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Discussion Starter #1
Dear Friends,

I hope everyone is doing well. I am embarking on a major project. I have spent the last few days reading through this forum trying to understand the process of creating a home automation system. Obviously there are professionals who do this as a career. I am attempting to do this project on my own with the assistance of my brother and father.

I have attached a layout of the home and my plans for each room. I intend to have the control base in the basement utility room. I am ordering 14/2 G monoprice pure copper speaker wire (approximately 3000ft) for the 30 various speakers throughout the home. (5:1 systems for 3 bedrooms/two living rooms/various speakers throughout the kitchen and living areas/backyard). I will wire my home theatre in the future with a atmos setup with I have the proper finances. I am looking for decent in ceiling and in wall speakers for these various areas. I am also thinking of just mounting speakers in the 5:1 areas that are not in wall for a higher quality speaker, less cost compared to the in wall technology. I have read that I need to run a COAX for a subwoofer?

I then intend to run either CAT6 or CAT6a wire to 5-6 areas in the perimeter of the home for a home security set up, thinking NVR (https://www.costco.com/lorex-4k-ultra-hd-8-channel-ip-security-system-with-8-smart-deterrence-4k-(8mp)-cameras-with-color-night-vision.product.100499244.html). Is CAT6a necessary? From what I have read it seems CAT5e is sufficient for this purpose?

In terms of video I was going to run CAT6a to all the future televisions in the home. (2x Living room, 3x master bedrooms, 2x regular bedrooms, kitchen) along with where the future computer stations will be for internet.

For switches I plan to use switch sensors for walk in areas such as the pantry and mudroom.

I am trying to figure out which home automation server/amplifier will I need to purchase to do this project DIY. I want to do this project properly.

Also I have a few questions?

1) I will create zones for audio - will each zone be able to control their own input? What if someone hooks an Xbox in their bedroom, will that sound be able to play through the audio built into the room? Also if I have a Fios TV box in the server room, I am assuming only one channel can be picked for the whole home unless I obtain multiple boxes? What about ROKUs/Apple TV? Does it make sense to just have those particular products in the room where the television is? Will they be able to output sound to the in build speakers as selected?

2) I want to incorporate my garage doors and gate to the property into the automation system/security - is that possible?

3) Which type of wall tablets should I get to control this system? I guess it all depends on the actual product I buy for the control room.

My builder is just providing barebones in terms of AV automation/low voltage wiring and has given us permission to proceed with wiring the home as we feel. Obviously doing it properly.


These are a few of my questions/concerns. I am going to head to the property now to take some photos to share with y'all. I will post photos along this journey so future DIY'ers can see my struggle :eek:
 

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Here is a DropBox link to the house in its current state. Electrician will be coming in next few weeks to start the high voltage wiring.

I have attached the layouts of the three floors. The basement will remain unfinished. The big red box is where the future home theatre will go. I do not plan to run these wires right now unless it's suggested.
 

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Here is a DropBox link to the house in its current state. Electrician will be coming in next few weeks to start the high voltage wiring.

I have attached the layouts of the three floors. The basement will remain unfinished. The big red box is where the future home theatre will go. I do not plan to run these wires right now unless it's suggested.
Cat6a is not that much more in cost over cat6 and gives you more capacity. So, cat6a is a good idea. Put in 1 1/2 or 2 conduit which you can put the cat6a in or save for future cable developments. Put a cat6a patch panel in your equipment room and ground the panel. Look at the Blackbox.com web site.

You need to consider the sources for your audio video and data content: the internet, a disc player, an AVR, HDBT, wifi, etc

Take a lot of photographs just before the sheet rock goes up so you will know where everything is.

There are a lot of decisions.
 

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Cat6a is not that much more in cost over cat6 and gives you more capacity. So, cat6a is a good idea. Put in 1 1/2 or 2 conduit which you can put the cat6a in or save for future cable developments. Put a cat6a patch panel in your equipment room and ground the panel. Look at the Blackbox.com web site.

You need to consider the sources for your audio video and data content: the internet, a disc player, an AVR, HDBT, wifi, etc

Take a lot of photographs just before the sheet rock goes up so you will know where everything is.

There are a lot of decisions.
Any particular CAT6a that y'all recommend? I bought 3000ft of this

Do I need 14/2 or 16/2 speaker wire?

My first goal is to determine which AVR/home automation system I will be using so I can wire accordingly. If I cannot find a good solution, then I will have the zones separated (the whole ground floor as one, upstairs living room, and two bedrooms as three separate areas with three separate receivers)and will just have to deal with that.
 

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Came over from your HT thread... I agree with what @Postmoderndesign has said, go with cat 6a as in the overall scheme of things, it adds minimal cost. The one piece of advice I would give after having just built a home is to be very specific with all your ideas to the contractors, otherwise, they will just take the easiest route.


To elaborate, since you are planning a HT in your basement, you might consider creating a small room that houses your projector and equipment as well as being the location you run all your network cabling to. That way, everything is all in one location... you can have multiple rooms if you want to keep your networking and HT equipment separate of course, but my point is for you to figure that out and convey those locations ahead of time so the contractors don't pick some random location that winds up being where you wanted a bathroom or living room.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Came over from your HT thread... I agree with what @Postmoderndesign has said, go with cat 6a as in the overall scheme of things, it adds minimal cost. The one piece of advice I would give after having just built a home is to be very specific with all your ideas to the contractors, otherwise, they will just take the easiest route.


To elaborate, since you are planning a HT in your basement, you might consider creating a small room that houses your projector and equipment as well as being the location you run all your network cabling to. That way, everything is all in one location... you can have multiple rooms if you want to keep your networking and HT equipment separate of course, but my point is for you to figure that out and convey those locations ahead of time so the contractors don't pick some random location that winds up being where you wanted a bathroom or living room.
Fortunately my basement will remain unfinished for now. I plan on keeping all the HT and AV automation hardware in the mechanical room. I will run cables from there to the HT in the future with a conduit to the projector.
 

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Any particular CAT6a that y'all recommend? I bought 3000ft of this

Do I need 14/2 or 16/2 speaker wire?

My first goal is to determine which AVR/home automation system I will be using so I can wire accordingly. If I cannot find a good solution, then I will have the zones separated (the whole ground floor as one, upstairs living room, and two bedrooms as three separate areas with three separate receivers)and will just have to deal with that.
As I wired the house four years ago I am not current on what is now recommended now. But I am getting excellent speedy quality results. The Comcast Installation tech remarked when he came to connect to the internet that it was the best system he had seen and he wrote down what I had installed with the intention of doing the same at his home. He installed an attenuator because my wiring exceeded comcast specs.

My Black box cable is marked category 6a shielded E196163-L C(UL)US CMR F/UTP 75o PR 23AWG TIA-568-C Tested to 650 MHZ 12-15

My speaker cables are marked Mediabridge Clearpath E224832 (UL) CL2 rated 2COND 12AWG OFC SPEAKER

I am setup for Yamaha AVR Music cast which I have yet to implement

I considered automation and zones but decided that it would be too complicated
 
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