[clug] Cabling your home and managing your boxen.

Ben shadroth at gmail.com
Tue Dec 5 01:39:45 GMT 2006

On 12/4/06, Paul Wayper <paulway at mabula.net> wrote:
> So what do other people do with their home boxen?  Do you spend the money on
> getting an actual rack with power rails and cabling patch panels?  How do you
> make sure that your hidden media server gets the power, air and data it needs?

If I'm renting in a place with ducted gas, then I'm happy. I just
stick some CAT5 down the edge of the ducts and spend a day eating dust
and cobwebs.

Other houses I've had cabled properly or just ran the CAT5 under rugs,
etc. You can sometimes get a away with lifting up the edge of the
carpet and running the CAT5 between the tackstrip and the wall.

Servers go on a trolley table in the garage, in a cupboard under the
stairs, in a unused bedroom or in a linen closet or BIR. Stockings are
taped over the vents to prevent too much dust or insects getting
inside (works quite well, but is a bit fiddly and you always get a few
interesting looks when buying the stockings :-p)

I've only recently started using a patch cupboard but it's been well
worth it. It took a while to get it all set up, but with dual sockets
in 8 locations I can put a VoIP phone or net connection almost
anywhere they're wanted which is really handy. I used a 24 port patch
panel and I turned the first 8 ports into 2x triple adapters for the
phone lines. This wasn't that cheap, but it's been very convenient.

I use an Internode SOHO account with a Billion router and login with
PPPoE with passthrough. VoIP and household users go through the
Billion and my servers are behind a $80 wireless router that logs in
through the Billion and gets the static IP.

This gives the servers the separation they need along with some more
security, while still allowing me to easily access them locally from
my laptop (via the wireless router).

I run all my servers, network hardware and desktop off a few MGE UPSs
in case some friendly person plugs the iron into the wrong circuit. I
still need to get some UPSs for the cordless phones.

>  Are there racking and equipment stores that will accept a private punter off
> the street?

I use Dominion Auctions and JRT in Fyshwick or preferrably Lawrence &
Hanson (Hagemeyer) in Mitchell. Dominion are more for computers,
cabinets, etc. JRT and L&H carry cabling, tools, cable accessories and
patch panels, etc.

You can get some parts quite cheaply on eBay, but if you're eligible
for a trade account you can get JRT or L&H to give you some better

I haven't gone with racks yet, because desktop hardware has been
cheaper and sufficiently reliable and space isn't *that* expensive.


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