weird in-wall wiring question

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Ted Lee, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    hi all -

    guess this is a good place to post this q.

    my buddy just moved into his new house. they pre-wired his ceiling for surround sound. so far so good.

    then, when i look at the wires, i notice something odd. it looks like the wire is coming in the hole, then being looped right back out to the next hole, etc.

    so my buddy verifies that's what the installers told him: they essentially took one wire and "strung it along" through all the holes. [​IMG]

    now i haven't checked out the wiring yet, but how in the heck is that supposed to work? the only assumption i can make is that it's some sort of multi-stranded wiring???

    thx
     
  2. Todd Shore

    Todd Shore Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2001
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Probably, the electrician pulled it. Ugh. Most don't know much about data, audio, and other low voltage cabling and that the best practice is to home-run everything. Assuming that it is just a single pair, can you use the existing wire as a pull wire to pull two new pairs through?
     
  3. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    oh crap ... i didn't even think about that. i'm almost sure that's what they did. i *guess* we can repull the wire, but i'm going to talk to my bud first. i think they paid extra.

    heck, this is a half-million dollar home ... you would think those fuggers knew what they were doing. sheesh!
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,183
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    As you’ve figured out, Mike, it can’t. Especially if it is two-conductor wire. However, if it is four-conductor, it can still work.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    mike? uh-oh...my other personalities are coming out again.... [​IMG]

    edit: oh yeah wayne...assuming it is a 4-conductor, how would i wire it???
     
  6. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,183
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    Nothing to it. At the first speaker location you would cut the wire. One of the pairs goes to the speaker or wall plate terminal as normal (use the one that goes back to the amp, of course). The second pair, splice them back together with a butt splice or wire nut.

    Naturally, the first pair continues to “ride” between the first and second boxes. At the second box, connect the second pair and ignore the first pair.

    Make sense?

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  7. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    oh..i get it. that may still be an issue because the wire is looped all the way to their surround (3rd and 4th pair) speakers. so unless that bad boy has 8 conductors ( [​IMG] ) then they may still be s.o.l.

    hmm...i think i'll have to pay that electrician a visit and give him a lecture or two.

    thx wayne! [​IMG]
     
  8. BenLacasse

    BenLacasse Auditioning

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    if they paid extra to have the wires put in place then the electrican should be responsible for the cost. if there was a contract drawn up then they have something...if not, better get out the drywall tools [​IMG]
     
  9. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    well, they almost got it right. it turns out they did have two runs (each with a four conductor) ... so i guess they more or less did it right.

    i think it was about 14g wire, so i was pleased with that. however, the boneheads only left about a foot outside of the wall -- so i had to splice (shudder) the wire to extend it. that kinda irritated me.

    plus they didn't mark which wire was which so i had a little bit of guess-work to do.

    but ...

    the main problem was the sub connection. instead of using a coax cable - they ran this super-thin (i'm talking like 22g) wire to a side junction box. wtf???

    man ...
     
  10. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,183
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    Is it a shielded wire? If so, it will work. The gauge doesn’t matter, just that it’s shielded.

    If not, maybe you can use it as a pull wire to pull in a new cable drop.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  11. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    hey wayne, correct me if i'm wrong here.

    i don't think i can use the speaker level connections because the rest of the wires (for the mains/rears) are coming out of a different wall - so i still have exposed wires to deal with.

    using it to pull new cable may work ... i'll have to look into that. but that wire is terribly thin ... i thought it was phone wire at first. i'm afraid i'd snap it...
     
  12. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,183
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    Actually, I’ve seen Cat-5 cable used with good reults…

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  13. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    yep.

    all the wires (including sub) are coming out of the "main" wall. the other end of the sub wire is coming out of the left wall.

    the receiver only has a line-level sub-out. so, i would have to use the speaker level connection to get the sub to work with the (current) in-wall wiring. that, in turn, would mean i'd have to run all my speaker wires to the sub...correct?

    receiver --> sub --> speakers

    if i'm thinking right, then that won't work since the speaker wires are on the main wall. i'd have to "drag" the speaker wires across the main wall to the left wall so i could hook them up to the sub?

    man, i think i've confused myself now...
     
  14. Todd Shore

    Todd Shore Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2001
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The wire from the receiver to the sub can be terminated with RCA jacks for line level connection. Won't that "fix" things?
     
  15. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    oh hell ... i didn't even think of that todd. that would be a perfect solution. [​IMG]

    man, sometimes it's *so* nice to step outside of the problem.

    and...it sounds like the thin wire won't be an issue. awesome ...

    [edit] since we're talking about a sub connction do i need to worry about any of the usual things regarding cabling? 75-ohm resistance, emi or rfi, etc... ???
     
  16. Todd Shore

    Todd Shore Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2001
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Also, you mentioned the speaker wires were short. I would guess that they expected you would terminate with faceplates and connectors.
     
  17. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,183
    Likes Received:
    51
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    Not 75-ohms or anything. It just needs to be a shielded wire.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  18. Todd Shore

    Todd Shore Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2001
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It might have EMF problems, but then again, a couple of connectors allow for a quick test. Also, if the wires have any twist then shielding might not be necessary. Either way, I would test the existing wiring first before trying to find any other fix.

    From what we have learned about the speaker wiring, it appears that the installer did a decent job. Rather than immediately question whether they did a good job or not on the sub wiring, I would put it to the test.
     
  19. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    okay, thanks guys. i'm gonna head over to rat-shack and see what i come up with. i appreciate all the help! [​IMG]
     
  20. Barry Ford

    Barry Ford Extra

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    No body asked me...But, this wiring sounds like it was done for the alarm system not surround sound. They use a cat 5 type for the alarm. It's looped because the alarm system is a single circuit. If the place it is coming out of the wall is high up in the corner, it's probably for an IR sensor or motion detector.

    If you cut or remove this wire, you won't be able to put in an alarm system in the future without rewiring. [​IMG]
     

Share This Page