New Home Construction - Connectivity

This is a discussion on New Home Construction - Connectivity ; Hey guys, I have been lurking in these groups for a while. Thanks so much for all the interesting answers and thoughts, definitely has given me a lot to think about. I am about to start building a new townhouse ...

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Thread: New Home Construction

  1. New Home Construction

    Hey guys,

    I have been lurking in these groups for a while. Thanks so much for
    all the interesting answers and thoughts, definitely has given me a lot
    to think about. I am about to start building a new townhouse on a
    research campus here in north carolina. I am interested in what advice
    you guys might have particularly for HD Video distribution. I have
    worked up an initial set of functional specifications to send to the
    installer for quotes. I figured that the most important thing is for
    me to get the infrastruture wired in and then I can work with the
    electronic components at a later date (if cost is limiting). I was
    wondering what strategies you all might use to distribute HD video and
    digital audio to any of about 6 rooms from a several HD sources
    rack-mounted in a central location. There seem to be SO many options
    for video and audio distribution and I am sort of ambivalent about the
    right way to go. Thanks a lot for any suggestions!


  2. Re: New Home Construction

    In comp.home.automation pebrinic@gmail.com wrote:
    >Hey guys,


    >I have been lurking in these groups for a while. Thanks so much for
    >all the interesting answers and thoughts, definitely has given me a lot
    >to think about. I am about to start building a new townhouse on a
    >research campus here in north carolina. I am interested in what advice
    >you guys might have particularly for HD Video distribution. I have
    >worked up an initial set of functional specifications to send to the
    >installer for quotes. I figured that the most important thing is for
    >me to get the infrastruture wired in and then I can work with the
    >electronic components at a later date (if cost is limiting). I was
    >wondering what strategies you all might use to distribute HD video and
    >digital audio to any of about 6 rooms from a several HD sources
    >rack-mounted in a central location. There seem to be SO many options
    >for video and audio distribution and I am sort of ambivalent about the
    >right way to go. Thanks a lot for any suggestions!


    * Assume that you need cables to do it , and cable technology improves over
    time. So get tubes where you can easily insert cables. And put it in a
    star configuration so you can reconnect quick.

    * You may want to separate mains wireing from signal cableing due safety and
    interference issues. Possible separate tube for firealarm aswell.

    * Other than that I think shielded cat.5e should be fullfill most needs.
    At least for now.

    * Check: comp.dcom.cabling


  3. Re: New Home Construction

    On 22 Sep 2005 20:43:54 -0700, pebrinic@gmail.com wrote:

    >Hey guys,
    >
    >I have been lurking in these groups for a while. Thanks so much for
    >all the interesting answers and thoughts, definitely has given me a lot
    >to think about. I am about to start building a new townhouse on a
    >research campus here in north carolina. I am interested in what advice
    >you guys might have particularly for HD Video distribution. I have
    >worked up an initial set of functional specifications to send to the
    >installer for quotes. I figured that the most important thing is for
    >me to get the infrastruture wired in and then I can work with the
    >electronic components at a later date (if cost is limiting). I was
    >wondering what strategies you all might use to distribute HD video and
    >digital audio to any of about 6 rooms from a several HD sources
    >rack-mounted in a central location. There seem to be SO many options
    >for video and audio distribution and I am sort of ambivalent about the
    >right way to go. Thanks a lot for any suggestions!


    Firewire appears to me the natural way to go. What options are you
    thinking of? I got the impression you've already made up your mind and
    just want confirmation.

  4. Re: New Home Construction

    pebrinic@gmail.com wrote:

    >Hey guys,
    >
    >I have been lurking in these groups for a while. Thanks so much for
    >all the interesting answers and thoughts, definitely has given me a lot
    >to think about. I am about to start building a new townhouse on a
    >research campus here in north carolina. I am interested in what advice
    >you guys might have particularly for HD Video distribution. I have
    >worked up an initial set of functional specifications to send to the
    >installer for quotes. I figured that the most important thing is for
    >me to get the infrastruture wired in and then I can work with the
    >electronic components at a later date (if cost is limiting). I was
    >wondering what strategies you all might use to distribute HD video and
    >digital audio to any of about 6 rooms from a several HD sources
    >rack-mounted in a central location. There seem to be SO many options
    >for video and audio distribution and I am sort of ambivalent about the
    >right way to go. Thanks a lot for any suggestions!


    I'm not at all clear on what you are asking. Do you want recommendations for
    how to wire the system or are you asking for recommendations for specific
    hardware to go in your rack and in the 6 rooms?

    IEEE-1394b (current Firewire version) can handle 100Mbps over CAT5 with a
    maximum length of 100 meters.

    HomePlug AV (HPAV) can do 200Mbps over the powerline. The standard has been
    approved and hardware should appear shortly.

    There are 5-6 manufacturers offering proprietary (and non-interoperable)
    wireless systems rated at 108Mbps although the IEEE-802.11n standard is
    unlikely to be approved until 2006.

    I think all need to be derated to about 75-80% of the raw rate for actual
    data throughput. This still leaves HomePlug AV as the fastest but I don't
    know how bandwidth might be affected by multiple HPAV townhouses sharing a
    utility transformer. There may also be bandwidth and/or interference
    problems with multiple townhouses using wireless systems.

  5. Re: New Home Construction

    On 22 Sep 2005 20:43:54 -0700, pebrinic@gmail.com wrote in message
    <1127447034.815031.278440@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups. com>:

    >Hey guys,
    >
    >I have been lurking in these groups for a while. Thanks so much for
    >all the interesting answers and thoughts, definitely has given me a lot
    >to think about. I am about to start building a new townhouse on a
    >research campus here in north carolina. I am interested in what advice
    >you guys might have particularly for HD Video distribution. I have
    >worked up an initial set of functional specifications to send to the
    >installer for quotes. I figured that the most important thing is for
    >me to get the infrastruture wired in and then I can work with the
    >electronic components at a later date (if cost is limiting). I was
    >wondering what strategies you all might use to distribute HD video and
    >digital audio to any of about 6 rooms from a several HD sources
    >rack-mounted in a central location. There seem to be SO many options
    >for video and audio distribution and I am sort of ambivalent about the
    >right way to go. Thanks a lot for any suggestions!



    First question needs to be "What is your budget for this? "

    Marc
    Marc_F_Hult
    www.ECOntrol.org

  6. Re: New Home Construction

    Thanks for the responses! Marc, as far as budget, the house is 1500
    sqft total divided into 4 floors. I am trying to get the system in
    place for about 15k could go as high as 20 if it was worth it. My
    highest priority is to get the right kind of cabling intrafstructure in
    places, so if the cost of the electronics comes too high, I may just go
    for a 2 or 4 zone system initially and then upgrade the electronics as
    needed.

    I _definitely_ will have everything conduit-run with pull-lines. So,
    hopefully, I will never have to fish cables behind the wall without
    them.

    I am looking for recommendations both for the electronics-side in the
    distribution closet and for the wiring.

    I am sure that I would like to pipe HD video to at least two rooms (as
    many as 6 would be great in the future). I have seen a variety of
    distribution methods for HD, some use converters to run DVI/HDMI over
    twisted pair ethernet, some actually use a swtiched IP-based network.
    It seems to me that the best way for me to handle it would just to run
    3-4 drops of cat 5e or cat 6 to each room where i would like video?
    That would give me the flexibility of using any converters at each end
    and hopefully build a completely IP-based system. Do you guys have any
    recommendations for IP-based video systems that will get HD quality or
    is that still not very mature?

    Dave and speeder, I liked your idea about firewire over ethernet,
    insteresting! Do you guys find that a lot of home use that for their
    electronics systems? Also, is that enough bandwidth for HD? Also, as
    far as interference is concerned, is a powerline firewall such as the
    Compose PLC a necessity in a townhouse enviroment? That would be more
    a question for the automation system that we would install, if that
    would go over powerlines such as X10, right?

    Sorry, for all the questions, I am pretty new with a lot of this, seems
    very interesting, but also very confusing! Thanks for all your
    responses!!

    -Paul


  7. Re: New Home Construction

    "pebrinic@gmail.com" wrote:

    >Dave and speeder, I liked your idea about firewire over ethernet,
    >insteresting! Do you guys find that a lot of home use that for their
    >electronics systems? Also, is that enough bandwidth for HD? Also, as
    >far as interference is concerned, is a powerline firewall such as the
    >Compose PLC a necessity in a townhouse enviroment? That would be more
    >a question for the automation system that we would install, if that
    >would go over powerlines such as X10, right?


    I have no idea how widespread Firewire home networks are. I doubt there's
    any way to determine that short of commissioning a poll.

    Check the 1394 Trade Association for details on Firewire.

    http://www.1394ta.org/Technology/

    I don't know whether the Compose firewall will block HPAV which uses
    carriers in the 2-28MHz range. You might ask that of...

    http://www.homeplug.org/en/index.asp

    The technical details are here...

    http://www.intellon.com/pdfs/HPAV-Wh...per_050818.pdf

    All three of the technologies I mentioned claim HD video capability.
    Intellon has demonstrated multiple, simultaneous HD video streams at recent
    trade shows.


  8. Re: New Home Construction

    > All three of the technologies I mentioned claim HD video capability.
    > Intellon has demonstrated multiple, simultaneous HD video streams at

    recent
    > trade shows.


    And demos often have nothing to do with actual ship dates. Sad to say but
    home automation vendors (not just intellon) are woefully BAD at actually
    delivering anything they claim in press releases, let alone at trade shows.


  9. Re: New Home Construction

    "wkearney99" wrote:

    >> All three of the technologies I mentioned claim HD video capability.
    >> Intellon has demonstrated multiple, simultaneous HD video streams at
    >> recent trade shows.

    >
    >And demos often have nothing to do with actual ship dates. Sad to say but
    >home automation vendors (not just intellon) are woefully BAD at actually
    >delivering anything they claim in press releases, let alone at trade shows.


    Intellon seems to be meeting their projections.

    http://www.intellon.com/pdfs/INT6000_Product_Brief.pdf

  10. Re: New Home Construction

    "pebrinic@gmail.com" wrote:

    >Also, as
    >far as interference is concerned, is a powerline firewall such as the
    >Compose PLC a necessity in a townhouse enviroment? That would be more
    >a question for the automation system that we would install, if that
    >would go over powerlines such as X10, right?


    I misread this in my first response.

    If you use X-10 or other powerline based automation you _may_ need a whole
    house filter that blocks powerline signals from entering or leaving your
    premises. The details will depend on the system you choose and whether or
    not any neighbors on the same power distribution transformer use similar
    technology.

    None of the powerline filters will block RF signals so you'll need to
    consider systems that have methods for determining the source of RF signals.

    Currently available technology uses carriers below 400kHz which are far
    below the carriers used by HomePlug.

  11. Re: New Home Construction

    On 25 Sep 2005 10:57:08 -0700, "pebrinic@gmail.com"
    wrote in message <1127671028.274626.183820@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups. com>:

    >Thanks for the responses! Marc, as far as budget, the house is 1500
    >sqft total divided into 4 floors. I am trying to get the system in
    >place for about 15k could go as high as 20 if it was worth it. My
    >highest priority is to get the right kind of cabling intrafstructure in
    >places, so if the cost of the electronics comes too high, I may just go
    >for a 2 or 4 zone system initially and then upgrade the electronics as
    >needed.
    >
    >I _definitely_ will have everything conduit-run with pull-lines. So,
    >hopefully, I will never have to fish cables behind the wall without
    >them.


    Good ;-) You will likely also have responses suggesting use of RF and
    powerline distribution that is jist 'round the corner ...

    My suggestion is that you think hard about where in each room you want
    AV/computer information and run a pair of CAT5e and a pair of RG6 to that
    location *and* to whatever closet is in the room. The closet wiring is your
    future-proofing and reduces "wall acne". You can inconspicuously add hubs
    and switches in there and use the home-runned wiring to it elsewhere in the
    room should you need to in the future.

    Fishing wire in a US stick-built house is not as hard as it would seem. So
    running everything in conduit is probably not worth it. But do make a
    conduit/chase from the basement to the attic so (assuming a 2-story house
    with basement and attic), you can get to the first floor rooms from the
    basement and the second floor from the attic. A fiber cable in that chase
    would not be a bad idea. I wish I had done so.

    Perhaps the biggest conundrum is whole-house audio because there is a
    plethora of incompatible generic and proprietary choices.

    Marc
    Marc_F_Hult
    www.ECOntrol.org

  12. Re: New Home Construction

    "wkearney99" wrote:

    >And demos often have nothing to do with actual ship dates. Sad to say but
    >home automation vendors (not just intellon) are woefully BAD at actually
    >delivering anything they claim in press releases, let alone at trade shows.


    I doubt it will do any good but let me try to correct your
    mischaracterization of the companies involved and of the current state of
    the technology.

    Neither Intellon nor most other members of the HomePlug Alliance are "home
    automation vendors". They are in the networking market. Intellon and others
    supply chipsets that companies like Linksys, NetGear, D-Link, etc. use to
    build powerline network adapters.

    There are already companies that sell 85Mbps powerline adapters (based on
    HomePlug 1.0 +Turbo Codes) for TCP/IP and for audio streaming (up to 4
    channels of 128kbps quality audio.

    http://www.devolo.co.uk/uk_EN/produk...dlanaudio.html
    http://www.stt.com.tw/

    The ST&T video cameras over powerline might be attractive to some here who
    have bemoaned the difficulty of running coax and power to external video
    cameras.

    For those who are unfamiliar with Turbo Codes...

    http://www.francetelecom.com/en/grou.../ddm200505.pdf


  13. Re: New Home Construction

    > Fishing wire in a US stick-built house is not as hard as it would seem. So
    > running everything in conduit is probably not worth it. But do make a
    > conduit/chase from the basement to the attic so (assuming a 2-story house
    > with basement and attic), you can get to the first floor rooms from the
    > basement and the second floor from the attic.


    I'll second this recommendation and note that the riser should be as large
    as you can accomodate. A 4" conduit would be good. I ran a 3" and filled
    it much quicker than expected. Either a larger one or a pair of them would
    be a VERY good idea.

    As Marc points out it's really not all that hard to fish a wire up/down a
    wall in most modern US homes. The wall cavities are generally pretty easy
    to get through. Putting a hard conduit in the room itself locks you into
    running the wires to THAT location. As in, if you put it down at outlet
    level you're screwed for entrance area keypads. Likewise, if you just ran
    it to the entrance area keypad you'd be stuck for PC, telco or ethernet
    hookups. Granted, you can generally be sure that something setup near the
    door will always be 'useful' but it's hard to predict where on the other
    walls you'd want things placed.

    For 1st floor rooms if you can get to the floor below via the space in the
    joists you're set. For 2nd floor rooms you can usually go up to the attic
    space. But if you've got spaces that aren't going to be accessible then
    some creativity is in order. Either by simply knowing the 'run' of the
    joists (front/back or right/left) or having access panels installed in
    places that will be known trouble spots. As in, the closet under the
    stairs. If you really know how the rooms will be used the most difficult
    thing to wire is ceiling speakers. Having wire installed for them ahead of
    time, and fished to the entrance keypad area will save you a lot of trouble.
    Most audio distribution systems these days suggest pulling the speaker wire
    to the keypad and then back to the central amp (when used). This way you
    only run a single 4-conductor home run instead of two 2-conductor speaker
    wires. Just splice them in the keypad junction box (eurostyle terminal
    strips are good for this).

    If you've not already hired one, seriously consider paying a local high-end
    audio shop for a placement plan for in-room speakers. They generally have a
    bit more experience in the guess-work of placing them in the right
    locations.


  14. Re: New Home Construction

    Although conduit throughout the house is probably not a "solution" to
    the wiring issue (and it does add expense), there are some situations
    that do benefit from conduit:

    1. Rooms with cathedral ceilings on slabs -- very common in California.
    2. In and around metal studs.
    3. Masonry walls
    4. "Feed" locations strategically placed for rooms that would require
    long runs of "fishing" to get to.

    Running conduit to a few extra low-voltage "boxes" in these situations
    makes it fairly easy to fish up to keypad height (or down to outlet height).


    wkearney99 wrote:
    >>Fishing wire in a US stick-built house is not as hard as it would seem. So
    >>running everything in conduit is probably not worth it. But do make a
    >>conduit/chase from the basement to the attic so (assuming a 2-story house
    >>with basement and attic), you can get to the first floor rooms from the
    >>basement and the second floor from the attic.

    >
    >
    > I'll second this recommendation and note that the riser should be as large
    > as you can accomodate. A 4" conduit would be good. I ran a 3" and filled
    > it much quicker than expected. Either a larger one or a pair of them would
    > be a VERY good idea.
    >
    > As Marc points out it's really not all that hard to fish a wire up/down a
    > wall in most modern US homes. The wall cavities are generally pretty easy
    > to get through. Putting a hard conduit in the room itself locks you into
    > running the wires to THAT location. As in, if you put it down at outlet
    > level you're screwed for entrance area keypads. Likewise, if you just ran
    > it to the entrance area keypad you'd be stuck for PC, telco or ethernet
    > hookups. Granted, you can generally be sure that something setup near the
    > door will always be 'useful' but it's hard to predict where on the other
    > walls you'd want things placed.
    >
    > For 1st floor rooms if you can get to the floor below via the space in the
    > joists you're set. For 2nd floor rooms you can usually go up to the attic
    > space. But if you've got spaces that aren't going to be accessible then
    > some creativity is in order. Either by simply knowing the 'run' of the
    > joists (front/back or right/left) or having access panels installed in
    > places that will be known trouble spots. As in, the closet under the
    > stairs. If you really know how the rooms will be used the most difficult
    > thing to wire is ceiling speakers. Having wire installed for them ahead of
    > time, and fished to the entrance keypad area will save you a lot of trouble.
    > Most audio distribution systems these days suggest pulling the speaker wire
    > to the keypad and then back to the central amp (when used). This way you
    > only run a single 4-conductor home run instead of two 2-conductor speaker
    > wires. Just splice them in the keypad junction box (eurostyle terminal
    > strips are good for this).
    >
    > If you've not already hired one, seriously consider paying a local high-end
    > audio shop for a placement plan for in-room speakers. They generally have a
    > bit more experience in the guess-work of placing them in the right
    > locations.
    >


  15. Re: New Home Construction

    Robert L Bass wrote:
    >>Although conduit throughout the house is probably not a "solution" to the
    >>wiring issue (and it does add expense), there are some situations that do
    >>benefit from conduit:
    >>
    >>1. Rooms with cathedral ceilings on slabs -- very common in California.

    >
    >
    > Agreed.
    >
    >
    >>2. In and around metal studs.

    >
    >
    > There are knockouts for the purpose of running cable through metal studs.
    > There are readily available bushings to fit the standardized KO's.
    >
    >
    >>--- snip some good stuff ---

    >
    >

    Trying to fish through the knockouts is less than fun. I stand by my
    recommendation for conduit in metal studs ;-)

  16. Re: New Home Construction

    Mitch replied to Robert B:



    > > There are knockouts for the purpose of running cable through metal

    studs.
    > > There are readily available bushings to fit the standardized KO's.
    > >

    > Trying to fish through the knockouts is less than fun. I stand by my
    > recommendation for conduit in metal studs ;-)


    I second Mitch's motion. If the bushings get knocked off by accident, a
    hard pull can skin a lot of insulation off.

    Conduit. The wire goes in one end, it's almost *got* to come out the other
    and not turn 90 degrees somewhere inside the wall and come spewing out some
    other than intended hole. It's *so* cheap compared to the )*&#$*&$#
    frustration that's involved when the "knockouts turn bad" that I can't see
    doing it any other way anymore. At least for straight vertical runs.

    --
    Bobby G.




  17. Re: New Home Construction

    "Robert L Bass" wrote in



    > When installing mud rings in hollow walls, I like to tape a dental mirror

    to
    > the side of a Maglight flashlight. This allows me to view the inside of

    the
    > wall cavity.


    I just bought a "snake" cam that feeds into a portable LCD TV to handle wall
    "scanning" - the optics and CCD sensor are at the end of a flexible stalk
    and the electronics is in a box down stream. Add just a single bright white
    LED and you've got a neat setup.

    I saw a NatGeo videographer use a similar rig to look for larger than
    tarantula-sized spiders in South America. He would poke the camera head
    down various spider holes until he found a winner (which usually attacked
    the camera with great ferocity). I figured, if it worked for him, it would
    be the perfect think to look down into wall cavities.



    > Another poster once expressed concern about using a paddle bit to drill
    > through a wall. Note that this can easily and safely be accomplished if

    you
    > do the following. Be sure you're standing on a firm surface -- not

    leaning
    > sideways off your ladder when drilling. Drill at a moderate speed and do
    > not push on the drill. Let the bit do the cutting. When the bit starts

    to
    > come throuogh the other side of the wood it can bind if you're drilling at
    > an angle *and* pressing hard on the drill. By using light pressure and
    > allowing the bit to do the job you will avoid problems. Even if you do

    bind
    > the bit, unless you're using a really powerful drill you won't hurt
    > yourself.


    Wear *good* eye protection too. Those chips will fly everywhere as well as
    all the in-wall dirt loosened by the vibration.

    --
    Bobby G.




  18. Re: New Home Construction

    > Trying to fish through the knockouts is less than fun...

    That's one more reason why I prefer mud rings to back boxes for low voltage
    work. There aren't any knockouts to worry about.

    > I stand by my recommendation for conduit in metal studs ;-)


    Whatever works best for you is the best method for you to use.

    --

    Regards,
    Robert L Bass

    =============================>
    Bass Home Electronics
    2291 Pine View Circle
    Sarasota и Florida и 34231
    941-925-9747 Sales & Tech Support
    http://www.bassburglaralarms.com
    =============================>



  19. Re: New Home Construction

    > I stand by my recommendation for conduit in metal studs ;-)

    No argument there, but given the OP is talking about North Carolina it's
    fairly likely to be wood framing. I've friends in the area and most of it
    is all wood stick framing. As you suggest, pulling wire horizontally is a
    pain in the ass, metal studs or not. That's why I usually prefer to go
    up/down and across a ceiling instead.

    A tip, when pulling through conduit always pull a string along with the new
    wire. As a conduit fills up it becomes tricky to try pushing anything else
    through later. A wire fish tape might gouge the jacket on the existing
    wire. String's not without it's own hassles as things tend to get wound
    together. This is also why I suggested making sure you have EXTRA space in
    that riser conduit, if not a whole other one.


  20. Re: New Home Construction

    "wkearney99" wrote:

    >> I stand by my recommendation for conduit in metal studs ;-)

    >
    >No argument there, but given the OP is talking about North Carolina it's
    >fairly likely to be wood framing. I've friends in the area and most of it
    >is all wood stick framing.


    You noticed it's North Carolina but nobody seems to have noticed it's on
    four floors. I think conduit is a must.

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