Audio Cable Termination Patch Panel

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Edge305, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. Edge305

    Edge305 Auditioning

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    Not sure if this is the correct forum or not but here it goes anyway.

    I just finished building a new house and I pre-wired for whole house audio which consists of about (50) 14 guage 2 conductor cables home run to the basement from each location. I do not have the money for all of the components at this point but I would like to clean up all of the wiring in the basement closet.

    Do they make a patch panel for audio terminations similar to a data patch panel that I have used for my phone and data cabling? If so is it a good idea and where would I find something like this?

    Thanks,
    Ed
     
  2. homthtr

    homthtr Supporting Actor

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    [​IMG] Not sure what to suggest on this one... I'm scared already with the fact the you have 50 2 conductor wires instead of 25 4 conductor wires!...[​IMG] And I'm not hearing any cat5, so no keypads? no volume controls in the walls? Each individual speaker is home running directly to the basement?[​IMG] an Installers nightmare if I'm reading into this correctly... Tell me I'm wrong!
     
  3. Adam Gregorich

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    There are some options for running your speaker wire through a patch panel, but they aren't worth the price IMHO. for final termination you want to run them right into the back of the gear and avoid running them trough a patch panel. It may look messy now, but it will be easier cheaper and more reliable in the long run. Steve makes some good points...are you going to have 50 speakers (eventually)? How are you going to control the audio? I hope you put several dedicated circuits into that area as you are going to need to have several multichannel amplifiers to run everything!
     
  4. Edge305

    Edge305 Auditioning

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    Well in affect I didn't know what I was going to do so I ran (1) 2 conductor 14 speaker wire & (2) cat 5e cables to a control station at the entrance to each room then homerun to the basement.

    Then I ran (1) 2 conductor 14 from each speaker location to the basement.

    So I think I am covered for anything at this point.

    -Ed
     
  5. homthtr

    homthtr Supporting Actor

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    With the proper equipment you will be ok. Head units such as the Russound CAA,CAM and CAV series will work as well as others, but these units are not exactly novice equipment and will require a lot of Knowledge in the standard for wiring such equipment. ( We do these on a regular basis). to run that many speakers 25 pair you will need 4-5 Head units at about $2500 each. Then add the Keypads (lcd $750 per room) or the cheaper ones for about $250 per room. I would consult with a professional when it comes time to get this all up and running. Plan on $20,000-$50,000 for Equipment, Labor, and programming time. and that's not including source equipment or speakers.

    The 14/2 from the panel to the "control station" will prove to be useless. That Should have been a 14/4 That would have given you the option of standard volume controls and the speakers would have had to be run to the "control Station" instead of back to the equipment location.
     
  6. Edge305

    Edge305 Auditioning

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    Thanks, Steve I have been looking at The Russsound products and will try to get one multizone system and six rooms operating within the next year.
    -Ed
     
  7. Adam Gregorich

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    The 14/2 could be used for power depending upon the type of system he used (Crestron, etc). The odds of it being used are small. How many unique audio zones do you hope to have when you are done? Before you buy any gear you want to make sure that it is expandable to the number of zones you want. Also figure out if there are any zones with more than two pair of 8ohm speakers as you will want to get seperate amps for these zones. Paying full retail, assumming 5k in source gear, 5k labor you could do 18 zones of Russound using the CAM series with Russound speakers for 25k. If you plan on using all RNET devices the programming is reasonable simple, if you start adding on other IR or RS232 controllable devices then it is more difficult. Before you buy any of the hardware talk to some local dealers/installers who can help you design and plan for the system, even if it will only be installed a few zones at a time.
     
  8. Adam Gregorich

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    Actually an 18 zone Crestron Adagio system with 18 of their APAD controllers and a 2 output music server would set you back 20k retail. Figure the same 5k for setup (assuming out of the box programming), and speakers and you have a sweet system that you can easily add lighting, HVAC and security control to for under 30K. You can also do this six zones at a time, but since the first six would have the main controller they would be the most expensive ($6700+source gear+programming). You would save over 4k if you went with regular keypads in all 18 zones (bad idea) or you could mix and match. For the little cost increase this will get you a lot more long-term functionality over the Russound.
     
  9. homthtr

    homthtr Supporting Actor

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    Yes the Programming end of this type of equipment is not always easy. The Russounds R-Net is pretty much plug and play, but with any other source equipment manual programming is almost impossible for the consumer. We use the software for programming the systems and I don't even think that is availalbe to the consumer. It's called "Russound PC Power Tools". I believe you have to be a dealer to have access to this software. Is that the same with the Crestron Adam? I've never done any crestron programming. I'm just assuming the crestron software isn't a consumer product either??

    Russound Requires Certification from the Manufacturer to ensure the installation companies have the correct education and training to install their products before Access to the software is granted. With Russound you can get away without using their software to a point, but the average consumer would never be able to fully program everything. We have been doing Russound for years and I've programmed 100's of systems and I'm still learning! Even with a Degree in Computer Programming it can be very difficult. It's not like connecting a couple speakers and volume controls and away you go.
     
  10. Adam Gregorich

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    You have to be a dealer to have access to the Creston software and it is much different from Russounds PC powertools (I have used both). The nice thing about Adagio is if you are only using it for audio and only using Crestron sources (music server, AM/FM/ Sat radio and ipod), all the setup is done from the front panel w/o any software. It takes just a few minutes.
     
  11. homthtr

    homthtr Supporting Actor

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    That's pretty much what I figured. Just like Russound.. It's consumer installable to a point. Even with the CAA and CAM Series you'll need some knowledge of Termination of RJ45 Ends, Tools to Terminate, Etc. Love those new "EZ- RJ45's"... Someone really had a good idea with that product!

    Greenwhite, Green,Orangewhite, Blue,Bluewhite,Orange,Brownwhite, Brown...... If your going to install cat5 and keypads you better know what that means!!
     
  12. Adam Gregorich

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    The sad thing is a lot of manufactures are "dumbing down" the products because most of the fly-by-night dealers have no clue. I haven't tried the EZ RJ45s yet.
     
  13. homthtr

    homthtr Supporting Actor

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    They are the BEST!!!! You spread your cat5flat to the correct configuration slide it into the RJ45 Connector and the colors wires end up coming out the other end under the pins and out the front you can stick them out 1" our more if you want!!. Very Easy to Verify the correct Configuration of you Pinout and then the crimper has a Blade that Shears off the Cat5 Flush to the Front pins as it's Crimping the Pins down and Wahla!! No Questions about the wrong pinout!! About 99.999% Fail Proof Termination. They also Make the Pro Crimper that also Does RJ11's if you need to make phone patch cables or anything like that!


    Ends.....
    http://www.iautomate.com/ezrj45.html

    Crimping Tool....
    http://www.iautomate.com/10004b.html
     
  14. homthtr

    homthtr Supporting Actor

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    You would end up with something that looks like this if you go with Russound, but this is only 3 Russound CAV head units 18 Zones with 36 Speakers going. Dual ST2 (Tuners AM/FM). You can see the Patch Panels in the back in the wall behind the audio cabinets. All Audio/Video and Ethernet run through these panels. Ends up being a very clean looking installation.

    I just finished putting this together a couple months ago...

    [​IMG]
     

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