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Help Me Put Together a DIY Kit for Installing CAT6 and Speaker wire

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone who replied in my thread here... http://www.avsforum.com/t/1458713/new-contruction-talk-me-out-of-using-sonos-instead-of-in-ceiling-speakers

I have been reading for the past hour trying to find exactly what I will need to install Cat6 and speaker wire in my new house which is now ready for low voltage. I am willing to DIY this if I know exactly what I need for the job.

I am running 6 zones with 12 speakers (2 per zone) and plan to use the HTD system without keypads (internet control). I will still run a Cat6 cable to the wall, however, for future proofing.

So this is what I think I need...

1. 1000' Spool of CAT6 unshielded single, UTP, solid cable (this is what I have gathered. If this is incorrect please let me know)
2. Some sort of connection crimper plus the connections (do I need Cat6 or Cat5e terminations/connections? Or do I just leave these bare until I use them?)
3. Some sort of LAN tester to test the connections (Don't know if this is needed if I don't terminate the connections)
4. Some sort of labeler
5. Speaker wire bundled in 4 that is in-wall rated
6. Pair of 6.5" speakers x6

Can someone please link me to specific products that I need? Here is what I am guessing I need...

1. CAT6 Spool

2. Connection crimper and connection: No idea

3. LAN tester: No idea

4. Labeler: Probably will get something at Walmart

5. Speaker Wire in 4 Bundle

6. Pair of 6.5" speakers x6

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 10
If you had the luxury of time, to learn how to do it, I'd say go for it. If you only have a week, I'd say hire someone. And make sure they're experienced. Anybody can run cables, but not always well. PITA to fix a bad cable run, after the house is finished.

And have your pages forwarded as texts to your phone. Call the pager company.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Can anyone help me with my questions?
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I have been reading for the past hour trying to find exactly what I will need to install Cat6 and speaker wire in my new house which is now ready for low voltage. I am willing to DIY this if I know exactly what I need for the job.

If it's ready for wiring right now, and you've not done any of this before, Neurorad is right, you should probably get someone to do it. There's a lot of things to learn, especially about not getting in the way of the contractor and doing things that could screw them up.

If anything, let the builder's guys do the work they expect, and then come in afterwards to add your stuff. If you can visit any other homes nearby under construction that have their wiring done and exposed, you can learn a lot by seeing how they've done it and copying.
Quote:
1. 1000' Spool of CAT6 unshielded single, UTP, solid cable (this is what I have gathered. If this is incorrect please let me know)

Yes, in-wall rated UTP solid. Figure 50-75' per run at least.
Quote:
2. Some sort of connection crimper plus the connections (do I need Cat6 or Cat5e terminations/connections? Or do I just leave these bare until I use them?)

Leave them unterminated until you know what you're attaching. Wall plates are done with keystone connections, not RJ45's. WHA keypads are usually RJ45 terminated, but if you're not going to install those now, no reason to spend the effort now.
Quote:
3. Some sort of LAN tester to test the connections (Don't know if this is needed if I don't terminate the connections)

You'll want one eventually - even a basic one that detects the correct wiring and identifies mistakes, shorts and opens can be sufficient.
Quote:
4. Some sort of labeler

For pre-wiring you can use a sharpie on the cable (if it's the right color!), but a Rhino labeler is the best answer. A regular label-maker with vinyl labels can work, just keep the "flags" small.
Quote:
5. Speaker wire bundled in 4 that is in-wall rated

You'll want 2-conductor for the runs between the keypads and the speakers themselves. But if you're not going to do keypads (and just pre-wire for them), and don't want to expose a blank plate on the wall, you'll want to just home run the 2-conductor, looping by the keypad location. You don't want to bury any splices in the wall (which would be necessary if you home run 4-conductor and hide the keypad location).


Jeff
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Builder has told me that he is charged $30 per drop for cat5/6 and cable (?rg6?).

Good?
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Builder has told me that he is charged $30 per drop for cat5/6 and cable (?rg6?).

Good?

I've never heard a builder quote a number so low on a per-run basis! It's usually in the $75-130 range...
post #7 of 10
I'd be hesitant to use the builder, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

In addition to the whole house audio, I'd run RG6 x 2 and cat6 x 3 to each potential TV location, cat6 to each potential WAP location, thermostat wire and category cable to each thermostat location, cat x 2 to the front (and rear) doorbell, RG6 with a carrier cable from the service entrance to a satellite dish location, RG6 from the satellite dish location to your wiring closet, a dedicated line voltage circuit in the wiring closet, cat6 to the future irrigation system location.

Just thinking about all the stuff I've had to do or plan to do.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

I've never heard a builder quote a number so low on a per-run basis! It's usually in the $75-130 range...

Sorry I should have clarified. That's the cost the low voltage guy charges the builder. Since I'm doing a cost plus build he's charging me only what he gets charged.
post #9 of 10
Do yourself a favor and use these http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/27-5065
You can strip the wires as long as you want and they pass through the front of the connector to be chopped off by the crimper. This saves a lot of time and frustration.

Crimper: http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/22-10800&green=1F85967A-1E58-528E-B53D-1A66B5EDCBC8


LAN Tester: http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/72-9945

You can find 4-conductor speaker wire anywhere, I would go with 16 ga. The more expensive wire is going to be "high strand count" (better for audio).

I have prewired hundreds of homes and these are the best tips I can give you.

1. Wait until the electrician is about 75% complete before starting your wiring.

2. Try to keep your cabling from running parallel with electric wiring.

3. Drill your own holes (don't use electricians or plumbers holes no matter how convenient).

4. At your speaker locations coil extra wire up tight and staple inside the framing, Drywallers love to do you a "favor" by pulling wires through holes that they make in the wrong location.

5. Take pictures and draw a diagram with dimensions for every speaker location.

6. At your speaker termination location leave PLENTY of wire so your options are not limited. I usually putt 10-12' through a single or double gang mud ring and wrap the wires in plastic so they dont get paint all over them.

7. Go back after drywall is complete and make sure they didn't do #4

Congratulations on the new home.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dropkick Murphy View Post

Do yourself a favor and use these http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/27-5065
You can strip the wires as long as you want and they pass through the front of the connector to be chopped off by the crimper. This saves a lot of time and frustration.

Crimper: http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/22-10800&green=1F85967A-1E58-528E-B53D-1A66B5EDCBC8


LAN Tester: http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/72-9945

You can find 4-conductor speaker wire anywhere, I would go with 16 ga. The more expensive wire is going to be "high strand count" (better for audio).

I have prewired hundreds of homes and these are the best tips I can give you.

1. Wait until the electrician is about 75% complete before starting your wiring.

2. Try to keep your cabling from running parallel with electric wiring.

3. Drill your own holes (don't use electricians or plumbers holes no matter how convenient).

4. At your speaker locations coil extra wire up tight and staple inside the framing, Drywallers love to do you a "favor" by pulling wires through holes that they make in the wrong location.

5. Take pictures and draw a diagram with dimensions for every speaker location.

6. At your speaker termination location leave PLENTY of wire so your options are not limited. I usually putt 10-12' through a single or double gang mud ring and wrap the wires in plastic so they dont get paint all over them.

7. Go back after drywall is complete and make sure they didn't do #4

Congratulations on the new home.

Fantastic post. This is what I needed.
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