Misadventures in Internet cables: My attempt at wiring our basement

When we were living at our apartment, I never really thought about how things like the Internet got into our home. As far as I knew, there was a big white cable that came in about chest level through the front wall in our living room, and that plugged into a modem and we were done.

I never needed to worry about where it went beyond that thin layer of drywall, because well, that wasn’t ours to worry about.

This morning was an entirely different story.

Let me set the scene.

Because of a few different things, including, you know, painting and moving, I’ve been without my PC for over a week now. And for those of you who know the depth of my FFXIV addiction, I’m sure that hurts you inside as much as it did me.

This morning, I decided enough was enough. I was going to set up my computer and install yesterday’s patch if it was the last thing I did. I already missed out on all the new housing, but that didn’t matter.

I didn’t realize what an adventure that would turn out to be.

See, when we had our Internet provider out to move our service on Saturday morning, it took the tech about an hour to find the right cable to plug into. There was no one cable coming out of a conveniently obvious place in the wall: There was an absolute mess of dozens of cables snaking around in our laundry room.

After his hour of searching, and eventually finding the right cable not even in the mess at all but plugged into a satellite dish the last owners had left for us, the tech decided he’d had enough and left the new modem on top of our dryer in the laundry room.

That worked for a few days, but it wouldn’t in the long run.

The thing about our house is that the laundry room, where literally all the cables originate, is in the northwest corner of the house. And the gaming room, where we needed the modem to be, is in the southeast corner.

And of course, my desk is in the southeastiest corner of that southeast room, so it’s almost as far from the modem as it could be.

If my PC had WiFi, that wouldn’t be a problem at all. We could have the modem on a different floor and it wouldn’t matter. But the problem I needed to solve was that I need ethernet for my PC to work—and that meant dealing with all the cables.

And so started my adventure.

On Friday, before the tech got there, Shane and I had discovered a rogue cable in a small room right behind the gaming room, and had followed it back through the ceiling to find it started in the mess of cables. That small room also had an ethernet cable hanging around with a small hole punched into the wall leading to the gaming room, so that gave me an idea.

All I’d need was a little connector for the outside cable to attach to the rogue cable, and I’d be able to move our modem into that little room with the ethernet cable hole. From there, I’d be able to pull the wire around the outside of the gaming room to my computer, and finally tend to my poor, probably-dead FFXIV plants.

I spent about half an hour looking for a connector that wasn’t in use, which was actually way harder than I thought it’d be, before discovering a four-way splitter just sitting around. It wasn’t ideal, because it would reduce the signal, but I figured at the time it was better than nothing!

I got the modem moved into the small room, and got to work on the ethernet cable. Of course, it was nowhere near long enough, and my first attempt pulled the poor modem off its little shelf and disconnected the power.

But after discovering a longer ethernet cable in our stash of random wires, I was finally able to connect my PC to the Internet! Luckily, it looks like my plants all matured while I was offline, so nothing was dead.

I think I will need to find a better solution for the splitter, because it seems to have taken out our 5G network, but hey. For today, it works!

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