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2.0 General Info

Wiring your dream house for ADSL:

The following is a compilation of replies to the above question posed by forum member mechanicsc.

What follows contains lots of good suggestions for both the new home builder or just a DIYer delving into one of lifes many This Old Home Projects.

Thanks to all the following forum members who contributed. My apologies if I left anyone out and if you were included and didnt want to be:
Swalke2_TSG, fastcat, kbast, hazdageek, pcmcobra, fiber_man, alalub, dandeman, NetTech, CLLI, awdtt, Cyber2lz and Splitpair.

This is a White paper on the essentials of Broadband Technology for Linksys. It's a really good read and goes over a lot of the Cabling etc. for home networking. There are many other brands better and worse for your wants, needs, and desires but I thought this might get you headed in the right direction.


I rewired my house (single story with basement) for data networking audio telephone etc. I ran homerun cat5e cable to a patch panel in the basement. At the patch panel location I have a single RJ45 outlet for the DSL service (in my case PCDATA/IFITL). I built platform under the floor joist for a router/switch (Linksys BEFSR81). I could also put a modem here if the service were coming in via copper (ADSL). I use a short patch cord to connect from each of the room circuits to the 8 port router. The advantage of the patch panel is that I can have more than 8 circuits and only patch those that I currently need.

I also ran cat5e cable to telephone jacks. Audio cable from entertainment center to other rooms etc.

I installed 2 data outlets per room (big mistake in the one we use as an office). I should have installed two quad outlets in the office room to accommodate three computers a print server wireless AP and one or more laptops when in use.
Another drawback is that with the router in the basement I can't see diagnostic lights etc to diagnose problems and such. I could easily put the router in the office with my set up however as I could patch the DSL (PCData) directly into the office circuit. And then plug computers directly into the router. I just have not had any problems that I need to go watch lights, if I did I would take a laptop to the basement (a closet would do) and plug into the router so I could check it.

Biggest drawback so far is not enough data outlets in rooms that are likely to have moderate PC use.

My 2 cents.
Just a note on the physical outlet position. If you have a furniture layout in mind consider hanging the boxes about desk high where appropriate. Can be a real help keep data, video, and audio cables out of range of the AC.

I'd go wireless. Don't have to worry about cable problems down the road - and gives great mobility.

I've been wireless for about 2 months now (D-Link 713P on BSFA) - LOVE IT. Just turn on encryption, MAC authentication and surf on the back deck with a nice tall glass of iced tea.

Just an alternative that you may wish to think about.

Cheers from Atlanta.
My recommendations are

As you have already stated a minimum of two network connections per room. On top of that consider running an additional drop or two for wireless access points depending on the size of your new home you may be able to get by with only one but overlapping coverage is much better than dead spots.

A minimum of four pair should also be run to each room for telephone service and a two home runs from the NID (one for data one for telephone) to where you plan to place your modem/router patch panel 66/110 blocks.

All of this should be run back to a common location to where you can easily install and reconfigure the system using a patch panel for the network devices and either 66 or 110 blocks for the telephone wiring. Don't forget you will also want to have your electrician supply you with plenty of outlets and a good ground (min #6 awg copper wire) at this location. Also installing a 3/4" plywood backboard makes life real easy when you go to start hanging your distribution equipment.

While your at it don't forget to install a minimum of two good quality coax (double shielded RG6 or CAC6) cables to each room you intend to have a TV or home entertainment system set in. These runs should also be run back to the same common location with again a two coax home run to a location adjacent to the power / NID (for cable TV) and or to the location where you will install a satellite dish.

While your at it also consider installing a minimum of two 16 AWG twisted pair cables to any room you may want to send audio to from your home entertainment system.

I just built my new home.
I put cat5/voice/cable in all rooms, with a central distribution panel with everything it. I have an 8 port router for 'net duties.
My only regret was not putting a net drop behind my TV/stereo, so I could get one of those tivo/replaytv thingamajigs. Or a mp3 streamer...
Oh well, I guess I can get 2 wireless bridges for that if I feel like it.
Good luck!
Nice Job!! I would add a conduit to each location, as this would make life easier in the future to replace defective wiring or upgrade the network. If you are going to place the router in the office then run Ethernet cables to all your jack locations also.

I would make sure that there is an ease of access to all interior walls from the basement (for the first floor) and attic (for the second floor). Pre-drilling holes for a 1" PVC pipe through the sub-floor of the first floor and into an interior wall to a 'box' would go a long way in making life simple and easy.

If the home is multi-story, segment the floors via a switch and connect them to a household router (gateway). You mine as well go ahead and drop CAT5e, as its cheap and readily available. Run a couple/three runs of it for future use.

While you are at it, make double-runs for RG6QS for video, speaker wire for audio, and anything else that you can afford to run up-front. Of course, with a prefabbed box and easy access from the get go adding different wiring should not present a major challenge.

You can also focus the wiring using a structured wiring product, and ask everything to work like it should and be free, but life just doesn't work that way for those not making 7 figures as a norm.
Concur with running conduit (PVC or EMT pipe) that you can pull future wiring.. Especially those areas that will very difficult to reach later.. Examine your framing/walls closely while under construction to identify the difficult to reach areas and at least put conduit there... it's those things in the future that you can't anticipate that you want to plan for.. And that's where the conduit comes in..

I also left my basement unfinished for many reasons, but one primary one is so there is access to all wiring. Consider this to be your residential machinery room/wiring closet equivalent to what's in commercial buildings. If you can't have a basement, at least try to make sure you have some height in the crawl space area for easier future access. One of the most elaborately wired houses I've seen used the crawl space area for the network/data panel board.. One end had enough height to stand up in and the entire ground area under the house was covered with plastic to minimize humidity.

It not just data needs you have to consider. If you remodel a kitchen or other area, you may need additional power. Have plenty of capacity for additional power.. Don't use anything less than a 42-breaker distribution panel. (this is not as many as it sounds like as each 240V breaker uses two slots.

Have all power, telephone, cable enter the house at a single point to accommodate single point grounding, and a well laid out interior service utility panel board, and incorporate a whole house surge protection system such as Square-D's Surgebreaker Plus pdf here.

It also would help to keep good records of exactly where things are in the walls.. Take tons of pictures during construction before the walls are closed up for future reference.
Said by dandeman:

Have all power, telephone, cable enter the house at a single point to accommodate single point grounding, and a well laid out interior service utility panel board, and incorporate a whole house surge protection system such as Square-D's Surgebreaker Plus pdf here
Another excellent suggestion. A lack of single point grounding is one of the most common reasons that equipment is damaged during a lightning hit. I have seen it happen all too often where lightning induced a pulse into one service only to find a better ground on another through equipment that was connected to both services.

It also would help to keep good records of exactly where things are in the walls.. Take tons of pictures during construction before the walls are closed up for future reference.

You bet it is amazing how drywallers can make things disappear. They've been known to make roughed in electrical receptacles disappear.. drywall right over them.. And sometimes not discovered until years later (remodeling or worse yet, I remember reading in one case, after a fire..)

One other thing I did not mention as it's getting kind of far away from the subject of DSL wiring, but AFCI (arc fault circuit interrupters)
are now required for all receptacles in bedrooms in the 2002 revision of the NEC... I believe Vermont requires them for all receptacles..

These are an excellent fire prevention mechanism »www.ul.com/regulators/afci/
as they shut off power immediately upon sensing any arcing in the circuit..

I upgraded my panel adding a number of AFCIs and additional GFIs where revised electrical code now mandate their use..
If I may add:

One thing to note (in addition to all the great suggestions posted here):...make SURE that your in-house telcom distribution panel is at LEAST 4' (for 220vAC distribution service panel) or 6' (for 440vAC distribution service panel) away from the power panel. You don't want A/C inductance to cause noise interference on the ADSL signal. I've been on quite a few commercial ADSL service calls, where customers were losing sync intermittingly...after completing all Telco loop test and not finding trouble, we started looking at the installation of the NID/66block/Splitter, as well as the routing of the Cat3 IW. In almost ALL cases, the NID/66 block/Splitter were mounted within 1-3 feet of the power distribution panels. Only after moving the Telco interface further away from the power panel to the recommended distance were we able to fix the intermitting sync loss issue. Also, insure that all CAT 3 homerun wiring cross the A/C power cables at no less the 60 degrees..that is, do NOT allow the CAT 3 cable run parallel with the A/C power cable. This will also help keep A/C inductance to a minimum..and less interference to the ADSL signal.
Hope this helps..
I just did the very thing you are looking to do.
Ran SpeedPull (four CAT5e) to every room in the house; yes even the bathrooms.
Ran 2 speedpulls to my office and 2 speedpulls to wifeypoos office.
Ran RG6 from every room in the house back to the wiring closet and connected it to a ChannelPlus unit. (allows me to inject 4 additional sources to the cable that is delivered to every room.
Ran 2 separate RGs to the Dmarc, (for cable modem and cable TV)
Ran 2 separate CAT5e to the Dmarc, For DSL and T1.
Ran 4 fiber pair to the Dmarc, for God knows what.
Hey, I had the walls open and the cost of the cable was minimal and I did the pulls myself.

OK, house building is set to commence in 3 weeks, here's what I've decided on:

Found several places that sell "structured" wiring, which consists of the following:
2 strands quad-shield RG-6,
2 strands CAT 5e, and
and 2-strand fiber
all in one jacket.
See here for example :

It's $500 for 500', but I think that will be enough to do what I'm looking for. The fiber will be nice to have in the future, and since the walls are open now I'm putting it all in.

My builder "doesn't do that sort of thing" but as long it is up to code he said I could do it. Since I work at a computer company and our sysadmin is a friend of mine, and I buy good beer, so one weekend we'll have a cable party. With the walls open it should be a snap. ?

I plan on using the RG6, one for satellite and one or distributed video. Both Cat5e's will be network, and I will have a separate cat5e run for the phone wires.

Going to put all this in the coat closet (central location within the climate controlled area) and wire it up in a star configuration. Going to run them to single-gang boxes with all six connections available.

by Splitpair See Profile edited by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2004-01-31 09:25:49

Yes, it can. The primary cause of poor connections due to weather are moisture related. Since ADSL technology is electrical in nature, all of the exposed equipment can be affected by moisture which is an excellent conductor of electrical current. This, combined with the fact that the properties of water allow for "seepage", gives greater exposure to equipment that would, otherwise, be impervious to other weather conditions.

Running a Line Quality Test or checking line rates (STH Test and Cayman Test) during heavy rains and comparing them to clear weather tests can help isolate water problems.

by tomsprat See Profile edited by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2004-01-31 09:26:00

While written for the alarm industry this article is generic enough to answer most if not all questions related to this question.

In order for ADSL and a digital dialer to work together properly, the ADSL signal must not pass through the alarm control panel or digital dialer. There are two ways to accomplish this. The first and preferred method is a home run with a splitter. The second is to use a specially designed filter installed in-line between the alarm systems RJ31x jack and cord. Installing a home run is not difficult and, if your alarm technician has the knowledge and skills to properly install an RJ31x jack, your technician can install a home run and splitter.

There are two ways to accomplish the installation of a home run and splitter. The first way is to install an external splitter outside the home adjacent to the NID. The second way is to use an internal, wall mounted splitter adjacent to the ADSL modem. In most cases, the external mounted unit is the easiest way to go. All your technician needs to do is run a single CAT3, or better cable, from the location of the ADSL modem to the external splitter. Then, following the instructions included with the splitter, re-wire the subscribers inside wiring (IW) through the splitter. The internal splitter is slightly more complex to wire. However, if your technician just considers it to be like an RJ31x jack, only with the un-filtered line going from the NID to the splitter and a filtered line from the splitter back out to the NID and then to the subscribers dialer and finally to the subscribers sets, the installation is no more complex than installing an RJ31x jack.

While placing an in-line filter between the RJ31x jack and cord may seem a lot easier, it requires the alarm installer to be sure that when the dialer communicates with the central station, the subscribers modem does not take errors or lose sync. ADSL subscribers expect an always-on connection and are often running applications, such as servers, that require this always-on connection. While a few errors may be tolerated by the ADSL subscriber, loss of sync is usually not tolerated at all. It is imperative that the alarm installer thoroughly test the alarm dialer to ensure that there is no loss of sync whatsoever during alarm communications. It is also advisable to have the subscriber test their download speed prior to the installation and again after the installation of an in-line filter. If there is any loss of sync or download speed, a home run with a splitter will need to be installed. Many ADSL subscribers keep logs of their download speeds and any loss of speed due to the installation of an alarm system will result in a costly revisit by the Alarm Company and / or the subscribers Internet Service Providers technician to clear the trouble.

A few tips:

Always determine if the subscriber has ADSL service prior to starting the alarm system installation.
If at all possible, install a home run with splitter.
Use only CAT3 or better cable for the RJ31x and home run wiring.
Do not run alarm system wiring in close proximity or parallel with any Telco wiring carrying an ADSL signal, as many alarm systems produce signals that can interfere with the ADSL signal.
Do not run any Telco wiring carrying an ADSL signal through an alarm panel or enclosure containing an alarm system dialer.
Before starting work, have the subscriber check their ADSL service to determine that it is working properly and always check with the subscriber after the installation is complete to ensure that the installation has not affected the subscribers ADSL service.

Additional information is available from this link.


by Splitpair See Profile edited by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2004-01-31 10:06:29

Surge protection for DSL and dialup service.

The purpose of this FAQ is to go over the basics of providing a minimal level of surge protection for small business and residential DSL and dialup service.

The devices mentioned in this FAQ are based on personal and field experience of the author and are in no way an endorsement of those devices by Bellsouth. Furthermore, what is presented here is based on experience and not to be considered a recommendation, or an official practice of Bellsouth.

Before proceeding, the first item of consideration is SAFETY.
Prior to doing any work involving a telephone line, it is mandatory that you, the installer, disconnect the Inside Wiring (IW) from the telephone network. This is accomplished by locating and opening the telephone circuit(s) at the Entrance Bridge Network (EBN). The EBN is located either outside the premise inside of the Network Interface Device (NID), or inside the premise, as part of the Inside Network Interface (INI). Unplugging the modular jack on the EBN disconnects the IW from the network. If there are multiple EBNs unplug all of them. Its always better to knock down service than to work unsafely.

Cable TV services may have hazardous voltages present at any time. If you are unsure whether a cable service is safe to work on, get your cable company involved before proceeding with any work involving that service.

Satellite dishes receive their power from the satellite receiver. Before doing any work on the dish or coax, disconnect the receiver from the power outlet and disconnect the telephone cord from the receiver.

Electrical work should only be performed by a competent, properly licensed contractor. If you are going to do the work yourself and are not 100% sure of what you are doing, STOP, and hire an electrician. The life you save may be your own.

Do not do any work involving any of these services when there are storms or lightning in the area. Surges from lightning can travel many miles through a service serving your premise. As such, even a remote strike can result in serious injury or death!

  • A/C Alternating current: The common service provided to the small business and residential market is 240/120 volt 60 cycle alternating current.

  • Bonding: The intentional connection of separate circuits by a conductor. In this FAQ it applies to grounds.

  • Bridging clip: A metallic connector used to electrically connect the terminals on one side of a punch-block to the other side. Wiring a punch-block in this manner and using bridging clips allows the technician to isolate various jacks and devices in the premise to aid in troubleshooting.

  • Brownout: A partial loss of A/C line power. Brownouts can be damaging as they stress power supplies in protected equipment, as those power supplies try to compensate for the loss of input power.

  • Building ground system: A system of ground (earth) connections that are designed to provide the ground(s) for services entering a premise.

  • D/C: Direct current. Telephone lines are powered by 48-52 volts of direct current and 90-130 volts, 20 cycle alternating current to operate the ringer in the sets.

  • Downstream: Any equipment that is installed after or downstream of a surge protector.

  • Ground: The earth. An electrical connection to the earth is known as grounding.

  • Grounded: An intentional or unintentional connection to the earth.

  • Hot: The conductor(s) that provides power to a device from the service or distribution panel.

  • Induction: The inducement of power into conductors by a changing magnetic field crossing that conductor.

  • LAN: Local area network.

  • Listed: An electrical devise is said to be listed when it has been tested by and meets the minimum requirements of a testing/listing organization such as ETL or Underwriters Laboratory (U.L.).

  • Neutral: The ungrounded conductor that provides a return path for the power delivered over the hot conductor.

  • Punch-Block: A terminal block that allows for the quick and easy termination of IW using a tool known as a punch down. The most common types of punch-down blocks are the 66 and 110. In this FAQ the term punch-block will refer to the 66 Category 5 type block.

  • Surge: An increase over and above the normal operating voltage of a circuit lasting more than 3 nanoseconds (3 billionths of a second).

  • Surge protector: A device that monitors the voltage present on a circuit while providing a method to dissipate any excess energy that may become present. A surge protector is said to fire over or breakdown when in the process of passing or dissipating the excess energy.

  • Spike: An instantaneous increase over and above the normal operating voltage of a circuit lasting less than 3 nanoseconds.

  • UPS: An uninterruptible power supply. A device that utilizes mechanical or battery power to provide a continuous source of power.

Surge Protection:
While surges and spikes are two different beasts, they will be referred to in this FAQ as surges except where there is clear need to define them separately.

A surge can appear at any time on any service entering or within a premise. Common causes are electrical loads being switched on or off on the same service or the inductive influence of that load change into nearby conductors. Another cause is lightning, which causes surges by both direct and inductive influence.

A surge damages electronic equipment by exceeding the rated operating voltage of the components within that equipment. Damage from a surge may not appear at the time the surge occurred. This damage may show up at a later time when the component finally fails from the damage. This type of failure is commonly referred to as a Blue Sky failure, as it could happen on a nice day without a storm in sight.

Surge protection takes on many forms, but always involves the following components: Grounding bonding and surge protectors.

Surge protectors monitor the voltage present on a circuit while providing a method to dissipate any excess energy that may become present. Some surge protectors will, in addition to dissipating the excess energy, also isolate downstream equipment to provide an additional level of protection.

Grounding is required to provide the surge protector with a path to dump the excess energy to earth. A proper ground system is a mandatory requirement of surge protection. Without a proper ground, a surge protector has no way to disburse the excess energy and will fail to protect downstream equipment.

Bonding is required to electrically connect together the various grounds of the services entering the premises. Without bonding, a surge may still enter a premise after firing over a surge protector, which will attempt to pass the excess energy to its ground with any additional energy that the services surge protector ground cannot instantly handle, traveling into and through protected equipment, damaging that equipment in the process.

A typical scenario would be: A roof mounted satellite dish receives an inductive surge from a nearby lightning strike. The voltage induced into the dish and its coax fire over the coaxial surge protector, which passes the excess energy to the ground rod connected to the coaxial surge protector. Unfortunately, the earth around this ground rod is incapable of absorbing all of this energy instantly, so some of the excess energy enters the premise seeking additional grounds and in doing so, travels through the satellite receiver and out the power outlet ground. In addition, it will travel through the telephone line to the Telco ground, damaging the satellite receiver.

Now, if all the various service entrance grounds are bonded together there are no additional paths to ground through the premise. Even if all of the grounds cannot instantly absorb the energy, the lack of additional paths to ground through the premise prevents the excess energy from seeking out any additional grounds through that premise and the electronic equipment within. As such, the excess energy remains in the ground system until dissipated, sparing the protected equipment from damage.

Note: Grounding and bonding are not do-it-yourself types of projects. Should you suspect you have a grounding or bonding problem contact a properly licensed electrician or the provider of the service that you suspect is not properly grounded and/or bonded.

Types of Surge protectors:
There are two basic types of surge protectors: Primary and Secondary. Primary protectors are required to be installed where the service enters the premise. These protectors are installed by the Telco, cable TV company or Satellite installer. Local engineering practices determine if the power company will install a primary protector at the power service entrance. Here in Florida, the power company does not install primary protection unless the subscriber requests it and is willing to pay an additional monthly fee for that protection. (Unusual, considering that Florida is the lightning capitol of the United States. [toggle soapbox off].)

Secondary protectors are installed in addition to the primary protectors to provide an additional layer of protection. Secondary protectors will normally have a lower breakdown voltage than the primary protectors they are installed behind. Additionally, many secondary protectors will have fuses to open the circuit downstream toward the protected equipment. Some surge protectors will have circuit breakers instead of fuses. While circuit breakers may be able to protect large motor driven appliances, they are all but useless for the protection of electronic equipment due to the inherent lag time to trip and open the circuit. Basically, by the time a circuit breaker trips, the electronic equipment is toast. The exception to this is in 120/240 volt surge protectors that require circuit breakers ahead of the surge protector to open the feed in the event of a long duration surge and to prevent a catastrophic failure of the surge protector.

Surge protectors come in various voltages which must be matched to the circuit to be protected. A 120/240 volt A/C service entrance surge protector will typically have a hot to hot breakdown voltage of 800 volts and a 500 volt breakdown from hot to ground and neutral to ground. A Telco primary surge protector will typically have a breakdown voltage of 350 volts and a LAN surge protector may breakdown with as little as 15 volts. To work properly without false firing and premature failure, a surge protector will need to have a breakdown voltage of at least 250% of the normal operating voltage of the circuit.

Power line surge protection:
There are many styles of power line surge protectors. The most common of the 120/240 volt A/C protectors are whole house hardwired and plug-in strip protectors.

By far, the whole house hardwired surge protectors provide the best protection. When a whole house primary surge protector is installed at the service entrance, it will provide a solid first line of defense against surges which enter from the power companys service entrance feed. These types of protectors can absorb/pass considerably more energy than any other type of protector, and if one does catastrophically fail, it will not typically be in a living space. Secondary hardwired surge protectors installed at the distribution panel provide a second line of defense for smaller surges and spikes that may not even fire over the primary protector. Branch circuits that feed outlets to PCs, routers, switches/hubs, modems and any other high ticket electronic device in the premise, should be protected by a hardwired secondary protector.

Some sources for hardwired primary and secondary 120/240 volt A/C surge protectors are:





Generally speaking, the more joules or amps a surge suppressor can handle, the better off you are. Of course as the capacity goes up, so does the price. IMHO, a person is better off buying a primary protector that leaves enough money in the budget to add secondary protectors, rather spending it all on a single primary protector.

Plug in strip protectors are, at best, a compromise. At worst, they may cause more damage than they prevent. While they may do an acceptable job of handling hot to neutral surges, they do a poor job of handling any surge that must be passed to ground. The reason for this is that they rely on the premise wiring for a connection to ground. The premise wiring ground was designed for electrical safety, not to carry surges to earth. If the premise wiring is in steel conduit, that conduit will, in most cases, be the ground. It may be run from outlet to outlet passing through various metal boxes before connecting to the building ground system. If the wiring is non-metallic sheathed cable or Romex, the copper ground wire in the Romex may pass through various boxes where it can be tightly bent and, like conduit, it does not take a direct or straight path to the buildings ground system. All of which make it a poor choice for surge protection. Furthermore, there is no simple way to determine if the premise wiring ground is capable of passing a considerable surge. A ground OK indicator on a surge strip merely indicates the ability to pass enough energy to ground to light the lamp, not that the ground will pass any considerable amount of energy when needed.

An additional problem with strip protectors is that they are normally located at the equipment to be protected, leaving little time for the surge protector to fire over and pass off excess energy before that same energy is present at the equipment being protected.

Then, to add insult to injury, some strip protectors add Telco and/or LAN surge protection within the same device, trying to be an all-in-one sale. Remember bonding? When Telco or LAN protection is added to a strip protector, if the premise ground, which is not designed to handle surges, cannot handle all of the energy, guess where that excess energy seeks out the additional grounds? You got it! The Telco and LAN connections now becomes the path, with disastrous results to those devices.

IMHO, those types of devices are the worst possible choice for surge protection.

Telephone line surge protection:

Primary telephone line surge protection is provided by your telephone company as such this FAQ will not deal with those types of protectors.

Secondary telephone line surge protectors come in three basic styles: hardwire, plug-in and punch-down block mounting. Within those styles are fused and un-fused protectors.

Fused protectors provide an additional level of protection by utilizing fast acting fuses to open the line downstream of the protector, isolating the protected equipment from the energy of the surge. The downside is blown fuses will leave the protected equipment out of service after the surge has cleared, until the fuses/protector have been replaced. Fused protectors are also slighter more costly than their un-fused brethren. IMHO this is a small price to pay for the additional protection provided.

When selecting a fused protector, always use the smallest amperage fuse you can select. Devices that do not pull dial-tone (DSL modems) can use fuses in the sub-amp range while dial-up and line powered devices will require higher amperage fuses usually in the 1 to 5 amp range.

Note: If uninterrupted service is critical you should not a fused protector. Keep in mind, however, if the surge is sufficient enough, the service will still be interrupted due to a damaged modem/router.

Hardwire protectors are similar to the primary protectors installed by the Telco. While they are inexpensive, they pose problems with connection and mounting. To use a hardwired protector, you must have a terminal block to wire the incoming line to the protector. The protector may need to be installed in a listed enclosure to prevent accidental contact with the line. Such a protector could be installed in the subscriber side of the NID if room is available. Many hardwired protectors have internal terminal blocks which greatly simplifies their installation. To install one of these units, all you need to do is run the IW from the NID into and then back out of the protector. The downside of these units is when replacement is required the IW must be re-terminated, getting slightly shorter each time.

Plug-in protectors are by far the simplest type of protector to install. You plug the incoming line into a modular jack on the protector and the line exits via another modular jack. Replacing the protector is easy and quick.

Punch-block protectors are used in professional and prosumer installations where the incoming IW from the NID is connected to a punch-block(s) and then distributed out to the jacks in the premise. These types of protectors take the place of bridging clips, bringing the line into and through the protector and on to the jacks within the premise. If you already have, or are planning to install, a premise wiring scheme using punch-blocks, this is by far the best way to go.

Regardless of the type of protector used, it must be grounded properly. This requires that the protector be connected to the buildings ground system with a minimum of number 12 AWG (preferably number 6 AWG) wire. In order for this to be a good ground, this wire must be run as straightly as possible using the shortest possible run to the buildings ground system. If the ground wire must be bent, do so by using a large radius bend. Avoid kinking the wire and do not run it parallel to or strapped to metallic pipes or other wiring. A good way to accomplish this is to install the protection as close as possible to the NID. This serves two purposes: it keeps the ground wire as short as possible and moves the protection as far as possible from the equipment being protected. Note: if the protected equipment is in another building or a considerable distance from this protector, an additional protector may be required at the protected equipment to prevent an induced surge in the IW from damaging the protected equipment.

Some sources for telephone line and LAN protectors are:




Cable television, satellite and antenna protectors:

The most common surge protectors used with these services are basic spark-gap protectors. These devices permanently ground the shield of the coax and provide a small spark-gap for protection of the center conductor. While not within the scope of this FAQ, they will be touched on due to the fact that they are a service entering the premise and are cross connected with the power service of the premise, and many times, in addition to that, are connected to the premises telephone service. As such, they can have an adverse effect on those services. Another common problem with these services is they are quite often installed with a standalone ground that is not bonded to the buildings ground system and/or installed with a deficient ground. Due to liability problems, cable television companies are getting much better at grounding their services. The same cannot be said for mini-dish satellite installations. Many mini-dish installations are done using aluminum ground wire and minimal ground rods, neither of which is conducive to preventing surges from entering a premise. Should you suspect either of these services are not properly grounded contact the service provider to have the trouble resolved.

A secondary protector can be added between the primary protector and the receiver. This protector will, of course, be required to be grounded in the same manner as a secondary telephone line protector.

Remember, satellite dishs and antennas with top or pole mounted amplifiers will require a DC pass through protector. Antennas without pole or top mounted amplifiers and most cable television installations will not.

An excellent source for coaxial protectors is PolyPhaser.


LAN protectors:

LAN protectors are almost universally the plug-in type. They have eight pin category 5 in and out jacks. The in side would be connected to the equipment most likely to present a surge to the LAN, (the modem/router) and the out side would feed the router/hub/switch. LANs can be quite difficult to protect as they operate at very low signal levels and the components are quite sensitive to surges.

Another problem with LAN protection is that the protection will in most cases be installed adjacent to the equipment being protected. This requires the installation of a good quality surge protection ground at that location. The minimum size of wire I would use for this job would be number 6 AWG. Again, this wire must be run as straight as possible and using the shortest possible run to ground. If the ground wire must be bent, do so using a large radius bend. Avoid kinking the wire and do not run it parallel to or strapped to metallic pipes or other wiring. This ground wire should be dedicated to the LAN and equipment associated with the LAN.

Many professional and prosumer LAN installations utilize rack mounted equipment if your installation is rack mounted, the rack should be bonded to the LAN ground to minimize the chance of current flow between LAN components and the damage that current can do.

Some sources for telephone line and LAN protectors are:




Uninterruptible power supplies:

While not a surge protection device, a UPS goes a long way to protect equipment. Most quality UPSs incorporate internal power line condition devices which, in of themselves, help to block surges and brownouts from damaging downstream equipment. Many UPSs have grounding lugs on them. These ground connections must not be connected to a LAN or surge protection ground. If you are going to utilize one of these connections, it should be connected to the buildings ground system by a separate grounding conductor sized according to the UPS manufacturers recommendations.

Some sources for UPS systems are:




It is not within the scope of this FAQ to recommend a certain surge protection system over another, however, the basics of a surge protection system and order of importance are:

Power service surge protection The most common entry point of a surge into a premise is through the power lines feeding the premise. Remember most power service feeds do not have any surge protectors installed on them what so ever. Your surge protectors are going to be the first and second line of defense against surges entering your premise.

UPS A UPS is a requirement for equipment protection. It will condition the power feeding the equipment and prevent unnecessary interruptions of that power, which can do as much damage as a surge.

Telephone line surge protection While all telephone lines entering a premise are required to have primary surge protection installed by the telephone company, that first line of protection should be backed up by secondary protectors.

LAN Surge protection LAN surge protectors are inexpensive and easy to install. The only drawback is, to work properly, they require a good solid ground wire back to the buildings ground system.

by Splitpair See Profile edited by KeysCapt See Profile
last modified: 2004-06-13 09:00:04

See the FAQ's on how to pull stats from your DSL modem.

Follow those instructions and pull the modem stats and do a screen save of those stats.

If your alarm system is monitored you should notify your alarm company that you would like your alarm system monitoring placed into a test status and be sure they understand not to dispatch on any signals received.

Before proceeding BE SURE you have the disarm code for the alarm system!!!!!!!!

Locate the RJ31X jack the alarm system is plugged into (usually adjacent to the alarm system control panel) and unplug the line cord inserted into the jack.

After unplugging the cord your alarm system may go into a local trouble or alarm indication. In most cases you will need to enter the disarm code to silence this alarm.

With the alarm system unplugged from the RJ31X jack reset the DSL modem and again pull the stats. If you see a substantial difference the alarm system is causing a problem.

DO NOT forget to reconnect the cord from the alarm system control panel to the RJ31X jack and test the alarm system for proper communication.


by Splitpair See Profile edited by jazzman916 See Profile
last modified: 2004-10-15 19:53:33


You may synchronize your computers, routers and other network devices with BellSouth's Network Time Protocol server by pointing the device to: ntp.bellsouth.net.

by jazzman916 See Profile
last modified: 2005-09-16 15:50:39