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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those of us who cannot make permanent decisions and want ultimate wiring flexibility, I am trying to come up with ways that you could have open conduit all over the place in the walls, to allow reconfiguring devices whatever way you want.


Options:

* Put 2-gang, deep, flush-mount wiring boxes every 6 ft along each wall, one near ceiling, one in middle of wall, one near floor. Interconnect these with 2-inch open conduit.


* Box covers would be designed to be snap-in without exposed screw heads, flush with the wall, and paintable to match wall color, so these access boxes all over the place blend into the walls and are not noticeable.


* Where there is another room on the opposite side, the wallbox opens into that other room, too, to allow cable feedthrough.


* If there is an aligned wall above on the next floor, run the 2-inch conduit up there and repeat with ceiling/mid/floor boxes


* If there is an open ceiling below (drop-ceiling or other removable panels) the 2-inch conduit should open into that space from the floor above.



So, want to hang a TV on the wall? This way, you have a wallbox within 6ft of any installation position to hide the wires running to it, and there's no need to rip apart walls to install the wires because the channels for it are already in place.


I know you're not supposed to run low and high voltage together, but I am wondering if an exception could be made by running "armorflex" power cables alongside communication cables. Essentially this stuff is flexible conduit by itself, so this would be high-voltage flexible conduit inside low-voltage rigid conduit.
 

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There were some products, or at least prototypes/proposals, for residential raceway systems that replaced the baseboard moldings with a removable plate, with all the low-volt ran through house that way. Once to the correct stud bay, just poke into the wall from behind the raceway, up and out again at the desired height.


Obviously, cost got in the way of that...


The conduit runs are a tradeoff of cost (now vs. later). What you're suggesting would be a very high cost (at pre-wire time), and may even be possible - there's just not enough chase space for all those individual conduit runs to get somewhere useful...


In most residential construction (at least in the US) a lot of the walls are accessible from either above or below (easily). Conduit runs are good for those areas that are (a) likely to need expansion or (b) inaccessible. With some thought, a single conduit run per wall (worst case) could handle most any situation, used in conjunction with some fishing within the wall cavity. The conduit is to get you into the room from an accessible attic/basement. Moving up/down inside a stud bay is usually "possible". More possible for experts than novices, too... :)


Jeff
 

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Ugly blank wall plates.


If one installs all the cables ever needed, there is never a need to move or add cables.


I don't know how well the armored cable limits RF, as it's designed for mechanical protection. And, you'd need to use line voltage rated outer conduit, not LV.


+1, drywall is designed to allow easy retrofitting of cables. Each stud bay is a large conduit. Most of my cable retrofits have not required drywall repair - you work through the existing or new wallplate hole, and behind the baseboard. And, drywall repair is pretty cheap.


+1, conduit for hard to access video locations, but even that problem is solved by category cables.


How often do cables need to be changed?
 

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I used to be really optimistic about adding wiring to houses after drywall, but with recent construction practices it's getting harder all the time.


Spray foam, or foam & concrete in the exterior walls, immense amount of sheer walls, seismic blocking throughout interior walls - hell, we've had a few projects latley where all the interior walls got foamed too. Not to mentioned, it's not just our stuff that is getting more elaborate - walls are just more full these days in general.


Now, what the op is suggesting is totally over kill and cost prohibitive. It can be difficult to sell conduit from the head end to each display even on high budget jobs. However, it is more important than ever to install conduit, as well as massive amounts of wire in new homes.


I certainly feel sorry for whoever is renovating these 20-25 years from now.
 

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With many full renovations, the drywall often comes down, or will be significantly replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There are other problems with this approach, like say if your house happens to get some mice living in it.


With conduit paths all over the place, the mice have a ready-made maze of tunnels already in place for them to go anywhere in the building.


So the conduits would need some sort of plugs or stoppers, to prevent them from being used by mice, insects, etc.
 

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Or use super smart mice, hepped up on goofballs.


They could pass the signals themselves.
 

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Really new houses should have basic AV wiring these days. Comeon we're in the dark ages? Am currently renovating my 20 years old, NOT THAT OLD yet 1 electrical circuit (15 amp) for upstairs, 1 for downstairs, kitchen is good. But heck 1 single space heater is 15 amps right there. Couldn't they do a better job from the gecko?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBobb /forum/post/20872391


Really new houses should have basic AV wiring these days. Comeon we're in the dark ages? Am currently renovating my 20 years old, NOT THAT OLD yet 1 electrical circuit (15 amp) for upstairs, 1 for downstairs, kitchen is good. But heck 1 single space heater is 15 amps right there. Couldn't they do a better job from the gecko?

Hate to say it, but yer house wasn't well constructed. Mine is 30 years old (1981) and they went overboard on electrical. Typically 2 outlets per wall, every room on it's own dedicated circuit.


For OP, agreed conduit would be cost prohibitive. I'm in the same boat (perusing here to find a good multi-zone audio solution) and been running from basement to attic to get it where I need it. They didn't intend on internet in 1981 so cat6 to all rooms...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mystic_sniper28 /forum/post/20876484


each room on their own circuit that would be to good to be true..

My house has that too. But what I should have done was to have fans/lights on a separate circuit for each group of rooms. Besides, all of my TVs are wall mounted with a dedicated circuit just for them - helps to eliminate any dimmer noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Network cabling for running actual networking turns out to be more or less leapfrogged by wireless technology. If you installed CAT5 in your walls in the last ten years it is technically already obsolete, and probably better put to use to run HDMI from a single source.


At this point, probably the best use of whole-house CAT5 wiring is to run a distributed wireless system like used in large buildings, with multiple access points all sharing the same SSID, so there aren't any dead spots for your wireless devices.


Multi-strand fiber seems to be the most forward-looking house wiring, with terabits of capacity possible on a single pair, but also the most insanely expensive as far as media converters go.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javik /forum/post/20879116


Network cabling for running actual networking turns out to be more or less leapfrogged by wireless technology. If you installed CAT5 in your walls in the last ten years it is technically already obsolete, and probably better put to use to run HDMI from a single source.

I call BS...


If by "technically already obsolete" you mean "used in tens of millions of installations worldwide at higher reliability, lower cost, and better performance than wireless" - then I'd agree with you...


Quote:
At this point, probably the best use of whole-house CAT5 wiring is to run a distributed wireless system like used in large buildings, with multiple access points all sharing the same SSID, so there aren't any dead spots for your wireless devices.

Good wireless coverage is fantastic for mobile devices, and locations where wires don't exist and/or impractical to run. But nothing beats wired Ethernet for reliability, ease of setup, performance, etc.

Quote:
Multi-strand fiber seems to be the most forward-looking house wiring, with terabits of capacity possible on a single pair, but also the most insanely expensive as far as media converters go.

Fiber in the home has been the "future of home networking" for 20+ years now. Some day it will be true. Right up there with "FREE BEER TOMORROW".


As I've said many times, the best thing about fiber in the home is that the teflon insulation makes it very tough, so you can tie the *right* cable to one end, and turn it in to a fantastic pull string...



Jeff
 
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