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Phone line from garage to study

Project by srzsrz posted 420 days ago 2428 views 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Being fed up with crappy cell phone signal, I wanted a reliable, quality phone line available at my desk. I got a big clunkin’ AT&T speakerphone of the sort you see in offices and set out to get it some dial tone.

I pay my cable company for internet only, no voice, but through the wonders of net neutrality I get phone service anyway with Google Voice and this OBI110 box, which connects to the internet router and magically produces a dial tone. I was ready to try this out and possibly get traditional phone service if it didn’t work out, but I’ve actually been extremely pleased with it.

But that box is in the garage, and my study is on the other side of the house, so today I got a spool of “Indoor/Outdoor” Cat5 cable from HD and mounted it under the eaves. This little surface mount box is where it terminates. The box even came with a piece of double sticky tape! I’m only using one of the twisted pairs in the cable; the reason for using 8-wire cable is simply because that’s the only one at HD labeled for outdoor use; I have no idea if that actually matters, but the price wasn’t much higher than that for the simple phone cable, so I went with it.

Note that I could have avoided this box by simply crimping a modular connector on the end of the cable, but I didn’t want to get a crimp tool and 50 connectors just to crimp one connector onto one cable.

This is where the cable comes out the old electrical meter cabinet. It sits next to the incoming coax that sneaks in through the same hole.

Most of the work was in climbing up and down a ladder and attaching the cable to the eaves with lots of little cable staples like this. If you do this everyday, you might want to invest in a stapler that shoots rounded staples made just for this purpose, but $30 for a special purpose tools seemed like a bit much; these plastic staples require no special tools other than a hammer to drive the nails in and a big pair of pliers to pull them back out if you made a mistake.

Unfortunately the little nails are too weak to drive into stucco without bending them, so for this last bit, where there was no wood available to nail onto, I just had to bury the cable in a planter… HD sold these neat little gaskets to use for having a cable enter through an exterior wall. They are designed to fit in a 5/8” hole. I did not have a 5/8” drill bit long enough to drill all the way through the exterior stucco-on-plywood wall and the interior drywall, so instead I just drilled through the exterior wall, stuck a long screwdriver in the hole, and drove it in with a hammer. This poked a small hole through the drywall so I could locate it on the other side and drill a matching hole from the inside.

And here’s the outlet in my study! The actual modular outlet is integrated into the cover plate, and it screws onto a very ingenious bracket (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Carlon-1-Gang-Low-Voltage-Old-Work-Bracket-SC100RR/100160916)

I cut out the hole for the bracket with an oscillating tool, but I neglected to put on the correct attachment. The attachment I used was a bit oversized, hence the unpleasantness on the left. What can I say; I was lazy. It’s all hidden behind a curtain, and next time the wall gets painted it’ll get taken care of.



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srzsrz

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