Pre-wiring a new build - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 03-24-2013, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll be building a condo soon and the list of options is extensive. One thing that it does not have, even as an option, is to pre-wire the condo with Ethernet. I asked the developer if the contractors can do that for me, and she said that she would have to check with them and that no one has asked her that yet...

I'm fairly certain that she understands what I'm asking for, but I want to make sure I ask the right questions to make sure that I get what I want.

I've read a lot of great discussions on the ins-and-outs of wiring here and on cocoontech.com, so I have a fairly decent understanding of what I want accomplished. Based on what I've seen on a few sites and my newbie knowledge, I've created this map:



So my questions to the pros:

What should I have her ask the contractor/ electricians to make sure I get what I want?

Will I need to provide them with any hardware or should all that be included in the price?

I'd like to have my WiFi router in the family room, where most of my WiFi needs are. Can I plug in a cable from the wall jack to the router and have it a) provide Wifi and b) act like a switch so I can connect my XBox and HtPC all at the same time? Or should the router be in the closet with the rest of the hardware and I get a simple switch to do what I want?
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post #2 of 29 Old 03-24-2013, 02:40 PM
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Depends on how big the condo is and how strong the wifi signal would be from the closet, is where you want to place the wireless router. In a condo, the closet, ithink, would be strong enough to get good signal everywhere.

You want to ask for at least 2 cat5e and 1 rg6 to be home run from every location to a central location. Placed in a distribution panel.


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post #3 of 29 Old 03-24-2013, 03:22 PM
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2 Cat 5E or Cat 6 and 2 RG-6, 3 Gig. to each room. You may want an over the air antenna for your TV and FM Radio. Now's not the time to skimp on wiring and regret it later. And yes, all to a central location.

(LCD - Sony KDL - XBR4) (Receiver - Sony STR-DA4ES)(Blu Ray - Oppo BDP-83) (PS3)( Dish Hopper DVR With Sling) Speakers (L & R - Paradigm Studio 20) (Center -Paradigm CC-470) (Surrounds & Back Surrounds - Paradigm SA-15R in walls) (Subwoofer 1 - Sunfire HRS-12) (Subwoofer 2 - Paradigm PW-2100)
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post #4 of 29 Old 03-24-2013, 03:32 PM
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Note also that your wireless router MUST be the first device after your cable modem, before any other network devices are attached. The router is what provides the network services for the rest of the house. In your diagram, the router would be the box you labelled "network block". And where you have the router placed would just be a simple Ethernet switch.

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post #5 of 29 Old 03-24-2013, 03:55 PM
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jautor,

Good advice. Thats also how my home is wired. Now's the time for munson5282 to get his network right.

(LCD - Sony KDL - XBR4) (Receiver - Sony STR-DA4ES)(Blu Ray - Oppo BDP-83) (PS3)( Dish Hopper DVR With Sling) Speakers (L & R - Paradigm Studio 20) (Center -Paradigm CC-470) (Surrounds & Back Surrounds - Paradigm SA-15R in walls) (Subwoofer 1 - Sunfire HRS-12) (Subwoofer 2 - Paradigm PW-2100)
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post #6 of 29 Old 03-24-2013, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I never considered doing 2 RG-6 cables in each room, but that's a great idea. Thanks ifor and skytrooper. Jautor, thanks for clarifying the placement of the router. I'll try like you said but I might end up replacing my router if I don't like the results- it's an older Linksys WRT300N and I'm not happy with the range in the smaller space in my apartment. I saw on another post you mentioned to make sure that it is not in the box, so I'll make sure to remember that.

Anything else I should consider? I'd appreciate any other advice.
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post #7 of 29 Old 03-25-2013, 12:12 AM
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You can place the router in the living area.

If you place the modem in the distribution panel, ethernet to the router in the living area, ehternet back to the panel to a switch for best of everything. You may want to run 3 cat5e lines for an extra line just in case.
Router won't be in the panel then. But if you get a router and want to place it in the panel, get an antenna to place on the outside of the panel for good signal. Like this.


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post #8 of 29 Old 03-25-2013, 07:34 AM
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Does your modem have a switch built into it or is it just a single output?

If it's got a switch and has decent enough management firmware in it there's no reason to use your router as a router smile.gif
If your modem doesn't have a switch, you can put one right behind it and connect two clients. If they both get internet addresses you're good to go; if not, you'll need some sort of router. If you want mostly everything to be in the metal distribution box, I'd recommend something wired like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833127091

It sounds to me like you want to use your wifi router as an access point/switch. You can do this by putting it into gateway mode (there should be something in your web interface where you can do this) so DHCP is disabled and you won't have collisions with your main DHCP server. You'll then just need to run a wire from the switch in the distribution block to the switch built into the wifi router, NOT the WAN port. This will essentially bridge wireless traffic through the switch to the rest of your network and the other ports on the switch will be available for your HTPC and xbox.
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post #9 of 29 Old 03-28-2013, 02:56 PM
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To the crowd:

This may seem like a complete bone head question at face value but I do (although it may be believed) have some knowledge of whats going on in here.

I have read that in all wiring set ups you should have 2Cat5 / 5e runs as well as 2 RG6 runs to every room deriving from a home run room. I am not discounting the value or recommendation to make these runs. My question is this: Other than running the two pair (1C5 & 1RG6) to opposing walls for future flexibility of equipment set up what value is gained by making 2 runs?

*ducks while the vets throw tomatoes
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post #10 of 29 Old 03-28-2013, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DownSouthAV View Post

My question is this: Other than running the two pair (1C5 & 1RG6) to opposing walls for future flexibility of equipment set up what value is gained by making 2 runs?

*ducks while the vets throw tomatoes

ARE YOU KIDDING HOW DARE YOU ASK A QUESTION LIKE THAT AAAAHARRGGEEGGGEEGGGG!!! tongue.gif

The additional cat5e cables are for a host of other purpose OTHER than Ethernet. The stuff is extremely useful for audio/video distribution, especially "HDMI over Cat5e" setups. In all of these non-Ethernet cases, the cable is used as an 8-conductor cable for a point-to-point link using whatever pinout is needed for the task. So they don't connect to your Ethernet infrastructure at all.

Many HDMI-over-cat5e extenders need two cat5e cables to carry all the signals - which is why we generally suggest at least three cat5e cables to display locations: two for HDMI, one for Ethernet. And more than that is not crazy, either. See also "HDBaseT" for the coolest non-Ethernet thing you can do with a cat5e cable...

Jeff


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post #11 of 29 Old 03-28-2013, 05:36 PM
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Jautor, I figured you would be the 1st to cast the stone. I'm just starting to educate myself regarding everything A/V. I am beginning new construction sometime this 4Q and my first step will obviously will be to pre-wire the whole home into a centrally located A/C closet. As of now my intentions will be to execute the following:

* 2 Cat5e runs to any potential monitor location
* 1 Cat5e run to any future on wall touch panel. (My intentions are to adopt a Control4 system)
* 2 RG6 runs to each monitor location
* BJC speaker wire runs to all potential speaker locations
* Siamese Coax-14/2 cable to any/all surveillance locations
* Pre-wire for alarm locations
*HDMI runs to main HD locations with future intentions to put a vid matrix into the game ( my runs will be relatively short therefore making it more cost effective to run pure HDMI rather than HDMI over Cat5 via balun)

Am I leaving anything out??

Boards are crazy full of VERY useful information. Thanks to all that have provided an infinite amount of reading material.
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post #12 of 29 Old 03-28-2013, 05:56 PM
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Might as well include a CAT5e to each camera location in case you decide to do i.p. cameras instead of analog cameras.

CIAO!

Ed N.
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post #13 of 29 Old 03-28-2013, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DownSouthAV View Post

Jautor, I figured you would be the 1st to cast the stone. I'm just starting to educate myself regarding everything A/V. I am beginning new construction sometime this 4Q and my first step will obviously will be to pre-wire the whole home into a centrally located A/C closet.

Whoa, whoa, whoa there... You mean you're coming here six months before construction starts to get an understanding of A/V Distribution? It's too soon to think about all this stuff, come back the weekend before the drywall goes up. wink.gif

(Well done - you've got ample time to get into all the pre-wire stuff, and educate yourself about the product categories. Put gear on a short list, but you won't be buying anything for at least a year, so you're a full product cycle away from the stuff you'll actually buy!)

I'd also ask you to request the mods to move your question and these replies to a new thread - if only because it really does deserve it, and might be a nice model for us to point them, ahem, 'last minute' folks to in the future...
Quote:
As of now my intentions will be to execute the following:

* 2 Cat5e runs to any potential monitor location
* 1 Cat5e run to any future on wall touch panel. (My intentions are to adopt a Control4 system)
* 2 RG6 runs to each monitor location
* BJC speaker wire runs to all potential speaker locations
* Siamese Coax-14/2 cable to any/all surveillance locations
* Pre-wire for alarm locations
*HDMI runs to main HD locations with future intentions to put a vid matrix into the game ( my runs will be relatively short therefore making it more cost effective to run pure HDMI rather than HDMI over Cat5 via balun)

Am I leaving anything out??

Boards are crazy full of VERY useful information. Thanks to all that have provided an infinite amount of reading material.

One more cat5e to each display location would be my recommendation, but if those ALL have HDMI in addition two may be enough. HDBaseT will hopefully be the right answer (both technically and economically) by the time you need it, but there's also the possibility that by mid-2014 you may not need HDMI distribution. Meaning, streaming video / IP-based solutions and whole-house-DVR clients may suffice... But always wire for future flexibility...

Look at the other posts around here about the Local Source Interrupt wiring for areas you might want to share an AVR setup with a WHA zone.

Cat5e (or cat6) wire everywhere - make sure in all main rooms and bedrooms that you'll be able to reach a cat5e/RJ45 jack from anywhere in the room without crossing a door frame. Which usually means 2 or more locations per room. If you run cat5e anywhere, run a second one. (except the keypad locations, one is fine there).

Think about lots of weird locations you might want "something" later - run a cat5e there. You don't have to have them exposed with blank wall plates - properly documented, you can just bury them in the wall and poke them out years later if you need one.
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Originally Posted by egnlsn View Post

Might as well include a CAT5e to each camera location in case you decide to do i.p. cameras instead of analog cameras.

Since he's not starting his build until 4th quarter 2013, putting move-in probably 3Q 2014, I think he might want to ditch any mention of "analog" and go IP and never look back.


Jeff


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post #14 of 29 Old 03-28-2013, 07:33 PM
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(Well done - you've got ample time to get into all the pre-wire stuff, and educate yourself about the product categories. Put gear on a short list, but you won't be buying anything for at least a year, so you're a full product cycle away from the stuff you'll actually buy!)

I've been checking out many products. I have liked what I have seen from Control4 / Popcorn Hour / as well as many others
Quote:
I'd also ask you to request the mods to move your question and these replies to a new thread - if only because it really does deserve it, and might be a nice model for us to point them, ahem, 'last minute' folks to in the future...

DONE
Quote:
but if those ALL have HDMI in addition two may be enough.

Any monitor location that will be incorporated in the video matrix will have the ability to accept a HDMI feed.
Quote:
HDBaseT will hopefully be the right answer (both technically and economically) by the time you need it, but there's also the possibility that by mid-2014 you may not need HDMI distribution. Meaning, streaming video / IP-based solutions and whole-house-DVR clients may suffice... But always wire for future flexibility...

I will definitely keep a close eye on the progression of this technology.
Quote:
Look at the other posts around here about the Local Source Interrupt wiring for areas you might want to share an AVR setup with a WHA zone.

I just finish reading another one of your post and would really like to have the ability to use the two ceiling mounted speakers that will be part of my main living 5.1 arrangement independently of the WHA arrangement.
Quote:
Think about lots of weird locations you might want "something" later - run a cat5e there. You don't have to have them exposed with blank wall plates - properly documented, you can just bury them in the wall and poke them out years later if you need one.

I was more than likely going to make drops in the kitchen space as well as to thermostats and many of the traditional wall switches with hopes of one day integrating more home automation products.
Quote:
Since he's not starting his build until 4th quarter 2013, putting move-in probably 3Q 2014, I think he might want to ditch any mention of "analog" and go IP and never look back.

The more i think about it I will probably ditch the idea of analog and focus my research on the ever progressing tech of IP devices.
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post #15 of 29 Old 03-28-2013, 07:35 PM
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post #16 of 29 Old 03-28-2013, 08:11 PM
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Think about lots of weird locations you might want "something" later - run a cat5e there. You don't have to have them exposed with blank wall plates - properly documented, you can just bury them in the wall and poke them out years later if you need one.
A good place to put that loop of extra cable is on the other side of a stud from a power outlet. Then if you want to use it just measure a couple inches over from the AC outlet, cut a hole and Bob's your Uncle.


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(Just as big an idea thief as)

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post #17 of 29 Old 03-29-2013, 06:13 AM
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"HDBaseT will hopefully be the right answer (both technically and economically) by the time you need it, but there's also the possibility that by mid-2014 you may not need HDMI distribution. Meaning, streaming video / IP-based solutions and whole-house-DVR clients may suffice... But always wire for future flexibility..."


I think that this time is now and video distribution is no longer needed, at least in a home with only a few video locations. A sports bar may be a different story. Years ago I installed a component video / digital audio distribution system. I had three direct tv receivers for broadcast and an escient system for local content. I recently switched to whole house dvr, but using my existing receivers as clients. For local content I use Dunes, and for the whole house audio Sonos.
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post #18 of 29 Old 03-29-2013, 07:48 AM
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I think that this time is now and video distribution is no longer needed, at least in a home with only a few video locations. A sports bar may be a different story. Years ago I installed a component video / digital audio distribution system. I had three direct tv receivers for broadcast and an escient system for local content. I recently switched to whole house dvr, but using my existing receivers as clients. For local content I use Dunes, and for the whole house audio Sonos.

It's certainly here now for some. DirecTV / Netflix users certainly don't need it unless the number of displays vs. receivers makes economic sense. If I didn't already have the component video distribution system in place I'd have to take a hard look at my use cases to see if I really needed it today, or if I could get away with the whole-house DVR and a few other point solutions. That said, my setup is very solid and easy to use, so nothing to complain about.

But I'd still recommend pre-wiring to accommodate it, as nothing is certain!

Jeff


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post #19 of 29 Old 03-30-2013, 04:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

It's certainly here now for some. DirecTV / Netflix users certainly don't need it unless the number of displays vs. receivers makes economic sense. If I didn't already have the component video distribution system in place I'd have to take a hard look at my use cases to see if I really needed it today, or if I could get away with the whole-house DVR and a few other point solutions. That said, my setup is very solid and easy to use, so nothing to complain about.

But I'd still recommend pre-wiring to accommodate it, as nothing is certain!

Jeff

I absolutely agree on pre wiring to keep all the options open. Also did not mean to imply anyone replace an existing matrix system they are happy with. But before spending money on installing a new matrix system, I would give it a lot of thought. Chances are there is cheaper way to go with equal performance.
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post #20 of 29 Old 03-30-2013, 08:55 AM
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I absolutely agree on pre wiring to keep all the options open. Also did not mean to imply anyone replace an existing matrix system they are happy with. But before spending money on installing a new matrix system, I would give it a lot of thought. Chances are there is cheaper way to go with equal performance.

And I didn't mean to imply that you implied that! biggrin.gif I meant, if I was starting to look at systems now, there are a lot of factors that may allow the functionality without resorting to a matrix A/V distribution... Just as you said.


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post #21 of 29 Old 03-30-2013, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Since he's not starting his build until 4th quarter 2013, putting move-in probably 3Q 2014, I think he might want to ditch any mention of "analog" and go IP and never look back.


Jeff
The point was that he's currently planning on pulling cable for analog cameras. He ought pull cable for i.p. cameras, if not instead of, then in addition to what he's already planning on pulling. I definitely agree that it ought to be i.p. all the way, but it's not my house. Since he's planning for different options everywhere else, he ought to do the same with the cameras.

CIAO!

Ed N.
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post #22 of 29 Old 03-31-2013, 07:21 PM
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Okay guys I am sold on IP cameras, I'll pull an additional Cat5e run to any potential camera location. After reviewing plans with the Boss I think PHASE I of this project will be limited to the following:

* Whole home wire pull that will include the items listed below:
* Structured panel enclosure that will house:
* RG6 runs for TV distribution (Is it worth going for the fancy Leviton amplification product or is a 1x8 passive splitter suffice?)
Modem ( I will NOT put the wireless router in the metal box)
Phone distribution panel

*Rack installation (NO CLUE what size yet...reading away as we speak) that initially I will shoot for
*Network switch / Patch panel ( Managed vs Unmanaged? I was thinking 24ports ? thoughts?
Wireless router


One lingering question I have been thinking about and haven't seen a whole lot of options online is how to handle the necessary penetration from attic space into the A/V closet? Do most people use PVC or some other wiring specific product?


PHASE II will be HC800 and 8 Zone C4 Amp for WHA


Feedback ? Thoughts?

PS: What is the best way to request that this topic be moved to its own thread @ Jeff's request? OR shall I start a new one chronicling the progress from 6mo out till construction
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post #23 of 29 Old 03-31-2013, 10:13 PM
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An 8-way splitter (CATV) will need an amplifier. Whether it's an 8-out drop amp or a standard drop amp with an 8-way splitter is up to you. They are both the exact same thing, and you can get an industry standard drop amp and an 8-way splitter for $41, free shipping.

An unmanaged switch is what you'll want.

Tha panels I use have 2 holes at the top and 1 at the bottom for roof/basement penetrations utilizing 2" PVC.

CIAO!

Ed N.
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post #24 of 29 Old 04-01-2013, 07:36 AM
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3 Useful threads that may help with your prewire planning.

http://www.remotecentral.com/cgi-bin/mboard/rc-custom/thread.cgi?19065

http://www.remotecentral.com/cgi-bin/mboard/rc-custom/thread.cgi?28357

http://www.remotecentral.com/cgi-bin/mboard/rc-custom/thread.cgi?19075

You want to leave some 'service loops' (cable slack) at/near the wiring closet. Hide the extra cable in a soffit or above a drop ceiling.

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post #25 of 29 Old 04-01-2013, 05:03 PM
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An 8-way splitter (CATV) will need an amplifier. Whether it's an 8-out drop amp or a standard drop amp with an 8-way splitter is up to you. They are both the exact same thing, and you can get an industry standard drop amp and an 8-way splitter for $41, free shipping.

An unmanaged switch is what you'll want.

Tha panels I use have 2 holes at the top and 1 at the bottom for roof/basement penetrations utilizing 2" PVC.


Thank you for the information. I have bookmarked a few pages for future purchase of a 8-out drop amp. I'll figure out a way to attached it to a Leviton panel when I get all the pieces in front of me.

In terms of the penetration question : I was more concerned with the necessary penetration from the dry walled ceiling into the open space of the mech. closet before getting into the rack. Do most people use like a 4" pvc or some sort of OR do they make a specific product for this pass through.

Thanks in advanced.

JC
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post #26 of 29 Old 04-01-2013, 07:07 PM
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I would do (2) 2" PVCs. One pipe might even suffice. Everything's low voltage, so there's no worries there.

CIAO!

Ed N.
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post #27 of 29 Old 04-01-2013, 08:23 PM
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Lots of options for cable bundle penetrations through a ceiling. I think most people would use a conduit fitting in the drywalled ceiling, probably for 1 or more 2" conduits. Add the conduit when you purchase a rack. Cable ladders look professional too. A nicely finished hole or slot in the drywall would also probably be fine, with a nicely combed cable bundle. You can spend zero dollars, or $1K, lots of options, depending on esthetics and OCD tendencies.

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post #28 of 29 Old 04-01-2013, 08:24 PM
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Don't forget you'll also need power to the rack, from the wall or ceiling.

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

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
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post #29 of 29 Old 04-02-2013, 11:22 AM
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Don't forget you'll also need power to the rack, from the wall or ceiling.

From what I have read it is recommended practice to create a dedicate 20amp circuit for the rack/closet. So I suppose I'll take this route.
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