Step 4: Measuring and Running the Cables

Picture of Measuring and Running the Cables
Top Plate Hole.jpg
There are a number of ways to do this, you can estimate, measure from floor plans, run one, etc. I used the run one method.

To find the lengths required for each run I ran one cable to each room from the distribution room, pulled it out, and made 3 more like it. After that, you can run all 4 together. You'll also want to label both ends of each cable with a sharpie. This way you can label the ports on both ends.

Before you can do this however you need to drill through the wall top plates so that you can drop the cables into the walls where you have cut your holes. Finding the right place to drill in the top plate (to make sure you get in the right 16" gap between studs) can be tricky. This is another reason I decided to follow the coax cables for cable TV. I traced down the cable TV through that attic and then drilled new holes in the top plate right next to the cable TV holes. You'll want a powerful drill and either a paddle bit or a hole saw for this. The hole saw is easier but the paddle bit is cheaper. I used a 1 1/4" paddle bit and it was hard to control and strained the drill at times. You can also opt to drill multiple small holes and use one for each cable although this makes running them a but harder since you can't tape the bundle together.

Once you have the top holes drilled you can string out some cable to measure how much for each run and then cut 3 more equal lengths per run and then re-run the cables. Be sure to make them long enough that you have some extra from stripping and crimping accidents. Its always easy to tuck extra length into the wall.

Next, making connections.
pepetito2 years ago
Well when my dad comes home from work he is required by the government to have a wired connection for security soooo... there more secure i guess is the only use for thi
jobard3 years ago
I'm sorry, I couldn't understand why you think cables are better than wireless connection. On the former you have to break walls, you are limited to the end of the cable, so if I want to bring my laptop from my desk to my bed, either the cable should be long enough, or there should be another connection point close to my bed, and in this case, the connection will be lost for disconnecting one point and connecting to the other. Not to mention the expense for buying up to 100m of cables and installing them. The latter, you just have to use a router or two, and I'll be able to use my laptop even in the toilet, if I want, although this idea sounds bizarre.... Regarding safety, that's what firewalls are used for.
What do you think?
Rogue Agent (author)  jobard3 years ago
Cables are ALWAYS going to be more secure and provide faster and more reliable bandwidth than wireless. You clearly didn't read the entire thing because I do discuss the possibility of adding wireless to the mix as well. Sure wireless is VERY convenient, especially for renters, or for laptops, ipads and devices that you move to different locations. But the benefit of distributed cabling should be obvious. Even if you wanted all your endpoints wireless, there is still benefit in that you could get better signal connecting an access point to the cabling on each floor of a 3 story house.

Sure there are cost and convenience trade offs and I think I address them very well. Some people like to "break walls" and have a built in solution.

About your comment "that's what firewalls are for", you might want to brush up on your understanding about what firewalls do. Firewalls do not protect wireless. Firewalls are like a gate to your network - but if you use wireless the gate kinda doesn't work because your traffic flies through the air. Yes there are security methods to protect wireless communications, and yes they've improved since I originally wrote the article. But you still never achieve the same security you would with a wired network.

Thanks for reading! Hopefully I've made it more clear.
zyphlar5 years ago
If you're running multiple wires to a single location, it's usually easiest to pull them all at once-- if you can afford it, having multiple spools of CAT5 will reduce headaches. If multiple spools aren't an option, I suggest measuring with twine since it's much cheaper than cable and you can leave it in the wall for easy pulling later (whenever you begin pulling, attach a twine so you there's always twine in the wall-- you'll never have to fish tape that route again.)
wbsbadboy5 years ago
"I used a 1 1/4" paddle bit"
Having worked as a residential electrician I can tell you that a 1 1/4" hole is overkill.
5/8" is sufficient to run up to 5 or 6 CATV cables through.