Posted on 2003-02-28
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-11
I think the telephone wires in my house are pre wired with CAT 5 e cables, but what do I do to actually put them to use? Do I have to go out and buy my own eithernet cables or can I somehow use those and also use the phone at the same time?
Question by:drag0n
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Expert Comment

ID: 8045896
If the house was prewired with cat 5 or 5e, you can split the cable.  You will need an additional wall jack for each connection.  The phone jack should use the brown pair of wires and should use the middle pins of the jack-pins 4+5 for rj45, and pins 2+3 rj11.  The pc jack should use the remaining 6 wires.  Wire it this way starting with pin 1 on the left- white orange,orange, white green, blue, white blue, green.  You can then use the pc and phone at the same time

Author Comment

ID: 8045977
So I would split it? Right now my phone jacks, I just found out are only using some of the wires from the CAT5e cable, there are 2 wires left unused. If I were to split the cable, should I buy a jack for the ethernet port and then what? Could you explain better or give me a site? Thanks in advanced! =)

Expert Comment

ID: 8047758
First, What makes you think you have Cat5/5e installed for phone cabling?  That would be pretty unusual, even today. How old is the house?

If you can find a place where you can read a length of the cable, it'll say "Certified Category 5" right on the jacket.

Next, given that it IS Cat5/5e (I'd bet that it probably isn't), running phone and network in the same cable is out-of-spec (on the network side) - your performance will likely suffer.

It isn't enough to have a copper path between your network devices; the cabling is engineered for specific configurations ... if you don't follow the specifications, you may as well be sharing copper with the doorbell circuit.

Good Luck

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Author Comment

ID: 8048104
Yea, Im sure its CAT5, actually its CAT5e. Im sure of that

Accepted Solution

Beerman earned 60 total points
ID: 8048429
What color wires are used for the phone.  The phone should only use 2 wires.  If more than 2 wires are wired at the jack, only the middle 2 wires are actually used for telephone.  Take the remaining 4-6 wires and wire the computer jack.  Only the orange and green pairs are needed, but you should also connect the blue pair if available.  The brown pair should then be used for the phone.  You may get some crosstalk and/or interferance, but in a home network, it will work fine.  Its alot cheaper than rewiring and possibly patching drywall.  If you buy the cat 5 jack, use the 568B wire code, which means that the orange pair is pins 1-2.

>>So I would split it?..............YES
>>there are 2 wires left unused.....There should be more than that, unless you have a 2nd phone line.  A phone will only use 2 wires.  There should be 8 wires (4pair) in cat 5/e

>>should I buy a jack for the ethernet port .... YES
>>and then what?.... See above.  Plus, where the existing cable ends you will have to install another jack or connector for rj45.  If you go with the connector, that will plug into your hub, if you go with the jack, plug a patch cable into the jack and to your hub
LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 8051057
While it is physically possible to split the wires to make the connections for both phone and network as Beerman describes, it is the WORST possible method of cabling a network.  Besides the connectors, you also need to look at how the cable was run throughout the house.  The (single) phone cable is run in a daisy chain from the phone company's termination box and through the house to each outlet.  Network cables are separate home runs from a central wiring closet to each wall outlet.

Here are the approved methods:

1. Use your existing phone wiring and jacks and buy special phone line network cards.  Linksys has several models to choose from: http://www.linksys.com/products/group.asp?grid=34&scid=33

2. Use wireless network cards. http://www.linksys.com/products/group.asp?grid=33&scid=36

3. Install additional cables and use regular network cards. http://www.linksys.com/products/group.asp?grid=34&scid=30

My links refer you to Linksys products but there are a number of other brands that are equally as good or even better.

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