Re: Ethernet and intra-networking for cohousing communities
From: Raines Cohen (
Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2001 01:10:02 -0600 (MDT)
Peter Scott <ps [at]> wrote on 6/5/01 7:22 PM:

>We are doing something similar. A couple of fine point questions...
>1. Can or cant you share the 4 pairs in CAT5 for data AND voice,  ie 2 pr 
>for data, 1 for voice?

I discovered that if you are running 10baseT over cat5 cable, it works if 
the blue & white pair has a phone line on it. We actually had dual cat5 
to every unit, so there's room for 4 phone lines + ethernet, including 
full 100baseT which supposedly needs all the wires.

One planned but not yet implemented project is to put a computer with 
video input in the server/utility room in the basement, and hook it to 
the feed from the security cameras at our doors... for time-lapse views, 
motion detection, and so that our members could keep an eye on the doors 
from their units or even from work!

>2. How critical is the 100 m length limitation? Would say 120m be OK?

We weren't paying a lot of attention to lengths, given that our whole 
project is less than 200 meters long! I found that so long as there was a 
hub in each unit (part of our cost was having power run to dedicated 
wiring cabinets in the wall in each unit), it works, but we had trouble 
when trying to do single-jack connectivity without hubs to act as 

>3. How critical is the the cable routing avoiding power cables etc?. In 
>some places we have them together. (Atop earthhouse bondbeam!)

We spec'd avoidance of power and haven't regretted it. I imagine that 
being on top of transformers and junction points would be worse than 
running alongside standard cable.

Anybody interested in this stuff and coming to the conference, let me 
know... I'll alert you when the session gets scheduled. Not just 
hardware... software / group processes, too.


Raines Cohen <coho-L [at]> <>
Back from a City Council meeting where the 200-unit condo project across 
the street was approved.

  Vice President, Swan's Market Cohousing [Old Oakland, CA]
Enjoying seeing people use the new lawn furniture in the public courtyard!

  Member, East Bay Cohousing [no site yet] <>
Doing surveys to see who's ready for what, when.

  Boardmember, The Cohousing Network <>
Looking forward to seeing YOU at the one and only
North American Cohousing Conference, July 20-22, Berkeley, CA.

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