It's been warming up outside, hovering in the mid 70s for most of the daylight hours. This is an ideal time to get up in the attic because it's Not Too Cold but, conversely, it's Not Hot As Hades either. The goal of today's exercise was simply to get a cat5e span run from the NID in my laundry closet (where the washer, dryer and electrical panel also reside) to the computer room, so that I could put the DSL-carrying pair on something a little less lossy than the cat3 that was strung through the house. Accomplishing this would have two benefits. First, I'd probably get more speed out of my service because the DSL signal would be free of the horrible wiring job that was done in the house by bored contractors who undoubtedly earned their cash based on piecework. The faster they could finish wiring the houses in the development, the more money they'd make. That pretty much ensures a job that'll struggle to be called "the bare minimum." Properly twisted cat5e will be a lot less prone to cross-talk and I'd know for certain there's no bridge taps to crunk up the signal (FunFact:TM Crunk up the signal is an official telecom term coined by yours truly). Second, I'd be able to put in the NID POTS splitter that would isolate the DSL signal to only whatever wire I connected to the "Data" output (which, in this case, would be the cat5e I planned to run) and allow the rest of the house, including the house alarm, to have clean, filtered telephone service. I'd finally be free of the myriad of annoying DSL filters I have attached to the various RJ11 phone jacks throughout the house.
Sadly, this work was simply not going to get completed today. Or even started. I spent a total of two hours in the attic trying to make the slightest headway only to be repeatedly denied. First I tried to locate the fish tape I'd run up the wall from my NID -- I got close, having found the wall in question, but no matter what I could NOT find the fish tape. I have a suspicion it got hung up on the Rolmex wiring that was pulled through there to the electrical box that sits further down the wall. Then I figured Well, if I can't get the cable down into the utility closet today, I can at least get it run down into the computer room. Wrong! I forgot to account for the top plate, which has (evidently) not been drilled to pass the phone wiring down. So all I can do is guess that it runs through the walls horizontally. I did, incidentally, find where they'd drilled to put the thermostat wiring in. That doesn't help me any unless I install my DSL modem and a new electrical outlet in that room's closet, which is behind the wall from the thermostat.
All in all this was frustrating but probably good for me. I've got a better idea of how things are laid out up there and I know that some routine maintenance needs to be performed. I may not get the cable run in the next week before temperatures become too extreme but if I can get these other "fixerup" chores handled I'll call it a win anyway.
So for the rest of the weekend I'll be mulling how I can address this problem and spend a few hours taking care of lady_curmudgeon, who took a nasty spill and apparently managed to bruise up her ribs before coming down to visit yesterday.
You can't always get what you want