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Wireless Networks Thread, Dirty network cable hack... in Technical; Before we start, I know that what I'm trying to do here is completely and utterly ridiculous and destined to ...
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    Batman's Avatar
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    Dirty network cable hack...

    Before we start, I know that what I'm trying to do here is completely and utterly ridiculous and destined to fail so please spare me the lectures even if you're desperate to do one. I'm attempting a dirty hack here, it's not meant to conform to any standards. It's a deliberate, unashamed botch job!

    Anyway... I live in a rented house. I'd really love to have a cabled network connection to the upstairs room where my main computer from the router, which is in the living room, but I'm not convinced my landlord will want me laying cables about the place so I haven't bothered asking about it. Our router is next to the master telephone socket and there is an extension to the room the computer is which we don't use. I'd estimate the extension is no more than 6 metres long.

    I decided as an experiment to have a go at using the wiring for the telephone extension to create a network connection to the computer room... I'll put it back how it was when we move. Telephone wire has 4 cores, which is enough for 10/100, but there are no twisted pairs, so the potential for interference and crosstalk is painfully high.

    Anyway, I created a 30cm patch lead as a test, using a short length of phone wire with an RJ45 at each end. Figured this was a good way to start, that length of cable is not so likely to pick up any noise. Worked a treat, no difference in speed. Sadly it didn't work with the phone extension, which is definitely disconnected from the phone line and any phones... I did have to fix an outside break in the cable, using my soldering iron! I get a link light, but the computer never picks up an ip. The link light on the pc and the light on the router both flicker like mad, but there's no actual connection.

    Now I know this experiment was doomed to fail right from the beginning but I want to be sure that I'm not simply the victim of bad wiring. Does anyone know what could cause the constant flickering link light? Is that likely to be a crosstalk/interference problem? Have I connected one bit to a wrong bit? I'm after ideas here... I want to make something that shouldn't work, work

    Right now I'm tempted to replace the phone wire with Cat5, as I know this will work for both... but a lot of the extension is painted over so I'm not convinced I can change it without it being noticed

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    That would be defeatist in my mind! I want a cable... a dedicated one

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    The link light only monitors one pair IIRC and, from what you say, this connection sounds dodgy in the extreme.

    Personally, I would borrow a decent caboe tester (like the TestUm Validator I have at work) which will tell you where you have gone wrong. A basic one will tell you about broken wires though.

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    Batman (31st July 2009)

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    garethedmondson's Avatar
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    Why not offer to put in the CAT5 for the landlord for free. Explain the benefits to future tennants and say you will do it.

    He may let you.

    GJE

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    Cool

    I would go with the homeplug adaptor, they work really well and are cheap. The homeplug adaptor should yield 20-30Mbps and it USES CABLE!! If you want a truly dirty hack run some cat5/6 along the wall/floor/under the carpet and move it when the landlord comes
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    Last edited by somabc; 31st July 2009 at 12:49 AM.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    When we had our house rewired a few years ago, i had Cat 5e cable round the house. Every room has a network point. It makes things so easy instead of battling with the wireless everyday.

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    garethedmondson's Avatar
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    My brother in law re-wired his house the other year and I told him to install CAT5 - he didn't and now he regrets it.

    GJE

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    The link light only monitors one pair IIRC and, from what you say, this connection sounds dodgy in the extreme.

    Personally, I would borrow a decent caboe tester (like the TestUm Validator I have at work) which will tell you where you have gone wrong. A basic one will tell you about broken wires though.
    Indeed it is dodgy

    I nearly bought a cable tester in Maplin today... but I decided not to. I'll rarely use it. Might make one instead. Do you know which pair the link light monitors? Might give me a clue!

    And to everyone else, thankyou for your suggestions but that's not the point of the thread... I know the alternatives!!

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    You could try forcing the NIC to 10Mb, you'll never get 100Mb going over what is effectively a cat 3 cable (iirc).

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    Batman (31st July 2009)

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    I did the same as somabc - run it where needed and hide it under skirting/carpet - fairly neat and none of it's in the way. I also employed the hack of running essentially two ports over a single run of cat5e (utilising two pairs for each one - and split at the socket and patch panel end).

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    You can do a continuity test on it by looping connection back on itself pair 1 to 2 and 3 to 4 then just use a multimeter to test for conductivity. I also agree with giving 10mbit a go but the newer cards don't integrate the same amount of support for the older grade cable as they uesed to as far as I know. The telephone wireing is Cat 1 though [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category_1_cable]Category 1 cable - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] so you will be pushing to get it going.

    That said something that may maximize your success would be reterminating the endpoints of the phone extention. The blinking light does sound alot like crosstalk which the NIC will disregard. You may be able to check into whether it is complete gibberish by using wireshark which may allow you to see what the card is picking up.

    If you have some older coaxial NICs lying about you could try to pipe it through an aerial extention if you have one of those spare.

    Good luck with your hack anyhow.

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    Batman (31st July 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    I also employed the hack of running essentially two ports over a single run of cat5e (utilising two pairs for each one - and split at the socket and patch panel end).
    Yeah... that's partly what inspired me to try it; I've heard of a lot of people doing that

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    So why not use wireless?

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    Like I said... I'm aware of the alternatives (I am actually using wireless at the moment).



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