled a large hole in the spare room wall into the conduit so I could see where I was going and guide the cable.

The conduit then carried on down through the dining room roof and floor, so I drill another hole there so the cable could come out of the conduit and connect to the router connected to the BT point. 

Everything looked straight forward so I thought it would be a 20 - 30 mins job. Getting from my room through the loft and down to the spare room hole was straight forward but then I discovered the down conduit dog legged so a 20 mins straight drop cabling, ended up 9 hours of hell.  

Luckily I'd recently purchased a 1 meter flexible Workzone inspection camera from Lidl on one of their special days 

Similar Inspection Camera's can be purchased from Amazon UK

 Or from Amazon in the USA:

This camera was amazing as I could now see some of the obstacles. But the more I looked the more I saw a rats nest of pipes, of all shapes and sizes that made no sense.

Struggling to make sense of it, I decided to set up a strobe torch in one of the 6 cm holes I'd made. After many patient hours of inspection camera searching from the the bedroom hole and the dining room hole I finally develop a good mental map of where I need to go, and how to get there. After getting the pull-through and bent metal coat hanger hook through I manage to get Debbie to help feed me the cable from the guest room as I pulled it through in the dining room.  

I so glad I chose flexible flat cable, the beauty of the flat cable I used 

over the old thick round cable,

was that it is incredibly flexible and strong so it slid through the complicated rats nest of pipes without snagging once. I suppose its pretty much as a tapeworm does in the gut.

I chose blue flat Cat 6 cables as they stand out, but there are nice white ones available from Amazon in the UK:

And Available from Amazon USA


So success, I connected it all up in a temporary lash-up and it works.

Now all I have to do is fill the holes, clean up all the mess I made and straighten up the insulation.

I find it hilarious how a simple 5 minute jobs, as I call them, can suddenly end up taking all day.


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