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Thread: Complete newbie in need of urgent help!!

  1. #1
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    Default Complete newbie in need of urgent help!!

    Im a complete newbie and have come to home automation far too late. We are having a house renovated and extended and suddenly find ourselves meeting the electrician tomorrow to discuss requirements!! I have very little time for planning so need to make some decisions about wiring quickly. From browsing on the internet, including the wiring guide on this site it would seem to be a good bet to do the following:

    Wired LAN for data, with two data points in all rooms. Should we be using Cat5e, Cat6 or Cat7?

    Two TV Coax sockets in most / all rooms.

    Phone sockets in rooms we decide they are needed in.

    All cables home run to a node zero.

    Were going to have Sky digital TV in two rooms, and want to be able to pipe at least one of these to another room (from where we will be able to control the box). Do we need other wiring for this?

    Thanks for any advice anyone is able to give.

  2. #2
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Lots to consider, but quick answer :

    Node0 home-running sounds fine ...

    power & lighting could be done likewise ...

    Cat-6 will cover Gigabit Ethernet ...

    and can be used for other things ...

    CT100 cables (co-ax) can have terminals that split-out DAB & TV & FM from one cable ...

    Sky can need three cables (depending on what you're going-for), especially if the box isn't in Node0 ...

    running more cable costs little extra ...

    so - as a quick answer - I'd be tempted to go for a minimum of 3x Cat-6 + 3x CT100 to each location ...

    and power & lighting, all radial to Node0 ...

    NB: keeping power & signal at least 100mm apart is a good idea ...


    HTH

    Chris

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    Default Floodwired House Experience

    Hi

    I had come construction cone in the house about 10 years ago.

    I decided to flood wire the house for Cat5e. Went for 4 or 8 Cat5E points per room. I would recommend 8 if I was doing it again. Either 1 or 2 4 way RJ45 panels.

    They can be used for Ethernet traffic or phones. Cat6 cabling was way more expensive at the time.

    Cat5e is well capable of driving 1Gb Ethernet. I don't know about needing Cat6 or Cat7. What extra does it give?

    Two coax sockets sounds like a minimum. I would double up on it. My experience is that one usually installs half of what one needs. Have the facility for TV in all rooms. You may not need it now, but you never know.

    I have a Node 0, which is for Cat5e and phones. My TV is still analogue and terminates in the attic.

    I hope this helps.

    Regards

    Gerard

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    we've run Cat-5e & Cat-6 - if we were doing it again, we'd use just Cat-6, because needed bandwidth is only going up & because it's more robust & better at sustaining the abuse it gets in the build process, plus we found it easier to punch-down and, 'though it is a bit more expensive, not all that much of it would be needed & material costs are only a part of the total ...

    2p

    Chris

    PS: more than one location per room can be good !

    PPS: we carefully worked-out how many cables we needed, per location, and installed three times as much, just because everyone does indeed say they wished they'd put more in ...
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 27th October 2011 at 09:54 PM.

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    Automated Home Jr Member RichardC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_j_hunter View Post

    PS: more than one location per room can be good !

    PPS: we carefully worked-out how many cables we needed, per location, and installed three times as much, just because everyone does indeed say they wished they'd put more in ...
    Would 2nd this. I have only run Cat6 to where I plan on installing TV's Plus 2 or 4 CT100 (Freeview and FreeSat Panny TV's in use + Plus Hummy in Node 0.)

    We have a Node 0 room with a 42U rack plus Idratek kit. Plus a Node 1 on the ground floor for lighting and power. Node 2 on the first floor for that's floors lighting and power, all lighting ran back to that respective floors node. Plus the UFH pipework at the bottom of that's floor Node. In a big cupboard.

    We have run at least 3 quad Cat5e sockets in the corner of each room. Much to my wifes bemusement. (with the exception of the bathrooms that have them nearby! Not sure if going for Sonos Zoneplayer 120 locally or keeping them in Node 0)

    Even the catflap has power and a quad cat5e socket. We have a pet porte rfid catflap and connecting to it is on the roundtoit list.

    We also have a 8 core alarm cable going to each window (inc velux) and door in the house running either to a local idratek unit or back to node 0.

    There are 5 external cameras with RG59 and two 8 core alarm cables, and I wish I had also run Cat5e now as well and starting to go to megapixel cameras. Such is!

    Hope that helps.

    Cheers

    Richard
    Last edited by RichardC; 28th October 2011 at 12:58 PM. Reason: duplicated sentence.

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    that sounds a lot, but your three quads (ie: twelve) per corner / room is probably not too different from our triple per location with multiple locations per room (to avoid cables strewn about) ...

    either way, it's way more than we first imagined, and having got it in (not used yet) we're already wondering if it's enough ...

    one thing we added as an afterthought was extra CT100, to more locations, having run it to places chosen rather too selectively, initially ...

    then again, there's usually more than one way to do things - eg: baluns at each end of Cat-5e, in lieu of CT100, or EyeTv distribution via WiFi and/or Ethernet ...

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    Automated Home Guru Geps's Avatar
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    Probably too late now but remember it can be worth running conduit as well.

    That way should cables get damaged you can lay new ones with minimum/no damage.

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    Default Re: Complete newbie in need of urgent help!!

    Quote Originally Posted by PChambers View Post
    Im a complete newbie and have come to home automation far too late. We are having a house renovated and extended and suddenly find ourselves meeting the electrician tomorrow to discuss requirements!! I have very little time for planning so need to make some decisions about wiring quickly. From browsing on the internet, including the wiring guide on this site it would seem to be a good bet to do the following:

    Wired LAN for data, with two data points in all rooms. Should we be using Cat5e, Cat6 or Cat7?
    Cat 6. I would say 2 data points is on the low side though, and I would put quads in, and double the number of cables, and leave some unterminated as pulling cables is the hard bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by PChambers View Post
    Two TV Coax sockets in most / all rooms.
    Fair enough, although again is two going to be enough? Are you talking terrestrial or Sat feeds as well for the Sky boxes, and where are they going to be located - in Node 0 or rooms?

    Quote Originally Posted by PChambers View Post
    Phone sockets in rooms we decide they are needed in.
    You can run telephony over cat5/6 and RJ45 connectors, running seperate phone cables is unnecessary. One more reason why you lay more cables than you think you will first need.

    Quote Originally Posted by PChambers View Post
    All cables home run to a node zero.
    That's the way to do it, and then you can patch at will. Wish I had room for a proper node zero.

    Quote Originally Posted by PChambers View Post
    Were going to have Sky digital TV in two rooms, and want to be able to pipe at least one of these to another room (from where we will be able to control the box). Do we need other wiring for this?
    You can run HDMI over cat5/6 as well actually, and can get anything from converter faceplates to units with IR built in, alternatively you can go for the cheap option of IR eyes over TV coax, but the picture quality will suffer compared with HDMI. I was looking at this when we got a Tivo.

    Quote Originally Posted by PChambers View Post
    Thanks for any advice anyone is able to give.
    Trunking or conduit in the walls should make it easier to put extra cables in later should you require.
    The key thing is to plan what you think you will need, then at least double it, and leave room for further expansion!

    Try to keep the sockets in the rooms to be flexible in case the room layout changes.
    Last edited by gazza_d; 29th October 2011 at 01:45 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Audio?

    I am in the same position as PChambers and reading all the above with great interest.

    I don't think anyone has mentioned audio. Is that because active speakers would be used? If so, is equipment/software available to switch power on and off? And how would control of source, volume and such be done? Perhaps by controlling the source?

    Why do we need all this coax? If video can be streamed over the internet why can't we stream it over the network?

    And another thing . . . .

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Codger View Post
    I am in the same position as PChambers and reading all the above with great interest.

    I don't think anyone has mentioned audio. Is that because active speakers would be used? If so, is equipment/software available to switch power on and off? And how would control of source, volume and such be done? Perhaps by controlling the source?
    Depends what you want really.
    In my family, I am really the only one who listens to a decent amount of music. All other audio is Video, which is though the TV screens. If we were into music in a big way I would drop squeezeboxes around.
    As it is I have all my video and music on a upnp server (a hacked pogoplug with 2TB) which can be accessed using laptops/phones etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Codger View Post
    Why do we need all this coax? If video can be streamed over the internet why can't we stream it over the network?
    Again it depends on what you want at the endpoint. If you drop Sky, freeview, or VM boxes around, then you need Coax for the feeds unless you have converters at each end to run over cat5.

    Or you could use something like a Media center (Windows, Mythtv (:-)) and use frontends for the viewing. As I mentioned above for video (movies mainly) I can pull from a upnp server so that is over the network rather than coax.

    Quote Originally Posted by Codger View Post
    And another thing . . . .
    Ask, ask again, and then ask some more - fairly new here, although I have been messing with this stuff for years, mainly media playback and networking rather than home automation/control.

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