Originally Posted by wags1970
I've got a new house being built, this week the electrician has come in to start his wiring. I am planning on doing the runs for the ethernet and coax on my own. I've done just enough research to leave me confused and uncertain, but I need to finalize my plans and do it quickly.
RANT: To everyone reading these threads - the time to learn about DIY pre-wiring is LOOOONNNG before the day or week before the electrician is there... (no offense to the OP, it's common around here, just want to reinforce the point - if you're running up against a deadline, it's time to cut a check to a pro)
Great that you've planned to do this and have the blessing / curse
from the builder...
My first question is regarding the amount of RG6 coax to run. The consensus seems to be to run 2 to each drop location. I'll be CURRENTLY utilizing directv which only CURRENTLY requires a single coax. I am uncertain as to what I might ever need the 2nd run to be used for? I know, cable is not that cheap, but I'm under a time crunch and if I have to run 2 drops, I have to order more cable. I won't be utilizing any kind of antenna, and if I was to backfeed a signal I'd probably use one of my Cat6 runs and run HDMI over cat6. So can someone please tell me what I may ever need this 2nd coax for?
Fixed that for ya...
Yes, the primary motivation for the standard 2-coax-per-outlet standard practice was satellite providers that previously required two runs for dual-tuner DVRs or for sat+OTA. You're also correct that you can get by with one. But that's today. The cable is cheap (not as cheap as cat5e), and I'd still recommend running the 2nd one because it's still got lots of potential uses. I don't know anyone that's felt like they ran too much cable - unless maybe they paid for a bunch of fiber... Just don't kick yourself 5 years from now when (making this up) 100Gb home Ethernet runs best over coax and you can't download 4K Netflix-Ultra.
2nd question and the most important, I'm not sure what I should be using for my low voltage, meaning the low voltage boxes, mud rings, some of the fancier combination boxes, etc? I know they make the "pass-thru" wall plates where the wires simply all come out of the same hole, but I do not care for the look of these.
so I had originally planned on utilzing the separate low voltage gang boxes (open in the back) and run my wires through that, and then utilize a combination of the keystone jacks to blank wall plates so I can customize exactly what I want. This looks more attractive to me versus the pass thru way of running the wires. I've recently seen an article where someone said to utilize the mud rings that attach to the electrical box, so only one box would need to be mounted, but I'm not sure which particular mud rings I'd use. Furthermore, I thought low voltage and high voltage wires should be a foot apart at least, so how does that work when HV and LV are combined in the same box?
And what about conduit, can you terminate a conduit in a mud ring the way you can in a regular low voltage open box?
so as you can see, I'm confused and second guessing what I thought I wanted. I like the idea of having as few boxes as necessary. looking for thoughts and recommendations on how to proceed? Thank you
The "pass through" is best for the back-end (the wiring closet), if you can leave a foot of cable at the room-end, you can always pull it out enough to make direct connections to baluns if necessary. IMO, the time of that requirement is probably past - HDBaseT and better baluns should be fine with a patch cord at one end.
The low-volt mud rings are readily available, doesn't really matter which ones you use. The Arlington (and some other brands) models have a tie down loop to secure the cables out of the way of the drywall. There are also combo boxes which have a box and ring attached together to make a dual-gang outlet - and there are keystone products to work with that configuration, too.
The separation of line and low-voltage is also somewhat an old issue - but not a bad practice regardless. I usually put the line voltage on the opposite stud (in the same bay) as the low volt plate just for simplicity and to keep some separation. But none of the digital signals will care about 60Hz noise anyway.
Lastly, the flex conduit can either just be left hanging (my builder left it hanging out the mud ring so it could be trimmed afterwards), or Carlon has low-volt rings with a conduit receptacle (need a threaded coupler and nut to use) - you can see those behind my theater rack in my build thread.
Hope that helps,