TV and Audio on Covered Porch.... - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 26 Old 03-18-2017, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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TV and Audio on Covered Porch....

The beginning of my basement finish / home theater project is the addition of a new covered porch. I had to get electrical and A/V out there before sealing up the interior walls with gyp.

There will be a fireplace, with a TV over the fireplace. At the other end is a hot tub. The colored circles on the plan indicate what I anticipate for audio via ceiling mounted speakers as I finish out the basement. There will be a central rack in the mechanical closet that everyting will run to. The home theater will be separate. The ceiling mounted speakers here are for music inside. I'm running three Cat6 wires and one RG6 to the TV location, and am planning on running one 14ga speaker wire to each speaker location, home run to the rack location in the mechanical closet.

Here are my goals:

Porch:
1) Cook on my big green egg, watch football and soak in the hot tub and be able to hear the TV while enjoying the hot tub. I want to hear TV audio when in the hot tub. Because it is noisy, and I am deaf as a post, I would need to have the audio from the TV in the two speakers over the hot tub (not just surround).

2) Have a 5.1 or 7.1 surround for the TV when not in the hot tub and watching a game on the porch. Understanding the audio will not be great out there, I do still enjoy hearing surround sound for sports.

Basement:
1) Ability to have the same game playing on theater screen, bar TV, porch TV and adjacent patio TV. (primary goal)

2) Ability to play a different game inside and outside. (secondary goal)

3) Zoned audio for all the zones for Pandora.

Theater will have it's own audio system, and I'm not too concerned about indoor / outdoor audio not syncing.

Areas I need help and advice:
1) I'm thinking a separate 7.1 AV receiver for the porch, mounted inside at the rack. I could either use the surround for TV, or change the mode to use all speakers when in the hot tub. I would link this to a Monoprice HHA amp so it could be integrated into the rest of the audio for the basement.


Am I overlooking something here? Is there a better way to handle the audio on the porch? The footings are poured, and the hot tub is sitting there empty waiting on the contractor to come back and build the porch around it. I've got a little time, but no more than two weeks.

Also, I assume I'd need an IR receiver by the TV to change the receiver modes and control volume. What wire should I run back to the rack for remote?

Thank you in advance for input and advice. This forum has been a tremendous help to get me to this point. It's getting real, and I look forward to sharing it with you. Promise not to post pictures of me in the hot tub. It would 'break the internet,' and not in a good way.

YJ
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post #2 of 26 Old 03-19-2017, 06:24 AM
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Quickly thinking I think your wiring plan should be fine.
Dependent on wire run length you might consider running an HDMI cable from TV to rack. Sure, you can use HDBaseT over Cat6, but the hardware is much more expensive.
We just did a job exactly like your situation and also ran HDMI.

For base level control, you could get a Denon receiver (or similar) that has multichannel for Theater and Stereo second hot tub zone.
If you add more zones inside the house, you could upgrade to audio / video matrix switch later.

For control, you can run IR over unused Cat5/6 wire. IR is not so good outside due to ambient light.
A better solution is a real control system (handheld remote or smartphone / tablet or a hybrid). You would have a wireless remote (like RTI zigbee) connected to a "hub", and the hub (inside) then sends commands to the receiver via Serial / TCP or worse case, IR.
In the smartphone situation, your phone on WiFi to the Master Controller that sends commands to serial / TCP or to an IR transmitter (GlobalCache or USBIR6 or other).
In the hybrid, the wireless remote talks to the Master Controller as well as the smartphone / tablet. Complicated functions handled by the smartphone, channel surfing and volume by the handheld remote control.
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post #3 of 26 Old 03-19-2017, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for your reply - I really appreciate it.

I'm looking at close to 80 feet for HDMI run, so I took that out of the equation. I understood anything over 50' was really pushing it - please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

I'm still unclear about a situation like the bar area, where I would have six ceiling mounted speakers for audio...is one side of speakers for (L)eft and one for (R)ight? Do you run them all mono? I have not found a good source to learn about this yet.

Thank you again.

YJ

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post #4 of 26 Old 03-19-2017, 02:54 PM
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We use HDMI Redmere up to 100 feet.

For your outside "theater"...

six speakers is normally "5.1"

1) Left
2) Center
3) Right
4) Left Rear
5) Right Rear
6) Subwoofer.

The AV receiver splits up the source signal and the respective amp sends the signal to the correct speaker (when wired correctly).
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post #5 of 26 Old 03-19-2017, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I didn't know about HDMI that long - super.

I understand about 5.1. For the porch, I would have the two closest to the tv be left and right. I would have a center channel below the TV. The two behind the sofa would be the rear surrounds, and the two over the hot tub would be zone 2 from the AVR.

I'm looking through the denon specs to see if TV can go to 5.1 and to Zone 2 simultaneously. That would work.

A separate question was in the bar area inside...I expect to have 6 ceiling speakers for audio only. I don't know how that would wire...would three on one side be 'left' and three on the other side be 'right?' Are they all mono? I've never had a HHA system before, and have not found a good primer on it yet.

Thank you again.

YJ

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post #6 of 26 Old 03-27-2017, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellow Jacket View Post
I didn't know about HDMI that long - super.

I understand about 5.1. For the porch, I would have the two closest to the tv be left and right. I would have a center channel below the TV. The two behind the sofa would be the rear surrounds, and the two over the hot tub would be zone 2 from the AVR.

I'm looking through the denon specs to see if TV can go to 5.1 and to Zone 2 simultaneously. That would work.

A separate question was in the bar area inside...I expect to have 6 ceiling speakers for audio only. I don't know how that would wire...would three on one side be 'left' and three on the other side be 'right?' Are they all mono? I've never had a HHA system before, and have not found a good primer on it yet.

Thank you again.

YJ
I have a similar setup with 5.1 in my living room and TV and audio on covered patio. My question would be do you think you really need 5.1 on the patio? If you are willing to go with a stereo setup on the patio, it simplifies things greatly.

You could install your receiver in theater room and run the patio off of zone 2. Also, with a decent receiver, it will have two HDMI outputs so you can use one for the theater and the other for the patio TV. If the run is long, you may want to install baluns and carry the signal over cat6. I run over 50 foot HDMI cables from my Onkyo TX-NR626 and have no problems but YMMV.

The nice thing about this is that you have less hardware.

For control on the patio, you have really 3 options:

1. Smart Phone control
2. IR repeater setup
3. Harmony Hub or similar control over wifi

The limitation of this is that you have to watch the same thing in the downstairs theater and the patio simultaneously.
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post #7 of 26 Old 05-15-2017, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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So it is time for an update. In typical contractor fashion, the job that was supposed to wrap up in a month is now in week 11. I am a DIY guy, but my work and family commitments prohibit that for a job like this right now. That said, here is where I'm at - lots of great help from this forum.

Went with ceiling mounted speakers - found a good deal at Newegg on Polk RC80i, and the customer service was great. Crutchfield wouldn't touch it. I boxed out with 2x6 on each side of the speakers and put some pink fluffy in the top to help with the sound. It won't be super, but it will be very nice for college football (To Hell with Georgia) without breaking the bank.

Also from help on this site found a smoking deal on Yamaha RXA-710 new for $199 shipped. It will be 7.1 for TV and the two rears will switch to AUX speaker mode for 2.0 music or TV audio while sitting in the hot tub and not blowing out the neighbors with the volume.

Here's some progress pics - starts with the fireplace going in, deck going down, and then a pic each way on the porch and a shot above the TV. I wired for three Cat6, RG6 and one Cat6 for a remote which I still need help picking. I asked a question in the remote forum and got zero point zero response. Also wired for two cameras on the porch and one covering the side of the house. Will be moving my big green egg out there the second they are done and gone, which cannot come too soon. Sometimes you get a great contractor, and sometimes you get the guy that typifies all the complaints. I got that guy, and paid more to get him.
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post #8 of 26 Old 07-28-2017, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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So here we are, almost in August, and this project STILL is not finished. There have been a litany of excuses, but I am only focused to getting to a reasonable finish line to get this guy OUT of my life. I could have gone down to the Quicktrip gas station and picked up illegals as easy as he did, but that is not the point of this post, and certainly not what I paid a contractor to do. Be warned, as good guys are busy, and you could end up like me.

That said, I tried my first cable termination tonight. I gave up after four attempts and started drinking.

Terminating Cat6 cable is not as easy as they make it look on youtube videos, and I am frustrated and taking drunk.

I bought the tools I thought I needed, and gave it a shot. To you guys who do this all the time, should I hire this out, or am I just being a huge, whiney, wuss?

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post #9 of 26 Old 07-29-2017, 06:27 AM - Thread Starter
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For some reason, my head hurts this morning...

Brick guys are here (finally, thank you Lord!). There will be a bar sink and pass through here.

Standing on a ladder re-doing termination is not fun.






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post #10 of 26 Old 07-30-2017, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Success!

I'll be returning the plugs I bought from Black Box (which were NOT cheap, btw) in favor of the Home Cheapo ones I picked up yesterday. I felt like a champion, and my wife was oh so unimpressed.

YJ


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post #11 of 26 Old 07-30-2017, 05:45 AM
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Terminating CAT6 to a keystone jack is easy as anything else. I'm not sure where you're terminating to, but if it's at the head-end, I'd highly recommend you terminate your cat6 to a patch panel first, then from a patch panel, go to a switch. Not only will it make your installation cleaner, it'll make it easier to terminate since you can just terminate the CAT6 to a keystone on the patch panel, then use a standard CAT6 patch cable from amazon or wherever to go to the switch.

As for terminating CAT6 to a RJ45, yes, it's more difficult than CAT5. The reason being it's a thicker gauge wire, and they just don't maneuver as easily. They also don't bunch up as nicely. I prefer the RJ45 that have a 2-part system for CAT6. The actual RJ45, and a little wire sleeve that you slide in that lines up the wires for you. I find those easier to terminate than your standard RJ45. AFter that it's just practice... you'll get better the more you do. Also, if you don't have one already, buy a cable tester. I'd consider it a requirement, especially dealing with CAT6.

I'm a stubborn DIY guy so I wouldn't turn to a pro for a job like this. You can do it. Get the right tools and keep trying!
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post #12 of 26 Old 08-02-2017, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
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It took four tries to make the next connection. I've had a tester, and it tells you which wires are not talking, but you have to figure out which end.

I looked as closely as I could through my walmart reading glasses (which I desperately need now) and tried to figure it out, but it is a PITA if you can't see well like I used to could do and now realize I need to go beyond walmart readers.

Replaced two ends before I understood there was one wire at the opposite end that was not getting sexy with the plug.

Posting this for the guys like me who have never done this, and want to do it.

The learning curve means you'll need more plugs than you wired for, and leave enough slack to make the work comfortable and allow for mistakes.

The camera I triumphantly got working tonight had the wire crushed and split behind the sheathing by my $h1T contractor



and I had to pull the sheathing off the back of the wall and work with a very short tolerance. When you suck at this like I do, that is very important. It is also very hard to trim, split, sort, and feed these microwires perfectly when you don't have slack and when you're standing on a ladder at the ceiling and certainly after you've had a beer or ten.

Plan accordingly my friends.

YJ
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post #13 of 26 Old 08-03-2017, 11:02 AM
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The key to terminating "RJ45's" or 8P8C connectors is.... Once you fan out the wires in the T568A (residential standard, it is more telephone friendly) or T568B color code wiggle them around. Pinch the down on the jacket end and wiggle the lose ends. This will cause the copper wires to harden just a little. Then trim them down and shove them in. Works every time.
Also be sure you are buying the correct "RJ45's" or 8P8C plugs. Some are made for stranded wire and some are made for solid wire. Stranded wire plugs WILL only cause problem down the road if you use them on solid cable.
As some else post above. I would ALWAYS punch down to jacks and then use store bought patch cords for all you connects. Also a good practice to leave slack at both ends on the cables. DO NOT make tight coils. 18" or large coils and you will be OK. Also, DO NOT use wire to wrap around bundles of cables to organise them.
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post #14 of 26 Old 08-03-2017, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I would ALWAYS punch down to jacks and then use store bought patch cords for all you connects. Also a good practice to leave slack at both ends on the cables.
I've got a patch panel that I will be punching down to. Until I get an HVAC guy to come move a fresh air duct, I can't get to it, so I'm terminating both ends. I'll only do one more and then begin the search for a good HVAC installer. So sick of sweating.

On my cable last night, I had about 4-6 feet of slack that my 'contractor' chose to smash behind the sheathing breaking two wires, and leaving me about 6" after I cut it out of the wall to terminate. I had one failed attempt on that end, and if I failed again, I would be out of room to work. The pucker factor was high.

Educate me on the difference in stranded wire and solid wire...I thought I had this down, and perhaps I bought the wrong plugs.

I'm pretty sure it's because beer and terminating tiny little wires don't go together well, but if I can blame it on something else, hooray!

Also, I wiggled, bent and smoothed those wires like a champ. My thumb was sore this morning.

Appreciate everyone's input. Got the furniture out last night too, and will be ordering granite top for the egg table tomorrow.

Going to enjoy it for a little while, and then get to fixing all the things my 'contractor' screwed up.

YJ

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post #15 of 26 Old 08-04-2017, 08:27 AM
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Educate me on the difference in stranded wire and solid wire...I thought I had this down, and perhaps I bought the wrong plugs.

YJ
Stranded wire is for patch cords because it is flexible and made to be flexible and move. Solid wire cable is made to be left in the walls, ceilings, conduit, etc. It will break if moved around to much. Making patch cords out of solid wire cable WILL fail!! Just when.
The difference on the "RJ45" 8P8C plugs is the gold colored pins. The solid wire pins have three prongs that will slide around the solid wire when crimped. Two pins on one side of the wire and one pin on the opposite side. The plugs for stranded wire only have two pins and the force their way in between the strands of wire when crimped.
If you use a plug made for stranded wire on solid wire then the pins just bend to one side and never make a good connection. Today maybe but after a few movements they can go bad. Buildings are always moving. Jets flying over, big truck going drown the street, and people. First thing I do when I see home made patch cords is cut them into small pieces and throw them away. Cables terminated with "RJ45s" I cut them off a put jacks. Easy and cheap to do it the right way the first time.
So why not just use stranded wire the whole way? Stranded wire has about 20% more resistance for the same size conductor as solid. So, we can't run the cables as far and we are limited to 295 ft (Permanent Link). 328 ft patch cord to patch cord (Channel).
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post #16 of 26 Old 08-04-2017, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Huuuuuugggggggeeeeeely helpful...thank you!

Why this is such a great forum.

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post #17 of 26 Old 08-04-2017, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
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The Blackbox plugs I bought are for solid wire.

The Home Cheapo plugs I bought (and used) are for stranded wire. The one I sealed up in the wall last night hopefully will last. I wrapped them together in black electrical tape to keep out dust, insects, etc. The other I can get to if needed, and have some slack.

I wish there was a book 'for Dummies' on this stuff.

I don't see the difference though, in normal movement from environmental life (trucks, walking) and in jamming the plugs in and out over time. Hopefully they will be more robust than that.

This is reason #7 ,498 why I try not to shop at Home Cheapo if at all possible. People are not buying what I bought to make patch cables, it is not marketed that way. Similarly, the "Cat6" cable I bought there is NOTHING like the Cat6 I ordered from Blackbox after reading on this forum. They appeal to price points and not on quality, or appropriate application.

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post #18 of 26 Old 08-06-2017, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
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So I had the brilliant idea to take the patch panel off the rack so I can access it and am ready to punch down some cables, and lo, I found this diagram that I cannot decipher, and can't find a manual. It is a Hubbell patch panel, and the photo is the back...anybody know how to read this to get the right tiny little wires into the right tiny little slot. Wiring to "B" specs.

I guessing the solid color goes on the bottom slot, and the solid / white goes on the top...

Mucho appreciation....

YJ



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post #19 of 26 Old 08-07-2017, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
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So I had the brilliant idea to take the patch panel off the rack so I can access it and am ready to punch down some cables, and lo, I found this diagram that I cannot decipher, and can't find a manual. It is a Hubbell patch panel, and the photo is the back...anybody know how to read this to get the right tiny little wires into the right tiny little slot. Wiring to "B" specs.

I guessing the solid color goes on the bottom slot, and the solid / white goes on the top...

Mucho appreciation....

YJ

Your picture did not load. Only difference between A and B is Pairs 2 (Orange) and 3 (Green) are switched. Usually you will not have two white wires next to one another or two sold wire next to one another. It will typically go white, solid, white, solid..... Or tip, ring, tip, ring.... Or +,-,+,-....
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post #20 of 26 Old 08-07-2017, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Don't know what happened...when I previewed it last night, it showed up, and when you quoted my post today it showed. When I got home tonight, no pic. I re-uploaded it for other's reference.

Found out through trial and error that I had it backward. My thumbs are killing me. In that photo, the solid wire was up (first), and the white was the lower terminal (second).

I am doing this for HDBaseT for the TV over the fireplace. I got Blackbird extender / receiver as I thought the run was too far for HDMI. I've read that a lot of the Blackbird products fail, and fail often. I hope that will not be the case for me.

I have two good Cat6 cables to the area, and one spare. I also have a Cat5 cable for IR repeater if necessary. I'm worried about heat and humidity killing the extenders, and am wondering if I should spring for the monoprice extenders that use two Cat6 cables. They also have a lot of negative reviews.

Has anyone put HDBaseT outside? It is a coverd porch, and won't get rain, etc, but certainly head and bugs and humidity and all the glory that comes from living in the south.

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post #21 of 26 Old 08-08-2017, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
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Found out through trial and error that I had it backward. My thumbs are killing me. In that photo, the solid wire was up (first), and the white was the lower terminal (second).
That would be correct. Yours is going solid then white. Big key points would be the jacket should be in the center near the port number. So all pairs are an even length and go straight the the termination point. Do NOT untwist pairs more than 1/2" and the jacket as close as possible to the point of termination.
Yes, your finger tips will be sore unless you are doing this a lot. Using the high points in the termination field to wiggle in between the twisted pairs helps a lot. Just make sure solid goes where solid belong and white where white belongs. You can pinch the pair and flip it over in that one spot but untwisting the wires is bad. You do NOT want to untwist the wires and pull them down into the grooves/termination point (IDC) one wire at a time. You want to use the high points to go in between the twist. This we help maintain the 1/2" or less of untwist.
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post #22 of 26 Old 08-08-2017, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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That would be correct. Yours is going solid then white. Big key points would be the jacket should be in the center near the port number. So all pairs are an even length and go straight the the termination point. Do NOT untwist pairs more than 1/2" and the jacket as close as possible to the point of termination.
Yes, your finger tips will be sore unless you are doing this a lot. Using the high points in the termination field to wiggle in between the twisted pairs helps a lot. Just make sure solid goes where solid belong and white where white belongs. You can pinch the pair and flip it over in that one spot but untwisting the wires is bad. You do NOT want to untwist the wires and pull them down into the grooves/termination point (IDC) one wire at a time. You want to use the high points to go in between the twist. This we help maintain the 1/2" or less of untwist.
Exactly what I did not do.

I had both wires testing good last night and I celebrated. Put the face plat on tonight and tested before mounting the TV and the 7,8 is showing open again. I let out a string of bad words that my mother would not be proud of.

How many times can you 'redo' on the patch panel before it becomes worn out?

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post #23 of 26 Old 08-09-2017, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellow Jacket View Post
Exactly what I did not do.

I had both wires testing good last night and I celebrated. Put the face plat on tonight and tested before mounting the TV and the 7,8 is showing open again. I let out a string of bad words that my mother would not be proud of.

How many times can you 'redo' on the patch panel before it becomes worn out?
7&8 would be the brown pair. So, you just need to look at the brown pair on both ends. Start with the easy end first.
T568B
1&2 Orange pair
3&6 Green Pair
4&5 Blue Pair
7&8 Brown Pair

5 punches per groove (IDC) is what the MFGs will tell you is OK. After that all bet are off. Untwisted wires may test OK with a continuity tester but with fail with a certification test because of crosstalk. Crosstalk will cause your signal to fail.
Just slow, easy, even pressure when punching down. Making sure the cutting blade is facing the outside of the termination field. You are NOT trying to jam the wire in there. Let the tool do the work. Once you are done, make sure the wire is at the bottom of the groove (IDC) on both the inside and outside. Then check your color code. If you practice that. Most of you terminations will pass.

Last edited by function12; 08-09-2017 at 10:55 AM.
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post #24 of 26 Old 09-01-2017, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm getting close to wrapping up this thread. No pics yet, but very close.

I've read nearly every post from Joe Ferand here over the last year or so, and learned a ton. I made a decision to go with the Octava solution and after getting it roughed in tonight, I could not be happier. Advice, support and the product have been awesome.

Football tomorrow and all weekend (thank the Good Lord), and things are working as I wanted. Will update with a good report and some pics when I get it cleaned up. I've got wires everywhere now, but will go to bed happy, and looking forward to football tomorrow in the exact capability I wanted to view it.

Good stuff. May the SEC burn in fiery flames of ACC glory.
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post #25 of 26 Old 09-08-2017, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I promised pics, but I'm still waiting on a few details to wrap up the rack, organize cables, etc.

In the meantime, I'm getting ready for Irma...


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post #26 of 26 Old 09-09-2017, 01:58 AM
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'In the meantime, I'm getting ready for Irma...' - stay safe.


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