Wiring for HT

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by kumar, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. kumar

    kumar Stunt Coordinator

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    I am planning to run speaker wires and video cables through my crawl space. The equipment rack is going to be in a closet adjoining the family room.

    Is it a good idea to do the following things:

    Planning to run the video cables (Svideo, Component and future upgrades) in one 2 inch PVC?

    Can I run the Speaker cable just like that without any pvc pipe? Should I be concerned about exposing the speaker cable in the crawl space to weather changes and possibly insects?

    Some of the HT Construction websites had the speaker wires run through holes in the wall. From the "looks" point of view, I would like to have a wall plate in my closet room for a 8.1 connection. Make a 2 foot custom cable to connect for each of the channels from my AVR to this wall plate. Then the wall plate will have the induvidual speaker wires run to its location in the family room terminated by wall plates. I will run another set of 2 ft cable from the wall plate to the speakers.

    Is this a good idea to do?

    The longest running wire could be around 40ft. Should I go for 12 ga or 14ga?
    If I buy a spool of 12 or 14 ga wire, to terminate them in the wall plate, do I have to solder? or is it just like plug and screw type?

    Anyohter links/guidance much appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    12 ga. is best, if at all possible. If not, 14 will be fine.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. kumar

    kumar Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Wayne,

    I will defintely think about just running one long wire between the AVR and the speaker.

    If I buy a roll of 12 ga cable, how easy it would be for me to terminate with a banana plug at both the ends? What tools would I need to do that?

    any pointers to make speaker cable is much appreciated....

    Thanks
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Banana plugs are easy to terminate – usually a set screw or some kind of pressure connection. Just make sure the ones you get will accept 12 ga. wire and you’ll be good to go.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. kumar

    kumar Stunt Coordinator

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    would I be able to notice much difference at all if I go with a spool in HomeDepot versus the one that BlueJeanCompany makes.....?
     
  6. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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  7. kumar

    kumar Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Michael

    I will take a look at them.....
     
  8. kumar

    kumar Stunt Coordinator

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    Help!
    to run this through the walls, floors and crawl space, do I have to use a pvc pipe? 1.5" or 2" diameter? or is it better to use some kind of nylon flexi conduit? or anyother material, links, much appreciated.
     
  9. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Well, you certainly can’t run conduit in finished walls...

    3/ 4” should be plenty big, unless you’re running a big bundle of wires. I’d use PVC – it’s going to be hard to get anything down a flexible pipe – too easy to hang up on all the ridges.

    If you’re using the speaker cable that Michael linked above, it’s not the right stuff for in-wall. The cable under that one is what you want, CL-3 rated.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  10. kumar

    kumar Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Wayne, it is for external speakers, not for in-wall. I meant, I may have to run the A/V cables through my equipment closet walls (or from the floor) into the crawl space below and run it across the crawl to the different speakers and the monitor.
    So I guess what Michael gave should be good enough, how does these cables compare to the Beldin cables with jacket in bluejeanscable.com?
    http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/speaker/index.htm
    How much important is the jacket....? is it for extra protection or something?
     
  11. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    The jacket is only to protect the wire from external elements – which in some situations might also include the potential for physical damage.

    The Belden cable in the picture appears to be installation-grade stuff. The tell-tale evidence is that the outer jacket appears fairly thin, and of course the utilitarian gray color. I wouldn’t throw out what you already have for this – for what you need it’s the gauge that’s ultimately most important, not the appearance of the cable or the jacket.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  12. kumar

    kumar Stunt Coordinator

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    Wayne and Mike

    Taking the first step now towards my first HT DIY Project.
    Thanks for all the pointers, suggestions and advices.

    I will be ordering the SoundKing 12 gauge wire of 500 ft (I may need only about 350 for now, but considering the future upgrades in mind) and bunch of banan plugs. For now, I am going to go with Wayne's suggestion of directly running the wire through walls between AVR and Speaker. Later (when wallet and time permits) may consider to upgrade it to place wallplates and terminator for each channel.

    Btw, a possible silly question, I dont have a subwoofer yet, but can I use the same spec(12 ga) wire I mentioned above to wire my subwoofer channel? Planning to buy one of the small cute cylinderical SVS by next year end.

    Once I have all these cables, pvc pipes etc, planning to get onto the job during the thanks giving weekend.

    Thanks
    Kumar.
     
  13. kumar

    kumar Stunt Coordinator

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    .... and also, I understand the effect of running a 16 or 18 ga wires on a longer run, what would be the reverse effect? I mean running 12 ga or 10 ga on a shorter channel path like under 30'?
     
  14. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    The speaker wire is fine if your sub has an outboard amp. However, if it is a powered sub, then you want to send it a line-level signal. For that you’ll need coaxial cable, not speaker wire.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     

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