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Pre-wiring and future proofing

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

I'm moving into a new house in two months and even though it is a resale, I figure that now is the best time to pre-wire the home for a future home automation system.. most likely C4 or entry level Crestron.

Are there any standard guides that I can follow that will give me an idea of what to pre-wire?

My brother-in-law is a electrician and he got his hands on a large spool of industrial grade Cat6 cable, will this work for my application or should I buy Cat5e instead?

Of what I've read, Cat6 will sooner or later superseed Cat5e as the standard, so maybe Cat6 is a better idea.

The plan is to install the home automation system in about a year or two.

Thanks for your expert help.

Cheers,
Nick
post #2 of 10
I suggest that you hire a local C4 or Crestron dealer to do the wiring design. You will miss stuff, or do something wrong, and kick yourself later.

What's 'industrial grade'? Is that for aerospace or shipboard?
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

I suggest that you hire a local C4 or Crestron dealer to do the wiring design. You will miss stuff, or do something wrong, and kick yourself later.

What's 'industrial grade'? Is that for aerospace or shipboard?

I'm not sure, but the electrical contractor who he works for uses it for high rises and said that this particular Cat6 is higher grade shielding than the one used in homes and it will be a few years until home builders start using it in home applications. Who knows what it means, all I know is I got it free.

Will I have to choose the platform now (C4 or Crestron) or will both of them opperate on Cat6?
post #4 of 10
Quote:


the electrical contractor who he works for uses it for high rises and said that this particular Cat6 is higher grade shielding than the one used in homes and it will be a few years until home builders start using it in home applications. Who knows what it means, all I know is I got it free.

What it means is that he really doesn't know what he's talking about, and is trying to baffle you with BS.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAM64 View Post

What it means is that he really doesn't know what he's talking about, and is trying to baffle you with BS.

Haha
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MMMorish View Post

I'm not sure, but the electrical contractor who he works for uses it for high rises and said that this particular Cat6 is higher grade shielding than the one used in homes and it will be a few years until home builders start using it in home applications. Who knows what it means, all I know is I got it free.

It's probably plenum-grade cable (commercial fire code, etc.), which just means for your purposes that it was expensive. What you don't want is shielded cable - look at the spool or the markings on the cable to figure out exactly what it is before you install it. Free cable is good - installing the wrong free cable would be double-bad...

And no, it will probably never be used in residential environments - but it's not better from a performance standpoint.

Jeff
post #7 of 10
Some Crestron applications use shielded category cable, as a general rule.

Shielded is more complicated to use correctly, than unshielded. The terminations/connectors are also more expensive.

Meet with both Crestron and C4 dealers, before you prewire. I don't know what the prewire differences would be, between C4 and 'entry level' Crestron, but I bet not much. You won't be able to install either yourself.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

Some Crestron applications use shielded category cable, as a general rule.

Shielded is more complicated to use correctly, than unshielded. The terminations/connectors are also more expensive.

Meet with both Crestron and C4 dealers, before you prewire. I don't know what the prewire differences would be, between C4 and 'entry level' Crestron, but I bet not much. You won't be able to install either yourself.

I figured that I wouldn't be able to install it myself but I could probably prewire if I had a system plan for my house.
post #9 of 10
If the cable was truly intended for a commercial environment it is probably plenum rated as most codes require it for safety reasons (at least in my area) even if the cable itself will not be installed in a plenum airspace.

That it is shielded could mean that it is Cat6A, and when combined with the possibility of being a plenum rated cable (CMP) would make it a very expensive item indeed. However as others have already mentioned, shielded cable doesn't do you any good (and can actually degrade performance) if it is not installed correctly with termination hardware that is designed for shielded cable. Note that to really get the full benefit of a shielded system your patch cables and patch panels must also support it AND be grounded properly.

For the majority of residential purposes in-wall (CM rated) CAT5e or CAT6 UTP solid cable is the right choice. Shielded cable really only comes into its own when you have an environment with a large amount of EM interference sources (like high densities of overhead fluorescent lighting fixtures in an office or retail space).
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingLeerUK View Post

If the cable was truly intended for a commercial environment it is probably plenum rated as most codes require it for safety reasons (at least in my area) even if the cable itself will not be installed in a plenum airspace.

That it is shielded could mean that it is Cat6A, and when combined with the possibility of being a plenum rated cable (CMP) would make it a very expensive item indeed. However as others have already mentioned, shielded cable doesn't do you any good (and can actually degrade performance) if it is not installed correctly with termination hardware that is designed for shielded cable. Note that to really get the full benefit of a shielded system your patch cables and patch panels must also support it AND be grounded properly.

For the majority of residential purposes in-wall (CM rated) CAT5e or CAT6 UTP solid cable is the right choice. Shielded cable really only comes into its own when you have an environment with a large amount of EM interference sources (like high densities of overhead fluorescent lighting fixtures in an office or retail space).

Thanks for this more in depth explaination. Thanks to you all who have chimed in so far. I will get my brother-in-law to look at the cable and let me know which one it is and I will post it once I have a better idea.
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