House networked with single CAT5E cable

jyi786

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So I am going to do someone a favor and do their networking in their newly built house. Problem? The idiots who ran the cabling only ran a SINGLE CAT5 cable to each room. Now I have to split that single cable and use it for both phone and network (ethernet). At least they were smart enough to make a "server" room which has all these cables in it.

Currently, there maybe 20+ outlets in the house (yes, it's a big house). What equipment will I need? They already have the router, filters, and switches. What type of patch panel will I need? I did some runs before using Leviton patch panels, but I'm a bit confused because I read some of the manuals, and for the CAT5 network connectors, it states that ALL wires network wires must be terminated, which I can't do since I'm splitting the single cable.
 

PTNL

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For what little I know, running phone and data over the same Ethernet line is a bad practice (or at least not recommended); even when it works, it can still be glitchy, and certainly the data would not be up to ideal speeds.

As for the patch panel, let the number of lines you have dictate the minimum requirements. Though it is better to get something with more ports now for future-proofing.


As a side-question to other forum members: Any thoughts on PoE, either for this scenario or in general?
 

valve1138

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Ugh, that sucks. You'll be limited to 100 meg ethernet first of all, hopefully splitting the pairs out won't cause you any problems, it sometimes can.

What I would do is still use a patch panel and cut down two pairs on one jack and the other two pairs on the adjacent jack. One will have to be just for networking since they will use different pairs inside the jack than phone lines do. Network will use 1,2,3, and 6, with phone using 4 and 5 for a single line, or 3,4,5 and 6 for two line use.

For phone, I would get some of the bridge boards that take the incoming line and turn it out to a bunch of phone jacks so you can patch those in as well.

Good luck.
 

jyi786

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For what little I know, running phone and data over the same Ethernet line is a bad practice (or at least not recommended); even when it works, it can still be glitchy, and certainly the data would not be up to ideal speeds.

I know. I asked the homeowner why the f*** he didn't let them run dual cables to each room. I have absolutely no choice now but to run both phone and internet over the same wire: the walls in this house are marble and granite. :eek:

As for the patch panel, let the number of lines you have dictate the minimum requirements. Though it is better to get something with more ports now for future-proofing.

Yes, I'm going to go for at least a 24 port panel. But I'm still confused as to how the actual splitting is going to go. Can anyone show any examples of which patch panels to use, and how it's going to work?
 

TechieSooner

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First thing: do they really need phones? Most people just use cells nowadays. And if they HAVE to have phones- maybe they don't need it in every room. Maybe a VoIP solution would work.

As for the patch panel... you COULD just crimp ends onto them and plug them directly into the switches if you wanted to. Because I'm guessing, once it's setup you probably won't be changing anything. Patch Panels are great if you change stuff around (like analog phone lines or whatnot).
 

jyi786

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First thing: do they really need phones? Most people just use cells nowadays. And if they HAVE to have phones- maybe they don't need it in every room.

Unfortunately, it's too late. They do need phone. The area which they are in SUCKS big time for cell phone signal.

Maybe a VoIP solution would work.
This will probably work in the future, but for now, I guess I could cut down how many jacks I'm going to split for the landline phone, and then just simply use the rest for ethernet.

As for the patch panel... you COULD just crimp ends onto them and plug them directly into the switches if you wanted to. Because I'm guessing, once it's setup you probably won't be changing anything. Patch Panels are great if you change stuff around (like analog phone lines or whatnot).

So that's how it works? For instance,

leviton_24-portMediaPanel-5.jpg


So if I'm understanding this correctly, I'm crimping the ends of the cables that are going directly to each room into the sides of the red numbered ports. Then, I'm going to plug those red numbered ports directly into a switch.

Is that how it's going to work?
 

PTNL

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What's the cost of running additional lines in for the client? Might be worth it to actually have an estimate to compare against for the client, especially if reliability and/or LAN point-to-point speed is important.
 

jyi786

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What's the cost of running additional lines in for the client? Might be worth it to actually have an estimate to compare against for the client, especially if reliability and/or LAN point-to-point speed is important.

Impossible. The house is nearing completion, and, as I pointed out earlier, the walls are marble and granite. There's literally no way new cable is going to be run at this point.
 

TechieSooner

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Unfortunately, it's too late. They do need phone. The area which they are in SUCKS big time for cell phone signal.
Perhaps a repeater from the Cell Carrier would be a good investment? They might even be able to get that for FREE if they complain how bad the signal is and that they might be looking at going to another company...

Generally what those do is use your internet connection to create a cellular hotspot at the house.
I can't remember what they're called or I could've linked you to them.



So that's how it works? For instance,

So if I'm understanding this correctly, I'm crimping the ends of the cables that are going directly to each room into the sides of the red numbered ports. Then, I'm going to plug those red numbered ports directly into a switch.

Is that how it's going to work?
How are they in that room right now?

I'm just saying you could take the CAT5 coming into the server room, put a plug on the ends of all of them, and go straight into the switch- if you wanted to.
 

Kaos

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leviton_24-portMediaPanel-5.jpg


So if I'm understanding this correctly, I'm crimping the ends of the cables that are going directly to each room into the sides of the red numbered ports. Then, I'm going to plug those red numbered ports directly into a switch.

Is that how it's going to work?

You will punch down the green and orange pairs (a or b pattern, I always use b) into the 110 style connectors on the sides of the RJ-45 jacks.

from the looks of it you'll need RJ-11 connectors crimped onto the excess wire pairs from each room. You'll need to strip the cover off the cat5e back several inches for this to work well enough to organize, but just need to trim the ethernet pairs down so they're not crazy long as well.
 

jyi786

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Perhaps a repeater from the Cell Carrier would be a good investment? They might even be able to get that for FREE if they complain how bad the signal is and that they might be looking at going to another company...

Generally what those do is use your internet connection to create a cellular hotspot at the house.
I can't remember what they're called or I could've linked you to them.

Cellphone coverage sucks for all providers in the area. I have AT&T and the homeowner has T-mobile, and we both get little to no reception.

I just spoke to him, and he said a maximum of 3 mixed phone/ethernet on a single wire is good enough for him. All the rest can be strictly data.

How are they in that room right now?

I'm just saying you could take the CAT5 coming into the server room, put a plug on the ends of all of them, and go straight into the switch- if you wanted to.

Right now, here's what there are:

1. single 20+ CAT5E wires going into each room, ending in the server room
2. splitting 3 wires into phone/ethernet
3. all the rest will be straight ethernet

You will punch down the green and orange pairs (a or b pattern, I always use b) into the 110 style connectors on the sides of the RJ-45 jacks.

So are those RJ-45 jacks "in" or "out" ports from the distribution point? That's what's confusing me a bit.

And what's going to happen if I use one of those ports for, let's say, a phone port, but I don't terminate ALL of the 8 wires in the CAT5E cable, since I'm only using 2/4 for phone and the other 4 for ethernet? Will the port still work for its respective function that I designate (either phone/ethernet)?
 

Kaos

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So are those RJ-45 jacks "in" or "out" ports from the distribution point? That's what's confusing me a bit.

And what's going to happen if I use one of those ports for, let's say, a phone port, but I don't terminate ALL of the 8 wires in the CAT5E cable, since I'm only using 2/4 for phone and the other 4 for ethernet? Will the port still work for its respective function that I designate (either phone/ethernet)?

You'll use patch panels from the switch to the jacks on your distribution panel. That will push signal to the wires you have punched down which then lead to each room.

The phone part works differently. You'll take your extra pairs and crimp rj-11's on them and plug them into the distrubution jacks for POTS.
Then your pair from the demarc (phone network interface) will punch into the the spot marked "from demarcation" on there.

You could use the ones intended for ethernet for phone though, if you wanted to. The reverse is usually not true.
 

jyi786

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You'll use patch panels from the switch to the jacks on your distribution panel. That will push signal to the wires you have punched down which then lead to each room.

Ok, thanks, that's what I wanted to confirm.

The phone part works differently. You'll take your extra pairs and crimp rj-11's on them and plug them into the distrubution jacks for POTS.
Then your pair from the demarc (phone network interface) will punch into the the spot marked "from demarcation" on there.

You could use the ones intended for ethernet for phone though, if you wanted to. The reverse is usually not true.

That's what I was thinking I just wanted to use the ethernet ports for phone too, to make things easy.

Here's another question. The provider is Cox internet. You know how Comcast and Cox (and other cable/phone providers) give phone service? They do it through a telephony/cable router. Here's how the phone line actually comes into the house.

Cable > Router > Phone line > filter > phones/jacks

Since there is a filter involved here, can't I simply plug that a phone line into that, and then the phone line into one of the ethernet ports on the distribution panel, and simply patch to the punchdowns that I designate for phone usage?
 

TechieSooner

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Cellphone coverage sucks for all providers in the area. I have AT&T and the homeowner has T-mobile, and we both get little to no reception.
You don't understand.

You can live in an area with 0 coverage, and then get this little "hotspot" box from T-Mobile... And it gives you cellular signal inside your house. Kindof like a wifi hotspot, but for cell signal.
What it does is it sends the voice and data out through the internet connection instead of through an actual tower.

The cell phones don't know any difference.


I'd honestly look into that method first. Instead of having to screw with phones. Phones are just such an antiquidated technology... Unless they want one their for their little kids to have access to 911 or something, which even in that case: you only need one.

Right now, here's what there are:

1. single 20+ CAT5E wires going into each room, ending in the server room
2. splitting 3 wires into phone/ethernet
3. all the rest will be straight ethernet

Here's my thought. Right now, you have jacks in the walls. The CAT5 comes from those, and is run into the server room. Instead of jacking around with patch panels and other nonsense (especially if you don't have to split them out for phones)... Just crimp a plug onto the end of them and plug them into the switch. Easy. Your cable goes directly from that wall jack into the switch, in other words.
 

jyi786

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You don't understand.

You can live in an area with 0 coverage, and then get this little "hotspot" box from T-Mobile... And it gives you cellular signal inside your house. Kindof like a wifi hotspot, but for cell signal.
What it does is it sends the voice and data out through the internet connection instead of through an actual tower.

The cell phones don't know any difference.

No, no, I do understand. :p I thought I mentioned it, but I didn't. What you're talking about is a hotspot box. AT&T has the MicroCell, and T-mobile, I don't know if they have it or not. Either way, neither is available in this entire area for any of the big 3 providers (Verizon, T-mobile and AT&T), so we're sort of out of luck on that. I actually need one for my sister right now, and don't have it, so they don't have any connection in their apartment.:mad:

Here's my thought. Right now, you have jacks in the walls. The CAT5 comes from those, and is run into the server room. Instead of jacking around with patch panels and other nonsense (especially if you don't have to split them out for phones)... Just crimp a plug onto the end of them and plug them into the switch. Easy. Your cable goes directly from that wall jack into the switch, in other words.

That's how I do it at home right now. I can do that for this client, but I guess I can get away with just a small data patch panel since they do need at maximum 3 that are both phone/data, and then do the rest straight to the switch.
 

TechieSooner

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No, no, I do understand. :p I thought I mentioned it, but I didn't. What you're talking about is a hotspot box. AT&T has the MicroCell, and T-mobile, I don't know if they have it or not. Either way, neither is available in this entire area for any of the big 3 providers (Verizon, T-mobile and AT&T), so we're sort of out of luck on that. I actually need one for my sister right now, and don't have it, so they don't have any connection in their apartment.:mad:
Hmmm... Odd...
T-Mobile was one of the first people that had this kind of thing, I know they have it.

But if that's not an option then that's out.

Kindof a bummer. I do not miss landlines at all. Most people I talk to rarely use theirs, and they "keep it for DSL" or something (little do they know they can get naked DSL and whatnot)... But whatever

That's how I do it at home right now. I can do that for this client, but I guess I can get away with just a small data patch panel since they do need at maximum 3 that are both phone/data, and then do the rest straight to the switch.
That's what I'd do. Saves $$. On ethernet networks that route based on MAC address (IE: you won't be physically moving stuff around ever), I never saw much point in using patch panels.
Now, for phone lines: that's a different story. Cuz when you move a phone and that extention needs to follow it...

You could get either a small patch panel or crimp ends into them and just use a coupler or something... It's not as "professional" but it'd work just as well, especially for analog lines that sound like crap to start with :D
 

jiminator

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I suspect you will lose on this deal no matter what you do. not something I would want to put my name on.
 

jyi786

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I suspect you will lose on this deal no matter what you do. not something I would want to put my name on.

Why do you say that? I know at least 3 lines are going to be "compromised" or less than top quality, but the rest are standard run of the mill.
 

Kaos

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I always do it the "right" way, myself, but that's just me. I did cable/network installations years ago professionally, tons of drops in huge buildings.

I like having stuff go to patch panels, be labeled etc etc.

If the runs werent complex (corners/angles) or were in conduit I would use the existing wire as a pull wire and take a few more runs to each location. If they just ran them through the joists etc...you'd have a hell of a time with that.

Worse comes to worst, move them to wireless and use the wires for POTS.

Add APs as necessary.
 
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jyi786

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I always do it the "right" way, myself, but that's just me. I did cable/network installations years ago professionally, tons of drops in huge buildings.

I like having stuff go to patch panels, be labeled etc etc.

So did you ever have to go through with something like this, or did you simply just have the extra cable dropped?
 

jiminator

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long term that is the only real solution. otherwise it is only going to cause problems and confusion down the road. probably not for you, but for someone else. :)
 

jyi786

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long term that is the only real solution. otherwise it is only going to cause problems and confusion down the road. probably not for you, but for someone else. :)

I figured that already. :D As confusing as it is now, I fear for a cable guy from Cox or Comcast (most of which have no idea what they are doing) coming to the house and royally screwing things up.
 

cyclone3d

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Have them get a majicjack for phone service... $20 a year for unlimited calls FTW.

Then you won't have to split up the cat-5 cable and gimp the speed.
 

Kaos

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So did you ever have to go through with something like this, or did you simply just have the extra cable dropped?

I've had to work through plaster walls and solid ceilings etc, but these were mostly businesses where either they didn't care how I got it done (used trac to hide cables along walls, went through the floor (only if necessary).

But most businesses install conduit for wire to reside in. It serves two purposes - 1. easy cable pulls 2. pseudo shielding.

The few times I did installs in downtown new york buildings with marble or granite on the walls there were conduit runs already in place so it was a matter of hopeully finding a pullstring or temporarily using an existing wire as a pull string and then putting 2 strings back when I was done or using a fish tape.

I've never heard of someone installing granite/marble on a wall and not either running 2-3 drops or using conduit.

We have a saying the in gun community - two is one, one is none.

If it were me in your shoes I'd set up one/two wires for use as the phone "base station" (and a hard wired if your phone service has a battery backup for 911 purposes) and then use the cordless phones that have satellite bases that only need power to charge the handsets. Get them in a range out of whatever wireless you're going to use. IE if you're planning on using 802.11g, get 5.8ghz phones.
 

keenan

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I have a majicjack and it works awesome. No breakups, perfectly clear.. even better then using a real land line.
But it really doesn't help with OPs wiring problem since it needs to run on regular phone wiring. And relies on a running Windows PC, as I understand.
 

hoeding

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It's easy enough to hack phone and ethernet onto the same line, but I honestly would look at this as an opportunity to sell a voip setup.
 

cyclone3d

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But it really doesn't help with OPs wiring problem since it needs to run on regular phone wiring. And relies on a running Windows PC, as I understand.

So what if it needs a computer running.. you can even hook it up to a thin client if you want.

And then for the phones you use a wireless phone set; you hook the base station/main phone up to the majic jack and have the other phones wherever you want them in the house.
 

keenan

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So what if it needs a computer running.. you can even hook it up to a thin client if you want.
It's a point of failure and a waste of power.

And then for the phones you use a wireless phone set; you hook the base station/main phone up to the majic jack and have the other phones wherever you want them in the house.
If OP is in a house with 20+ outlets and it's a 'big house' I really don't think this is feasible. Maybe with a high quality cordless phone, but it's just more of a pain and more trouble. I certainly wouldn't suggest it as a professional installer/IT guy putting my name on the setup.

I wasn't trying to slag magicjack or your suggestion, just saying that a proper VoIP setup will solve the OPs problems. It doesn't sound like money is a major problem for this client, so buying a couple SIP phones and plugging them in where needed seems to me like a much better solution than futzing around with magicjack to save $20/yr.
 

jyi786

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buying a couple SIP phones and plugging them in where needed seems to me like a much better solution than futzing around with magicjack to save $20/yr.

Educate me. What's an "SIP" phone?
 

Shadowspawn

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Yeah, I wouldn't split any lines. You can put in a basic VOIP setup and use switches in the rooms that will need both a computer and a phone. Splitting the lines will cause problems in the future because I guarantee they will want a computer in a room that contains a split line. Their needs will change.

A VOIP setup might cost a little more each year but it is a more logical setup, if they didn't run conduit so additional lines could be pulled.
 

keenan

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Educate me. What's an "SIP" phone?

SIP is the industry-standard VoIP singaling protocol. You could go with Skype or something similar, which tends to have more consumer-class products available, but SIP is much more flexible and you can choose from many providers. Some of these will let you set up multiple devices connected with configurable hunting and extension->extension calling and whatnot. Or if you're ambitious you can run a little PBX box on the internal network and do whatever you want.

I have a Polycom desk phone I got from eBay and a Siemens A580 which is a cheap SIP->DECT cordless; there are plenty of options here, the only problem is most are designed for business use, so tend to be fairly expensive. You can also just use a cheap little ATA box to convert the SIP VoIP to a standard RJ-11 jack and use whatever phone each place you need one. Typically the desk phones will include a 2-port switch so you connect the LAN port to the wall, then the PC to the phone.
 

jyi786

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VOIP is a new realm for me; I haven't really delved into it at all. Maybe it's time for me to.

Is VOIP pretty much plug and play? Does it have any problems calling land lines/mobile phones or vice versa? If I simply get an adapter, can I just plug it in and go? Or do I have to have a number reserved? Can I port my existing number?
 

Tytalus

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VOIP is a new realm for me; I haven't really delved into it at all. Maybe it's time for me to.

Is VOIP pretty much plug and play? Does it have any problems calling land lines/mobile phones or vice versa? If I simply get an adapter, can I just plug it in and go? Or do I have to have a number reserved? Can I port my existing number?

To use VoIP you need to do at least the following things:

1) Contract with a company that will provide service to you. This is the upstream provider and you will likely connect to a trunk.
2) Either run phones that will directly connect to the trunk, or run something like an Asterisk box which will act as a middle-man between the trunk and the house phones. This is what we do here at work--we have an Asterisk box sitting in our server room which gives us an automated greeting + menu options, runs conference software, provides a phone directory and provides extensions and extension groups, plus logs all the calls.

The cheapest I've seen VoIP lines is ~$30 / month / channel. (Channel = incoming or outgoing connection) You typically purchase on a per-channel basis. Do an internet search on SIP trunking or VoIP trunking and see what you can find in your area. For my area AT&T provides service, but it's highly dependent on locale. The nifty part is if you do learn how to set up Asterisk (or Trixbox [or something with a better user front-end]) you can set up custom routing rules, voicemail per-phone and a lot of other fantastic features. It's a steep learning curve, but IMO it's well worth it if you want a marketable skill.

FYI, here's one such provider. If they don't use the house phone much this seems like a fantastic option, especially if you're setting up an IP-PBX (Trixbox / Asterisk) for them: VoIPVoIP I can't speak for the quality of their setup, or their customer service, ro anything else other than what their webpage claims, but it'll get you pointed in the right direction.

2.png
 

keenan

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I use and have been very happy with voip.ms. They charge, IIRC, about 1c/min in the US/Canada for outgoing calls and about $1/month for an incoming DID (another $1.50 if you need e911) also at about 1c/min (or about $5 with unlimited incoming). They also have some neat features like you can set up an IVR (voice prompt system) that runs on their system and forwards calls to certain devices or voicemail or a recording, and you can have multiple sub-accounts and control routing between them. It's the most flexible SIP hosting I've seen, and basically does everything you need for a small business or home setup without needing a local PBX. And since I don't use my home phones very often it works out to a few bucks a month.
 

blk95civicex

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IMO, walk away from this project. I'm not doubting your abilities, but it sounds like you will be in over your head very quickly. Below are my reasons.

- Marble and granite - Have fun with that.
- 1 pull to each room and unsure of the presence of conduit. If you knew the current Cat5 wasn't nailed down, you could possibly use it as pull wire, but you don't.
- VOIP doesn't sound like a good solution, as you would either need a nice phone with a built-in switch to pass traffic off to whatever other device is in the room, or have a small switch in each room that needed multiple devices. Nobody (besides us geeks) wants an ugly switch sitting in the room with wires running off of it.

Let a pro installer come in and take care of it. Saves a friendship if things go bad. Plus, you don't have to worry about funky troubleshooting in the future.
 

jay2472000

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I agree, I would run, not walk away from this asap.

I worked for a man a long time ago as a carpenter. Once I saw an estimates list and the nails were hugely out of line with what we were actually paying for them. When I mentioned it, he grinned and said "Son, we dont put $0.12 nails in a million dollar home"

If they have marble and granit on the walls, then they can afford to have it done right.
 

jyi786

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Just wanted to update this thread. I'm going to be doing it this weekend.

I'm going to be using this:

550-030.jpg


Ok, just to be clear, this is an RJ45 cable. Can you guys tell me, definitively, the following:

1. There is only a single phone line. Out of the 8 strand wire, which of the two will I use for the phone? The other 6 will remain ethernet.
2. I'm following the T568B standard. Since I'm only using 2 wires in the cable for the phone line, how will I be punching down the rest of the wires onto the Steren device?

I know you guys said it's not good to do this, but, no matter, I'm doing it as a favor anyway, and it's good experience for me.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions.
 

marley1

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Take a step back, what type of phones are they using? Chances are they are using a base station with a bunch of cordless phones no?

How many phone lines? Is the above statement correct?

If only using 1 phone line, use the brown pair, so punch everyrthing like you would minus the brown pair. Wire nut all the brown ones together and tie that into the phone service..
 
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