SADDLING UP

Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - DIY SPE­CIAL -

Pro tips for mount­ing and ca­bling so­lu­tions, from some­one who got it wrong enough times. You may not know this, but your router wants to be the cen­tre of at­ten­tion. It also wants to be high. The sin­gle best thing I’ve done for my home net­work was to in­vest in an 802.11ac wire­less router, drill holes to run Cat 6 cable from our cable router to a cen­tral lo­ca­tion, hard cable the wire­less router and put it on top of a cup­board. The four Wi-fi sig­nal an­ten­nas are ar­ranged with two fac­ing for­wards and two fac­ing to the back of the house. It’s help­ful that 802.11ac has a large foot­print and beam­form­ing an­ten­nas, but the place­ment has made it eas­ier to plug in range ex­ten­ders to help re­lay sig­nal through walls and trick­ier ar­eas of the house. Bot­tom line: you don’t need to mount your router up­side down, just higher so that it doesn’t need to pass through bod­ies or other ob­sta­cles sim­ply to get out.

Cable man­age­ment can also get crazy when up­grad­ing your home’s smarts. Tech­flex makes var­i­ous braided/ woven cable man­age­ment so­lu­tions with fire – or ro­dent – re­sis­tant prop­erties, de­pend­ing on your needs. I pre­fer the spi­ral sleeves be­cause they’re eas­ier to wrap around ca­bles and it ex­pands eas­ier. No one likes a rat’s nest be­hind their PC or smart de­vice; wrap it up.

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