Converting Cat 5e to Ethernet

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Jawed
I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 24

Converting Cat 5e to Ethernet

Hey guys,

I’m pretty new here. I recently moved into a house with almost each room having a cable connection and what it seems like is Cat 5e connection. But both of these wires aren’t fully functioning yet as they’re not converted into functioning Ethernet jacks and a proper coax connection. The biggest issue I’m having is finding out where all these wires come from. I looked near my circuit breaker in my basement and couldn’t understand anything. I saw 1 blue wire hanging, yet I have 4 rooms that have wires for them. So where are the other 3 wires? And I saw 3 coax wires, when I have 4 rooms with cable connections in them. My modem is on my main floor, I have Rogers Ignite 300. People keep telling me to look for a box like a cabinet styled box where all the wires would go to. But I can’t find anything like that. I even looked outside my house and didn’t find anything that even looked like cable wires or Cat 5e. I want to figure all this out so I can wire my PlayStation which is on the second floor to Ethernet. I’m asking about the coax as well because I heard about a device called Actiontec MoCA that can turn cable into Ethernet. But that would only work if the cable is connected to house. Same for Cat5e.

Thank you for all the replies in advance!

 

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Datalink
Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 7,319

Re: Converting Cat 5e to Ethernet

@Jawed if you're home is a recently built home, then you might/should see a shallow cabinet mounted between two studs.  Their built to fit within the wall studs and come in various vertical lengths depending on how much equipment or connecting equipment is required.  They look like the cabinets / enclosures on the following page:

 

https://www.legrand.ca/structured-wiring/enclosures.aspx

 

Usually all of the telephone, cable, ethernet and security cabling for the house starts at that cabinet and is spread throughout the house.  

 

If you don't have a cabinet such as that, is the basement finished?  if not, you should be able to see the RG-6 and Cat-5e cabling as its descends into the basement.  It might not be centrally located or gathered in one place in the basement.  

 

So, the first order of business, depending on how open the basement ceiling is, is a physical search for the rest of the cabling.  

 

Second way to look for the cabling is to use a wire tracer such as the following:

 

https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/sperry-wire-tracker-and-tracer-0520899p.html

 

That's a two part device, a transmitter which you connect to the cabling in some fashion, and a mobile receiver to locate the other end of the cabling.  That would probably be my next step, potentially tracing with the walls, to locate the other cable ends. 



Jawed
I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 24

Re: Converting Cat 5e to Ethernet

Throughout my house, the only box like that is the circuit breaker. I’ve looked everywhere but didn’t find anything. Near my circuit breaker, there’s a few wires. There’s 1 blue wire which I suspect is Cat 5e and 3 RJ6 wires. There’s other thick wires which I know are for electrical purposes. But where are the rest of the Cat 5e and RJ6? These wires are just hanging. My home was built in 2015 and has a finished, legal basement. I can send you some pictures if you guide me on how to link a picture.
Datalink
Resident Expert
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Posts: 7,319

Re: Converting Cat 5e to Ethernet

If you look at the cable jacket, you should see the technical details printed on the jacket.  It should identify the cable types such as Cat-5e, RG-6, etc.  

 

Did you have a look behind the cable/telephone wallplates in all of the rooms to determine what cables were present behind the wallplate?  

 

Typically contractors might run a Cat-5e and RG-6 up to the wallplate.  They might put a connector on one of the cables and just tuck the remaining cables behind the wallplate, for the home owner to discover and put to use.  So, as you're doing now, the first order of business is to take stock in every room to determine what cables are present at or behind the wallplate.  Next order of business is to trace those cables downstairs.  Easier said than done.  

 

Its possible that the remaining cables are buried behind finished walls, which would be a pain.  In that case you would need to use a cable tracer, hoping that you can find the other end of the cables.  

 

Are you the original home owner and if so, did you have the home built with Cat-5e and RG-6 cables installed?   

 

And was the basement finished by the same contractor? 

 

For a home built in 2015 there should have been a structured wiring cabinet installed.  Perhaps the contractor built over the cabinet, or, removed the cabinet altogether but didn't relocate the cabling, leaving it hanging in the wall space.  That I would believe.  If you look at the outside of your home, there should be a Rogers and Bell cable box (demarcation point), which is locked down to prevent the homeowner from accessing those boxes.  Those boxes house the point where the external cable meets the internal cable system.  From those boxes, there should be an  RG-6 cable for cable purposes, and a Cat-5e for telephones, which should have run right to the structured wiring cabinet, where all of the other cables would have converged.  If you can follow those cables, that might give you some clue as to where the original destination might have been.  

 

Do you have an alarm system and if so, where to the window and door alarm cables run to in the basement?

 

Happen to have the floor plans available?  Those should show the location of the structured wiring cabinet.  Worst case situation, I'd call the builder to ask where the cabinet was installed when the home was built.  

 

To send picture, the easiest way to do it is to post those somewhere if you happen to have an account at an image posting site.  Then click on my name.  It will take you to my public page.  Further down the page is a link to "Send this user a private message"  Follow that link to the message composition page.  Fill in the subject and include the picture links and hit send.  Watch for a number overlaying your avatar at the upper right hand corner when you're logged into the forum, which indicates a mention or a message inbound.  Select the avatar, which also serves as a link to your profile and message boxes when you're logged into the forum.   Just a matter of responding as required, back and forth.   

 

You can post pictures as well in a post, just a matter of selecting the camera symbol when you're composing a post.  That will take you to the file selection popup.  Select the image and select Public View further down the popup.  When you're done with the message, in terms of text and photos, hit post.  The moderators have to approve all photos before they are publicly available.  Sending a link is much easier.  



Jawed
I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 24

Re: Converting Cat 5e to Ethernet

In my house, every room has a blank plate with either a blue Cat 5e wire or white coax cable wire. I think it's like that so I can turn them into use for when I want. Which I want to do now. My biggest issue is not being able to locate this cabinet or a certain place where the wires all meet up. I also have a demarcation point as you mentioned but I didn't see anything that seemed interesting. I also checked in my furnace room, I saw 2 very long Ethernet cables just hanging. I couldn't trace those because they just go deep into the ceiling. I'll link a few pictures below. 

 

Cat 5e - https://i.imgur.com/YmFtef0.jpg

RJ6 - https://i.imgur.com/ngxBqm3.jpg

Circuit breaker area - https://i.imgur.com/OgHT8tR.jpg 

Demarcation point - https://i.imgur.com/qXypxsT.jpg 

 

If you look at the Cat 5e picture, I think I see the wire coming from above. This picture was taken from my second floor. Does that mean my Cat cable is coming from my attic?

 

Also, take take a look at the circuit breaker area picture, I see something like a cable connected device off to the right. The white wire you see connected to the device is plugged into an electrical socket and the black one keeps going to the right, but I can't follow it because the space is too narrow to even enter. In the same picture, if you look above the circuit breaker panel, there is a blue wire, the same type that's in the rooms of my house. I also can't trace it as it gets lost. And why is there only one, where are all the other if this is the place where they come to.

 

I feel so overwhelmed with all this. I really appreciate your help! 

-G-
Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 2,133

Re: Converting Cat 5e to Ethernet

@Jawed  If you do have structured cabling throughout your home, it should all be home-run to a common location, usually in the basement next to the electrical panel.  The cable's jacket will have markings indicating the type of cable that you have; a Category 5 cable will contain 4 pairs of wires.

 

If I were you, I would also ask my new neighbours if they themselves are original owners.  They may have received info packets from the builder, when they took ownership of their home, on who to call to get the existing cables terminated.  (You can also try contacting the builder.)  If the initial work was done by a cabling contractor, they would probably prefer to terminate the cables (and do other follow-on work) AFTER closing; not only would that work not be covered by the new home warranty but they also would get to keep all of the profits as well rather than sharing it with the builder.

 

Edit: Sorry for not seeing your previous response before I posted this one.



-G-
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Resident Expert
Posts: 2,133

Re: Converting Cat 5e to Ethernet


@Jawed wrote:

In my house, every room has a blank plate with either a blue Cat 5e wire or white coax cable wire. I think it's like that so I can turn them into use for when I want. Which I want to do now. My biggest issue is not being able to locate this cabinet or a certain place where the wires all meet up. I also have a demarcation point as you mentioned but I didn't see anything that seemed interesting. I also checked in my furnace room, I saw 2 very long Ethernet cables just hanging. I couldn't trace those because they just go deep into the ceiling. I'll link a few pictures below. 

 

Cat 5e - https://i.imgur.com/YmFtef0.jpg

RJ6 - https://i.imgur.com/ngxBqm3.jpg

Circuit breaker area - https://i.imgur.com/OgHT8tR.jpg 

Demarcation point - https://i.imgur.com/qXypxsT.jpg 

Do you have the blue (Cat 5) cables in several boxes throughout your home?  If so, I would expect all of them to run to a common location somewhere.  If that's the only box with blue Cat 5 cables, then the other end could be the two cables that you mentioned hanging down in your furnace room.

 

The white coax cables should also run to a common location as well.

 

You actually have Rogers fibre running into your home to what you show as the "Demarcation point".  From there, a fibre optic cable connects to an RFoG ONU (in your Circuit breaker area) which converts the incoming fibre to coax, to which you can connect a cable modem, cable set-top boxes, etc.

 

If you follow the black coax cable from the RFoG ONU, you said that it disappeared but do you you see anything else like it anywhere in your basement?  Does it go up through the floor to where your cable modem is located or does it run through your basement and connect to a white coax cable that, in turn, runs to a wall outlet elsewhere in your home?



Datalink
Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 7,319

Re: Converting Cat 5e to Ethernet

@-G- there should be a bundle of cables sitting in a structured wiring cabinet waiting for connector installation, only problem is, there's no sign of the cabinet or any of the cables that one would expect.  I suspect that the basement finishing contractor may have removed the cabinet, left the cables hanging in the wall space and simply installed gyproc over the wallspace.  End result, no cabinet and no cables visible.  You can't miss a bunch of cables like you would typically find in a new home these days, unless of course their out of sight for some reason. 



-G-
Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 2,133

Re: Converting Cat 5e to Ethernet


@Datalink wrote:

@-G- there should be a bundle of cables sitting in a structured wiring cabinet waiting for connector installation, only problem is, there's no sign of the cabinet or any of the cables that one would expect.  I suspect that the basement finishing contractor may have removed the cabinet, left the cable hanging in the wall space and simply installed gyproc over the wallspace.  End result, no cabinet and no cables visible.  You can't miss a bunch of cables like you would typically find in a new home these days, unless of course their out of sight for some reason. 


Yeah, I agree.... unless there's only one box with Cat 5 cable running to it, with the other end(s) hanging down in the furnace room.  Also another reason to check with the neighbours to see what they have installed in their home.



Jawed
I Plan to Stick Around
Posts: 24

Re: Converting Cat 5e to Ethernet

I'm pretty sure the black cable wire connects to the demarcation point outside my house.