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Daves Workshop #14: Structured wiring project. Wooden antenna mast clamps, components, and lessons learned.

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 05-02-2017 11:49 PM 3283 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: Shop First Aid cabinet upgrade with custom graphics. Part 14 of Daves Workshop series Part 15: Overview of the Ryobi JM82K biscuit joiner, and comparison to the JM82GK. »

In my latest blog entry about the structured wiring project, i discuss the wood antenna mast mounts, the compnents, and what I would have done differently if I were starting over.

http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com/2017/05/components-and-thoughts-on-what-i-would.html

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



10 comments so far

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4086 posts in 2915 days


#1 posted 05-03-2017 03:12 PM

Glanced at this, but since none of it has any pertinence to me didn’t read it through. Sounds ambitious.

Working on the dining room table Sherie needed for the new rental for her daughter. Staying very busy. I should have more time in a month or so…

Spring arriving at a glacial pace, with a little snow here and there in the shadows of the house. Spring is about 5 weeks later than last year.

Have a good day…

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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dbhost

5672 posts in 2983 days


#2 posted 05-03-2017 03:47 PM

I know, this one was a bit wordy. But let’s boil it down to soup & nuts…

My original coaxial, and telephone wiring in the house, from 1984 was in less than stellar condition. Especially after being chopped up and cobbled back together over the years by changing from antenna, to cable, to satelite and back to antenna. The prior owner of the house tapped into wires by cutting, stripping and twisting wires together, sometimes without even so much as electrical tape to protect the connection. Needless to say, phone didn’t work, and I want the security and speed of a good wired ethenet network.

I give the list of what I am doing, what I would have done differently (bigger phone switch, bigger ethernet switch, and potentially, in wall mounting instead of on the wall…

I got a lot done over the last few days. The antenna is run to the splitter, signal is now going to 4 of the 7 target locations. Having a problem with the antenna fittings, and trying to get support from Polaroid / Tuff Manufacturing. These guys are NOT the Polaroid of the past. Customer service is so far non existent. Not happy with them.

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

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4086 posts in 2915 days


#3 posted 05-04-2017 03:44 PM

The house in La Conner got a good updating when we remodeled the kitchen since it was in the main core of the house. We don’t even use a land line there, so phone was just maintained but not expanded. CAT-5 was run to multiple places, however and that was an improvement. Cable was also slightly expanded. The big deal was that it was all centralized in a convenient storage closet in the center of the house, a perfect location for the Wi-Fi. A security camera system was also installed and centralized in the closet as well. It is all conveniently wall mounted. There is no local TV there, so no antenna needed.

Here in Anchorage, we ran CAT-5 to a number of places with the remodel. But I still didn’t anticipate that I might want it in the living room. However, fortunately, I can link the internet entry in my office with the living room by going through the garage. That will happen sometime in the next year. Local TV here comes by cable, so no antenna.

Due to the size of this house, I run an internet access point in my wife’s hobby room, so in effect we have two Wi-Fi’s running. Unfortunately, there is no good central area for everything, so we have electronics strewn throughout the house. The security system and the cable phone are in different areas. I doubt we will ever change it.

Busy day today running errands…

Later…

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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dbhost

5672 posts in 2983 days


#4 posted 05-05-2017 04:59 PM

I do have a security system that is centralized, but not where this is.

The house is small enough, I have good wifi coverage for the whole house from this one room that is centered on one side of the house.

If I were designing a new home, I would have a datacom closet designed in that would simply house all the stuff needed.

Land line is being done solely for resale value of the home. Although I suspect that is minimal. I had the parts already, including the cabling, from old consulting / side contract jobs so no extra cost, and aside from the kitchen, no real additional labor. Just run it with the ethernet.

I am not ready to give up on coax yet. I can honestly see that hanging in there for the foreseeable future. Plenty of need for local broadcast media, and even if it were streaming, failover to OTA during the aftermath of storms and such is critical. Internet may be unavailable. (We are in hurricane country here..)

FWIW. I have the antenna connections updated. The rig now looks like…

Antenna, mounted to mast. Mast grounded with 12ga wire to ground rod. Coax run from antenna to grounding block, grounding block to ground rod via 12ga ground wire. Coax surge supressor attached to grounding block, and then coax sent in, through soffit through attic, down wall to penetration and finally to power supply / control box. In turn to splitter. Splitter in turn is split to the various rooms. Unused ports are terminated with 75 ohm terminators. So living room, master bedroom, kitchen, and front bedroom are done.

Kitchen is complete for coax, phone, and ethernet.

Front bedroom is complete for coax. Phone and ethernet pending.

LOTS of other goodies to come.

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

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4086 posts in 2915 days


#5 posted 05-07-2017 03:22 PM

I think the Datacom closet will be a standard item in newer upscale homes. Probably not much value in it for tract housing and such, because it is much less likely to be used. Good old Cat-5 and coax do come in handy, and save considerable headache.

Almost ready to assemble my table base, just a few holes to drill in the apron for screws. I will countersink them with a 3/8” Forster bit to accept plugs. If this were not going to be a painted base I might do things differently, but the screws and plugs will be the fastest way to do things, and will enhance the strength of the corners, needed because of the 3/4” off the shelf stock.

Later….

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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dbhost

5672 posts in 2983 days


#6 posted 05-08-2017 10:41 PM

LOL. FWIW, not sure about Alaska, but my area of Texas would be considered middle class / upscale. Pretty much everything built since 1999 has had a datacom closet.
I have stumbled across an offer from a friend to buy off my 2 8 port gigabit desktop switches that I use for my SAN, and I got a screaming deal on another 16 port, and a 24 port gigabit switch.

This wil allow me to run the actual number of ports I need to connect certain monitoring apps, and doubling up on the SAN connections, which will allow me more training / experimentation.

So my layout will change a little bit. Extra open slot goes away, one of the shelves goes away, and 2 larger switches get moved in…

It will make sense once I post pics up…

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

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4086 posts in 2915 days


#7 posted 05-09-2017 03:30 PM

We bought a 2005 built condo, mid-range quality, no data closet. That is the replacement house for our handicapped daughter. So data closets haven’t migrated to the last frontier in great numbers yet. The condos are located in a well designed neighborhood with good services from the HOA, bike paths, landscaping, etc.

But in La Conner, house built in 1995, no data closet per se, but there is a closet perfectly located to be one, under some stairs with a door off the stairs going down to the garage. As I noted, we turned it into a data closet. Absolute center of the house, so good location for Wi-Fi. But I doubt that was intention, just a happy accident of the house design that was dictated by being built on top of and partly down the slope of a granite monolith. No changing the terrain under that house without a lot of dynamite. The site for that house is probably ideal for earthquakes and floods. No need for flood insurance, unless there is a flood of biblical proportions. And I mean one bad enough to sweep all of Seattle out to sea.

We own half of another house, the current abode for our handicapped daughter, but she will be moving to the condo soon. We will sell our half of the old house. Interestingly, that house came through the 1964 earthquake unscathed (9.3 on the Richter scale, the second largest ever in the Americas, and the largest in North America). The inspectors were trying to get us to do some strange modification for earth quake protection, but they relented when we noted that it had been tested to 9.3… (-:

Will be interested in seeing your setup. I have an old 16 port Linksys switch as well as the cable modem and router in a swiveling little cabinet installed in the book shelf in my corporate style U shaped office desk. I can see all the winking and blinking lights with a quick glance up and to the right when I am at the computer. It swivels some so I can get at the backside of the equipment, the cabinet being open front and back for that purpose. The shelves are adjustable for position as well. Built it 15 years ago or so.

Later, off to the shop…

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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dbhost

5672 posts in 2983 days


#8 posted 05-09-2017 04:01 PM

I guess it is a regional difference… Of course 1995 would I would think be a bit early for common home adoption of datacom closets…

It’s definately a thing here though. Although I must say, with POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) dying off at the rate it is, and pay TV services sliding into the past, I somewhat doubt the phone lines or coax is going to be all that common in coming years. However I still use them, and buyers in my area expect them.

I have a new project in the kitchen, and on my bench…

We got a new sink, one of those touch sense Delta faucets, and a mess of new plumbing for the kitchen sink… I am prepping lumber to get ready for a true butcher block counter top.

This is either going to work out great, or it is going to kill me in the process.

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

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4086 posts in 2915 days


#9 posted 05-09-2017 05:34 PM

A butcher block counter top is a more sensible project than a dining room table, so hopefully it will go well. I would think it would be a rather forgiving type of thing, but then again, I have never made one.

Good luck on the project…

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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dbhost

5672 posts in 2983 days


#10 posted 05-09-2017 05:41 PM

Contemplating a ton of options on that. Including pre made butcher blocks…

-- 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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