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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We our building our first home (renting the last 8 years) so of course I'm excited to have somewhat of an opportunity to do what I want with wiring, which was going to be my main concern in a pre-existing home.


This is not a custom home, it is built by Pulte so I am somewhat limited on what I can do, though they will run 1 1/2" conduit (2" is too large for load-bearing walls I believe) to wherever I want it (for a price of course). They are also going to run all the centralized wiring to the media closet rather than the garage, as well as 16 gauge wire for speakers.




Goal is to try out the 4x4 monoprice matrix switch to see if that will work. Still have to workout what remote to choose - def want an RF if possible.


That's all I can think of. Appreciate any feedback/criticism. TIA.



edit: oh equipment:

Panny 42pz700u - currently in living room but will hopefully move to bedroom after upgrade for living room

PS3

DirecTV HR22 (one for now - perhaps an additional... ?)

Yamaha RX-V663
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by AceCannon /forum/post/16956444


Run plenty of cat5e to everyplace you can possibly imagine a use for it.


Then run more.

At $75/run (even if I run four to the same wall plate - $300) I can't run it everywhere. I'm trying to get what I can accomplished via conduit - the attic one will get me access to all the upstairs rooms, so it's mainly the downstairs stuff I suppose - and my verifying my current conduit is in ok locations.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gabito /forum/post/16956529


At $75/run (even if I run four to the same wall plate - $300) I can't run it everywhere. I'm trying to get what I can accomplished via conduit - the attic one will get me access to all the upstairs rooms, so it's mainly the downstairs stuff I suppose - and my verifying my current conduit is in ok locations.

Yes, that sucks. I paid my two wiring guys about $2500 total to make 80 runs of cat5e for audio, video, CCTV, security. Plus prob 100 more runs for lighting control. Plus the entire security pre-wire. Plus speaker wire for abt 16 zones. Plus rg59 mini coax for 4 zones.


But we agreed in advance they would be working by the hour. I supplied the wire (Monoprice, for the most part).
 

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Have them run conduit from the av closet to wherever the telco/cable company will mount their boxes outside. This will make it easy for you to upgrade to fiber or whatever down the road.


Also.. if your planning for satellite TV. Find out where the dish needs to be mounted on your house so that its hidden and hitting the satellites. 6 RG6 should be run IMO. 4 for DirecTV + 1 for FM +1 for XM. Wont ever regret having extras. Have the contractors run the cable before the siding/roofing is done. That way you dont have to worry about DirecTV sealing up an holes they would have had to drill. Most of them wont bother and then you end up with a hornets nest in the attic or water damage. If they pull the wire now it will get sealed up by the roofers/siding company.


For the display in the great room.. you can probably just use the pipe to pull cables there so no need to pay them for prewire. For the master suite i would have them pull 4 cat5 just incase the pipe is to difficult to pull. Keep the pipe.. just add the 4 cat5's. You wont be able to pull an HDMI cable like you can a cat5. With cat5 you can use HDMI 'baluns'. 1 cat 5 for audio, 2 for HDMI, 1 for IR or serial control.


Second floor.. you should always be good there because of the pipe to the attic. Speakers, TV's data jacks etc. At most you will have to patch a small part of the drywall here or there.


First floor will be more difficult. Plan for an entry inwall touchscreen and maybe one in the kitchen. If conduit costs less than 4 cat5's just do conduit. You may never use it but now that CE products and HA in general are falling it might only be a year or two before your ready to install 15" touchscreens. The front door & the kitchen are nice locations to have in-walls.


Also think about first floor tv locations. Your garage will be an easy fish if you ever decide to turn that into a mancave
but the kitchen wont be. 4 Cat5's will cover you forever IMO. Even if your doing cable your most likely going to end up with an HD receiver in the AV closet and feeding audio video to the kitchen.


Last thing to think about is outside. Speakers, TV etc. Do you have an unfinished basement? It will make it easier to take cable down and then outside. If not try and guess where you would like to be hanging out listening to music and watching TY. These luxuries are becoming obtainable for everyone.. very fast. A few dollars added to your mortgage now will make it less painful on the wallet when you want to watch the game in the yard later
.


Keep us posted. Sounds like a fun project.


Edit... You might want to do 2 pipes to the attic. Speakers in every room and a few more displays will eat that single pipe up real quick.
 

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One last thing...



I was looking at your AV closet and envisioning how difficult it would be to wire and i came up with this solution. Not sure if its doable but it seems like a minor change that will give you rear access to the closet. This way if you put in shelves or a rack you can face the front really nice and have complete access to the rear to wire things up.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by 39CentStamp /forum/post/16957617


Have them run conduit from the av closet to wherever the telco/cable company will mount their boxes outside. This will make it easy for you to upgrade to fiber or whatever down the road.


Also.. if your planning for satellite TV. Find out where the dish needs to be mounted on your house so that its hidden and hitting the satellites. 6 RG6 should be run IMO. 4 for DirecTV + 1 for FM +1 for XM. Wont ever regret having extras. Have the contractors run the cable before the siding/roofing is done. That way you dont have to worry about DirecTV sealing up an holes they would have had to drill. Most of them wont bother and then you end up with a hornets nest in the attic or water damage. If they pull the wire now it will get sealed up by the roofers/siding company.


For the display in the great room.. you can probably just use the pipe to pull cables there so no need to pay them for prewire. For the master suite i would have them pull 4 cat5 just incase the pipe is to difficult to pull. Keep the pipe.. just add the 4 cat5's. You wont be able to pull an HDMI cable like you can a cat5. With cat5 you can use HDMI 'baluns'. 1 cat 5 for audio, 2 for HDMI, 1 for IR or serial control.


Second floor.. you should always be good there because of the pipe to the attic. Speakers, TV's data jacks etc. At most you will have to patch a small part of the drywall here or there.


First floor will be more difficult. Plan for an entry inwall touchscreen and maybe one in the kitchen. If conduit costs less than 4 cat5's just do conduit. You may never use it but now that CE products and HA in general are falling it might only be a year or two before your ready to install 15" touchscreens. The front door & the kitchen are nice locations to have in-walls.


Also think about first floor tv locations. Your garage will be an easy fish if you ever decide to turn that into a mancave
but the kitchen wont be. 4 Cat5's will cover you forever IMO. Even if your doing cable your most likely going to end up with an HD receiver in the AV closet and feeding audio video to the kitchen.


Last thing to think about is outside. Speakers, TV etc. Do you have an unfinished basement? It will make it easier to take cable down and then outside. If not try and guess where you would like to be hanging out listening to music and watching TY. These luxuries are becoming obtainable for everyone.. very fast. A few dollars added to your mortgage now will make it less painful on the wallet when you want to watch the game in the yard later
.


Keep us posted. Sounds like a fun project.


Edit... You might want to do 2 pipes to the attic. Speakers in every room and a few more displays will eat that single pipe up real quick.
more $$ -- I haven't even gotten a price on these conduits yet - as soon as I get that I can see if I can do some more. I know you are right, I have thought of the kitchen - smart appliances and whatnot, possible small lcd, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 39CentStamp /forum/post/16957679


One last thing...



I was looking at your AV closet and envisioning how difficult it would be to wire and i came up with this solution. Not sure if its doable but it seems like a minor change that will give you rear access to the closet. This way if you put in shelves or a rack you can face the front really nice and have complete access to the rear to wire things up.


That is a good idea though I'm not sure i want to mess with the barrier of the garage/indoors.


I was thinking of doing this and cutting a hole in the wall facing the dining area to put a nice display rack:




something like this (silkd's photos):

 

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Your plan is exactly what i was getting at, the ability to stand behind the components. I dont know what the dimensions of that closet are. As long as you can comfortable stand behind the components your fine. Trust me when i tell you will regret a tight hard to work in area for the rest of your life
.
 

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I'm not sure what a "Flex Room" is but a conduit for future proofing might be worthwhile.


Are you going to have a home office or computer room? (One of the bedrooms?) Put as many ethernet drops in there as you think you need. Then add four more!


Craig
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok - found out the conduit runs are $125 each - definitely more economical than $75 per cat5/rg6.


So I will probably do a few more - I am thinking perhaps an extra to the attic, maybe one to the kitchen, and one to the flex room possibly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well I tried to add three more conduits, but the closet is so small they are concerned about the structure. It already has the main drain pipe for upstairs plumbing and with three conduits plus incoming power, etc
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gabito /forum/post/17026053


With the advent of SWM's is it really necessary to have four RG6 coming inside from the dish?

I dont know what the rules are these days but about 8 months ago i met with a sat guy and he explained that the SWM hardware is more expensive and you were limited to 4 HD DVR's (8 tuners).


To answer your question...4 RG6 ran neatly in your walls right now means you wont have any running across the outside of your home later. And if you decide you want XM or even FM.. you will get much better reception with an antenna mounted on the roof vs the little cheapo table top indoor models that never work right.
 

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The the pipe and especially the elbows used are not for electrical work

They are using plumbing pipe for wire pulls.


The biggest issue will be pulling wire through street 90s (elbows) as opposed to conduit sweeps. Conduit sweeps do no have sharp bends and do not have mold edges inside the fittings. These edges will make pulling wire very tricky and may damage the wire.


You may want to have this repiped t the contractors expense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmologist /forum/post/17211401


The the pipe and especially the elbows used are not for electrical work

They are using plumbing pipe for wire pulls.


The biggest issue will be pulling wire through street 90s (elbows) as opposed to conduit sweeps. Conduit sweeps do no have sharp bends and do not have mold edges inside the fittings. These edges will make pulling wire very tricky and may damage the wire.


You may want to have this repiped t the contractors expense.

Right - I am fully aware of that. Problem is, this is a major national builder (tract housing or whatever you want to call it - Pulte Homes) and they are very strict on what they will and won't do. They wouldn't do the grey conduit and there basically wasn't time for me to fight it (drywall was up 3 days later).


However, it looks bad, but every corner is two 45 degree angles, not a 90, and it looks like a 90 where it comes out of the wall (basically is) but those are really caps that pull off so the cables can go in at a more gradual angle (or straight in w/ a very slight bend).


In summary, I did my best with what I had to work w/. This is a sub $200k NON-custom home, so I didn't have super high expectations, but they did more than I thought they would, so I'm happy. Hopefully pulling the cords won't be too bad.
 

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I am surprised you got them to do anything extra. My sisters $150k home had a builder who would not budge. He wanted $95 per RG6 or Cat5 and his "home theater package" was $900.00 and it included metal conduit to the 4 corners of the room and 1 RG6 +1 Cat5 to the TV location.
 
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