The wiring panel is the central part of any structured wiring job. The location of this panel is defined when you create a wiring plan, but it is normally placed in the basement, or else, in a closet or attic.
The great thing about a good structured wiring plan is that all the wires are streamed into one sole location, the wiring panel, making it a lot easier to change your setup or to diagnose and repair problems that arise.
Buying a wiring panel can make any wiring work look professional, however, it is expensive. The shell of the panel may start as low as $50; nevertheless, you will most certainly start adding extra and expensive modules for phones, cable, and Internet distribution.
If the wiring panel will not be located at a visible spot, you’d better get a real wiring panel, which is not very attractive, but in this way you’ll save money and just have to worry about mounting everything on the wall. The wires will be visible. Still, it offers more room and makes it easier to move cables around.
The non-electrical wires from the outside of the home must be run to the wiring panel. Since most companies are now offering the three services together, that is, phone, TV, and Internet, having everything in the same place makes it easier to switch companies, if that is your wish.
The panel will distribute these three cables throughout the rest of the home, like this:
-Cable: TV, phone, or Internet
-Phone: Phone or Internet
-Satellite: TV or Internet
-Fiber: TV, phone or Internet
For example, the cable company supplies a special cable modem for the Internet service. They would like you to have a cable connection close to your computer, because then they can place the cable modem nearby, run the cable wire to the modem, and then the Internet Cat5 cable from the modem to your computer. If you need two computers connected to the Internet, you would have to run a wire from the modem to the computer in another room.
When you have a structured wiring plan, the cable modem is located in the wiring panel in the basement. The incoming cable is run to the cable modem, the Cat5 cable is run to an Internet switch that can then distribute the Internet throughout the home.
A basic wiring panel will have a Cable or DSL modem, an Internet switch, a Wi-Fi router, phone splitter, TV/satellite splitters, and an alarm panel.
Before wires are cut, do an estimated layout of where each switch, splitter, and panel will be. You can start at the top, with the wires coming from the street, then the grounds, and end with the splitters at the bottom.
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