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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I own a raised ranch that is 30 something years old. I needed to remove the drywall and insulation from the walls and ceiling in my garage so I decided that it would be a good time to reroute the coax and phone line that had been tacked to the ceiling and walls to inside the ceiling and walls.


While doing a little reading about electrical wiring for a small wiring project I was doing out there, I started to read about structured wiring too. I finally decided that I'll run coax and cat5e to each of my three bedrooms (all three bedrooms are directly above my garage area) and two or three other locations in the house as well.


I went and made a fairly big home project considerably bigger.


What I would like to accomplish with the structured wiring is to have each bedroom capable of whole house video (I'll terminate 2 runs of coax in each room for this), home network (I'll terminate one cat5e in each room for this) and phone (I'll terminate a second cat5e in each room for this). Each of these runs of coax and cat5e will be home runs to the panel (SMC) down stairs. I'll route the wiring inside PVC to allow for adding/upgrading wiring down the road. Does this sound proper for what I need?


I'm also interested in audio to three locations in the house. My plan is to run speaker wire and cat5e from the SMC to each location and just install a volume control at each location (I'll use the stereo in my entertainment center as the source). From each location I'll run another set of speaker wires to speakers that I'll install somewhere around those locations outside the walls. Am I correct in doing it this way?


If anyone would kindly comment on what might be right or wrong with this plan I would greatly appreciate your input. I went from knowing next to nothing about structured wiring to thinking it was a great idea and attempting this project.


Any glaring flaws in my plan?


Thanks again for anyones help.


Tom


I'm also considering using cat6e simply for the sake of future proofing...the cost difference for the amount of wire I need is minimal...the trouble is cat6e jacks and wire isn't readily available at local stores.


In addition to wiring the bedrooms, I'll also terminate 2 runs of coax and 2 runs of cat5e to behind my home entertainment center.
 

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Sounds good Tom. The only real thing that can be wired the old way still (run and splice-vs- structured cabling technology) is with DA. With your distributed audio you could run 16/2 (16AWG/2-conductor to the VCs, then feed a 16/2 off of the VC to the other speaker. Make sure you run the cable 18"s from romex. Cross romex at right angles. Avoid HVAC. If you plan on running a IR repeater system wire CAT5, e, or 6 and emitter wire accordingly. www.swhowto.com is a good site on structured wiring.
 

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Quote:
From each location I'll run another set of speaker wires to speakers that I'll install somewhere around those locations outside the walls. Am I correct in doing it this way?
No, don't run speaker cables from the VC outside the walls. If you have an attic above the rooms or an open basement below you can run the wires behind the sheetrock/floor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for both replies.


David, my plan was to run the speaker cabling inside the walls to the speaker locations from the volume control...what I meant was they would not be speakers that were set in the walls.


Thanks again.


Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
One more question to add to my original post...


Would there be any advantage in wiring two or more PC's that are/will be in the house directly (basically a long patch cord) rather than just the home run wiring style?


IOW, let's say down the road my kids like playing some computer game against each other (one on one PC, the other on another PC)...would I be better off running Cat5e from one wall plate to another wall plate so I could directly link those two PC's? - or - is the hardware in the SMC (switch/router) sufficient?


Thanks.


Tom


So far I've pulled RG6U and Cat5e to three bedrooms and started pulling it to my entertainment center. It's going pretty well. I decided against running the cabling in PVC with the exception of a 22 1/2 degree elbow where the cabling passes through the top plate of the wall.


I'm drilling 1 3/8" holes and the cabling glides through very easily...I could see down the road if needed pulling either additional cabling through or taping Cat6e to an existing run of Cat5e and pulling the Cat5e out and replacing it with the Cat6e.
 

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Run your data wires to a central location and use a router and switch. You will be able to network the computers so they can play games against each other or via the Internet against anyone else.


Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Another question...


If I use a splitter for my coax and do not use all the outputs (4 way splitter only using 3 of them) am I still losing some signal for the fourth output that I'm not connecting coax to?


I seem to recall seeing or reading about some kind of cap....was this just to keep the splitter clean/dry on the inside because no coax is connected to it, or is it for another reason.


Thanks.


Tom


I split the cable where it enters my house and ran a "home run" to my HDTV STB and ran the second RG6 to my SMC where I'll split it off to other areas of the house. I wanted a dedicated run to my HDTV.


Do you know if I'll need a dedicated run for my cable modem too?
 

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Each house is designed to have enough cable signal to be able to use a 8-way splitter without any amplification. A cable modem can be run from one of the ports on a 8-way splitter and not slow it down at all. The important thing is that the signal coming in is clean. The cable company can measure it with a SLM (signal level meter). It can get low if the feeder line (incoming either underground, or aerial RG6 line) is damaged from the elements, or wildlife.

The cap you refer to is used mainly to avoid egress (cable signal leakage) from causing interference to go into the air. It has a small resistor on the inside of the cap. It does, however serve the second purpose of weather protecting. No matter if you use that 4th port on a 4-way, or not it is still split and losses 3dB per port.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I guess I have more questions....


I had a spool of RG6u...couple hundred feet I'm guessing. I originally figured it to be way more than enough...I was wrong.


I need to buy some more and have seen for sale on ebay "shielded RG6" sweep tested to 3GHz (my quad shielded was 2.2GHz).


Do I need quad shielded, or will regular "shielded" be good enough?


My longest run might be some 50-75ft and indoors (nothing outdoors - does that matter?). I'm not really running next to any electrical at all either.


This cable would be more than adequate right?


Thanks.


Tom
 

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4 layers of shield is always better. You may run cable for hundreds of feet and only cross electrical one time. That is when you need quad. Is it worth having no static and hum in your system? That is the question you should ask.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the comments hometheaterguy...I'll go with quad shielded for sure, was pretty much leaning that way before anyway.


I''m curious about a couple things regarding coax now.....


It seems the quad shielded coax is all 18AWG conductor, but I've noticed some of it is solid copper and some seems to be copper coated steel. Is there an advantage to either one? Is one type decidedly better than the other for various applications?


I realize that for me either one would probably be fine but when I get into projects I at least like to know about the products I'm dealing with. I won't always buy or use the best product out there (cost is a large factor in my home projects...heck if it weren't, I wouldn't be doing the home projects myself :) ) but I feel better knowing the pros and cons of the products I choose.


Thanks again for your time.


Tom


I found a 500' spool of quad shielded RG6 for $35 shipped...seemed like a steal to me.


Lastly...where my cable enters the house, I planned on splitting that signal there (outside in the box) and running one dedicated coax to my HDTV and running the other to the SMC and splitting that one for the other TV's in my house. Does this make sense, it seems to me that I would get a slightly higher quality signal to the HDTV doing it this way.
 

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Cooper coated Coax should be used for RF signals like satellite, off air, or cable TV signals. 100 per cent cooper should be used for demodulated signals like base band video, or analog or digital audio signals. While you can send the latter on copper coated steel and it will work it is not the best way to do things. You do not want to send RF on pure copper coax as the copper shield is too loose to provide the shielding needed.


Best practice is to accomplish all of your distribution at one location. If you must split the signal locally use taps and not splitters.


Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for your patience Alan.


I plan to use the coax for cable TV and off air (and to redistribute DVD from my home theater room to other rooms), so the copper coated steel would be what I'm looking for.


Although I've seen the term "base band" video used many times I'm not real clear on what that refers to...could you please explain?


Lastly, I'm familiar with splitters but not "taps". If you could, would you mind enlightening me as to what a tap is?


I appreciate your time greatly Alan, thanks.


Tom
 

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I'm not Alan, but I figured I'd chime in,


"Base Band" video would something like composite video

"Base Band" audio would be audio "pre-out" type levels from your amp/dvdplayer


A tap is essentially a splitter, but rather than splitting the signal evenly, it send 90%+ to one leg, and a much smaller portion to another.


Cheers,


Rich
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks again...as long as I have your 'ear', I did get Alans post right, right...copper coated steel for cable TV and OTA?


I'd like to buy some this weekend and I'd rather not buy 500ft of the 'wrong' cable.


Tom
 

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Yep, you got it right....copper clad steel for RF (catv and ota). I've been using Belden QS Coax from Home Depot...they often have both copper clad steel and/or solid copper. You'll have to either look at the center to see or carefully read the label...it's probably not something that the HD ppl will know.



Rich
 
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