Nice-sized Control4 system - AVS Forum
Home Automation > Nice-sized Control4 system
cshepard's Avatar cshepard 09:40 PM 01-17-2012
I'm posting this in case some of you are interested. The company I work for is in the process of a biggish Control4 install--half retrofit, half new construction. The home is about 7 years old, and has a finished first & second story. The basement was left unfinished until now. The home already had speakers in nearly every room. However, half the house was controlled by a Russound multi-zone audio system, while the other half consisted of a 70 volt commercial sound system with traditional volume controls.

We started by removing the transformers from all speakers tied to the old 70v system. We were able to retrofit at least a 16/2 to a speaker in each room, allowing us to properly "zone out" the old series wiring, although some zones will have to be mixed mono as opposed to stereo. The original audio headend was on the second floor in a built-in rack. We will be adding much more equipment in the basement, but rack space there will be limited, so we opted to reuse the second floor rack as the house audio headend. Fortunately for us, the house has an elevator & we were able to retrofit wiring between floors using the elevator shaft.

Most of the A/V sources will be in the basement racks, so we ran RG-59 x 16 for L/R audio from 8 sources to the second floor headend. There will be 9 audio zones in the basement, so we ran the nine 16/4's from the second floor headend to their respective zones downstairs. With 19 existing audio zones, there will be a total of 28 independent audio zones.

Audio switching is performed using two 16-channel Control4 matrices. Each audio source input is split to be sent to both matrices. The matrices then feed four 12-channel digital amps from SnapAV (plus a feed to the theater's AVR in the basement).

All the old volume controls and Russound keypads were removed & speaker wires spliced where needed. Control will be from on screen displays/handheld remotes, a total of 5 in-wall touchscreens, & various iDevices.

Sources available to the audio distribution system will be: 5-disc CD changer, Blu-ray player, 3 Time Warner cable boxes, TiVo DVR, Control4 media player, iTunes library on external hard drive (via Control4 controller), C4 iPod dock on main floor, C4 iPod dock in basement, the clients' existing HD Radio tuner, and multiple streams of digital audio (Rhapsody, etc.) via C4 controllers.

We are also implementing a couple of neat extras: the homeowners are purchasing a player piano for the basement. We are making it a source available to the distributed audio system. There is an existing NuTone intercom system in place. The main unit has a built-in CD player. Although we don't expect it to get much use, we are tying it into the system as well. Finally, we are integrating the doorbell--when pressed, it will prompt the Westminster chime to play in all 28 zones.

I'll try to post some pictures of the completed audio headend tomorrow. If it looks like anybody cares, I'll continue with the video, theater, and other facets of the automation system within this project.

pchannan's Avatar pchannan 06:14 AM 01-18-2012
Sure, cont posting
alexsquared's Avatar alexsquared 06:35 AM 01-18-2012
Sounds like a nice build. One question. Your four amps will only give you 24 zones. How are you driving the other 4?
cshepard's Avatar cshepard 11:00 AM 01-18-2012
I said 28 but there are in fact only 27 zones. 14 of the 27 zones are mono. We summed the left and right outputs of the matrix into one RCA (one channel) for each mono zone.

So, 13 stereo zones (26 channels) and 14 mono zones (14 channels) means we're using 40 of the 48 available amp channels.
Anthony A.'s Avatar Anthony A. 11:31 AM 01-19-2012
So for the mono, you took the left and right audio from the amp/controller and used/made a y cable? I need to do the same for myself so wondering if that's the easiest solution for a single bathroom speaker.
cshepard's Avatar cshepard 09:00 PM 01-19-2012
It's come to my attention that using a Y-splitter backwards as a "Y-combiner" is not the ideal way to get summed mono. I'm looking into it.
alexsquared's Avatar alexsquared 11:11 PM 01-19-2012
Originally Posted by cshepard View Post

It's come to my attention that using a Y-splitter backwards as a "Y-combiner" is not the ideal way to get summed mono. I'm looking into it.

That is correct. The signal should be summed actively, not passively.
Neurorad's Avatar Neurorad 07:54 AM 01-20-2012
Thanks, cshepard, interesting read.

Anthony, a solution to your single Ba speaker may be a DVC (dual voice coil) speaker, if you have 4 wires run to that location, or can get them there.
cshepard's Avatar cshepard 05:36 PM 01-21-2012
By Thursday, we had installed and for the most part finished wiring the audio distribution equipment on the second floor. We temporarily hooked up the main controller, which is an HC-1000 that will eventually move to the basement (hopefully by the end of Feb.) and loaded the programming. After a little tweaking, we got the Announcement agent to play the Westminster chime through the house audio speakers when the doorbell is pressed. A Card Access relay was placed behind the existing intercom unit (where the doorbell wire already was). We also got the C4 iPod dock working in the main level kitchen.
VideoNavi's Avatar VideoNavi 01:02 AM 01-28-2012
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

Thanks, cshepard, interesting read.

Anthony, a solution to your single Ba speaker may be a DVC (dual voice coil) speaker, if you have 4 wires run to that location, or can get them there.

One of the best sounding dual voice coil speaker I've ever installed are the Aton 6.5". Great bass from such a small, lightweight and inexpensive speaker.
cshepard's Avatar cshepard 09:02 AM 01-28-2012
In addition to audio distribution, we will also be providing 8 zones of HD video distribution. We are going to use the Atlona 8 x 8 HDBaseT matrix. It will be our first experience with HDBaseT technology.

The video sources and distribution equipment will be installed in the basement racks. Sources will be HD cable DVR, two HD cable boxes, TiVo Premiere, a Samsung Blu-ray, and the C4 Media Player. Also, each of the 8 displays will have its own C4 HC-200 for on -screen Navigator.

We retrofitted Cat6 from 4 displays on the second floor into the attic then down the elevator shaft to the basement for the HDMI matrix. RG-59 x 3 was run from these displays to the audio distribution rack on the second floor for video from each TV's HC-200 (four HC-200's only take up 2U of rack space and it wasn't necessary to send the video all the way downstairs). We retrofitted Cat6 and the RG-59 for component video to one display in the master bedroom on the main floor, and prewired for display locations in the bar, exercise room, and theater in the basement. The HC-200's for these displays will be in the basement racks.
cshepard's Avatar cshepard 09:17 AM 01-28-2012
Control for the system will be possible from 5 in-wall C4 InfinityEdge touchpanels and the clients' various iDevices. We retrofitted Cat5 for a 5" tp in the second floor sitting room, a 5" in the master bedroom, & a 7" in the kitchen. In the basement we prewired for a 7" in the bar and a 5" in the entry hallway.

The three existing thermostats have been replaced with the Control4 T-stats. Another will be installed in the basement, and a fifth will be installed in the screened porch once it is converted into a sunroom.

Lighting was to be limited to a few dimmers in the theater, but we have already been asked to replace all the switches for the exterior flood/landscape lighting with Control4 as well.

We were able to take over monitoring for the existing security system and are integrating it into the control system as well. The irrigation system will also be integrated.

As of Thursday, drywall had been hung in the basement and they were almost done mudding. We are looking at the end of Feb. to begin trim-out.
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