Introduction: Structured Wiring System Design

Picture of Structured Wiring System Design

This instructable shows the structured wiring system that I designed for my home.

This wiring system provides a centralized location for the following services for all of my rooms (master, 3 bdrm, kitchen, living, garage, office).

1) Local area network (LAN),
2) File server and backup,
3) Telephone,
4) Cable HDTV,
5) Power surge,
6) Power conditioning,
7) Signal Amplification,
8) Internet,
9) Battery backup.

I don't have actual construction photos since I didn't take any but i'll show and describe the final solution that I came up with.

Step 1: Schematic and Materials List

Picture of Schematic and Materials List

The schematic for the whole house structured wiring system is shown in this image. I have also attached PDF file which may be a bit clearer.

Parts Listing:
1) Cat-5e (internet, lan)
2) COAX RG-59 or RG-6 (cable tv, antenna)
3) Phone cable (telephone, cable telephone)
4) Romex Electrical wire (electricity)
5) 4-port Wired/Wireless-N Router
6) 16-port Switch
7) Electrical outlets
8) 8-way video splitters
9) 2-way video splitter
10) Cat5 patch panel
11) telephone patch panel (bus bar)
12) cable modem
13) file server - primary
14) file server - backup
15) surge protecter, battery backup (cable, phone, electrical, lan)
16) cable try (metal studs)
17) outlets (ethernet, phone, cable)
18) cable ties.

Step 2: Tools Used

Picture of Tools Used

1) Wire cutters,
2) Wire stripper for coax, phone, cat-5.
3) Wire spool holder,
4) Pop rivet tool,
5) Screw driver,
6) Wrench set,
7) cable ties

Building shelving not covered here but used the following tools:
1) Table saw,
2) Sander,
3) Scroll saw,
4) Electric drill,
5) Screw Drivers

Step 3: Assembly Details

Picture of Assembly Details

This picture shows the overall assembly and its parts.

Cut sheet rock window in the wall of a closet, dont' cut all the way through the wall, just back to the sheet rock on the other side of the wall,

The shelf is build in three sections that slides between the exposed wall studs. Build the shelves back into the wall opening that you created.

I used wood wall paneling (masonite) and MDF (1/2" to 3/4") to create these shelves. PVC tubing to route wires into attic.

Step 4: Installation Details

Picture of Installation Details

Here are details of the installation.


DaveH127 (author)2016-11-20

Very neat, but no labels?

Shine6 (author)2015-11-27

good job .

quickpost (author)2015-10-10

very very nice

packersmoversdelhi (author)2015-02-28

I Like It

galiliosharma (author)2015-02-22


Deepakjuneja (author)2015-01-21

awesome work

olivia11 (author)2015-01-14


manishamalhotra (author)2015-01-06


BrianDean (author)2015-01-01

great project

davis31 (author)2014-12-19

great idea

rose124 (author)2014-12-04

nice idea

BARNABASSABA (author)2014-05-23

Great project thb43... Only a Wel Experience and Hardworking persona can do this... Have U done any INDUSTRIAL TRAININGfrom any company or u just Read This over in Some Book and made it this well?????

thb43 (author)BARNABASSABA2014-05-24

Thanks. My experience is BSME & BSCS from University plus 25 years working in these fields.

Cristian Augusto (author)2014-03-29

Great project, very well organized! So, I'm searching this Coaxial connector 90º, but I don't meet here.. Where you bought it? Thanks!

thb43 (author)Cristian Augusto2014-03-29

Found them on ebay cheap... and they were pretty low quality though... as soon as you tighten them up they broke pretty easy.. When the cable truck came to my house the installer hooked me up with a hand full of higher quality 90s.

Cristian Augusto (author)thb432014-03-30

Oh, and have you a ideia where I can find this connectors with better quality?

thb43 (author)Cristian Augusto2014-03-30

dbrown75 (author)2014-03-13

hi I've been looking up stuff like this for awhile now and i was wondering if there it any way to wire the electrics to a wifi controlled system any useful tips?

thb43 (author)dbrown752014-03-13

You just need to plug in a WiFi Access Point or WiFi enabled router and any wireless device will be able connect to the network. Make sure you enable the WiFi encryption to keep those that don't know the SSID/password from accessing your network. For further security you can set MAC address filtering to prevent any wireless device connecting unless its MAC address is programmed into the system even it knows the password. When configuring/controlling your router its not recommend to do this via a wireless connection (but it is possible).. always do this with a connection that is hardwired to the router otherwise you will probably loose connection when you start setting up IP addresses and end up connecting the cable to the router anyway. I always set static IP address for printers, servers, cable boxes, TVs, playstation, pools, file servers and other services and let DHCP dynamically set IP addresses for laptop, computers, mobile phones that are not always connected to the local network.

powerndata (author)2013-10-25

Hey, great work. You have chimed in with some tips for people who want to do their own wiring system. We must employ the most experienced techniques and use the highest quality equipment.

bfollowell (author)2012-06-15

Awesome guide. I'm curious, what amplifiers do you use and what program did you use to create your schematic?

Thanks for sharing.

thb43 (author)bfollowell2012-06-15

Thanks... Actually I changed services last year from Time Warner cable to Verizon FIOS so I don't use an amplifiers anymore. It has a much stronger signal. I was using 20dB amps from Ce Labs which worked fine (as long as TW cable was working). Found them on ebay. I used AutoCAD for the schematic.

jimbarbera (author)2012-04-27

Very impressive setup!
I'm using blue jacketed Cat 6 for all Ethernet and gray jacketed Cat 5e for all phone wiring.

For the phone I'm using the blue pair for line 1 but which color pair should be the DSL (U-Verse) modem pair? I'm currently using the brown pair from the POTS splitter, but can easily change it to green or orange.

I am connecting only the pair that is leading to the modem so as to avoid any "stub outs" to other locations in the house.


laxap (author)2012-01-17

Wonderfully clean setup. I like how the cables are nicely bundled.

rschlitz (author)2011-12-09

Hyper awesome guide. I'm not planning to do this but it was a really interesting read.

thb43 (author)2011-05-22

1) Surge protection... no you don't have to have surge protection for LAN cables or phone outlets... they work just fine without. Having said routers seem to be a lot more stable now that I am using a surge protection and power conditioning.... I haven't had to reboot the router nearly as much as without it. Most surge protectors have connections for LAN and phone so I use them both. It just good peace of mind too know that my expensive equipment is protected. One other thing... when lightening hit my grandfathers house the phone out back in the barn was blown off the wall. He didn't have surge protection.... it may have helped.

2) improperly grounded, bad amp, ESD, TV still turned on while making the connection... could be many things shocking you. I'd get it checked out.

3) readyNAS (Netgear's version of Network Attached Storage) looks pretty good. Cost and performance were deciding factors for me. My Buffalo system has been running non-stop since installed with no problems... the GUI is a bit clunky though.

I'm happy you enjoyed my instructable.... there's a lot of information here and I'm happy to share it. with everyone. I have learned a lot of things from the internet and this was my chance to give back and help out others. Enjoy!

nasrudiin (author)2011-01-01

Thank you so much for the instructions but really like to know I know you already mentioned. Is there any specific shop you can get the tools or just go shopping?

Thank you

thb43 (author)nasrudiin2011-01-01

buy the tools anywhere... sears, home depot, walmart, lowes, frys, etc.

abadfart (author)2010-01-26

 ok so i got it all set up but one of the computer has limited to no connection and my xbox is not registering at all.  i know i wired it right but they aren't working any ideas? 

thb43 (author)abadfart2010-01-26

Could be many different things.  I don't know from the limited info you provide.
If you are using static IP addresses on these devices they may be set to the same IP address so neither one will work correctly.  If you are using DHCP server then make sure the number of addresses in the IP address pool (i.e. starting address to ending address) includes enough IP address for all the devices on your network.

abadfart (author)thb432010-01-27

it worked in my test when i had them all in one room and wired together  threw the switch 

abadfart (author)abadfart2010-09-23

ok now the computer is working and i need to check the the wire to the xbox

ElvenChild (author)2010-09-01

where do you live?

Mike8913 (author)2009-09-22

total nub q here. . . . where does your cable box come into play?

thb43 (author)Mike89132009-09-22

The cable box is connected directly to my TV via hdmi connection. The cable box is connected to the coax terminal on the wall. I have one in each room were a TV is located. These wall outlets are connected to the 8 way splitter that you can see in the pictures.

hintss (author)thb432010-07-20

you mean you didn't use mythTV?! that would've been awesomer, geekier, and made use of the ethernet!

thb43 (author)hintss2010-08-02

Not sure there is an exe file for mythTV that works for Windows OS yet? I only found UNIX/Linux versions online. But it looks cool.

hintss (author)thb432010-08-03

You keep that many servers and you don't use *nix? I have 2 servers and a net book, and I run ubuntu on all of them. Oh, and I'm 13

Mark1955 (author)2010-07-14

Hi.....Our house is built and a friend was going to help me out for the router and network switches....I have not gotten through to him. Any ideas for a system that woud work well and not too expensive. Thanks for ant imput. Mark

zchampine (author)2010-05-12

 Very nice, how much would this cost though?

buddz (author)2009-10-17

 Wow great, clean setup. I do have one question though as I am now trying to wire my home in a similar fashion: What did you use for the telephone bus? and just exactly what is that other white box to the right of the phone bus? Just not sure how I can 'route' the signal out to all the rooms if you know what i mean

Mike44 (author)buddz2010-04-04

@buddz, the telephone bus is a product from Leviton for telephone distribution.  This site here has a ton of them for pictures and what not:   I purchased mine from Home Depot though as they seem to have a pretty good selection.

thb43 (author)buddz2009-10-17

The white box and bus aren't anything special.  The bus just splits one telephone source line into 10 lines with each line going to a different location in the house.   In other words, that same color conductor in each phone line is connected togeter via the bus.  I bought this at Home Depot for less than $20 I believe.   The white box is a junction box where can connect a telephone to see if I have a dial tone without having to run out to another room.  One of the lines from the bus goes to this white box where a telephone can be connected/disconnected.

DanNixon (author)thb432009-11-01

Is your telephone system just a distribution system?

thb43 (author)DanNixon2009-11-01

currently one line..... to all rooms.  Easy to split into multiple lines if desired in the future.

DanNixon (author)thb432009-11-02

I suppose.
An instructable on installing and setting up a PBX would be good as I am looking at this kind of system for my house.

thb43 (author)DanNixon2009-11-02

I have not looked into PBX systems.  But there are several open source PBX system you might look at when designing your system.  Look at Asterisk, GNU Bayonne, FreeSWITCH, and OpenPBX.   Popular PBX systems include Avaya's Definity and Northern Telecom's Meridian.  Not sure how these will help you out at your house since these systems are used for large companies that don't want to lease a large number of phone lines.

DanNixon (author)thb432009-11-03

I have had a quick look at FreePBX once, but it got lost in a list of projects I have and I never got back to it. We have an Avaya PBX at work and compared to the ols LG system it is much easier to uns and manage, but I would probably go for one of the free systems whenI go back to installing a PBX for my home.

jaydenthorup (author)2010-03-25

I have one concern, the amplifying the cable signal before the split for the modem may put too much signal into your modem. I was an installer for comcast and the signal for the modem needs to be just right. You can check it at i believe. Downstream needs to be around -10db to +10db while upstream needs to be around 32 db to 49 db but check with your cable company to be sure. Otherwise your speed will significantly be reduced, also sometimes the surge suppressor can affect performance. The local cable company should have grounded the cable outside to remove any possibility of surges in the line as well as it is grounded at the pole(overhead) or the pedestal(underground)

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