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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help me Pre-Wire my Mansion!


I am building a 13k sq. ft. home and want to ensure I spec. the proper pre-wire.



- Crestron will be used for A/V distribution



- What should be run from the DirecTV dish to the A/V Rack?

- What should be run from the Phone DMARC to the A/V Rack?

- What should be run from Incoming Cable to the A/V Rack


What Should be Run from central Closet to:

-Motorized Shading

-Room Occupancy/Motion Sensors

-TV's - I want HD 1080p to each TV

Fiber or Cat6?

What distance is Cat6 ok too?

Should HDMI be run to closer locations?

How long can HDMI be reliably run.

-Security Cameras

-Audio for security cameras

-Telephone

-Data

-Lighting Control

-Crestron Touch Panels

-Speakers

What type

Should thicker cable be run to further rooms? What length?

-Sprinkler System

-Wireless Access Points

-Media Ports to plug in play video and audio from a local source like a

camcorder.

-Security

Doors

Windows

Smoke Detectors

Glass Break Sensors

-Front Gate (video/audio/open close)

-HVAC

Thermostat

Temperature Sensors

-Theater

What should be run to screen for masking/power

What should be run to speakers

What should be run to projector for video

What should be run to projector for anamorphic lens transport


-If a Room and its Bathroom can always just play the same Audio/Video content, then what should be run to the bathroom? Should it be run from bedroom or homerun back to A/V closet


- Should conduit be run? If so, where and what kind?


THANKS ! ! !
 

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Are you DIY (doing it yourself) or maybe going to hire out some or all the work?


How much time before sheetrock?


What stage is project in?


Do you have a general contractor or are you owner/builder?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am going to hire a company, but I want to spec it out to ensure they do and I get what I want.


I have a GC for the job.


Construction starts soon. Probably 9 months+ until drywall goes up.
 

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Excellent.


Might I suggest you look for an Electronic Systems Contractor to design a spec for you? You'd have to pay them for it, but you would end up with a documentation set that would be much easier to then have other ESC's bid on.


The designing ESC should be able to bid on it, but others can too and you'll end up with comparable bids. Instead of apples to oranges, you'll end up with Fuji vs Red vs Green vs Gala apples.


That is, unless you want to DIY the design yourself and learn just for the hell of it. There's a lot of those guys here too. However, if you're just trying to make sure you get it done right, the way you want, and be cost competitive, pay somebody to work it out in a design (and pay them for a design), then bid that design out.
 

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You designing the Crestron system is doing it backwards. Your guessing at what cable to pull. You will end up wasting money on cable you don't need then you will waste some more trying to retro in what you overlooked.


If you were doing a retro DIY project this wouldn't be as big of an issue because you have to open the walls up anyway. The whole process will move slower. Since its new construction you have access to everything right now and the clock is ticking i would advise you to find someone to plan the system for you.


You ask about motorized shading.. What brand? What model?

1080P to each TV.. are you saying your ready for Crestron's HDMI switch? Or that you want a Blu-ray player located locally in each room?

What Crestron touchpanels? Are you using them for intercom & cams? Source playback? wi-fi, RF or wired?


You should create a wish list and provide it and a set of blue prints to a system designer aka Electronic Systems Contractor per Big Papa's response. This person/company will turn your wish list into a wiring plan & connection schematic.


Once you have this documentation you will be able to receive 100% accurate pricing from which ever Crestron dealer you choose. Paying for system design will cost you $ up front but it will save you twice that during the project and you will have a full set of documents for you system that anyone will be able to read and understand when it comes time to upgrade or service your system.
 

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I answered the questions i can based on the information provided. The stuff in Orange requires more detail. Make/model/how you expect to use it etc. These are things you should go over with the system designer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by usmed /forum/post/16967369


Help me Pre-Wire my Mansion!


I am building a 13k sq. ft. home and want to ensure I spec. the proper pre-wire.



- Crestron will be used for A/V distribution

Good Choice.

Quote:
- What should be run from the DirecTV dish to the A/V Rack?

I would spec minimum 6 RG6 to the dish location. This should cover you for DirecTV, FM and XM.

Quote:
- What should be run from the Phone DMARC to the A/V Rack?

- What should be run from Incoming Cable to the A/V Rack

2 RG6/2Cat5 & 2" conduit.

What Should be Run from central Closet to:

-Motorized Shading

-Room Occupancy/Motion Sensors

-TV’s – I want HD 1080p to each TV

Fiber or Cat6?

What distance is Cat6 ok too?

Should HDMI be run to closer locations?

How long can HDMI be reliably run.

-Security Cameras

-Audio for security cameras

Quote:
-Telephone

Cat5

-Data

-Lighting Control

-Crestron Touch Panels


-Speakers

What type
Quote:
Should thicker cable be run to further rooms? What length?

14 gauge should cover every run in your 13k sf home IMO.

-Sprinkler System

Quote:
-Wireless Access Points

Cat5

-Media Ports to plug in play video and audio from a local source like a

camcorder.

-Security

Doors

Windows

Smoke Detectors

Glass Break Sensors

-Front Gate (video/audio/open close)

-HVAC

Thermostat

Temperature Sensors

-Theater

What should be run to screen for masking/power

What should be run to speakers

What should be run to projector for video

What should be run to projector for anamorphic lens transport

Quote:
-If a Room and its Bathroom can always just play the same Audio/Video content, then what should be run to the bathroom? Should it be run from bedroom or homerun back to A/V closet

Home run from both rooms back to the rack. This allows you to combine or separate the rooms anytime now or in the future. You may think that outputting the same source to both rooms is a good idea now but later you may find you like to watch the game in bed while your wife watches a movie in the tub.

Quote:
- Should conduit be run? If so, where and what kind?

Yes, Yes and more Yes. The general answer is Conduit from each display & local equipment cabinet up to an unfinished attic or down to an unfinished basement. Then pipe the attic and basement back to the AV Rack. Conduit should be run in addition to the current wiring plan not in place of it IMO. Keep it empty until you need it and never assume you will be able to pull a cable thru it later. Sometimes pipes are unfishable (i know that's not a real word)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK. So, I have gotten a couple quotes from A/C companies that are Crestron dealers even though I gave all the companies a wish list and the "pre-wire" install is 2 line items "materials and labor". One company was way overpriced and when asked, said that fiber would be run to each room. Another said just 2 RG-6 and 2 Cat-5. It has become obvious that I need to really specify exactly what I want and therofore am requesting that here.


As to specific questions in a previous post:


Motorized shading - It will be either Somfy, Lutron, or Crestron. I assume they all require the same wiring.


1080p to each location - Yes, I want everything to come from the A/V rack, nothing local. But also also see the line item for Media Ports so I can connect something local like a videocam locally so I assume that each Media Port will also need a separate run. I am prepared to use Crestron's Digital Media System which I believe requires either CatX or Fiber to each location. I do not know if HDMI can also be used with the Digital Media System, in which case I would think that closer locations should use HDMI. That is why I asked how long of a run can be used for HDMI since closer rooms should be HDMI vs. Cat6/Fiber if Crestron's Digital Media System uses Cat/Fiber or HDMI.


Which Touchpanel - I would like to wire for the highest end wall mount touchpanels to view cams or video or do whatever could be. Some will be Wifi Some Wall mount. If each require something different, please tell me.


6xRG6 from Dish to A/V room - How is this determined? I was thinking that I would need 2 RG-6 for each dual tuner HD Directv Receiver.


Bathroom/Bedroom Combo - For MasterBed/Bath, I will definitely wire separately so me and my wife can watch/listen to separate sources. The question was asked for kids rooms where separate sources for bed and bath are not needed.


As for conduit, which one comes with a pull wire already in it?


Thanks guys ! ! !
 

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It will take a couple years to figure out what you need. You need a pro.


You could probably find someone online, at avsforum.com or remotecentral.com, to spec the prewire, for a price. Make certain they're Crestron certified, as the wiring may be different for Crestron devices.


I'd look locally again, for someone more qualified than the current 2. The CI who spec'd fiber would probably be someone to work with, though in this high end market, there isn't much competition, and you may be stuck paying whatever the CI asks (ask him for a quote without fiber). The prewire guys would ideally be the same company that installs. Find that company.
 

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The company that specked fiber is based on using Crestron's DM system.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by usmed /forum/post/16968773


OK. So, I have gotten a couple quotes from A/C companies that are Crestron dealers even though I gave all the companies a wish list and the "pre-wire" install is 2 line items "materials and labor". One company was way overpriced and when asked, said that fiber would be run to each room. Another said just 2 RG-6 and 2 Cat-5. It has become obvious that I need to really specify exactly what I want and therofore am requesting that here.

The guys offering you a pre-wire quote without a solid plan are shooting in the dark. While their expertise will make them better at guessing what to run there is no way they can cover everything without a complete system design. Fiber is expensive and would easily put them significantly higher than someone not running it. But if your application warrants it it will be much cheaper long term because you wont have to cut open drywall to pull it later after hours are wasted trying to work without it.


AVS is the place to be if you want to figure this out yourself. Your time line is what prompted the 'hire a pro' sentiment.

Quote:
As to specific questions in a previous post:


Motorized shading - It will be either Somfy, Lutron, or Crestron. I assume they all require the same wiring.

Each brand is wired differently. Some models within brands are wired differently. Not sure that Crestron has an actual shade but they do have a shade controller C2N-SDC that communicates via cresnet. This is a link to the installation guides for lutron QED shades. It will help you determine what wiring you will need. http://www.lutron.com/cms400/page.aspx?id=31043

Quote:
1080p to each location - Yes, I want everything to come from the A/V rack, nothing local. But also also see the line item for Media Ports so I can connect something local like a videocam locally so I assume that each Media Port will also need a separate run. I am prepared to use Crestron's Digital Media System which I believe requires either CatX or Fiber to each location. I do not know if HDMI can also be used with the Digital Media System, in which case I would think that closer locations should use HDMI. That is why I asked how long of a run can be used for HDMI since closer rooms should be HDMI vs. Cat6/Fiber if Crestron's Digital Media System uses Cat/Fiber or HDMI.

The local source plug-in's are considered an additional source as far as programming and design go or multiple sources if your asking for HDMI and Component for example. Something to think about if you reach your budget. Digital Media does and is required for HDMI distribution.

Quote:
Which Touchpanel - I would like to wire for the highest end wall mount touchpanels to view cams or video or do whatever could be. Some will be Wifi Some Wall mount. If each require something different, please tell me.

This is what i was getting at with pulling cables you wont use. The additional labor & parts for dealing with the unused cables is more expensive than having the system designed properly.


This will cover you for a TPS-6L.


Cat5 for audio

Cat5 for video

Cat5 for ethernet

Cresnet

Quote:
6xRG6 from Dish to A/V room - How is this determined? I was thinking that I would need 2 RG-6 for each dual tuner HD Directv Receiver.

Your dish uses 4 lines from the LNB's to feed a multiswitch.

Quote:
Bathroom/Bedroom Combo - For MasterBed/Bath, I will definitely wire separately so me and my wife can watch/listen to separate sources. The question was asked for kids rooms where separate sources for bed and bath are not needed.

Wire the kids bedrooms the same. You can combine them at the rack and seperate them easily if you ever choose to. Bottom line is there wont be any money saved by trying to daisy rig the 2 rooms together. The hardware to make it work properly is more expensive than pulling another 14/4.

Quote:
As for conduit, which one comes with a pull wire already in it?

Some will disagree with me .. forget about the ones with a pull string in them. While they work perfectly some times.. they are a big disappointment other times. Use fish tape with carlon pipe .

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by usmed /forum/post/16968773


OK. So, I have gotten a couple quotes from A/C companies that are Crestron dealers even though I gave all the companies a wish list and the "pre-wire" install is 2 line items "materials and labor". One company was way overpriced and when asked, said that fiber would be run to each room. Another said just 2 RG-6 and 2 Cat-5. It has become obvious that I need to really specify exactly what I want and therofore am requesting that here.


1080p to each location - Yes, I want everything to come from the A/V rack, nothing local. But also also see the line item for Media Ports so I can connect something local like a videocam locally so I assume that each Media Port will also need a separate run. I am prepared to use Crestron's Digital Media System which I believe requires either CatX or Fiber to each location. I do not know if HDMI can also be used with the Digital Media System, in which case I would think that closer locations should use HDMI. That is why I asked how long of a run can be used for HDMI since closer rooms should be HDMI vs. Cat6/Fiber if Crestron's Digital Media System uses Cat/Fiber or HDMI.


Which Touchpanel - I would like to wire for the highest end wall mount touchpanels to view cams or video or do whatever could be. Some will be Wifi Some Wall mount.

I'd like to ask a question: why do you deem one company 'way overpriced?' Is that in comparison to another company, or your own cost valuation? You said you wanted 'high end' touchpanels and Crestron DM: that stuff is not cheap.


It seems you have solicited a few bids or proposals, or what you call 'quotes.' These are not designs or documents that it will take to fully complete your project, it's only a first step. Between your quotes the interpretation between the companies is obviously much different: that is as much a problem as price disparity.


I'm interested to see what your 'wish list' is: I hope it's not the original list of parts and wiring runs. The reality is that any competent company should be able to do a needs assessment with you and figure out all the wire and parts to make that happen. Instead you're doing their work for them but I suspect for the wrong motivations. By 'specifying exactly what I want' you should be specifying what media you want where, how you use it, how you want to control it, what solutions you desire, and so forth.


Specifying cable, equipment, and conduits then getting bids from CI's to install those materials is a recipe for disaster, quite frankly.


I'm going to give you advise that is counter intuitive. Please at least consider it, that is all I ask. Go to the company that gave you the biggest quote and tell them you want a design. Don't focus so much on wire, speakers, displays, conduits. Focus on how you want to have all this stuff fit into your home, how you want to use it, how it's supposed to work for you. But dont' focus so much on the wire and the parts, focus on your needs and desires balanced against your cost valuations. Provide input on cost vs performance guidelines when the designer asks you for that input. Create a system design first, then submit that to other bidders.


This helps ensure that everybody who bids has a better understanding of what you want and thereby bids closer to each other in cost vs performance. There are many reasons that you have vastly different quotes and costs: getting a design removes all those disparate variables and gets everybody on the same page.


Instead, you are basically the system designer and subbing out people to install and pull cable. You are accountable to the end product, more so than the guys pulling the cable or wiring the equipment.


Pay for a design, re-submit it out to the CI's again. The design fee should be about 1-2% of the total completed project, you should get a Scope of Work describing the system features and primary components, a floorplan showing what wire to pull where, and an equipment list of all necessary parts. This should be about 80-90% figured out, you do not need a 100% design now nor is it worth it because designs change through the life of a project.


Just to come from the other side, if you were wanting to have somebody bid or propose a 5.1 theater install or 6 zone distributed audio system, a 'quote' or proposal is fine because it's easier to communicate your needs and the margin of error or misunderstanding is much narrower. What you are trying to accomplish is much grander and complex and is clearly into the realm of paying somebody to assist in design and documenting your vision. It's in your best interest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I hear you. I know this is several hundred thousand dollar install.


All I am really asking is what each of the above items requires for cabling.


If someone could just go through the list and tell me for each item would be great.
 

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#1 don't worry about the cabling


#2 sit down with an experienced designer and get yourself a clear expectation of what you want the system to do, period.


They will tell you exactly what equipment, wiring, etc.. will be needed to make the system do what you want it to. This is not a good time to be doing the DIY route, worry about the end product and not the the how it gets done. Plain and simple.


You need to think more along the lines of in this room I want to have a TV with these sources, have the ability to watch my security cameras, adjust the lights, the thermostat and so on and so forth, not here I want a HDMI cable and some speaker wires etc..


Get references from other people who have had Crestron work done for them and find yourself a designer your comfortable with.


Last but not least if you want the best your going to pay for it, its the way the world works so I would get over it real fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
With all due respect.


1 - You are darn tootin' I'm gonna worry about the cabling. That's the only thing that matters. Equipment comes and goes. Cabling doesn't.


2 - I have given them that. There are always differing opinions. One guy will say run 2 cat 5 for HDMI over dongles. Another guy will say dongles don't work well and you should just go for fiber to get true 1080p to all rooms.


Read my spec's - That is what I want in EACH room.


I am "over it". That's why I'm going Crestron DM baby.


What is so wrong with making sure I get good cabling?


Anyway,


COULD SOMEONE JUST TELL ME WHAT SHOULD BE RUN TO EACH OF THE ITEMS ON MY LIST ? ? ?


(i.e. - Crestron touchpanels - Run a Cresnet, RG-6 and a Cat-5. Motion detectors- run 18 gauge speaker wire, Cameras - run Cat 5 for IP cameras and get audio too or run "siamese" coax/power cable and get cheaper cameras with no audio, etc, etc.)
 

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The cabling is important but it has to be based on a plan or its worthless. So far it seems the only difference of opinion is that one guy wants to do fiber and the other guy wants to do 2 cat5. So do 2 cat5 and fiber and your covered.

Display : What needs to reach the TV?

Video

HDMI (2 cat6 or fiber) / Component (cat5 & baluns or 3 serial digital coaxial cables ) / Composite (cat5 for balun or 1 serial digital coaxial cable)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by usmed /forum/post/16977542


There are always differing opinions. One guy will say run 2 cat 5 for HDMI over dongles. Another guy will say dongles don't work well and you should just go for fiber to get true 1080p to all rooms.

And you expect different results by coming to a DIY centric forum?
You just made the case for a design retainer. Not every CI will do things exactly the same and there's many reasons for the differences of opinion or recommendation, some good, some bad. As for 'dongles' which I think means HDMI baluns, they are not good or bad: they are a judged solution that may be fine in some instances but not in every situation. Any good professional would know that they can be used in the right situation with the expected results, but that they can't be used all the time in every situation.


Fiber is pretty much the best solution but it costs more money, however it mitigates many other problems you might encounter going with copper, especially length and bandwidth limitations.

Quote:
COULD SOMEONE JUST TELL ME WHAT SHOULD BE RUN TO EACH OF THE ITEMS ON MY LIST ?

If it was that easy you'd already have the information. Of course I could, but some people would dispute what I recommended, and I've already seen some advice on cabling that I disagree with. Maybe later tonight I'll pour a glass of wine if the wife lets me and fill it in...
 

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Overly generic reply to an overly generic ask. It's a post I made elsewhere. Folks disagreed with a few items, thought I was overdoing it. But too much is never enough.


FWIW, i don't gotta the crestron, so i dunno whether cresnet needs something different. Hell, I don't even know what cresnet is. They make good toothpaste, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IVB /forum/post/0


run all the wiring now, then later you can focus on equipment brands. The site in my sig has a few starter wiring diagrams, but is by no means complete.


Here some random thoughts about what you could need wire. I know its far more than your list, but better to list it now and have you conciously choose not to run wiring than tell you after the walls are up. Also keep in mind that the question isn't "what do you want to do now", rather "what might you want to do later and will be sad if you realize you're out of wires".


It's a little disorganized as I kept realizing I remembering different stuff i've run. I'll look to my colleagues to see if any of the wiring suggestions are wrong.


1) Occupancy: Motion sensors for every room, run 18/4 for that.


2) Usage: Door sensors for every closet door in case you want to do auto-lighting-on, run 22/2 (or CAT5 to a central location) for that.


3) Security: Siren/CO/Smoke/Heat/Glassbreak sensors, most of them use 18/4, heat may use 22/2.


4) Driveway and or/fence gates for open/close status: 22/2 or CAT5.


5) Window sensors: 22/2, or if you have multiple together you could do CAT5 to the middle one and 22/2 to each window.


6) HA Speakers: Due to it being irritating to have audio pause to hear HA announcements/etc, I personally chose to mount a 2nd set of speakers just for HA (doorbell/phone/HA announcements/intruder alerts), and got the single-gang Elk $7 speakers. I ran CAT5 to the Elk, and put each of them on a relay so I can turn each of them on/off. Don't forget outside speakers too, such as patio and front door.


7) Doorbell: If you get an Elk panel, you could use CAT5 for the doorbell and have an Elk-based doorbell rather than a generic chime. Plus that way you'd be setup in the future to automatically pop up a frontdoor camera on doorbell ring, and not rely on the doorbell detector.


8) HVAC: 2 CAT5 to your thermo (one for integration with PC or Elk, one in case you want remote thermos)


9) 1 CAT5 to irrigation


10) Temp: 1 22/2 or CAT5 to any room where you want to mount a temp sensor to get temps in each room


11) HDTV Antenna: 1 RG6 for external antenna on roof


12) XM: 1 RG6 for XM signal cable to an external antenna


13) DirecTV: 1 RG6 per concurrent tuner you want, only one for digital cable I believe.


14) Safety/Elk:Water Sensors near hot water heater or other flood-prone locations. CAT5 I think.


15) Security Keypad, prox sensors, pin readers. CAT5.


16) Local device control. (ie, TV or local receiver control via serial) - CAT5


17) Russound/NuVo Keypads. Route speaker wiring via this location and also run CAT5.


18) Touchscreens. 2 CAT5 (should only need 1, but if you get a touchscreen only you'll need one for video, one for serial touchscreen control). You could merge this with above if you think you'll start with keypads and move on to TS's.


19) IR receivers. Run 1 CAT5 to any location you want an IR receiver. I ran one to 3 different rooms where I wanted an in-room IR eye, not an RF retransmitter.


20) Telephones. Yeah, I know, not HA related, but may as well list all random things that could need wiring together so you don't forget.


21) Video distribution. 1 CAT5 can handle component distro (if you use baluns) or 3RG6 (without baluns). I'd recommend baluns as you can stick with just running CAT5. 2 CAT5 if you'll want to be sadomasochistic to distribute HDMI. Plus, if you run back to a central wiring closet, you can just connect the cat5 patch panel to your network if you want a local SageTV HD-200 box.


22) In-Wall speakers. Run 16/4 speaker wire to EVERY room, including bathrooms. You may think its nutty now (as my wife did), but once everything else is done and you have the spare whole-house-amp connections, real Whole-Home-Audio will be freaky deaky cool (as my wife now thinks).


23) Temperature sensors. Assuming 1wire (which is actually 3 wires, go figger), 22/4 to each room you want it in. I vote for putting it into every room.
 

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The other thing to keep in mind (which is why a lot of the pros don't list every cable) is b/c the questions you are asking have been answered 100 times in 100 different posts. If you spend a little time searching these forums you'll get every answer to what needs to be wired to control what.


One way for you to start would be to say where you live and I'm sure people here can recommend a good system designer. I think your concern (which is certainly valid) is that some cables might slide through the cracks and you want to make sure you are covered. A top quality A/V firm should be able to help you make sure that doesn't happen.
 

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Hire 39centstamp to spec the cabling.


Make sure you check his references first - those trunk slammers can be pretty tricky.



If the money is right, you could prob get him on site, for oversight.
 
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