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  • Co-Axe & CAT5e Cable Questions???

    Comcast Left me hanging and said sorry can't do new const. So I am running (2) RG-6 Quad Coax cables & (2) CAT 5e cables to every location that they might be used (most will probably never get used).
    Anyway - The electric house sold me a kit by "Ideal" that has a cutter, stripper, crimper and a few "F" connectors. I am worried about making the connections (most important part of it correct?) Should I get a better quality crimper or is the Ideal one just fine? Any tips on crimping "F" fittings?
    Lastly - What do you do with the "loose ends" to keep the drywallers from destroying them? Its not like you can jamb the coax back into a box like you do with NM cables.
    Thanks for any advice.

  • #2
    Re: Co-Axe & CAT5e Cable Questions???

    There's really nothing special to doing coax connections. The critical part is only unsheathing and inserting the cable properly into the connector. The crimper will do noting more than compress the fitting and lock it in place. A better one will be more durable and maybe a little easier on hand pressure but I don't think that is important unless your job is installing cable all day long.

    For the cat 5 cable you'll need a punchdown tool with a 110 blade which is the most commonly used with cat 5 jacks. Doesn't sound like your kit brought one. Doing a proper cat 5 installation is actually a bit tricky. Make sure you pay attention to the wire color termination schemes. You should also not untwist more than 1/2" of each wire pair when terminating them. The wires are arranged in those patterns and twisted in very specific way that reduces crosstalk between cables. A lot of people just take the easy way and untwist bunch of cable at the end to make it easy to punch down as well as just matching colors at each end rather than arranging per standard.
    Not doing it right will lead anywhere from the network connection not being able to hit optimum speeds, which for most uses might not be noticeable, to constant connection and communication errors.

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    • #3
      Re: Co-Axe & CAT5e Cable Questions???

      Thank You for reply. Guess I was worried about wrong cable. I was aware of the "twist" thing because Ray Mullin book I bought actually mentions it. I'll forge ahead.

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      • #4
        Re: Co-Axe & CAT5e Cable Questions???

        I recommend my builder buy off on not running cat5 cable to all room locations for computers as most people are going wireless for their computers. For commercial customers wireless security is not an issue if a VPN (virtual private network) is installed.

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        • #5
          Re: Co-Axe & CAT5e Cable Questions???

          Wireless definately does save a lot of the hassles of having to run cat 5 but having the option of hardwired cat 5 is nice. If it's easy to implement and the cost is not an issue I say go for it. Wireless is convenient but it's overall nowhere near as reliable and as fast as cat 5+.

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          • #6
            Re: Co-Axe & CAT5e Cable Questions???

            For my house I only ran 1 cat5 connection. I like having my pc wired. There really should be a problem making your whole house wireless especially with speed increases in the last few years.

            Crimping cat5 rj45 is a piece of cake after you have done the first couple. I would suggest faulting on the short side for unsheathing the cable. If you cut to much off at a connection the crip wont grab the sheating and its really annoying.

            Tool shouldnt matter as long as it crimps.

            Josh

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            • #7
              Re: Co-Axe & CAT5e Cable Questions???

              Are you using crimping or compression connectors for the co-ax? In our area, our local cable company will not connect to co-ax terminated with crimped connections, they must be compression connectors only. May be worth checking it out in your area as well, we can buy both here, but cable will only connect one way. If they have to reterminate them, that is yet another charge.

              This is an example of compression: http://www.hometech.com/techwire/coaxconn.html#19.3mm

              And this is an example of crimp: http://www.hometech.com/techwire/coaxconn.html#ccon

              As for the rough in, what I do is I will run the coax or cat5E to the box in the wall, and I will leave enough for about 12 inches to come out of the box. I push about 3 inches or so into the box and with cat5 I will tie a knot in the end, and with coax I tape a wire nut onto it, just to be sure the wire doesn't pull back out of the box. Then I leave a loop in the wall either above or below the box so when it is time to do the finish, I just tug on the wire and the loop pulls out for use. This way the rockers can't butcher the wire with their rotozips.

              Jeff

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              • #8
                Re: Co-Axe & CAT5e Cable Questions???

                It can be a wise idea to have cat 5 wiring throughout a house and if I had to make a guess I would say it's going to become increasingly more important in future years. Wi-Fi standards are still very slow and they will never catch up to the bandwidth demands of the future which keep increasing exponentially. Even the future wifi standards in the works are meagerly slow compared to what's been capable with wired for decades. The problem with wireless is there are some fundamental problems. The frequency ranges are susceptible to lots of interference from anything ranging from cordless phones to microwave ovens. There's a significant portion of overhead bandwidth lost to data encryption. There are also limitations when signals need to pass through walls and floors and the biggest problem is signal drop off. As you get farther performance doesn't drop linearly, it keeps dropping several times over. Wireless performance figures are theoretical maximums. In the real world the best you can get from a 54mbps wireless connection is about half of that, maybe 25mbps under optimal conditions. Once everything else is factored in you are only actually getting a tiny fraction of those 25mbps. With wired connections being capable of tens to hundreds of times faster and sustained reliable rates they are always going to be required.

                To most people who just want to share their internet connection this is no big deal. However to anyone who needs to move significant amounts of data between computers this is unbearably slow. Broadband speeds are going to continue to increase dramatically and there's a good chance wireless won't be able to keep up with streaming becoming more and more popular. We already see other examples such as home theaters which keep becoming more pupular among homes. HD video requires massive amounts of data and if you've been paying attention to the blu-ray vs HD-DVD war, the blu-ray voctory is expected to be short lived as people will move from disc based libraries to downloaded based and stored and distributed throughout the home on home servers or media center computers. Wired homes are going to become more attractive in the future and to some people a must have.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Co-Axe & CAT5e Cable Questions???

                  Originally posted by Velosapien View Post
                  It can be a wise idea to have cat 5 wiring throughout a house and if I had to make a guess I would say it's going to become increasingly more important in future years. Wi-Fi standards are still very slow and they will never catch up to the bandwidth demands of the future which keep increasing exponentially. Even the future wifi standards in the works are meagerly slow compared to what's been capable with wired for decades. The problem with wireless is there are some fundamental problems. The frequency ranges are susceptible to lots of interference from anything ranging from cordless phones to microwave ovens. There's a significant portion of overhead bandwidth lost to data encryption. There are also limitations when signals need to pass through walls and floors and the biggest problem is signal drop off. As you get farther performance doesn't drop linearly, it keeps dropping several times over. Wireless performance figures are theoretical maximums. In the real world the best you can get from a 54mbps wireless connection is about half of that, maybe 25mbps under optimal conditions. Once everything else is factored in you are only actually getting a tiny fraction of those 25mbps. With wired connections being capable of tens to hundreds of times faster and sustained reliable rates they are always going to be required.

                  To most people who just want to share their internet connection this is no big deal. However to anyone who needs to move significant amounts of data between computers this is unbearably slow. Broadband speeds are going to continue to increase dramatically and there's a good chance wireless won't be able to keep up with streaming becoming more and more popular. We already see other examples such as home theaters which keep becoming more pupular among homes. HD video requires massive amounts of data and if you've been paying attention to the blu-ray vs HD-DVD war, the blu-ray voctory is expected to be short lived as people will move from disc based libraries to downloaded based and stored and distributed throughout the home on home servers or media center computers. Wired homes are going to become more attractive in the future and to some people a must have.

                  I agree.

                  Cat 5 to every room in the house, that way you have a choice/convenience regardless of which way you go in the future.
                  I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Co-Axe & CAT5e Cable Questions???

                    Dang It Jeff! I think I will check with them. The guy that came to my house said he could put all the "F" connectors on as well as "clean up" their old mess where the cable enters the house.

                    He told me to get an ON-Q box and mount it indoors in garage which I have done.

                    I was hoping not to involve them anymore because it will probably cause a delay OR a different guy shows up with a whole different story on what they will do! Plus of coarse they don't do it for free!

                    Anyway - Thanks to ALL for the awesome response. Really appreciate the insight!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Co-Axe & CAT5e Cable Questions???

                      You might want to look into running fiber optical cables as well while you're at it. In my area (It's new to me and I need to research it myself) the big new rage is to go over to fiber optical. I would run co-ax and CAT5e besides to be on the safe side.
                      Last edited by Woussko; 02-23-2008, 05:42 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Co-Axe & CAT5e Cable Questions???

                        I would recommend returning the crimp connectors if you can and buying a compression connector tool off eBay. I've used both and will never go back to crimping. There is very satisfy snap when you use a compression connector, it's water resistant and there are none of those sharp edges you get with crimping. The connectors also feel like they are built better.

                        If you are only going to do F-connectors you can get one of the cheap Zenith tools and the red Thomas and Betts snap and seal connectors, they are universal and will work for your shielded cable. Or you can just get the quad only ones, just make sure to get the ones that match your cable.

                        If you want to be able to do RCA & BNC cable then get one of the more expensive ones that work with all those connectors, shouldn't be more than $25 shipped.

                        Put in some low voltage boxes and route your cable through those. Although it may be tempting, don't run your data cables through the same holes drilled for power and don't strap them to your electrical cables. You'll degrade the signal. Minimize the runs that are parallel to electrical cables.

                        I prefer wired wherever possible, it just works when you plug it in. And it's way faster, I can only get around 200Kbs over wifi when sitting 3 feet from my router, but I get over one 1Mbs when wired. Really nice for huge file downloads.

                        And if you are planning for the future you can run just about anything over CAT5. You can make HDMI, DVI, SVideo and RCA cables using a balun if you have enough CAT5 cables. The baluns aren't cheap, but they are cheaper than cutting and repairing drywall in the future.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Co-Axe & CAT5e Cable Questions???

                          or if you want to have more options, run conduit from a central location to each remote location. Then you can pull whatever cable you want in the future...as long as you can fit in the conduit...

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                          • #14
                            Re: Co-Axe & CAT5e Cable Questions???

                            When I bought my house, I snaked Cat5e to my office, living room, behind my TV (so that my Tivo can eventually get wired), my wife's office, , for Internet, and also some strategic places along the way (to get to the second story rooms, I had to go through the first story, and left behind a box with a wire). It is also great for getting phone lines where you want them.

                            I used the Leviton quick port for both CATV and Cat5e and it worked out really well. I couldn't find a simple cost-effective patch panel, so I improvised one using the corresponding face plates and some bits of MDF. It is really convenient because I can move phones and computers anywhere in the house by just replugging a few patch cables. I attached a picture of the whole setup, and also a zoom in.

                            It would have been more efficient to just densely pack the connectors into 6-port face plates, but the face plates are cheap compared to the Cat5e connectors ($3 a pop when you buy them in a pack of 10), and this way it is easy for me to remember what goes where without having to resort to labeling things.

                            You can pick up most of the components at HD, except for a few specialty connectors (e.g., HD doesn't have yellow RCA barrel jacks or RCA-110 (i.e. over CAT5 in any color). The Leviton Cat5 jacks actually come with a cheapy plastic punch down tool, which I used; but when/if I add the remaining rooms of the house I will get a real one.

                            If you are going through the extra trouble of snaking the CAT5, and you have all the walls open you should probably go for 4 runs. That would let you have a computer or two, 4 phones phone, and another just in case. You could also repurpose one of the RJ45s to video.

                            I also always leave a bit of string tied off to one of the cables so that I have a better shot of pulling an extra without opening up the walls if need be.

                            I wouldn't worry so much about the crimping of the Coax though, because they should be easy to fix after the fact and most of them will go unused. When I got my cable modem and box installed, the guy replaced all of the connectors/splitters along the way anyway. In my area, Cablevision always seems to run a special so that you can get the installation for less than $15.00 (in their attempt to kill Vonage and the phone company).
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