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Anonymous asked in Computers & InternetComputer Networking · 1 month ago

Why would a previous owner of a foreclosed home have run a bundle of Ethernet cables under the dock?

The craft room had a “false wall” with a camouflaged access panel we found when removing the craft room cupboard backing. Apparently the home inspecfor didn’t dismantle the cabinetry to find this

He had some kind of equipment rack in there with some sort of electronic box with Ethernet cables connected to it. There were like 25 modem looking boxes connected to telephone and cable tv lines. There was a bundle of telephone looking wires and a bundle of tv wires running down an 8 inch pipe that also served as the drain pipe for the craft room sinks

There was also a bundle of 30 Ethernet cables running from the metal box and down the 8 inch pipe.

We found that the 8 inch pipe came out underwater in the canal under the dock and the cable bundles split under the water and went multiple directions.

There was also a copper rod stuck in the canal bottom and a large bundle of orange extension cord like wires and green bare copper cables run alongside a garden hose in the pipe.

These came up in the craft room cupboard area to copper “rails” that were humming and other cords were also soldered to the copper rails.

What was this setup for and what could the whole thing be used for? The craft room sink was supplied by this garden hose and not via the house water supply?

What was this setup?


I assume the copper rod was the grounding rod. I also assume the other connections run underwater and tie back into the mains somewhere. 

We can’t find a circuit breaker or switch anywhere. We cannot de energize the copper rails that the old computer power supply wires are hard soldered to. This system has bare modem circuit boards and lots of bare wires. How does one safely remove this?

5 Answers

  • 3 weeks ago

    This sounds like one of those houses where anyone from the Internet can tune-in and watch things going on 24/7.  Apparently their popularity faded over time or something lead to the "downfall" of the operation, so... was it in a nicer area of the city or country?

  • 1 month ago

    You should have an expert check that out. 

    The first people to look at it should be from law enforcement.  Report this to your local police or sheriff's office. They might want another agency to look at it.

    Also, report this to agencies involved in handling the foreclosure and sales.

    By the way, your situation reminds me of an episode of "The Rockford Files" titled "The House on Willis Avenue." At the beginning of the story, Rockford is upset about the death of a fellow private detective, who was a friend and mentor. He meets Richie Brockelman. They go to an address they found in the dead detective's notes. The house has a commercial air conditioner, which Rockford says looks "big enough to cool a five story building." When they enter, it looks like the house was previously filled with electronic equipment.

  • 1 month ago

    Ok, I think you were looking at the remains of a very complex customized home security system.  At one point, there were probably two dozen or so POE style video cameras all over the house, inside and out.  The modem looking boxes were probably just that (modems) or routers, sending live video out to who knows where?

  • 1 month ago

    Actually, the garden hose sounds weirder than the Ethernet cables. I can't think of any good reason to draw water from a canal. Paying the water bill is better than dysentery. Then again, it was foreclosed...

    If the hose is actually an outlet (it pumps towards the canal, not from it), then this sounds like a hookup for a houseboat or small yacht, and possibly a security system.

    As to how to remove it, if you're at all worried about safety or a code violation, I would contact an electrician.

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  • 1 month ago

    Maybe he was running a telemarketing operation from there. Maybe he was just nuts. 

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