By Bob Catanzarite
The CWP or Central Wiring Panel - Chapter 2
Shown above on the left is a photo of the entire CWP. Shown above on the right is a closer view of the left enclosure by itself. Now, starting from the left and going to the right I'll describe what I put in my CWP.
Telephone - See the Telecom Wiring diagram below for details.
I used 'Type 66 Punchdown Blocks' in the CWP to connect all of the telephone wiring together and to allow the wiring to be reconfigured later on. These punchdown blocks come in two sizes - 66 and 110.
The size refers to the type of the electrical contact that the wires are punched down on to and NOT how many contacts the strip has. Not being an expert on the the differences between these two, the type 110 just seemed to be too complicated for my purposes. The type 66 seemed simpler and easier to use. The 66 Punchdown blocks are fine for telephone, but, I believe, they are not to be used for high speed data. The 110 type is typically used instead for data. These 66 Punchdown blocks come setup for 25 wire pairs meaning they have 50 rows of contacts. They also come with Bridged and Un-Bridged contacts. Bridged contacts, shown below, have the left two contact connected or bridged together and the right two contacts bridged together and the middle two contacts are not connected.
Type 66 with Bridged contacts
Non-Bridged contacts have all of the contacts electrically isolated from each other. I chose to use the Bridged contact type 66 Punchdown Block.
Now I have 8 CAT5 lines coming into the CWP for telephone. That means 8 x 4 pairs = 32 pairs. Just one 25 pair punchdown block would not have enough contacts. So, I bought two blocks and used a hacksaw to saw one block down to a 16 pair or 32 row size. My CWP just didn't have enough room for two full size 25 pair blocks so I had to saw one down. Mount these two punchdown blocks to the plywood back panel.
All of the wiring coming from the homes outlet boxes comes in to the punchdown block on the left side and the feed lines coming from the phone company come in on the right side, See the Telecom Wiring diagram shown above for details. I daisy chained the telecom feeder lines all the way up the right side of the punchdown blocks using the older style POTS telephone wire because it came in the more familiar telephone wire colors of green, red, black and yellow. See the photo below on the left for details. To connect the lines from the outlet boxes on the left to the telephone feed lines on the right I used Type 66 Bridging or Shorting clips shown in the photo below on the right. These bridging clips are slid over the two center terminals on the punchdown block to connect the left side to the right side. If you need to connect the left side of one row to the right side of different row then you'll have to make jumper wires out of CAT or POTS wire and make the bridging connection by punching down the jumpers. In my case, planning ahead meant that all I needed were the easier to use bridging clips.
As you can see from the photo above on the left I only have bridging clips installed for one phone line which is feeding to one port on all 8 outlet plates. This system is capable of feeding 4 separate phone lines to each outlet plate. See
Refer here to the page on CAT5 Stripping and Terminating for help with how on to terminate the wires to the punchdown block using a punchdown tool . Note from the photo above how the twists in the CAT5 wires are left twisted as much as possible and how as little of the CAT5 cables jacket is removed. This is not entirely critical with telephone wiring but is just a good wiring practice to follow in structured wiring. This is VERY important when CATx cables are used for data though.
In the garage, as you can see in the Telecom Wiring diagram above, I put in a Disconnect box. This is entirely optional and I included it as a means to easily disconnect the telephone companies feed lines from the entire home wiring by simply pulling two bridging clips. I built the disconnect box using the piece of the 66 punchdown block I had left over after I sawed the 25 pair block down to a 16 pair block. The enclosure is a standard metallic outlet box. See the Telecom Wiring diagram for details.
This is how I configured my telephone wiring. This may not meet the wiring standards and procedures that the telecommunications industries has. I can't say for sure because I don't have access to those standards. I came up with this configuration to meet my own wants and needs. You can copy this configuration and use it in your project or you can invent your own just like I did. Just be sure to somehow document what you have done so that if someone else has to work with it later on they will be able to see how you did it.
Video - With 16 RG6/U QS coax cables coming in from 8 outlet boxes I will need two 8-way splitters. Using two separate 8-way splitters also allows one video source to feed to all the V1 video ports on the outlet plates and a SEPARATE video source to feed all the V2 video ports. I felt that having the ability to have two separate video sources available at the outlet boxes was important. You may not. Make sure you select splitter that are wideband - from 5MHz to 1000MHz if you want the splitter to work with cable modems and DSS satellite See the page on Buying Material and Tools. These 8-way splitters have a relatively high signal loss, 11dB in my case, as a result of dividing the input signal into 8 outputs. This loss combined with loss from other splitters and the loss from the long runs of coax will result in poor TV reception. Video Amplifiers can compensate for this loss and restore the signal level at the outlet box to normal. See the Compensating for Video Loss page for more on this subject. The arrangement I have with two separate 8-way splitters will require the use of two separate video amplifiers. Try to buy a good video amplifier - there are a lot of junk amplifiers out there for sale.
You can see in the photo above how I mounted my two 8-way splitters and video amplifier in the CWP. Note here that for the time being I only have one video amplifier installed. When I get to the point of needing the 2nd one everything is ready to just install it and hook it up. I wanted the splitters mounted with the output connectors facing downward so that the coax would not have to bend to connect to the splitter. I also left plenty of coax cable length in the CWP to allow the cables to be reconfigured when I need to.
A note here - even though I selected broadband video splitters and video amplifiers that are capable of handling both the low and high frequencies that cable modems use, I wired my cable modem as directly into the CATV's video feed line as possible, running it through as few splitters as possible. See the Overall Wiring Diagram for details of this configuration.
Data - For data I have 16 CAT5 cables coming into the CWP from 8 outlet plates with each outlet plate having 2 data ports. In the CWP I wanted provisions for my Cable Modem, a Linksys Router/4-port Switch and two Netgear Fast Ethernet 8-port Switches. You'll notice from the photos above that for the time being I only have one Netgear switch installed. When I get to the point that I need the second one I have the shelf space available for it.
To allow maximum flexibility and reconfigurability I chose to build shelves in the CWP's right side enclosure. This entire right side enclosure is dedicated solely to the data components and their wiring. See the photo below.
The data side of the CWP is relatively straight forward. The basis of this side are the wire steel shelves. I chose these because they allow the data components to set flat, a more natural and accessible position for them. The wire shelves are open allowing lots of ventilation for the components. The data components generate a surprising amount of heat. The shelves are cheap and adjustable as well. The vertical supports are called standards and are available at any hardware store. The same goes for 12" shelf supports. The vertical standards had to be cut to size with a hack saw. The wire shelves were cut to size from larger shelves available from any good hardware store. Because the wire shelves are so small and light they tended to fall of of the shelf support brackets. In order to keep the shelves in place I drilled a small holes in the shelf support brackets and used nylon cable ties to secure the shelf to the brackets. If you click on the photo above you can see these holes about midway up the shelf support bracket. Now just set all of the components in place and connect up the CAT5 and coax cables and your ready to go.
See the Overall Wiring Diagram for details of this configuration.
A lot of prefab CWP's seem to make use of some sort of patch panel for the data wiring. I chose to eliminate these panels and terminated the CAT5 lines coming into the CWP with RJ45 plugs that I plugged directly into the components. This simplified things a lot and saved money yet still allows reconfigurability. I also put these really cool colored boots over the CAT5 cables before I terminated the RJ45 plugs on them. These boots help a great deal to prevent the latching tabs on the RJ45 plug from getting snagged and tangled on things. I used yellow boots for the cables going to the D1 outlet plate ports and green for D2. See the photo below.