Patching… and PATCHING Thx to

August 4, 2010

electrical, smart fixes, Tools

We’re STILL installing Sheetrock. Ugh. Patch patch patch. I wish it was as easy as tacking up panels, like you do in modern homes. But as any homeowner of an old (renovated) house realizes– nothing is straight in an old house. Besides the centuries of settling and movement of the structure, there’s the inherent crookedness of old plaster and lathe walls and ceilings. Back in the olden days, the builders didn’t need to make anything straight. The plaster was applied as the final building coat, and that’s all that needed to be straight (somewhat). So, it’s a big challenge to install Sheetrock. It requires a lot of measuring, a lot of cutting, and a lot of patching. Thank God for crown molding!!!

The other kind of patching I’ll be doing is with a patch panel, Ethernet switch, and router. I am transitioning the computer Internet away from wireless, and working toward an all-wire, built-in system. I have the router and the switch (I got a good deal on a Netgear 16-port at last month). All I need is a patch panel. Found a phenomenal deal (once again) at It’s the Tripp Lite 12-port shielded patch panel (shielded cables and panels help eliminate electrical interference). Looks sweet.

Basically, to install an Ethernet control station, you wire Ethernet cabling from the control station to all the various branches throughout the house. The wires in the control station connect to the patch panel. The patch panel has Ethernet RJ-45 jacks, as you can see in the picture. Those jacks receive Ethernet cables, and the other end of the Ethernet cables go to the switch. The switch is connected to the router, which is connected to the telephone system, which is coming from the telephone company. It’s similar to electrical wiring system, in that you have a “service entrance” that enters a service panel, and from there all the various connections branch out throughout the house. I think the most difficult part, next to wiring the cables through the studs and etc, is punching down all the little Cat5 wires into the slots. It’s rather laborious.

Anyway, has made it pretty easy for me. They sell everything I need, from the equipment to the supplies like Cat5 cables, punch down tools, Ethernet cables, and more.

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