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Thread: Help on ducting !

  1. #1
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Exclamation Help on ducting !

    Hello all,

    We are on the way to purchasing a family house which we hope to be in for the next 10 years. Its

    a 1935-8 build and the electrics need replacing so im going to get the place wired at the same

    time.

    Ive 80% settled on a hybrid system as i have a fear of propietry systems (companies changing

    specs/going bankrpt etc) though im still a little unsettled by putting on cat5e down to a fear

    of suddenly it becoming redundent tech and not growing with me.

    To help allay any fears i was thinking about ducting the cables where i can, has anyone come

    across any good skirting ducting systems or has any suggestions on how i can do this. The only

    systems ive found are for offices and dont quite have the finish needed for home use. Id like it

    to as easy access and unobstusive as possible (will save alot of p

  2. #2
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    I don't think cat5 is going to die anytime soon. Just thinking about the number of offices that have miles and miles of the stuff. I've installed over several kilometers of the stuff on research ships, and in peoples houses. So I think you are safe with Cat5.
    If you run conduit behind the walls then its quite simple to change out old wiring for new if its done properly. We always run 25mm conduit wherever possible and only run 2 cables in it. It can take 3 and at a push 4 Cat5 cables so there is room for expansion.
    One note of Caution when using a hybrid system, it can be a real pain to troubleshoot, when things stop talking to each other and you call tech support one manufacturer will say that is not their fault as you got it connected to so and so's black box and not theirs.
    Last edited by toscal; 28th August 2007 at 09:28 PM.

  3. #3
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    Hmm yes the whole support thing hadnt really thought about that but im going to get some proffesional help in for the design and installation and im reasonably techy so that may help (though with a long suffering wife and a 16month old child i cant get stuck in too much)

  4. #4
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    If you are happy with a hybrid route then try and keep it a simple as possible.
    Most home technology systems are a kind of hybrid anyway.
    As an example of this I've just finished putting in the conduit in a new build. This will consist of:
    An Abitana Strucutred wiring system,
    A Sonos Sound system, first node connected to server in the office via the structured wiring. First node will be in either the master bedroom of lounge.
    CCTV system.This is then sent to any TV in the house as an extra channel via the structured wiring.

    What kind of system are you actualy thinking of, (manufacturers etc).

  5. #5
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    Hi Toscal,

    Apologies for the delay. I'm not fully sure what I'm going for yet I'm having the sonos vs squeezebox debate with myself and im leaning towards squeezebox as i'm planning on having a box on 24/7 (though low power usage) so running a server software doesn't bother me and i like its extensibility with plugins/range of control ,methods (I'm seeing the sonos remote going missing).

    Wiring wise a simple mix of cat5e and high grade coax with local freeview boxes in the rooms that need it works for me that gives me flexability to add data/phone wheere i need it and everyone a choice over what to watch when .

    Ideally id like a central TV recording/streaming box that could be accessed via the tv in each room but thats for the future in theory its possible now but im not 100% sure if the software to do it is available in practice though the cards from Nebula electronics do have a web interface .

    Matt
    Last edited by flipside; 9th September 2007 at 12:32 PM.

  6. #6
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipside View Post
    Hi Toscal,

    Apologies for the delay. I'm not fully sure what I'm going for yet I'm having the sonos vs squeezebox debate with myself and im leaning towards squeezebox as i'm planning on having a box on 24/7 (though low power usage) so running a server software doesn't bother me and i like its extensibility with plugins/range of control ,methods (I'm seeing the sonos remote going missing).

    Wiring wise a simple mix of cat5e and high grade coax with local freeview boxes in the rooms that need it works for me that gives me flexability to add data/phone wheere i need it and everyone a choice over what to watch when .

    Ideally id like a central TV recording/streaming box that could be accessed via the tv in each room but thats for the future in theory its possible now but im not 100% sure if the software to do it is available in practice though the cards from Nebula electronics do have a web interface .

    Matt
    Have a look at pinnacle's showcenter. I did have a TV tuner card in the original set up, and could control this from the showcenter for recording etc. But the CPU wasn't fast enough (Mini ITX 1.2 GHz) for decent recording and it used to lock up, but was fine for media streaming. The showcenter can play your movies, photos and mp3s. You can actually connect up to about 6 to one server though I don't know what would happen if all 6 tried to access the same piece of media at the same time though.
    Alos there is a few homebrew set ups for Showcenter look at www.swisscenter.co.uk . Some people have even modified their server software to ran it as a standalone system. The Showcenter plays most media types. Don't use it wirelessly though as this can lead to choppy video playback.
    Can the Squeeze box run from a standalone server, I know the Sonos can. Its not that difficult to build your own. Took me about 3 hours and most of that was trying to find a floppy disc. www.serverelements.com All you need is an old pc and put in 1 to 4 disc drives. Mine has an 80Gb HD and will have anothe 80 from an old PC.

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    http://www.asciiexpress.com/webguide/looks look promising as well oh and ive contacted nebual electronics who have a ssetup which seems to do what i want though the STB system the pinniacle has looks interesting
    Last edited by flipside; 11th September 2007 at 05:46 PM.

  8. #8
    Automated Home Legend TimH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipside View Post
    To help allay any fears i was thinking about ducting the cables where i can, has anyone come across any good skirting ducting systems or has any suggestions on how i can do this. The only systems ive found are for offices and dont quite have the finish needed for home use. Id like it to as easy access and unobstusive as possible (will save alot of p
    I've come to this thread a bit late - sorry
    All of my in-wall cables have been run in trunking, like this:
    http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Main_Ind...g_2/index.html
    I used the "25mm x 16mm Pvc Mini Trunking - Mini 2 - (3mts)" product as it gave a good balance between capacity and low profile.

    I did the install myself and hired a wall chaser to cut two parallel slots down the wall, so I could then chisel out the waste from the middle and fit the trunking. We were having some other plastering work done elsewhere so I left the filling-in to a pro

    All cables are run through the void between the ground floor ceiling and upstairs floor. I didn't run trunking through here - because it was a retrofit and I had to cut through the floor for access, I'd always have access in future and standards aren't changing so quicky that I'd need to pull new cables through on a regular basis (if at all...).

    I've got photos somewhere, just not put them online yet. PM me if interested and I can send a few to you.

    HTH,

    Tim.

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