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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thank you in advance for reading.


I am in the process of designing my new home's A/V Distribution System


My goals are thus:


6 Rooms with Flat Screen TV's - I ran (5) Cat5e to each location ran back to a central a/v closet.


(1 of Which includes a 7.1 Speaker setup - adequate speaker wire pairs ran back to a central a/v closet. Subwoofer cable included and run back to the a/v closet.)


I want each room to have it's own remote that can access all sources for this set


My Source's are:


6 - Tivo HD Boxes (one per TV)

1 - PS3 (Share access)

1 - Wii (Share access)

3 - Blu-Ray Players (Share Access)

Internet?

Maybe 1 XBox


I own a high-end Yamaha Home Theater Recever (not sure how this fits, other than it has to be used to power the 7.1 Room)


I'm exhausted for trying to figure this out on my own, honestly.


I am not without a budget, but would like to stay under $2000.00. (TV's, mounts, source equipment, wiring excluded)


Any help will be greatly appreciated.


Kind regards.


Jet
 

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You need to provide more info. Mainly, are you going to be using sources simultaneously and does every TV need access to all sources? Also, more info about your wiring would help (how many cat5e, RG6 at each drop?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljo000 /forum/post/20855727


You need to provide more info. Mainly, are you going to be using sources simultaneously and does every TV need access to all sources? Also, more info about your wiring would help (how many cat5e, RG6 at each drop?)

Thanks for the response.


I won't be using the Tivo Box Sources Simultaneously. I would like each set to be able to access the BluRays, Internet? and Gaming Systems.


I ran 5 drops of Cat5e to each TV location.
 

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Usually when you have centralized a/v distribution, the common solution for cable/satellite boxes is to have one per family member, and arrange the control system and a/v distribution to route that person's dvr to follow the to the room they are viewing in. So Dad's remote would control Dad's dvr, Mom's would control Mom's dvr, etc. Available on any tv, but unique to the user.


Did you run any RG6 to the tv locations?


Wow, a/v distribution under $2,000? Hmmm. . .that's. . .well, unless things have changed very recently, probably unrealistic. I know the Audio Authority component matrix switch (over cat5) is roughly $2800. For HDMI, I see them all over the place, from $2000 up (though in this case, price CAN matter - the one I saw at $2k is a HDMI 1.1 matrix). Also, with HDMI, what resolution are your tv's that you are distributing to? Keep in mind that HDMI will send the lowest common denominator signal based on EDID to ALL of your screens - example, you have mostly 1920X1080 tv's, but ONE is 1280X720? Then you'll get 1280X720 to ALL of them.


The biggest problem that I see is that you have too many sources for most COMMON solutions, closely followed by the fact that you have mixed format sources (Wii is component at best as I recall, Xbox if older model is component, then rest are likely HDMI best signal). I stress COMMON as meaning what you could easily go buy on the market in your budget level. The second issue could be resolved by using a Component matrix and not feeding HDMI from the other sources. Most common component matrixes max at 6 inputs. The largest HDMI matrix I've seen is 8 sources (which would barely fit if you left out the Xbox and only used 3 Tivos) and those run $3500 and up from a quick web search. Now, can you do more sources than 6 or 8? Of course, but then you get into some more expensive matrices from Extron or perhaps some custom solutions from a Crestron-level vendor. I don't see you doing that for $2000.00.


If you ran RG6 to your tv locations, then you MAY be able to use a QAM modulator to inject source stream(s) into your signal along the RG6 cabling. However, I've never really looked into this so others will need to chime in on whether this is possible or feasible from a budget perspective.


One other thing - you plan to centralize the Wii? Why? Have you tested in ALL of your viewing rooms if the controllers' signals are able to reach the Wii in the centralized room? You also have to consider wiring for multiple Wii sensor bars in each room. Same for the PS3 if you have Move and for Xbox if you have Kinect - how will you control the box and have you considered wiring to extend those to the rooms. Frankly, I would dedicate these to a room and take off the matrix. That really frees things up and eliminates a lot of undue complexity in your system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1812
Usually when you have centralized a/v distribution, the common solution for cable/satellite boxes is to have one per family member, and arrange the control system and a/v distribution to route that person's dvr to follow the to the room they are viewing in. So Dad's remote would control Dad's dvr, Mom's would control Mom's dvr, etc. Available on any tv, but unique to the user.


Did you run any RG6 to the tv locations?


Wow, a/v distribution under $2,000? Hmmm. . .that's. . .well, unless things have changed very recently, probably unrealistic. I know the Audio Authority component matrix switch (over cat5) is roughly $2800. For HDMI, I see them all over the place, from $2000 up (though in this case, price CAN matter - the one I saw at $2k is a HDMI 1.1 matrix). Also, with HDMI, what resolution are your tv's that you are distributing to? Keep in mind that HDMI will send the lowest common denominator signal based on EDID to ALL of your screens - example, you have mostly 1920X1080 tv's, but ONE is 1280X720? Then you'll get 1280X720 to ALL of them.


The biggest problem that I see is that you have too many sources for most COMMON solutions, closely followed by the fact that you have mixed format sources (Wii is component at best as I recall, Xbox if older model is component, then rest are likely HDMI best signal). I stress COMMON as meaning what you could easily go buy on the market in your budget level. The second issue could be resolved by using a Component matrix and not feeding HDMI from the other sources. Most common component matrixes max at 6 inputs. The largest HDMI matrix I've seen is 8 sources (which would barely fit if you left out the Xbox and only used 3 Tivos) and those run $3500 and up from a quick web search. Now, can you do more sources than 6 or 8? Of course, but then you get into some more expensive matrices from Extron or perhaps some custom solutions from a Crestron-level vendor. I don't see you doing that for $2000.00.


If you ran RG6 to your tv locations, then you MAY be able to use a QAM modulator to inject source stream(s) into your signal along the RG6 cabling. However, I've never really looked into this so others will need to chime in on whether this is possible or feasible from a budget perspective.


One other thing - you plan to centralize the Wii? Why? Have you tested in ALL of your viewing rooms if the controllers' signals are able to reach the Wii in the centralized room? You also have to consider wiring for multiple Wii sensor bars in each room. Same for the PS3 if you have Move and for Xbox if you have Kinect - how will you control the box and have you considered wiring to extend those to the rooms. Frankly, I would dedicate these to a room and take off the matrix. That really frees things up and eliminates a lot of undue complexity in your system.
I think I want to simplify this...


I want Tivo

Ipod

Blu-Rays


available to all.


I can do all the gaming in my kids loft only. If he wants to use them in the main room he can unplug and plug.


Does this simplify?

The TV's are a mix of 720 1080p...


Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
oh and 5 of cat5e run to each set...


the home theatre issue? speakers homerun back to the main as well... forgot to ask about that...


i have a high end home theatre receiver... i'd hate to lose it
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by time2jet
I think I want to simplify this...


I want Tivo

Ipod

Blu-Rays


available to all.


I can do all the gaming in my kids loft only. If he wants to use them in the main room he can unplug and plug.


Does this simplify?

The TV's are a mix of 720 1080p...


Thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by time2jet
oh and 5 of cat5e run to each set...


the home theatre issue? speakers homerun back to the main as well... forgot to ask about that...


i have a high end home theatre receiver... i'd hate to lose it
(1) No issue on the avr located in the main rack away from home theater- you just need to make sure you have some means (universal remote with RF base, home automation controller, ir relay, something) to communicate from your remote in theater to the avr in the rack. Actually, that brings up a good question - how DO you plan to control all of this - the distribution matrix, the various centralized components, etc.? Also, you may find that you will need to tweak the audio delay to get audio in sync with video.


(2) so ONLY 5 cat5e to each set - no RG6 (not that you need it based on your plan, just want to verify)


(3) Probably a good call on gaming.


(4) Yes, the cutdown on devices greatly simplifies, but now you've added an iPod that you didn't list before. What do you want from the iPod - music only? music and video?


(5) Mix of tv's - decide if you can live with 720p displayed on all sets. If not, then go with component distribution (although there is the component output sunset, which MAY impact your Tivo's at worst). If you can live with 720p across all tv's, then look into HDMI matrix distribution. Suggest you read heavily the threads on this in this forum, as if not done properly using quality components, you can create a massive nightmare. Not trying to scare you, but component distribution is rock-solid, easy-peasy, while HDMI, because of the nature of HDMI, may not be so easy-peasy (though vendors have had a year or two to vet many of the early-adopter problems, so you should probably see fewer issues now).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1812 /forum/post/20859434


(5) Mix of tv's - decide if you can live with 720p displayed on all sets. If not, then go with component distribution (although there is the component output sunset, which MAY impact your Tivo's at worst). If you can live with 720p across all tv's, then look into HDMI matrix distribution. Suggest you read heavily the threads on this in this forum, as if not done properly using quality components, you can create a massive nightmare. Not trying to scare you, but component distribution is rock-solid, easy-peasy, while HDMI, because of the nature of HDMI, may not be so easy-peasy (though vendors have had a year or two to vet many of the early-adopter problems, so you should probably see fewer issues now).

Component video distribution is way easier, and yes, is rock solid. "Analog sunset" only applies to Blu-ray players, although other devices, such as AppleTV, have dropped analog support (likely to appease misguided content providers just as was done for BD). If your devices for distribution have component - it's a cheaper and easier way to go.


That doesn't mean you can't do some HDMI as well - for a theater or primary viewing location with a BD player - you'll want HDMI from BD to the AVR to get 1080p and the advanced audio codecs (DTS-MA, etc.).


And a 4x8 component-over-cat5 matrix can be built within your original budget...



Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1812 /forum/post/20859434


(1) No issue on the avr located in the main rack away from home theater- you just need to make sure you have some means (universal remote with RF base, home automation controller, ir relay, something) to communicate from your remote in theater to the avr in the rack. Actually, that brings up a good question - how DO you plan to control all of this - the distribution matrix, the various centralized components, etc.? Also, you may find that you will need to tweak the audio delay to get audio in sync with video.


If I blend HDMI and Component, the AVR would be HDMI to the main TV... Would I run the TIVO etc through the AVR? and also component? Confusing... (AVR remote would choose input?)...


Thanks, yes... I am also looking for a reasonably priced IR solution... a total solution (meaning all TV's with remotes).


(2) so ONLY 5 cat5e to each set - no RG6 (not that you need it based on your plan, just want to verify)


All cat5e and 5 to each set.


(3) Probably a good call on gaming.


Thanks.


(4) Yes, the cutdown on devices greatly simplifies, but now you've added an iPod that you didn't list before. What do you want from the iPod - music only? music and video?


Music... would it be better to just do some sort of computer based media server? If so, what would that be? I know you can use a PS3... but we just took that off of the whole house system.


(5) Mix of tv's - decide if you can live with 720p displayed on all sets. If not, then go with component distribution (although there is the component output sunset, which MAY impact your Tivo's at worst). If you can live with 720p across all tv's, then look into HDMI matrix distribution. Suggest you read heavily the threads on this in this forum, as if not done properly using quality components, you can create a massive nightmare. Not trying to scare you, but component distribution is rock-solid, easy-peasy, while HDMI, because of the nature of HDMI, may not be so easy-peasy (though vendors have had a year or two to vet many of the early-adopter problems, so you should probably see fewer issues now).

I don't want a blend. Most sets are now 1080p and I can upgrade the rest. But it sounds like a blend of distribution (component and hdmi) is less expensive and easier. I am so confused... say for instance the main tv... it's 1080p... Can I run everything through the avr (TIVO, Bluray, Ipod dock is already there on the AVR...?)


Thanks a gazillion... the project is underway and I am in panic mode.


Kind regards,


Rich
 

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The last idea from Jeff is something I was just considering as I am a new DirecTV subscriber. All the TV's have HDMI but one. It's an old analog Trinitron tube. My thinking was four HD boxes, one per kid and one for myself and the wife. Then run a component matrix to eight other areas if needed and each just watches his/her own box. That give twelve viewing areas if I want. My apple tv 2 is HDMI only, and since they are only $99 it's easier and cheaper just to buy more.


EK
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1812 /forum/post/20858702


One other thing - you plan to centralize the Wii? Why? Have you tested in ALL of your viewing rooms if the controllers' signals are able to reach the Wii in the centralized room? You also have to consider wiring for multiple Wii sensor bars in each room. Same for the PS3 if you have Move and for Xbox if you have Kinect - how will you control the box and have you considered wiring to extend those to the rooms. Frankly, I would dedicate these to a room and take off the matrix. That really frees things up and eliminates a lot of undue complexity in your system.

Wii sensor bars dont communicate with the Wii, the cable is there for power. You can buy third party wireless bars (battery powered) for those rooms, the bar is only there to emit 2 IR sources so the Wii controller can figure out pointing position. As long as the controller signal can reach the Wii and you put an IR sensor bar in each room you can distribute it. You are correct on the Kinect and Move though, that is a two interaction between the bar and box that you have to provision for.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekkoville /forum/post/20861383


The last idea from Jeff is something I was just considering as I am a new DirecTV subscriber. All the TV's have HDMI but one. It's an old analog Trinitron tube. My thinking was four HD boxes, one per kid and one for myself and the wife. Then run a component matrix to eight other areas if needed and each just watches his/her own box. That give twelve viewing areas if I want.

Using the "one set-top per family member" rule of thumb wins again! If everyone can turn to "their" box on any set, it works well...

Quote:
My apple tv 2 is HDMI only, and since they are only $99 it's easier and cheaper just to buy more.

And that's an important point - one should figure out why they're sharing/centralizing devices first. What's the usage model? Is it just for aesthetics (hiding the equipment), or accessing expensive devices or shared content (aka media server). Buying a $2k matrix to share a $99 AppleTV may not be the "best use of capital"...



Jeff
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorchris /forum/post/20861649


Wii sensor bars dont communicate with the Wii, the cable is there for power. You can buy third party wireless bars (battery powered) for those rooms, the bar is only there to emit 2 IR sources so the Wii controller can figure out pointing position. As long as the controller signal can reach the Wii and you put an IR sensor bar in each room you can distribute it.

D'OH! I should have known better - I HAVE one of those wireless bars!!!!
 

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since the OP messed up a reply above, I've fixed it for him below so that everyone could see his additional comments and questions. I'll try to respond to these later - heading off to a couple of meetings this afternoon. ALL NON-QUOTED TEXT BELOW IS FROM THE OP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1812 /forum/post/20860867


(1) No issue on the avr located in the main rack away from home theater- you just need to make sure you have some means (universal remote with RF base, home automation controller, ir relay, something) to communicate from your remote in theater to the avr in the rack. Actually, that brings up a good question - how DO you plan to control all of this - the distribution matrix, the various centralized components, etc.? Also, you may find that you will need to tweak the audio delay to get audio in sync with video.

If I blend HDMI and Component, the AVR would be HDMI to the main TV... Would I run the TIVO etc through the AVR? and also component? Confusing... (AVR remote would choose input?)...


Thanks, yes... I am also looking for a reasonably priced IR solution... a total solution (meaning all TV's with remotes).
Quote:
(2) so ONLY 5 cat5e to each set - no RG6 (not that you need it based on your plan, just want to verify)

All cat5e and 5 to each set.

Quote:
(4) Yes, the cutdown on devices greatly simplifies, but now you've added an iPod that you didn't list before. What do you want from the iPod - music only? music and video?

Music... would it be better to just do some sort of computer based media server? If so, what would that be? I know you can use a PS3... but we just took that off of the whole house system.

Quote:
(5) Mix of tv's - decide if you can live with 720p displayed on all sets. If not, then go with component distribution (although there is the component output sunset, which MAY impact your Tivo's at worst). If you can live with 720p across all tv's, then look into HDMI matrix distribution. Suggest you read heavily the threads on this in this forum, as if not done properly using quality components, you can create a massive nightmare. Not trying to scare you, but component distribution is rock-solid, easy-peasy, while HDMI, because of the nature of HDMI, may not be so easy-peasy (though vendors have had a year or two to vet many of the early-adopter problems, so you should probably see fewer issues now).

I don't want a blend. Most sets are now 1080p and I can upgrade the rest. But it sounds like a blend of distribution (component and hdmi) is less expensive and easier. I am so confused... say for instance the main tv... it's 1080p... Can I run everything through the avr (TIVO, Bluray, Ipod dock is already there on the AVR...?)


Thanks a gazillion... the project is underway and I am in panic mode.


Kind regards,


Rich
 

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First, I think Jeff made the most important statement in this thread above- decide what you SHOULD distribute first - just because you can doesn't mean you should. Will you want to get up and go to you rack room every time you need to change out a disc in your blu ray player? For me, I centralized things like: cable boxes (1 to many devices), multi-disc mega changers (didn't have to run to player to swap discs), my media server (a windows home server). But at each viewing location, I have a media player of some sort - might be a blu ray, might be a media player, maybe a game console, etc. because in that location, I assessed what my viewing habits were and adjusted the signal distribution to fit those needs.


Now to some of your questions:


I think we established you would NOT be blending component and HDMI distribution - all of your sources should be component capable, and you should be able to distribute these very easily via a 4 or 6 source to 6+ zone component matrix distribution system, which will come in at or slightly above your $2k budget.


Just an FYI - if you ever think you might resell this house, you really should have run RG6 to the tv locations. Not everyone is going to use a distribution scheme to get their signals to their tv's.


Music - ahh. . .I'm in the camp of having my distributed audio and distributed a/v systems being 2 separate systems (I have a Nuvo Grand Concerto audio system and I have an Audio Authority component a/v matrix system). With that said, there are easy ways to accomplish what you want to do - you mention a computer based system - what some do is use devices in local rooms that are capable of streaming (via wifi or wired network) music from a local storage device - NAS, WHS, PC, etc. An example of this is that I have a WHS in my rack - among other things, it holds all of my MP3's. While my Nuvo covers key non-video parts of the house, I can use a media player (in my case, a Dune) to play back movies, music and photos from the WHS through a local tv and avr. Sonos is another popular, yet different way to distribute audio. Hopefully others will chime in as I "set it and forget it" with my solution and really haven't kept up with what's out there these days.


You don't NEED a blend - I think we established that above. If you choose component distribution, you can send to all of your current tv's (I assume each of them has at least one component input), you won't have to worry about the lowest common resolution issue, and it will be cheaper and more hassle-free than HDMI.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1812 /forum/post/20862557


First, I think Jeff made the most important statement in this thread above- decide what you SHOULD distribute first - just because you can doesn't mean you should. Will you want to get up and go to you rack room every time you need to change out a disc in your blu ray player? For me, I centralized things like: cable boxes (1 to many devices), multi-disc mega changers (didn't have to run to player to swap discs), my media server (a windows home server). But at each viewing location, I have a media player of some sort - might be a blu ray, might be a media player, maybe a game console, etc. because in that location, I assessed what my viewing habits were and adjusted the signal distribution to fit those needs.


Now to some of your questions:


I think we established you would NOT be blending component and HDMI distribution - all of your sources should be component capable, and you should be able to distribute these very easily via a 4 or 6 source to 6+ zone component matrix distribution system, which will come in at or slightly above your $2k budget.


Just an FYI - if you ever think you might resell this house, you really should have run RG6 to the tv locations. Not everyone is going to use a distribution scheme to get their signals to their tv's.


Music - ahh. . .I'm in the camp of having my distributed audio and distributed a/v systems being 2 separate systems (I have a Nuvo Grand Concerto audio system and I have an Audio Authority component a/v matrix system). With that said, there are easy ways to accomplish what you want to do - you mention a computer based system - what some do is use devices in local rooms that are capable of streaming (via wifi or wired network) music from a local storage device - NAS, WHS, PC, etc. An example of this is that I have a WHS in my rack - among other things, it holds all of my MP3's. While my Nuvo covers key non-video parts of the house, I can use a media player (in my case, a Dune) to play back movies, music and photos from the WHS through a local tv and avr. Sonos is another popular, yet different way to distribute audio. Hopefully others will chime in as I "set it and forget it" with my solution and really haven't kept up with what's out there these days.


You don't NEED a blend - I think we established that above. If you choose component distribution, you can send to all of your current tv's (I assume each of them has at least one component input), you won't have to worry about the lowest common resolution issue, and it will be cheaper and more hassle-free than HDMI.

Here's where I am with this Mike,


I think I base the Tivo Boxes on the most number of simultaneous separate tv users I should ever really have... that's 3... 4 max...


So I want to distribute 3 Tivo's. (Primary Source of A/V really)


I want the option for music to each set.

I want the option for BluRay/DVD to each set... I have 3 players.

(PS- I don't mind getting up every 2 hours and changing a disc... though with 3 shouldn't need to.


My LR TV should have full access to the AVR (Which has an iPod dock)... but again, do I use HDMI over Cat5e to this set... I mean only to this set would be okay I guess....


the avr is a HTR6090 yamaha


At this point I want to start buying up things... so if I settle in on component matrix... then so be it. But it would be nice to run the main tv through the avr at hdmi...


Am I confusing you or me more at this point?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1812 /forum/post/20862557


Music - ahh. . .I'm in the camp of having my distributed audio and distributed a/v systems being 2 separate systems (I have a Nuvo Grand Concerto audio system and I have an Audio Authority component a/v matrix system).

Great minds, Mike...



I have a NuVo GC and an Aton component matrix...


Jeff
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by time2jet /forum/post/20863823


I think I base the Tivo Boxes on the most number of simultaneous separate tv users I should ever really have... that's 3... 4 max...


So I want to distribute 3 Tivo's. (Primary Source of A/V really)


I want the option for music to each set.

I want the option for BluRay/DVD to each set... I have 3 players.

Just realize that most matrix switches jump from 4 sources to 8 - and the price goes up quite a bit. One exception is the AVAtrix component matrix that Mike is using, which has 6 sources.

Quote:
My LR TV should have full access to the AVR (Which has an iPod dock)... but again, do I use HDMI over Cat5e to this set... I mean only to this set would be okay I guess....

Ah, ok - I missed the part about you added home-run speaker wire to locate the AVR in the closet. In that case you'll cable the sources to the AVR in the closet - either bypassing the matrix, using it's loop outputs, or some combo. You'll want HDMI from a BD player directly to the AVR to get all the bells and whistles for your primary system. Then probably just a single-run HDMI-over-Cat5 to feed the living room display from the AVR's output.

Quote:
At this point I want to start buying up things... so if I settle in on component matrix... then so be it. But it would be nice to run the main tv through the avr at hdmi...

A component matrix setup with some HDMI for the AVR setup can work well.


Are you in the house yet? Don't buy anything until you truly have a plan figured out - if the house is under construction, concentrate on the wiring aspects, new gear comes out every month...


Jeff
 
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