Help me wire my house

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ScottATL, Jan 8, 2003.

  1. ScottATL

    ScottATL Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm getting my first HT and I want to run the wires in the walls. I'm pretty crafty at home projects and this should be no problem, but can anyone offer me any tips or equipment recomendations. I really can't have any exposed cables (running them across the floor) as I have a son who will be walking soon and don't want him tripping on them.

    I'm looking at putting a box in the wall directly behind the entertainment center that will house my receiver, and then running the wire up the inside of that wall, across the attick, and down the other side where I will install another box. This way, the only wire I have is from the box to the speakers. I'm pretty sure I'll have no problems, but what are the drawbacks to this, and will I have any problems doing this for my powered sub?

    The total distance between the boxes should be about 20-25 feet. Then the rear speakers should be about 5-7 feet from the box and the sub probably 7-9 feet away.

    One more thing, does anyone have any pictures to help guide me?

    TIA - Scott
     
  2. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    Scott:
    I did something similar for my surround speakers. Stuff you'll need (assuming sheet rock walls): Old work electrical box(es), these have tabs that swing out to grab the sheet rock from behind the wall (also assuming that your local codes allow plastic boxes), these can be found in 1/2/3 gang sizes, In-wall rated speaker wire - make sure the stuff you get is rated for in wall use, customizable faceplate - Radio Shack has these. There are 6 empty cutouts in each plate into which you can install binding posts, RJ45 (Cat5) connectors, RJ10 (telephone connectors), coax connectors and a few others. If you just want speaker binding posts, Radio Shack has plates that will accommodate up to 4 speakers (8 binding posts) for about $20.
    As for tools: stud finder, keyhole saw, fish tape, knee pads (if your attic is unfinished) 1" wood boring bit and power drill. Be aware that if you start fishing around in the walls there is always the risk of being stopped by a brace you didn't expect to be in the wall cavity, or insulation, or ...
    Like I said I have only done this for speakers, so the length of run wasn't too much of an issue. Not sure what happens when you deal with other connections. I'm sure you can find instructions on how to 'fish wire' in a basic electrical book, or on a web site like DIY. You might also want to check with your local building department to make sure your are doing the work in compliance with local codes. Hope this was some help.
     
  3. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Neil Joseph
    Tip - do everything according to building code. When you get into inwall wiring make sure to use inwall rated speaker wiring as already mentioned. Myself, I ran a PVC conduit that contains all of the video wires for an overhead projector, then I used the inwall speaker wiring for the back 3 speakers and RG6 cabling for a future sub to be loacted at the back of the room. The front wall had fireblocks at around 2 levels (4ft and 8ft) because the ceilings are 12ft high. I drilled the appropriate holes for the speaker wiring to pass through and also for the PVC conduit to pass through. If you were to use regular speaker wire, it could actually defeat the purpose of the fireblocks and create real insurance problems in the unlikely event of a fire.
     
  4. ScottATL

    ScottATL Stunt Coordinator

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    Those tips will be very helpful. I never would have thought about codes for something simple as wiring my speakers. I think I saw the boxes that you are talking about LewB, I did some finish work in my basement and I remember seeing them when we bought the boxes to run the electric.

    I was thinking I would go to the attick, then drill my first hole there and take a piece of conduit and put down the inside of the wall there first to make sure there aren't any of those mentioned braces. If there are, I'll have to do a workaround on those and go at it a different way. Thanks so much and if anything else, let me know
     
  5. Dave Goff

    Dave Goff Agent

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    I wired my new addition a year before getting HT. A few things I wish did different.
    1. You will want to run 14 or 12 gage wire that is rated for in wall use. I ran 16 gage in wall rated wire on the advice of the guy at the electric and plumbing supply store. "This is what all the builders are putting in the homes." The sound on mine is fine with the lighter wire, but don't crank the heck out of the system either. All the stuff I have read says 12 or 14 gage wire. Wish I knew what was the right set up and checked in here before wiring the system.

    2. Not sure that sub LFE type cables come rated "in wall". If they do, run one of them to where you want the sub. Not knowing better mine is regular speaker wire, now I have a cable that runs along the wall board. Nothing that a drill and a visit to the crawl space won't cure. Maybe some of the other people out there will know if there are in wall rated LFE type cables.

    3. My wife wanted small / cute speakers. I got JBL NSP-1II speakers and they are pretty small, but the first thing the boss said when she saw them on the wall, "they are bigger than I hoped, and are you sure they didn't come in white?" She loves the sound now and has never mentioned the size again.
    The above diatribe: the system really sounds better with the front speakers at listener position ear height, not mounted 6 feet off the floor, but am not going to win this one.

    4. You will like the clean look of a million wires being hidden in the wall. And you won't have a one year old chewing them up or yanking them out of the reciever.

    Good luck with the project.
     

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