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Jason

Home Network and Google Fiber Installation Details

I've been trying to figure out my plans for when (if) Google Fiber is available... anyone know the specifics of what they do for installation? Do they just drill a hole in your wall from an exterior box to an interior spot where they can plug in the router?

What about hooking up TVs? I was thinking about being able to turn the TV subscription on/off month-to-month to be able to watch certain events... that obviously depends on how the TV is hooked up to the Google Fiber Router.

Our house was pre-wired for a few things when we bought it... I currently have the TWC coax run from the exterior up to my laundry room on the 2nd floor of the house. There's also cat5e cabling going from the laundry room out to various points around the house.

Unfortunately the cat5e doesn't have great throughput... I get about 80-90 mbit between computers on the network. I can get about 300 mbit over wifi, but would prefer to use some sort of wired backhaul for my stationary computers and apple tv in the living room, then allow the wifi to be mostly for mobile devices. Oh, and the laundry room is not great for Wifi, so I have my Wifi access point deployed in a more central room of the house.

I'm not really expecting Google Fiber to re-wire my house, but what do they do as part of the installation? Do they piggy-back on existing wiring, and if so, which wiring?

Similarly - what do they do for the network phone they offer? I currently have an Ooma VOIP plugged into the house's telephone wiring - works ok, other than the call quality issues that Ooma tends to have.

If this info is available elsewhere, please point me towards it. I have googled a bit, also searched on this forum... only to come up empty handed.

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So it sounds like your CAT 5e is only connected at 100Mbps.  Probably only has 2 pair(4 wires) connected.  CAT 5e is rated up to 1Gbps but requires use all 8 wires in the cable to be properly connected to the jack using the A or B wiring pattern.  And you can't have anything daisy chained.  It should be a direct run between the jack and the patch panel.  And of course your device on each end needs to be 1Gbps.  You may be able to re-terminate the jacks to get better speeds.  It's that hard. 

There are pictures of installs in the Google Fiber section.  Poke around in this forum and you will find most of what you need.  The fiber comes in from the street to a device called the ONT(Optical Network Terminal).  Google calls this a "Fiber Jack".  The fiber jack has a Fiber port and an Ethernet port.  The GFBR "Network Box"(Router) connects to the fiber jack with an Ethernet cable.  Then if you have it, end devices like your TV boxes connect to the router via CAT 5e or 6 cables.  You will probably need a switch if you have more than a few wired devices.  Google used to have a TV storage box but I think that is now combined into the network box.  TV boxes can act as Access points I believe in addition to to the network box.  

The phone box is just a little ATA(Analog Telephone Adapter).  Seems to be an OBi 200 re-branded for Google. It just has Ethernet, power and a RJ-11 for the phone.  It will need to connect to your router.  Here is a picture of the unit.

 

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Google uses VLANS(Virtual networks) for Internet, TV, and maybe phone.  This is done automatically by the network box but if you have a VLAN capable switch, you can segment traffic more easily.  I believe you can turn TV on and off monthly.  TV just uses bandwidth from the fiber connection and is basically a high quality stream with priority.  Better than AT&T Uverse TV streams on AT&T Fiber.  About 20Mbps per channel. 

I don't know if I hit all your questions.  Some of this info about Google is what I have read.  The networking stuff I know by experience.  Any pics or anything you want to add and we will be glad to help you out.  And welcome to the forum.

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Awesome - thanks for such a detailed response.

It's been a while since I looked at the cat5e wiring - with this new info I'll go back and look at how many wires are connected. The wiring doesn't end in a patch panel, it actually has a male cat5e terminator on the end in my laundry room.

For "daisy chaining" - I am pretty sure I did it like this when testing speed, not sure if that qualifies:

Laptop <--> 2' cat6 cable <--> wall outlet <--> laundry room terminator <--> network switch <--> 2' cat6 cable <--> Laptop

There aren't any cat5e-to-cat5e connections, but that network switch on the laundry room side might qualify as daisy chaining. It doesn't really matter - I'll look at the wires and also test again, removing the switch and as many other variables as I can to make sure I know what's really going through the walls.

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Jason, by Daisy Chaining I really meant like in the older days of Copper phone service where the wire would loop from 1 jack to the next, to the next around the room or house.  You don't want this for Ethernet networks.  

Each cable should have either a male or female RJ-45 jack/plug on it and not be cut in the middle somewhere or have any damaged conductors on the matching 4 color pair.  It can go up to 100 meters (~300ft) between ends with nothing else needed.  Crimping on a male Rj-45 jack can be tricky and it's easy to get a loose or bad connection where one of the PINS pierces the jacket of the cable.  It can pass and electrical test but not a signal test by a networking meter.  If you have slack, you can crimp on a new jack.  I prefer to use Female RJ-45  jacks personally between long runs in wall and them jumper them over with a short pre-made patch cable.  Punching down a female jack is easier and often times more solid of a connection.  

The spec allows for an active device with patch cable > Jack > ~100 meters of wire >Jack > Patch Cable to another powered device like a switch.  Maybe more but this is generally all you need in most environments.  Once the connection hits another active device, the signal can be run another 100 Meters.  So a PC 100 meters from the Switch can talk to another PC 100 meters from the switch in the opposite direction if they both connect to the switch in the middle.  

If you have trouble or any other questions, post some pictures and we can try to help.  We like pictures on this site.  It helps in trouble shooting. 

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Wow - I never thought of daisy chaining that way. All my wiring seems to be a single wire from the wall jack to the laundry room, with relatively correct connectors on each end.

Here are some pictures of one of the wall jacks, also a picture of one of the male terminators in the laundry room. To my untrained eye, those look like 8 wires connected on both ends... though any of them could be wired up incorrectly and I wouldn't know. 

I just picked the jack that was easiest to open up, I'm guessing I need to go through all the ones I'm actively using to check to make sure all 8 wires are connected correctly.

Jumping ahead a few steps - if I picked up something like this toolkit, would that help me diagnose wire issues? Not sure if an inexpensive cable tester would be sufficient. I don't have any crimping tools right now, so getting them all in a toolkit seems helpful.

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The link you posted has a cheap cable tester, thats all you really need, but the whole kit will help you fix/recrimp any bad cables where the crimp is bad. Mid cable issues, just toss and rerun.

That said, its designed for rj45 males, not the female/jack you also show. You could work around by taking a known good and plugging into both the jack and the tester.

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Aha - thanks to a handy cable tester, I can confirm the wiring is Not Quite Right. Of the four wires I tested, all of them had at least one pair incorrectly wired.

Looks like I'm going to spend some time watching youtube videos of how to patch a network cable correctly...

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49 minutes ago, Jason said:

Aha - thanks to a handy cable tester, I can confirm the wiring is Not Quite Right. Of the four wires I tested, all of them had at least one pair incorrectly wired.

Looks like I'm going to spend some time watching youtube videos of how to patch a network cable correctly...

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The good news is that the female jacks you have look pretty nice and easy to work with.  Should just be matching the colors to the correct nicely labeled pin.  You might not even have to expose more wire, just move it to the correct position.

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On 2/28/2017 at 4:06 PM, Jason said:

Aha - thanks to a handy cable tester, I can confirm the wiring is Not Quite Right. Of the four wires I tested, all of them had at least one pair incorrectly wired.

Looks like I'm going to spend some time watching youtube videos of how to patch a network cable correctly...

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Sounds right and is why you basically just got a 100Mbps link if all 8 wires were not correct.  100Mbps only uses 4 of the wires but Gigabit needs all 8.

Just make sure that you match the pattern on both ends of the cable jacks.  Either A or B which you see printed on the jack.  Doesn't matter which as long as both ends are the same on each end of the cable.  And it's bets to have all jacks in the location be the same pattern to avoid confusion. 

The A standard is suggested for Residential because the two middle pairs match the phone wiring standard.  But commercial installs use the B standard just about everywhere and so do most patch cables I've ever seen.  I went with the B pattern because that's what they use at my work.  Punching down is pretty easy and you should be able to re-use those female jacks if you gently pull the wire out.  But new jacks are a dollar or two so either way.    

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Posted (edited)

Allright - I fixed several of the female jacks so that my little network tester has all 8 lights going on in the correct order.

On the bright side - I was able to get one of my network jacks to work again.

Unfortunately, the throughput is still maxing out around 88 Mbps consistently.

I didn't try to re-wire the entire jack, just swapped the wires that were out of order. E.g., it used to go 12543678 - the 5 and 3 were reversed. I swapped those two wires and punched them back down... tested with the network tester several times while re-assembling the wall jack and the 8 lights all lit up in order on both ends (at wall jack and in the laundry room).

Do I need to actually make sure the twisted pairs are in a specific configuration? Or am I just sitting on top of some lower quality cabling?

Edited by Jason

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I answered my own question (with the help of Google) - the twisted pairs seem to matter, can impact crosstalk and performance on longer cables... Time to crack open the network jacks again and see if I can line these all up properly. 

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Yeah there are two approved patterns.  A and B.  Both are usually printed on the Jack.  The only difference is they swap some of the pairs.  Use either one but be consistent on both sides.  I wired my house with B.  Most patch cables are pinned out as B also.  But A is fine as it shares the same two middle color wires with phone lines 1 and 2 if you ever switched those lines over to phone service.

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