Talk to the IT pros and they'll always tell you one thing about networking - when you can stick a plug in, do it!
A cabled connection will always be faster, more consistent and more robust than wi-fi.
As we have been renovating we've hardwired ethernet into all of the areas where high demand devices are going to live - computers, TVs, media streaming units, games boxes, docking point for laptops etc.
This costs very little extra when you are wiring as you will always want outlets close to power anyway so the sparkie just runs the extra cable & sets the plates.
Ideally you need this to all come back to one point so in one of our cupboards I designed the communications hub...
The cupboard was made with extra ventilation in top & bottom for convection cooling.
The wall plates lead to the various outlets and I found a supplier that does ethernet cables in 10 different colours allowing me to colour code at input & outlet side. Much easier than just numbering.
As our modem only has a few outlets I then had to add an ethernet hub or switch.
A bonus of this set-up is out wi-fi range is now much greater as this cupboard is high set and close to the centre of the house.
The Philips box on the right is a Hue hub/bridge for all of our smart lighting and the range of that is much better now too.
Also a heck of a lot neater than having a jumbled mess of cables on top of the fridge as is all too often the case.
A great project and tips there @Adam_W!
I really wish you were the previous owner of the property my mother has just bought. They were very tech-savvy, and they set every room in the house up for cabled connections. This includes every room being able to access the sound system, ethernet, Foxtel, security cameras, antennae and telephone. In theory, this is fantastic, though as none of those cables are labelled and the very D.I.Y. approach taken, I'm left to decipher what exactly is going on in each room. Quite a frustrating experience. After a couple of visits, I've worked out a basic idea of what was previously installed. Your colour coded system would have been a great time saver, though.
Many thanks for sharing.
How is your ventilation setup?
I'd like similar ventilation for a cupboard with network devices inside.
I would like a vent but I don't know where to send it to, into the roof space would let the extreme hot summer air equalise in the cupboard.
I'm also worried that sending it outside would introduce moisture into the cupboard.
Thanks for sharing,
Welcome @Matt_M. It's fantastic to see you already contributing to a discussion.
Let me tag @Adam_W so he's alerted to your question.
Do you have many projects on the go at the moment? We'd love to hear all about it. Feel free to ask a question or share a project anytime. Our talented community is here to help.
The bottom of the cupboard was made with a 10mm gap between bottom panel and the back of the doors. This creates the bottom 'inlet' for the convection cooling.
The cupboard is fitted so that there is a gap at the top of about 30mm between cupboards and ceiling and then this gap is concealed with a small bulkhead panel/trim. This creates a void between the top of the cupboard and the ceiling (the ceiling is well insulated too). As the run of wall-mounted cupboards are around 3m long this void provides more than enough room for the heat to dissipate.
If your wall cavities are hollow you could always vent into that space otherwise out of the side of the cabinet.
The heat generated in these situations is not enormous but it is worth trying to cool it down if the option is there. As long as there is an intake down low and an outlet up high convection will naturally occur but yes, you do want to avoid a situation where heat may push in.
Thank you for replying,
I'm using a cupboard built into the house. It's the size of a hot water cylinder with standard ceiling height.
On it's own, the cupboard gets warm with the equipment running, I'd say it gets up to 25 degrees C. With the door open a little it stays at ambient temperature.
My only idea is to vent the hot air into the garage. I prefer not to, but a small fan with a temperature sensor might be worthwhile.
Thanks for sharing more about your project @Matt_M.
Let me tag @Adam_W so he doesn't miss your reply. If you'd like the input of our wider community for this project, feel free to start your own discussion. Our resident D.I.Y. expert @MitchellMc will also be happy to help when he's back on the site on Friday.
Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @Matt_M. It's fantastic to have you join us, and many thanks for your question.
Was there a need to ventilate? 25 degrees celsius is warm, but I wouldn't consider that particularly hot. I would suspect that temperature is well within the operating specs for most networking devices. Perhaps not the most aesthetically pleasing option, but since venting to the room works, you might consider adding a door vent.
The installation of a Blauberg 150mm Inline Backdraft Damper would assist in preventing the roof's summer heat from entering back into the cupboard when the fan is not operating. Alternatively, running a small low-voltage fan continuously would work. Something like a PC case fan could be run all the times for a relatively low cost. The fans' constant operation would prevent hot air from the roof equalising into the cupboard. You'll need to make sure that fresh air can be drawn up and into the cupboard for maximum efficiency.
I look forward to hearing what solution you go with, and I'd be interested to know how much of a temperature decrease you see.
Please let me know if you have questions.
All is not lost. You could use one of the many basic or more advanced cable testing / identifying tools (like the one below) to help identify the cables. Once identified you can label with a dymo labeller.