New Home Build Wiring Recommendations 2020 Edition

randman

Member
May 3, 2020
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am45931472 - Good choice on cabling! Nearly 20 years ago, when I first added drops to my home, the decision was CAT 5 or CAT 5e. There was no advantage of 5e at the time, but now, I'm glad I got 5e. Then, I added many more drops later and the decision was CAT 5e or CAT 6. I went for CAT 6, when there was also nothing at the time that justified using CAT 6 over 5e, other than "future" use. Well, for me, the future was this year, and I'm fortunate that my multi-gigabit switches work at 10GbE over my existing CAT 6 and even, surprisingly, my CAT 5e cables. But if I had to do this over again today, I'd get CAT 6a for all rooms and fiber for 2 or 3 rooms. I have some rooms that have 4 drops, and I still haven't been able to avoid a bunch of edge switches. A couple of rooms where I have audio/video equipment have over a dozen devices needing wired connectivity (TiVo, Apple TV, Shield TV, preamp, projector, UPSs, Blu-Ray, remote control accessories, etc., etc. , so I have to use switches there). Anyway, it was nice reading about your install!
 

am45931472

Member
Feb 26, 2019
75
17
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I agree with your plan to run both SMF and MMF fiber for your edge switches/PCs. Fiber is cheap and which type is cheapest to get the connectivity you want with a given type of equipment seems super variable.

I bought F/UTP shielded for my house. To simplify termination I ponied up for the nice toolless keystones from leviton. My rack is 4' from some of the 6ga copper ground wires that ground the whole house to the rods outside, so I shouldn't have any trouble getting a good ground on that end. My upstairs networking box is piped down to the rack with EMT and LFMC and has great ground continuity too, so I'm not overly worried about getting my grounding right.

U/FTP and S/FTP look like a nightmare to terminate.

Did you end up running pipe to all your drops or no? Pipe is nice for fiber. No chance of exceeding your bend radius requirements when the pipe's min-radius is bigger than the fiber's!
In the end I did not run any conduit but once I move into the house I will. There is a section of the basement that is acessible and sits right below a 2ft by 4ft sealed off dry walled space on the main floor and has some other plumbing and utility lines and then just above that space is attic. so a stright shot from the basement to the attic. in the past that area would be an airshaft but those have to be sealed for fire code now. since this is a large behind wall space I'm debating 2" PVC pipe or multiple 1" pipe. piping is indeed great for protecting fiber cables. When running the 4x fiber lines in the house I was super careful about bending/flexing with no yanking. I also did not run the fiber lines anywhere in the same hole as the cat6a cable.

In the end I did not want to deal with grounding on the patch panel and since all walls were open I was super selective about the routes that i ran for the cable in avoiding as many electrical sources as possible.
 

blinkenlights

Active Member
May 24, 2019
133
49
28
I have about 750 feet of Panduit S/FTP CAT6A (STP6X) on the way, and will be redoing my equipment rack and several of the home runs.

Yeah. Cant just do fiber everywhere. You need RJ45 for basic connectivity of 95% of your network
I want to highlight this statement for future readers: fiber is a wonderful, future-proof media but, right now, you still have to deal with legacy devices. Most of the people I know who opted for all-fiber at home end up buying $50-$100 each fiber converters (FMCs) in order to wire up their legacy copper devices. At that point, the original arguments in favor of fiber sort of fall apart. Between devices in the network closet? Sure. Throughout the house... well.... not as convinced.
 
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am45931472

Member
Feb 26, 2019
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well the last thing you want is a media converter hanging off the wall in your living room just to plug in a roku. Not exactly kid friendly, animal safe, or wife approved or cost effective.
 

kapone

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2015
775
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I have said this before..CAT6 will do 10g in most home scenarios and is backwards compatible with everything.

For almost all average folks (barring a few diehard nerds) there is zero need or requirement to run fiber throughout the house. I can understand running it to one or two locations if you're gonna have switches on different floors/attic of the house, but not throughout the house.

Most consumer devices can't even saturate gigabit, forget 10g.
 

lowfat

Active Member
Nov 25, 2016
102
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I have said this before..CAT6 will do 10g in most home scenarios and is backwards compatible with everything.

For almost all average folks (barring a few diehard nerds) there is zero need or requirement to run fiber throughout the house. I can understand running it to one or two locations if you're gonna have switches on different floors/attic of the house, but not throughout the house.

Most consumer devices can't even saturate gigabit, forget 10g.
Copper SFP+ modules are rather expensive tho. Transceivers are like 3-4x the price of used fiber ones off eBay. So if your switch and NICs are SFP+, it ends up being like half the price including the price of cables, keystones.
 
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