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Thread: Structured cabling question

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Structured cabling question

    Hi there

    My first post so please bear with me. I have searched for an answer to this but can't find any answers. So here goes:

    I am planning to run structured cabling to all the rooms in the house. I plan to have at least 2 points in each room (some with 4 and the office with 8) leading back to a cupboard with patch panel, switch etc housed in a rack.

    Trouble is of course the outlet always need to be near electrical sockets so that fly leads don't have to run across the room to where the particular computer or appliance that uses it is located. In places I can keep the ethernet cable away from the under floor power cables but in others it has to run very close, sometimes at right angles but in others parallel to it.

    Would you use screened cable (FTP) in this case or will standard UTP be sufficient? Looking at the cost of screened jacks and wall plates that match the rest of houses sockets and wall outlet the cost will be phenomenal compared to the standard UTP jacks in the same range.

    What I don't want to end up with however is having to replace it all when I find that UTP isn't up to it!!!

    Any help you can give is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Near Alicante Spain


    Have a look at
    I install Abitana systems in Spain. When I did my own install, I purposely made sure I had a couple of worst case scenarios, during the install. This is 2 cables at right angles going through a mains junction box, 2 cables actually in the same conduit as a mains cable for about 3m. And finally 2 cables passing behind 2 electrical outlets. And I see no interference, The worst 2 cables are used for TV signals, and the picture is fine. No problems.
    Though just because it can be done doesn't mean it should be. I did it as a learning experience and also to know if it could work. For a client I wouldn't do it unless I had to, but at least I know it would be ok. Our prefered method of installation is the structured wiring always goes in its own conduit.
    I have a few install pictures here

  3. #3
    Automated Home Legend TimH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004


    UTP should be fine for a normal domestic install.
    Properly installed Cat5 is also suitable for gigabit ethernet so you have some future-proofing too - just make sure you install it carefully and don't have bends that are too tight, or pull too hard on the cable when installing it. Also, be sure it doesn't kink as you pull it through.

    If you consider an office environment, where power and data are very often distributed in "dado" or skrting trunking, the data & power cables will run parallel for long distances with few problems. The general advice is keep them as far apart as you can, but don't lose sleep if you can't do that everywhere

    Also note that wiring regs in the UK usually require you to run mains and LV cables in separate conduits. Dado trunking is fine, as there are separate compartments inside, but you can't run both in the same compartment unless the outer sheath of the LV cable is rated for mains voltage.

    What I would also say is that you need to run *waaaaayyy* more cable... Two runs to each *corner* of each room would be a start - you don't have to terminate all of the runs initially, the cable will sit in the back box quite happily until you're ready to use it. Don't forget to run it to places where you might have a set top box, e.g. Sky box, or anywhere else where you might need a wired phone.

    Cat5 is not restricted to phone & data either. You can distribute AV signals, use it for 1-wire sensors (Dallas/Maxim), infrared repeaters and all sorts of other things.



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