Saturday, August 18, 2007

Installing Structured Wiring Center

It always kind of bugged me that my basic infrastructure was ... not very infrastructury.

For the new house I decidced I do this right. First off, get a wiring panel for the network wiring. At Home Depot I found a nice metal case from Leviton (SMC="structured media center"). Leviton is selling various plugin pieces that use the specially spaced holes in the case, and allow to pack the various parts (phone, switch, dsl splitter, cat5 jacks, etc.) very tightly. However, their stuff is ridiculously expensive (e.g. a no-name 10/100 hub with the special mounting bracket for the SMC, was $29 at Home Depot). No thanks.

Since most of my equipment doesn't have mounting braces or holes anyways, I mounted only the CAT5e patch panel for the home wiring directly into the case. The rest is mounted on a wodden half inch backing board using regular angle brackets and plenty of zip ties. Looks a little bit odd, but is very functional.

The case of course as a nice front cover as well. I mounted the wireless access point outside the case so that it doesn't inhibit reception. I have excellent connectivity throughout the house. As the various computer locations in the house become permanent, the number of wires running into the patch panel will go up...

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