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Vonage Forum Associate
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Joined: Mar 26, 2005
Posts: 17
Location: Arkansas USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2005 4:24 pm    Post subject: Patch panel, cat 5 wiring. Reply with quote Back to top

Well here goes.

I'm currently trying to wire a new townhouse with Vonage.

Cat 5 is currently in place, with the blue and blue/white wires being used. We have 4 jacks with individual runs to a patch panel, then of course one run out to the niu box.

My question is this.

What is the easiest way to wire the house with Vonage? Should I make a cat 5 jumper with an rj11 jack on one end, plug it into the Vonage adaptor and then proceed to punch the blue and blue/white pair to the punch panel, or should I just tie the 4 etx together blue to blue and blue/white to blue/white and by pass the punch panel.

Near the punch panel there is a cable outlet for out modem and an electrical outlet, but the problem is there is not easy access to our box to be able to reset the adaptor or modem should we need to.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2005 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Disclaimer: When dealing with all wiring you need to know what you are working with and the potential dangers. Telco lines can have high voltage and can shock you during ring cycles. What I'm describing is what I've done, but please proceed at your own risk. Hire a qualified installer if you have any doubts or questions regarding your wiring or its safety.
My general wiring situation is similar to yours and here is what I've done to "hard wire" my house with Vonage. It is actually very straight forward and will probably make sense to you when you look at your wiring.

Cat5 has 4 twisted pairs - if are using it for phone only, you have the capacity for 4 seperate lines. If you are sharing one Cat5 for phone and ethernet, you have the capacity for two seperate phone circuits and ethernet (ethernet uses only two pairs).

I took a spare pair from the Cat5 (doesn't matter what color, just so long as you are consistent on both ends and it isn't already in use) and using a modular wall plate avail. at Home Depot/Lowes/etc. terminated an additional RJ11jack at the wall plate of the room that I have my modem/router/phone adapter, so that I now have two phone jacks at that outlet.

The new outlet is for connecting the Vonage adapter, which becomes in essense your new telco demarc. At my punch panel where everything comes together (the garage in my case) I removed the feeder pair that connected the punch panel to the telco niu, and punched down the pair that I've just connected to the new second jack. Removing the feeder pair from the NIU seperates your inside wiring from the telco completely and means no matter what the telco does, it can't affect your inside wiring.

Now you can plug your Vonage adapter into the new second jack that has replaced your Telco demarc, and it will feed all the house jacks just like the telco did, including the original jack in the room where you added the second jack. If you put a volt meter across the pair that is connected to the Vonage adapter, it should measure 48VDC, (or very close to it) just like you should see across the now removed pair going to the telco NIU (assuming you still have telco service as well).

To ensure I remembered in the future, and to inform others who may touch the wiring, I labled the appropriate wall plate jack as "VoIP Adapter Only" and labled the wire pairs at the punch panel respectively as "From Voip Adapter", and "From Telco Demarc - Do Not Connect When Voip Adapter is Connected"

If you don't have ethernet to a room that you want to place the Vonage adapter, you can at the same time add an RJ45 to the modular wall plate ( a triple opening with mix and match plug in jacks that use simple wire punch downs for connections) using two of the Cat5 pairs.

Alternatively, from your description, you could just terminate a male RJ11 to a piece of Cat5 and connect to the Vonage adapter and simply punch it down at the other end in place of the telco demarc (after removing the telco feeder pair) as you suggest. The only down side that I see to that is the hardware isn't easily observable to monitor LED status and to reset if needed.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

just my opinion I guess, but I would never run a phone line on the spare wires of an ethernet cable. too easy to make a mistake and fry a computer or switch/router. I'm sure it works fine, but I don't like the idea of 60vac in the same cable as my ethernet running into the back of my computer. also remember in the very near future: gigabit! that uses the spare wires of cat 5, so if your computer supports gigabit ethernet, it would be connecting to those spare wires whereas 10base-t or 100base-t may or may not. just be very careful and if you don't know what you're doing, don't try it. Smile
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Joined: Sep 06, 2005
Posts: 282
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I wouldn't recommend touching your inside wiring unless you know what you're doing, however, running phone and ethernet over one Cat5 is not uncommon, and many people actually teminate both to a single RJ45 so that when you plug in a phone cord (male RJ11) it connects to the center two pins, and when you plug in an ethernet connection with an RJ45 you connect with the approriate two pairs. I prefer to have seperate terminations for both, and keeping phone on the blue pair is pretty fool-proof (unless your color challenged). As far as GigE goes, it's important only if you need faster internal LAN file transfer speeds that I simply don't use or need. If you're fortunate enough to have two Cat5 cables terminating to every room, then I would'nt mix functions either, but lots of people only have one.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top


There is a very easy solution to your problem. All you need to do is connect your Vonage adapter to any jack and you will get a signal from all the jacks. It looks like they are all connected to the solid blue/blue-white striped pair correct?

Just make sure to disconnect the phone jack in the NIU outside from the telco.

You do not need to connect your Vonage adapter to the patch panel. The signal will automatically go from the Vonage adapter to the phone jack its connected to and go straight to the patch panel which will in turn send the signal out to all the jacks at once.

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