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We just moved into an apartment that has cat6 wiring, with 2 available jacks in 3 separate locations. There is a service box where cable comes in (I have cable internet) and a board that distributes cat6 cabling to all 3 locations. The board is a Suttle SAM-V8.
My current setup is cable modem and a ubiquiti edge router. Currently I have internet plugging in directly to the edge router - no issues there.
My question is how can I tie into the wiring that is distributed to the jacks in the apartment.
I know how to create my own patch cables based on the T568A and T568B standard and it doesn't look like these cat6 cables are wired according to these standards.

  1. Does this current setup support data?
  2. There is a line in on the Suttle board, can I put an rj45 jack on the end and plug that into my router?
  3. Do I have to rewire each of the 6 lines to an ethernet standard on the board?
  4. Can I use this board or do I need to disconnect the lines and put an rj45 jack on the end and into my router?

I found this but I don't think it answers my questions.

How can I use the existing structured wiring panel to get internet throughout my house?

I've attached some pictures with annotations that I hope are helpful. Thanks in advance for the feedback.

Setup

Suttle SAM-V8 Suttle SAM-V8 Line In Line-In up close Distributed Lines up close

  • there is no such thing as cat6 jack .... cat6 means category 6 ... it is a specification for the data cable ... it has nothing to do with jacks ... the jack that is used for ethernet is called RJ45 – jsotola Mar 8 '18 at 19:02
  • what is the labeling on the cables? ... they may not be suitable for data – jsotola Mar 8 '18 at 19:04
  • @jsotola, jacks do have to be built to the wiring standards. There are subtle differences in cat5 and ca6 jacks - it's not only the wire. However it does seem that OP is using the term generically. – JPhi1618 Mar 8 '18 at 19:15
  • @jsotola, my apologies for the confusion. I was trying to make it known that it was cat6 cabling being run throughout the apartment. The cable is labeled as such. I'll update my question to avoid confusion – dmittakarin8 Mar 8 '18 at 20:35
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What you have here is a "voice distribution panel", and it is just like a big dumb junction block for all the cables that are punched down onto it. What this does is allow you to plug in a phone to any of the jacks in the apartment, but it is NOT usable for data.

So, you can use those cables for data, but you will have to pull them all off that distribution block and terminate them with RJ-45 jacks or a patch panel and use short patch cables to connect to your switch. It looks like what I described is one of your questions written on a picture, so yes, you can do that.

Since it was wired for voice, the wall jacks may also need to be rewired. You'll have to open up the jacks you would like to use and see how they are terminated. My house was punched down to a T568 standard, but the apartment I was in only had 1 or 2 pairs connected like you would for 1 or two phone lines. Depending on how the jacks are wired, you could terminate the cables the same way in this box and not have to change them.

Keep the pictures that you took, and I would go ahead and punch everything back down the way you found it when you move out.

  • Thanks for the feedback. I was afraid of that. I haven't looked at what is behind the jacks, but if they are wired the same way I'm assuming I have to rewire those as well? – dmittakarin8 Mar 8 '18 at 16:41
  • @dmittakarin8 realized I forgot to mention the jacks and was editing when you made that comment. Yes, they will need to be rewired or adapted (rewired preferred for best speed). – JPhi1618 Mar 8 '18 at 16:43
  • I've seen these in apartments as well, and I don't understand why they do this instead of a more flexible solution that could handle voice and data. They're already spending the money on the structured wiring panel, and when these were installed, ethernet was already as important as voice. – JPhi1618 Mar 8 '18 at 16:45
  • It looks like cat 5 punch downs to me or that's how I remember the colors being sequenced. It may be able to be used but your speeds would be limited I do not believe it is voice , just older data. – Ed Beal Mar 8 '18 at 16:56
  • @EdBeal, yea, it looks that way, but these are really just the same thing as taking wire nuts and twisting all the same colored wires together. Data cable can't be spliced like that. Well, it can be, but you could only ever use one jack at a time. Here is the specifications of that module. – JPhi1618 Mar 8 '18 at 17:09
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@JPhi1618 is correct as far as what you have right now. But the better solution to terminating with RJ45 is to install a patch panel. Something like Trendnet 8-port patch panel. The brand doesn't matter - just make sure that it is CAT 5e or CAT 6.

You can then punch down the existing wires to the connections on the back and plug short patch cables between the jacks on the front for the ports you actually want to use (i.e., only for the "live" jacks in the other rooms) and your switch or router. To make your life easier - and to make sure the connections are solid - get a punch tool.

A cheap punch tool is OK if this is the only time you're going to use it, though the more expensive ones tend to be easier to use (as well as last longer).

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    Yep, these patch panels are a great option, and it's what I use in my house. OP might only want to use a few of the cables, and it is an apartment, but this could still be the easiest option. – JPhi1618 Mar 8 '18 at 17:10
  • Yeah, patch panels are so much easier (especially for a novice) to terminate cables onto than crimping RJ-45 jacks. Installation is still neat, even though there's an extra piece of equipment – mmathis Mar 8 '18 at 18:32
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To answer the question posed on one of the pictures:

Can I unplug the Line-In, put an RJ-45 jack on it, and plug it in to the router?

No, you can't. The Line-In is the service drop from the street for your telephone company, and so shouldn't be mixed in with data traffic.

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