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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New home purchased 3 years ago, "pre-wired" for home audio/video entertainment system. The "pre-wiring" package leaves a huge bundle of wires terminating at the bottom of the wall where a home a/v system would normally be placed, they've been hanging out of the wall in a coil since I bought the house.


I finally get around to purchasing the a/v components I want, and get everything installed, including two satellite speakers behind and above my head. The outlets that are pre-wired for these two speakers each have a single blue cable that contains one red and one black wire, as I expected them to. I attach the two satellite speakers up there with some nice mounts, attach the red and black speaker wire to each one, and come down to find the corresponding wires to attach to the receiver.


When I get down there and unbundle the coil of wiring hanging out of the wall, I find 4 yellow cables and 3 blue ones. Of course they are not labled, but I figure I can just test until I get the correct two blue cables. I trim some blue cover back, and what do I find? About a dozen tiny multi-colored wires, none of which look like speaker wires. The other 2 blue cables? Same thing. So, I peel back one of the yellow cables. Inside are a red, black, white, and green wire. I doubt if they are connected to my speakers up top, but just in case, I try connecting the red and black wires inside to a portable radio, just to see if I can get any sound out of one of the satellites. No good. I try the other yellow cables, which have the same wires inside, still nothing.


So, is this typical? Am I missing something here? Shouldn't I just have 2 blue cables coming out down by where the A/V center should be that are attached to the two speaker wires above? Is there some other wiring scheme that home builders typically employ, or did I just get morons overcharging me a fortune to do a really bad job of "pre-wiring" my home for A/V?
 

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It sounds as if you have 3 Cat5's and 3 16/4's in your bundle. Generally, installers will run a 16/4 (your yellow wires) and possible a Cat5 to each volume control location around your house where inwall or more commonly, in-ceiling speakers can be installed for distributed audio. So, I would look around you house for 3 blank wall plates in different rooms. (Keep in mind that they may not have installed blanks. They could have just drywalled over the wire locations). They are usually adjacent to the light switches for each room. Perhaps your blue speaker wires that you connected to your speakers go to one of these volume control locations that is in your room. They may have been put there for distributed audio but now you are going to use those inceiling wiring locations for your rear surround speakers, instead. If you find that wall plate/ volume control location, you'll more than likely find your blue ceiling speaker wires and one yellow and one blue Cat5 wire from your wall "bundle". At that point, you'll just need to butt-splice, (crimp) your blue speaker wires to that yellow wires 4 conductors. Pay attention to the polarity. You can also use a battery such as one from a small cordless drill or similar to test what speaker wire is what. Just touch the leads of the wire to the terminals on the battery and you'll hear the speaker making a popping noise. Or, you could just keep using your little radio, too.
 

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Well, you found cat5 (blue) and no idea what the yellow jacketed stuff is, sounds like speaker cable, but who knows. Do you have wall mounted control panels? Or any idea where the blue cat5 cable terminates in the house?


And I am assuming there are no schematics from the build as far as what and where everything is and goes. Call the installer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkshift /forum/post/15594915


It sounds as if you have 3 Cat5's and 3 16/4's in your bundle. Generally, installers will run a 16/4 (your yellow wires) and possible a Cat5 to each volume control location around your house where inwall or more commonly, in-ceiling speakers can be installed for distributed audio. So, I would look around you house for 3 blank wall plates in different rooms. (Keep in mind that they may not have installed blanks. They could have just drywalled over the wire locations). They are usually adjacent to the light switches for each room. Perhaps your blue speaker wires that you connected to your speakers go to one of these volume control locations that is in your room. They may have been put there for distributed audio but now you are going to use those inceiling wiring locations for your rear surround speakers, instead. If you find that wall plate/ volume control location, you'll more than likely find your blue ceiling speaker wires and one yellow and one blue Cat5 wire from your wall "bundle". At that point, you'll just need to butt-splice, (crimp) your blue speaker wires to that yellow wires 4 conductors. Pay attention to the polarity. You can also use a battery such as one from a small cordless drill or similar to test what speaker wire is what. Just touch the leads of the wire to the terminals on the battery and you'll hear the speaker making a popping noise. Or, you could just keep using your little radio, too.

Thanks guys, good suggestions. There are blank wall plates all over the house, so there may well be one that contains the ones you are talking about. I didn't think to look in that direction because I'm a noob and it's not logical to me that whoever pulled all that cable would have terminated speaker wire from an overhead speaker position to a blank outlet near a light switch somewhere in the house. I looked at that gigantic coil of cables hanging out of the wall down there for 3 years and just assumed everything but the gas meter must be terminated in that spot.



I'm sure the homebuilder at this point will tell me my warranty is expired, so if I can't find it that way I suppose I will have no choice but to admit defeat and call some A/V specialists in. Hopefully they won't laugh too much at what is probably a rather simple problem for anyone with a head for these things. Unfortunately that's not me.
 
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