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Structured wiring advice

64130 Views 14 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Crypt0wind
Any members have experience with different structured wiring brands and products?

Channel Vision
Open House

Here's the plan 6-7 zones:
2 RG-6 - Satellite DirecTV (per room) - not all rooms will have TVs, but that least they can
2 CAT 6 - gigabit ethernet/phone (per room)

Product list, so far:
42" enclosure - Channel Vision
2 x Channel Vision C-0508 8 Port Data Termination Module
Zinwell WB616 AT9 Satellite Multiswitch

Any wisdom you like to share? Thanks
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I just want to say ... Welcome :wave:

I don't have any technical knowledge to share ... but, wherever your plans are "Good Luck" :bigsmile:
Thanks for the welcome.

I thought I add some more details to the structured wiring project. My house is a standard 1968 ranch with un-remodeled basement. I've got a plans/ideas to build a basement dedicated HT room 16'x22', 1080i projector, screen size - undecided, raise seating, screen stage, double drywall, lighting controls, equipment rack. Full DIY style.

1st - Figured the best place to start is pulling wires for all the zones to a central point in the basement. That's the easy part.

2nd -Deciding on what brand of structured wiring enclosure/modules has been more difficult. I'd like a enclosure/modules that will expand with my future needs, but still be reasonable $ :daydream:

3rd - At the same time I'm having the current 100amp FPE panel replaced with a 200amp panel with a 50amp sub panel in the basement for the HT and office/shop.

4th - Start building out the basement and HT - more details to follow

Thanks again for a inputs!
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I used all Openhouse products for my retrofit/install. Excellent product and priced much less than others. I'm using the 36" can with the optional hinged/ventilated door.


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Looks great, nice and clean!!! I really like the look of the optional door. It finishes off the installation nicely.

From the photos it looks like you have telephone, video distribution, wired & wireless network. Exactly what I'm planning to do.

How many zones or rooms do you have?

Is the video distribution cable or Sat? Did you have any dB loss because of splitting or cable length?

I also notice you have 2 wire spacers installed. Are they compatible with other enclosures (Channel Vision, On-Q)?

I couldn't tell how you dealt with the power distribution. Is that a Outlet AC Hub at the bottom of the can or did you use a different solution?

Any plans for future upgrades or things you might have done different if you could do it again?

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Thanks for the props.....
My structured panel is still a work in progress.
It's located in my utility room, opposite my washer & dryer
I currently have 5 zones setup but want to add 2 more (bathrooms)
I also still need to run more cat5e to existing zones.

Openhouse products:
H336 panel with hinged/ventilated door
H616 telephone master hub
H628 data termination hub
H270 wire spacers (2) They may be compatible with other enclosures
H281 adapter (for coax barrel connectors)
Leviton 15 amp gfi outlet mounted in the punchout,
bottom/left corner of cabinet running to a
dedicated 15 amp breaker.

Linksys wrt54gs wireless broadband router
with Tomato firmware
Linksys antenna stand (mounted on wall)

Brighthouse cable/phone modem

I made my own mounting brackets for the
router and modem with aluminum flat bar
from local hardware store.
I utilized 2 of the keyhole slots on the back of
the modem and bolted it to the bar and I used
velcro on the back of the wireless router to the
other bar

Rg6 cable(not quad shield) for tv/satellite(free-to-air)/ota hd antenna(in attic)
There is 1 splitter and 1 tap utilized for cable company feed (recently had signal tested and it's perfect)
All Rg6 terminated with compression fittings
Cat5e to all phone and data locations
I can have networking and/or phone to any location
just by swapping patch cables

I also left 3' service loops on all cables in the attic
and 1' at each room location drop.

I am also planning on adding a security camera system soon.
Regarding the satellite multiswitch, I've read tons of satellite forums and they all say multiswitches should be closer to the dish(s). My switches are mounted in an enclosure at the dishes. I've been thinking of moving them to the distribution panel just to see if it makes a difference. I use a 3' motorized dish and an 18" fixed dish for my free-to-air setup.


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Wow, you took the Sat, FTA & OTA to the next level!

You just opened up a whole bunch of new questions.

I'm guessing that you have multiple types of SAT receivers, did you distribute the HD Sat, FTA & OTA signal to all the zones or just a main zone? Could you take a close-up of how you routed the video in the enclosure?

FTA always looked interesting, is there enough good content to experiment with it?

This is just the kinda of info I needed, it's got my wheels turning....
Wow, you took the Sat, FTA & OTA to the next level!

You just opened up a whole bunch of new questions.

I'm guessing that you have multiple types of SAT receivers, did you distribute the HD Sat, FTA & OTA signal to all the zones or just a main zone? Could you take a close-up of how you routed the video in the enclosure?

FTA always looked interesting, is there enough good content to experiment with it?

This is just the kinda of info I needed, it's got my wheels turning....
I could take a picture if I could find my d*mn digital camera.
I have 4 incoming satellite feeds (rg6) that I can use, but only 2 receivers at this time (living room & bedroom). I plan on adding a high definition satellite receiver soon. I can have satellite, cable tv, OTA feeds, or a combination there of, to any room/zone just by switching around cables. I don't have a patch panel setup yet for the rg6, so I only connect what I actively use. My main audio/video equipment is shown here: http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/index.php?u=14819
There's plenty of FTA content if you utilize a motorized dish, ie: music, movies, adult, foreign, ect.. Search the FTA satellite forums, there's tons of info out there. Two sites I recommend are F2ATV and HashHU. There's a lot of talk about satellite hacking, but if you look around you can find find plenty of information about "legal" free-to-air satellite as well.
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Anyone have a On-Q CAT6 gigabit switch installed? Or different brand modules in a Open House enclosure?

I think with the zinwell switch will be located in the enclosure. That way I can minimize the amount of Quad shielded RG6 wires entering the basement to the enclosure. Instead of splitting a bunch of zone/signal outside. I could be messy...

I'm also thinking about using pvc conduit to route the RG6 back the enclosure, that way I have a way to upgrade later to FTO and OTA.

In the next couple of months I'd like to install 3 HDTV, 1 HR21, 2 H21, 1 AM21. All signals from the switch.

Just thinking about the amount of Quad RG6 involved, it's going to be huge!!!

I'm working up a Sketch-up model right now for the basement and remodel. More to come...

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hey john,

I've done quite a few structured wiring systems and may be able to give you some hints. You can use different brands of modules in some enclosures although you will have to drill some extra holes. For example i use the Leviton gateway/router in On-Q enclosures because I've had trouble with the On-Q routers, drill 2 holes and it snaps right in.

some tips..

use "wire rings" in attics to keep the wire off the floor and out of the way of people walking through the attic this also allows you to add wire runs to the same area without having to drag a hammer along with you in the future

DO add extra EMPTY PVC feeds to the main wiring enclosure(s) for future wiring adds, it's not a good idea to try to pull in wire in an already used pipe.

If you will be adding or re-designing your RF in the future, you may want to use separate enclosures for RF and data / phone. they can be side by side and connected by pipe. adds may include cctv rf modulators, video baluns and / or cctv power supplies

rather than network patch panels, i try to have enough switch space in the panel for all of the network to be on the switch. it's really nice when you can plug-in and be on your network without having to find a patch cord

on most installs i give room and wire for the swap between SAT and CATV, you never know when your provider is going to chase you away. i have one guy who has switched a few times already

use an enclosure that has a hinged door!!

i have tons of pictures of various installs, but still in new status on this forum. I will try to upload on that has room for SAT multi switch and CATV

I also wanted to mention that install of Tom's looks really nice, the vented cabinet is a good idea since one or two of mine get a little warm inside. I also like the remote antenna on the linksys wrt54gs.
I use the Leviton hardwired router for looks and ease of install but a linksys wireless with 3rd party firmware is a better bet, and versatile.

hope this helps


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Thanks for the props River100, I like the clean, neat look of your enclosures as well. I think I really need to tidy up the wiring in my enclosure.

CryptOwind, keep us updated on your install and don't hesitate to ask questions.
Very nice River100, the more installs I see the higher I set the bar for my structure wiring. If you have more photos please post them.

I like the idea of separate enclosure for Sat/cable & data/tel, makes alot of sense. I have the room to do two, but the costs are quickly rising.

We move in the end of Nov, so at least I can plan most of the install/brands before hand.

I've got a sketch-up floor-plan done for the 1st floor, I'll have a basement done soon.

Keep the photos and ideas coming!

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Well after a ton of research and pricing, I've started to buy parts. I settled on On-Q mostly, since the pricing was better at local Lowes than most internet sites. Plus, I started to notice some of the On-Q stuff at Lowes go on clearance so I got some amazing deals on 2 On-Q diplex outlets, On-Q phone surge protector, On-Q basic telecom module. Check your Lowes for clearance stuff!!!

I decided against the OnQ gigaswitch & router combo. Instead will use my current 2wire DSL router/WiFi and a Linksys SB2008 gigaswitch

List of parts purchase so far
1 OnQ 28" enclosure
2 OnQ duplex outlets - $7.98
1 On-Q phone surge protector - $7.98
1 2 x OnQ 6 port patch panel
1 Linksys SB2008 8 port gigaswitch
1 Linksys Wifi - free
3 6"x4" universal mounting bracket
1 6"x7" universal mounting bracket
networking tools
1000' CAT 5e wire & 100 connectors

Next week video parts
Direct TV SWM-8 & power supply
CommDeck mount
Grounding block
1000' RG6 cable & 100 EX6XL connectors
8 way SWM splitter
misc tools

This combo with give me
8 Gigabit data connections
8 Direct TV SWM RG6 connections - single RG6 to each unit, compared to the old two RG6
4 Phone/fax lines

I'm still a month away from closing this house and installing all the goodies. Once I get my camera back, I'll take a bunch of photos!
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Hi, I am a newbie.

I'm going to try to explain what I am trying to accomplish. Starting with a list of my equipments and followed by Leviton compents:

1. Quad RG6-U Cable
2. Mitsubishi DLP Projector 1500
3. Klipsh Quintet Speaker System
4. Synergy Sub-10 Subwoofer
5. Yamaha Dvd DV-56160
6. Monster Power 3500 MK II
7. Yamaha A/V Receiver (RX-463)
8. Cat6
9. DirectTv HD service


I have sever zones that I am trying to provide service to: In every room, I want to be able to have HD Satellite in every room without the need of additional boxes, Computer/fax/phone/internet access, surround sound connectivity, be able to play PS2/Xbox games, Listen to music throughout the house. All cable will be ran inwall. My equipment room will be located in the Home Theater area where all components and MDF unit will be placed. I don't know what cables to make for each connections that I need, what plate connectors need to be able to play game consoles in each rooms with having the game boxes for each room, along with computer/internet/phone/fax access....I hope I explain so that you understand if not, I will try to as best as I can.....Thanks for you patience and understanding.
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I've been experimenting with most of your wish list. Right now I have a 28” On-Q panel next to my desk for network pre-wiring before install in a few weeks. It's stuffed full and I'm already thing about another 14” or 28” panel in the near future.

Will you be DIY or hiring someone? Be prepared for a steep learning curve, since this project involves everything from networking to construction. It's been a fun project.

Each room with likely need a different amount of wiring/connections, make a list of each room/zone.

4-6 port wall plates (2 RG6, 2 CAT 6, 1 phone). Likely once you start adding up all the connections you might rethink the extent of the connections in each room.

The DTV HD without additional boxes, I believe isn't possible. You will need to have a receiver for each TV. There is a new tech from DTV that allows you to run only one RG6 to each receiver called SWM. The SWM8 switch will allow you to connect 8 receivers and you don't have to run dual RG6 for the DVRs. It could simplify your coax wiring a bit.

For the networking, I'd suggest using a combo of wired and wireless. Since you have CAT6 wiring use 8 or 16 port gigabit switches, RG router and wireless routers. A 5 port 10/100 routers aren't much of a savings and don't allow you the higher speeds of GigE. Also, consider even more than 16 ports, since many current and future systems are IP enabled. I'm running 16 GigE ports, 8 10/100 ports and wireless router and I'm thinking I'll need more in the future.

I also keep a eye on the local Lowes for Qn-Q clearance items. I've found that Lowes have the better prices for structured wiring products than most internet stores.

Good luck, it's a complex, but I'll try to help with as much as I can!
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