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Network hardware?

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I'm going to be wiring the network in my new house fairly soon.  I've been looking around for Cat6 cable and I'm not really sure where to get it from, as well as what else I'll need...

I need about 500ft of cable, preferrably shielded Cat6, maybe stranded as well? (Not sure if this would be better or not in my case...)

I would like a patch panel, 12 ports ought to do it.

As for tools, I don't know what I'll need.

Any suggestions/recommendations/tips?

On another note, I'm also looking for around 500ft of RG6 cable...

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You'll need a punch down tool to attach the wire to the wall jacks and patch panel.  I'd suggest not using stranded, this is much harder to punch down than regular cable.  A good set of wire strippers. Also, a snake to run the wire down the wall cavities.  You can buy spools of wire pretty cheaply on-line and I've also seen it in Home Depot as well.  Patience is a good thing to have when getting wire into an existing building  :)

Edit:  I forgot, you may want to borrow or buy a line tester as well.  They are anywhere from 50 to 100 bucks. Got mine from home depot but here is another one from the net. http://www.action-electronics.com/tulan.htm#Tp500

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I would suggest using cat-5e rather than cat-6, simply due to the price.  For your implementation, they both have the same standards:

CAT-5e: up to 1000Mbps over 350 meters.

CAT-6: up to 1000Mbps over 550 meters.

For the price difference, I would think you'd be best to run cat-5e.  As for tools and installation.....dunno.

As for a patch panel, do you just need a switch, or do you need a router?  Just keep in mind that your network is only as fast as your slowest piece of hardware.

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I think I'll be getting first kit Swimmer posted.

Is it going to be that much harder to punch stranded wire that I should find a solid kit?

As for the rest of the hardware, I already have a 12 port switch and a Smoothwall box for a router.

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I think I'll be getting first kit Swimmer posted.

Is it going to be that much harder to punch stranded wire that I should find a solid kit?

As for the rest of the hardware, I already have a 12 port switch and a Smoothwall box for a router.

I've never attempted punching down stranded, but a telecom guy I work with who installs cat5 daily told me it's difficult.  Stranded is primarily used for patch cords, not in the wall work.  Also, stranded is more expensive.  The kits that swimmer posted are more for creating long patch cords.  From what you siad earlier, it sounded like you wanted to have a patch panel in a room where you would take a patch cord, plug it into the patch panel, then connect the other end into a switch. Each RJ45 female on the patch panel would represent an outlet somewhere in your home.  Is this what you were looking to do or was I mistaken? 

Example of patch panel I've used:

http://www.cablemakers.com/patch-panels.htm

Edit:  Took my other edit out 'cause I'm an idiot and tired on occasion....... :-|

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/search.asp?keywords=cat5e+solid&image122.x=0&image122.y=0

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yeah patch panels are used to reduce wear on the switches.. you get one of those and plug the cord coming out of the back end into the physical switch.  It also can help cable mangement.. you dont have to run full length wires to the physical switch..

not a bunch of fun to punch down.. you can only unravel them a certain distance otherwise you can create a dead cable..  Standard is, yes, normally used for inwall due to the fact that it can stand up to more than stranded.

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You are correct about what I'm looking to do

One thing I'm wondering is whether I should get shielded cable or not... after that I should be set for buying cable, then I just need a patch panel and a punchdown tool.

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You are correct about what I'm looking to do

One thing I'm wondering is whether I should get shielded cable or not... after that I should be set for buying cable, then I just need a patch panel and a punchdown tool.

you don't have to get shielded cable but it does not hurt to get it. i use all unsheiled cable at my office and we have had not 1 problem

the place swimmer gave you is good, but you can do better. 130 for some cat6 cable is alot.  a few weeks ago, i got 1500 feet of cat6 cable from home depot for $45 and then i just bought the ends and put them on my self. might be the way to go.

good luck on this.

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You are correct about what I'm looking to do

One thing I'm wondering is whether I should get shielded cable or not... after that I should be set for buying cable, then I just need a patch panel and a punchdown tool.

Cost of shielded is significantly more...

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=1460918&sku=C184-32388

If you want to invest in it shielded will reduce any interference, either shielded or unshielded will work, though. 

Edit:  Here is the punch down tool I use, about half way down the page (Wire Stripper Termination Tool) http://www.radioshack.com/search/index.jsp?cp=2032058&f=Taxonomy%2FRSK%2F2032237&categoryId=2032237&kwCatId=2032058&kw=tool&pg=2

Panels are pretty generic so find one in your price range and the number of ports and it should be ok.  Don't forget to borrow or buy a tester... It will save you alot of grief in the long run.  It tests each wire in the 4 pair set for continuity and will tell you if something is crossed or not connected correctly.

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You are correct about what I'm looking to do

One thing I'm wondering is whether I should get shielded cable or not... after that I should be set for buying cable, then I just need a patch panel and a punchdown tool.

Unless you are in an industral setting with a lot of interference..  Then you dont need shielded cable.  I wouldnt run the cables next to power cables.. but other than that you should alright to do anything that you need.

I dont know if a patch panel at this point is worth the investment. 

the place swimmer gave you is good, but you can do better. 130 for some cat6 cable is alot.  a few weeks ago, i got 1500 feet of cat6 cable from home depot for $45 and then i just bought the ends and put them on my self. might be the way to go.

that came with a crimper, tester, and some connectors..  I am sure that you can do better than that.. that was the result of about 15 seconds of searching.. :roll:

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I dont know if a patch panel at this point is worth the investment. 

I think that it would accentuate the value of a dwelling if patch panels and wall jacks are used, compared to running long patch cords through the walls.  This is only my opinion, however....

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I only suggested the shielded cable because if you are running unshielded down the wall you never know how close you may be to any electrical wires. (Interference) On two occasions, I have experienced interference in the line running unshielded cable down through a wall. So we ended up pulling the cable back out and replacing it with shielded cable and it worked like a charm!!  ;)  Needless to say, you don't want to take a chance on having to re-pull the cable. (It is aggrevating enough one time!) I will say though that this is few and far between, and you may not have this problem. :)

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Well, I still haven't got around to running any wire :roll:

Today I'll be running a bunch of electrical wire, so it shouldn't be much longer.

Also I spent about 4-5 hours installing Cat5 jacks at work yesterday... that's a lot of punchdown practice lol.  I can also see why stranded wire would be a pain to punch down.

And I should be able to borrow the tools from work so I don't have to buy any... save myself some money there...

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