DIY

  1. Network Setup Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

    Setting up a network sounds easy. Just run some ethernet cable, plug it into your computers and other equipment, and everything is good to go. However, that is a bit of an oversimplification. Under ideal conditions, things really would be that simple. But conditions do not start out ideal and how close they are to the mark largely depends on the prep work.

    The best way to prevent any problems is to avoid them entirely. Knowing which mist

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  2. Making & Mending - DIY Surface Mount Box

    Surface mount boxes are great little alternatives to wall plates when running cables to a keystone jack. A surface mount box can be easily affixed to the wall, floor, or ceiling when setting up a keystone jack. This makes them perfect for setting up connections without having to pull cabling through the walls as well.

    In the guide below, we will be attaching an ethernet keystone jack to a single port surface mount box. A video guide is available at the bottom of the article.

    Step 1: Gathering the Supplies

    The main item will be the surface mount box itself, which will come disassembled in a few separate pieces. Not all of these pieces will be used; some will be left over depending on how you secure the mounting box to the wall/floor/ceiling. Aside from the box, you will a

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  3. Making & Mending - DIY Low Voltage Mounting Bracket

    Installing a wall plate onto drywall can be a real pain. Cutting a hole in the wall is easy, but getting the plate to stay tight and secure is another story. More often than not, users end up with a loose wall plate that feels like it will come off along with the cable any time something is unplugged. The issue lies with the wall plate not have something solid enough to rest against. Drywall may be too soft by itself, but a mounting bracket changes that.

    In the guide below, we will be using the single gang version of the bracket. The same steps can be applied to the dual gang version. A video guide is available at the bottom of the article.

    Step 1: Gathering the Supplies

    The main item to have will be the bracket and the wall plate that will go on top of it. For tools, us

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  4. Making & Mending - DIY Install - Swing Arm (Articulating) TV Wall Mounts

    The days of giant, boxy televisions that take three people to carry are long behind us. Modern TVs are flat, slim, and most importantly, lightweight. These newer, sleeker designs make it much easier to save space by using a TV wall mount over a traditional TV stand. Before installing a TV mount, there are a few basic details to be aware of.

    In this guide, we will be covering articulating (swing arm) TV mounts. Articulating wall mounts allow a TV to swing back and forth, making them best for areas where a TV needs to face different directions. For tilting and fixed mounts, see our other TV mount DIY install guide here.

    There are a few different ratings that apply to TV wall mounts. The first is the size of the television. Wall mounts will be rated for different screen sizes, so be

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  5. Making & Mending - DIY Install - Wall Mount Brackets & Patch Panels

    While many data centers and other tech rooms use large racks and cabinets to hold equipment, sometimes a more compact solution is needed. A full-fledged rack or cabinet can be overkill for installing something as simple as a single patch panel. To save space and keep the installation easy, a bracket is often the best option.

    Installing a bracket is a fairly easy project once a good spot has been picked out for it. The bracket itself will come with the screws, washers, and wall anchors that will be needed. Beyond that, just a few sim

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  6. Making & Mending - DIY DIN Cables

    The term “DIN” covers a variety of different connectors used for power, audio, data, video, and more. DIN stands for Deutsches Institut für Normung, the German national standards organization that developed DIN connectors. There is a bit of basic information to know about DIN connectors before working on assembling one.

    There are many different versions of DIN connectors. The name of each type comes from the number of pins the connector has (3-pin DIN, 4-pin DIN, etc.) Some of these pin numbers come in different configurations, with the pins arranged differently from one configuration to the next. For example, 8-pin DIN comes in 262° and 270° versions.

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  7. Making & Mending - DIY Banana Plugs

    Banana connectors are the most common speaker wire connector, with virtually every speaker on the market having banana ports. While there are other connectors that can be used with speaker cable (the cable can even be wired directly to speakers without a connector), banana plugs are by and large the most useful.

    Other types of speaker connectors are harder to use and a bit outdated, being more fragile and not providing as strong of a connection between the wire and speaker. While connecting bare wire straight to a speaker technically provides a better signal, bare cable without a

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  8. Making & Mending - DIY 3.5mm Cables

    3.5mm jacks, also called headphone jacks, are the most common type of audio cable. There are different variations of this jack, such as the smaller 2.5mm and the larger ¼”, but they are all functionally similar. 3.5mm cables are commonly available as off-the-shelf items, but sometimes a repair it easier than a replacement. Other times, users need a custom size not available as a standard cable.

    This guide will show users how to assemble 3.5mm themselves, either as a repair or brand-

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  9. Making & Mending - DIY Telephone Cables

    Modern telephone cords have been in use for a long time, with little change since their invention in the 1970s. Finding phone cords in the store can be tricky today; many stores have stopped carrying telephone cables since so many people only use cell phones now. This rings especially true for coiled handset cords. With these cables becoming rarer, sometimes it is better to repair rather than replace them. Other times, users may just need a cable not available in a standard length.

    There is a bit of variation with different connectors available, as well as different wiring schemes (called

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  10. Making & Mending - DIY Coax Cables

    Coax is one of the oldest types of cables and has withstood the test of time, still being used over 100 years after its invention. While many stores today have pre-made coax cables available, sometimes another option is needed. Users may need a cable in an unusual size or just need to replace a broken connector. This guide will show users how to put coax connectors onto the end of bare coax cable.

    The installatio

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