2 weeks ago
Add Structured Wiring to 120 year-old House
Reason for Installation
Reliable internet setup for old house
Used Products
×1
×1
×1
×3
Location
Yakima, WA 98901, United States
Description

My wife and I bought a farmhouse that was owned by both her parents and grandparents. Over the years, it grew from the original ~250 sq.ft. to nearly 5,000 sf.ft., in different directions. WiFi coverage was spotty, with a combination of powerline adapters, wireless bridges, etc. I initially installed a basic setup with a single PicoStation plus Linksys wireless router. It provided basic internet, but painful management.

 

Fast forward a couple years and we're ready to do a remodel of most of the house. It's gong down to the studs, so an ideal time to add structured wiring. In addition to pulling a lot of cat5e, we also ran speaker wire for 3 Sonos zones, doorbells, and a little coax in case it's ever needed. We also pulled coax and phone from the demarc to a new network closet location.

 

Pulling all the cabling was actually pretty fun and accomplished by two people over a period of several days. While opening up the walls, we found there was no insulation in the oldest part of the house, and they plastered the siding with newspaper to keep out the wind! The most complete page I found was from the Paisley Advocate, dated Sept. 2, 1897.

 

There are 3 WAPs in place right now, with plans for two more (1 upstairs and 1 outdoors), plus an uplink to an outbuilding that will eventually be setup with wired internet. There are spots for 8 cameras; I have a couple Axis cams currently, but looking at the Unifi ones for expansion. I use an AWS cloud controller to manage this and one additional site. I started with CloudKey, but I found it wasn't reliable enough after a couple power outages. I know I need a UPS, but not in the budget yet.

 

I need some more switch ports to get everything connected, but the dead ports are ones not curently in use. I also have another Sonos Connect:Amp and need one more to finish my wired zones. We use a SiliconDust HDHomerun Prime for TV, as well as a Plex server in the network closet.

 

Anyway, it works great. Family is all happy with reliable internet now, and we were able to host Christmas dinner for 40-50ish family members with no one complaining about slow Netflix. If you can pull that off, you have a winner!

 

down to studsdown to studs

 

look what's in the walls!look what's in the walls!

 

new network closetnew network closet

 

pulling cablepulling cable

 

pulling cablepulling cable

 

more pulling cablemore pulling cable

 

finished rack.jpg

 

 

 

Add Structured Wiring to 120 year-old House

by 2 weeks ago - last edited 2 weeks ago

My wife and I bought a farmhouse that was owned by both her parents and grandparents. Over the years, it grew from the original ~250 sq.ft. to nearly 5,000 sf.ft., in different directions. WiFi coverage was spotty, with a combination of powerline adapters, wireless bridges, etc. I initially installed a basic setup with a single PicoStation plus Linksys wireless router. It provided basic internet, but painful management.

 

Fast forward a couple years and we're ready to do a remodel of most of the house. It's gong down to the studs, so an ideal time to add structured wiring. In addition to pulling a lot of cat5e, we also ran speaker wire for 3 Sonos zones, doorbells, and a little coax in case it's ever needed. We also pulled coax and phone from the demarc to a new network closet location.

 

Pulling all the cabling was actually pretty fun and accomplished by two people over a period of several days. While opening up the walls, we found there was no insulation in the oldest part of the house, and they plastered the siding with newspaper to keep out the wind! The most complete page I found was from the Paisley Advocate, dated Sept. 2, 1897.

 

There are 3 WAPs in place right now, with plans for two more (1 upstairs and 1 outdoors), plus an uplink to an outbuilding that will eventually be setup with wired internet. There are spots for 8 cameras; I have a couple Axis cams currently, but looking at the Unifi ones for expansion. I use an AWS cloud controller to manage this and one additional site. I started with CloudKey, but I found it wasn't reliable enough after a couple power outages. I know I need a UPS, but not in the budget yet.

 

I need some more switch ports to get everything connected, but the dead ports are ones not curently in use. I also have another Sonos Connect:Amp and need one more to finish my wired zones. We use a SiliconDust HDHomerun Prime for TV, as well as a Plex server in the network closet.

 

Anyway, it works great. Family is all happy with reliable internet now, and we were able to host Christmas dinner for 40-50ish family members with no one complaining about slow Netflix. If you can pull that off, you have a winner!

 

down to studsdown to studs

 

look what's in the walls!look what's in the walls!

 

new network closetnew network closet

 

pulling cablepulling cable

 

pulling cablepulling cable

 

more pulling cablemore pulling cable

 

finished rack.jpg

 

 

 

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Comments
by
2 weeks ago

why would you use cat5e...? not cat6 or cat7?

by
2 weeks ago

@andr3ws especially with a new installation.... But overall looks good... I prefer doin older homes as they are easier to route wire and WiFi penetrates a lot better

by
2 weeks ago

@MFilmWorks17@andr3ws - Primarily because I'm happy with it. Man Happy It's a single family home, and the primary function is supporting my kids' homework, watching plex, and listening to music. The primary Plex server is actually at another site several states away, so each stream is capped at 3Mbps. If I was editing/backing up video, or something of the like, I may consider it, but 10gb switches are out of my scope. The nerd in me says 10gig is "better", but 1gig copper far exceeds my current and foreseeable demands.

by
2 weeks ago

Given the choice I'd rather wire it and use it at 1Gbit now, and potentially upgrade down the line, rather than need to re-wire if you ever wanted to upgrade later.

 

The cost difference between Cat 5e/6/7 is pretty minimal now, so for just the cable, so it's a no brainer in my eyes. Bit late now though!

by
a week ago

Structured cabling technically.

 

I was redoing my kitchen a year ago and I found a board that all the builders signed which was dated 1843.

by
a week ago

I think the cableling discussion is not only about networkspeed. Another important point is Power over Ethernet. Cat5e cable is so old and limited and I should use it only when the cabeling is already available but I will never use it in new projects. The minimum standard for me is Cat6a.

by
a week ago

I agree, 6A is minimum these days for me, professional or personal I will use 6A or fibre

by
Wednesday

On my own projects, I won't touch anything but 9 micron singlemode fiber.  Which hasn't changed in 40 years.  Unlike the (only slightly) cheaper multimode fiber, which has obsoleted itself at least 3 times now.

by
Wednesday

You have OS1/OS2 now

by
Thursday

Yeah but the actual fiber is the same, OS1/OS2 is primarily a cladding/buffering distinction, tho OS2 specs lower loss, most OS1 outperforms the lower spec andnis comprable.  You can mix the two “types” of fiber (really types of fiber cable as the fibers themselves are identical) in a network, etc. 

 

And the fiber deivers (SFPs now) are the same.