New construction - phew! Where do I begin!

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Mike_Boulanger, Nov 14, 2004.

  1. Mike_Boulanger

    Mike_Boulanger Stunt Coordinator

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    Posted this on avsforum, figured I'd post it here too!

    Been doing a lot of reading here, and thought maybe I should post and get some advice, plus maybe clear my head a bit to put it all down in words.

    In the middle of purchasing a house, new construction, drywall not yet up. I've gotten permission from the builder to do my own low-voltage wiring.

    I plan on using the family room as my home theater/entertainment room. My office will be located eventually in a finished basement. For now, it will be located in an upstairs bedroom.

    Here's what I'm thinking:

    RG-6 (for video distribution)
    2 runs to each bedroom from basement
    2 runs to living room from basement
    2 runs to kitchen from basement
    2 runs to dining room from basement
    4 runs to family room closet from basement
    2 runs to family room location 1 from basement
    2 runs to family room location 2 from basement

    Cat6 (for data hookups)
    2 runs to each bedroom from basement
    2 runs to living room from basement
    2 runs to kitchen from basement
    2 runs to dining room from basement
    4 runs to family room closet from basement
    2 runs to family room location 1 from basement
    2 runs to family room location 2 from basement

    14 Gauge (?) Speaker Cable (for whole-house audio)
    2 runs to master bedroom from basement
    2 runs to living room from basement
    2 runs to kitchen from basement
    2 runs to dining room from basement
    2 runs to family room from basement
    2 runs to deck from basement

    Cat5e (located near room entrances for future audio controls/IR sensors)
    1 run to master bedroom from basement
    1 run to living room from basement
    1 run to kitchen from basement
    1 run to dining room from basement
    1 run to family room from basement
    1 run to deck entrance from basement

    Family / Home Theater Room
    2 VGA runs from projector location to family room closet
    1 DVI run from projector location to family room closet
    8 14 gauge speaker runs to family room closet (7 speakers + sub)
    1 RG-6 coax run from sub location to family room closet

    I'm also considering security system wiring, but that I know less about. Any tips on what/where to wire for this would be helpful.

    This is very overwhelming - it's easy to just go crazy on it, but I'm trying to do it as simply/quickly/efficiently as possible to not aggravate the builder who is being very good about the whole situation. I want to get in and out of there as quickly as possible.

    Here are some questions:

    - How important is the brand of RG-6 cable? I see lots of people recommend, say, Belden 1694a for RG-6 runs, but at about $270 for 1000' it's expensive. I don't have endless pockets and costs are adding up so would like to save wherever possible. For example, Parts Express has 1000' of solid copper core RG-6 for $64, and quad-shield for $128.

    - Is quad-shield RG-6 important, and why?

    - I plan on nailing boxes to the studs for my data/RG-6 and control runs, but not sure exactly what to do with the in-ceiling speaker cable runs. Again, the less bother I am to the builder the better, so I don't want to ask a lot of questions - however, I want to do it right for me and the guy doing the drywall. Are there in-ceiling speaker boxes to mount up? Or do I just leave the wire hanging? If so, how does the drywaller know where to cut the holes? Or do I just measure the locations well and cut the holes myself when I install the speakers?

    - Anything else I should be thinking about?

    Any help, answers, tips, comments would be GREATLY appreciated...
     
  2. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Belden 1694a is sort of the 'gold standard' RG6.

    Will you notice if you used something else? I really don't know. For baseband video, we're running RG-59 - Belden 8241 - that Markertek, for example, sells for $132 for 1000'.

    RG6, from what I understand, is more important if you're running UHF type material - wide band cable TV or satellite signals from the antenna/pole to the box/interpreter. Anyway, we've got numerous 500' runs of 8241 with no significant problems.

    On the other hand, you might possibly consider moving to 12ga for speaker cables, although 14ga shouldn't be a problem.


    Leo Kerr
     
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Mike,

    Leo is right. The need for RG-6 is only relevant to cable TV and satellite signals. For video signals, the cable merely needs to be some form of coaxial.

    I used RG-59 for my video feeds from the loving room to the bedroom, and it worked fine. If you were talking about making component video cables for a high-resolution display, that would be one thing. But you really don’t need the Belden for your application, which I assume is distribution of composite video. That said, it's not a bad idea to use (Quad shield, by the way, is for transmitting/broadcast applications, or perhaps if you live in an area with powerful RF signals present, like near a TV broadcast tower.)

    However, it would be a good idea to stay with a solid copper coaxial instead of the steel/copper clad stuff.

    Another benefit of RG-59: If you can solder, RG-59 can be terminated directly to RCA plugs – no need to go with F’s and an RCA conversion adapter. However, you’ll need to make sure it uses a copper braided shield. You can’t solder a steel shield!

    Re 12-gauge speaker wire, it’s certainly desirable, but for non-critical remote locations I’m not sure I’d want to spring for it.
    Dedicated electrical circuits for the electronics.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  4. Jonathan R

    Jonathan R Agent

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    I will post up pics of my setup soon. Yours sounds like a good plan. I need 15 posts before I can post pics [​IMG]
     
  5. Paul_C

    Paul_C Stunt Coordinator

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    I used Belden 1695A instead of the 1694A. It almost the same but is much cheaper. At least it was where I am located.

    Good luck.

    Paul.
     
  6. Mike_Boulanger

    Mike_Boulanger Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey guys... went shopping for cable today, and here's what I've decided on running:

    RG-6 Quad Shield, Solid Copper Core (for video distribution)
    2 runs to each bedroom from basement
    2 runs to living room from basement
    2 runs to kitchen from basement
    2 runs to dining room from basement
    4 runs to family room closet from basement
    2 runs to family room location 1 from basement
    2 runs to family room location 2 from basement
    2 runs to garage from basement

    Cat6 (for data hookups)
    2 runs to each bedroom from basement
    2 runs to living room from basement
    2 runs to kitchen from basement
    2 runs to dining room from basement
    4 runs to family room closet from basement
    2 runs to family room location 1 from basement
    2 runs to family room location 2 from basement
    2 runs to garage from basement

    14 Gauge Shielded Speaker Cable (for whole-house audio)
    2 runs to master bedroom from basement
    2 runs to living room from basement
    2 runs to kitchen from basement
    2 runs to dining room from basement
    2 runs to family room from basement
    2 runs to deck from basement
    2 runs to garage from basement

    Cat5e (located near room entrances for future audio controls/IR sensors)
    1 run to master bedroom from basement
    1 run to living room from basement
    1 run to kitchen from basement
    1 run to dining room from basement
    1 run to family room from basement
    1 run to deck entrance from basement
    1 run to garage from basement

    Family / Home Theater Room
    2 VGA runs from projector location to family room closet
    1 DVI run from projector location to family room closet
    8 12 gauge speaker runs to family room closet (7 speakers + sub)
    1 RG-6 Quad Shield Solid Copper Core coax run from sub location to family room closet

    Basically, I ended up getting quad shield RG-6, upgraded my theater room speaker cables to 12 gauge, and went with shielded cable for my ceiling speakers. I'm also wiring it so that the ceiling speaker cables go from the basement to the room audio control box to the speakers. This would allow me some flexibility on what type of whole house audio system to get.

    Cable was EXPENSIVE, but I picked it up locally so I can get started right away...

    Decided to skip on the security system for now. Figure I'll deal with that when the time comes, and hope for the best.

    Thanks so much for all the advice, has been very helpful...
     
  7. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Most shielded cable is light-gauge stuff for carrying audio signals – like 20ga. I hope that’s not what you ended up with.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  8. Mike_Boulanger

    Mike_Boulanger Stunt Coordinator

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    No, it's definitely 14/2 shielded.

    Thanks,
    Mike
     

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