Whose structured boxes are the ones to consider these days? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 04-24-2013, 06:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Eventually I'll have to put all the wire I've pulled into some boxes. Whose boxes and their modules are the lead contenders these days? Leviton, Channel Master, OnQ, ICC, etc, which one?

I've got a decent amount of wall space and plenty of slack on the ends of the wires. So using tall boxes or more than one is certainly do-able.

The wiring to be terminated is 2 CAT5 and 1 CAT6, along with two RG6. I also have a few separate lines for phones, but really don't expect to use them as the cordless base station supports 10 handsets.

Anyone got a good write-up on setting up these boxes?
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post #2 of 14 Old 04-24-2013, 05:38 PM
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Most everything I know about enclosures, I've read on cocoontech.

I have 2 ChannelVision 50" cans, 1 set up for LAN and category cable patches, and the other for alarm.

I see a lot of ads for ICC, but I've never seen one.

If you're going the module route, research the modules first. Leviton's are pricey, but they seem like good quality.

Some enclosure manufacturers offer a 2" expansion ring, adding 2" of depth to the enclosure in front of the drywall. I have those for my LAN CV enclosure, and generally are a good addition. More space is always good. My modem and router are in front of my 16 port dumb switch. I will post a pic later.

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post #3 of 14 Old 04-24-2013, 06:41 PM
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Leviton and OnQ / Legrand products are available at the big box HW stores, which can be an advantage when it comes to locating modules. But certainly do a price comparison of the enclosure plus modules you'll be likely to use, as that may steer you towards one over the other.

Neurorad's had good luck with the ChannelVision, but my experience with their modules was poor... It was extremely difficult to get a good punch down on them.

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post #4 of 14 Old 04-24-2013, 08:28 PM
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This CV hinged plate can only be used with the expansion ring. I may ditch this hinged plate, since there is room near the bottom of the enclosure. Looked interesting, thought I'd try it. If space was at a premium, the hinged plate would be very useful.

The GS116 (i think that's what i have) switch fits perfectly (width) within the CV large product holder.

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post #5 of 14 Old 04-29-2013, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
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From what I've been able to discover, it appears Leviton has the greatest density of patch panel arrangements for mounting inside their enclosures:
http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/ProductDetail.jsp?partnumber=476TM-524&section=39641&minisite=10251

I'm leaning toward putting as much as possible inside enclosures. Versus wall-mounting typical patch panels. Then it's just an issue of running the wiring from the patch panels inside the enclosure out to various rack-mounted pieces of equipment. I want the rack to be movable and generally like to avoid direct-wiring anything straight out of the wall into equipment.
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post #6 of 14 Old 04-29-2013, 07:09 AM
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You considering a rack, for equipment? What cables would be patched, besides LAN? In my mechanical room, I have a rack, and an enclosure for LAN (modem, router, switch, patch panels). My speaker cables go straight to the rack (from the ceiling), and category cables for in-wall keypads go straight to the rack (unpatched), also from the ceiling. All my LAN drops are patched, and the plan is to patch all unused category cables in the enclosure (I ran lots of extras).

So, running from the enclosure to the rack I have: category cables for LAN, and nothing else (that I recall). Oh - the enclosure outlet is run to a rack UPS, using a Midlite male outlet - so it's not a direct run, just an extra power cord running from the wall to the rack. I'll add a switch to the rack, so that I'll have a single LAN cable supplying the rack.

My KP category cables and speaker 14/4 cables drop from the ceiling to the rack, 2 bundles. I'll add the LAN run (from the enclosure) to the KP bundle.

1-2 bundles extending from the ceiling or a nearby wall can look pretty clean, especially if inside conduit. When I need to use the category cables patched in the enclosure for something else in the rack (IR or 232 control), I'll add them to the existing bundle, exiting the enclosure from a top, bottom, or side knockout, and joining the existing bundle above the [future] ceiling.

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post #7 of 14 Old 04-29-2013, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm debating how to to handle the WHA wiring. The control CAT5 wire will definitely be run through a patch panel. Patching the audio would seem like a real hassle as other than banana plugs there's not really a good way to handle their gauge wire. I had them descending from the ceiling before, in a bundle, and it worked well enough. But that was in a basement with open rafters, I'm dealing with drywalled space this time and do want to put emphasis on keeping a cleaner look.

I too, ran lots of extras. Each room has at least one set of 2 CAT5E, 1 CAT6 and two RG6. The WHA setups have a 16/4 (or 14/4 for more distant runs) audio and two CAT5E cables. This to allow for loop-through to the speakers and an additional CAT5E line should something else come along that could use it. (Like a PoE touchscreen, etc). TV locations have two additional CAT6 lines and a component mini-coax run. That and an empty 2" conduit to strategic pull locations for future wiring needs.
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post #8 of 14 Old 04-29-2013, 08:52 AM
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I'll be using rack-mount Neutrik SpeakOns when I replace my rack, for patching the 14/4 speaker cables; I need to keep the rack mobile.

Most people don't patch speaker cables - just run them to the amp.

If you must patch speaker cables, and want elegant, I suggest DIN-mount terminal blocks, SpeakOns, or 1/4" phono connectors. Banana plugs aren't a bad solution.

Here is a relevant post from another thread, from an hour ago. wink.gif

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1470442/home-media-control-room-custom-patch-bay-questions#post_23258197

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post #9 of 14 Old 04-30-2013, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Whose DIN rail system works with these sorts of enclosures? Does one of the vendors make a mount, or would I just be drilling some holes to adapt something else?
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post #10 of 14 Old 04-30-2013, 06:22 PM
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If you have something that mounts on DIN rail, I suggest you screw the rail into the back of the enclosure, possibly using plastic, nylon standoffs. The rail comes in 2-3 different sizes, I think. Many enclosure manufacturers offer blank mounting plates, and you could screw the rail to that. This would keep screws from popping out the back of the enclosure and causing problems for cables routed behind the enclosure and for drywall behind the enclosure.

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post #11 of 14 Old 05-01-2013, 03:39 AM - Thread Starter
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The good news is the boxes will be mounted inside walls that were specifically studded out to accommodate them. That and there won't be any wire running behind, just another open stud wall that has foam insulation in it. So I'll be good with whatever's necessary to mount the boxes and drill for the conduits necessary to feed into/between them. There's even enough room in front of these to potentially allow adding extension rings on at least one of them in the event I need more depth. But you make an excellent point about potential mounting issues.

At this point I'm leaning toward the Leviton enclosures as they've got some pretty high-density CAT5 termination accessories.
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post #12 of 14 Old 05-01-2013, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Nice tip on the SpeakOns, that's certainly a better solution than phono or banana plugs.

The good news is I've got three full stud wall bays available for the wiring. That and the rack will be able to pull back from it's wall recess and pivot at the right-rear corner. This will be where I'll pull down any direct-to-rack wiring from the ceiling.

I don't need to have patch cables per se, I just prefer not to use in-wall cable when it's going to connect to something that can be moved. Mainly because if you break the conductors on a in-wall wire you're screwed. A DIN rail inside the wall box might be a workable solution. Then I'd just need to plan for the rail-to-device wiring being able to get back out of the box and over to the rack in an orderly fashion. The trick there will be having enough clearance to get all the wiring in/out.
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post #13 of 14 Old 05-01-2013, 09:20 PM
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A scoop plate next to or below the enclosure would be useful to pass a bundle from the enclosure (through a knockout, through the scoop) to the rack.

I think you're better off not patching, or patching in the rack. I mounted my terminal blocks to DIN rail, attached to a blank plate, in the rack.

Both SpeakOns and TBs require research and time to specify. Plus, there is the added cost. I figure it will be about $180 for Speakons, for my distributed audio, at a minimum. TBs were about $140.

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post #14 of 14 Old 06-15-2013, 07:23 AM - Thread Starter
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FWIW, I ordered a channelvision 8-port coax module and the mounting holes fit the Leviton SMC boxes. The picture only shows two holes per side but there are actually four. I did have to move one of the pegs to the other hole on that side, but that's because I plan on mounting it vertically in the Leviton box.

This one:

CHANNEL VISION C-0213 "f" Barrel Connection Termination Passive Rf Splitter
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