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Wiring home for ethernet drops and IP cameras

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ArcticPenguin

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
We have a new build we're moving into and were asked if we wanted data drops in the home and we proposed a few but wanted to see if anyone had experience or recommendations to simplify the setup.
The home layout is simple, single story, small floor plan, but open.

The builders have what they call a Homebase unit (where phone/data lines are terminated and direct coax drops from the outside access box are dropped into it as well). The Homebase is a cabinet in a spare closet and about 36" tall and 3-4inch deep. enough for a modem and some other items...but thats there I want to make sure I'm understanding it and setting it up right.

Currently we just have a cable modem + AC Router (Apple) providing network coverage.


The plan is put 2 ethernet drops in the front of the house and 1 in the back - for cameras, have those terminated to the Homebase unit (which if I understand correctly, is essentially like a patch panel), then have 2 additional drops - 1 in the office for hard wiring a workstation or a DVR for the cameras, and one in a nook in the house where the wireless router would be. (central to the home and provides enough coverage).


So in the home base, I'd like know would this work: cable modem, and a switch? the switch will have the patch panel terminations connected via ethernet, and having the wifi-router in the center of the house patched into one wall drop to provide wireless coverage.


Does this sound doable, logical, un-informed, etc? perhaps I'm mis-using switch in place of a router, but would appreciate any clarification.



Appreciate any feedback or critique.
 

Pinky

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Location
Las Vegas, NV
Sounds right, flow of the data would be something like this...

Internet-->router-->switch-->patch panel

You can get decent Netgear business class 8 Port gigabit routers for relatively cheap. You may want to consider getting a POE (power over ethernet) switch, this opens up some doors for you when deciding what type and how many cameras you may end up with. En Genius and Trendnet POE switches are often on sale on Newegg. Other POE switch brands tend to cost more but don't necessarily offer more functionality or longevity. You can also get POE Wireless routers and this may improve the location you decide the wireless goes if you can remove having a dedicate power outlet nearby. Many cheaper 8 Port POE switches are 4 regular ports and 4 POE ports to save cost. This would be fine for what it sounds like you may use them.

This is the best time to get wiring done (when the walls are open and/or someone else is doing it), so get as many drops done as you can think of. Especially for the cameras (although wifi cameras are getting better with time).
 
OP
ArcticPenguin

ArcticPenguin

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Thanks for that knowledge and details.

Would it change anything if all the ethernet drops were terminated? we have all 3 camera locations picked out (1 over front door, 1 over garage, 1 over back patio) and we can mix in additional Wireless cams for other coverage if need be as well.

Basically their included gear will have all the ethernet drops terminated to their patch panel (unless otherwise requested I believe), now would I plug that into the switch? then get a basic (non wireless) router to connect to the modem? then place my wireless router next to a drop and use that in bridge mode just to provide wireless?

I'm trying to understand if all their connections may terminate at the patch panel, if its a single connection into the switch or router from there and how the other wall drops and camera drops would operate, id imagine id want the camera drops to be un-terminated and left to be plugged into the switch?

Sorry to sound redundant or repetitive, appreciate the help again :)
 

Pinky

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Location
Las Vegas, NV
Internet-->router-->switch-->patch panel

Internet modem --patch cable--> switch (likely an 8 Port) --patch cables--> patch panel

You don't need another dedicated router if the internet modem they provide also provides routing. Many internet service providers are supplying routers with modem capability builtin, many of those even come with wifi builtin as well (usually of poor transmit/receive quality). If you want to use ONLY their modem and your own router, then yes you'll need another router.

Your existing wireless router could be used as an access point wherever you decide to put it. However you decide to deploy it you just need to be sure turn off DHCP on it so it doesn't conflict with the router that's connected directly to the modem.

If you wnated to use your existing router with this setup, they would need (2) runs to the spot you want to use the wifi router you have. One sends the internet traffic to the router, the other sends a return signal to be plugged into the switch (so the other computers can get to the internet). That diagram would look something like this:

Internet modem --> patch panel wifi router(1) --> patch panel wifi router(2) --> switch -->remaining patch panel ports (cameras/PCs)

Where wifi router (1) goes into the internet port on your wifi router, (2) comes from the LAN port on your wifi router.

Try to envision this as water flowing from the internet to your PCs. The wires are simply connective piping, the router controls the flow/acts as a valve, and the switch splits that flow to multiple pipes. The patch panel is literally just a fitting you can connect the pipe/hose to ;).
 
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OP
ArcticPenguin

ArcticPenguin

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Gotcha thanks for all of that. I tend to over analyze some of this stuff. but its made much more sense. I think initially we were limiting where were putting the drops, but for just a few $ more it makes more sense to do drops in each space/area.

It seems like the best way for our set-up may be:
3 camera drops to the patch panel unterminated, plug those into a powered switch and the rest are

Internet Modem > Router > Switch > Patch Panel and at the end of the drops a Wi-Fi Acces point/router (No DHCP ;) ) and we should be good.



Thanks again for the translation, helps a lot.
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
As said above, put as many Ethernet drops as possible.

Cat 6 cable. Don't let them do Cat 5.

Switches are cheap. Running Cat 6 opens up higher speed options in the future as switches get cheaper.

Put at least 1 in every room. For larger rooms, do 2 or more.


Additionally, have them install USB power outlets in place of regular AC power outlets. I installed a bunch in my house at "counter locations" (i.e. 2 in the kitchen, 4 in the family room, 2 in the living room). They have 2 USB charge ports in place of the "top" AC outlet, and a regular AC outlet in the bottom. It's nice being able to charge devices without having the bulky charger.
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
Completely agreed with JrC here. As many drops as you think you can do. You never know when you will have more internet devices needed in a room. I don't know if you have kids/are expecting/etc, but with the ability to add more access points, video game consoles, servers/NAS devices, network-enabled receiver/television/smart devices, etc I always try to have them wired when possible and go wireless when I can't.
 
OP
ArcticPenguin

ArcticPenguin

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Thanks for that all that information.

With regards to a router and switch...It looks like there will be a total of 10-12 drops (and I'm not sure how many they're going to terminate to the patch panel just yet) and most switches (home based ones) are about 8 ports max. What is recommended? Could 2 be "teamed" together without issues with bandwidth is concerned?
I was looking at home/small office ones as the cabinet is 36"x4"

And for a router...are there any good recommendations for a router or will any ol' Netgear one suffice? It seems hard to find just a non-wifi router as well, but I imagine that service can be turned off? and, if any, antenna can be left uninstalled?
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
I bought a 16 port switch off Amazon:

TP-Link
4.6 out of 5 stars 3,300 Reviews
TP-Link 16-Port Gigabit Ethernet Easy Smart Switch (TL-SG1016DE)

$95


Any router would do. Yes, you can turn off the wireless, but why would you want to?


 
OP
ArcticPenguin

ArcticPenguin

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Well the location of all the wiring and patch panel is not an ideal location for wireless transmission from my estimate. I already have 2 AC Routers that will be plugged into the wall drops to provide sufficient coverage and wireless back ups to notebooks around the house.

The second reason is, I may consider setting up 2x Unifi AC Pro Access Points
 

Pinky

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Location
Las Vegas, NV
You can connect multiple switches, but you should be able to find acceptable 16 port switches like the TP LInk Jr referenced.

Not all routers are created equal, so you don't want a $30 router but don't need the most expensive either. A 600 or 900 series (WNR3000+) Netgear would be fine. Doesn't even need to be gigabit unless your internet is gigabit (it's not, may not be in our lifetime).
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
You can connect multiple switches, but you should be able to find acceptable 16 port switches like the TP LInk Jr referenced.

Not all routers are created equal, so you don't want a $30 router but don't need the most expensive either. A 600 or 900 series (WNR3000+) Netgear would be fine. Doesn't even need to be gigabit unless your internet is gigabit (it's not, may not be in our lifetime).

At this point a switch recommendation will depend on if AP decides to purchase a Unifi AC Pro Access Point, if so, he would be best off looking to purchase a POE switch that supports the POE standard that the access points use (NOTE: Not every POE switch supports every POE type, you will need to do some homework on this, or buy a Ubiquiti ToughSwitch and likely be just fine).

Also, regarding 'not needing a gigabit router as it's not and may not be in our lifetime' -- many cities around the US have gigabit internet, mine (Columbus, OH) will have gigabit by the end of the year.
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Good point Janus.

Also, is OP is doing PoE, he should have a UPS battery backup.


 
OP
ArcticPenguin

ArcticPenguin

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Thanks for the suggestions.

Here was the switch I was looking into; Linksys LGS116P http://www.linksys.com/us/p/P-LGS116P/
Trying to gauge by the data sheets of each if this will likely power 2-Unifi AC Pro units

Specs:
16-port switch with 8 PoE+ ports (first 1–8 ports) and dedicated PoE power budget of 80 W
Power: 54V DC, 1.66A

Unifi-AC-PRO specs:
Passive Power over Ethernet (48V), 802.3af/802.3at Supported (Supported Voltage Range: 44 to 57VDC)
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005

Pinky

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Location
Las Vegas, NV
Also, regarding 'not needing a gigabit router as it's not and may not be in our lifetime' -- many cities around the US have gigabit internet, mine (Columbus, OH) will have gigabit by the end of the year.

From the bit I've read, it's unlikely to ever become mainstream due to the cost inherent in replacing and expanding the tech infrastructure, especially in the older East coast cities where the infrastructure is always a tangled mess. I'm leaning toward a gigabit wireless solution replacing all of these wires before Albany NY or Boston MA (for example) has gigabit wired into *every* home.

* - Fiber is pretty common in business zones around here, but residential is just too spread out and the deployment of fiber has effectively stopped due to the cost/income formula (costs more to run and maintain than they will make in customer revenue).
 
OP
ArcticPenguin

ArcticPenguin

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Here is a basic outline of the floor plan, roughly 1600sf, trying to get an idea of placement of the two AP;s
Want to keep it away from the fan in the living as much as possible, the bedroom has one as well, where they suggested they put a drop in bed1

update.png
 
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Pinky

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Location
Las Vegas, NV
1600 isn't huge, so you might get away with one wireless in the middle (left of Bedroom1 in the diagram). If doing two, then where you have the two ceiling drops (on the left hand side of the house) would work but aren't ideal. They need to be more central to the right. The wireless radiates in a circular pattern from the router, so it needs to be central to a zone with a bit of overlap.
 

machausta

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Location
Mount Dora, FL
Completely agreed with JrC here. As many drops as you think you can do. You never know when you will have more internet devices needed in a room. I don't know if you have kids/are expecting/etc, but with the ability to add more access points, video game consoles, servers/NAS devices, network-enabled receiver/television/smart devices, etc I always try to have them wired when possible and go wireless when I can't.

I did this at the old house, and never regretted it. Nothing like being able to add a set-top box and have the kids watch something appropriate without changing discs.
 
OP
ArcticPenguin

ArcticPenguin

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Would adding a 3rd be overkill or unnecessary? or would better placement be ideal? Im trying it in our temp home 1313sqft in a similar fashion and it gets more than adequate coverage and they're not ceiling mounted and similarly close/laid out.
I was thinking the third could be in Bedroom 1 or 2, since a lot of the areas (hallways, bedrooms, kitchen) have recessed lighting and next to Bed1 is a microwave (which will hardly be used).