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Old 09-25-2015, 03:03 PM   #1
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HELP! Replacing telephone wire w/ CAT6/5e cable

I've been searching and searching for any information on the telephone wiring in MH, and specifically for my 00' HR Endeavor 40PBD. I have had ZERO luck finding anything whatsoever; so, I'm reaching out to all my good, and extremely knowledgeable, listmates.

GOAL: replace telephone wire with CAT6 cable, so I can have LAN & my own network in my MH (my mini server doesn't have Wi-Fi and I'm not interested in getting WiFi for it). So far, I have found two phone jacks on my Endeavor: the receiving end located with the shore power plug and coaxe cable receiving end (outside, rear, roadside storage compartment) The other located up by the passenger seat foot area at the "computer station" (presumably for the good ol' dialup internet, talk about high speed internet! ha).

I unscrewed the faceplate at the computer station, gave the telephone line a slight tug--felt pretty secure, as if the wire is stapled into place throughout.

QUESTIONS:
1. Does anyone know if the wire is just set into place or fixed somehow?
2. Does anyone have a diagram of the co-axe cables or telephone wires showing how they are woven throughout the MH? A diagram for any MH will suffice, I just need a basic understanding of how these are weaved (woven?) into place.
3. Is anything installed in the wire as it runs throughout the MH, for example, like an amp installed in the middle of the wire, or should it be just a straight wire from the receiving end to the output end.

Thoughts are appreciated, ANY EXPERIENCE WITH THIS WILL HELP! THANKS EVERYONE.
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:08 PM   #2
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I'm thinking it's a lot easier to add wireless to your server than to run any wires in your coach. I can help with suggestions in that regard, if you want to share the specs of your server.

Mark

P.S.- Do you have an Ethernet router in your coach now?
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:14 PM   #3
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In most houses. be they movable or fixed, the wires are added before the walls are fully assembled and may well be stapled to stuff.. However that said.

In many cases on a motor home wires are run in bundles and tied so that they feel just like you felt.. you need to trace the wire..

One suggestion it may be easier to trace pipes than wires, and you can follow the water lines to route your new cable.

Good luck.
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:01 PM   #4
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Do you realize you will get much higher speed with an N or AC wireless router than you will with a 10/100base t wired connection. What is the name & model of your current router? Not many people opting for wire vs wireless systems these days.

However to provide input re wire routing, you can trace wire routing with a signal tracer. I have one and have traced every circuit in my coach, and not only did I verify the electrical route I charted the physical route. Can be done but "replacing a tel wire" good luck with that. It will be tied up behind walls and perhaps in other bundles or clamped together etc. Running new wires would be easier.

You might want to rethink a wireless solution for tel and inter/intranet connectivity and even use wireless peripherals. So much easier and flexible in my opinion. Trying to think of the downside of going wireless.

So good luck. It is possible to trace any wire routing with a signal tracer.
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:31 PM   #5
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Do you realize you will get much higher speed with an N or AC wireless router than you will with a 10/100base t wired connection. What is the name & model of your current router? Not many people opting for wire vs wireless systems these days.
Not true at all. Gigabit switches are cheap, and will run at gigabit speeds over cat-5 for short distances (like in an RV), cat-5e for anything residential. Actual throughput on Wifi will never be faster than a decent ethernet connection. I would never count on using Wifi where I have any chance at running a hardwire connection.
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:35 PM   #6
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Trying to think of the downside of going wireless.
The downsides are:

1. Harder setup, especially with peripherals that don't have full GUIs, like printers.

2. Slower speeds, but that's not usually an issue except between computers and file servers.

3. Contention on the Wifi channels. I've been in RV parks where I could see 20 different Wifi networks, all trying to use the same channels. Not quite as big an issue for the 5GHz band, but it's happening there too as everyone tries to get off 2.4GHz.

4. Less secure, especially for the intra-network traffic where you're not using SSL. Like between computers and file servers. Wifi networks, even with WPA2 are not as secure as an actual wire.

I'm sure I could come up with more if I spent more than 3 minutes on it.
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:39 PM   #7
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To the OP -

I expect the existing wires and stapled or otherwise secured in the walls, so I wouldn't even bother trying to trace them. Your best bet is to just figure out a path to run new wires, most likely through the basement or ceiling.
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Old 09-25-2015, 10:13 PM   #8
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Not true at all. Gigabit switches are cheap, and will run at gigabit speeds over cat-5 for short distances (like in an RV), cat-5e for anything residential. Actual throughput on Wifi will never be faster than a decent ethernet connection. I would never count on using Wifi where I have any chance at running a hardwire connection.
FlyingDriver

Please note I stated a 10/100 base T router which I interpreted the OP to have since he did not wish to replace it and perhaps being a legacy product. (Perhaps this was a false assumption). I made no mention of a giga switch and explicitly noted 10/100.

Of course gigabit routers/switches are available as are PC'S capable of a wired gigabit port. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you misinterpreted what I wrote. I referred to a 10/100 based system where even a N router exceeds that speed.

Of course an AC router is also a gigabit router and one can even use fibre and get Tbps speeds but the end device usually cause the throughput limitations. As an Aeronautical Engineer I can attest to the benefits of hard wired connectivity for fixed assets. But I don't understand why anyone want wires to deal with if there are other options that connect non critical portable devices like, Laptops, printers and scanners etc. But hey if people are happy with wires hanging about - well so be it. I prefer no messy wires. But as noted above, for fixed facilities sometimes a wired connection makes sense.

My house is totally wired with Cat 5e cable with smart distribution panels, including coaxial cables all over the place. Notwithstanding I have this elaborate infrastructure in place for total wire, most of my systems are now wireless, including 6 TV's in the house, telephones, several WiFi Hotspot to get better coverage. In my opinion there are so many more mobility options with WiFi. I have a WiFi hub in my RV to connect with the on board server, printer and cameras and of course the internet is via wireless systems. Works great for me.

It often makes sense to have systems like cameras hard wired. I have 6 of my 12 security cameras at home hard wired and most of my sensors and control systems which there are around 40, for various functions are hard wired but some are wireless. It is a mixture. It is just so much easier to work with wireless systems for portability especially for non critical systems. For critical systems, physical connectivity is preferred such as my critical alarm and control devices thus having have a higher reliability component.

Sorry I rambled a bit, but I would never say categorically that wireless is faster than certain wired/fiber systems but in some cases they are. There are so many other factors to consider. LTE is faster than DSL for example so saying wire is faster is just not necessarily so.
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Old 09-26-2015, 03:39 AM   #9
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It's FlyingDiver, not FlyingDriver.

The only equipment the OP mentions in his post is a "mini server", which I interpreted to be a NAS of some sort. I have no idea where you came up with a 10/100 router from.

I agree that wireless is better for mobile devices, but then then you talk about using it for lots of fixed devices (TVs, security cameras). Wireless is only better for those if you don't have a wire in place for it. My disadvantage list for Wifi stands.

I'm also an Aeronautical Engineer (MIT, '80), but that's not really relevant for this conversation is it?
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Old 09-26-2015, 07:17 AM   #10
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It's FlyingDiver, not FlyingDriver.

The only equipment the OP mentions in his post is a "mini server", which I interpreted to be a NAS of some sort. I have no idea where you came up with a 10/100 router from.

I agree that wireless is better for mobile devices, but then then you talk about using it for lots of fixed devices (TVs, security cameras). Wireless is only better for those if you don't have a wire in place for it. My disadvantage list for Wifi stands.

I'm also an Aeronautical Engineer (MIT, '80), but that's not really relevant for this conversation is it?
Hey partner Sorry about the typo on the name - working on a phone app is not always the best way to read and most certainly not the best platform for typing. Anyway it looks like we got way off course on this one. As I noted I asumed something and you know what that means. The advice I really gave to the OP was to get a signal tracer to find the wire routing, if he wanted to know where they are, and running new wires rather than try to pull old wires out is likely easier than getting into cable pulling. The wireless thing was just another thought and again I assumed some portability component and he would not really sacrifice speed. Hence the suggestion to think about wireless options. The way my DW moves our furniture around, even our large TV's need a portability component. Gongrats on the MIT degree, good school of course and indeed credentials are not relevant to the conversation. Have a nice day and pleasant travels.
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Old 09-26-2015, 12:39 PM   #11
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my personal thoughts are it is a distinction without a difference. What difference does it make if you go 10/100 cat 5, gigabyte cat 6, fiber optic or wireless n. You are not going to see that any difference with printers, you might see some changes with streaming video between platforms in the RV. You are not going to see any internet at any campsite I have been in that will approach any fraction of speed of any of the connections above. I have my own cable internet where I am at now and I can get 150 mbyte if I want to pay for it. But the cost is pretty prohibitive and not worth it to me. I am curious what you would need extremely high speed connections in your RV.
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Old 09-26-2015, 12:50 PM   #12
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I am curious what you would need extremely high speed connections in your RV.
Editing and syncing photos and videos between our computers and the NAS. Also backups to the NAS of the computers.
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Old 09-27-2015, 11:11 AM   #13
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I doubt if those phone wires are stapled, but I bet they are wrapped in and around interior panels and cabinetry or enclosed in a wire loom with other wires, etc. In other words, it isn't going to simply pull through when you tug on it. My advice would be to forget about the existing one cable and either run new wiring or convert to wireless. My wifi reaches throughout the coach with no problems, and its nothing special.

If you don't want to use regular wifi, you can install a wireless bridge between two wired lans.
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Old 09-27-2015, 03:01 PM   #14
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You MAY be able to just use the existing phone wires with CAT 5 connectors. Look to see if the existing cable has 4 or 6 wires. CAT 5 only needs 4. You can replace the female connectors with the CAT 5 connector and as long as you wire it consistently it should work. You can find the wiring diagrams with a Google search.

Ok you naysayers, I have done it successfully, actually Comcast did. Our modem needs to be in the basement because of how the separate cable and phone systems were originally installed. The basement was the only place where the phone junction coexisted with a cable junction to allow us to convert Comcast phone. But that is a lousy place for a wireless router, so they reused the phone line to the upstairs office to create a CAT 5 line to the router, works perfectly.

Again, this assumes you have at least 4 wires and have the skill, tools, and desire to do the install. Now that I think about it, that would be a good project for my own MH.
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