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using CAT5e for DSL service to demarc - partially outdoors- weather issues?

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  • using CAT5e for DSL service to demarc - partially outdoors- weather issues?

    posted by: theaternearyou

    using CAT5e for DSL service to demarc - partially outdoors- weather issues?
    My first post. Thanks for having me. Sorry, it's long-winded but I'm being careful to be very specific:

    I have ADSL for my internet. The phone company just tested my line due to slowdowns and disconnects and said I may have the dreaded "inside wiring" issue. So I want run wire from a new jack straight to the demarc box (or MPOE "main point of entry" as AT&T calls it). I am reading that Cat5e will give a better signal than older four-wire R-G-Y-B telco wire. My run will be exposed outdoors for about ten feet and then run under the ceiling of a rain protected carport to the demarcation box.
    A)Should I choose Cat5e over 4-color phone wire?
    B)If CAT5e, should I buy weatherproof cable that can be buried, e.g., shielded, more expensive stuff?
    C)Can I run this wire to the same brass terminals where my telephone is attached, and get a non-filtered connection? The brass terminal screws in the demarc box have my old red/green tel wire attached and the new dsl run wire would be screwed to same brass terminals? Or must I remove the old telephone wire on the brass screws and only have the new (that's my big question)?

    (Currently, I have one land line telephone. The one wall jack is split to a two-wire DSL FILTER which the phone and modem plug into.) If I install a second jack near my computer, I will run a CAT5e for the DSL modem only, running CAT5e through my wall to outside, exposed to rain for ten feet than all the way to the demarcation box. I'm in the pacific northwest, so rain, moisture, wind is expected, but not extreme temps or snow.

  • #2
    posted by: suemarkp

    If this is just for debugging purposes, then any cat5 will do. It will last years outside. Only if you bury it, or make a permanent install where it will get wet would I look for flooded (direct bury) cat5 cable. You can do cat5e if you want.

    Yes, remove all the wires from the brass terminals and put the cat5 in its place (if the old wires remain and they are shorting, they will still short things out even when the new cable installed). Removing these will disable your existing inside jack. Run the new cable where ever you want. This is where you'll install the DSL splitter and connect your DSL modem and phone.

    Hopefully, your problems occur often enough that you can see if this new cable works within a few days and then connect up your old jack. Or better yet, replace that run with a new cable while you're at it.

    If you have one phone number, you will use one pair of wires. If you have two phone numbers, you'll use two pairs of wires. Cat5 has 4 pairs, so two pairs will be unused (all houses are setup for 2 phone numbers and 4 wires by default even though most only have one phone number). Take note of which wire goes to what color terminal. Usually, you use the blue pair first in a cat5 cable. This would go to the red and green screws on the demark box (blue with white stripes to red, white with blue stripes to green). If you install a second pair, the orange is typically used next (orange with white stripes to yellow, white with orange stripes to black). It goes to the black and yellow screws.

    Alternatively, if you have a modern phone demark box, they usually have little phone jack disconnects inside them. Removing those disconnects your inside wiring. Then, you plug a phone or modem into that jack in the demark where the jumper was. You could use a cable like this ( ) and run from the demark to inside (there are longer ones available if 25' won't do it). Then put a phone line coupler on it, your DSL splitter, and then phone and computer. If this works fine, then you may have a wiring problem on that old line you disconnected.

    Note that phone jacks are not RJ45 jacks (cat5 is RJ45 which is 8 pins). Phone jacks are RJ11 (most common 4 pins) or RJ13 (6 pins) and the 8 pin RJ45 won't fit in the smaller jacks. Note the cable linked above is a decent grade data cable. Many phone cables, especially "silver satin" are small gauge voice grade cable (not twisted pairs) and are not ideal for DSL.


    • #3
      posted by: theaternearyou

      Mark, thank you much for your detailed reply. I had no idea that an older phone wire could effect a new home run of CAT5, etc cable.

      To clarify, I wish to not filter between the DSL and modem. Accordingly, would it make sense to run CAT5e from the demarc to a new jack in my living room. Then attach plain old phone wire from that jack to a second new jack for the phone with a dsl filter in between?Follwoing is the demarc box I'm dealing with. It's a bit crusty and may have been there since the building went up in 1960.

      demarc 1

      demarc 2

      demarc 3


      • #4
        posted by: theaternearyou

        Mark, thank you for your very detailed reply! I had no idea that a new CAT5 wire running from the demarc box to a new jack could be shorted by the old phone wire's faults, if left still connected to the demarc box. (Electricity is the mysterious final frontier to me.)

        How about this fix:

        Home run the new CAT5e from the demarc to living room with its new jack. Plug DSL modem into that so it has a direct, unfiltered connection; then from that new jack, run phone wire or more CAT5e to a second new jack to a DSL filter and then a telephone. Does that make sense?


        • #5
          posted by: navyguy

          Just a couple of points that I would like to toss in there albeit a little late to the game...

          Cat5e wire is so cheap, I would just use it. Even if you use outdoor rated Cat5e cable, it is still cheap.

          I would always ?home run? every cable to the Denarc point. At this point you could look at a ?whole home? filter and a splitter for ?POTS? (Plain Old Telephone Service). This does not need to be expensive or elaborate.

          It can be as simple as something like the picture below.

          corning dsl pots splitter

          This does the filtering at the demark point and you don?t need to touch any of the remaining cables in the place.




          • #6
            posted by: suemarkp

            Never saw the response to this post or I would have answered.... I agree with Navyguy -- just use cat5 for everything. It is also best to run things to a central point instead of daisy chaining from our jack to the next. The old school was daisy chain, but troubleshooting it can be a pain.

            Kent, WA


            • #7
              posted by: Markwinstanley

              CAt5e will serve you what you want from it but for future proof investment you should choose cat6 as it widely used by home phone service providers around the world. For future upgrades you have to pull wires again and it will be expensive in long run.