Smart home getting dumber

Theoretically you can go crazy and punch down however you like as long as it’s the same on both ends. Same goes for store-bought patch cables. Technically some pairs are more tightly twisted so you will see better performance/less interference using one of the standards, but I doubt anyone would see a real-world difference on modern equipment.

If you want to be a standards-compliant dweeb, use B.


Better to buy or make patch cables?

Ain’t nobody got time to make their own patch cables.


I discovered how much making patch cables sucks, and if I had to do that for a living, I’d quit my job and go tend bar at a smokey jazz club somewhere. I may do that anyway. But if you only need say 8 or 10, I’d bite the bullet and make my own to the desired length. Excessive and unkempt cable lengths drive me nuts. I would not, however, make hundreds. Or even dozens.


BTW, MicroCenter was a complete bust. It had a few bits and pieces that I needed, but not much selection of anything. So I cut bait, came home, and made Bezos a little bit richer.

I will only need 5 to start. I am actually looking forward to making custom-length cables for all my devices. Of course, this is before I have crimped my first connector…

I usually go the Bezos route just for cost, but if I don’t plan ahead Altex is a good source. Don’t know if they have any in Houston.


What if I told you that you could order patch cables in 1ft increments up to 25ft?

Just looked and there’s one in Jersey Village. I’ll give it a try next time I need some gear.

Crimping is the easy part. It’s punching down those damn tiny wires. There is something satisfying about custom lengths though.

And to echo Waldo’s comment about A vs B…copper wire is copper wire, irrespective of the color of sheathing. As long as it’s the same configuration on both ends of a connection, it’s simply a pass thru of the signal. So you can use A cables on a B jack, as long as both ends of the cable are A.

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What if I told you I needed a cable exactly 14.5 inches? Or I wanted one that was only .5 ft?

If I had to make a bunch of them, I’d say screw it. But if it’s only five, I’m getting all OCD on them.

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You actually can find 6" patch cables from other vendors. They are stiff sons of bitches though.

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An immature person would make a joke about getting a stiff 6-incher…but I’m not that person.

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I was this close to saying something about little blue pills, but someone has to be the grownup around here. I’m glad it’s you and not me.

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I have this app called “Parcel” that tracks your packages and syncs automatically with Amazon. It’s great…until you order a shit-ton of stuff for your home network and Amazon divides it all up into the smallest groups possible so that you have eleventy deliveries coming today.

The tracking updates have my phone buzzing more than your Mom’s vibrator.

Amazon is famous for “we can make these nine deliveries to your house tomorrow. Or we can bundle them in the smallest number of packages and trips to your house and have it to you in September. Your choice. Same price.”


Is it me, or are rack-mounted HDD enclosures stupidly expensive?

What exactly do you need rack-mounted HDDs for?

Time Machine back-ups. I have an aging Buffalo Linkstation for this but, as I’m installing a rack, it seems like an opportune time to update this. I can buy two Mac minis for the price of some of these rack-mounted enclosures!

What does anyone need a “Double D rack” for?