So I will be building a new house this spring and am
looking at whether it is worth it to go with a
structured media enclosure or just mounting modem,
router, switches, voip box etc on a piece of 3/4
plywood on the basement wall.
Most of these consumer switches and routers are not intended for
vertical mounting but a shelf or two on that piece of plywood will do
How many home runs are you planning? Is it enough to justify a patch
panel or would a couple of shallow boxes with 6 port keystone covers
This depends on what you are trying to do. In ANY case,
planning for it before the house is framed and drywalled
is a no-brainer! You will save yourself SO much time,
money and aggravation!!
[Take it from me, I retrofitted all of this to a "frontier
style" home built on a slab: no basement, no attic!
Can you spell PITA???]
I assume you will want, at least, your:
- "internet gateway" (cable modem, DSL modem, etc.) located there
- possibly a wireless access point (though that could be elsewhere
if you have another convenient place at the end of a drop in
which to "HIDE" it)
- network switch(es)
You should consider, additionally:
- backup power for switch, gateway, WAP, etc. (can't use a battery
powered laptop to get onto the 'net if those boxes are unpowered!)
- feeds for incoming CATV, phone and CAT5/6 (i.e., assume you may,
someday, have a highspeed fiber *to* your house fed in much the
same way as wired land line, CATV, etc. You want to be able to get
*to* that from the network switch
- router or some other sort of packet filtering device ("firewall")
- a media server (e.g., HTPC) hidden out of the way (what better
place than in such a closet?)
- VoIP-PSTN gateway (in case you opt to keep ties to TPC without
VoIP through your ISP)
- Analog Telephone Adapter(s) (in case you want to maintain some
legacy station set that isn't VoIP capable)
- "base station" for a cordless phone
Aside from the "obvious" places to which you'd install "uncommitted"
drops (bedrooms, office, living room, etc.), I'd run drops to:
- a location for a WIRED "smart thermostat"
- locations for any CCTV ("IP") cameras you might later install
- locations for any networked appliances (TV, refrigerator, "stereo")
- nontraditional locations:
+ wanna work on your car while consulting some documents or a
laptop based "tester"?
+ wanna work on the back porch without needing to expose your wireless?
+ unfinished basement may eventually find a "finished" use?
Lastly, consider adopting a PoE switch (depending on number of drops
you ultimately support) and wiring conventions so you can deliver
*power* to the devices at the ends of those drops (e.g., install a
VoIP phone *without* having to hang a wall wart from a nearby outlet
in the living room, etc.)
Regardless of what you do, realize that there are criteria that
govern how you run the wires (how hard you can pull on them,
how tight a bend radius, etc.). Additionally, there are Code
requirements that govern where they can be run (proximity to
other conductors, air handling spaces, etc.).
If in doubt, talk to an electrician who is familiar with these
issues (not all are, in more than a cursory manner!)
Whatever you do will be either wrong or obsolete in a few years.
I would build a shelf or two in an area where or near the cable, phone and
or satalite dish is going to come into the basement. From there run some
coax and phone wire to the rooms and think about some cat5 or beter wire to
where the main computer and tv may be placed. Don't forget to install some
outlets near the shelf for the AC power.
You did not say if it was going to be in a finished or unfinished area of
the basement. If finished, you may want to build a big cabinet, but be sure
there is some way for the air to circulate in and out of it. Maybe a grill
type of sides and top.
As the boxes for the devices keep changing in size leave plenty of room and
ways to put in more wiring later.
On Sunday, January 17, 2016 at 1:26:04 PM UTC-5, Ralph Mowery wrote:
If WiFi will be involved (and I can't imagine it won't be) then placing the
router where the "cable, phone and or satalite (sic) dish is going to come
into the basement" is not the best idea.
If you DAGS on anything related to router placement, you will find that
High is better than Low and that Center may even be better depending on
where the devices will be used.
Some interesting "signal strength maps" can be found here:
That guy spent all that time and effort to show what many people already
While it may be that the center of the house is beter for the signal
strength, unless it is a very large house there will probably be enough
nomater where the wifi is placed. I know one fellow that put his in the
basement just to keep the signal down so others could not 'hear' it. If in
a development it may be beter to keep signals from other wifi systems from
causing problems. Not that they will get into the system, but by being on
the same frequency.
My house is over 200 feet from the nearest house so I don't have much of a
problem to worry about.
Depends on how much you want to spend. I would put two or more vertical
shelf brackets on the wall then use the wire shelves to set the equipment
on. Provides natural ventilation. Can move the stuff around when you need
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