Saturday, September 28, 2019

Hiding in the Walls

Today I decided to rewire the ethernet drops that go to the craft room and, since it shares the same wall, the guest bedroom (which is still entirely devoid of furniture, but never mind that). I wanted to rewire them for two reasons. Firstly, they were obviously installed by someone who had no idea what they were doing, as the wiring on the keystone jacks was hilariously sloppy and the RJ45 terminations on the other end had an inch of bare wires behind the plug.

So I remove the faceplate on one side of the wall and start disassembling the sloppy work. I'd had this plate off once before to inspect the state of things, and at the time noticed some odd items inside the wall: what looked like a piece of fabric, perhaps a glove, some folded up pieces of paper, etc, but I didn't pay much attention to them as it looked like a work glove and probably the instructions for how to wire an ethernet jack.

Oh how wrong I was.

I figured I might as well clean out the detritus, and the first thing I discovered was that what I assumed was a glove was, instead, a jacket off of a doll. Weird. Continuing to dig revealed other odd items: a piece of a toy golf club, a valentine's card from someone's grandmother, an empty packet of Certs, a painted piece of metal that looked like it was a part of a toy at one point, some handwritten notes about bending sheet metal. Then things got weirder.

A torn magazine page featuring pinups of Kevin Costner and Mel Gibson.

About 14 pages of inkjet printouts of scantily clad ladies.

A pair of women's panties with a wallet-sized photo stapled to them.

A sock.



Anyway, pulling the new wires turned out to be a bit of an adventure. I bought some pre-terminated ethernet cables to save a bit of fuss and as it turned out the hole drilled at the top of the wall wasn't quite big enough to fit the RJ45 plugs through, so I had to very carefully drill a second hole beside the first so I could squeeze them past. Then I decided I'd probably need even more space for the next pair of cables and, well, let's say I guess I got greedy. I managed not to nick the cables drilling the first hole, but the second one wasn't so lucky and I managed to completely sever one of the old cables (no big deal) and nick both of the new cables I'd already pulled (annoying, but luckily I have RJ45 ends and crimper, and the damage was maybe only 3 feet from the end of the cable, so it wasn't a total loss to have to re-terminate them).

Anyway, I had to resort to using a fish tape to pull the second pair of cables, which worked out ok. Would have been nice to use the old cable but it was no longer fit for even that purpose. Interestingly, when I pulled the remains of that one out of the wall I found that it suffered some sort of damage part way down and had been folded over and wrapped with electrical tape for some bizarre reason.

Needless to say I'm glad I got rid of all that mess. I just have a bit of electrical to fix in the guest room (one of the electrical boxes is broken, so I need to chip out its remains and replace it with an old work box) and then I can move my server into the craft room and not have it sitting in the middle of the main living area.

1 comment:

Mr.T. said...

Wow, ready to pour some bleach in the wall cavities now?