pre-wire home - best practices?

Hi,
I'm just starting to wire a new home and was wondering if there is a
document covering best practices. I'm going to install audio distribution,
home automation (insteon at this point), home theatre, security cameras,
multiple computer network spots etc.
I've considered making dual runs of Cat6 to most locations as that seems
most flexible but the baluns are certainly expensive. An alarm installer
suggested running 3 RG59 cables to the HT projector and 14 gauge speaker
wire to all speaker runs.
Any thoughts would be appreciated or pointers to handy documents.
Thanks.
Reply to
stuck
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Don't bother with rg59 cables. Use RG-6 which is capable of satelite signal bandwidth also. Same connections.
Dual cat5e (I think will handle 1Gbit) is a good idea. Just install plaster rings and staple a loop above it on the studs. Dummy plate the plaster rings off after drywall installation. If you ever need them, pull out the cable from the stud cavity and put a connector on both ends for use. If you don't ever use them, it will only cost you the wire and plaster ring (about $0.79). Leav lots of cable in the wall cavity for a direct connection to your entertainment server or computer. Forget the fancy wall connections. They cost big bucks and make another weak spot in your connections
If you are building a two story or split level the upper floor is hard to access after the fact. Intsall a couple pieces of plastic pipe from attic to basement where you can put later cables through to the attic and drop to the needed place via the interior walls. You will need a to find a way to suspend the pipe so it doesn't fall through. Usually an exact sized hole and have the flange (female end) hang in the hole. Plug/tape the ends for insulation and bug purposes. If you ever need another connection in the upper floor, attic diving will get your there. Wear a dust filter mask!
Don't forget you back speakers and ceiling allows everybody to hear with both ears. Mine bounce off the back wall for an enhanced delay and lower sound image that is actually behind you.
Heavy speaker wire? Cheap extension cords with heavy gauge wire used to be cheaper than buying the wire on a spool. Cut the ends off. Even drill all the holes and put a pull string in for later use. Make it a good one and pull another one with the new conductor, when you need it.
Check out the price and life of those projector bulbs. $600 each and 2000 hours max life turned me off. YMMV There is a product called "goop" that can be painted on walls to avoid the $2K for a projector screen. Rim it with black felt trim so light spillover is not seen.
Reply to
John J. Bengii
Also... If the OP has any input at all as to where the attic access point is, try to make it in an area of the roof that you can actually stand up in (or where don't have to crouch and risk having the roofing nails "hook you" or worse as you try to get inside). One customer built a 8' x 8' square "landing pad" around the hatch. He achieved this by nailing down 5/8" plywood on top of the joists (after filling the space underneath with insulation batting). He also provided a couple of convenient plug ins for work lights (which were controlled by a light switch in the access closet). Nicest attic I ever worked in.
Reply to
Frank Olson
Nice. I am beginning to think about those items in my house, in progress. I have a stand up spot the full length of the house and around the corner. I need to float some planks above the insulation levels for full access. OTOH. mine is a one story and the walls are usually always accessible with difficulty.
"Frank Olson" wrote in message news:j7Dej.60897$DP1.5734@pd7urf2no...
Reply to
John J. Bengii
Yep, use RG6. Is size is a problem check out mini-coax
Wall connections should terminate in a box. Leaving lots of wire loose in stud cavities is invitation to damage by the insulation and drywall crews.
Proper plates and connectors are cheap if you shop eBay. Look for brand names. My favorite is Panduit. Their minicom line is the fastest to terminate but is not "keystone" compatible.
Be sure to cap the pipe or you will likely have problems with the fire inspector.
Extension cord wire is not rated for in wall use, even if used for speakers. Use the proper rated wire. In residential use CL2 and CL3 are the most common.
Here is some info:
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Reply to
Lewis Gardner
I home ran to 2 separate boxes/plates in each room.... Box one was low on a wall where I would be likely to need TV hookup and also near an outlet. Box two was near the entrance light switch area at switch height. The switch box got 2 runs of cat 5e to it. The low boxes got 2 runs of RG6 (quad shield), and 2 more runs of cat 5e (voice/data), these days I would probably do one run of cat5e and 2 runs of cat6 to this box, (if your phone company indicates they can bring fiber to your door then do fiber too, otherwise dont bother with fiber). I also home ran a speaker feed to this low box, then from there branched out to the wall speakers. This allows the wall speakers to be assigned to a local stereo or switched to get fed from the central speaker amp at the low box. As for using boxes vs mud plates, if its an interior wall forget the box, just use a mud plate, if it's exterior then use a deep box with a mud plate. I also ran a security pair to every window and door. And I ran a combo power/rg59 cable to higher wall locations where I wanted CCTV cameras (dont use rg59 for anything else though use rg6qs). For motion sensors just run some cat5 to stretegic high wall locations. For voice I daisy chained within each room, but as mentioned I home ran to the low boxes first. If I had to do it all over again I would have run some more 1.5 inch plastic corrugated conduit to the areas where you know you will have a lot of stereo equipment, because that field changes fast and you might want to pull new cable there later. For all vertical drops in a 2 story home, find a wall that has the straightest drop all the way from basement to attic. This is usually the wall with the staircase. You dont want to have to deal with a bend in that pipe. For switch boxes make sure your electrician uses real switch boxes and not just deep outlet boxes. The mud rings for outlet boxes have rounded inside corners that WILL NOT accomodate Insteon devices without grinding them out, a major headache. I'm talking steel conduit and jboxes because it's Chicago, your area probably allows Romex which I believe use square cornered plastic boxes. Select a home run closet in the basement or central location. Use standard 19 inch keystone blank panels on a rack instead of those engineered systems like Leviton has. All those engineered systems are way too tight to get your wire into easily. You can get any jack imaginable as a keystone snap in and just drop all your wire behind the rack. Do your labeling as you go to save much time later tracing wires. You probably will not have to terminate everything until you move in, depending on your inspector and local municipal requirements. Any holes in wall plates have to be fire caulked after the wire is pulled through the hole.
Reply to
RickH
By "wall plates" I meant the stud wall sill and top plates have to be caulked in many towns after you drill a larger hole for wire, these are fire stops.
Reply to
RickH
Pay the extra for any wiring you purchase and get the fancy coloured stuff. Years later when you are extending or sorting anything it is much simpler if you can imediatly identify alarm, data mains cables. It also makes documenting the system clearer and simpler!
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Reply to
Fergus McMenemie
That's one solution. Another which I have used for many years is less expensive and IMO equally reliable. Buy a few Sharpie brand fine point laundry markers. Before pulling each wire, write directly on the jacket aboiut 2' from the end, "Master-Bedroom Left Window," or whatever. After pulling the cable to the control panel, write on the jacket about 2' from the business end, "Alarm Zone 2," or whatever.
We ran home runs for all sensors and devices and routinely bugged every opening in large homes and businesses so it was fairly common to have scores of cables to terminate at the end. This simple system served us very well. The only issue with it is you need to wait a few seconds for the ink to dry before pulling it through a tight opening. However, for CAT5 and up you shouldn't pull through tight openings anyway.
Side Note: Here's a handy way to keep cables neat and professional looking in a basement or attic. Nail a 5/8" or larger drive ring (looks like a heavy, galvanised nail with a hook on the side) into a joist or rafter about 2' from the wall or ridge beam at one end of the house. Do the same thing at the ther end. Using a chalk line (~$5 at HD), snap a line between the two nails. Every 3' or so nail another ring into a joist/rafter with the rings all pointing in the same direction. Bring all related cables into the run of drive rings, leaving a foot or so of slack where they join the run. Wrap long cable ties 3-4 times around the bundle and the ding at one end and pull the tie until it's snug but not compressing the cables. At the other end do the same thing while gently pulling the cables just taught enough to keep them straight. With 3 or more wraps the cable ties will keep everything neat without undue tightness. Where cables enter the run leave enougfh slack so they make a gentle turn.
We used to do it that way and I'd occasionally get compliments from inspectors. One fellow grumbled, "It's too neat." :^)
Reply to
Robert L Bass
Nice stuff.
Don't do this with power wiring. It will be rejected if more than 3 cables are in a hole or bundle. All conductors must have free air around them.
Reply to
John J. Bengii
Robert,
I can't quite picture it. Do you have link to a photo or drawing???
Thanks.
Jim
Reply to
Jim Hewitt
Jim,
This is one style of drive ring:
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and below is the best I could do to show bunches of cables entering a larger run of cable "between the rings." Obviously, the rings shown are different than nail-in drive rings and the spacing shorter than the normal joist-to-joist drive ring mountings, but the principle is the same.
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(bottom-most photo, bottom right corner)
-- Bobby G.
Reply to
Robert Green
Thanks, Robert. Those are the same drive rings except they are 1/2" whereas I use 5/8 or larger and their prices are a tad high.
Also, you don't really need them on every joist. That's overkill IMO. Just place one ring every 3-4 feet and it will be fine.
I should have mentioned that the job will be neater if you bang the nails into the corner of the joists at a 45º angle rather than straight up into the bottom edge. That will place the ring nicely to carry the main run while joining cables to the run with the least bend.
Reply to
Robert L Bass
so manifestly to them that they could not have doubted of the truth of His essence; as it will appear at the last day, with such thunders and such a convulsion of nature that the dead will rise again, and the blindest will see Him.
"It is not in this manner that He has willed to appear in His advent of mercy, because, as so many make themselves unworthy of His mercy, He has willed to leave them in the loss of the good which they do not want. It was not, then, right that He should appear in a manner manifestly divine, and completely capable of convincing all men; but it was also not right that He should come in so hidden a manner that He could not be known by those who should sincerely seek Him. He has willed to make himself quite recognisable by those; and thus, willing to appear openly to those who seek Him with all their heart, and to be hidden from those who flee from Him with all their heart, He so regulates the knowledge of Himself that He has given signs of Himself, visible to those who seek Him, and not to those who seek Him not. There is enough light for those who only desire to see, and enough obscurity for those who have a contrary disposition."
431. No other religion has recognised that man is the most excellent creature. Some, which have quite recognised the reality of his excellence, have considered as mean and ungrateful the low opinions which men naturally have of themselves; and others, which have thoroughly recognised how real is this vileness, have treated with proud ridicule those feelings of greatness, which are equally natural to man.
"Lift your eyes to God," say the first; "see Him whom you resemble and who has created you to worship Him. You can make yourselves like unto Him; wisdom will make you equal to Him, if you will fo
Reply to
Jim Hewitt
spiritual experiences are vain. This all my congregation can witness. And the people in general have manifested an extraordinary dread of being deceived; being exceeding fearful lest they should build wrong. Some of them have been backward to receive hope, even to a great extreme, which has occasioned me to dwell longer on this part of the narrative.
Conversion is a great and glorious work of God's power, at once changing the heart, and infusing life into the dead soul; though the grace then implanted more gradually displays itself in some than in others. But as to fixing on the precise time when they put forth the very first act of grace, there is a great deal of difference in different persons; in some it seems to be very discernible when the very time was; but others are more at a loss. In this respect, there are very many who do not know, even when they have it, that it is the grace of conversion, and sometimes do not think it to be so till a long time after. Many, even when they come to entertain great hopes that they are converted, if they remember what they experienced in the first exercises of grace, they are at a loss whether it was any more than a common illumination; or whether some other more clear and remarkable experience which they had afterwards, was not the first of a saving nature. The manner of God's work on the soul, sometimes especially, is very mysterious; and it is with the kingdom of God as to its manifestation in the heart of a convert, as is said, Mark iv. 26, 27,28, "So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground, and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how; for the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself, first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear."
In some, converting light is like a glorious brightness suddenly shining upon a person, and a
Reply to
Robert L Bass
in the town who has returned to former ways of looseness and extravagance in any respect; but we still remain a reformed people, and God has evidently made us a new people.
I cannot say that there has been no instance of any one person who has conducted himself unworthily; nor am I so vain as to imagine that we have not been mistaken in our good opinion concerning any; or that there are none who pass amongst us for sheep, that are indeed wolves in sheep's clothing; and who probably may, some time or other, discover themselves by their fruits. We are not so pure, but that we have great cause to be humbled and ashamed that we are so impure; nor so religious, but that those who watch for our halting, may see things in us, whence they may take occasion to reproach us and religion. But in the main, there has been a great and marvellous work of conversion and sanctification among the people here; and they have paid all due respect to those who have been blest of God to be the instruments of it. Both old and young have shown a forwardness to hearken not only to my counsels, but even to my reproofs, from the pulpit.
A great part of the country have not received the most favorable thoughts of this affair; and to this day many retain a jealousy concerning it, and prejudice against it. I have reason to think that the meanness and weakness of the instrument, that has been m
Reply to
Robert L Bass
their ceremonies; and if they had loved these spiritual promises, and had preserved them incorrupt till the time of the Messiah, their testimony would have had no force, because they had been his friends.
Therefore it was well that the spiritual meaning should be concealed; but, on the other hand, if this meaning had been so hidden as not to appear at all, it could not have served as a proof of the Messiah. What then was done? In a crowd of passages it has been hidden under the temporal meaning, and in a few been clearly revealed; besides that, the time and the state of the world have been so clearly foretold that it is clearer than the sun. And in some places this spiritual meaning is so clearly expressed that it would require a blindness, like that which the flesh imposes on the spirit when it is subdued by it, not to recognise it.
See, then, what has been the prudence of God. This meaning is concealed under another in an infinite number of passages, and in some, though rarely, it is revealed; but yet so that the passages in which it is concealed are equivocal and can suit both meanings; whereas the passages where it is disclosed are unequivocal and can only suit the spiritual meaning.
So that this cannot lead us into error and could only be misunderstood by so carnal a people.
For when blessings are promised in abundance, what was to prevent them from understanding the true blessings, but their covetousness, which limited the meaning to worldly goods? But those whose only good was in God referred them to God alone. For there are two principles, which divide the wills of men, covetousness and charity. Not that covetousness cannot exist along with faith in God, nor charity with worldly riches; but covetousness uses God and enjoys the world, and charity is the opposite.
No
Reply to
Fergus McMenemie
which renders things obscure. For truth is perverted only by the change of men. And yet he puts two things, the most memorable that were ever imagined, namely, the creation and the deluge, so near that we reach from one to the other.
625. Shem, who saw Lamech, who saw Adam, saw also Jacob, who saw those who saw Moses; therefore the deluge and the creation are true. This is conclusive among certain people who understand it rightly.
626. The longevity of the patriarchs, instead of causing the loss of past history, conduced, on the contrary, to its preservation. For the reason why we are sometimes insufficiently instructed in the history of our ancestors is that we have never lived long with them, and that they are often dead before we have attained the age of reason. Now, when men lived so long, children lived long with their parents. They conversed long with them. But what else could be the subject of their talk save the history of their ancestors, since to that all history was reduced, and men did not study science or art, which now form a large part of daily conversation? We see also that in these days tribes took particular care to pr
Reply to
Jim Hewitt
you are in: it is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell. You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment. -- And consider here more particularly,
Whose wrath it is: it is the wrath of the infinite God. If it were only the wrath of man, though it were of the most potent prince, it would be comparatively little to be regarded. The wrath of kings is very much dreaded, especially of absolute monarchs, who have the possessions and lives of their subjects wholly in their power, to be disposed of at their mere will. Prov. 20:2. "The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: Whoso provoketh him to anger, sinneth against his own soul." The subject that very much enrages an arbitrary prince, is liable to suffer the most extreme torments that human art can invent, or human power can inflict. But the greatest earthly potentates in their greatest majesty and strength, and when clothed in their greatest terrors, are but feeble, despicable worms of the dust, in comparison of the great and al
Reply to
John J. Bengii
of knowing either what He is or if He is. This being so, who will dare to undertake the decision of the question? Not we, who have no affinity to Him.
Who then will blame Christians for not being able to give a reason for their belief, since they profess a religion for which they cannot give a reason? They declare, in expounding it to the world, that it is a foolishness, stultitiam;28 and then you complain that they do not prove it! If they proved it, they would not keep their word; it is in lacking proofs that they are not lacking in sense. "Yes, but although this excuses those who offer it as such and takes away from them the blame of putting it forward without reason, it does not excuse those who receive it." Let us then examine this point, and say, "God is, or He is not." But to which side shall we incline? Reason can decide nothing here. There is an infinite chaos which separated us. A game is being played at the extremity of this infinite distance where heads or tails will turn up. What will you wager? According to reason, you can do neither the one thing nor the other; according to reason, you can defend neither of the propo
Reply to
Robert Green

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