Convert Phone Jacks to Ethernet - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 2008-02-04, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Convert Phone Jacks to Ethernet

I am in the process of buying a brand new home. The home is already built and wired. Unfortunately, it only has a cable line and a phone line in each room. I will not be getting a home phone or dsl. Is there a way to convert the phone jacks to ethernet jacks?

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 2008-02-04, 10:05 PM
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Not exactly the same wiring, very often they use JKT which only 4 wires (most home phone only use 2) and JKT is not twisted pair like the ethernet cable. Your best bet would be to tie the new cable to the existing one and hopefully pull on the unwanted cable in order to bring your ethernet cable in the right place. However, open the outlet to see what is really there, who knows?
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 2008-02-04, 10:08 PM
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You have a few choices: you can get a internet through coax box - it somehow carries the internet signals through the coax lines (I have never tried it myself, but have read about it). The easiest solution is probably just to get a wireless router.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 2008-02-04, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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I was really hoping to go with a wired solution. Once I am in the house I'll investigate a little further to see exactly what the lines are. I wish they would leave these places a little easier to add your own wires if you desire.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 2008-02-05, 12:31 AM
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If you have an unfinish basement, this should be fairly easy to do. Remove the phone jack cover and if the wire is not in a box (free running). If it is free running, simply tie you new cable to it and slowly pull the new cable in. «another option, is to make a hole for a caddy clip right beside the other box, buy a 6 feet drill bit (Home depot, Rona etc..), insert your drill bit inside the wall, once all the way through, go down the basement and tie your new cable to the drill bit and slowly feed it back upstairs using the drill bit to pull up! That is the way installers do when a house is finished. If you do not feel at ease doing that, once you get your cable or dish technician in, ask him how much he would charge you to this simple job on the side for you. Samething and even better, if you are getting an alarm system installed, these guys are the best to do that as they are use to it and they have to do some very tricky job at times!
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 2008-02-05, 09:39 AM
 
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If your builder is anything like the builders around here, then your phone jacks are probably wired with 3-pair cat3 and daisy chained from jack to jack. This will not work for any sort of ethernet.

Pay your builder for a conduit to be run from unfinished basement to attic. This will allow you to run new wiring to your second floor post-closing. First floor can usually be drilled right into an unfinished basement.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 2008-02-05, 11:11 AM
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I found a link to the product I was talking about that allows you to set up networks over existing coaxial lines. Like I said, I haven't used it, but is sure looks nifty.

BTW, is there a reason you don't want to use wireless? It should be a much simpler and cheaper alternative.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 2008-02-05, 01:21 PM
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There are also ethernet over powerline bridges, based on the Home Plug standard. You plug a box into a wall outlet and it has an ethernet jack on it.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 2008-02-05, 01:59 PM
 
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You've received some good advice so far, particularly about the possibility of using the existing wire to fish proper CAT5e wire.

However, it is possible that your builder did home run each of the telephone wires. If so, these are likely to be CAT3 rated.

For a home ethernet you might just find it will work o.k. It's not "right", but it could be good enough. Especially over short distances.

You will need to get in the house and trace through what you really have. Then let us have another shot at helping you once you know.

Ron Walker
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 2008-02-05, 02:27 PM
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I think it's pretty uncommon for the phone lines to be "home run" into the basement. Every home I've ever come across has had the phone line run in one big loop which means it would not be possible to convert part of it into ethernet.

Also, every new home I've ever seen has had the phone line (and other wires) tied off or stapled down. It's very unlikely you'll be able to use an existing cable to pull a new one up.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 2008-02-05, 05:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsambuca View Post
BTW, is there a reason you don't want to use wireless? It should be a much simpler and cheaper alternative.
And not as reliable, and not as fast, and all piled on the same collision domain, etc.. All reasons to not use it for any sort of media streaming.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 2008-02-05, 06:30 PM
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Valid reasons to be sure, but I was looking for the OP's reasons, since it is he whom we are trying to help out.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 2008-02-05, 06:34 PM
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One of the new 5GHz n-routers should be Ok. As far as running ethernet... It is usually quite easy to fish cables from the basement to the first floor on inside walls. I would stay away from the outside walls due to insulation and vapour barrier issues.

A second floor is more difficult but can often be reached by using a return air duct. Just be sure to use plenum rated cable. It is also possible to fish wires between floors on inside walls. It usually requires cutting a small hole in the wall and patching or covering the hole after. Conduit can even be inserted into the wall if a large enough hole is drilled top and bottom. Running a conduit or raceway inside a closet is another option. If other cables are run in a raceway, it might also be possible to use the same raceway between floors. If you can find a route from the basement to the attic. Wires can be dropped down an inside wall from the attic.

Cheers, Robert - Who's done this more than once.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 2008-02-06, 12:27 AM
 
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I used the cold air return to bring cables from the basement to attic and then down walls to existing coax holes. One easy way to locate the wall while in the attic is to push a coat hanger through the ceiling to the attic. This will give you a reference point to drill down from. I did 4 bedrooms in one afternoon using this method. Patching the tiny hole is easy.

What I am really saying is go wired, using CAT5e at a minimum. Use plenum rated cable. Nothing beats wired, especially if want clean video.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 2008-02-06, 03:01 AM
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Many great advices here! One thing to consider is if you are familiar or not with running cables and wires and if not, I would stay away from the attic as it could well be the most tedious way to go about it as you have to go from basement all the way up and then back down in to your chosen wall. Also consider very seriously the advice of fishing only through inside walls as you do not want to alter insulation of the house while fishing.

Ron has mentioned CAT3 wire which is quite possible this is what your new house would be using. However, CAT3 is not twisted pair if I am correct but as Ron mentioned, for short distance it could do the job. JohnnyG has also mentioned a very good point as contractors will often run one cable paralleling from one outlet to the other as this is the most economical way for them to do this task.

One way to check this is by using a toner and sniffer. I do not know if you own such or maybe a friend or if you intend to do all kinds of other cable runs, this might justify the expense. I bought mine at Home Depot for less than 100$. That specific type (and most of them) have RJ11 male included on the toner which you simply plug in to one of your outlets and while tone is generated through the outlet, you simply go to each outlet and insert the tip of the sniffer while pressing the on switch (high or low).

If they ran the cable in parallel to each outlet, you will hear the tone. If you do not hear the tone in one outlet, do not take it for granted and check them all! If they are not in parallel, then you can use an Ethernet plate which will allow you to use for this purpose. Now, if the tone is all over your outlets, you will have to forget about it and use some alternate options.

As I pointed out, if you are not familiar with running cables you should use the simplest and shortest alternative which would be to choose the area where you want your connection(s) get a caddy clip (ask home depot they will know). Using the caddy clip to draw the hole in the wall at normal outlet level, you then use a small gypse saw.

In the basement, look at where you want to feed your cable. NEVER EVER leave cable loose as if you are to install a ceiling later on that cable might be at stake during future renovations. Therefore, what I would suggest you do, drill holes where ever necessary in the Joyce.

You must use a drill bit of approximately 4' and feed it through the hole in the gypse and once the hole is done, you leave the bit inside the hole and go back in the basement.

Now that all your holes are completed, start running your cable from your Ethernet panel through all the holes in the Joyce.

Now, you are ready to feed your cable to the upper floor. The end of the drill bit should have a small hole at the tip of the bit where you can feed a strand of wire from your cable through the hole. Fold the strand of wire over and using electrical tape, you would tape that piece of wire over the other wire, tape evenly, making it strong but make sure it is not too thick as it needs to go through the hole.

Now, while pulling back on the drill bit. Make sure the cable in the basement is neatly stretched so it is not tangled. If you have someone else downstairs to control it (box) is not a bad idea.

Now your next step is to install the caddy clip, your Ethernet connector and wall plate (make sure you choose a connector which includes the tool to secure the wires in place).

Now, if you don’t feel comfortable with doing this type of work, you may want to reconsider going wireless. Yes there is draw back but you are the one that knows the kind of use you will be doing with the service. When speed is not so much a factor, this is a viable option.

However, a strategic location must be chosen in order to be efficient. IE: My sister was loosing communications at times and I found out that where it was located was not the most efficient location. I told her to move the router closer to the stairs as that was allowing the RF to flow more evenly through the house.

RF will go through walls but there are limitations if you position the router strategically by doing some tests, it should be very effective. Look at all your options and what you really want then as Ron mentioned; give us another shot at helping you.
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