AVS Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks to all that can help. I have limited to no a/v knowledge. Just purchased a newly constructed home that was "supposedly" wired for whole home entertainment. Honestly, our first order of business is wiring ceiling speakers and two outdoor speakers. My family is not wanting "perfection", we just like background music while cooling or working. Anyhow,...so I pulled a wall plate off outside on the porch and found a red and black wire inside a blue sheath....what I would call one pair of common speaker wire. Hooked up a tone chaser and went to the a/v closet.....couldn't find any tone. After reading here...I noticed inside the doorway leading to this porch is a blank wall plate. Took it off and found three "pair" of these speaker wires and a cat 5 wire. I know two of the pair of speaker wires go to the left and right speakers outside. What am I left with here? My plan was just to run the outdoor speakers with sonos connect amps...actually I was going to set each room the same. Is the left over speaker wire for powering an amplifier and the cat5 for signals? I really am unclear how thus was designed or if it can be used as I had planned.

Many thanks in advance
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,866 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by d1saint  /t/1520684/new-house-wiring-not-making-sense-complete-newbie#post_24431218


so I pulled a wall plate off outside on the porch and found a red and black wire inside a blue sheath....what I would call one pair of common speaker wire. Hooked up a tone chaser and went to the a/v closet.....couldn't find any tone. After reading here...I noticed inside the doorway leading to this porch is a blank wall plate. Took it off and found three "pair" of these speaker wires and a cat 5 wire. I know two of the pair of speaker wires go to the left and right speakers outside. What am I left with here? My plan was just to run the outdoor speakers with sonos connect amps...actually I was going to set each room the same. Is the left over speaker wire for powering an amplifier and the cat5 for signals? I really am unclear how thus was designed or if it can be used as I had planned.

Many thanks in advance

Sounds like it was done correctly. The indoor wall plate is wired for a keypad (hence the cat5) or volume control. There will be a 4-conductor (or 2, 2-conductor) speaker wires from that location that will head back to your central wiring closet.


You can easily place your Sonos Connect:Amp back at the wiring center, and connect it to the speaker wire there. Then, at this volume location, you'll need to splice the "home run" wire(s) to the L/R speaker wires that go to the plates outside. Connect your speakers there and you're in business.


Since the Sonos app handles volume, you don't need a volume control at that wall plate - just splice the wires and close it back up.


Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the reply Jeff. Can you explain the "keypad " idea? Also,...will the connect hook to cat5? Or do you mean to run the connect one the left over speaker wire and split it at the wall plate? ( wouldn't this leave me with a mono channel?)

Thank you again

Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,866 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by d1saint  /t/1520684/new-house-wiring-not-making-sense-complete-newbie#post_24431304


Thank you for the reply Jeff. Can you explain the "keypad " idea?

Meaning a Whole House Audio (WHA) system with keyapds. See NuVo, Russound, HTD, and even Monorprice now has one...
Quote:
Also,...will the connect hook to cat5? Or do you mean to run the connect one the left over speaker wire and split it at the wall plate? ( wouldn't this leave me with a mono channel?)

Speaker wire - total of 4 conductors from your wiring closet to that keypad wallplate. You should then see two, 2-conductor cables that will lead to two speaker locations. If you opened a plate outside, that will be for one speaker (Left or Right). There should be another one out there somewhere on the "other side"...


Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Jeff, thank you again.  The problem that I see at this point is this:  at the "wall plate" where I am assuming a volume control belongs the wires inside are this:  there are three cables that have two conductors each, there is also one cat 5 wire.  Two of the two conductor wires I have traced tonight and they run outside the house to the "speaker" locations.  Something to note:  the cat5 wire is taped to the last 2-wire conductor...I'm assuming the installer would then know that these two "wires" (the cat5 and 2-conductor) went back to the panel/wiring closet.  Does this make more sense?  so the only wiring that I have to send anything from my wiring closet is one cat5 and one 2-conductor wire.  (which is why I find this odd....I understood your advise that I would find a total of four 2-wire conductors in my wall plate???)

thank you again,

chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,866 Posts
Are you sure the last speaker wire isn't a 4-conductor cable? Strip back the insulation a bit and see. It would be a big mistake for them to run a single two-conductor back to the wiring closet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·

ha !   like I said,...I'm confusing myself the more I look into this.  (i now have he plate off the wall in the master bedroom and it is wired the same)  Meaning.... that the "last" wire left in the wall plate is "only" a 2-wire conductor.  from your statement that this would be a mistake....now you see where my confusion comes from.   ha.   I have the wiring insulation stripped back and there is only two wires inside.  (red and black....the same size and color as my wiring going outside to the speaker locations)  is it possible that this 2-wire is to "power" a volume control or similar? and the cat5 was suppose to carry audio signal to the volume control?  (I don't even know if this is possible, but I'm out of ideas here)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
After more reading, I "think" this wiring is considered a-bus ?? If this is true, signal will travel over cat5 and the "left over" 2-wire will send power to an amplified volume control. If I have all of this correct, what are my options? I will pull the wall plates at the multiple locations to figure out what all I have. At this point there are four rooms with ceiling speakers and volume control wall plates.. The last room,(room five) is the living room which has four ceiling plates. We'll see. Ha !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,866 Posts
Well, it's odd, and there's probably something in the market that could do something with that combination...


A-Bus only needed the cat5 wire, but you're right, that was probably the thinking - but the contractor should be smacked for not following the CEA guidelines for pre-wiring of whole house audio zones.


So the good news is that you can use the A-Bus system, or the Digi-5 system that is more recent and uses digital amps to get a higher wattage in each zone. See the Xantech and Aton systems for those.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Betcha dollars to donuts that house was prewired by an electrician...


Anyhow, that is most likely an oversight. But the good news is you're not dead in the water. Hell... I've even seen twisted pairs on Cat6 used as speaker wire But shhhhhhhhh! Don't tell anyone



Sounds like an ABus type system is your best bet. That or retrofitting the "right" wire back to the head end from the keypad locations. Kind of a bummer, but at lease you have some options.


Good luck!

JG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
After doing more thinking and reading....please tell me if this idea is even feasible ?? If I twist my cat5 , making it a "pair" and utilize the other pair from my closet ( hooked to a sonos connect amp),...then just blank plate the volume control...could I make this work well. It would be nice to use the sonos with its iOS app since we have time with it and really don't want another remote nor do I want to walk over to a volume control.

Ha.....my bride just chimed in and said....just shove the connect in the wall and put a plate over it !

Thanks for the help again
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,866 Posts
Sure, if you twist 4 conductors together you'll have around an 18AWG wire. Even better would be to use the 2-conductor speaker wire as your L/R positives, and half the cat5 conductors as your L/R negatives...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by d1saint  /t/1520684/new-house-wiring-not-making-sense-complete-newbie#post_24445152


If I twist my cat5 , making it a "pair" and utilize the other pair from my closet ( hooked to a sonos connect amp),...then just blank plate the volume control...could I make this work well.
As I mentioned above, wouldn't be the first time I'd seen it done. May have even resorted to that tactic once or twice myself in a pinch. But that stays between you and me...
Quote:
Originally Posted by d1saint  /t/1520684/new-house-wiring-not-making-sense-complete-newbie#post_24445152


Ha.....my bride just chimed in and said....just shove the connect in the wall and put a plate over it !
I like your bride's style. But this might present some logistical problems
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
Definitely wired for an "amplified keypad" system which there are a few, including A-Bus systems. I bet when they wired it they grabbed the wrong box and thought they were using 14/4 or 16/4 You could always try and add additional wiring if you are stuck on using Sonos. You could add some wire in the wall and place the Sonos Connect Amps on the floor. Or if there's basement or attic access you can add speaker wire and put the Connect AMps in a closet. You can also create Mono system with it. Not the worst idea. Or even a 70 volt system. There are plenty of other options to the Sonos as well.


If you are willing to put a wallbox in the wall (at the base of the wall or top of the wall or behind something) you could use something like a Fusion Research wireless internet radio streamer with amplification.
http://www.fusionrd.com/ovation_player.htm

It's much smaller than a Sonos Connect Amp and easier to hide. You just need power.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just to update my post. The sonos connect amp did arrive and I wired everything up. Speakers play fine.
Honestly I am a bit disappointed with my outdoor speaker selection though. (Bose 151). I really figured that these would sound MUCH better than the Yamaha outdoor that we installed at our last home.....these speakers have no bass , but they will remain for now. Thanks so much for everyone's ideas/thoughts. I did "tin" the cat5 wires because the cat5 was so very thin....any issues with doing this?

Thanks again
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top