Adding a telephone extension & coax?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by BrianB, Aug 25, 2003.

  1. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    Background info: we've moved into a 5 year old house, and it's woefully short of telephone jacks etc, in particular where our TV/hifi etc is positioned. We need to add a telephone jack & a second run of cable from our satellite multiswitch to the Tivo. In addition, a couple of ethernet jacks would be nice there too [​IMG] The previous owner had already ran speaker cable for surround sound, which saves some bother.

    How tricky is it to "add" a telephone extension to a pre-existing setup? We're not looking for a second line, just another phone jack.

    Combined with the needs for a second coax + some network cabling, is this a job for a professional?
     
  2. DavidPAnderson

    DavidPAnderson Auditioning

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    Well as my uncle always says, "It depends". Depends on where the lines need to be run in your house, whats around them and where you're going to run them from. Do you have a basement below the rooms you want to run to? Is it finished? Do you have an attic? Is it finished? Do you have a "wiring closet" where all your cable runs go to?

    My guess is if you have to ask you might want to hire it out but really running cable is quite easy so if you're handy and your setup isn't too bad then go for it. Unfinished basements make it really easy. New cable on exterior walls or finished basement and attic make it really hard.
     
  3. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Brian,

    For the telephones, this isn’t terribly difficult if you have attic access directly above both the entertainment center and an existing phone jack.

    Similar for the coaxial. Typically there is a feed from the outside to a central location in the attic, then the cable splits off to the rooms.

    If you can verify these two things in your place, get back to us here and I’ll provide further instructions.

    If not there are other options.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    No existing phone jack at this location unfortunately, though other rooms do have them (with one shared line). I was planning to exchange the current "wall plate" by the entertainment centre for a fancier one with multiple "sockets" in it for the coaxial, phone, network etc to alleviate the need for hacking the wall.
     
  6. Adam Demuth

    Adam Demuth Agent

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    Adding a phone jack is not hard at all, you need to find the terminal box inside of your house, where all of the phones split off of. It may have multiple terminals to add more phone lines, it may not(don't worry if it doesn't). Strip the ends of the phone cable wires, form a small hook with them, loosen the screws on the terminal box that hold the phone wires (you can add them to a screw terminal that already has a line running to it, all of your phones are wired in paralell) Hook the like colored wires around the screw terminals and tighten them down. The new receptical will have screw terminals that are color coded, match the colored wires to the properly colored screws. Plug a phone in and test it.

    It's really pretty easy, just don't add too many phones, the line only has so much current and can only support so many phones, if you add too many, some of your phones won't ring for instance, my company supports 6-8 phones per house-hold.

    I've seen cool recepticles at a local wiring store that have CAT5, phone, coax and speaker recepticles all in one. Fishing the lines in the walls I think is the hardest, most frustrating part. If you have an unfinished basement, that would make fishing the lines much easier. With the CAT5 you could buy bulk, or go to a local wire supply and see if they sell it by the foot. I bought a 1000' spool for $55, and a CAT5 crimper for 15 bucks, and a Bag of 25 ends for 12 bucks. You may be able to get a local wire supplier to hook you up with CAT5 on a per foot basis and put an end connecter on one end. Phone wire is cheap, don't worry about that. I don't know if you know about your coax cables, but for sattellite, digital cable, or cable internet, make sure you use RJ6 and make sure that you use a splitter rated to 1000Mhz, you can get these for $10 at Radio Shack.

    Cost-wise, I don't know what an electrician would charge, but we charge $55 to come out and add a phone jack and $30 for a cable jack, Ma-Bell charges $75 to come out and add a phone jack. My guess is if you hired someone to do this and run CAT5 you'd probably drop $125 to $200 on a pro.

    Time-wise, if this is your first time doing this, give yourself a weekend morning and afternoon (wall-fishing lines can be time consuming, or is can go real quick), or if you're like me and have a friend over to help, give yourself the whole weekend (beer breaks, TV breaks, proving your claims about your deathmatch prowess in Quake3, settling arguements Star Craft style...) [​IMG]

    Hope I helped you if you decide to DIY, or I hope I helped you decide which route to go!

    Edit: sorry, forgot to hit send...
     
  7. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Brian, I know there isn’t a phone jack at the entertainment center location. What I was asking was if you have attic access to not only the entertainment center location, but an existing phone jack – i.e., any other one in the house.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  8. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    Yup, got access to the other jacks.

    From the advice in this thread, I suspect it's time to call in the professionals [​IMG] I can handle setting up the network once the wires are in place, but I think I'll leave the cable laying for someone else.

    Thanks for the help, guys.
     

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