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post #1 of 25 Old 03-08-2009, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been trying to figure out how I'm going to go about getting this run. Need to run this coax down my living room wall for an antenna I have in my attic. This is an outside facing wall so there's some mat insulation to deal with but I'm not too concerned about that. The problem is the tight space in the attic where the top plate meets the roof joists. I'm thinking my best way around this is just to cut a hole in the drywall at this top corner to drill through and feed the coax. Would also make feeding the coax down to the existing box easier.

Wanted to see if anyone else here had some ideas or if going through the drywall is the best option here.

Here's two pictures of the attic space to give you an idea of what I'm working with.



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post #2 of 25 Old 03-08-2009, 11:01 PM
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easiest is to cut a hole about 2-3" from the ceiling and then drill up. then use a fish tape up into the attic. the fish tape, if it comes in a "roll" will have a natural bend that will help feed it in the right direction as opposed to a fiberglass rod that will want to go in a straight line.

i'll try to post a couple of pics of what i'm doing right now...
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post #3 of 25 Old 03-09-2009, 07:32 AM
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Looks like coax is already run through the top plate.

You want to put one in next to that, or in another location just like that one?

I'd drill at an angle through the top plate. And I'd remove that piece of cardboard hanging in the way.

If that pic of the coax is where you want to put in a new run, next to it, then I'd see if the hole was big enough to accept a second coax cable.

And wear a bike helmet.

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post #4 of 25 Old 03-09-2009, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

Looks like coax is already run through the top plate.

You want to put one in next to that, or in another location just like that one?

I'd drill at an angle through the top plate. And I'd remove that piece of cardboard hanging in the way.

If that pic of the coax is where you want to put in a new run, next to it, then I'd see if the hole was big enough to accept a second coax cable.

And wear a bike helmet.

Haha funny about the bike helmet because I actually did! Yah i want to run the cable basically next to that one, unfortunately when the condo was built they only drilled that hole big enough for the one wire. My dad has a 90 degree drill that i'm going to give a try to see if I can get it through without having to open up the drywall.
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post #5 of 25 Old 03-09-2009, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by chrisdias View Post

easiest is to cut a hole about 2-3" from the ceiling and then drill up. then use a fish tape up into the attic. the fish tape, if it comes in a "roll" will have a natural bend that will help feed it in the right direction as opposed to a fiberglass rod that will want to go in a straight line.

i'll try to post a couple of pics of what i'm doing right now...

yeah that's exactly what I was envisioning doing would be really easy at that point to get it run. Just really trying to avoid opening up the wall at all but I think i'll end up having to do it.
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post #6 of 25 Old 03-09-2009, 02:20 PM
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There is absolutely no reason for drywall work, in this situation. Well, maybe 1...

Unless you hit a fire stop - horizontal 2 x 4 midway up the wall, between the studs. If this is the case, you could buy a $40 3' flexible drill bit, and drill a hole from below, through the small single or double-gang hole (where the cable comes through the wall). It helps to be certain that you're in the correct stud bay - measure - don't rely on the placement of that other coax (it may cross a vertical stud - prob not, but you never know). So, you'd drill from above in the attic, and from below with the flex bit.

These long flex bits are very, very tricky to use, I've read. Many installers don't use them as a matter of principle. They end up in places you don't want them, and it's very easy to patch and paint drywall. I own one of these bits, but I've successfully avoided using it.

I have a drywall/paint guy who would patch and paint a hole like that for ~$30.

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post #7 of 25 Old 03-09-2009, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

There is absolutely no reason for drywall work, in this situation.

Suggestions on how you would do it?

I know ive been to those locations in attics of other homes and its not a fun place to work. Fortunately Ive never run into the situation where I was there for the same reason as the OP so Ive never had to deal with that myself. But I may run into it sooner than later in my own home and would also like to know some other ideas on how to go about doing it right.
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post #8 of 25 Old 03-09-2009, 08:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I managed to get the hole through the top plate using a 90 degree attachment, as I thought it was actually two 2x4"s nailed together so I had to run through four inches. Came in at a bit of an angle but was able to straighten the hole out. Now I just need to get the cable down through the insulation. Going to have to try and fish tape it I think. Might see if I can angle my stix enough from the bottom of my existing wall box to get all the way up through the hole.
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post #9 of 25 Old 03-10-2009, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey D View Post

Well I managed to get the hole through the top plate using a 90 degree attachment, as I thought it was actually two 2x4"s nailed together so I had to run through four inches. Came in at a bit of an angle but was able to straighten the hole out. Now I just need to get the cable down through the insulation. Going to have to try and fish tape it I think. Might see if I can angle my stix enough from the bottom of my existing wall box to get all the way up through the hole.

What size hole did you drill?

We all know that drill bits are generally longer in length as they get bigger in diameter. The issue that I am going to run into, is that I am wanting to put my structured wiring panel on an exterior wall - so I would be running much more than a single coax and would likely need multiple 3/4" holes, or other to accommodate.

I have been considering rethinking my location because of this, but its really the best location for it.

BTW, 2x4's are actually 1.5" x 3.5", so you drilled through 3", not 4.
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post #10 of 25 Old 03-10-2009, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by drvnbysound View Post

What size hole did you drill?

We all know that drill bits are generally longer in length as they get bigger in diameter. The issue that I am going to run into, is that I am wanting to put my structured wiring panel on an exterior wall - so I would be running much more than a single coax and would likely need multiple 3/4" holes, or other to accommodate.

I have been considering rethinking my location because of this, but its really the best location for it.

BTW, 2x4's are actually 1.5" x 3.5", so you drilled through 3", not 4.

Yeah it was just one 3/4" hole. I originally picked up a set of three auger bits from Lowes, they're all the same length but the max size in the set was one inch.
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post #11 of 25 Old 03-10-2009, 07:28 AM
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Home Depot carries spade bits that are in two pieces that snap together. When working in a tight space with these I imagine you could start with the bit in the short mode and then after you get some depth to the hole you could extend the bit.
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post #12 of 25 Old 03-10-2009, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drvnbysound View Post

What size hole did you drill?

We all know that drill bits are generally longer in length as they get bigger in diameter. The issue that I am going to run into, is that I am wanting to put my structured wiring panel on an exterior wall - so I would be running much more than a single coax and would likely need multiple 3/4" holes, or other to accommodate.

I have been considering rethinking my location because of this, but its really the best location for it.

BTW, 2x4's are actually 1.5" x 3.5", so you drilled through 3", not 4.

You could consider surface-mounting the structured wiring enclosure, onto the drywall. The cables then run up to the ceiling inside pipes, conduits, or ducts.



I saw some pics of this over at cocoontech.com, looked really nice. I think they pics were from member Dan(electron), and the image links are no longer valid - pics absent from his thread.


Lots of good wiring closet pics in the Cocoontech Showcase subforum.
http://www.cocoontech.com/forums/index.php?showforum=37

You and I, it seems, are at about the same stage of development. I'm planning for distributed audio (prob Nuvo GC), replacement alarm panel (prob Elk), some lighting control (ALC), and HA solution (leaning toward CQC). I've run a handful of cables - mostly ethernet, but some coax too (through a top plate from the attic, v. similar to this thread - to the stereo cabinet, for the subwoofer; and coax for changing the location of my modem and router). I paid an installer hourly to help with some cable runs - learned a lot from him.

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post #13 of 25 Old 03-10-2009, 01:22 PM
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I am trying to avoid surface mounting like the plague. Its going to be in a live-able area and I dont care for how it looks for the most part. In a commercial environment, or a basement, etc. it would be fine with me, but mine will be seen daily, so Id rather have it integrated into the home as much as possible.
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post #14 of 25 Old 03-10-2009, 01:53 PM
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drvnbsound - Do you have access from above (attic)?

Run 2-3 plastic conduits (Smurf Tube) within the stud bay, down to where the panel/enclosure will be located.

I've seen some really nice looking enclosures, with curved smoked glass door fronts - show off some of your handywork. Or, you could construct a paneled door to cover the metal front of the enclosure.

Attachment 136201

You were considering locating the enclosure in the laundry room and/or garage - you could put a small wall-mounted shelf rack, for certain components, in the garage, and the enclosure on the same wall in the laundry room. No wires visible, access to both through the same stud bay.

I don't know how large the holes in the top plate can be, without causing a problem with structural integrity. I'm sure there is a correct answer. I think I read somewhere to keep the hole size to 2/3 the width of the top plate, or vertical stud (which was really surprising to me). You could replace the top plate of the stud bay with a strong metal 'daughter' rail, bridging that stud bay, and remove the wood top plate. Is that too crazy?
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post #15 of 25 Old 03-10-2009, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

drvnbsound - Do you have access from above (attic)?

Run 2-3 plastic conduits (Smurf Tube) within the stud bay, down to where the panel/enclosure will be located.

I've seen some really nice looking enclosures, with curved smoked glass door fronts - show off some of your handywork. Or, you could construct a paneled door to cover the metal front of the enclosure.

Attachment 136201

You were considering locating the enclosure in the laundry room and/or garage - you could put a small wall-mounted shelf rack, for certain components, in the garage, and the enclosure on the same wall in the laundry room. No wires visible, access to both through the same stud bay.

I don't know how large the holes in the top plate can be, without causing a problem with structural integrity. I'm sure there is a correct answer. I think I read somewhere to keep the hole size to 2/3 the width of the top plate, or vertical stud (which was really surprising to me). You could replace the top plate of the stud bay with a strong metal 'daughter' rail, bridging that stud bay, and remove the wood top plate. Is that too crazy?

I do have attic access from above - however the exterior wall that I currently plan to install the panel in gives about as much room as the OP posted pictures of. My issue is how to get multiple 3/4" or slightly larger holes in the top plate with the given head room to work. I assume I will cross the bridge when I get there, was just looking for hints as to the best way.

Actually NEVER MIND!!! Since Im going to be doing either a 28" or probably a 42" panel. I can simply cut out the hole for the panel first and drill up through the top plate - and wont have to worry about drilling from the little attic space above
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post #16 of 25 Old 03-10-2009, 04:33 PM
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I've followed your threads at CT - still going with the laundry room wall, backed by the garage?

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post #17 of 25 Old 03-10-2009, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

I've followed your threads at CT - still going with the laundry room wall, backed by the garage?

Yes. Sorry - not trying to thread jack here by any means. But I think it could be helpful to anyone else in the same situation, as my work would also be done in a similar situation - exterior wall with the limited attic space in the area.

Here is a view of my floor plan:


You can see on the far left/middle is our "mechanical" room, where the washer/dryer are located. And in this picture, you can see where I intend to place the panel:



I basically picked this location, as I think it would be the easiest location to access while also allowing me to put a shelf / rack in front of it, both allowing easy access to any of the wiring, and also covering it up some at the same time.

I figure if I put the structured panel on the same wall as the alarm panel is currently, then I think the wiring between it and a "rack" wouldnt be quite a neat as they would have to wrap around the corner of the rack and follow the contour of the room.
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post #18 of 25 Old 03-11-2009, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Mikey D View Post

Well I managed to get the hole through the top plate using a 90 degree attachment, as I thought it was actually two 2x4"s nailed together so I had to run through four inches. Came in at a bit of an angle but was able to straighten the hole out. Now I just need to get the cable down through the insulation. Going to have to try and fish tape it I think. Might see if I can angle my stix enough from the bottom of my existing wall box to get all the way up through the hole.

This is an exterior wall, so there should be a fire stop 2x4 about midway. You're going to have to make a hole in the drywall. Yes there are drills long enough to reach from where your plate below will be, but they are hard to center. Then if you do get through without tunnelling through either the inside or the outside wall, it is going to be hard to get ahold of anything you push down from above to the fie stop (because of the insulation). In walls without insulation (interior walls) you can drop a short piece of chain on a string from above and push a skinny magnet up through your newly drilled hole and maybe get the chain/string through.

I had a similar situation to yours and elected to make a continuous hole in the ceiling and the wall. Overall it was about 4". Used an auger drill bit to notch the top board, then a zip drive to smooth the notch a bit. Then ran the cables. Just a little drywall patch and repaint. It isn't all that hard to do.

You can use this same technique to deal with the fire stop of course.
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post #19 of 25 Old 03-11-2009, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kjgarrison View Post

This is an exterior wall, so there should be a fire stop 2x4 about midway. You're going to have to make a hole in the drywall. Yes there are drills long enough to reach from where your plate below will be, but they are hard to center. Then if you do get through without tunnelling through either the inside or the outside wall, it is going to be hard to get ahold of anything you push down from above to the fie stop (because of the insulation). In walls without insulation (interior walls) you can drop a short piece of chain on a string from above and push a skinny magnet up through your newly drilled hole and maybe get the chain/string through.

I had a similar situation to yours and elected to make a continuous hole in the ceiling and the wall. Overall it was about 4". Used an auger drill bit to notch the top board, then a zip drive to smooth the notch a bit. Then ran the cables. Just a little drywall patch and repaint. It isn't all that hard to do.

You can use this same technique to deal with the fire stop of course.

I'm wondering if it will have a firestop, it's a newer condo that I'm in. Built in 2004 in Michigan here, any chance it's not there?

I hadn't run the stud finder up and down the wall but I'll have to do that tonight when I get home to make sure.
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post #20 of 25 Old 03-11-2009, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by kjgarrison View Post

This is an exterior wall, so there should be a fire stop 2x4 about midway. You're going to have to make a hole in the drywall. Yes there are drills long enough to reach from where your plate below will be, but they are hard to center. Then if you do get through without tunnelling through either the inside or the outside wall, it is going to be hard to get ahold of anything you push down from above to the fie stop (because of the insulation). In walls without insulation (interior walls) you can drop a short piece of chain on a string from above and push a skinny magnet up through your newly drilled hole and maybe get the chain/string through.

I had a similar situation to yours and elected to make a continuous hole in the ceiling and the wall. Overall it was about 4". Used an auger drill bit to notch the top board, then a zip drive to smooth the notch a bit. Then ran the cables. Just a little drywall patch and repaint. It isn't all that hard to do.

You can use this same technique to deal with the fire stop of course.

I am not certain as to the codes on the firestops, but I have seen new construction in my area (FL) over the past 3-5 years and they are apparently not required here, as they are not used. My wife and I purchased a spec home a year ago, and saw all construction - we have none on any of our walls.
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post #21 of 25 Old 03-11-2009, 01:58 PM
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Push the stix down from above, through the hole in the top plate, behind the bat insulation, and look for it below.

You can replace the junction box with an old work low voltage 'retro-ring' mounting bracket - easier to work through.


Attachment 136304
available at Lowe's and HD

Pry the existing junction box away from the stud with a screwdriver (careful - don't crack the drywall), and push it to the side out of the way, behind the wall, and leave it. Or, waste 1.5 hours and cut it out with a Dremmel.

Edit - Tip: when prying the old junction box away from the stud, when the tip of the screwdriver is between the stud and the box, push the handle of the screwdriver away from the stud, not toward it. That is, don't let the metal part of the screwdriver touch the drywall. You'll be tempted to rock the handle of the screwdriver side-to-side, but don't.
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post #22 of 25 Old 03-11-2009, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

Push the stix down from above, through the hole in the top plate, behind the bat insulation, and look for it below.

You can replace the junction box with an old work low voltage 'retro-ring' mounting bracket - easier to work through.


Attachment 136304
available at Lowe's and HD

Pry the existing junction box away from the stud with a screwdriver (careful - don't crack the drywall), and push it to the side out of the way, behind the wall, and leave it. Or, waste 1.5 hours and cut it out with a Dremmel.

Edit - Tip: when prying the old junction box away from the stud, when the tip of the screwdriver is between the stud and the box, push the handle of the screwdriver away from the stud, not toward it. That is, don't let the metal part of the screwdriver touch the drywall. You'll be tempted to rock the handle of the screwdriver side-to-side, but don't.

Huh? Who was that directed to? I certainly know what LV boxes look like and how to use them. I dont have any existing junction boxes in that area either - at least not between the stud location I am looking to use.

My issue was with getting multiple 3/4" or larger holes through the top plate from the limited attic space - But I think I figured out an easier way - by cutting the 28" or 42" hole (depending on size of panel I choose) into the drywall first, then use extended drill bit ... inserted into the opening that was just cut, and drill UP through the top plate.... rather than being limited by the room in the attic to work and trying to drill down.
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post #23 of 25 Old 03-11-2009, 04:56 PM
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No, Drvnbysound. Was directed to OP, MikeyD. I've seen your handywork on CT. I remember the pics of your media center wiring pre-build, and the multiple in-wall and in-ceiling speakers you've done.

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post #24 of 25 Old 03-16-2009, 08:33 PM
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Drvnbysound - be warned about the long drill bits (Flexbits)

Some great Flexbit stories:

http://www.remotecentral.com/cgi-bin...read.cgi?17351

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post #25 of 25 Old 03-16-2009, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

No, Drvnbysound. Was directed to OP, MikeyD. I've seen your handywork on CT. I remember the pics of your media center wiring pre-build, and the multiple in-wall and in-ceiling speakers you've done.

That must be a different Mikey D I'm a n00b

But to all interested I did get the cable ran finally with my dads assistance. Ended up getting a 90 degree attachment or my drill which got me through the top plate. We thought there might be a fire block in place but after a bit of probing through a small drill hole we found it to be false. I just used regular fish tape from the attic and let it curl against the wall all the way to the bottom. We just used a hook at the box to poke around for it and found it pretty quickly. Had to drill out the box a bit to pull it in and find it but I'm happy to say it's all hooked up and my CM2016 is performing great up there.
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