Postcard from - House network

When we built the house in Kardinya, I had firm view about networking the house. We had ADSL (3.7km from the local exchange, and 5.5Mbs downstream) delivered to the small grey box on the outside wall. But what then? I wanted video distributed from a server in one of the rooms to the TV in the lounge, and there were going to be lots of clay brick walls in the way. My experience with WiFi and video delivery wasn't good, so I decided to hardwire the house and put network points eveyrwhere.

A mate got me cheap cable trays, and when the roof was finished but before the ceiling was in place, 2 of us came in and chased a few walls and screwed the cable trays to the rafters. In two bedrooms and the study each had a single lan port, the dining room had two and the living room had four. The bedroom used as an office had a pair of ports under each desk and six in the walk in robe (used as a server closet).

I put a wall mounted box in the garage in the storage space. This had the incoming phone line, the modem and a 24 port TPLink switch. All the lan ports in the house ran back to here. There were two WiFi access points, one in the dining room, and another in the server closet in the office. The reception was adequate, but not really good enough for video streaming. Remember, this was before 802.11ac was announced, so WiFi speed wasn't that good, at least, practical WiFi speed wasn't.

There were two digital TV outlets, one in the living room and another in the server closet. I had to use an active splitter for the TV signal from the aerial, and I enclosed the coax in 15mm conduit. Why? Look up discussions of signal degredation from strapping coax in place without conduit, it makes fascinating reading! Later there was a Foxtel dish on the roof and another pair of outlets in the living room for the signal and for the IQ box.

The setup worked well for the 7 years we lived there. I used about 450m of Cat6 for the network and close to 50m of RG-6 coax for the digital TV signal.


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