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Options for running speaker wire NOT inside the walls??

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by STLMIKE, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. STLMIKE

    STLMIKE Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm buying a new house that I don't want to hardwire for 7.1 surround, and I can't run the wires around the baseboards -- the floorplan is too open. My HT equipment has to go in the living room, and I want 7.1 surround.

    Hardwiring thru the walls is beyond my technical capabilities, and I don't want to hire it done. Also, as the speakers need to be mounted near the ceiling, I don't want the wires running thru the attic with 4 wall plates visible throughout the living room for the surrounds. (I wouldn't mind it personally, but I don't think that this house lends itself to built-in HT wiring, and it could create issues when selling the house.)

    My idea for an easily removable solution is to paint PVC or ABS pipe to match the colors of the room and use it as a conduit that will be secured to the wall. Both the conduit and the wiring could be easily removed, however, when I sell the house (if the buyer doesn't want it). All that would be left would be to plug up a few screw holes and touch up paint.

    The living room has a 10' ceiling -- the PVC will run at 9.5', with the speakers mounted directly below the conduit (I will be using Infinity OWS-1 on wall speakers for all 4 surrounds).

    In addition to running the PVC around 3 of the 4 walls in the room, I will need 2 vertical spans: one from the receiver up to the horizontal spans and one back down to the sub -- which is located on the opposite side of the room from the receiver.

    I will be making a total of three 90 degree turns, and I will have to have to use five "T" joints (four as exit points for the speaker wire going to the surrounds and one for the vertical span going down to the sub).

    As far as wiring, the 4 surrounds will use 12 ga wire and the sub will use an RCA cable w/multiple extenders.

    My idea for securing the PVC to the wall is to use large decorative hooks (like one would use to hang a large planter or chandelier from the ceiling), mount them sideways, and place the PVC inside of the hooks like one would hang up a jacket. I'd mount these hooks every couple feet or so.

    Any suggestions on running the cables, connecting the PVC, and/or securing the PVC to the wall? Has anyone ever tried this or something like it before?

    OR -- is there some kind of pre-made molding that would accomplish the same thing? I would still want it to be easily removable for when I sell the house (if necessary).

    Thanks for any advice -- Mike
     
  2. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

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    If you go to the hardware store, you can find a system for wiring out side the wall. I have seen it at Lowes. It is plastic and lays flat. It will look much better than PVC. I have heard if wireless speakers, but I don't know much about them.
    Dave
     
  3. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Lowes and Home Depot both have what you are looking for. The brand name is Wiremold and it comes in flat or round. It had adhesive backing to stick to the wall and comes off pretty easy. I have used this in two apartments and although you can see it, it is non-obtrusive and easy to remove (you have to repaint the walls because the adhesive peels paint. Here's a link:

    Wiremold starter kit

    Home Depot's site has the flat stuff, but the link is tied to a session, so I can't post it. Just search for "Wiremold".
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Or, you could use screws to secure it instead of the adhesive. That way it would be more like the conduit you were considering, leaving just a few small holes to patch when you take it down.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. STLMIKE

    STLMIKE Stunt Coordinator

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    I've seen these, but I don't think I can fit 4 12 or 14 ga wires plus an RCA cable inside. The diameter looks too small.

    Is there something like this that is larger in size?
     
  6. Krusty

    Krusty Auditioning

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    I ran crown molding around my room. It made the room very attractive and gave me a great channel to hide the wire.
     
  7. STLMIKE

    STLMIKE Stunt Coordinator

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    Krusty, a couple of questions about the crown molding:

    How did you attach the molding w/o nailing or screwing any of the wires? How many speakers did you run?

    Also, how did you conceal the cables as they ran up to the molding?

    Thanks,
    Mike
     

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