02/03/2018
Reworking my home network
Reason for Installation
In addition to the ER-X-SFP and the ES-24-LITE, there is one ES-8-150W and two AirCube AC with the possibility of increasing the number of AirCubes, depending on need and availability. Propably the ER-X-SFP might be swapped to an ER-4 if I could use the ER-X-SFP in another installation
Used Products
×1
×1
Location
25436 Uetersen, Deutschland
Description

Introduction 

 

With the third year coming to an end since we moved into our house, the wish to rework the complete network was getting stronger and stronger. As the previous network was mostly wireless-based with an ISP-provided cable modem at the location of our (only) cable TV at Ground Floor and several wireless routers spread across the three story (plus basement) house. Two TP-Link Archer C5 with OpenWRT firmware were set up as a Bridge from Ground Level to the upmost second floor, where my home office is located. A third wireless router provided the same kind of connectivity to the basement.
As one can imagine this setup wasn't ideal at all. The possibilities of placing network equipment like Modem, Routers, APs, Zyxel NSA325 and a growing number of IoT Devices and Development Boards were pretty limited and the stability of the overall connection was unsatisfying. The 200/12 Cable Connection was stripped down to approx. 50Mbit/s via WLAN.

 

I've learned about UBNT Equipment a few months ago and the process of redesigning the complete network was initiated. The overall project can be splitted in several parts, a few of them quite challenging as one of the top-requirements was "the wife-acceptance-factor shall be as high as possible". Therefore solutions like grabbing a wall chaser and cutting straight through the living and sleeping room was not an option, obviously.

 

 

Setting up the infrastructure

 

Connecting 2nd Floor

As I always strive to rely on cable-based networking as much as possible, I've always thought about getting a cable all the way from basement to second floor (third floor for american readers Man Happy ) to provide a proper uplink to my main PC and associated equipment like Printer, Development boards etc.

Very luckily for me we do have a three-parted chimney with two chimneys used for the fireplace and heater. The last one was never used since the house was build (early 1980s) and therefore it is even allowed from german law to use it for other installations like water or cables. Luckily the chimney runs through my home office, so eventually I drilled one little hole and suddenly was able to install a cable-based connection from basement to my home office. At this stage I've already decided to use Fibre Cables as the main backbone and so a duplex LC/LC fibre cable was used.

 

Upgrading the heater room with some IT-Equipment

As our heater room provides enough space, I've decided to install a small 6U wall-mounted rack enclosure with glass door exactly at the end-point of the chimney. This should leave sufficient space to work on the other chimneys and give me enough slots for my amateur-equipment. As I wanted every core-component in one place, the rack currently hosts:

  1. Patch Panel
  2. Free
  3. Free (maybe for a small server)
  4. ES-24-LITE
  5. Multi-Purpose Shelf (with RasperryPis and the ER-X-SFP sitting on it)
  6. Power connector

As the rack is deep enough, I was able to put both the cable modem and the NAS in the rear area so they aren't visible. The coax-cable from my ISP was rerouted to the heater room with a splitter for the TV, still sitting in the Ground Floor. This left the FireTV and Steamlink without a wired connection, a problem I solved just recently.

The patch panel is mainly used for 6 new Ethernet Ports in my man-cave, providing connection to a commercial IoT Station, 3D Printer and some other devices. 

P2036325.jpgRack in basement

 

 

Connecting the home office

An ES-8-150W is used to connect to the ES-24-LITE via SFP Modules and serve my PC and other stuff in the home office. It is currently located on an old LACK table but probably will be mounted on the wall in the future. As one of the main requirements is fulfilled, my PC is now connected to the remaining network with a decent speed of 900Mbit/s and the connection is much more stable than before.

P2036331.jpgES-8-150W in 2nd Floor

 

 

Replacing the Wireless Net

As I want to get rid of the old wireless routers (big, clumsy), I've decided to go full throttle and I bought an AirCube-AC. The mixed opinions about this device can be read over in the forums, but I wanted to test if it suits my needs as a pure AP. A few minutes after receiving it, I was finished with connecting, upgrading and pairing it with UNMS in order to test the capabilities of this little black brick. I was quite impressed of the performance and from a practical POV the signal quality is equal to the much bigger TP-Link Archer C5. After a few days testing as a replacement for the AP in the 2nd Floor, I've decided to buy a second one to get rid of all the other wireless routers. (A third one may extend the WiFi in the future).

 

IMG_1643.jpg

 

Putting a cable from basement to ground floor

The last step was to re-establish a proper connection to the ground floor, where the TV is located. While it sounds pretty simple, but remember? The Wife-Acceptance-Factor... Luckily there was already the coax cable installed in a conduit. Unfortunately the conduits are way to short and they end somewhere in the wall. After two hours of using hammer and chisel, I was able to pull a CAT7 ethernet cable and connect it to the patch panel. My first AirCube was relocated to the Ground Floor and PoE powers it from the ER-X-SFP directly. 

 

Current Status of the network

The current status of the physical network is shown in the following diagram. I used the story numbering as a prefix for my device names, so don't get confused by it. 0 is the basement and 3 is the 2nd Floor. The 1st Floor is sleeping room and kids rooms only, so WiFi connection is sufficient here.

Kuhle16_Network.png

 

 

 

 

As a start, I've created two different VLANs, one for the usual equipment like PCs, Notebooks, Mobiles etc. and one dedicated IoT Network for both Commercial-Off-The-Shelf Equipment and a vast range of self-build IoT nodes. There certainly will be more VLANs in the future as I'm already thinking on VOIP telephony etc.

 

Future Improvements

First of all, I'm very satisfied with the result. It took a lot of planning, especially to achieve the goal in such a minimally invasive manner. The UBNT Equipment is both easy to get into and challenging in its complexity. For me as a hobbyist, UBNT is a great way to get professional hardware for a reasonable price.

 

The design goal was to build up a good infrastructure for the next years (and beyond) with the possibility to expand it in the future. As we got two young boys (3 and 1) I can only imagine what kind of Hardware they will use to learn and play in a few years. I'm pretty confident I'll be able to provide them with a good internet connection Man Happy

As a bonus, I've upgraded our internet connection to 400/25 as I'm finally able to use that speed.

Reworking my home network

by ‎02-03-2018 04:07 PM - edited ‎02-04-2018 09:21 PM

Introduction 

 

With the third year coming to an end since we moved into our house, the wish to rework the complete network was getting stronger and stronger. As the previous network was mostly wireless-based with an ISP-provided cable modem at the location of our (only) cable TV at Ground Floor and several wireless routers spread across the three story (plus basement) house. Two TP-Link Archer C5 with OpenWRT firmware were set up as a Bridge from Ground Level to the upmost second floor, where my home office is located. A third wireless router provided the same kind of connectivity to the basement.
As one can imagine this setup wasn't ideal at all. The possibilities of placing network equipment like Modem, Routers, APs, Zyxel NSA325 and a growing number of IoT Devices and Development Boards were pretty limited and the stability of the overall connection was unsatisfying. The 200/12 Cable Connection was stripped down to approx. 50Mbit/s via WLAN.

 

I've learned about UBNT Equipment a few months ago and the process of redesigning the complete network was initiated. The overall project can be splitted in several parts, a few of them quite challenging as one of the top-requirements was "the wife-acceptance-factor shall be as high as possible". Therefore solutions like grabbing a wall chaser and cutting straight through the living and sleeping room was not an option, obviously.

 

 

Setting up the infrastructure

 

Connecting 2nd Floor

As I always strive to rely on cable-based networking as much as possible, I've always thought about getting a cable all the way from basement to second floor (third floor for american readers Man Happy ) to provide a proper uplink to my main PC and associated equipment like Printer, Development boards etc.

Very luckily for me we do have a three-parted chimney with two chimneys used for the fireplace and heater. The last one was never used since the house was build (early 1980s) and therefore it is even allowed from german law to use it for other installations like water or cables. Luckily the chimney runs through my home office, so eventually I drilled one little hole and suddenly was able to install a cable-based connection from basement to my home office. At this stage I've already decided to use Fibre Cables as the main backbone and so a duplex LC/LC fibre cable was used.

 

Upgrading the heater room with some IT-Equipment

As our heater room provides enough space, I've decided to install a small 6U wall-mounted rack enclosure with glass door exactly at the end-point of the chimney. This should leave sufficient space to work on the other chimneys and give me enough slots for my amateur-equipment. As I wanted every core-component in one place, the rack currently hosts:

  1. Patch Panel
  2. Free
  3. Free (maybe for a small server)
  4. ES-24-LITE
  5. Multi-Purpose Shelf (with RasperryPis and the ER-X-SFP sitting on it)
  6. Power connector

As the rack is deep enough, I was able to put both the cable modem and the NAS in the rear area so they aren't visible. The coax-cable from my ISP was rerouted to the heater room with a splitter for the TV, still sitting in the Ground Floor. This left the FireTV and Steamlink without a wired connection, a problem I solved just recently.

The patch panel is mainly used for 6 new Ethernet Ports in my man-cave, providing connection to a commercial IoT Station, 3D Printer and some other devices. 

P2036325.jpgRack in basement

 

 

Connecting the home office

An ES-8-150W is used to connect to the ES-24-LITE via SFP Modules and serve my PC and other stuff in the home office. It is currently located on an old LACK table but probably will be mounted on the wall in the future. As one of the main requirements is fulfilled, my PC is now connected to the remaining network with a decent speed of 900Mbit/s and the connection is much more stable than before.

P2036331.jpgES-8-150W in 2nd Floor

 

 

Replacing the Wireless Net

As I want to get rid of the old wireless routers (big, clumsy), I've decided to go full throttle and I bought an AirCube-AC. The mixed opinions about this device can be read over in the forums, but I wanted to test if it suits my needs as a pure AP. A few minutes after receiving it, I was finished with connecting, upgrading and pairing it with UNMS in order to test the capabilities of this little black brick. I was quite impressed of the performance and from a practical POV the signal quality is equal to the much bigger TP-Link Archer C5. After a few days testing as a replacement for the AP in the 2nd Floor, I've decided to buy a second one to get rid of all the other wireless routers. (A third one may extend the WiFi in the future).

 

IMG_1643.jpg

 

Putting a cable from basement to ground floor

The last step was to re-establish a proper connection to the ground floor, where the TV is located. While it sounds pretty simple, but remember? The Wife-Acceptance-Factor... Luckily there was already the coax cable installed in a conduit. Unfortunately the conduits are way to short and they end somewhere in the wall. After two hours of using hammer and chisel, I was able to pull a CAT7 ethernet cable and connect it to the patch panel. My first AirCube was relocated to the Ground Floor and PoE powers it from the ER-X-SFP directly. 

 

Current Status of the network

The current status of the physical network is shown in the following diagram. I used the story numbering as a prefix for my device names, so don't get confused by it. 0 is the basement and 3 is the 2nd Floor. The 1st Floor is sleeping room and kids rooms only, so WiFi connection is sufficient here.

Kuhle16_Network.png

 

 

 

 

As a start, I've created two different VLANs, one for the usual equipment like PCs, Notebooks, Mobiles etc. and one dedicated IoT Network for both Commercial-Off-The-Shelf Equipment and a vast range of self-build IoT nodes. There certainly will be more VLANs in the future as I'm already thinking on VOIP telephony etc.

 

Future Improvements

First of all, I'm very satisfied with the result. It took a lot of planning, especially to achieve the goal in such a minimally invasive manner. The UBNT Equipment is both easy to get into and challenging in its complexity. For me as a hobbyist, UBNT is a great way to get professional hardware for a reasonable price.

 

The design goal was to build up a good infrastructure for the next years (and beyond) with the possibility to expand it in the future. As we got two young boys (3 and 1) I can only imagine what kind of Hardware they will use to learn and play in a few years. I'm pretty confident I'll be able to provide them with a good internet connection Man Happy

As a bonus, I've upgraded our internet connection to 400/25 as I'm finally able to use that speed.

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Comments
by
on ‎02-06-2018 05:21 AM

good morning what did you use to draw this 

 

thanks 

 

 

by
on ‎02-06-2018 05:31 AM

Looks very nice and clean! What kind of clamps did you use to manage the cables from patchpanel to switch?

by
on ‎02-06-2018 06:16 AM

@awireless: I used https://www.draw.io/ for the drawing

 

@dennisklemme: They are 3d-printed and come in various sizes. The great muzz64 from thingiverse made the design: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1320948

However they need to be scaled to roughly 115-120% for CAT7 cables.

by
on ‎02-18-2018 01:45 AM

Great story!  What was the final Wife-Acceptance-Factor? :-P

by
‎02-20-2018 06:50 AM - edited ‎02-20-2018 06:50 AM

@OzPHB Pretty high Man Happy I managed to keep the visible impact low. We've got a good WiFi coverage in every corner of our house, so everything's good Man Happy