Help Me Plan this Project Properly....Speakers, Wiring, Switch Questions

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Joe_Papeo, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. Joe_Papeo

    Joe_Papeo Stunt Coordinator

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    I am about to undergo major construction on my 1890 Victorian. After attemting some projects in the house the past 4 years and mostly being unsuccessful due to house quirks, I want to take advantage of the walls being open in some of the rooms during this project.

    Background
    We are blowing out the kitchen to add 4' more of functional space and 16' os dining space. The dining space will be 16' x 17', all with windows and french doors leading to the yard.

    The house is a 2 family currently although I am doing all of this work in anticipation of converting it to a single in 3-4 years.

    The addition is a 2 story addition. The second floor mirrors the first in that it will also be getting a larger kitchen but instead of a breakfast area the room will be sealed to eventually become our walk in closet from our master bedroom.

    I obviously want to wire up as much as possible.

    The downstairs living room is my TV room currently, and will always be. I use it as my theater now, but long term is that the new addition will include a 17' x 19' x 8' full baement that I will be converting. This space is not my concern right now.


    Wiring
    In the kitchen, I would like to put in ceiling speakers, and a 21" widescreen monitor to use as a TV. I am going to run coax for cable (1 run) and cat5 for network stuff. We installed a pool in th eyard and would like to put a wireless camera that we can view from this monitor.

    Is one coax and 1 cat5 run sufficient? Any advantage to running 2 cat5 cables? What about cat 6?

    I am also going to run speaker wire to the ceiling for background music. Is 14g okay for this?

    volume controls in the walls? if so, do i just run speaker wire from the receiver to the volume control and then to the speakers?

    I also plan on putting speakers in the upstairs kitchen which will eventually be my master bath. i am not going to install speakers now, but i will run the wiring. Should I tie this into the downstairs receiver or buy another receiver for upstairs and make it 2 seperate zones? If I do make 2 seperate zones should I also run speaker wire for the closet and bedroom for now?

    I am basically going to run cat5, coax, phone, and speaker wire to as many places as I can. Anything else I should think about?

    I will also run PVC from the basement to the 2nd floor so I can install wiring later on that I might need. Suggestions?

    I figure even if I put a hard drive based DVD "changer" in my basement as a server I can use the cat5 to run everything off of.

    Anything I am not thinking of? Should I double up on the coax cable? The cat 5? Run cat 6 instead?



    Speakers

    I plan on putting in some in-wall speakers. I dont want to break the budget as these will just be for background music and nothing else. Any suggestions for around $200/pair?

    My kitchen will be 15' x 18' and will open up to a breakfast/dining area that will be 16' x 17'. I was planning on putting one speaker in each room, relatively close to each other. Should I go with 2 pairs instead?

    I planned on connecting these to my Yamaha receiver which is not multi-room/source. I will probably upgrade that receiver in the future to a Yamaha that is. For now I can just buy a speaker selector for this?


    I know there is a lot of info here. Sorry for the long post. I would appreciate any help you could give me.
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Joe,

    Your project might be beyond the scope of this Forum. I suggest consulting with a HT or AV consultant. You’ll probably have to buy some equipment anyway, if you buy from them you might be able to get some installation advice to go along with it.

    I’m not an expert in multi room, but I’ll give you what I know:

    If you go the speaker selector route, you’ll have to use the L-pad volume control for each location. You could run the Cat 5 to each box for a more sophisticated system later.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Joe_Papeo

    Joe_Papeo Stunt Coordinator

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    Wayne,

    I read your reply when you made it and really just havent had time to log back in and respond.

    I dod appreciate the help and feedback.



    If anyone else reads this, a couple of more questions....


    My kitchen/eating area is 2 rooms that function as one. Big opening between the two and they feel like one room.

    I may do 2 pairs of speakers in the area.

    Can I run them to one volume control?

    Will I be able to take out the volume control, connect to cat 5 and use a real keypad in the future? Or do I need 2 volume controls/keypads?


    Same thing with outdoor stuff.

    I have Mirage outdoor speakers...2 pairs. One by the pool one by the patio.

    Can I put them on one volume control?

    I have a second zone in the garage with a 2 channel Denon receiver. I want to put three pairs of speakers on it.

    One inside the garage, one outside by the pool, one by the patio.

    Can I put both on one volume control and the inside speakers just use the mains?

    I am going to connect this all through a speaker selector that can handle 4 pairs of speakers.
     
  4. chris_everett

    chris_everett Second Unit

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    I would _highly_ recommend that you talk to an expert on this if you want it done right the first time. There are many ways to do home automation, and they all require different infrastructures. If you can't afford to do that now, I would run wires from everything (speakers, volume controls, cameras, etc) to one central location. It will cost you more on wire, but it will leave your options open.
     
  5. Joe_Papeo

    Joe_Papeo Stunt Coordinator

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    the expert i spoke with recommended a crestron system. i cant even afford the wire for that.

    i am using a closet in my den as the hub.

    i want to run speakers with volume controls for now and then upgrade to a multi room receiver with keypads in the future.

    i already purchased....

    500ft of Monster In Wall 14g speaker wire
    250ft of rg6
    250ft of phone
    250ft cat5e
     
  6. chris_everett

    chris_everett Second Unit

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    There are things cheaper than crestron.

    I'm going to be blunt here... I don't think that you've really defined what you want to achieve, and I think you need to do a lot more research. Doing home automation cheap is possible, but you have to really know what your doing, and your not going to get that here on the HTF. Google for whole house audio and home automation, and see what others have done. I spent nearly 6 months doing research just for my HT, and I'd need far more to do home automation.

    Your first step is to define exactly what you want to achieve.

    i.e.
    "I want to be able to listen to music in every room as I move around the house"
    "I want to be able to listen and watch different things in every room"
    "I want to be able to watch security cameras from the kitchen and the bedroom"
    "I want to control my system over the internet"
    "I want to have a centralized movie library"

    After you've determined what you want, you can then select the equipment and infrastructure. By all means, once you have a complete plan, display it here and get some outside comment, but you'll need something more complete to get feedback on.
     
  7. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Joe,

    I think Chris is right. For instance, you've just listed a total of seven pairs of speakers you want to power, and that doesn't even include your main home theater system. Obviously, right off the bat you're going to be needing additional amplifiers, 'cause no receiver will be able to handle all that.

    Depending on your objectives, you're looking at up to four seperate zones (although two or more of the areas you mentioned could share the same zone). We don't know if you want all these extra speakers to play the same source as what's playing in the main room, or a different source, etc. Or if you want to be able to control the source's operation (like skipping a track, for instance) from the remote locations.

    Like Chris said, you first have to figure out how everything will be used in day to day life before you can make a determine what equipment is needed to facilitate the operation.

    Cheers,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  8. Joe_Papeo

    Joe_Papeo Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah. Your both probably right. I do have an idea as to what I want though.

    2 totally different set-ups.

    One indoor, one outdoor.

    The outdoor I am ready to roll, I think....

    2 channel Denon Receiver
    IM Speaker Selector
    2 outdoor volume controlls (pair by pool, pair by patio)
    1 indoor volume controls (inside detached garage)
    Monster 14g speaker wire

    Receiver -> SS -> VC - > each speaker pair

    The indoor I can not purchase equipment for now as we have pretty much blown all our budget for this project.

    I do want to wire it properly though.

    Its all going to a closet in my living room.

    I am going to wire the hell out of everything now though. I figure if I run enough speaker wire from the closet and cat 5/rj6/phone into each room I will have plenty to decide on a hook-up later on.

    I do want to control the source from each room.


    I am currently going to run the indoor speakers on VCs for now until I can afford the receiver/keypads, etc.

    I also want to run a camera near the pool now to display on any computer in my network.
     
  9. Joe_Papeo

    Joe_Papeo Stunt Coordinator

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    oh, and i will run multiple cat5/rj6/speaker/phone in each room at various locations.

    basically i have 500ft of speaker wire, 500ft rj6, 250ft of cat5, and plenty of phone.
     

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