Structured Media Cabinet

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.
Any thoughts?
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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 the trick. 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 do it?
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On 1/17/2016 8:33 AM, randy wrote:

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!)
Good luck!
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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.
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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:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2735856/The-physics-WIFI-ROUTER-Scientist-proves-centre-home-best-signal-strength.html
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That guy spent all that time and effort to show what many people already know.
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.
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randy posted for all of us...

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 to.
--
Tekkie

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