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Daves Workshop #11: Cord Custting Project, and basic skill builders.

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 04-03-2017 03:27 AM 1801 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Shop heater. Fixing the Mr. Heater Portable Buddy heater that won't light. Part 11 of Daves Workshop series Part 12: What's what's on the workbench April 2017 »

Not a lot of woodowrking, but at least I am on top of the table saw and workbench…

Gathering the stuff together for a full on structured wiring project and cord cutting. We are going to full streaming and over the air television. For what it’s worth, all I am lacking is the F type coaxial keystones that are on a slow boat from Monoprice. But at least I have whatt I need to get started…


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And for those that aren’t familiar with the how…. Here is a howto on terminating RG6 coaxial cable.


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-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com, YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoa-AgyeFWqnQfGIJwdzkog



2 comments so far

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2704 posts in 3249 days


#1 posted 04-03-2017 10:02 AM

Whoa! Talk about doing it up right! You’re going to have a state of the art system when you’re done. Bravo….

But, for anyone wanting to do this and get decent results at low cost. You can with your existing modem, a maybe 4 port wireless router and a few other things. We went cordless about 5 years ago. This is how to keep your cost down to just about the cable internet bill.

Put an antenna on the roof or attic if you can. If you live in or near a large city something much smaller can be used. With a digital signal, you either get reception or you don’t. There’s no in between. If all the stations are in one direction you don’t need an antenna rotator. Digital signals are line of site. I live in a low hilly area. I have a large antenna and it’s mounted up high. Stations that are about 30 miles away or less will come in good. More than that and unless you live in a very flat area, you will need height. Most of my stations are 30 miles. One is 60 miles and I wanted that station. Hence the larger, higher antenna. The signal is just strong enough that the digital signal ‘catches’ and shows. A snowy day, it might not. Stations over about 70 miles can’t be received no matter what your antenna directions say. Anything over about 70 miles would have to have pinpoint aiming under ideal conditions. Not reliable.
Here's a link to the antenna I made in case anyone is interested in doing that.

Next: If you have a smart TV or something like apple tv or roku or box, then get a netflix and/or amazon prime movie account and share the password with a neighbor or relative. Then split the cost. If you just get one service then Netflix is probably the best although Amazon Prime’s other features in shopping on amazon are cool.

More advanced…..
Connect a computer to your TV. It can take the place of the roku box if you do. You’d have to have a flatscreen and a computer that has an hdmi port or dongle that will convert it. I have a dedicated Macmini for this. It’s made to connect directly.

The following is not for people with scruples. It is not legal. But you can make it safe.
Download a program called “vuze” for your computer platform. It will let you search for and download any movie or tv show ever made. Play it via your computer to TV using a program like VLC… all of these programs are no cost.

Note: If doing the computer thing with Vuze it is highly recommended that you sigh up for a VPN (Very Private Network). It’s not hard to do. I use “private internet access”. You sigh up for about $3.99/month and download a small program that turns it on on your computer. It bounces your internet signal to switzerland and back so it’s virtually untraceable.

So, Minimal hardware depending on what you want, The cost of your internet account, half the cost of maybe Netflix, The VPN all comes to about $8/month not counting the hardware and your internet cost. You don’t get sports stations but almost any TV/movies is possible and you can even download current movies in the theater.

dbhost: I wasn’t meaning to hijack your post here. I will be following the thread as it is very high end and being done really right. You obviously know your stuff. I’ll learn a few things.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5684 posts in 3043 days


#2 posted 04-03-2017 05:13 PM

No worries about hijacking.
I was hoping to start a conversation about these types of projects. I know this isn’t much, if any woodworking at all, but it is related in that we are all on the internet and heavily into DIY stuff.

I know my setup is on the advanced side.
I am a Sr. Systems Engineer and, well not too many homeowners are going to keep a virtualization cluster or iSCSI SAN at home… I do to stay on top of the tech and methods…

Part of my design is built in flexibility. And I can back off much of the expansion without ripping cables out. However for those wanting a good manageable setup…
The minimum IMHO, and this assumes you have a space you can dedicate as a structured wiring panel such as a blank wall in a utility closet or even a space that can be climate controlled in an aittic (We’ve done at least two of them) is…

Piece of blank wall, and a plywood panel to mount your gear on. I am using 3/4” but 1/2” will suffice. Make sure your panel is at least 20” wide so insure you have space to mount items, and can catch the studs you need to with the screws to hold it to the wall.

I like to round over the outside edges of the board and paint my mount board / panel so that it looks like a designed in piece of the home, not a tacked on piece of plywood.

You will need cable obviously, and a means to pass the cable through the wall or ceiling depending on your layout. Mind you, I am ONLY going to discuss single story structures with accessible attics / wall headers as a 2+ story building complicates things beyond the scope I am dealing with…

Broadband modem. We typically work with cable, but DSL and Satelite systems work as well. To keep overall Total Cost of Ownership down. Buy your own modem if you can. Comcast charges, after fees and taxes, approximately $8.50 / month for a modem. My Zoom modem I bought 50 months ago cost me about $60.00. It didn’t take long to recoup the cost of my modem at all!

Good WiFi router with the performance specs you need. You do not want a modem / router combo. Tech on WiFi changes MUCH faster than the rest of the network. The router also, with consumer grade networking equipment, tends to be the hardware that fails most.

A gigabit ethernet switch with the capacity of ports you want to carry. Generally speaking you will want 1 port per bedroom, at least 2 for the living room, and 1 for the garage / workshop if you desire. Some don’t. So for a 4 bedroom house, you will want…
1 wired port for VoIP on your panel.
4 wired bedroom ports.
2 wired living room ports.
1 wired garage port.

That’s 8 ports. Let’s assume you have a router with 4 gigabit ports on it. Grab an 8 port switch, you will lose the use of 2 ports up linking from router to switch, but no big deal. Put the VoIP adapter on the router, and everything else on the switch.

VoIP adapter. How many lines do you want? I have 2 VoIP adapters because I wanted to add a fax line. If I had to do it over again, I would have gotten the Obi202 2 line VoIP adapter and called it good. That way I only use 1 ethernet port.

Telephone hub. My existing phone system is a disaster, many older homes are. Age, humidity, and heat have caused the plastics in the existing panel to fail. I NEED to replace mine if I am going to have any distributed phone in the house. So I am recommending this, if you have a similar issue do likewise.
For a phone hub, decide how many lines, and where they will be going. For me I will have a phone in…

Bedrooms 1,3, and 4, plus a phone in the living room / dining room, kitchen, and an extension in the garage. I would like one in bedroom 2 and the living room as well, but I got the wrong hub. I would suggest if you want to be as widely distributed telephone wise as I am trying to do, get something like a 4×12 Telephone hub instead of a 4×6.
I can add a second 4×6, but the cost is just a few dollars less than a 4×12 and is much messier install wise.

The 1×8 coaxial splitter, well, I could leave the coax split up in the attic, and not re run at least 5 of the 8 rooms, but I want things moved. Let’s assume though that you have say old, melty coax that needs to be replaced, and you want it centralized with your other communications gear.

3M foam double stick mounting tape. Seriously. Consumer grade Modems, routers, VoIP adapters tend to be designed to be set on a desktop. IF you are lucky, you will have key hole slots for screws on the bottoms or backs, but don’t count on it.

That leaves us with cable, I already have Category 5 cable, you COULD use the same Category 6 cable box to feed runners to each room assuming you have enough, but you won’t be able to color code that way. My Cat5 is gray, the Cat6 is blue. Easy to identify.

So let’s cut the verbage down and list an inventory to get it done.

Antenna. Mine is massive overkill for the flat land close to the transmitters area I am in.
Plywood panel. 1 @ 24” x 24” 1/2” thick.
Paint. 1 pint.
Drywall anchors, and / or 1.5” wood screws. At least 4
3/4” wood screws. At least a dozen.
3M Foam mounting tape. 1 small roll
Modem 1
Router 1
switch 1
VoIP adapter 1
Telephone hub 1
1×8 Coax splitter 1
Coax clips 1 large box.
Velcro strips 1 roll. I like the 1/2” strips.
Wall or ceiling penetration / brush plate etc… I have seen several methods. I prefer the low voltage bracket, and brush plate approach. I have seen guys and gals use PVC threaded fittings as penetrations. Up to you how to do it.
Smart TV, and / or a set top box. More on that below.
Wall plates for keystones. Rooms that have 1 ethernet, 1 coax use a 2 port, add a port for each additional keystone.
RJ12 telephone keystones, RJ46 Category 6 keystones, and F Type coaxial keystones. They are MUCH cheaper by the box.
Low voltage brackets for the plates.

Craftsman On The Lake made mention of certain search software.
There are set top Android boxes running an application called Kodi, which is the streaming player, there are plugins for Kodi that do those search services for some, well legality challenged streaming providers.

I use it to stream media that I own the physical media for. I am going to call that fair use.
I would think using the software to access other material, such as movies that are in theaters, etc… might be more iffy.

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com, YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoa-AgyeFWqnQfGIJwdzkog

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