In-wall wiring issue. Is wireless an option? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 21 Old 03-10-2019, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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In-wall wiring issue. Is wireless an option?

My wife and I finally purchased our home theater system. This is the first time that we've had an opportunity to checkout the in-wall wiring that our home was wired with. It appears that we're having an issue with the left, rear (surround) channel. The sound isn't nearly as loud as the others out of that channel and if we turn our sound up to a certain point, which doesn't seem really all that loud to me, our receiver trips out. It appears to be some sort of inductive issue. I don't think that run was all that long, less than 35' or 30' of 12 AWG cable, but the problem definitely seems to be that run of wire. I made up a 25' patch cable and ran it across the floor, straight from the back of the receiver to the speaker, and everything is fine that way. The sound issue and the receiver tripping out only happens when I have the left, rear channel connected to the speaker using the in-wall wiring.

Now the problem is, I'll just have to completely abandon that run, because I really can't get to that section and it is far too long to run a new cable. I could possibly look at running underneath, through the crawl space, but that would still entail drilling up through the floor and hitting right inside the wall cavity and some wall patching and trying to get the wall texture to match on any resulting patchwork. A lot of work either way.


So, now I'm wondering what to do with that channel. Is there any sort of wireless module that I can use to get sound to that speaker?

Thanks.

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post #2 of 21 Old 03-10-2019, 11:48 AM
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Inductive? I'm running some 40' (12m) lengths of 12AWG without issues. Having the AVR trip when the volume is turned up is a symptom of a short.

I suggest that you check the cable with an ohm meter. If you're lucky, it'll just be a loose wire strand at one of the ends.

If it's an in-wall issue, there are wireless adapters. The issue is that you'd need an amplifier for that speaker; the wireless adapters transmit signals, not power.

There's one cheapie that is both: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/rocketf...?skuId=8275528

(It's actually a stereo device. Speaker-level inputs. 30W/channel into 4 ohms, presumably half that into 8 ohms.)
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post #3 of 21 Old 03-10-2019, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bfollowell View Post

1. our receiver trips out.

2. I made up a 25' patch cable and ran it across the floor, straight from the back of the receiver to the speaker, and everything is fine that way.

3. I really can't get to that section and it is far too long to run a new cable.
1. I would be very careful of using any wires that "trips the AVR". That is very hard on the AVR.

2. Good troubleshooting.

3. The bad wire might be kinked, scratched, or have a nail thru it. Yes, I would definitely "ohm-it-out" with a meter.

I would just replace the wire. Sometimes, the old-wire can be used to pull-thru the new one . If you need help, an electrician or home-theater-installer can help and likely knows the appropriate cable-running tricks.

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post #4 of 21 Old 03-10-2019, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bobknavs View Post
Inductive? I'm running some 40' (12m) lengths of 12AWG without issues. Having the AVR trip when the volume is turned up is a symptom of a short.

I suggest that you check the cable with an ohm meter. If you're lucky, it'll just be a loose wire strand at one of the ends.

If it's an in-wall issue, there are wireless adapters. The issue is that you'd need an amplifier for that speaker; the wireless adapters transmit signals, not power.

There's one cheapie that is both: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/rocketf...?skuId=8275528

(It's actually a stereo device. Speaker-level inputs. 30W/channel into 4 ohms, presumably half that into 8 ohms.)

The more I look, the less hard re-running, if I determine that I need to, will be.


I'm going to play with it some this week, starting with checking out that wire and ohming it out. If the cable seems to check out ok as far as a short goes, I'm going to crimp off the ends clean and reattach my banana plugs. on both ends. I know anything is possible, and I'm certainly not infallible, but it seems awfully strange that I'd put banana plugs on all those ends, without a hitch, and somehow mess up on just that one. Still anything is possible.


Failing finding evidence of a short or a problem with my handiwork, I'm going to remove the wall boxes, pull the wires back, then drill down through the box hole, through the floor, into the crawl space, then run a new wire through there. Luckily, there's a second subwoofer connection ran to a box directly under the one for the speaker in question, so it should be pretty easy to get through the floor from there, then fish the new cable up to the speaker box. That's my last resort though.


I'm not going to have five good runs, five good speakers hooked up correctly, then mess with some half-baked wireless mess for that one speaker!


I'll post here what I find. Wish me luck!
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post #5 of 21 Old 03-10-2019, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tesla1856 View Post
I would just replace the wire. Sometimes, the old-wire can be used to pull-thru the new one . If you need help, an electrician or home-theater-installer can help and likely knows the appropriate cable-running tricks.

My wife asked me the same thing. Unfortunately, that's not an option for this one. If I need to replace, I'll just need to abandon in place and run another one through the crawl space. It's about a 30' run and changes direction at least 3 times. There's no way I could pull a new one through all of that.


I'll get it though, if it kills me!
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post #6 of 21 Old 03-10-2019, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bfollowell View Post

1. The more I look, the less hard re-running, if I determine that I need to, will be.

2. starting with checking out that wire and ohming it out.
1. Sounds like you are now on the right track, including the right attitude.

2. Would be interesting to hear the results of this simple test.

ONLY if it passes, and only if you are SURE you have the right wire ...
I would then disconnected on both ends, connect a 9v battery, and test for voltage transmission.

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post #7 of 21 Old 03-10-2019, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
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It didn't take long to determine that I have a short on the left, rear channel. With both positive and negative terminals open on both ends, I'm showing about 7 ohms of resistance between them. If I leave the meter on there for a while, it will occasionally start getting fairly high resistance until it the wires seem to separate completely, then a few seconds later the resistance will drop back down to about 6 or 7 ohms. There's at least a temporary, frequent short somewhere in that run. I'll pull the cover plates off tomorrow and double-check everything there, but I don't honestly expect to find anything there. Assuming I don't find a smoking gun under one of the cover plates, it looks like I'm running a new line through the crawl space.


Thanks for giving me ideas and helping me get my head around it and getting my problem narrowed down.
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post #8 of 21 Old 03-10-2019, 08:58 PM
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Existing wirings is good as long as they work, but sometimes you have no idea about conditions, and whether they are wired to a transformer for intercom or what not. Wireless rears/sub should be available but often they come as a set, you cannot purchase add-ons, and as a utuber reminds us wireless often means you still need power plugs nearby, and even an actual wire between your rear Left and Right. If this is your house, that's the beauty of it right, u can do whatever u please to it.
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post #9 of 21 Old 03-10-2019, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfollowell View Post
It didn't take long to determine that I have a short on the left, rear channel. With both positive and negative terminals open on both ends, I'm showing about 7 ohms of resistance between them. If I leave the meter on there for a while, it will occasionally start getting fairly high resistance until it the wires seem to separate completely, then a few seconds later the resistance will drop back down to about 6 or 7 ohms. There's at least a temporary, frequent short somewhere in that run. I'll pull the cover plates off tomorrow and double-check everything there, but I don't honestly expect to find anything there. Assuming I don't find a smoking gun under one of the cover plates, it looks like I'm running a new line through the crawl space.


Thanks for giving me ideas and helping me get my head around it and getting my problem narrowed down.
Interesting. Glad to help.

So, you are sure this wire is a "straight run" and you are sure it's the "right one" (all others are accounted for). Funny that @MrBobb also mentioned it ... you are sure something like an Impedance Matching Wall Volume Control is not connected?

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post #10 of 21 Old 03-10-2019, 09:20 PM
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Wireless Audio Extenders are summarized here: [about 1/2 way down]
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/109-h...l#post55188564
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post #11 of 21 Old 03-11-2019, 02:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBobb View Post
Existing wirings is good as long as they work, but sometimes you have no idea about conditions, and whether they are wired to a transformer for intercom or what not.

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Originally Posted by Tesla1856 View Post
So, you are sure this wire is a "straight run" and you are sure it's the "right one" (all others are accounted for). Funny that @MrBobb also mentioned it ... you are sure something like an Impedance Matching Wall Volume Control is not connected?
Yes, I'm sure. We had this house built and I ran the audio wiring myself. It's certainly not a "straight" run, as it changes directions about three times to get around the room, but yes, it comes straight from the wall plate behind the receiver, no breaks, no splices, no volume controls, no nothing but one long piece of cable. Me doing it myself was what made me so trusting of it and why it never occurred to me to check any of it. Still, it could be anything; the electrical contractor partially skinned some wires while installing electric or CAT6; the drywaller running a nail in just the wrong spot. Literally anything.
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post #12 of 21 Old 03-11-2019, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfollowell View Post

1. We had this house built and I ran the audio wiring myself.

2. yes, it comes straight from the wall plate behind the receiver,

3. Still, it could be anything; the electrical contractor partially skinned some wires while installing electric or CAT6; the drywaller running a nail in just the wrong spot. Literally anything.
1. Pre-Drywall low-voltage wiring. Yes, I did the same about 15 years ago. Actually, I just drew-it-up and supervised, since it was the licensed alarm company that had to run all wiring (for On-Q Structured Wiring). Also, our house is single-level with attic.

2. Good

3. Yep.

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If your pre-wire is not stapled to the studs, you might be able to do what I did. its a PITA and takes patience, but worked at my old house. Take the faceplates off both ends and disconnect the wiring. Attach some new cl2 wiring to the existing wire on one side (see pic below for example) and tape it all as a backup. Have someone go to the other end and slowly pull the wiring out of the wall while you gently push it in.
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post #14 of 21 Old 03-11-2019, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
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If your pre-wire is not stapled to the studs, you might be able to do what I did. its a PITA and takes patience, but worked at my old house. Take the faceplates off both ends and disconnect the wiring. Attach some new cl2 wiring to the existing wire on one side (see pic below for example) and tape it all as a backup. Have someone go to the other end and slowly pull the wiring out of the wall while you gently push it in.

You must've missed the part earlier in the thread where I mentioned it's a 30' run and changes directions several times. Actually it does a 90 degree change four complete times to get around things. I've pulled enough wire in my time to know it isn't worth even attempting. Thanks for the advice though.

I'm going through the crawl space.
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post #15 of 21 Old 03-11-2019, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by bfollowell View Post
You must've missed the part earlier in the thread where I mentioned it's a 30' run and changes directions several times. Actually it does a 90 degree change four complete times to get around things. I've pulled enough wire in my time to know it isn't worth even attempting. Thanks for the advice though.

I'm going through the crawl space.
Yea sorry I started typing a response then got busy and then jumped back in after a lot of responses were made.

If you were in the Sacramento area i could bring you about 50ft of cl2 wiring LOL! When I started the project I measured about 150ft and then added 20% for errors, corners, misc. issues. Well I had about 50ft left over, oops!


Good luck!
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post #16 of 21 Old 03-11-2019, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Yea sorry I started typing a response then got busy and then jumped back in after a lot of responses were made.

If you were in the Sacramento area i could bring you about 50ft of cl2 wiring LOL! When I started the project I measured about 150ft and then added 20% for errors, corners, misc. issues. Well I had about 50ft left over, oops!


Good luck!

I wound up having a huge safety factor as well. I have a whole 100' roll as well as about 25' on another of left-over Monoprice CL2 12 AWG 2 conductor cable!

I must've been drinking when I ordered it. I'll never need more speaker wire as long as I live!
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post #17 of 21 Old 03-12-2019, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, at least I'm getting to order some new tools!


I ordered a Klein flexible auger bit and a DEPSTECH Wireless borescope that works with my cell phone or tablet.


I'll be looking for any excuse to drill holes in the wall and floor now!
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post #18 of 21 Old 03-12-2019, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bfollowell View Post
It appears to be some sort of inductive issue.

if by "inductive," you mean "someone pierced the wire with a nail and it's a partial short" then you're correct.


Dynamic speakers work by induction - your amp won't go into protection from inductance. Also inductance from wire (which is minimal) is in series with your speaker so it increases your impedance, so it doesn't become more likely to cause a problem (except from nails).


Not sure about the wireless thing though. Should be products out there but wireless isn't my thing personally.
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post #19 of 21 Old 03-12-2019, 12:22 PM
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I ran a bunch of monoprice Cl2 wire in an unfinished room a few years back. One of the connections opened after a year or so. Have no idea why. Sometimes it happens.

Fortunately it was a height speaker over the TV so I just ran an out of wall wire to it and painted it with wall paint. Looked fine.

Having to meet code meant the wires had to run through the center of wall studs and had to be tight and tacked away from dry wall. Same as electrical wiring. No way a reasonably sized nail/drywall screw could hit them and there's no way you could pull a new line through the same path.
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post #20 of 21 Old 03-12-2019, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by KidHorn View Post

1. I ran a bunch of monoprice Cl2 wire in an unfinished room a few years back. One of the connections opened after a year or so. Have no idea why. Sometimes it happens.

2. Having to meet code meant the wires had to run through the center of wall studs and had to be tight and tacked away from dry wall. Same as electrical wiring.
1. Right.

And whether it's speaker wire, ethernet, coax, whatever ... if the location is vital, busy, or hard to run ... I often run a spare wire.

2. Correct. And that's why pro-installers run it that way. If done by home-builder or contractor (pre-sheetrock) and they see those runs coming down thru the top studs, they will install a metal shield (or you can catch-it and request it be installed pre-sheetrock) . It's common to install those to protect plumbing runs (among other things).

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Harmony 670 Remote ~ HTPC (Kodi/Win10-64) Media-Server ~ Synology DS412+ 16tb Raid-5 NAS
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post #21 of 21 Old 03-12-2019, 05:10 PM
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Looking for "outside the box" ideas?

Borrow or rent a Flir thermal imaging camera. Home Depot rents them, or buy a Flir One - they are amazing.

Put a voltage on the speaker wire on one end - both wires. Enough power so the wires heat up a bit - but not so much that your house burns down

Use the Flir to see the warmth caused by the short. The "hot spot" should be where the short is located. Open the wall there and separate the wires.

Its a long shot, but may work.
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