Here's your basic supply list for running ethernet cable from the router to the media center:
- pack of keystone blanks
- bare CAT5e cable (length: measure the distance of your attic run and add at least 15 or 20 feet)
- flashlight, fishing tape (for pulling wires), cordless drill, drill bits, gloves and mask (protects from insulation)
-right angle drill attachment (for drilling in tight spaces), a helper and walkie talkies
Here's a few of the tools that you'll need to pull this off in a tightly spaced attic.
Here's how I did it:
Luckily I didn't need low voltage boxes since I could get cable to where my coax cable entered both rooms, but you might have to locate your box(es) elswhere if you can't reach one or both of them. I ran the first outlet easily by using speaker wire the previous owner had installed. I simply tied a string to the speaker wire in the living room, pulled the wire up from in the attic, taped the CAT5 cable to the speaker wire to run smoothly down, and got Sarah to pull the cable down through the wall from the living room by pulling on the string.
I ran the cable through the attic to where it would drop down the wall to the router and I made sure to avoid running the wire parallel to any electrical wire as this can interfere with the signal. Running perpendicular is fine.
Donning a dust mask, gloves, and long sleeve shirtt to protect from the insulation, I headed over to the dark, dusty corner where the eave of the roof met the wall armed with my drill, wood boring drill bits, and headlamp. I cleared away the insulation and laid a scrap piece of wood across the ceiling joists to keep me from falling through the sheetrock. I had to drill through the headers (2 2x4 that run along the top of the wall studs), except the nail studded underbelly of the roof encroached upon the space my drill needed to occupy. This cable drop proved rough, discouraging, enraging, cramped and utterly terribly. I simply could not drill at the correct angle with the limited space. I almost wept. Then I bought a Milwaukee Right Angle drill attachment. I finally drilled the hole, but my spirit had been broken by drilling frustration, suffacting dust, blistered hands, and roofing nail pierced head. Then my cheerleader showed up
S: When I got home from work, Zach had successfully drilled the hole, and I was ready to help drop the cable. However, Zach was somewhat discouraged by all the difficult work he had just been through and was doubtful that the cable would find it's way through the small hole in the attic, between the two studs on either side of of the cable box, and through all the insulation. He was prepared to cut a hole in the drywall to make the job easier, but I convinced him to go up in the attic and give it a try. We were using walkie-talkies so we could hear each other through the attic, and I took the opportunity to transmit some encouragement his way. Like "You can do it!" and my personal favorite, "You can do anything!" which I whole heartedly believe of my husband, although he takes some convincing. Zach ran the cable fishing tape down through the wall and a few moments later it passed right into the cable box! Never understimate the power of encouragement.Z: I should add "encouraging wife" to the supply list because this was one of the tougher jobs I've done around the house. The next steps were comparably easy.
1. Cut the cable. Make sure to leave plenty of extra cable in the attic.