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Rewiring the Network Core: Part 2 – Beats, Wi-Fi & Brittle Cables

As was mentioned previously, I’ve been upgrading the network installation in the central hall of our home. The new vertical rack cabinet is now installed.

The paint job is a little splotchy. A contractor we had working for us the other day commented on the “neat cloud effect” I had achieved. I had to admit it wasn’t intentional, but it’ll do for now. It’s mostly hidden from view. At least the color is a good match for the wall.

Vertical Rack

As you can see, power is still being supplied by way of a pigtail out the bottom to a nearby outlet. That’s temporary. It will be replaced by a wire fished through the wall.

You can also see the holes in the floor where network cabled once passed from under the house. I need to get wooden plugs to fill those holes. The cables now run into the wall, onward to the patch bay in the cabinet.

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Rewiring the Network Core: The Tale of a Terrible Terminator

terminatorOccasionally I just have to face facts. There are some things that I don’t do well. That I will likely never do well. Terminating Ethernet cables is one of these things. It’s just not a skill that I’ve been able to develop. I suck at it. I find it frustrating. I try to avoid it. But it’s occasionally unavoidable. So, it’s nice to find something that reduces the frustration of my reality as a terrible Terminator.

We recently did some minor renovation in the central hallway in our home. It got a new attic access ladder in the ceiling and a fresh coat of paint, in a bright new color. Some nice new lights. It’s looking much improved.

The hall is where I have the household portion of my little network installation. Up against one wall there’s a small Ethernet patch panel and 24-port Ubiquiti POE+ switch, and a couple of small IoT hubs. Also, a 1RU UPS for safety.

I’d include a picture, but it’s not a pretty scene. Everything mounted to some prefinished white shelving, screwed flat to the wall, so it take up as little space as possible. It was only meant to be temporary.

I believe that anything that can connected via Ethernet should be connected via Ethernet. Wi-Fi is only for those things that don’t support Ethernet. Ethernet home runs from the various rooms & security cameras end up at the patch field in the hall. A couple of strands of Ethernet run underground in conduit to the garage apartment where they meet the main network core.

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DIY SOHO Organization For Rack Mount Gear

The late George Carlin famously told a story about, “a place for my stuff.” A home office can be a challenging place in which to find a proper home for all you stuff. We need a place for everything, and everything in its place…or anarchy reins.

As most home offices are not equipped like corporate data centers, rack mount equipment can be especially difficult to accommodate. Often gear designed to be rack mounted doesn’t readily take to being used on a table top, at least not for the long-term. I recently stumbled upon a novel and inexpensive solution to housing a small amount of rack mount gear; the Lack Side Table from IKEA.

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