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Help with my ethernet...

Koyaanisqatsi

Veteran Member
So, my wife and I recently moved to Oregon into a lovely cookie-cutter townhouse that has several of these in just about every room:

IMG_5813.jpg

So, I thought I'd hardwire my TVs and our computers to the Cat5 for internet to save on WiFi overload. We each have iphones and ipads and laptops, etc, and the WiFi upstairs keeps cutting out, so I thought this might be an easy solution to at least better connect the TVs/desktops. The problem is, I'm not getting any signals from the upstairs outlets.

Downstairs was no problem. I plugged the blue Cat5 into the WAN "in" on my Netgear Nighthawk AC1200/R6220 and then ran a Cat5 cable to my downstairs TV and that seems to work just fine as well as another to the clear port on the left of the above picture, figuring that must be the "in" from the router that would then in turn run to the other outlets throughout the home.

Evidently, that's not the case, so what is the female on the left for?

Do I also need to plug in another router upstairs (and connect to the blue) and run Cat5 cables out of the LAN ports up there?
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
So, my wife and I recently moved to Oregon into a lovely cookie-cutter townhouse that has several of these in just about every room:

View attachment 28587

So, I thought I'd hardwire my TVs and our computers to the Cat5 for internet to save on WiFi overload. We each have iphones and ipads and laptops, etc, and the WiFi upstairs keeps cutting out, so I thought this might be an easy solution to at least better connect the TVs/desktops. The problem is, I'm not getting any signals from the upstairs outlets.

Downstairs was no problem. I plugged the blue Cat5 into the WAN "in" on my Netgear Nighthawk AC1200/R6220 and then ran a Cat5 cable to my downstairs TV and that seems to work just fine as well as another to the clear port on the left of the above picture, figuring that must be the "in" from the router that would then in turn run to the other outlets throughout the home.

Evidently, that's not the case, so what is the female on the left for?

Do I also need to plug in another router upstairs (and connect to the blue) and run Cat5 cables out of the LAN ports up there?

Since there's also coax there I'm wondering if the plug on the left is telephone, perhaps? Beware that if is telephone it can fry an ethernet adapter.
 

Jimmy Higgins

Contributor
They splitting the ethernet cable into two ports?

The In doesn’t make sense if it is throughout the home.

Shouldn’t this all spaghetti to one common point?
 

Koyaanisqatsi

Veteran Member
They splitting the ethernet cable into two ports?

The In doesn’t make sense if it is throughout the home.

Shouldn’t this all spaghetti to one common point?

That’s what I thought. In the garage there is a panel where the modem lives. Evidently the downstairs blue “out” (same as in the above) is the modem “feed” where I connected it to the router. That works fine for generating our Wifi. So I figured the other port (non-colored) would be an “in” that I could use to LAN “out” from the router, that would in turn be connected to the rest of the outlets in the house, but apparently not.

It seems odd to me that the house would be wired such that I need to add another router upstairs, as what would be the point of that and then why have single Cat5/Coax outlets in other rooms, unless that is a phone jack and not a data port??

Maybe only the blue Cat5 jacks are “hot” and I do in fact need to add routers to each one in order to then LAN to my devices??
 

Koyaanisqatsi

Veteran Member
I don't know if this will help matters, but here's what it's in the garage...

IMG_5817.JPG

IMG_5819.JPG

IMG_5821.JPG

It looks to me that the white cable on the bottom right is the feed from the provider. The black box is the modem and the yellow out is the feed into the house from the modem. What that thing is up top is not clear (a switcher is what I assume) and then the feed out into the house is on the left (as you look at it).

Which should then be connected to all of the outlets. Right? What am I missing?

ETA: So a quick google on the "etherman expresso media converter" gets me:

Media converters serve as a bridge between fiber optic and copper media. Options include single mode, multi-mode, and WDM (Wavelength-division multiplexing) fiber optic and 10/100/1000 Mbps copper media, allowing for stable and high-speed connection of geographically distant LANs.

So that's not the modem? Then is that thing up top a modem???
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
A cable modem will have one feed of coax and normally one of ethernet. The bottom box has no coax, it can't be a cable modem.

Note that if you have all those wires they must go somewhere other than the box you're looking at--wires of the type you're looking at are point-to-point runs only, they can not branch. Thus there must be a hub or switch somewhere.
 

Koyaanisqatsi

Veteran Member
A cable modem will have one feed of coax and normally one of ethernet. The bottom box has no coax, it can't be a cable modem.

Note that if you have all those wires they must go somewhere other than the box you're looking at--wires of the type you're looking at are point-to-point runs only, they can not branch. Thus there must be a hub or switch somewhere.

Could it be up in my attic then? Would that make sense to install that stuff in the garage and then have a hub all the way up in the attic?

Plus, if this isn't the modem, how am I getting any signal coming out of the downstairs "blue" CatVe (plugged into our router) for Wifi?

Very confusing. Something must be live coming through the blue port, at least downstairs.
 
Last edited:

Koyaanisqatsi

Veteran Member
Found it! It was in a closet. Now, can anyone tell me what's missing or what's not hooked up properly?

IMG_5828.JPG

IMG_5829.JPG

Well, I've got another wider shot that shows the whole compartment, but for some reason I can't upload it at this point.
 

Koyaanisqatsi

Veteran Member
Blue lines appear too thick for telephone.

That's what I thought. But the tag above the blue lines says "Telephone" (you can sort of make that out in the top photo). Of course, that does not necessarily mean those jacks are being used only as telephone lines, but I'm so confused at this point, I just don't know what to do. This was how the place was left by the previous owner and they're not accessible.

I guess I can call the HOA, but they are the least helpful when it comes to shit like this (as I've already discovered). I do know the internet provider, so maybe I can try them. I'm assuming they would have had to wire the place to begin with.
 

Jimmy Higgins

Contributor
I’d look up the manual for the router in there and go from there.

I do ponder now, was this an office and those were phones that use ethernet?
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
A cable modem will have one feed of coax and normally one of ethernet. The bottom box has no coax, it can't be a cable modem.

Note that if you have all those wires they must go somewhere other than the box you're looking at--wires of the type you're looking at are point-to-point runs only, they can not branch. Thus there must be a hub or switch somewhere.

Could it be up in my attic then? Would that make sense to install that stuff in the garage and then have a hub all the way up in the attic?

Plus, if this isn't the modem, how am I getting any signal coming out of the downstairs "blue" CatVe (plugged into our router) for Wifi?

Very confusing. Something must be live coming through the blue port, at least downstairs.

I said the bottom one can't be a modem, I didn't address the top one because I'm not sure of the cables feeding it. I could easily believe the top one is a modem but I'm not sure.
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
The blue lines all appear to be telephone lines. So now I'm even more confused.

Blue lines appear too thick for telephone.

Blue lines appear too thick for telephone.

That's what I thought. But the tag above the blue lines says "Telephone" (you can sort of make that out in the top photo). Of course, that does not necessarily mean those jacks are being used only as telephone lines, but I'm so confused at this point, I just don't know what to do. This was how the place was left by the previous owner and they're not accessible.

I guess I can call the HOA, but they are the least helpful when it comes to shit like this (as I've already discovered). I do know the internet provider, so maybe I can try them. I'm assuming they would have had to wire the place to begin with.

The blue ones look like ordinary ethernet cables, but note that it is quite possible to run a telephone signal over ethernet wire (but not the reverse! 8-wire telephone cable can't carry ethernet.) The box on the wall with the wires going into it is clearly a switch or hub (you can't easily tell them apart from outside and for a home user it doesn't matter anyway). The next thing I would do is count the number of wires here (and remember one will be the uplink going to the modem) vs the number of plugs around--do you have enough wires? There might be some that are coiled up somewhere and not connected--they may have wired every room but only hooked up the ones that were actually being used.
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Blue lines appear too thick for telephone.

They're clearly RJ-45 and thus presumably ethernet cable, but note what they're plugged into--it describes itself as a telephone hub.

I'd look further, see if you can find any more boxes.

If you don't mind spending a bit of money, get a cable toner suitable for ethernet. Connect it to the cable that goes to the modem and see if you can find the other end of the cable anywhere. (Note: I do not mean toner as what goes in a printer/copier, I mean toner as in a device that generates a tone. It comes as two pieces, one of which you connect on one end and a probe that you touch to cables which will make a noise if you touch the same cable.)
 

barbos

Contributor
I don't know if this will help matters, but here's what it's in the garage...

View attachment 28604

View attachment 28605

View attachment 28606

It looks to me that the white cable on the bottom right is the feed from the provider. The black box is the modem and the yellow out is the feed into the house from the modem. What that thing is up top is not clear (a switcher is what I assume) and then the feed out into the house is on the left (as you look at it).

Which should then be connected to all of the outlets. Right? What am I missing?

ETA: So a quick google on the "etherman expresso media converter" gets me:

Media converters serve as a bridge between fiber optic and copper media. Options include single mode, multi-mode, and WDM (Wavelength-division multiplexing) fiber optic and 10/100/1000 Mbps copper media, allowing for stable and high-speed connection of geographically distant LANs.

So that's not the modem? Then is that thing up top a modem???

Top box is a passive optical connector box, optical fiber is coiled up in there.
Bottom is an optical modem or rather converter of optical Ethernet to copper one.
 

barbos

Contributor

switch box is irrelevant, it's cut off in the garage,
white ethernet cable from the garage comes to this and connects to the grey ethernet cable through tiny white box hanging in the air and ends up in one of the RJ45 sockets in the house. All blue cables were used for telephones. one of the grey ones is connected to optical modem. Just try all RJ45 in the house and see if it works. And some grey cables look thin, could be 2 pairs twisted pair, not 4.
 

barbos

Contributor
Good job, barbos. Now finally he can get the Internet working at his house after being without since July.

Considering his last post was on 07-17-2020. It's possible that he is still tracing the problem.
On the other hand, COVID 19 could explain people suddenly missing here :(
 
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