A while back, I put our old computer elizabeth on a shelf in the basement. Frustratingly, it was fairly close to our cable modem, which is connected to the home network, but there is only a single cable run up to the router which is on the first (ground) floor, and which is where it would really need to connect to, and I didn’t fancy drilling more holes in the walls and floor. But I remembered having read at some point that 10/100 ethernet only uses two of the pairs of wires in a cable, and cat 5 or 6 cable has four pairs in it. So I did some more research on the web which suggested that with the correct connectors, you could run two connections through a single cable

Since I was being cheap, I built my own connectors. I broke up a junk 10Mb router to take the sockets out of it, and cut up some spare patch cables to get short lengths with a plug on one end. By referring to this colour code diagram I wired up my connectors so I would have a ‘straight through’ path on the orange and green pairs, and a diverted path which connected the ‘external’ orange and green pairs to the brown and blue pairs in the single cable. With an hour or so of (bad) soldering I put my connectors together – and then the moment of truth – I reconnected the modem and router ends of the cable, and connected in the computer in the basement, and it all worked!

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  1. By The Junction » basement music player part 1 on July 6, 2009 at 1:34 pm

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