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Anonymous
September 23, 2005 12:43:54 AM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

Hey guys,

I have been lurking in these groups for a while. Thanks so much for
all the interesting answers and thoughts, definitely has given me a lot
to think about. I am about to start building a new townhouse on a
research campus here in north carolina. I am interested in what advice
you guys might have particularly for HD Video distribution. I have
worked up an initial set of functional specifications to send to the
installer for quotes. I figured that the most important thing is for
me to get the infrastruture wired in and then I can work with the
electronic components at a later date (if cost is limiting). I was
wondering what strategies you all might use to distribute HD video and
digital audio to any of about 6 rooms from a several HD sources
rack-mounted in a central location. There seem to be SO many options
for video and audio distribution and I am sort of ambivalent about the
right way to go. Thanks a lot for any suggestions!

More about : home construction

Anonymous
September 24, 2005 9:53:25 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

In comp.home.automation pebrinic@gmail.com wrote:
>Hey guys,

>I have been lurking in these groups for a while. Thanks so much for
>all the interesting answers and thoughts, definitely has given me a lot
>to think about. I am about to start building a new townhouse on a
>research campus here in north carolina. I am interested in what advice
>you guys might have particularly for HD Video distribution. I have
>worked up an initial set of functional specifications to send to the
>installer for quotes. I figured that the most important thing is for
>me to get the infrastruture wired in and then I can work with the
>electronic components at a later date (if cost is limiting). I was
>wondering what strategies you all might use to distribute HD video and
>digital audio to any of about 6 rooms from a several HD sources
>rack-mounted in a central location. There seem to be SO many options
>for video and audio distribution and I am sort of ambivalent about the
>right way to go. Thanks a lot for any suggestions!

* Assume that you need cables to do it ;) , and cable technology improves over
time. So get tubes where you can easily insert cables. And put it in a
star configuration so you can reconnect quick.

* You may want to separate mains wireing from signal cableing due safety and
interference issues. Possible separate tube for firealarm aswell.

* Other than that I think shielded cat.5e should be fullfill most needs.
At least for now.

* Check: comp.dcom.cabling
September 25, 2005 5:32:30 AM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

On 22 Sep 2005 20:43:54 -0700, pebrinic@gmail.com wrote:

>Hey guys,
>
>I have been lurking in these groups for a while. Thanks so much for
>all the interesting answers and thoughts, definitely has given me a lot
>to think about. I am about to start building a new townhouse on a
>research campus here in north carolina. I am interested in what advice
>you guys might have particularly for HD Video distribution. I have
>worked up an initial set of functional specifications to send to the
>installer for quotes. I figured that the most important thing is for
>me to get the infrastruture wired in and then I can work with the
>electronic components at a later date (if cost is limiting). I was
>wondering what strategies you all might use to distribute HD video and
>digital audio to any of about 6 rooms from a several HD sources
>rack-mounted in a central location. There seem to be SO many options
>for video and audio distribution and I am sort of ambivalent about the
>right way to go. Thanks a lot for any suggestions!

Firewire appears to me the natural way to go. What options are you
thinking of? I got the impression you've already made up your mind and
just want confirmation.
Related resources
Anonymous
September 25, 2005 2:57:08 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

Thanks for the responses! Marc, as far as budget, the house is 1500
sqft total divided into 4 floors. I am trying to get the system in
place for about 15k could go as high as 20 if it was worth it. My
highest priority is to get the right kind of cabling intrafstructure in
places, so if the cost of the electronics comes too high, I may just go
for a 2 or 4 zone system initially and then upgrade the electronics as
needed.

I _definitely_ will have everything conduit-run with pull-lines. So,
hopefully, I will never have to fish cables behind the wall without
them.

I am looking for recommendations both for the electronics-side in the
distribution closet and for the wiring.

I am sure that I would like to pipe HD video to at least two rooms (as
many as 6 would be great in the future). I have seen a variety of
distribution methods for HD, some use converters to run DVI/HDMI over
twisted pair ethernet, some actually use a swtiched IP-based network.
It seems to me that the best way for me to handle it would just to run
3-4 drops of cat 5e or cat 6 to each room where i would like video?
That would give me the flexibility of using any converters at each end
and hopefully build a completely IP-based system. Do you guys have any
recommendations for IP-based video systems that will get HD quality or
is that still not very mature?

Dave and speeder, I liked your idea about firewire over ethernet,
insteresting! Do you guys find that a lot of home use that for their
electronics systems? Also, is that enough bandwidth for HD? Also, as
far as interference is concerned, is a powerline firewall such as the
Compose PLC a necessity in a townhouse enviroment? That would be more
a question for the automation system that we would install, if that
would go over powerlines such as X10, right?

Sorry, for all the questions, I am pretty new with a lot of this, seems
very interesting, but also very confusing! Thanks for all your
responses!!

-Paul
Anonymous
September 25, 2005 7:48:25 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

pebrinic@gmail.com wrote:

>Hey guys,
>
>I have been lurking in these groups for a while. Thanks so much for
>all the interesting answers and thoughts, definitely has given me a lot
>to think about. I am about to start building a new townhouse on a
>research campus here in north carolina. I am interested in what advice
>you guys might have particularly for HD Video distribution. I have
>worked up an initial set of functional specifications to send to the
>installer for quotes. I figured that the most important thing is for
>me to get the infrastruture wired in and then I can work with the
>electronic components at a later date (if cost is limiting). I was
>wondering what strategies you all might use to distribute HD video and
>digital audio to any of about 6 rooms from a several HD sources
>rack-mounted in a central location. There seem to be SO many options
>for video and audio distribution and I am sort of ambivalent about the
>right way to go. Thanks a lot for any suggestions!

I'm not at all clear on what you are asking. Do you want recommendations for
how to wire the system or are you asking for recommendations for specific
hardware to go in your rack and in the 6 rooms?

IEEE-1394b (current Firewire version) can handle 100Mbps over CAT5 with a
maximum length of 100 meters.

HomePlug AV (HPAV) can do 200Mbps over the powerline. The standard has been
approved and hardware should appear shortly.

There are 5-6 manufacturers offering proprietary (and non-interoperable)
wireless systems rated at 108Mbps although the IEEE-802.11n standard is
unlikely to be approved until 2006.

I think all need to be derated to about 75-80% of the raw rate for actual
data throughput. This still leaves HomePlug AV as the fastest but I don't
know how bandwidth might be affected by multiple HPAV townhouses sharing a
utility transformer. There may also be bandwidth and/or interference
problems with multiple townhouses using wireless systems.
Anonymous
September 25, 2005 8:32:56 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

On 22 Sep 2005 20:43:54 -0700, pebrinic@gmail.com wrote in message
<1127447034.815031.278440@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>:

>Hey guys,
>
>I have been lurking in these groups for a while. Thanks so much for
>all the interesting answers and thoughts, definitely has given me a lot
>to think about. I am about to start building a new townhouse on a
>research campus here in north carolina. I am interested in what advice
>you guys might have particularly for HD Video distribution. I have
>worked up an initial set of functional specifications to send to the
>installer for quotes. I figured that the most important thing is for
>me to get the infrastruture wired in and then I can work with the
>electronic components at a later date (if cost is limiting). I was
>wondering what strategies you all might use to distribute HD video and
>digital audio to any of about 6 rooms from a several HD sources
>rack-mounted in a central location. There seem to be SO many options
>for video and audio distribution and I am sort of ambivalent about the
>right way to go. Thanks a lot for any suggestions!


First question needs to be "What is your budget for this? "

Marc
Marc_F_Hult
www.ECOntrol.org
Anonymous
September 25, 2005 11:15:32 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

"pebrinic@gmail.com" <pebrinic@gmail.com> wrote:

>Dave and speeder, I liked your idea about firewire over ethernet,
>insteresting! Do you guys find that a lot of home use that for their
>electronics systems? Also, is that enough bandwidth for HD? Also, as
>far as interference is concerned, is a powerline firewall such as the
>Compose PLC a necessity in a townhouse enviroment? That would be more
>a question for the automation system that we would install, if that
>would go over powerlines such as X10, right?

I have no idea how widespread Firewire home networks are. I doubt there's
any way to determine that short of commissioning a poll.

Check the 1394 Trade Association for details on Firewire.

http://www.1394ta.org/Technology/

I don't know whether the Compose firewall will block HPAV which uses
carriers in the 2-28MHz range. You might ask that of...

http://www.homeplug.org/en/index.asp

The technical details are here...

http://www.intellon.com/pdfs/HPAV-White-Paper_050818.pd...

All three of the technologies I mentioned claim HD video capability.
Intellon has demonstrated multiple, simultaneous HD video streams at recent
trade shows.
Anonymous
September 26, 2005 11:31:14 AM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

> All three of the technologies I mentioned claim HD video capability.
> Intellon has demonstrated multiple, simultaneous HD video streams at
recent
> trade shows.

And demos often have nothing to do with actual ship dates. Sad to say but
home automation vendors (not just intellon) are woefully BAD at actually
delivering anything they claim in press releases, let alone at trade shows.
Anonymous
September 26, 2005 5:03:05 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

"wkearney99" <wkearney99@hotmail.com> wrote:

>> All three of the technologies I mentioned claim HD video capability.
>> Intellon has demonstrated multiple, simultaneous HD video streams at
>> recent trade shows.
>
>And demos often have nothing to do with actual ship dates. Sad to say but
>home automation vendors (not just intellon) are woefully BAD at actually
>delivering anything they claim in press releases, let alone at trade shows.

Intellon seems to be meeting their projections.

http://www.intellon.com/pdfs/INT6000_Product_Brief.pdf
Anonymous
September 26, 2005 6:36:27 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

On 25 Sep 2005 10:57:08 -0700, "pebrinic@gmail.com" <pebrinic@gmail.com>
wrote in message <1127671028.274626.183820@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>:

>Thanks for the responses! Marc, as far as budget, the house is 1500
>sqft total divided into 4 floors. I am trying to get the system in
>place for about 15k could go as high as 20 if it was worth it. My
>highest priority is to get the right kind of cabling intrafstructure in
>places, so if the cost of the electronics comes too high, I may just go
>for a 2 or 4 zone system initially and then upgrade the electronics as
>needed.
>
>I _definitely_ will have everything conduit-run with pull-lines. So,
>hopefully, I will never have to fish cables behind the wall without
>them.

Good ;-) You will likely also have responses suggesting use of RF and
powerline distribution that is jist 'round the corner ...

My suggestion is that you think hard about where in each room you want
AV/computer information and run a pair of CAT5e and a pair of RG6 to that
location *and* to whatever closet is in the room. The closet wiring is your
future-proofing and reduces "wall acne". You can inconspicuously add hubs
and switches in there and use the home-runned wiring to it elsewhere in the
room should you need to in the future.

Fishing wire in a US stick-built house is not as hard as it would seem. So
running everything in conduit is probably not worth it. But do make a
conduit/chase from the basement to the attic so (assuming a 2-story house
with basement and attic), you can get to the first floor rooms from the
basement and the second floor from the attic. A fiber cable in that chase
would not be a bad idea. I wish I had done so.

Perhaps the biggest conundrum is whole-house audio because there is a
plethora of incompatible generic and proprietary choices.

Marc
Marc_F_Hult
www.ECOntrol.org
Anonymous
September 26, 2005 11:22:11 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

"wkearney99" <wkearney99@hotmail.com> wrote:

>And demos often have nothing to do with actual ship dates. Sad to say but
>home automation vendors (not just intellon) are woefully BAD at actually
>delivering anything they claim in press releases, let alone at trade shows.

I doubt it will do any good but let me try to correct your
mischaracterization of the companies involved and of the current state of
the technology.

Neither Intellon nor most other members of the HomePlug Alliance are "home
automation vendors". They are in the networking market. Intellon and others
supply chipsets that companies like Linksys, NetGear, D-Link, etc. use to
build powerline network adapters.

There are already companies that sell 85Mbps powerline adapters (based on
HomePlug 1.0 +Turbo Codes) for TCP/IP and for audio streaming (up to 4
channels of 128kbps quality audio.

http://www.devolo.co.uk/uk_EN/produkte/dLAN/mldlanaudio...
http://www.stt.com.tw/

The ST&T video cameras over powerline might be attractive to some here who
have bemoaned the difficulty of running coax and power to external video
cameras.

For those who are unfamiliar with Turbo Codes...

http://www.francetelecom.com/en/group/rd/news/thematiqu...
Anonymous
September 27, 2005 12:18:27 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

> Fishing wire in a US stick-built house is not as hard as it would seem. So
> running everything in conduit is probably not worth it. But do make a
> conduit/chase from the basement to the attic so (assuming a 2-story house
> with basement and attic), you can get to the first floor rooms from the
> basement and the second floor from the attic.

I'll second this recommendation and note that the riser should be as large
as you can accomodate. A 4" conduit would be good. I ran a 3" and filled
it much quicker than expected. Either a larger one or a pair of them would
be a VERY good idea.

As Marc points out it's really not all that hard to fish a wire up/down a
wall in most modern US homes. The wall cavities are generally pretty easy
to get through. Putting a hard conduit in the room itself locks you into
running the wires to THAT location. As in, if you put it down at outlet
level you're screwed for entrance area keypads. Likewise, if you just ran
it to the entrance area keypad you'd be stuck for PC, telco or ethernet
hookups. Granted, you can generally be sure that something setup near the
door will always be 'useful' but it's hard to predict where on the other
walls you'd want things placed.

For 1st floor rooms if you can get to the floor below via the space in the
joists you're set. For 2nd floor rooms you can usually go up to the attic
space. But if you've got spaces that aren't going to be accessible then
some creativity is in order. Either by simply knowing the 'run' of the
joists (front/back or right/left) or having access panels installed in
places that will be known trouble spots. As in, the closet under the
stairs. If you really know how the rooms will be used the most difficult
thing to wire is ceiling speakers. Having wire installed for them ahead of
time, and fished to the entrance keypad area will save you a lot of trouble.
Most audio distribution systems these days suggest pulling the speaker wire
to the keypad and then back to the central amp (when used). This way you
only run a single 4-conductor home run instead of two 2-conductor speaker
wires. Just splice them in the keypad junction box (eurostyle terminal
strips are good for this).

If you've not already hired one, seriously consider paying a local high-end
audio shop for a placement plan for in-room speakers. They generally have a
bit more experience in the guess-work of placing them in the right
locations.
Anonymous
September 27, 2005 2:38:21 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

>> Fishing wire in a US stick-built house is not as
>> hard as it would seem. So running everything
>> in conduit is probably not worth it. But do make
>> a conduit/chase from the basement to the attic
>> so (assuming a 2-story house with basement and
>> attic), you can get to the first floor rooms from
>> the basement and the second floor from the
>> attic.

Agreed. Even retrofitting a multistory home is usually not difficult if the
construction is standard "platform" (aka "Western") framing. When
installing an alarm or home automation system keypads and/or inside siren on
a second floor you can use the wall opening as a reach-in point to drill
down from one floor to the next. This is a convenient way to create a
wiring chase from attic to basement if you select a location on the main
load bearing wall.

> I'll second this recommendation and note that the
> riser should be as large as you can accomodate.
> A 4" conduit would be good. I ran a 3" and filled
> it much quicker than expected. Either a larger
> one or a pair of them would be a VERY good idea.

Also agreed. I prefer to run two or more conduits. One is for 110/220 Volt
cables. A 2" run should be sufficient for small to mid-size homes. Go with
3" if the home is over 3000 SF. Another run is for alarm/automation
cabling. Check the manufacturer's instructions *before* you install the
conduit. Some systems don't allow the keypad and expansion device cables to
be run in the same conduit as sensor (zone) wiring. A third run should be
included for future audio/video cabling. These services should generally be
kept clear of alarm/automation cables as well as 110/220VAC cables.

> As Marc points out it's really not all that hard to
> fish a wire up/down a wall in most modern US
> homes. The wall cavities are generally pretty easy
> to get through.

Outside walls in modern homes are usually filled with Fiberglas insulation.
It's easy to get past the stuff without binding up the drill bit if you
wiggle the shaft around a bit before drilling through the bottom plate to
the basement. INside walls, other than those surrounding the bathrooms, are
usually uninsulated so they're even easier to fish.

When installing mud rings in hollow walls, I like to tape a dental mirror to
the side of a Maglight flashlight. This allows me to view the inside of the
wall cavity. Also, when installing anything in a second floor wall you can
stick the Maglight in the hole and leave it on while you go to the attic.
Drill down through the top of the wall using a 3/4" paddle bit (aka "spade
bit" or "speed bore"). If you can see the light inside the hole you're in
the right place.

> Putting a hard conduit in the room itself locks
> you into running the wires to THAT location.
> As in, if you put it down at outlet level you're
> screwed for entrance area keypads. Likewise,
> if you just ran it to the entrance area keypad
> you'd be stuck for PC, telco or ethernet hookups.
> Granted, you can generally be sure that
> something setup near the door will always be
> 'useful' but it's hard to predict where on the
> other walls you'd want things placed.

Furthermore, it may be handy to run conduit to junction boxes for certain
applications, but I prefer to use mud rings for low voltage work. These
make it much easier to fit box-filling devices like volume controls and
heavilt populated multi-service outlet plates without jamming the cables
into a tight box -- a major no-no for data cabling.

> For 1st floor rooms if you can get to the floor
> below via the space in the joists you're set. For
> 2nd floor rooms you can usually go up to the attic
> space. But if you've got spaces that aren't going
> to be accessible then some creativity is in order.
> Either by simply knowing the 'run' of the joists
> (front/back or right/left) or having access panels
> installed in places that will be known trouble
> spots. As in, the closet under the stairs...

Under-stair closets make handy places to run alarm cabling, especially in
the "raised ranch" homes popular in southern New England. Another place
that can be useful for retrofitting cable is the "wet wall" (plumbing chase)
to a second floor bathroom. On older homes things can be more complicated,
but there is almost always a place where you can pull cables from level to
level.

> If you really know how the rooms will be used the
> most difficult thing to wire is ceiling speakers...

Here's a handy method I've used on hundreds of first floor ceiling speaker
installations over the years. Place the speakers within a foot or two of an
inside bearing wall. The joists will almost invariably run perpendicular to
the bearing wall. The cutout for 8" diameter speakers will easily
accomodate your forearm and a right-angle cordless drill (available at HD or
www.coastaltools.com). Using a 3/4" paddle bit, drill down into the top of
the bearing wall. Drop enough cable in the wall to go about 2' past the
floor level. Measure the horizontal distance from the cable drop to a
nearby outlet or side wall. In the basement measure the distance over from
the nearby wall or the 110VAC cable supplying the outlet and drill up into
the wall with the paddle bit. You can easily reach into the wall cavity
with a fish tape or bent coat hanger to pull the cable down to the basement.
Have someone on the mail level feed the speaker wire into the opening so it
doesn't mess up the sheetrock as you draw more out in the basement.

Another poster once expressed concern about using a paddle bit to drill
through a wall. Note that this can easily and safely be accomplished if you
do the following. Be sure you're standing on a firm surface -- not leaning
sideways off your ladder when drilling. Drill at a moderate speed and do
not push on the drill. Let the bit do the cutting. When the bit starts to
come throuogh the other side of the wood it can bind if you're drilling at
an angle *and* pressing hard on the drill. By using light pressure and
allowing the bit to do the job you will avoid problems. Even if you do bind
the bit, unless you're using a really powerful drill you won't hurt
yourself.

> Having wire installed for them ahead of time, and
> fished to the entrance keypad area will save you a
> lot of trouble. Most audio distribution systems
> these days suggest pulling the speaker wire to the
> keypad and then back to the central amp (when
> used). This way you only run a single 4-conductor
> home run instead of two 2-conductor speaker wires.
> Just splice them in the keypad junction box
> (eurostyle terminal strips are good for this).

I prefer to do it slightly differently. Run 14/4 from the amp to the volume
control location (preferably a single or double-gang mud ring). Leave an
extra loop of 18-24" in the wall and continue the cable over to the
speakers. Along with the speaker cable I like to pull a CAT5 cable and a
piece of 22/2, stranded, shielded cable for control and IR. Leave 18-24" of
extra CAT5 at the volume control location so you can connect a control
system if you decide to use such at a later time. Leave a similar service
loop in the shielded cable and continue it over to one of the wall or
cailing speaker locations. It doesn't matter whether you go to the left or
right speaker but be consistent from room to room. This will allow you to
install an IR receiver behind the grill of the speaker (really slick IMO).

> If you've not already hired one, seriously consider
> paying a local high-end audio shop for a placement
> plan for in-room speakers. They generally have a
> bit more experience in the guess-work of placing
> them in the right locations.

On this I partly agree and partly disagree. If you know the furniture
layout in advance it's easy to select stereo speaker locations for almost
any room. If you're doing a home theater and the room is a complex shape,
go ahead and hire a pro to lay it out. He might even give you a good price
on pre-wiring the place.

By the way, do NOT allow a hifi salesman to spec the cables. Buy the cable
online or at an electrical supply house. You'll end up spending a
"monstrous" amount of money on useless nonsense if you get it from most
stereo stores.

--

Regards,
Robert L Bass

=============================>
Bass Home Electronics
2291 Pine View Circle
Sarasota · Florida · 34231
941-925-9747 Sales & Tech Support
http://www.bassburglaralarms.com
=============================>
Anonymous
September 27, 2005 8:11:09 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

Although conduit throughout the house is probably not a "solution" to
the wiring issue (and it does add expense), there are some situations
that do benefit from conduit:

1. Rooms with cathedral ceilings on slabs -- very common in California.
2. In and around metal studs.
3. Masonry walls
4. "Feed" locations strategically placed for rooms that would require
long runs of "fishing" to get to.

Running conduit to a few extra low-voltage "boxes" in these situations
makes it fairly easy to fish up to keypad height (or down to outlet height).


wkearney99 wrote:
>>Fishing wire in a US stick-built house is not as hard as it would seem. So
>>running everything in conduit is probably not worth it. But do make a
>>conduit/chase from the basement to the attic so (assuming a 2-story house
>>with basement and attic), you can get to the first floor rooms from the
>>basement and the second floor from the attic.
>
>
> I'll second this recommendation and note that the riser should be as large
> as you can accomodate. A 4" conduit would be good. I ran a 3" and filled
> it much quicker than expected. Either a larger one or a pair of them would
> be a VERY good idea.
>
> As Marc points out it's really not all that hard to fish a wire up/down a
> wall in most modern US homes. The wall cavities are generally pretty easy
> to get through. Putting a hard conduit in the room itself locks you into
> running the wires to THAT location. As in, if you put it down at outlet
> level you're screwed for entrance area keypads. Likewise, if you just ran
> it to the entrance area keypad you'd be stuck for PC, telco or ethernet
> hookups. Granted, you can generally be sure that something setup near the
> door will always be 'useful' but it's hard to predict where on the other
> walls you'd want things placed.
>
> For 1st floor rooms if you can get to the floor below via the space in the
> joists you're set. For 2nd floor rooms you can usually go up to the attic
> space. But if you've got spaces that aren't going to be accessible then
> some creativity is in order. Either by simply knowing the 'run' of the
> joists (front/back or right/left) or having access panels installed in
> places that will be known trouble spots. As in, the closet under the
> stairs. If you really know how the rooms will be used the most difficult
> thing to wire is ceiling speakers. Having wire installed for them ahead of
> time, and fished to the entrance keypad area will save you a lot of trouble.
> Most audio distribution systems these days suggest pulling the speaker wire
> to the keypad and then back to the central amp (when used). This way you
> only run a single 4-conductor home run instead of two 2-conductor speaker
> wires. Just splice them in the keypad junction box (eurostyle terminal
> strips are good for this).
>
> If you've not already hired one, seriously consider paying a local high-end
> audio shop for a placement plan for in-room speakers. They generally have a
> bit more experience in the guess-work of placing them in the right
> locations.
>
Anonymous
September 27, 2005 8:11:10 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

> Although conduit throughout the house is probably not a "solution" to the
> wiring issue (and it does add expense), there are some situations that do
> benefit from conduit:
>
> 1. Rooms with cathedral ceilings on slabs -- very common in California.

Agreed.

> 2. In and around metal studs.

There are knockouts for the purpose of running cable through metal studs.
There are readily available bushings to fit the standardized KO's.

> --- snip some good stuff ---

--

Regards,
Robert L Bass

=============================>
Bass Home Electronics
2291 Pine View Circle
Sarasota · Florida · 34231
941-925-9747 Sales & Tech Support
http://www.bassburglaralarms.com
=============================>
Anonymous
September 27, 2005 10:11:33 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

"Robert L Bass" <robertlbass@comcast.net> wrote in

<stuff snipped>

> When installing mud rings in hollow walls, I like to tape a dental mirror
to
> the side of a Maglight flashlight. This allows me to view the inside of
the
> wall cavity.

I just bought a "snake" cam that feeds into a portable LCD TV to handle wall
"scanning" - the optics and CCD sensor are at the end of a flexible stalk
and the electronics is in a box down stream. Add just a single bright white
LED and you've got a neat setup.

I saw a NatGeo videographer use a similar rig to look for larger than
tarantula-sized spiders in South America. He would poke the camera head
down various spider holes until he found a winner (which usually attacked
the camera with great ferocity). I figured, if it worked for him, it would
be the perfect think to look down into wall cavities.

<stuff snipped>

> Another poster once expressed concern about using a paddle bit to drill
> through a wall. Note that this can easily and safely be accomplished if
you
> do the following. Be sure you're standing on a firm surface -- not
leaning
> sideways off your ladder when drilling. Drill at a moderate speed and do
> not push on the drill. Let the bit do the cutting. When the bit starts
to
> come throuogh the other side of the wood it can bind if you're drilling at
> an angle *and* pressing hard on the drill. By using light pressure and
> allowing the bit to do the job you will avoid problems. Even if you do
bind
> the bit, unless you're using a really powerful drill you won't hurt
> yourself.

Wear *good* eye protection too. Those chips will fly everywhere as well as
all the in-wall dirt loosened by the vibration.

--
Bobby G.
Anonymous
September 27, 2005 11:44:48 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

Robert L Bass wrote:
>>Although conduit throughout the house is probably not a "solution" to the
>>wiring issue (and it does add expense), there are some situations that do
>>benefit from conduit:
>>
>>1. Rooms with cathedral ceilings on slabs -- very common in California.
>
>
> Agreed.
>
>
>>2. In and around metal studs.
>
>
> There are knockouts for the purpose of running cable through metal studs.
> There are readily available bushings to fit the standardized KO's.
>
>
>>--- snip some good stuff ---
>
>
Trying to fish through the knockouts is less than fun. I stand by my
recommendation for conduit in metal studs ;-)
Anonymous
September 27, 2005 11:44:49 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

Mitch replied to Robert B:

<stuff snipped>

> > There are knockouts for the purpose of running cable through metal
studs.
> > There are readily available bushings to fit the standardized KO's.
> >
> Trying to fish through the knockouts is less than fun. I stand by my
> recommendation for conduit in metal studs ;-)

I second Mitch's motion. If the bushings get knocked off by accident, a
hard pull can skin a lot of insulation off.

Conduit. The wire goes in one end, it's almost *got* to come out the other
and not turn 90 degrees somewhere inside the wall and come spewing out some
other than intended hole. It's *so* cheap compared to the )*&#$*&$#
frustration that's involved when the "knockouts turn bad" that I can't see
doing it any other way anymore. At least for straight vertical runs.

--
Bobby G.
Anonymous
September 28, 2005 1:17:54 AM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

> Trying to fish through the knockouts is less than fun...

That's one more reason why I prefer mud rings to back boxes for low voltage
work. There aren't any knockouts to worry about.

> I stand by my recommendation for conduit in metal studs ;-)

Whatever works best for you is the best method for you to use.

--

Regards,
Robert L Bass

=============================>
Bass Home Electronics
2291 Pine View Circle
Sarasota · Florida · 34231
941-925-9747 Sales & Tech Support
http://www.bassburglaralarms.com
=============================>
Anonymous
September 28, 2005 2:32:36 AM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

> I stand by my recommendation for conduit in metal studs ;-)

No argument there, but given the OP is talking about North Carolina it's
fairly likely to be wood framing. I've friends in the area and most of it
is all wood stick framing. As you suggest, pulling wire horizontally is a
pain in the ass, metal studs or not. That's why I usually prefer to go
up/down and across a ceiling instead.

A tip, when pulling through conduit always pull a string along with the new
wire. As a conduit fills up it becomes tricky to try pushing anything else
through later. A wire fish tape might gouge the jacket on the existing
wire. String's not without it's own hassles as things tend to get wound
together. This is also why I suggested making sure you have EXTRA space in
that riser conduit, if not a whole other one.
Anonymous
September 28, 2005 3:21:13 AM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

>> Trying to fish through the knockouts is less than fun...
>
> That's one more reason why I prefer mud rings to back boxes for low
> voltage work. There aren't any knockouts to worry about.

Hmm. That's what I get for not reading back through the thread before
replying. :^)

As to fishing through knockouts, it's actually not much of a problem. If
you avoid making horizontal runs, you only have to drop the cable through
the top or bottom of the wall. Properly planned, you can almost completely
avoid horizontal pulls. On retrofits, you pretty much have to do vertical
drops only.

>> I stand by my recommendation for conduit in metal studs ;-)
>
> Whatever works best for you is the best method for you to use.

--

Regards,
Robert L Bass

=============================>
Bass Home Electronics
2291 Pine View Circle
Sarasota · Florida · 34231
941-925-9747 Sales & Tech Support
http://www.bassburglaralarms.com
=============================>
Anonymous
September 28, 2005 3:24:19 AM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

> Wear *good* eye protection too. Those chips will
> fly everywhere as well as all the in-wall dirt loosened
> by the vibration.

That's good advice for any time you're drilling or cutting. However, IME
when drilling through wood spade bits throw no more nor less saw debris than
ordinary stick bits.

--

Regards,
Robert L Bass

=============================>
Bass Home Electronics
2291 Pine View Circle
Sarasota · Florida · 34231
941-925-9747 Sales & Tech Support
http://www.bassburglaralarms.com
=============================>
Anonymous
September 28, 2005 6:49:34 AM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

"wkearney99" <wkearney99@hotmail.com> wrote:

>> I stand by my recommendation for conduit in metal studs ;-)
>
>No argument there, but given the OP is talking about North Carolina it's
>fairly likely to be wood framing. I've friends in the area and most of it
>is all wood stick framing.

You noticed it's North Carolina but nobody seems to have noticed it's on
four floors. I think conduit is a must.
Anonymous
September 28, 2005 6:49:35 AM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

> You noticed it's North Carolina but nobody seems
> to have noticed it's on four floors. I think conduit
> is a must.

Having wired systems into existing homes with four or more levels I
disagree. Conduit is a plus on multi-story runs but it's not an absolute
must. If you do opt for conduit, make certain you provide pulling elbows,
junction boxes or LB's at least every 180º of bends -- 90º if the runs are
long. Also, do NOT fill the conduit with more than a 40% cross-section with
copper. There are conduit fill charts available online at several cable
manufacturers' websites, as well as in the NEC manual.

--

Regards,
Robert L Bass

=============================>
Bass Home Electronics
2291 Pine View Circle
Sarasota · Florida · 34231
941-925-9747 Sales & Tech Support
http://www.bassburglaralarms.com
=============================>
Anonymous
September 28, 2005 9:39:31 AM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

"Robert Green" <ROBERT_GREEN1963@YAH00.COM> wrote in message
news:Y-WdnSkic4DGXKTeRVn-ug@rcn.net...
> Mitch replied to Robert B:
>
> <stuff snipped>
>
>> > There are knockouts for the purpose of running cable through metal
> studs.
>> > There are readily available bushings to fit the standardized KO's.
>> >
>> Trying to fish through the knockouts is less than fun. I stand by my
>> recommendation for conduit in metal studs ;-)
>
> I second Mitch's motion. If the bushings get knocked off by accident, a
> hard pull can skin a lot of insulation off.
>
> Conduit. The wire goes in one end, it's almost *got* to come out the
> other
> and not turn 90 degrees somewhere inside the wall and come spewing out
> some
> other than intended hole. It's *so* cheap compared to the )*&#$*&$#
> frustration that's involved when the "knockouts turn bad" that I can't
> see
> doing it any other way anymore. At least for straight vertical runs.

The other thing I am not hearing much about here is firebreaks, which are
often irregular in height and a real PITA to get around.

Also in Calif, textured walls are very common and if you do have to open a
hole to fish things through, matching the texture is a major pain.

Lastly smurf tubes are cheap. If you are building, placing them in walls is
a good idea.
Anonymous
September 28, 2005 2:06:37 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

> The other thing I am not hearing much about here is firebreaks, which are
> often irregular in height and a real PITA to get around.

Not with a long auger bit. Works wonders for drilling up/down through them.

> Also in Calif, textured walls are very common and if you do have to open a
> hole to fish things through, matching the texture is a major pain.

True, but textured walls are often the contractors way to justify not having
decent plaster finishers on the job.

> Lastly smurf tubes are cheap. If you are building, placing them in walls
is
> a good idea.

No argument there. It's just not an either/or proposition. Balancing
between the cost of adding them and having them in the wrong locations
versus not installing them at all and just fishing the wires as needed. But
if you can really plan them right and can absorb the added costs then
conduits are certainly VERY helpful.
Anonymous
September 28, 2005 2:10:58 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

> You noticed it's North Carolina but nobody seems to have noticed it's on
> four floors. I think conduit is a must.

A *riser* conduit, certainly. But in-room conduits, that's an added cost
that can be avoided. Having conduit space that runs top to bottom through
the whole house is a TREMENDOUSLY good idea. Pulling a pair of 3" conduits
into a work box inside closets or something will make any future wiring
efforts considerable less of a hassle. Either as a single 'stack' leading
up through the house or up to each floor as is convenient. Some houses will
have a wall that lends itself to a single one. But for others I'd be fine
with having ones that run upward to the most logical place for that floor.
As Robert points out, you want to be careful about bends. Better to have
more than one stack dropping down into an unfinished basement space (or
easily accessed joist cavity) than to have stuff twising and turning through
too many bends.

-Bill Kearney
Anonymous
September 28, 2005 2:12:39 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

> That's good advice for any time you're drilling or cutting. However, IME
> when drilling through wood spade bits throw no more nor less saw debris
than
> ordinary stick bits.

Heh and if you REALLY want to make debris, use a Rotozip. Those things are
a pain in the ass to clean up after on anything other than new construction.
A simple hand drywall saw makes NOWHERE near the mess.
Anonymous
September 28, 2005 5:57:53 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

On Wed, 28 Sep 2005 02:49:34 GMT, nobody@whocares.com (Dave Houston) wrote
in message <433a0425.42251457@nntp.fuse.net>:

>"wkearney99" <wkearney99@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>>> I stand by my recommendation for conduit in metal studs ;-)
>>
>>No argument there, but given the OP is talking about North Carolina it's
>>fairly likely to be wood framing. I've friends in the area and most of it
>>is all wood stick framing.
>
>You noticed it's North Carolina but nobody seems to have noticed it's on
>four floors. I think conduit is a must.

Then it seems that you ("nobody") haven't read the thread, are confusing
"floor" with "story" or both.

Definition: "Townhouse 2. A usually single-family house of two or
sometimes three stories that is usually connected to a similar house by a
common sidewall. "

Our 3 (or 2-1/2) story house has 5 floors depending on what you count;-)

Is there some assertion that you'd like to make with respect to building
codes or NEC or physics or aesthetics or economics or something else to
explain what you mean by "conduit is a must"?


Marc
Marc_F_Hult
www.ECOntrol.org
Anonymous
September 28, 2005 6:07:23 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

"Robert L Bass" <robertlbass@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:qOidnRLSY_HCxKTeRVn-uQ@comcast.com...

>
> Another poster once expressed concern about using a paddle bit to drill
> through a wall. Note that this can easily and safely be accomplished if
> you do the following. Be sure you're standing on a firm surface -- not
> leaning sideways off your ladder when drilling. Drill at a moderate speed
> and do not push on the drill. Let the bit do the cutting. When the bit
> starts to come throuogh the other side of the wood it can bind if you're
> drilling at an angle *and* pressing hard on the drill. By using light
> pressure and allowing the bit to do the job you will avoid problems. Even
> if you do bind the bit, unless you're using a really powerful drill you
> won't hurt yourself.

The concern I expressed was all about hidden nails. If you can't see *both*
sides of the project you're drilling it's far safer using a twist drill. A
"paddle bit" will bind on a nail and even if you're using moderate pressure
and speed, most drills generate enough torque to cause you serious injury.
I know of *no* other professional installer (even a former one) that
uses(ed) a paddle bit to drill into a wall space. Your experience may have
been good so far but I just don't believe in taking chances. If I miss even
one day "at the counter", my customers throw fits. ;-))
Anonymous
September 28, 2005 6:49:24 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

> Is there some assertion that you'd like to make with
> respect to building codes or NEC or physics or
> aesthetics or economics or something else to explain
> what you mean by "conduit is a must"?

Marc,

I doubt the gentleman has ever wired an existing or even a new structure due
to his unfortunate physical problems. In any case, his assertion that
conduit is a must is wrong.

--

Regards,
Robert L Bass

=============================>
Bass Home Electronics
2291 Pine View Circle
Sarasota · Florida · 34231
941-925-9747 Sales & Tech Support
http://www.bassburglaralarms.com
=============================>
Anonymous
September 28, 2005 6:54:33 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

> Heh and if you REALLY want to make debris,
> use a Rotozip. Those things are a pain in the
> ass to clean up after on anything other than
> new construction.

Someone else once mentioned using a roto-zip to do speaker cut-outs. IIRC,
the gentleman suggested taping a clear plastic bag to the wall and running
the tool from within. I imagine that would help but I never had time to do
all that during the job. I always used a keyhole saw. I find that a damp
towel sitting on the drop cloth just below where I'm working is very helpful
as well.

> A simple hand drywall saw makes NOWHERE near
> the mess.

Yep.

--

Regards,
Robert L Bass

=============================>
Bass Home Electronics
2291 Pine View Circle
Sarasota · Florida · 34231
941-925-9747 Sales & Tech Support
http://www.bassburglaralarms.com
=============================>
Anonymous
September 28, 2005 7:01:24 PM

Archived from groups: comp.home.automation,alt.comp.networking.connectivity (More info?)

> The other thing I am not hearing much about here is
> firebreaks, which are often irregular in height and a
> real PITA to get around.

I have two ways to get past them. As another gentleman mentioned, a long
D'Versibit or Canadian Flexidrill will punch right through a firestop.
Alternatively, if you still have some of the paint and the wall is smooth
you can route the sheetrock and the fire stop, slip the cable past it and
slip a small metal plate over the route before spackling. This is more time
consuming but you normally only need to do it in a few places per home.

> Also in Calif, textured walls are very common and
> if you do have to open a hole to fish things through,
> matching the texture is a major pain.

The best place to open an access hole is behind the baseboard or ceiling
trim board. With a little patience these can be removed and replaced with
no sign that anything was done. I and several others have posted detailed
instructions on the procedure several times both here and in a certain
"other" newsgroup.

> Lastly smurf tubes are cheap. If you are building,
> placing them in walls is a good idea.

They're OK as long as you're certain you'll never need to change a location
later.

--

Regards,
Robert L Bass

=============================>
Bass Home Electronics
2291 Pine View Circle
Sarasota · Florida · 34231
941-925-9747 Sales & Tech Support
http://www.bassburglaralarms.com
=============================>
!