[Hardware] Networking for apartments

  • Posted on: 19 August 2018
  • By: charm
Our old network

Even small home networks can sometimes involve a lot of networking technology. Take the photograph above as an example. In that photograph we have a wireless router, an ADSL modem, a Gigabit switch, and a VOIP modem, plus a power bar to support all the devices. This is an old photograph, and the wiring is a bit messy (I've improved things with cable sleeves and changed up some of the technology mounted here). Even though the wiring makes it look a bit messy you can see the organization, and hidden behind our television the networking is out of our line of sight until we need to troubleshoot it.

The problem with having so many devices is they take up lots of shelf space. If we had all these devices sitting on top of our media center it would look really messy, and since I'm often changing things up with the media center having the networking there would mean constantly having to shift the modems, router, and switch. This was the case for us until about 6 years ago when Bob Jonkman (Bob is a friend and former coworker) was relating how he wall mounted equipment for various organizations. If you live in an apartment then you may have been asked by your landlords to minimize the amount of screws you use to mount things on the wall. I've used two screws to mount the particle board on to the wall. The idea here is you set up all your networking and screw it on to a board that you then mount to the wall. This way most of the devices are being screwed into a board, not the wall. For some devices I use 3M tape, but I've also mounted small computers using perforated metal strips.

Normally what I do is take a shading of the bottom of each device, tape that shading to the particle board, and screw the screws into the mount points visible on the shading. By shading I mean first tracing an outline of the object (e.g. modem) then shading the bottom around where screw mounting parts are, this way I know where I need to put screws. Then cut out the outlined object, tape it to the board. Always try to give yourself some space, not only for things being a bit larger than you plan, but also for cabling.

This method works 95% of the time. Right now we have a VDSL modem that's a pain since it's not designed to be mounted. The solution to something like this is to build a small shelf.