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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I just moved into a new house. The home was built in 1985. It is 2 stories with a finished basement that has a drop ceiling. There is a cable drop in the basement next to the furnace. They ran cable to 2 of the bedrooms by running cables on the outside the house and punching a hole in the wall which I think is pretty ugly. The other 2 bedrooms have no cable access. 1 of the bedrooms doesn't have phone either.


So I want to get cable to the 2 other bedrooms. And while I'm at it, I'd like to rewire the first 2 bedrooms so the wire isn't running along the outside of the house. And I'd like to get phone to the 4th bedroom. And I figure while I'm doing that, I might as well just rewire the whole damn house.


So that's how I ended up here. I want to do a major retrofit and rewire of this house. At a minimum I want to get cable to all the bedrooms. At the other end of the spectrum, I am looking at doing multi zone audio with each zone being able to independently select the source. So where do I go from here?


I've done a fair amount of research, but I must be honest, it is pretty overwhelming.


I'm thinking at least 1 RG6 to get cable to each bedroom, 1 cat5e for internet, 1 cat5e for phone, 1 cat5e for multi zone audio, and 1 cat5e unused spare for something later. I've seen recommendations to running up to 7 cat5e but I can't realistically see ever using that much. I have no intentions of ever doing distributed video, only audio.


Right now, I'm investigating a-bus (russound?) or htd.com. Are there advantages or disadvantages for each? I kinda like a-bus because it doesn't require me to do a home run for the speaker wire. I can just run cat5e out to the panel, and then speaker wire from there. The setup from htd.com requires me to go all the way back to the amp for the speaker wire. Any reason I would want to go with one or the other? Or regardless, if I'm rewiring, should I just do a home run of speaker wire anyway?
 

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Technology may change but the typical bare bones data/TV bundle includes..

2 RG6 + 2 CAT5


Why 2 RG6? Dual Tuner DVR or Cable & XM or FM Antenna. You never know.


Why 2 Cat5? Phone & Ethernet


Why more Cat5? DVR's & Blu-ray players now have ethernet jacks. You could opt to just add a switch in the room to handle multiple devices. Also...local audio sources like an ipod dock could be fed back to the Distributed audio system via Cat5 & Baluns.

For distributed audio i would run this to a keypad or volume control location:


1-14/4 (14 gauge 4 conductor) speaker cable

1-Cat5

1-4 wire Control Cable (Liberty Linx)


Why add more Cat5? 3 Cat5's (Total) would cover Ethernet, Audio, Video if you decide to install a touchscreen.


Then run a 14/2 to each of the stereo speakers from the keypad location. This should cover you for most systems. Keypad or Volume control location should be switch height and usually located near the entrance to the room. So right next to the light switch near the door is an ideal location.

DO NOT slave yourself to 1 technology. The system your planning may go out of business tomorrow or in a year making it impossible to service the system. A lighting company (phast) once went out of business leaving our clients to purchase new multi thousand dollar systems to replace them when switches began to fail. Plan your system around multiple options. Your cutting the holes anyway. A few hundred dollars now will save you thousands later on.


As far as TV's in the rooms.. You might consider choosing a closet or cabinet in the room where you would pull the 2RG6+2Cat5 bundle. Then run a conduit over to whatever wall would most likely get a TV. This way you can hide a satellite or cable box and Blu-ray player and have your TV mounted on the wall with no visible wiring. You would use the conduit to fish hdmi or component and maybe even a control cable for IR or RS-232 control.


Also.. since your not interested in distributed video.. sonos is worth a look. It communicates via ethernet and the controllers are very nice. If your looking for simple and your fine with digital music & internet radio its a very nice option. You can stash the zone boxes in closets and wire the speakers to it. Its the most feature rich, easy to setup, product on the market IMO.
 

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If you pull 1 cable, it's the same amount of work to pull 2. Or 5.


Home run speaker cable, passing it by the location of an in-wall volume control/keypad.


This will cover you for both Abus and central amplification.


Central amplification is -generally- higher quality than the amp at the keypad. Many exceptions, though.


Don't rush your cable decisions - put the time in now to research, before you start, to minimize regrets, future frustrations, and lost $.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 39CentStamp /forum/post/17012060


Keypad or Volume control location should be switch height and usually located near the entrance to the room. So right next to the light switch near the door is an ideal location.

My Nuvo Grand Concerto keypads would not be ideal at lightswitch height. The display needs to be more eye-level. Just my opinion, of course, but I've seen others remark about that particular regret. Mine are higher than the lightswitches and I am happy with the position. I am pretty sure I would be stooping down a lot to make changes if they were that low.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by AceCannon /forum/post/17015475


My Nuvo Grand Concerto keypads would not be ideal at lightswitch height. The display needs to be more eye-level. Just my opinion, of course, but I've seen others remark about that particular regret. Mine are higher than the lightswitches and I am happy with the position. I am pretty sure I would be stooping down a lot to make changes if they were that low.

Yeah, I've actually seen recommendations of going 6" above lightswitches for this very reason. Seems logical.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by 39CentStamp /forum/post/17012060


Technology may change but the typical bare bones data/TV bundle includes..

2 RG6 + 2 CAT5


Why 2 RG6? Dual Tuner DVR or Cable & XM or FM Antenna. You never know.


Why 2 Cat5? Phone & Ethernet


Why more Cat5? DVR's & Blu-ray players now have ethernet jacks. You could opt to just add a switch in the room to handle multiple devices. Also...local audio sources like an ipod dock could be fed back to the Distributed audio system via Cat5 & Baluns.

For distributed audio i would run this to a keypad or volume control location:


1-14/4 (14 gauge 4 conductor) speaker cable

1-Cat5

1-4 wire Control Cable (Liberty Linx)


Why add more Cat5? 3 Cat5's (Total) would cover Ethernet, Audio, Video if you decide to install a touchscreen.


Then run a 14/2 to each of the stereo speakers from the keypad location. This should cover you for most systems. Keypad or Volume control location should be switch height and usually located near the entrance to the room. So right next to the light switch near the door is an ideal location.

DO NOT slave yourself to 1 technology. The system your planning may go out of business tomorrow or in a year making it impossible to service the system. A lighting company (phast) once went out of business leaving our clients to purchase new multi thousand dollar systems to replace them when switches began to fail. Plan your system around multiple options. Your cutting the holes anyway. A few hundred dollars now will save you thousands later on.


As far as TV's in the rooms.. You might consider choosing a closet or cabinet in the room where you would pull the 2RG6+2Cat5 bundle. Then run a conduit over to whatever wall would most likely get a TV. This way you can hide a satellite or cable box and Blu-ray player and have your TV mounted on the wall with no visible wiring. You would use the conduit to fish hdmi or component and maybe even a control cable for IR or RS-232 control.


Also.. since your not interested in distributed video.. sonos is worth a look. It communicates via ethernet and the controllers are very nice. If your looking for simple and your fine with digital music & internet radio its a very nice option. You can stash the zone boxes in closets and wire the speakers to it. Its the most feature rich, easy to setup, product on the market IMO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 39CentStamp /forum/post/17012060


1-4 wire Control Cable (Liberty Linx)

I have yet to run across Liberty Linx in my initial research. I'll have to check that one out as well. Is a control wire common for most distributed audio setups?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 39CentStamp /forum/post/17012060


You could opt to just add a switch in the room to handle multiple devices.

That thought never occurred to me. Does that mean that internet & distributed audio control could run on the same cat5 home run if there is a switch at the drop? That'd be cool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 39CentStamp /forum/post/17012060


Also.. since your not interested in distributed video.. sonos is worth a look.

Ya, I need to give them a second look. I initially dismissed the idea of going wireless because I figured if I'm pulling RG6, why not pull cat5 as well. So the obvious advantages of sonos is the wireless, what are the disadvantages compared with a-bus or htd.com?
 
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