top of page

Adventures in Networking (III) – The Great Unboxing

Updated: Jul 19, 2020

Everything has arrived, so it’s time to start unboxing. But first, a small confession...

My original order to Ubiquiti ( consisted of the UDM (UniFi Dream Machine Pro) and the three Access Points (UniFi AC LR), but I did not truly understand the difference between the Access Point using PoE (Power over Ethernet - versus a PoE injector.

#TIL that all ports are not created equal. The UDM has a built-in 8-port Gigabit Switch, but the ports do not support PoE. I “knew” all of that, and if I were simply setting up data connections, that would be fine. I didn’t even realize I had a problem until I came across yet another mention of power for the Access Points, at which point I suddenly thought: “Uh oh...”

So, the Access Points need power, and the basic data port on the UDM doesn’t provide it. If I had wanted to connect the Access Points directly to the UDM, I would have needed to place them near a power outlet, then use the PoE injector to supply power. This would have been possible, but less elegant than I wanted.

I quickly ordered the UniFi Switch8 150W as well. With that, I eliminated the overhead of using the PoE injectors, and also left myself significant capacity for future growth. Once we install Ethernet cabling, I plan to have wired connections to several other devices, and will have a number of available network ports.

Fortunately, the Switch8 came at around the same time as the rest of the gear, so there wasn’t any waiting for deliveries – just for a block of time to do the work.

Here’s the UDM (note the bundle of Cat6a cabling on the left)

... and here is the Switch8.

... and one of the Access Points

As far as installation is concerned, I was most worried about ensuring that the wiring was out of the way (to the extent possible) and wanted to minimize the risk of anyone brushing against it and causing problems.

So, ISP Box to UDM, then to Switch8, then three PoE connections, ~75’ to basement, ~50’ to main floor (back of house), and ~50’ to second floor. The cables are quite light, which is good, and the Command strips worked fantastically well. Everything is high up on the wall, and follows corners, door jambs, etc. So far, no issues with anyone brushing against them.

With regard to setup, everything was smooth as silk. I won’t try to duplicate the support material out there, except to say that it was all very helpful – my only “complaint” (?) is that the UDM Pro is relatively new, so a bunch of the material I found referred to older products. I will probably go into more detail on the setup of the network, but may discuss a few other topics before going back to this.



1 Comment

Jul 14, 2020

Wow - that was some creative work for sure.

bottom of page