Home Network

A while back I wrote a how-to on home-networking, gurella style - that is, cheap and removable when you move out. Since I actually do network management in real life, I thought I should do a quick write up what I've installed in my actual house.


I picked up a Cisco Catalyst 3500 XL on ebay for a mere $50. These things are listed very, very poorly all the time. Usually it's people who put the exact model number instead of the series. This switch was several thousand new, supports vlans, snmp collection and you can put some GigE adapters in the slots on the end.
My house is two stories, so I decided to install two patch panels. At my main rack, I installed a 48 port. Upstairs, I installed a 24 port panel in my master bedroom closet. To save some money, I bought both panels as used pulls via ebay for about $15. For directv, I had the installer leave the multi-switch in the attic.


I found a decent price on plenum grade cat5e locally, and used another box of cat5 I bought years ago to pull two wires at a time. I also pulled a double strand of RG-6 quad shield everywhere I wanted to install a TV/DirecTV receiver.
The orange wires are 1 foot jumpers from monoprice.com. These are too short for direct connections, but they're perfect for short patch runs.


Inside, I added low voltage, open backed boxes and keystone cat5e and coax jacks. I bought all my jacks and wallplates from monoprice.com.


All the network termination was done with a punchdown tool and a pair of wire strippers. I use the strippers to remove the sheath, then the 110 style punchdown tool with the cutting edge to terminate the wires into the jacks and patch panels.

Just to save space, I mounted my wireless AP to the side of my rack. Some drywall screws and zip ties hold everything in place.