The Dysmey Blog
The personal weblog of Andy West.
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06/21/09
Wirework Part I
Filed under: General
Posted by: Andy @ 11:21 am

The combination of weed-and-feed chemicals and my semi-persistent weeding have brought the dandelion and timothy weed population under control. The grass I rake up after using the new mower nicely fills a 50-gallon yard bag.

I bring this up because, in my enthusiasm to clear out the grass along the west side of the house with my grass shears, I cut the telephone cable that serves the living room. I did not find this out until I investigated why the upstairs phone was ringing and the downstairs one was not, or why the answering machine would not kick in.

The upstairs cable is undamaged, so I still have Internet access for my main box. Nor is my downstairs box affected, because it communicates with my router via wireless modem. With that in view, I reconnected my answering machine upstairs.

Still, I will have to repair the downstairs cable. This will be a tough task, because it winds behind and underneath the faux chemney before it enters the house. Also, I will need to find a metal or tough plastic conduit to sheave any new cable, so that I do not sever the cable again.

This affords me an opportunity to wire a network cable from the upper room to the living room, laying conduit down from the upper room to protect the cabling. Then I can connect the downstairs box directly to the network and dispense with the wireless stuff. Why? It is not because my wireless network is insecure, not after the work I did to make it secure. It is because wireless networks are a constant target for all those think-of-the-children whackos in legislatures, including Congress itself, which cooked up such a bill last March.

Anyway, I drove to Lowe’s on Saturday to look at sheathing for the new wires. The best I could find was the Carlon Carflex ½-inch conduit, which is flexible, waterproof, and capable of withstanding nicks and cuts (as I found when I tried to cut a sample). It is not that expensive provided you buy a 100-foot roll for $41.

Next I will look for a couple of outlet plates with both RJ-11 (telephone) and RJ-45 (network) outlets. If the plates have an outlet for coax for cable/antenna, that would be a plus.

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