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Where 2 Put the Network Panel?

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Old 08-17-05, 09:06 PM Thread Starter   #1
FattyLumpkin
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Question Where 2 Put the Network Panel?


Our house will be wired next week before the insulation and drywall goes up. Tonight I did a walk-through with the electrician and I have a couple questions.

The first and primary issue is the location of the distribution panel. Originally I was going to put it in the upstairs walk-in closet off the master bedroom. This ends up not being as central as I thought. I liked it in there because it was more in my control. The electrician suggested the basement next to the high voltage panel. He thinks this will cut down on the cost of running the connection from the outside to the middle of the house (labor). The most central spot is the downstairs closet. Not long ago I was solid on this but suddenly Iím indecisive. Can anyone help me sort this out? I realize itís a matter of preference but itís possible Iím overlooking an important practical consideration.

The only other thing - now Iím now thinking about paying the electrician to install the video & Cat6 connections (29 totaled). I had planned to do this myself but I have NEVER done wiring and will have to learn on the fly. Others have convinced me (wife & a couple others) that itís best to have them do it incase something does not work. Warranty. Iím buying the distribution panel and have purchased the Cat6 cable, wall plates, and ceiling speakers. He provides everything else. Heís given me a range of $700 US - $1000 for the network instillation. House = 1736 sq feet. I told him 1k was too much and he seemed to think it would not hit that. Is this reasonable and/or a good idea?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. I know this is a lot to ask, for opinions on all this preferential stuff, but Iíve got less than a week to figure this out and could use some advice.
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Old 08-17-05, 09:33 PM   #2
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Downstairs or on a middle floor is fine, away from the electrical box and away from major power runs. Follow the instructions on the swhowto.com site and you will be fine. Remember if you cross power lines run at a 90* angle, so cross them at straigh lines, never run side by side. Stay away from any light fixtures as florescent lights have ballasts in them that can cause problems. Plan ahead and you will be just fine.

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Old 08-17-05, 09:41 PM Thread Starter   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMD Phreak
Downstairs or on a middle floor is fine, away from the electrical box and away from major power runs. Follow the instructions on the swhowto.com site and you will be fine. Remember if you cross power lines run at a 90* angle, so cross them at straigh lines, never run side by side. Stay away from any light fixtures as florescent lights have ballasts in them that can cause problems. Plan ahead and you will be just fine.
Thank you. This is excellent information. I assume you are advocating that I still do this on my own?
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Old 08-17-05, 09:41 PM   #4
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Rember to place the network panel where it will stay cool. My linksys router, when it gets hot, it resets and aways loses connection, espally when I have files transfering across the network. If you put it in a closet, make shure that it stays cool, or you could run into trouble

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Old 08-17-05, 10:34 PM   #5
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IMO- I would put it in the basement, why would you have less 'control' there vs the closet you were suggesting. Let 'them' do the wiring. That is what they do.
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Old 08-17-05, 11:08 PM Thread Starter   #6
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Thanks for the feedback guys. I need all I can get.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jajmon
IMO- I would put it in the basement, why would you have less 'control' there vs the closet you were suggesting. Let 'them' do the wiring. That is what they do.
Putting it in the basement would go along with what Shellshock said, although someone mentioned moisture being an issue. Heh, we have a 10 year deal on the basement. Anyway, the "control" issue is just me being paranoid and thinking about the future kids getting into it. Accessibility as well.

I'm starting to think about letting the electrician do it. You're right about that. It's so tempting to try is on my own but this is our first house and my wife will clobber me if I trash the network.
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Old 08-17-05, 11:13 PM   #7
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Electricians are typically not trained to pull wire. You can do a much better job yourself if you do it....trust me. They will do whatever to pull the wire in typically, nail it down, staple it down, bend it beyond its radius limit, etc etc. How about hiring a voice and data contractor to do the work for you?

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Old 08-17-05, 11:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMD Phreak
Electricians are typically not trained to pull wire. You can do a much better job yourself if you do it....trust me. They will do whatever to pull the wire in typically, nail it down, staple it down, bend it beyond its radius limit, etc etc. How about hiring a voice and data contractor to do the work for you?
I think you are wrong in that statement. That may have been true 10 yrs ago. I think that today, electricians are more trained in the data connections.

If you are leary about an 'electrician' doing the data connections, then sub contract to a communications contracter.
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Old 08-17-05, 11:43 PM Thread Starter   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMD Phreak
Electricians are typically not trained to pull wire. You can do a much better job yourself if you do it....trust me. They will do whatever to pull the wire in typically, nail it down, staple it down, bend it beyond its radius limit, etc etc. How about hiring a voice and data contractor to do the work for you?
I wanted to string the cable myself and let them do the punch-downs and whatnot...BUT if I get involved it voids the warranty! So, the best I can do is buy parts and hang out to watch them - or do it all on my own. I am aware of most of the basics in terms of pulling & placing the runs. The guy is a really nice persona and says he can do it (of course). However, he didn't know there were different inserts/jacks for Cat5e vs Cat6. I've ordered Cat6 already.

If I hire another contractor we have to get him registered by Wed. so that might be a problem. This guy is doing the 110 volt stuff and is registered and already onsight.
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Old 08-18-05, 07:47 AM   #10
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Make sure that no runs go over 1000ft, which may be an issue for some of the really far locations.

The best place for a MDF is usually close to where the computers will be. If it's being run to everywhere, a room that is in the middle of the house is a better idea.

An out-of-the-way room is usually a good idea, since you may have extra equipment, like servers eventually piled there. Preferably one with A/C, or natural cooling, like in the basement, but also preferably dry.

See how your electrician plans to run it.. if he says that the best place would be in the basement, that way it would be cheaper to run, make sure he doesn't plan to run it beside the power cables, and if he was planning this, have someone else do it.

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