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post #1 of 35 Old 06-19-2007, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been reading this forum for long time now. Now, this is the time to start a new thread. My home construction begins. I have all my plans ready. I was waiting for my construction managers' okay on self prewiring.

Thanks Steve and Ronnie for your suggestions.

For the record, I bought some pre wiring from the builder's contractor. But everybody know how pricey they are..($70 per outlet), thats too much for me. I have a good skill in woodwork, knowledge about the low voltage wiring and components etc. So, I talked to my construction manager. I showed him my plans. The total number of outlets will be 115. If I let the builder do the prewiring, I will be spending $8000 just for the pre wiring. But when I calculated, I will be able to complete this with in $3000(+ my work, it can be excluded, since I am doing it as my hobby). This is a 4000sqft home.

Media Closet is located on one side of the media room. This closet has door in the back(opens to another closet) and a window/panel in the front(opens to media room). This way I can access the front of the components from my media room, and access the wires and connections from the back.

Enough talk, lets move on..

Media Room 7.1 Prewiring with 2 Location for Sub(by builder)
Family Room and Master bedroom 5.1(by builder)

Major Drop Locations
1- CAT6
2- CAT5e
5- RG6 Quad shield(updated)

Minor Drop Locations
1-CAT6
1-CAT5e
1-RG6 Quad shield

Keypad Locations
2- CAT5
14/4 Speaker Wires from the media closet
14/2 Speaker wires from Speaker locations
14/4 Speake wires from keypad to Major drop in the same room(added)

Security Camera Locations
1 CAT5 (updated)
1 RG6 (updated)
1 18/2 (Added)

Service Locations
6- RG6 Quad shield for satellite
3- RG6 Quad shield for Cable
2- CAT5 for Phone

Every room, Deck, Patio will have 2 speakers with its own volume controls/keypads.

Every room Motion sensors(Added)
Every room Temp Sensors(Added)

6 security cameras

Cable Costs:

2000ft RG6 Quad: $280(Lowes)
500ft RG6: $66 (Lowes)
2000ft CAT6 : $380(belden - altex)
500ft 14/4: $250(altex)
500ft 14/2: $118(coleman - Lowes)
500ft 18/4: $145(coleman - Lowes)

I am planning to use Levitron Quickport series for the faceplates. It will match with the Piano switches the builder is installing.

Tools and Accessories:

Ladder - 18' Retractable
Wood Chisels 1/4", 1/2", 3/4", 1"
Hammer
Small Level
Wire Cutter
Chalk Line
Measuring Tape - Stanley 25'
Drill Bits - Spade bits + Dewalt 72 Piece drill bit set
Drills - Dewalt 1/2" Electrical Drill + 18v Cordless drill
Extension cord - 100 ft 15A
Cable Tie - 3 sizes, 50 packs
Cable Hangers - 50 pack
Wire Labels(Excel sheet printout with Room and port identification. eg MBD1-Master Bedroom Data1)
Electrical tape - 10 pack
Nail Plates
Wall Boxes
Low voltage Backless brackets

I will update this list as and when I move forward/make changes etc. I will try to add pictures once my pre wiring starts.

Anybody think I'll be running short for the following applications?
Whole House Audio, Gigabit network, HD Video and Audio distribution, Home automation/security monitors


EDIT1: Added 2 more rg6 in major drop locations, for HD video and Audio distribution. Added Security camera, motion and temp sensors. Decided to go with CAT6 only for network, and CAT5e for all other applications.
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post #2 of 35 Old 06-20-2007, 04:06 AM
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What is your plan for distributing HD to your tv locations?

What type of rg6 is lowes providing? Check out the recent threads about belden 1694a.

For your CCTV you should look at a rg59+18/2 siamese cable. Unless you are doing IP cameras. The cat6 could supply the power, but you'd have to join the conductors. RG6 is overkill for this application, imho.

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post #3 of 35 Old 06-20-2007, 05:13 AM
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Tim brought up some good points...Some I agree with, some not necessarily, although I understand the thinking. To whit:

RG6 + Cat6 for security: If you KNOW you are going with baseband cameras, then RG59+18/2 is a better solution, however, if you aren't settled on cameras, then the RG6/Cat combo is a good one. It's what I used in my own install and it has proven its merit. I ended up using a camera that just uses 6 conductors for power, video, audio and motion, so the Cat cable worked perfect for that. That gave me a spare RG6 cable at each location which I ended up using for an outdoor TV in the deck area. Had I run RG59, it would have worked in a pinch for that situation, but I'm better off with the RG6 that I ran. That may be an extreme case, but it is something to consider.

I also concur with Tim's thoughts on what are your plans for HD distribution? 3 RG6 and 3Cat6 aren't enough. 3 RG6 will give you component distribution with no audio. 3 Cat6 would give you 1 Network, 1 Phone only leaving 1 Cat for video distribution if you chose to go with baluns, which again would not be enough to include audio (there are some single Catx HD/Digital audio solutions but why limit yourself). IMHO, you need to expand to either 5RG6 or more Cat6 if you plan to use something like the AVAtrix switches.

On the RG6 from Lowes, make sure it is copper center, not copper clad steel.
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post #4 of 35 Old 06-20-2007, 09:54 AM
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Just a thought. Another option w/out adding more RG6 (which I would recommend anyways) is that you can use two (or even one?) of the CAT6 to distribute audio. Leviton makes quickports that take a CAT5/6 and terminate into L/R audio female RCA jacks on the other side.

That's what I've had to end up doing but ONLY because I, for some reason, figured that 4 RG6 was enough to distribute everything. It would be if I were using digital audio w/a receiver at my wall-mounted TV location but I'm not so I ended up being one short for normal L/R audio distribution and was too lazy to pull another RG6...
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post #5 of 35 Old 06-20-2007, 10:35 AM
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115 total runs for a 4000sqft house is light, but you may be interested in less than over-the-top home automation so I dunno. Your cable needs also seems light (2K of CAT6 esp)

Here we go. It's a little disorganized as I kept realizing I remembering different stuff i've run.

1) Occupancy: Motion sensors for every room, run 18/4 for that.

2) Usage: Door sensors for every closet door in case you want to do auto-lighting-on, run 22/2 (or CAT5 to a central location) for that.

3) Security: Siren/CO/Smoke/Heat/Glassbreak sensors, most of them use 18/4, heat may use 22/2.

4) Driveway and or/fence gates for open/close status: 22/2 or CAT5.

5) Window sensors: 22/2, or if you have multiple together you could do CAT5 to the middle one and 22/2 to each window.

6) HA Speakers: Due to it being irritating to have audio pause to hear HA announcements/etc, I personally chose to mount a 2nd set of speakers just for HA (doorbell/phone/HA announcements/intruder alerts), and got the single-gang Elk $7 speakers. I ran CAT5 to the Elk, and put each of them on a relay so I can turn each of them on/off. Don't forget outside speakers too, such as patio and front door.

7) Doorbell: If you get an Elk panel, you could use CAT5 for the doorbell and have an Elk-based doorbell rather than a generic chime. Plus that way you'd be setup in the future to automatically pop up a frontdoor camera on doorbell ring, and not rely on the doorbell detector.

8) HVAC: 2 CAT5 to your thermo (one for integration with PC, one in case you want remote thermos)

9) 1 CAT5 to irrigation

10) Temp: 1 22/2 or CAT5 to any room where you want to mount a temp sensor to get temps in each room

11) HDTV Antenna: 1 RG6 for external antenna on roof

12) XM: 1 RG6 for XM signal cable to an external antenna

13) DirecTV: 1 RG6 per concurrent tuner you want, only one for digital cable I believe.

14) Safety/Elk:Water Sensors near hot water heater or other flood-prone locations. CAT5 I think.

15) Security Keypad, prox sensors, pin readers. CAT5 I think.

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post #6 of 35 Old 06-20-2007, 11:14 AM
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I know I harp on this, but I personally don't think you are dropping enough RG-6. I would plan on at least 4 (5 would be better) to every potential TV location. This will give you component video AND digitial audio distribution (or analog sound with 5 cables run). Or perhaps run cable TO the TV and component video from your DVD player BACK to the closet for further distribution aroung the house.

There are just too many scenerios I can come up with that would use more than 3 RG-6 cables. I know you have to draw the line somewhere (why not run 10 while your at it....), but I think 4 or 5 is a much more flexible set up.

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post #7 of 35 Old 06-20-2007, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sic0048 View Post

I know I harp on this, but I personally don't think you are dropping enough RG-6. I would plan on at least 4 (5 would be better) to every potential TV location. This will give you component video AND digitial audio distribution (or analog sound with 5 cables run). Or perhaps run cable TO the TV and component video from your DVD player BACK to the closet for further distribution aroung the house.

Actually not just external distro, also the ability to use in-ceiling speakers in that room only hooked up to one stereo, with the ability to listen to centralized/distributed audio&video, or a local audio-video.

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post #8 of 35 Old 06-20-2007, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank You guys, you are awesome!

I will modify my plans and will include 5 RG6 (should I do the quadshield?)

Anybody else have any openion about the security camera wiring.

robertmee, what is the price difference between the camera you used and the baseband camera?

IVB, appreciate your input. i am thinking about adding some of the items you specified. I will add whatever I can at this point. I have only two days to complete my wiring.
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post #9 of 35 Old 06-20-2007, 01:16 PM
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I just finished pre-wiring my 4000 sq ft home about 2 weeks ago. You need to quadruple your cable allowance.
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post #10 of 35 Old 06-20-2007, 01:18 PM
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The cameras I used are the Xanboo Core Technology CC408 cameras. They're getting tougher to find, but they do decent for their price. I just bought two more for $30 each. They have 420 lines rez and some limited IR night vision. They also detect motion and have audio. I use them 'cause I'm a cheap SOB and they give me good value.

You have to be careful tho, as there are many variations of these that don't offer the same 420 lines and .01 lux specs. Here's the one I use:

http://rdi.manufacturer.globalsource...CCD-Camera.htm
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post #11 of 35 Old 06-20-2007, 01:21 PM
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Quadshield is a PITA to terminate and isn't usually necessary. Just practice good technique when routing the cables. You may also look at just running 2 cat 5 and using something like Audio Authority's AVAtrix to distribute HD video.

For security camera's, wire 1 cat 5, 1 coax and 1 18/2 (or use 14/2 so you don't have to double up). That will let you do IP or traditional analog.
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post #12 of 35 Old 06-20-2007, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Corr View Post

Quadshield is a PITA to terminate and isn't usually necessary. Just practice good technique when routing the cables. You may also look at just running 2 cat 5 and using something like Audio Authority's AVAtrix to distribute HD video.

For security camera's, wire 1 cat 5, 1 coax and 1 18/2 (or use 14/2 so you don't have to double up). That will let you do IP or traditional analog.

14/2? I've yet to see an AC line powered camera. They are almost exclusively DC and you would never need more than 18/2.

As for QS being a pain...One word. Snap-n-Seal (or is that three words )
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post #13 of 35 Old 06-20-2007, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB View Post

1) Occupancy: Motion sensors for every room, run 18/4 for that.

What is the optimal place for motion sensors? At how many feet from floor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB View Post

3) Security: Siren/CO/Smoke/Heat/Glassbreak sensors, most of them use 18/4, heat may use 22/2.

The builder is supposed to wire for the security. Should I interfere with his wiring?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB View Post

4) Driveway and or/fence gates for open/close status: 22/2 or CAT5.

Will add two for fence gates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB View Post

5) Window sensors: 22/2, or if you have multiple together you could do CAT5 to the middle one and 22/2 to each window.

Why do you need this? Security?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB View Post

6) HA Speakers: Due to it being irritating to have audio pause to hear HA announcements/etc, I personally chose to mount a 2nd set of speakers just for HA (doorbell/phone/HA announcements/intruder alerts), and got the single-gang Elk $7 speakers. I ran CAT5 to the Elk, and put each of them on a relay so I can turn each of them on/off. Don't forget outside speakers too, such as patio and front door.

Probably I won't do this, but if time permits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB View Post

7) Doorbell: If you get an Elk panel, you could use CAT5 for the doorbell and have an Elk-based doorbell rather than a generic chime. Plus that way you'd be setup in the future to automatically pop up a frontdoor camera on doorbell ring, and not rely on the doorbell detector.

I will run one CAT6 to doorbel location

Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB View Post

8) HVAC: 2 CAT5 to your thermo (one for integration with PC, one in case you want remote thermos)

Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB View Post

9) 1 CAT5 to irrigation

Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB View Post

10) Temp: 1 22/2 or CAT5 to any room where you want to mount a temp sensor to get temps in each room

May add some if time permits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB View Post

11) HDTV Antenna: 1 RG6 for external antenna on roof
12) XM: 1 RG6 for XM signal cable to an external antenna
13) DirecTV: 1 RG6 per concurrent tuner you want, only one for digital cable I believe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB View Post

14) Safety/Elk:Water Sensors near hot water heater or other flood-prone locations. CAT5 I think.

Good Idea, I didn't even even thought about it! I will do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB View Post

15) Security Keypad, prox sensors, pin readers. CAT5 I think.

Yes.

After reading your responses, I think you are right, I need to buy more cables.
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post #14 of 35 Old 06-20-2007, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kittunni View Post

What is the optimal place for motion sensors? At how many feet from floor?

I'm no expert. I just put them in the ceiling corners.

Quote:
The builder is supposed to wire for the security. Should I interfere with his wiring?

Don't interfere, just make sure he runs all that stuff.

Quote:
Quote:
5) Window sensors: 22/2, or if you have multiple together you could do CAT5 to the middle one and 22/2 to each window

Why do you need this? Security?

Yep, but also if you want to sound a warning about turning on Heat or AC if the window is open.

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post #15 of 35 Old 06-20-2007, 08:49 PM
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I didn't say anything about an AC powered camera, just that he could use 14/2. He posted he was buying 14/2 anyway for speaker runs so using 14/2 for camera power as well keeps him from having to buy and haul around another spool of cable (the 18/2).

And quad shield is still a pain even with SNS connectors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertmee View Post

14/2? I've yet to see an AC line powered camera. They are almost exclusively DC and you would never need more than 18/2.

As for QS being a pain...One word. Snap-n-Seal (or is that three words )

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post #16 of 35 Old 06-20-2007, 09:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I am redesigning my main Drop locations as per your suggestions.. but, If I pull 5 RG6 + 3 CAT6, the total becomes 8 outlets, then I have to go for 2GAG plates on these locations. Will it look odd?

I am planing to put this outlets in 2 ft high, inline with the electrical outlets.. So, if I want to wall mount the TVs, then I will have to hide the wires from the outlet to the TV. How you guys did/are planing for that?

Also, on the volume control/keypad locations 2GAG boxes will be sufficient?
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post #17 of 35 Old 06-20-2007, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Corr View Post

I didn't say anything about an AC powered camera, just that he could use 14/2. He posted he was buying 14/2 anyway for speaker runs so using 14/2 for camera power as well keeps him from having to buy and haul around another spool of cable (the 18/2).

And quad shield is still a pain even with SNS connectors.

I have updated the camera location with 1 RG6, 1 CAT5e and 1 18/2 cables. but I still want to use Quad shield in other major locations.
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post #18 of 35 Old 06-21-2007, 04:09 AM
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Quote:
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I didn't say anything about an AC powered camera, just that he could use 14/2.

No, you said he could use 14/2 instead of 18/2 which he would have to double up on, inferring that 18/2 was not sufficient to carry the power load for a camera. I now see that you meant, not double up on the type of cables. My apologies.
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post #19 of 35 Old 06-21-2007, 04:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kittunni View Post

I am redesigning my main Drop locations as per your suggestions.. but, If I pull 5 RG6 + 3 CAT6, the total becomes 8 outlets, then I have to go for 2GAG plates on these locations. Will it look odd?

I am planing to put this outlets in 2 ft high, inline with the electrical outlets.. So, if I want to wall mount the TVs, then I will have to hide the wires from the outlet to the TV. How you guys did/are planing for that?

Also, on the volume control/keypad locations 2GAG boxes will be sufficient?

A double gang won't look odd, but if it doesn't pass the WAF, you could always use single gang backless LV boxes and keep the cables in the wall until you decide what you need. You can get 6 port single gang decoras readily, and get most of your connections in those. If you happen to NEED 8 at a location, then just cut the hole bigger and replace the single with a double gang box for that location only.

If you know where your TVs will be located, you can install your boxes at a height that will be concealed by the TV. Same for a recessed power outlet for the TV.

Yes, 2 Gangers are the standard for keypad/VC locations.
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post #20 of 35 Old 06-21-2007, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertmee View Post

...Yes, 2 Gangers are the standard for keypad/VC locations.

I rarely use anything but 1 gang for keypads and volume controls. I don't know many that are 2 gang... If you want to install touchpanels, you will most likely have 2 gang or larger.

As far as quad-shielded RG-6 cable or RG-59, a quality double-shielded RG6 cable is better in all respects but price (and flexibility when compared with RG-59). If you haven't already ordered cable, take a look at Belden 1694a or Gepco VSD2001. You can use this cable for all of your coax needs including baseband video (composite and component), unbalanced audio, and RF video (CATV and satellite). If using this for everything is too cost prohibitive, you can use RG-6 QS CCS for RF video, RG-59 for audio and composite video (and perhaps component video if length is not too much), and RG-6 with a solid-copper center for component video.

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post #21 of 35 Old 06-21-2007, 08:23 AM
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I rarely use anything but 1 gang for keypads and volume controls. I don't know many that are 2 gang... If you want to install touchpanels, you will most likely have 2 gang or larger.

CJ

You're joking right? The most popular systems use duals...Nuvo Concerto, Nuvo Grand, Russound CAV Uno-S2....
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post #22 of 35 Old 06-21-2007, 08:35 AM
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First, I wouldn't say that Nuvo is among the most popular. Nuvo uses a hybrid keypad with a display. The Russound UNO-S2 is the same.

All of Russounds VC's are single gang as are most of sonance's, xantech's, Audioplex's and Elan's. Russound has many single-gang keypads such as the KP6, KP4, KPL, UNO-S1. The S2 is about the only double-gang keypad they offer. You will see the same thing with the other brands and can also include AMX and Crestron in the mix for single-gang keypads.

In any case, I would recommend the OP deciding what he will be using before installing the boxes so that he make sure you install the correct thing.

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post #23 of 35 Old 06-21-2007, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
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First, I wouldn't say that Nuvo is among the most popular. Nuvo uses a hybrid keypad with a display. The Russound UNO-S2 is the same.

CJ

Maybe I'm biased then, but I would disagree judging from the number of posts concerning Nuvo on AVS, Cocoon, CQC and RC. I would rate it second to the Russound CAV.

In any case, I agree that knowing up front will certainly help the cause .
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post #24 of 35 Old 06-21-2007, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Maybe I'm biased then, but I would disagree judging from the number of posts concerning Nuvo on AVS, Cocoon, CQC and RC. I would rate it second to the Russound CAV.

In any case, I agree that knowing up front will certainly help the cause .


At this point I did not decided on the system. So I may go with single gang box and later if needed I'll replace it with 2 gang. Sounds good?
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post #25 of 35 Old 06-21-2007, 09:48 AM
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Existing new-work boxes, since they are commonly nailed to a stud, aren't very easy to get out. It is much easier to have the contractor just pull the wires out of a hole in the drywall and use an old-work LV box later. However, that means that you will have a bit more work to do yourself.

CJ

coneilliv at aol dot com

The Dark Knight Theater
(a bunch of good reference links and material in first 15 posts)
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post #26 of 35 Old 06-22-2007, 11:41 AM
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If you use the orange Low Voltage boxes that they sell at home depot and other home stores. there are two methods to installing:

1) Use the nails that they have placed in it, and nail horizinally across the top of the box into the stud.

2) Remove the nails, and use the flange that runs vertically on the side of the orange box, and nail into the 1.5" side of the stud.

If you use method 2, and later want to remove it, you can grab the box, and move it forward and backwards until the plastic tears and it snaps off. This way you could replace it with a bigger box, or remove it altogether. Same concept as a pop can tab.

Just some thoughts.
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post #27 of 35 Old 06-22-2007, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I just bought the orange LV boxes from HD(alongwith other stuff). I may use the second method above, where I think I am going to replace the 1 gang boxes with the 2 gang boxes
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post #28 of 35 Old 06-22-2007, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I did some work today. I drilled holes for most of the locations. I will start my official pre wiring tomorrow. I think I have collected all the materials, and one of my friend is coming to help me out. Also Home Depot is very near, so in case if I need anything, I can run and get it.

I will take lots of pictures, and I will post them here.

Wish me luck!

Thanks for your great inputs.
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post #29 of 35 Old 06-23-2007, 05:11 AM
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Good luck....


Remember, drink the beer AFTER you've pulled the wiring.

I'M FORMAT NEUTRAL
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post #30 of 35 Old 06-27-2007, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
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All,

I have done the following items during saturday and sunday. Man, it is a lot of work. I had my friend helping me.. but still I am not compllete with my plans..

10 drops of 5RG6 Quad+ 3 CAT5e
4 drops of (one 14/4 + one CAT5e + two 14/2) at speaker locations.

Still to do: 1 more 5RG6+ 3 CAT5e, more speaker drops, Motion sensors, Security cameras.

Lessons learned:
1.Have multiple spools of cables. If you are droping 5 RG6 cables, have 5 spools of RG6.
2.Have multiplle ladders, atleast 3(if you have 2 story house)
3.Measure the total diameter of the cables and drill all the holes first. Use auger bits(very imp).
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