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Building Home - Ent. Center is framed, but not sure what to do now


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#1 of 11 OFFLINE   ERFY

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Posted March 13 2008 - 04:48 AM

Hello,

I am Erik. I am currently building my first house, and have constructed a built in entertainment center, which is already framed up.

Seeing it now in person, it looked smaller on paper. But at any rate, I now need to figure out how to pre-wire this before the drywallers come in about 2-3 weeks.

I have attached 2 images which should show you what I am thinking, but I'll explain my scenario here, and post my questions.


In the one pic, you can see my devices and how I have it planned. Basically, the center speaker goes up on the top shelf in the center, the left and right fronts are on either side of the TV, the TV is in the center area, then the subs are in the bottom corners, and finally the devices are in the bottom area below the TV.

The unit is 2 feet deep. The entire bottom row will have glass/mesh doors, so it won't be totally exposed. Also, this entire thing is basically made out of "wall', its framed 2x4's and drywall, so there will be NO way to "run a cable behind the shelf/unit" or whatever. It's gotta be ran now, or I'll be drilling later Posted Image

My idea in the 2nd pic is this:

Have the 5 speaker wires begin in the "device" area, and run to their positions in the smurf tube. Once they reach their spots, I can't decide if I should get the L/R post wallplates, or just run it out of a blank wallplate and drill a simple hole in the plate. Ideas on this? (also, the rears are in the ceiling, so they are okay).

Then, for the sub(s), since I don't really want/need to put power outlets in the bottom left/right area, I was thinking I could just have an open "port" the size of a one-gang that goes from each lower area to the center device area. That way, I can just run my sub cable and the subs power cable through the port and into the devices and outlets in the center. The sub areas will have black mesh doors, so you'll never see the port in the very back. Thoughts on this? I thought about doing it totally trick with outlets and sub wallplates, but then figured since I'l barley going a few feet away, why not just do a port and then it's 100% flexible and I can run anything I want through it. Thoughts?

The place where I am having the most trouble is the TV area, and how it will connect to the devices below. The TV will be mounted to the wall in the center of the area, but be around 15" away from the wall, for a "hovering" effect (and since the unit is 2 feet deep, I need to be able to see it from the sides!). So the cables will just to straight back into the wall by the mount.

First: Power. Do I put a outlet that will be up behind the TV (and out of sight) for power? Or do I just let the power be run back down to the devices using a long cable or a outlet extender (like the Firefold Power Bridge).

Second: Connectivity. At first, I wanted to do all these fancy custom wallplates and such, but the more I thought, the more I just want to do another open "channel" that runs down the wall from behind the TV, to the device area (which again, will have black glass doors so you can't really see the back wall). Then, I can just drop a component or HDMI cable or whatever I need from the top to the bottom and accommodate any setup I need.

I realize that this is sort of a... strange entertainment center. It's my first time doing this, and in my head it sounded like a great idea! But now I see that essentially I have a "store bought" style center, except its make out of wood and drywall and doesn't have any way to run cables that I don't prewire. But it's there, I like how it looks, and I want to use it.


If there are any thoughts on this, please let me know. The house was designed really nice by professionals, this is the only thing that I am doing myself, so I don't want it to be the black-eye of the entire place =D


P.S.
Oh and as a side note, the bottom-center area, its HUGE.... it didn't seem that huge on paper. I was going to put glass cabinet doors on it, but it seems way too big for that. I need to figure out what to do down there or else it's gonna look really bad. It's 2'9" tall, and 5'6" wide... not sure what to do.



#2 of 11 OFFLINE   chuckg

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Posted March 13 2008 - 07:11 AM

Looks pretty cool....

I think you are on the right track with your ideas....just run some empty tube so you can pull whatever wires you might need through. Who knows what you might have in the future, right? By far the simplest thing is to run all your AC power needs from the subs and the TV down into the center - then you can have one UPS/power cleaner/surge protector setup, and completely simple wiring.

I do have one worry...having two subs that far apart may lead to lobing, cancellations, and other horrors. You might want to put the two subs as close together as possible, either in the center opening, or on one side. But, with the tubed wiring concept, you can try it and see how it goes without needing to re-wire the whole thing!

...be sure to get us some completed project photos!
--ignore the man behind the curtain

#3 of 11 OFFLINE   mayhem13

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Posted March 13 2008 - 08:23 AM

Love the design-very nice work. Only one major problem though. Putting the subs inside the cavities are goin to excite some really harsh room effects that are gonna sound terrible. Get em outta there ASAP. You can use those cavities for either display boxes, bookshelves or more gear when you need it. I like your idea of running a network of tubing as opposed to wallplates which will kill expandability or format changes down the road. You can leave extra string inside them to make future wire pulls easier. A nice power conditioner in the equipment area should be all you need for power-just try and have it on a dedicated circuit before the drywall comes. As for your Sub boxes, as a DIY guy i might fortify those and build subs into them and take advantage of all that volume. 1 15" driver in each ported and facing into the room would be very loud but still may have some negative effects due to location-still better than putting ready made subs in there. Hope this helps !

#4 of 11 OFFLINE   mayhem13

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Posted March 13 2008 - 08:25 AM

PS-Parts express has some nice slide out rack shelves that would make life alot easier if you placed your electronics on them and left some slack in the wiring for hookups and maintanence.

#5 of 11 OFFLINE   ERFY

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Posted March 13 2008 - 10:33 AM

One thing you guys might be able to comment on is the bottom-center area.

Thats supposed to be my device area, receiver, sattelite, xbox, appletv, yadda yadda.

Problem is now in real life, instead of just my drawing, I see just how HUGE a 5'6" by 3' hole is!

Originally I wanted to do glass doors, but they would be so massive it seems like a horrible idea. Almost 3'x3' doors? That seems ridiculous to me.

So the glass guy suggested instead I do slider doors on a track, and that sounded like a better idea, but still, we're talking 3'x3' glass sliding doors.

I love every other part of my "hollywood squares" style layout, I just can't figure out what to do in that bottom center area. Room isn't an issue, I just don't know how to cover it without ruining the look.

Anyone else think that a 5'6" x 3' area of glass would look bad, if I went with the black-glass sliders?

#6 of 11 OFFLINE   mayhem13

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Posted March 13 2008 - 12:35 PM

If you put your subs in there, they will rattle like hell.

#7 of 11 OFFLINE   ERFY

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Posted March 13 2008 - 12:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayhem13
If you put your subs in there, they will rattle like hell.


This is good to know, I never considered it. This is my first setup that has any thought put into it.

I will run some rg6 maybe around the side of the room in a place or 2 and just leave them behind a blank wallplate, with a power outlet in reach and see. I don't know how the couches or anything are going to be set up yet.

#8 of 11 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted March 13 2008 - 02:28 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayhem13
If you put your subs in there, they will rattle like hell.
Any sub that plays the resonant frequency of the glass or just a big sub anywhere in the room will cause the doors to rattle. I'd go with a glass door pivot hinge, double magnetic latches and no bore magnastrikes. Put a thin layer of felt or rubber between the glass and the hardware to keep the rattles to a minimum.

With a very large sub, there's nothing you can do. I have light fixtures in the theater room (and most other rooms in the house) as well as a spot on the wall that rattles when I get close to reference levels. But at those levels, I can't hear what my wife is screaming at me. Thank goodness I can't read lips.

-Robert

#9 of 11 OFFLINE   ERFY

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Posted March 15 2008 - 05:28 PM

I've got my RG6 cable for the sub placement out in the room, but I can't seem to find the ends for it. I am looking for some screw on or crimp ends that go on the RG6 and have the male RCA plug. Essentially I want to build a RCA cable with males on each end, but made of RG6.

How can I do this?

#10 of 11 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted March 15 2008 - 11:46 PM

Crimp on RCA connector from Parts Express. I use standard crimp on F connectors and wall plates with F to RCA adapters. Both will work just fine.

And PE is the best place for all types of accessories like this.

-Robert

#11 of 11 OFFLINE   ERFY

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Posted March 16 2008 - 03:51 AM

I've been looking through Parts Express for plates that are F -> RCA or for just keystone inserts that are F -< RCA, but I can't seen to find any.

At the home end, I'll be plugging the RG6 into one of those 5.2 two gang wall plates, so I believe the sub connections on that are 2 ended female. So that end I could put the RCA adapter on the cable. The other end though, will be at a wall plate, so I could put an F on there, and then a wallplate that does F to RCA on the front, I just can't seem to find them on PE or Firefold or anywhere.

Good ideas though. I should have pictures of my progress today.





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