In a slight distraction from all the photo related stuff (well, this is slightly photo related) I’m looking at cabling the house with cat5e so I can eventually install a fairly large nas drive on a gigabit network that’ll be accessible wherever I want it. At the moment I have an airport extreme router with a 1tb drive in raid 1 plugged into it. I reckon it gets me around 300mbit but it’s still quite sluggish when moving gigs of photos around and I’m guessing it’s going to crap out on me some day when I least expect it. A simple external hard drive is not meant to be left on 24/7 like a more expensive NAS is!

So, I need to run network cabling for approximately 20 points around the house. I figure I’ll go a bit mad with the number of points I’m installing to cater for future gizmo’s I’ll no doubt end up buying. Then I can relocate all the routers and various network gear to a cabinet I’ll install into the attic, cleaning up a few shelves in my already crowded with camera gear office. So, my requests are simple… Does anyone know…

1. Anyone that knows a bit about installing cabling into existing buildings. I’m prepared to have some ducting showing (primarily because I don’t want to tear all the plaster off the walls). I’ve got all the cable myself so I’m after advice more than anything. Although it someone want’s to quote me I’m more than happy to listen.

2. Where can I get networking gear & various bits & bobs cheaply. I know I can get cabinet, patch panels and wall outlets from a local supplier. I can get ducting from a local large electrical supplier for somewhat cheaper than B&Q are charging.

3. How I go about completing a neat job?!?

The idea is to do it before anymore of the house gets painted in case I have to start knocking holes in walls. It’s also probably a good idea to do it before the attic gets floored sometime next year. I was hopeful at first that I’d be able to run the cabling next to the existing TV cable, but due to what must have been an electrician severely lacking in depth perception, I find I’m unable to proceed with that plan. I know it’s a very very bad idea to run cabling outside the house and not a good idea to run cat5 next to power cables… but what about next to plumbing? So many questions, so don’t want to pay a fortune to get them!

So, unless anyone has any advice for me, I’ll just crack on with a drill and a hammer over the Christmas break. I had thought about putting in cat6, but it’s too damn expensive. I figure cat5e will serve gigabit ethernet perfectly well for my needs anyway. Next post, once all this is done, will possibly be a way to cool the cabinet in the sauna of an attic we have. Or maybe not. Guess I won’t be putting anything hugely heat sensitive into it anyway.