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#368660 - 19/04/2017 16:12 In-wall network enclosure?
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11829
Loc: Sterling, VA
My home came wired with Cat5e and coax, and it all runs back to a corner of my basement. There, it goes into this Bell Atlantic box that's set into the wall between the studs. I've been ok with this box, but it's cramped and I'm starting to need to fit more into it than there's space for.

I want to replace this thing, but I can't really seem to find a good replacement, or I guess I'm not using the right terms. Here are my requirements:
  • Must be in-wall. I'll never get my wife to sign off on something that protrudes into the room.
  • At least 21" high. I don't want to patch the drywall and I need the space anyway. I don't care how high it is, I can always open up more wall.
  • Preferably not too expensive. I did find a couple things that matched what I'm looking for, but I'm not willing to spend $400 on a bent piece of sheet metal with a door on it. I'm hoping for sub-$100.
  • Oh, it needs to have a door.
  • If possible, a way to affix an electrical box into it. My current enclosure has one so I'll want to replace it.

Where should I look?
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Matt

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#368661 - 19/04/2017 16:39 Re: In-wall network enclosure? [Re: Dignan]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3118
Loc: Portland, OR
What terms are you using? Try googling for "structured wiring enclosure". One of the top links is this:

http://www.legrand.us/categories/structured-wiring/enclosures.aspx

Prices on Amazon seem to run about $100, depending on the size, and whether you opt for a hinged door cover, or a simple screw-on cover.

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#368666 - 19/04/2017 23:20 Re: In-wall network enclosure? [Re: Dignan]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11829
Loc: Sterling, VA
Bravo! You discovered the correct sequence of words! I guess it makes sense. I wouldn't want an "unstructured" wiring enclosure.

But anyway, you hit the nail on the head!

There are some very affordable models on there. I like this Leviton model. I don't mind the screw-on cover instead of a hinged door. I don't go into this very often. I also think I can do with a 28" model, because my current enclosure has a lot of wasted space.

Thanks so much! You rock!
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Matt

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#368672 - 20/04/2017 02:19 Re: In-wall network enclosure? [Re: Dignan]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11829
Loc: Sterling, VA
Ok, I was looking at Leviton's products, but while they appear to be the most consumer-friendly, their prices definitely aren't. The actual boxes aren't unreasonable (I was considering a $122 model that was 30" high with a hinged door), but the accessories are absurdly expensive. We're talking about 4"x6" plastic brackets for $38 and 20 plastic replacement pegs for $10.

Now I'm looking at boxes from some company called OpenHome. They're not as pretty but they're reasonable, I think.
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Matt

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#368687 - 20/04/2017 17:11 Re: In-wall network enclosure? [Re: Dignan]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3118
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: Dignan
Bravo! You discovered the correct sequence of words!

It wasn't my first choice -- I think I first tried 'in-wall wiring panel' or something like that, and the first or second hit contained the 'structured wiring enclosure' phrase. And you just know when a product describes itself with something so pompous sounding, it's gotta be the industry standard phrase. smile

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#368689 - 20/04/2017 19:23 Re: In-wall network enclosure? [Re: canuckInOR]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11829
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: canuckInOR
And you just know when a product describes itself with something so pompous sounding, it's gotta be the industry standard phrase. smile

Ha! Too true. It looks like "structured wiring enclosure" is probably the standard term, but of course Leviton has their own term of "structured media enclosure."

I'm really conflicted. I would go with the Leviton product if they weren't so clearly gouging their customers on the price. OpenHouse appears to have very utilitarian products that will suit me just fine, it's just not as friendly and the product line isn't as fleshed out.
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Matt

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#368690 - 20/04/2017 20:57 Re: In-wall network enclosure? [Re: Dignan]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30548
Loc: Seattle, WA
I personally like my media to be pretty structured.
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Tony Fabris

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#368723 - 24/04/2017 03:23 Re: In-wall network enclosure? [Re: tfabris]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11829
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: tfabris
I personally like my media to be pretty structured.

Boo.

But I liked it.
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Matt

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#368724 - 24/04/2017 03:38 Re: In-wall network enclosure? [Re: Dignan]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11829
Loc: Sterling, VA
I don't know if this interests anyone, but here's the process I went through, in as short and broad strokes as I can make it:

I Started looking at Leviton, because they're all over the place and clearly the most visible in the space (at least they are on Amazon).

Then I started looking for ANYTHING else when I found that Leviton charges insane prices for all accessories for their enclosures.

So I moved to OpenHouse, which had reasonable prices for everything, though their stuff was a little more dated and they had fewer accessories that worked with their platform.

But Openhouse started looking less and less reliable. I tried to find out more about their products but couldn't really find a website that would tell me about them. They were owned by another company that was owned by another company that was bought by Linear, I think. Anyway, their whole thing started to unravel.

Lastly I moved on to the only other option Amazon seems to sell, which is On-Q by Legrand. But they seemed to be pulling the same trick as Leviton, just with a smaller product line.

So in the end I bit the bullet and ordered this Leviton enclosure. It was delivered today, and the second I opened the box, I saw cracked plastic mad So now that's on the way back to Amazon and a replacement should be here Tuesday. I'm hoping to install it by the end of the week and I'll post pictures if anyone's interested.

I went with that model because it's the only one that was plastic. I figured it couldn't hurt to give the wireless signals from my router the best possible chance. I also like that the door and cover overlap the actual box by a significant margin, which I'll need because the box can't be attached to the side of the studs like some, but instead I'll have to notch out the drywall for the tabs on the front of the box to attach to the studs straight-on. Again, I'll take pictures.

I only ordered a few accessories. A power box that I figured would probably fit the enclosure better than something off the shelf, an 8-port coax splitter, and a few shelves to mount some of the equipment. I figure there will be a lot of velcro ties for most of it, though.
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Matt

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#368730 - 24/04/2017 17:55 Re: In-wall network enclosure? [Re: Dignan]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3118
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: Dignan
I went with that model because it's the only one that was plastic. I figured it couldn't hurt to give the wireless signals from my router the best possible chance.

I think if I were going to the trouble of replacing the wall box, I'd run a new cable with PoE to a ceiling mounted AP, and just turn off the router's wireless.

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#368735 - 25/04/2017 01:45 Re: In-wall network enclosure? [Re: canuckInOR]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11829
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: canuckInOR
Originally Posted By: Dignan
I went with that model because it's the only one that was plastic. I figured it couldn't hurt to give the wireless signals from my router the best possible chance.

I think if I were going to the trouble of replacing the wall box, I'd run a new cable with PoE to a ceiling mounted AP, and just turn off the router's wireless.

That would be much more trouble than just widening the hole in the drywall. I don't want to be messing with notching out the drywall at the ceiling and patching it up afterwards. I'm aiming to not have to patch or paint anything at all.

Plus, I'm using Google WiFi here. I'm not using the ISP's router at all, which is one of the benefits of Fios.

Of course, the main reason is because I don't think my wife would like it smile
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Matt

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