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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I am currently building a new loft space. It will have concrete walls making adding wiring later nearly impossible. So I would like to put cable everywhere and have some sort of patch panel for re-routing signals if I change my layout.

To this end I have been looking at cat5 cable transceivers, with my place just wired with many RJ45 outlets to a RJ45 patch panel.

My cable runs are about 100 to 150 feet.

I want to have data and audio and video possible at all points and it seems a combo of transceivers attached to speakers, TV etc would mean I could put any component anywhere, or plug in a PC.


Are these a good option?

Is there a signal quality loss?

Is it possible to send HDTV to the TV or video projector using one that does component video cables like
http://extron.com/product/product.as...nc&subtype=46.

The extron products are very expensive are there more economical options?
 

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A couple things to keep in mind....



Wire Map is the wiring diagram within the RJ45 connectors. There are three main standards (T568A, T568B, and USOC 4-Pair). If you decide to use a transmitter/receiver pair make sure that the wire map is compatible and consistent throughout.


Use a high quality cable (Cat6). Cat5 is lower end and may be sufficient for your system even with HDTV, however CAT6 is recommended. It has higher specifications and is not very expensive (compared to coax).


Caution...Make sure that no one will ever patch a Transmitter to a computer. You may damage your computer. Have your panel clearly labeled and limit access to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for that,

a few more questions have come up as I investigate this.

1. Can I run speaker signal through cat6 without transceivers over these distances 100 to 250 feet?

2. If so is there a loss of quality in comparison to running regular speaker cable?

3. Is there a serious signal loss problem involved in using a rj45 patch panel and patch leads to route the signal?

4. Is this situation feasible? bare wire from terminals on amp, to a rj45 connector >into a wall rj45 socket >which connects to a patch panel socket>patch cord jumps signal from here to another patch socket> this patch socket is wired to a rj45 socket at the speaker location> rj45 connector to bare wires connects to speaker.

I have posted a diagram hope it makes things clearer. I would of course have more wall RJ45 sockets,meaning I could put a speaker anywhere there is a socket and patch it to the amp at the patch panel.
http://www.visi.com/~mgason/travel/testing/patch.htm


Mark
 

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-I do not have any experience with using CAT6 cable instead of speaker cable. I am just speculating, but do not think it is a good idea. The voltage level and amplitude coming out of the amplifier may be too great. Amplified audio is very different than audio and video signals.


-You should not have significant signal loss using patch panels for your video signals with proper termination. If you are buying factory terminated cables then you should be just fine. If you having someone terminate at your house and they are an experienced professional then you should also be just fine.


-If you would like a little extra insurance, then make sure the cable run passes a "Level 3" test. This is a test that ensures proper wire map (pin configuration) and acceptable levels of signal loss. This test is common in professional/commercial applications for video and network runs, but may not be practical in the home. If you are not able to have the Level 3 test, than put up a test pattern and make sure your video looks good with no pixels shifts of red, green, or blue.
 

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Instead of adding wires upfront, why don't you run conduit instead. They are cheap enough that you could even be overkilled in running them and yoou don't have headache determining which wires and how many wires you need to run. You could even decide not to go with Cat5 after all but RG6 instead.


Only point to be really careful is the dimension. Make sure that you could run at least, let say, 6 RG6 quad. That should be future proof enough.


Hope this help!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That may be a possibility, some of it may be pretty hard to pull through, that is one of my concerns, that the routes could be full of bends and turns.


I have concrete block walls filles with acoustic insulation and a concrete slab floor, the ceiling has massive timber beams in it

blocking clear paths.


I have been considering running this cable all over
http://www.smarthome.com/8682.html


I dont really mind having a bunch of cable pulled now while in construction but I am wondering if there is an alternative to running speaker wire that is more flexible. It seems such a single use cable.


Does anyone know of a cable like the above link that includes a speaker cable. Are we sure speaker signal cant be run on cat5?
 

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I would strongly recommend against running cat-5 for speaker wire. Here's why:


Wire gauge is measured by a dimension called circular mils which accounts for the surface area of a particular diameter of wire. Electricity flows on the surface of a wire (called skin effect), and so the available surface area determines the amount of electricity that can flow safely without overheating the wire.


Now, cat-5 is made up of 24 AWG, 8 conductors. A 24 AWG wire has 404 circular mils. Total conduction area for a single cat-5 cable if you tied all the ends together would be 8*404 = 3232 cms.


A 14 AWG wire (Usually used for speaker wire) has 4110 cms. As you can see, a single cat-5 cable doesn't even have as much equivalent gauge as a single 14 AWG. If you decided to run 16 AWG (2580 cms), you would be closer to the ballpark, but you would still have to run TWO cat-5's instead of a single 2 conductor 16 AWG wire. In the case of stereo speaker pair, you would have to run 4 Cat-5's.


Finally, consider that Cat-5 is made up of four twisted pairs. I'm not certain (someone with better harmonics background than me could comment), but sending audio signals through twisted pairs might create some distortions.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks for that, seems clear the cat5 is out as a straight speaker wire.

does anyone know anything about these products
http://www.leviton.com/lin/index.html

then click on decora media system.

I know these are not for speakers :)

Do you get good quality signal?

Do you even need these if your video and line audio runs are in the area of 200 feet?

mark
 
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