New home build...coax wire question - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-22-2012, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm having a new home built this summer and am trying to plan out a well laid out cabling diagram. I am going to run a combination of Cat6 and RG6 cable to each room. At this time I'll be using the coax exclusively for Directv, but would like to be future proofed for cable TV or cable internet (neither of which is currently available on my road). What type of RG6 cable do you recommend, how many need to be run to each room? Does directv only need to use a single Coax (I plan on using their DVR service) or do I run multiple RG6 cables to each proposed jack? Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-22-2012, 08:15 PM
 
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I would run min. one coax, one cat-6 to those locations such as bedrooms, office, kitchen. For every point that telephone is going to connect, at least two cat-6. For where the main components are going in the living room, no less than six cat-6, and no less than two coax.

Pull everything, I mean all coax, ethernet to a central point, where you can place stuff like a patch panel for both ethernet & coax, rack mounted switches, telephone & ISP equipment, and also if going to be running a server, a shelf for that, or use a rack with a shelf, and also make plans to have a monitor & keyboard and mouse for that point, so if you are in there making changes to the network, you can do it there vs. through a app such as Teamviewer.

As long as you have a copy of the Blue Prints, it makes things easy, because you can lay tracing sheets over to make changes for the low voltage systems, and use colored pencils or markers, along with a key, so that it makes it easier for you to know what is what, when you look at your notes & the schematic.

As for marking what is what at the patch panels, or keystones, just mark with the number on the keystones where they land on the patch panel, and then use a spreadsheet if you wish, to know what equipment connects from the patch panel to the switch, or patch panel to the a/v equipment, if you plan on doing HDMI over ethernet. Now of course, there is HDMI over IP networking, but you can only use one transmitter per switch. An example of that equipment can be found at http://www.markertek.com/Home-Theate...I-108POE.xhtml

Also plan on adding in a mix of WiFi for devices on the go, and if you plan on doing Sonos, which means adding in cat-6 for those points. It can add up to quite a few cables once you figure everything out, but keep in mind when doing this, what you may be looking at for future needs. Some will say use conduit or smurf tube, which is a good idea if you plan on hanging a flat panel on a wall, and will be placing equipment nearby, or you plan on hanging a projector, and pulling cables from a cabinet also nearby.
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-22-2012, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wags1970 View Post

What type of RG6 cable do you recommend, how many need to be run to each room?

2 RG6 to each room is a good practice, just in case you want more than one service (such as an OTA antenna plus CATV, or some future combination). This was becoming common pre-wire when the sat services required 2 cables for DVRs (dual tuner).

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Does directv only need to use a single Coax (I plan on using their DVR service) or do I run multiple RG6 cables to each proposed jack? Thanks in advance

New DirecTV setups will only need one coax. I would run two to each room anyway. To each TV location, I'd also run at least 2 Cat5e as well. Yes it's a lot of cable, but it will never be this cheap again. Very unlikely you'd hear anyone here say they ran "too much"...

And +1 to everything Greg said. (although you can just use Cat5e for Sonos/Ethernet, but cat6 is certainly fine, too - just make sure you have the right jacks and tools)

Jeff

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post #4 of 14 Old 05-23-2012, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the ideas! That gives me good info to get started! As for runnning conduit for future needs, unless I am missing something, wouldn't I be restricted even if I ran conduit for future growth? do I just make a best guess as to what stud bay my future need would occur at? otherwise I don't see how the conduit would help if its confined within a particular bay between 2 studs, as I'd be running it up through a hole in the bottom plate?
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-23-2012, 09:09 AM
 
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Just figure best guess on what you may be adding later. Also, it is easier to pull Octopus cabling, than a bunch of seperate runs of cables.
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-23-2012, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wags1970 View Post

Thank you for the ideas! That gives me good info to get started! As for runnning conduit for future needs, unless I am missing something, wouldn't I be restricted even if I ran conduit for future growth?

Well, you're limited to the number of places you run conduit.

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Do I just make a best guess as to what stud bay my future need would occur at? otherwise I don't see how the conduit would help if its confined within a particular bay between 2 studs, as I'd be running it up through a hole in the bottom plate?

You run the conduit to an attic/basement/crawlspace - wherever you'll be able to access it later (and they're installed empty - don't put cables in it now). But yes, you make reasonable guesses as to which walls/rooms may need more stuff in the future. Most important are places that will be difficult to reach as a retrofit. If you can reach the wall from an unfinished basement or an attic, having conduit isn't critical. Trying to get a wire to the first floor from a 2nd floor attic is a different story.

For my house, I ran lots of cables everywhere (and still not enough!), and ran conduits to: (1) The service entrance outside - where the phone/cable comes in, (2) to the home office built-ins, (3) to the family room A/V cabinetry, and (4) From the attic to the back yard (for outdoor speakers or other services)...

Don't be afraid to run cat5e cables to lots of locations. That's the Swiss army knife of home A/V/Networking/Automation. It doesn't all have to be exposed and terminated - if documented properly with pictures and notes, you can leave the cables buried in the walls to be retrieved as needed in the future...

Hope that helps,

Jeff

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post #7 of 14 Old 05-23-2012, 10:12 AM
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In addition to what Greg and Jeff wrote, I'd also run an additional CAT5e (3 total) to each location for HD distribution from your closet to each outlet.

CIAO!

Ed N.
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post #8 of 14 Old 05-23-2012, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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any particular type of conduit preferred? what size did you run? and curious as to how you terminated your run to the backyard? did you run electrical out there too and bury it all deep down? That gives me an idea on utilizing something similar for what will be my backyard. The excavation has yet to start, so I may be able to run ethernet out to the backyard, as well as power, though I'd think they would need to be in separate conduits?
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-23-2012, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wags1970 View Post

any particular type of conduit preferred? what size did you run? and curious as to how you terminated your run to the backyard? did you run electrical out there too and bury it all deep down? That gives me an idea on utilizing something similar for what will be my backyard. The excavation has yet to start, so I may be able to run ethernet out to the backyard, as well as power, though I'd think they would need to be in separate conduits?

Flex conduit, low-volt grade... Carlon Resigard is the "brand name" stuff, there's generic stuff, too. You can use the blue "smurf tube" that's stocked at Lowe's/HD, but that's intended for line voltage, and so may cause confusion/concerns with inspectors, et. al.

Do at least 1", 1.5" would be better, but frankly - getting anything is way better than nothing.

My runs to the back yard come down the exterior walls and terminate at junction boxes on the house. If I want to take it further, it'll be a surface mount box over the top, and appropriate conduit to take wires underground.

And yes, line voltage (AC power) must be in a separate conduit from low volt. Be careful about running Ethernet outside - if for nothing else that it could provide someone an unsecured access to your network behind your firewall (that's high on the paranoia scale... ). Just use wireless.

But yes, run cat5e out there, just may not be for Ethernet...

Jeff

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post #10 of 14 Old 05-23-2012, 12:33 PM
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I suggest conduit from TV locations to the wiring closet. Install it empty, it's for futureproofing.

Don't forget wiring for the LAN, to include wireless access point locations.

And consider a hardwired security system. And distributed audio, with in-ceiling and in-wall speakers. And consider cables for security keypads, audio keypads, touchscreen docks, motion sensors, and cameras. Overwire the front door.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #11 of 14 Old 05-23-2012, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wags1970 View Post

so I may be able to run ethernet out to the backyard, as well as power

Do you need household electricity in the back yard for lights?

For Ethernet devices, you may be able to get away with POE, (Power-Over-Ethernet) delivering low-voltage over a wire-pair on the ethernet cable.
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post #12 of 14 Old 05-25-2012, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the great ideas. You've given me a lot to think about. If I can throw one more thing at you, I'd be grateful for any suggestions.

I'll be putting up a wall rack with my punch down block and networking gear in the basement. Can I put this on the same back board that the electrical panel will go on, or does there need to be a distance between the two? I thought it would be simpler if I could get the builder to give me an oversize piece of plywood when he preps for the electrical and use that extra space for my networking needs, as well as use that same board for terminating cable runs and incoming directv satellite feed from the outside dish.
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post #13 of 14 Old 05-25-2012, 02:09 PM
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Yep, that's the right area for the gear - at least "nearby". I'd suggest keeping at least a foot or two of distance from the panel, and be sure to ask the electrician about any code issues (what's the required distance of anything from the panel). You may think about planning for a wall-mounted rack (shallow telco for patch panels, or a full-depth one for "gear"). Make sure you get the electrician to drop you an outlet at that location - you'll certainly need that!

Jeff

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post #14 of 14 Old 05-25-2012, 03:00 PM
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I'd use 2 separate pieces of plywood. The electrician may run the line voltage wires behind the plywood (but he may not). The 2nd piece would force him to use his piece, and help to avoid multiple lines of Romex behind your LV panels.

Communicate your needs to the builder and the electrician. Multiple times. Mark it visibly, if possible. Gentle reminders will help to avoid trouble down the road.

If you get the chance, talk to the electrician about whole-house surge protection from Leviton, Eaton/Cutler-Hammer, or SquareD - or one of many others.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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