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Hardwiring query

EmpireCad
Grafter
Posts: 91
Registered: 19-04-2008

Hardwiring query

I recently hardwired my PC by fitting a filtered faceplate to my BT master socket and running a 6-strand cat-5 cable up to a secondary socket in the spare bedroom/study where the PC lives.  This worked well and tripled my speed.  The cable runs via an integral garage, which we now intend to convert into another downstairs habitable room.  This will of course involve covering the cable with insulation, plasterboard etc.  I thought it would be worthwhile fitting another secondary socket in the new room so that I can move the PC downstairs if/when required.  I can easily pull the cable back enough to create a loop which can protrude through the new plasterboard wall where I want to fit the new socket.  My question is this:  can I just remove the outer sheaths of insulation, foil shielding etc on the cable and push the two relevant wires into the IDC connections of the new socket without actually cutting the wires?  Will this work allowing me to plug into the cable at either socket?  Also will it reduce speed to the furthest socket by making the new connection halfway along it?  I hope I have described things accurately and would appreciate any advice the experts on here can offer.
13 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Hardwiring query

Run another cable.
Or put joint in if you really must.
EmpireCad
Grafter
Posts: 91
Registered: 19-04-2008

Re: Hardwiring query

Hi HP
Long time no see!
As usual you'll have to spell it out for a simpleton like me.  What's a joint?  I only know beef, lamb etc...or possibly knee, ankle etc!  OK also spliff or a rocking subterranean music place?
If a separate cable is the real way to do it, since I have several unused pairs of wires in the existing cable, could I just use two of these?  Presumably there is no problem in just pushing the extra pair into the IDC connection in the master socket filtered faceplate ie two wires into each connection?
Wheel_nut
Grafter
Posts: 886
Registered: 03-08-2007

Re: Hardwiring query

The Faceplate IDC connector is intended for solid conductors and because the CAT5 cable uses stranded wire, you may not get a good connection. What I would do is to strip about 3cm of the sheath and then insert each conductor twice in the IDC, looping the cable on the outside without cutting it. That should be belt and braces enough and no need to spoil the Christmas Joint.  Grin
EmpireCad
Grafter
Posts: 91
Registered: 19-04-2008

Re: Hardwiring query

@Wheel_nut
Thanks for that tip.  Do you think using another pair in the same cable would work?  Or are you talking about another cable too like HP?
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Hardwiring query

Quote from: EmpireCad
  Do you think using another pair in the same cable would work? 

It probably would, but the starting end would be messy to wire up and switch around.
2 separate cables would be better really, but you'd still have the problem of disconnecting one and connecting the other...... Undecided
What you originally propose would be OK if it was just for telephone use, but with broadband you then have unterminated "live" wires which I think would be a recipe for problems, even though twisted (and shielded?)
An alternative suggestion:
Terminate the cable at the intermediate point with a suitable socket (RJ11?) for the router to plug into.
Take the end of the cable that runs on from there and put an RJ11 plug on it.
Another alternative suggestion:
Put the router by the master socket and run 2 Cat5 LAN cables direct, 1 to each location. (I'd do this one)
You can leave the existing cable, moved to the "phone" terminals on the faceplate, in case you want to plug a phone in.
Wheel_nut
Grafter
Posts: 886
Registered: 03-08-2007

Re: Hardwiring query

Quote from: EmpireCad
@Wheel_nut
Thanks for that tip.  Do you think using another pair in the same cable would work?  Or are you talking about another cable too like HP?
No I am not suggesting using another pair. It is perfectly normal to "Daisy-chain" the extension wiring so as long as the IDC connection at the intermediate point makes a good connection, you should be OK.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Hardwiring query

Run another cable now, when its easy. You never know how you may wish to connect things up in the future.
EmpireCad
Grafter
Posts: 91
Registered: 19-04-2008

Re: Hardwiring query

Thanks for everybody's comments so far.
@Wheel_nut
Just to get it absolutely clear in my mind:  when you referred to "The Faceplate IDC connector" in your reply #3 you were referring to the proposed new intermediate secondary faceplate to be located in the new room – right?  Not the filtered master socket faceplate?
And when you say to "Daisy-chain" the wiring you are effectively saying that my original proposal of interrupting the existing pair of wires at a secondary faceplate without cutting them would be fine and "normal prctice".  Just to double loop the IDC connection to be sure of good contact?
HPsauce, whose opinion I respect and who has helped me out with problems before, seems to think that the daisy chain set-up may not be good for broadband.  So any other strong opinions on this out there?
I don't really want to run another completely separate cable as i have made good and decorated all the holes through walls etc that I had to make to intsall the original cable.  The wife would not be pleased!  And since the existing cable does have two more spare pairs in it, it seems to me unnnecessary? But WDIK?
@HPsauce
If I understand you correctly, you are saying that I cannot/should not connect two pairs of wires (whether from the same cable or different cables) at the master socket end.  Is it absolutely forbidden to put two pairs of wires into the the same IDC connector in this way ie using this arrangement to take two lots of signal to two different secondary sockets?
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Hardwiring query

Some good advice here - so I won't wade in with a lot more detail.
But as you will only be using one ADSL circuit in the house on one telephone line - but yes diasy chaining would be ok.
But - although I wouldn't really advise you break into the cable some way along it - if you carefully can get the outer sheath open, get through the screening aluminium foil, and extract one of the spare pairs - then you could do that - but you would have to parellel them up down at the master socket.
It all depends on how comfortable you are with the pliers, wire strippers etc  Smiley Smiley
But as Wheel_Nut says Insulation Displacement Connectors ( IDC ) ( also widely called Krone connectors after an early manufacturer if not the designers ) are designed for solid core cables not muti stranded cables, thats not to say it won't work - but it may result in poor connections  especially if you reuse the IDC - and sadly the quality of the IDC on cheap phone sockets is not so good as professional grade Krone IDC strips - used for example in telephone exchanges.
EmpireCad
Grafter
Posts: 91
Registered: 19-04-2008

Re: Hardwiring query

Quote from: mal0z
but you would have to parellel them up down at the master socket.

Mal0z
Could you just elaborate a little on this bit?
Not sure if I have a cheap phone socket.  I used a "professional dual outlet secondary faceplate" with RJ45 and 601a inserts from Clarity (cost £6.94 in May this year).  And would probably use similar this time.  Are these cheap and nasty?
Wheel_nut
Grafter
Posts: 886
Registered: 03-08-2007

Re: Hardwiring query

Quote from: EmpireCad
Thanks for everybody's comments so far.
@Wheel_nut
Just to get it absolutely clear in my mind:  when you referred to "The Faceplate IDC connector" in your reply #3 you were referring to the proposed new intermediate secondary faceplate to be located in the new room – right?  Not the filtered master socket faceplate? #1
And when you say to "Daisy-chain" the wiring you are effectively saying that my original proposal of interrupting the existing pair of wires at a secondary faceplate without cutting them would be fine and "normal prctice".  Just to double loop the IDC connection to be sure of good contact? #2
HPsauce, whose opinion I respect and who has helped me out with problems before, seems to think that the daisy chain set-up may not be good for broadband.  So any other strong opinions on this out there? #3
I don't really want to run another completely separate cable as i have made good and decorated all the holes through walls etc that I had to make to intsall the original cable.  The wife would not be pleased!  And since the existing cable does have two more spare pairs in it, it seems to me unnnecessary? But WDIK? #4
@HPsauce
If I understand you correctly, you are saying that I cannot/should not connect two pairs of wires (whether from the same cable or different cables) at the master socket end.  Is it absolutely forbidden to put two pairs of wires into the the same IDC connector in this way ie using this arrangement to take two lots of signal to two different secondary sockets?

#1 Yes, I meant the intermediate faceplate IDC Connections but you may want to do the same at each end when terminating stranded CAT5 wire.
#2 Yes .... and as clarified in #1 above
#3 I do understand HPSauce's view of the daisy-chain v star wiring configuration but have to say that neither is ideal for high frequency signal propagation. I could go into the intricacies of impedance matching and the need for terminating resistors on any open ends ..... but the losses at ADSL frequency are largely irrelevant. Also note that the wiring to you from the exchange comes via an absolute nightmare of impedance and termination mismatches. My own line attenuation is 38db (Sync speed 7776Kbps) and I have 3 extensions leaving my Master socket, each of which is daisy chained to at least two sockets.  I have used ordinary telephone cable, most of it dating back to 1976 when I built the house. I can tell you that the stats measured at the Test Socket are no different to those at any point on the house telephone network.   
#4 I would not upset SWMBO by digging into newly decorated walls ....
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Hardwiring query

Quote from: Wheel_nut
#3 I do understand HPSause's view of the daisy-chain v star wiring configuration but have to say that neither is ideal for high frequency signal propagation. I could go into the intricacies of impedance matching and the need for terminating resistors on any open ends ..... but the losses at ADSL frequency are largely irrelevant.

Someone that understands the electrical issues  Smiley Smiley Smiley
But for everyday users - I do wish PN's engineering director would provide some guidelines and respond to these threads on PN's excellent forum.
PN do have an engineering director I take it Huh?
Wheel_nut
Grafter
Posts: 886
Registered: 03-08-2007

Re: Hardwiring query

I don't know the answer to your question .....
However, despite indulging the temptation to get (pseudo-)technical, I have to say that the most common causes of ADSL signal anomalies must be:
Water in a junction box on the route from the exchange
Corrosion at joints between Aluminium and Copper conductors (until the new clear white lubricated connectors were introduced)
Spiders and other insect infestations in cabinets or junction boxes.
Faulty connections or circuit cards at the exchange.
IMHO, Where there is continuity, correct polarity and good insulation on domestic extension wiring, ..... and the circuit attenuation at the master socket is better than 40db, it would matter little whether the cable used was old GPO cable, CAT5, or Twisted pair.