Running 8 x CAT6a drops to media center area

Running 8 x CAT6a drops to media center area

Since I moved into my home I have been using wireless until I got this done, and it meant that streaming 4k movies across the network was almost impossible. I finally got around to running the networking to this area

Here is all equipment used

  • A drill of any kind
  • Daredevil 3/4 in. x 16 in. Spade Bit (This part is key to getting a decent sized hole in the double top plate)
  • Some kind of pull cord, or string
  • A heavy item to attach to the pull cord to feed it down the wall (I used an old lag screw)
  • Something to cut drywall. A sawzall, jab saw or even just utility blade
  • Cat5e, 6 or 6a cable. Enough to finish your run
  • Keyston wall plate of whatever size you want
  • Keystone jacks
  • Old work mud ring or old work electrical box (Spring for the nylon ones, they are only a dollar more)

First I chose a location, I wanted it directly behind the center of my entertainment unit, however this was impossible as the slope of the roof above and a ton of HVAC equipment made it almost impossible. I decided on a few inches to the left which was somewhat accessible.

First I drilled a small hole in the top plate and the wall where I thought they might line up, I shon a flashlight down the top plate and checked to see if I could see light in the drywall hole, and I could. Bingo!

The best tool for makign this whole process easier is the long spade bit mentioned in the equipment list, get one of these and this will be a breeze

Keep in mind the RPM limits of this bit

Next I used a standard holesaw to drill some bigger holes to finish the cutouts for the boxes. I am doing two boxes as I also running power to this location. As you can see I hit a stud on the right, my stud finder was useless because this wall has wood panneling behind it. No big deal, this can be easily patched and its not even in view since its behind everything. I dropped my lag screw attached to the pull cord down the hole, and pulled it through

Next I cut out the holes with a sawzall. There is better tools for this, but it works

I also pushed some 12/2 romex down the wall for power, the romex is stiff enough that you don't really need to fish it

Next I measure out how much cable I needed to get from my rack, to this area. I ended up needing 50ft per run, so around 400ft of cable. The reason I didn't use 5e for this is that I didn't have 400ft of 5e, but I have a full 1000ft spool of 6a, and the cost isn't that different between the cables, the labor is the tough part. May as well run 6a. I got it all measured out and tied together

I took it up to the attic and ran it down to the server room. Thankfully my server room has a huge gap behind the wall, making running cables a breeze

Next I got it fished down into the wall behind the TV, I got 4 cables per 3/4 hole

You can see what a poor place this is to work, right next to all of the HVAC, Gas line and water lines. This is why the long spade bit helped so much

I drilled a hole in an electrical box and fed the cables through

Next I got the electrical and the ethernet terminated

I then got the rack terminated and put some cable managment in place

The white patch cables are going to the HTPC, currently only 6 are in use

The new cable managment organizer looks great