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What's the perfect Pre-wire?
#1
This question seems to come up a lot, although honestly much more so on AVSForum than anywhere else.

Perhaps we can all come up with our perspectives, and i can update this first post to have that master list (or options).

My answer:
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In addition to running empty 2" conduits (multiple preferably, smurf tube is fine), if I had money to burn i'd run the following:

Too much is never enough...

Security & Safety:
1) Occupancy: Motion sensors for every room, run 18/4 for that. You can integrate a home automation system in here to do occupancy-based rules about what to turn on/off/etc.

2) Security: Siren/CO/Smoke/Heat/Glassbreak sensors, most of them use 18/4, heat may use 22/2.

3) Driveway and or/fence gates for open/close status: 22/2 or CAT5. I have young kids, plus live in Oakland, so it's nice to know and have the system be able to announce that someone has just opened up the driveway gate.

4) Gate phone/gate opener. A couple direct burial cat5 if there is a gate in drive way.

5) Safety/Elk:Water Sensors near hot water heater or other flood-prone locations. CAT5 I think.

6) Security Keypad, prox sensors, pin readers. CAT5. Put 1 at each point of entry/exit, plus 1 in each bedroom to serve as a 'panic button'.

7) Usage: Door sensors for every closet door in case you want to do auto-lighting-on, run 22/2 (or CAT5 to a central location) for that. Sounds dumb, but my wife really likes not having to manually turn her closet light on/off, and gets really pissy when the cheap-ass zWave switch I got doesn't work.

8) Window sensors: 22/2, or if you have multiple together you could do CAT5 to the middle one and 22/2 to each window.

9) HA Speakers: Due to it being irritating to have audio pause to hear HA announcements/etc, I personally chose to mount a 2nd set of speakers just for HA (doorbell/phone/HA announcements/intruder alerts), and got the single-gang Elk $7 speakers. I ran CAT5 to the Elk, and put each of them on a relay so I can turn each of them on/off. Don't forget outside speakers too, such as patio, driveway, and front door. As mentioned in the gate bullet above, when the gate is opened, my system turns on the outside speaker and plays my gruff voice recording saying "driveway gate opened, video camera recording". That way if it's a bad guy, he knows that the house is watching.

10) CCTV. Either 18/2(power) + 1RG6(signal) or 1 CAT5 (i think you can do power & signal over one)

11) door access control. 18/2 (maybe 22/2)

12) Swimming pool alert sensor.

Home Automation
13) Doorbell: If you get an Elk panel, you could use CAT5 for the doorbell and have an Elk-based doorbell rather than a generic chime. Plus that way you'd be setup in the future to automatically pop up a frontdoor camera on doorbell ring, and not rely on the doorbell detector. My wife *really* likes walking by the kitchen touchscreen before the door to see who it is.

14) HVAC: 2 CAT5 to your thermo (one for integration with PC or Elk, one in case you want remote thermos)

15) Irrigation: 1 CAT5 to the controller

16) Temperature monitoring: 1 22/4 or CAT5 to any room where you want to mount a temp sensor to get temps in each room. I vote putting one in the attic, basement, each bedroom, family room, & living room. Unless you have some other temp source (ie, Elk security system keypad has a built-in temp sensor, or obviously a thermostat).

Audio/Video
17) DirecTV/Digital Cable: The new DirecTV antennas use 4 RG6 per concurrent tuner you want. Digital cable needs 1 RG6 from outside to the box. (NOTE THIS IS *not* VIDEO DISTRIBUTION, Just capture).

18) Video distribution. 1 CAT5 can handle component distro (if you use baluns), some products require 2 CAT5, or 3RG6 (without baluns). I'd recommend baluns as you can stick with just running CAT5. I believe 2 CAT5 can also handle HDMI distribution. Plus, if you run back to a central wiring closet, you can just connect the cat5 patch panel to your network if you want a local SageTV HD-200 box.

19) Audio distribution. 1 CAT5 per every 2 directions/devices. I.E., if you have a local source, you can use a cat5 to send it back to your central controller. 1cat5 can handle two pairs, so you can either have 2 local sources, or 1 local source and 1 outbound from an unpowered zone on your WHA controller to send to a local stereo.

20) Plasma or projector control. 18/2 & CAT5 to any location you may want a projector mounted, CAT5 to your plasma for control.

21) Local device control. (ie, local receiver control via serial) - 1 CAT5 per device. You'll need more of these than you think.

22) Russound/NuVo Keypads. Route speaker wiring via this location and also run CAT5.

23) In-Wall speakers. Run 16/4 speaker wire to EVERY room, including bathrooms. You may think its nutty now (as my wife did), but once everything else is done and you have the spare whole-house-amp connections, real Whole-Home-Audio will be freaky deaky cool (as my wife now thinks).

24) Subwoofer. a 14/2 as an addition to Subwoofer connection, may be another 22/2 for IR if you intend to use Velodyn DLS-R Sub

25) External speakers. Direct burial 14/4s Rock speakers & in ground Sub

26) IR receivers. Run 1 CAT5 to any location you want an IR receiver. I ran one to 3 different rooms where I wanted an in-room IR eye, not an RF retransmitter.

27) Dedicated CCTV Distro: Additional RG6 or RG59 and 22/4 (to control) from CCTV DVR enclosure to TV locations where you wish to view activities.

28) HDTV Antenna: 1 RG6 for external antenna on roof

29) XM: 1 RG6 for XM signal cable to an external antenna

General
30) Network & Telephones. Both drops for rooms plus wireless access points in strategic locations. Yeah, I know, not HA related, but may as well list all random things that could need wiring together so you don't forget. Run at least 2, so you can have both network & telephone wherever you want.

31) Touchscreens. 18/2 & 2 CAT5 (should only need 1, but if you get a touchscreen only you'll need one for video, one for serial touchscreen control). You could merge this with above if you think you'll start with keypads and move on to TS's.

32) Water control valve.

33) hardwired lighting control. cat5e to every light switch, Lutron HomeWorks (currently) requires 2 pair conductor (18/2 + 18-22/2 STP, Class 2) to the switch

34) ceiling & bathroom fan control.

35) LAN to kitchen island/refrigerator/freezer/etc.

36) shade/curtain/shutter control and power. 18/2 & cat5.

37) skylights. 18/2 & CAT5

38) Run power to some telephone jacks (e.g. kitchen), so the phone wall wart isn't located 5 feet away.

39) Cell phone repeater antenna.

40) microphone wiring in case voice-recognition ever actually works. I believe 3conductor wire is needed, so a 22/4 would suffice. Maybe a CAT5e, no idea.
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Devices I can't stand and wish I could replace: SmartThings, Hue, Concerto, VRUSB
My vlogs: https://www.youtube.com/c/IVBsHomeAutomation
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#2
Don't forget security/surveillance camera wiring. I'm partial to cat5 using baluns.

Planning space consumption of the conduit / wire coming in to the wiring closet(s) You never have enough room, over engineer this!!!

Power for the closet(s) - Power bricks take up a tone of space

Termination - another huge space consumer, termination blocks, etc, how to organize all of those wires coming in. Again, you never have enough room, over engineer this!!!

Local codes - requirements for plenum vs non plenum rated wiring

Just some thoughts off the top of my head while at lunch...

-Ben
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#3
cool, whole lotta items added to the first post based on responses in other forums.
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Devices I can't stand and wish I could replace: SmartThings, Hue, Concerto, VRUSB
My vlogs: https://www.youtube.com/c/IVBsHomeAutomation
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#4
I would do 2 cat5's for video distribution. Different products require 2 as do mine.

I wish I'd run power/cat5 to my skylights for blinds.

I'd run power/cat5 to any place I would use a projector for an eventual screen.

For door access controls, wouldn't you want wire for some type of prox/rfid sensor and an electric latch?

Russ...
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#5
As much conduit as humanly possible.....
It's the early bird that catches the worm, but it's the second mouse that gets the cheese...
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#6
For 21) Touchscreens. If in wall, you need to consider power for the touchsceen. Some TS can be hardwired so you need romex to the location, but others need DC power so you can run maybe 18/2? and then put the brick elsewhere and splice this wire into it.

For 2) If this is a pre-wire and you just want auto on/off for closets, consider a door jam switch. This is MUCH simpler and less expensive (but no control/feedback status)
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#7
dean, any angst with sticky'ing this so newbies will see it?
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Devices I can't stand and wish I could replace: SmartThings, Hue, Concerto, VRUSB
My vlogs: https://www.youtube.com/c/IVBsHomeAutomation
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#8
kayemsi Wrote:For 2) If this is a pre-wire and you just want auto on/off for closets, consider a door jam switch. This is MUCH simpler and less expensive (but no control/feedback status)

Does that mean just an 18/2?
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Devices I can't stand and wish I could replace: SmartThings, Hue, Concerto, VRUSB
My vlogs: https://www.youtube.com/c/IVBsHomeAutomation
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#9
IVB Wrote:Does that mean just an 18/2?

I am talking about a simple plunger switch that the electician can install instead of a wall switch or a having to have a pull chain on the closet light.

So the wiring would be romex.
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#10
Maybe we should move it to the How To section?
Dean Roddey
Software Geek Extraordinaire
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