Network Reinstallation

I'm looking to redo the cabling for my home network (with school out for the summer, you know what they say about idle hands and the devil). Our current configuration is a computer in the family room (along with the router [a WRT54G] and the cable box), with the running a premade (and thus not nearly long enough) to my room (~175 ft), my sister's room(~200 ft), and the den (6 ft). What I would really like to do is invest in a decent hub (as opposed to a router), put Ubuntu on an old computer and use it as a DHCP server, and put, at minimum, 1 wall jack in my room, my sister's room, my parent's room, the den, the kitchen, and the living room (making a total of 6 rooms if I can still count). I'd also like to have Wi-Fi for using my laptop. I'd then like to switch from cable and get DSL (this is somethign we've (as in the whole family, not just me) been wanting to for a year or two now, and put the whole assembly (router, DSL box, Wi-Fi connection (whether I keep the WRT54G, and presumably some type of patchbay) in either my closet or the hall closet (they back up to each other - chosen due to central location in house and because they're closer to me, and I'm typically the one fixing whatever gets broken).
Now, all that said, I have a few questions:
1. If it makes any difference, I'm in Alabama. What kind of codes do I need to be concerned about and what guidelines should I follow? What I would love to do (if it meets code) is to put either 1/4" or 1/2" PVC pipes in the walls in the interest of simplifying future installations. Can anyone provide some guidance on that?
2. I know that I would need to get power into the closets if I am going to run a hub, modem, etc. up there. I know enough to know that I can't just run an extension cord through the wall, but is putting an outlet up there legal in the first place? I'm not too fond of the thought of having an electrician charge me just to say that it can't be done legally.
3. As it stands now, the cables are simply lying on the floor of the attic. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how the cables can be organized and hung somehow in the attic without the fire and tripping hazard they pose now?
4. What other cables do I need to think about running at this point? I'm considering running the coax for cable TV to replace what we currently have (which is a cable running along the perimeter of the house just beneath the roof with more splitters than I've seen before in my life). Only problem there is cost, but if I can I'm definitely thinking that needs to be done. Are there any other connections I need to be thinking about putting in for use either now or later?
5. What hardware for the hub and Wi-Fi transmitter would you recommend? I like the WRT54G, but with only 4 connections, it is somewhat limiting, and if I'm going to be replacing everything else, then I might as well go for that as well and give me the ability to monitor traffic from my computer. I'd also like recommendations on a decent patchbay (probably not the correct term...) to connect the cables coming from the wall to and then from there to the hub.
6. Where would you recommend I get my bulk cabling? I'm not really fond of paying for it by the foot at Lowe's or buying a box of 1000' and coughing up $100-something. Is there someplace cheaper, or is Lowe's actually my best bet?
Feel free to throw anything out there that you think I should know. Don't necessarily assume I know anything.
Thanks!
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On Sat, 24 May 2008 09:20:27 -0700, jflash wrote:



The questions you ask a bit beyond the technical ability of this or any newsgroup, IMHO, to respond to. Way too long replies are needed.
Maybe someone will offer suggestions on specific points, but WOW!! did you ask for a lot of information to be typed and correctly communicated to you. Small book on home improvement electricity from you library would be a good starting point. Then ask at Lowes for specific on extending electrical wiring from service panel up to Attic (or where- ever) you decide to place your network gear.
Right now, copper is high priced. Expect to pay about double what CAT 5e cable cost 6 years ago. Local Electrical supply house should sell CAT 5 cable at reasonable cost.
Your local building code overrides any knowledge I have. In Michigan it is legal to have a 120VAC duplex outlet in the attic. Alabama I don't know, it just might get hotter in the attic than in Michigan.
BTW: Several Internet PC places (PC Connection, CDW, and so forth) offer good buys on patch panels and punch down blocks. Again, tools you need and how to use them are a very short learning curve, but this news group media stands in the way. YouTube?? Search for "punch down" tool or "RJ-45 jack connectors" is my guess.
My experience: Always make long runs with solid wire cables (CAT 5e, or 14-2 Romex) make the connections to jacks in an electrical box (w/ cover) and run flex cables with plugs from the jacks to the device you are connecting to. Know the wire color code standard for what you are connecting to. If you don't know the color code standard, don't mess around, learn it. (hint: the bad guy wears a black hat with Romex and rumor has it, when he gets "hooked-up" his "prong" be on the thin and narrow size.)
Best of luck.
Phil
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I think I may have miscommunicated what I was asking. Really all I am worried about at this point is whether it is legal to put PVC or similar piping in the walls and run the cables through that. The gear itself would be housed in the main house, most likely in a closet (or I might just put a cabinet in my room by the phone jack and power outlet to avoid the hassle of getting power and phone for DSL into the top of a closet).
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wrote:

You can use rigid grey PVC or the blue flex stuff (type ENT) both are legal exposed or concealed in a home. They also sell an orange ENT but it is a ripoff. It is an inferor product for the same (or more) money. There is no code that requires orange low voltage raceways
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On May 24, 10:09 pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

That tells me what I needed to know. I may very well get started on this Monday when dad is home to help, and I figured that Lowe's will probably be open when the local building inspector's office won't be.
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