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malletto

join:2009-01-03
Purcellville, VA

New Build structured wiring

I know this has probably been asked before but I can't find anything. Building a brand new house, about 3000 sq ft 4 bedrooms, family room, sun roof, library, living room, dining room, kitchen are the main rooms.

I'm thinking cat5e and rg6 throughout terminating in a wiring cabinet in the basement. Big question is though how many connections per room. I'm thinking 2 cat5e and 2 rg6 for family room on the wall where our tv/home theater stuff goes. Then 1 cat5e and rg6 per bedroom on opposite walls where we would be most likely to put tv's/beds. In the kitchen we have a built in desk so a cat5e and rg6 there, sun room same thing. Library same thing. Nothing in the living room and dining room. Thoughts? Getting this all priced next week at the meeting with the wiring folks. Also going to get priced speaker wire in the walls in the family room for future mounted speakers.

Suggestions?


kherr
Premium
join:2000-09-04
Collinsville, IL

Maybe I'm old school, but what aboit telephone??



PoloDude
Premium,VIP
join:2006-03-29
Northport, NY
kudos:3

If he runs 2 cat5 to each location,1 can be used for up to 4 dial tones.



grobinette
Southeast of disorder
Premium,Mod
join:2001-01-27
Springfield, VA
kudos:2
reply to malletto

Why cat 5e and not cat 6? The price difference is negligible at this point. A little less flexibility in running it but since it is new construction it shouldn't matter.

If you are going to wall mount a flat panel I would consider having HDMI installed so you can plug in from your AV receiver/cable box/blue-ray/game console right behind the television as well as having an electrical outlet. Unless you don't mind all those cables running down the wall.


Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
reply to malletto

I would install two Cat 5E or 6 where each bed was going to be located and a multimedia quad consisting of two RG6 and two Cat 5E or 6 where you want to install television or multimedia devices. If you want to install an RG6 or multimedia quad where the beds are located that will give you more flexibility. I would run a multimedia quad with one CAT 5E to a modular telephone wall plate and the other CAT 5 and two RG6 cables to an outlet at a convenient location to install a television in the kitchen. I would install one multimedia quad to the where the CATV and Telephone network interface will be located on the side of the house. There are some situations where due to signal considerations the CATV company will install a drop for the cable modem and a drop for the video service that is why I recommend two RG6 cables from the network interface to the structured wiring cabinet. The two Cat 5E or 6 will carry a standard telephone line and the other be available for future developments that require a Cat 5E or 6 from a new type of network interface supplied by the CATV company or telephone company.

You might want to consider installing wiring compatible with both Direct TV and Dish Network satellite antenna from the location where best signal will be received to the structured wiring cabinet.

Depending on who your Cable and Telephone provider is find out if they will ever deploy fiber. You might want to considering installing fiber to key locations. You did not state whether or not the home was two story but if it is stub out 3/4 inch conduits to the attic from each telephone and multimedia outlet. Since the wiring is class 2 wiring use mud rings where the telephone and multimedia outlets are located to make for easier access to add wiring for future technology. Most outlet boxes do not have enough interior space to handle two RG6 and two CAT 5E or 6 cables. Have each Cat 5E/6 cable terminated in a 8 contact modular plug in the structured wiring cabinet so that you can plug the connector into a telephone jack panel or multiport switch. I do not recommend using punch down type connections. Essentially the Cat 5E cable will function as an extension cord from the jack in the room to the structured wiring cabinet. The same holds true for the RG6. Make sure that you purchase the largest structured wiring cabinet you can get. Use a hinged cover having to remove screws can suck. Some structured wiring cabinet manufacturers offer extension rings that increase the depth the of the cabinet.

Remember it is easy to install additional wiring before the sheet rock goes up particularly in a two story house. After the sheet rock is installed you might as well hang yourself trying to add wiring. If your builder will allow you to, take pictures of the framing just before the sheet rock in installed but after all wiring is installed. That will help you locate where things are located if you need to add wire in the future. Take measurements in key locations. I would not ignore the living room or dining for at least telephone/data outlets and maybe prewire for multimedia. Have the structured wiring contractor include the cost of testing all wiring before the sheet rock is installed.

My home was wired for home theater I found that the cables to outlets just below the ceiling where the TV was to be located and the cables at the back of the room where rear speakers were located were handy. On the other hand the cables for the speaker wiring installed for left, right and center channel front speakers may or may not be needed depending on how you want to install your televisions.

If I think of anything else I will edit this post.



jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1
reply to malletto

Figure in a couple of CAT 5 runs with an associated 120 volt supply for connecting suitably located remote wireless access points to ensure good WIFI signals throughout the house.
--
~Help Find a Cure for Cancer~
~Proud Member of Team Discovery ~


AVonGauss
Premium
join:2007-11-01
Boynton Beach, FL
reply to malletto

If it were me, I would run everything in conduit and don't be too stingy on the conduit size since its a new construction. Regardless, I would recommend 2 Cat 5e/6 to each location. Two provides a bit of redundancy and/or you can use one for PoE devices and one for non-POE devices. Cable is cheap, labor is not, it doesn't take much to run two cables at the same time over one cable.



Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY

1 recommendation

reply to grobinette

said by grobinette:

If you are going to wall mount a flat panel I would consider having HDMI installed so you can plug in from your AV receiver/cable box/blue-ray/game console right behind the television as well as having an electrical outlet. Unless you don't mind all those cables running down the wall.

Actually a better idea is to run an open 2" conduit from behind where the flat panel will be mounted into a nearby cabinet or even to a low space on the wall. That way you will be prepared for any future technologies by just pulling it through the conduit.

TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:2
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel
reply to jack b

said by jack b:

Figure in a couple of CAT 5 runs with an associated 120 volt supply for connecting suitably located remote wireless access points to ensure good WIFI signals throughout the house.

If it were me I'd run CAT5e/CAT6 to a few strategic locations in the ceilings and install ceiling-mounted WiFi access points powered with PoE (eliminating the need for a 120V receptacle).

Something like the Ubiquiti Networks UniFi access points. Price point is affordable enough for residential use, and what you get is better hardware than most consumer oriented WiFi access points.

As an added plus it's also aesthetically designed. It will be about as noticeable as an average smoke detector.


ilikeme
I live in a van down by the river.
Premium
join:2002-08-27
Sugar Land, TX
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Vonage
reply to malletto

I would recommend running at minimum 2 CAT-6 to each location, you never know what you might need it for in the future and you also have a spare if one gets messed up some how. For major locations like Offices or Entertainment centers I would run at least 3 CAT-6 and 2 RG6 coax.


medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4
reply to malletto



that's 2 cat5e's and 1 rg6 per room x 4 + kitchen and family room for home theater needs. demarc has 4 rg6 and 4 cat5e's just because....



ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable
reply to AVonGauss

said by AVonGauss:

If it were me, I would run everything in conduit and don't be too stingy on the conduit size since its a new construction.

Do specs something like this for minimum wasted cable and maximum flexibility:

Supply and install conduit or ENT to every practical jack location. 3/4 minimum, 1" if you have the space, 1-1/2" or 2" between any media closets/racks and TVs. Include conduit to doorbell and doorbell button locations if you use those as well as the garage and any place you might want a surveillance camera in the future. Include pull strings in each run.

Large (2, 3 or 4") raceways for trunking, for example running the length of the basement, with Hoffman boxes for breaking out to ENT.

Include duct or conduit between the utility pedestals and your NIDs and from the NIDs to your backboard.

Supply and install a 4x8 backboard and suitable termination blocks, i.e. 66M, 110, F connector.

Have the contractor leave 1000 ft reels or pop boxes of each of whatever cable you need and the tools and connectors to terminate. Then do it yourself when you figure out where you're going to want stuff.

Or if you want turnkey and testing, have them return just before or just after you move in to pull and install cable, after you figure out where everything is going. Have them include n cables and terminations as a baseline as well as charges x, y, z for any additional RG-6, coax, or A/V. Have them quote a callback rate as well if you want turnkey moves, adds, changes.
--
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nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting

^This pretty much sums up my sentiments^

You can't go wrong with conduit unless it's too small. Quite frankly though, as much as it pains me to say this, wireless is where it's at (I'm a wire guy). There are definitely a few areas where you want wired connections though. Coax for sure. Coax can carry a lot of data.

The cutsie in-wall boxes by Leviton an P&S,L (On-Q) are 1) overpriced and 2) too small. That's why a backboard is superior.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



Daarken
Rara Avises
Premium
join:2005-01-12
Southwest LA
kudos:3
reply to malletto

ArgMeMatey and Nunya and a couple of others mention conduit is the only way to provide superior future proofing that will allow you to upgrade your systems as technology changes.
My comnpany buys all its structured wiring prewrapped in with 2 CAT5E/6 and RG-6. All cables are different colors (green/yellow cat5/6 and black/white RG6), so it its easier to know which are being used for what.
--
Getting it Done.



tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·G4 Communications
·Fairpoint Commun..
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1 edit
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

The cutsie in-wall boxes by Leviton an P&S,L (On-Q) are 1) overpriced and 2) too small.

2nd, third the use of conduit for future proofing. Need to put wiring into prospective. The building is going to last 50 - 100 years. It is impossible to predict what data communication needs will be over that time-frame. No matter how well you plan the installation needs will change. We built our house 30 years ago and almost immediately realized I needed a AC outlet here or there. During the 90's added UTP Ethernet. The most recent change a few weeks ago was to install a couple of Ethernet drops to a greenhouse controller I designed and a cable run from the South side of the house to the North for an outside temperature sensor required by the controller.

Agree with nunya See Profile about the in-wall boxes. Something he did not mention is thermal management. Power-over-Ethernet is a great way to provide power to Access Points, VoIP phones eteceteria. Ideally the power supply lives in the Ethernet switch. Since nothing is 100% efficient needs to get rid of waste heat.

Over time as Wireless gets better the need for hard wired connections will decrease. Over the next decade or so my crystal ball says POTS phones pretty much go away, except for Luddites like me, most devices in the home migrate to handheld connected to wireless. Cable and Sat stay RF based so RG6 is still needed but likely need Internet access as IP based content deliver continues to grow in importance.

Internet access, files servers and Access Points and other network infrastructure will remain wired.

Raceways and conduit are the key. The most important is providing a way to cable between floors.

/tom


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

as much as it pains me to say this, wireless is where it's at (I'm a wire guy). There are definitely a few areas where you want wired connections though. Coax for sure. Coax can carry a lot of data.

See I am facing a similar conundrum regarding my basement renovation project. I could place an port every 12 feet but odds are slim to none that I will need anymore than 5% of those outlets. I will have spent hundreds in cable, keystones, conduit, etc just because I might move my tv or computer to a different location. Now with wireless, I can invest in a beefy wifi network to service the WHOLE house (not just basement). Wifi-2-rj45 adapters are cheap if your device can't use wireless by itself.

As for bandwidth, ya 1gbps is better, but streaming 1080p can easily be done over N wifi. And then you can have your devices ANYWHERE regardless of the nearest outlet.

One thing people seem to invite about running outlets everywhere is that they will use possibly more than one 1000 feet spool. Each outlet needs to go all the way back to the source.

Nunya, what's the coaxial thing about? Aside for the cable modem and HDTV, what's the point of coax being important for data transfer? Heck the only cable HDTV provider forces to use their box. You can't hook up multiple tvs in the house unless you have one box per tv which comes with a crazy monthly fee. Hence why all my tvs are networked to share the media hard drives (I don't even have cable tv anymore)

TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:2
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel

1 edit
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

as much as it pains me to say this, wireless is where it's at (I'm a wire guy).

I'm a wire guy too. Wireless is useful for things like laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other portable devices. But for everything else, wireless sucks. A wired connection is as reliable as the wiring and the hardware at either end of the wiring. A wireless connection is subject to interference and all sorts of other potential problems some of which are beyond your control. Especially in an urban setting with high population density (high-rise condos/apartments for instance), it can be difficult to get good performance out of wireless with so many other wireless devices in close proximity all sharing the 2.4GHz band.

Wireless needs some wires too. To get the best out of wireless you need to place access points in strategic locations to get proper coverage. Sticking a wireless router in a "convenient" location anywhere in the house is usually not the best way to do things. Thus my suggestion to run CAT5 to ceiling-mounted jacks in a few locations around the house which will ensure proper wireless coverage once access points are installed.

said by alkizmo:

streaming 1080p can easily be done over N wifi. And then you can have your devices ANYWHERE regardless of the nearest outlet.

As always, wifi is interference-permitting. Sometimes it works great, sometimes it doesn't. I used to have my HTPC connected wirelessly but every now and then it would get a hiccup where the streaming video would stutter for a couple of seconds due to interference, even on 802.11N. I got sick of it and just ran ethernet to it.

As for gigabit, fast ethernet (100Mbps) will suffice for media streaming. Gigabit is useful if you're tossing large files around between computers and/or NAS devices.


nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting

Your reasoning on wireless is outdated. Sure, wired networks will always have a place. I never said not to incorporate a wired network. It just doesn't make any sense to go hog wild with a technology that is becoming less relevant on a daily basis.

alkizmo
MOCA. And most people still have satellite or cable. I don't have either one, but most normal people are still feeding the pig. I still use coax to move video around the house. Why convert antenna to IP and waste valuable server resources?
Coax can do antenna, cable, satellite, and data.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


AVonGauss
Premium
join:2007-11-01
Boynton Beach, FL
reply to alkizmo

said by alkizmo:

As for bandwidth, ya 1gbps is better, but streaming 1080p can easily be done over N wifi. And then you can have your devices ANYWHERE regardless of the nearest outlet.

Wireless can be a good compromise in an existing structure, but for a new construction I think you'd be a fool (most p/c way I can say that) not to pre-wire for Ethernet and Coaxial, preferably in conduit. Wireless is convenient, but it also has its quirks especially when you start using multiple devices with different usage characteristics. The only way to avoid that, as many home gateways have done, is to let users set up multiple wireless networks but that too can get interesting or irritating.

A bit off topic, but when it comes to even the general electrical wiring I think I would consider conduit (or equivalent) usage a bit more than perhaps we would have in the past (minus Chicago). Our need and usage of electricity has changed quite a bit over the last 20 years, and I think one of the things you will start to see is more of a convergence of the electrical and network distribution. Wiring a house's electrical in star typology would be a bit extreme, but making clear tracks that are reasonably accessible for the cables to follow rather than lashing Romex pinned by staples in inaccessible areas might be a good idea - especially in multi-floor dwellings.


PoloDude
Premium,VIP
join:2006-03-29
Northport, NY
kudos:3
reply to Mr Matt

"Depending on who your Cable and Telephone provider is find out if they will ever deploy fiber. You might want to considering installing fiber to key locations."
That is not how it works. The companies that do fiber to the house bring it to a terminal at the house -Optical Network Terminal. That unit then uses coax (RG6) for the TV/Data and CAt5/6 for Data. phone goes out as POTS.
--
“My horse fights with me and fasts with me because if he is to carry me into battle, he must know my heart and I must know his or we shall never become brothers.
-Plenty Coups, Chief of the Crow”


malletto

join:2009-01-03
Purcellville, VA
reply to malletto

Wow, great comments from everyone! Gave me a ton of ideas. Keep em coming I'll read all of them.



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to AVonGauss

said by TheMG:

A wireless connection is subject to interference and all sorts of other potential problems some of which are beyond your control. Especially in an urban setting with high population density (high-rise condos/apartments for instance), it can be difficult to get good performance out of wireless with so many other wireless devices in close proximity all sharing the 2.4GHz band.

Ok ya for a condo I agree, wireless isn't the best, then again in a condo, there isn't that many places to wire up, nor are they far from each others.

For a detached house, there isn't anything as wireless interference other than from yourself.

said by TheMG:

Wireless needs some wires too. To get the best out of wireless you need to place access points in strategic locations to get proper coverage

I wouldn't completely go wireless. But putting an ethernet port everywhere is overkill. The wired network goes to key locations, and wireless covers the random odd locations like a desktop in a bedroom.

said by TheMG:

I used to have my HTPC connected wirelessly but every now and then it would get a hiccup where the streaming video would stutter for a couple of seconds due to interference, even on 802.11N. I got sick of it and just ran ethernet to it.

Sometimes it's the wifi card that sucks, or the router.
They boast 802.11N but the hardware can't handle the bandwidth.
I had a crappy wifi adapter choke on streaming 720p!!!

said by TheMG:

As for gigabit, fast ethernet (100Mbps) will suffice for media streaming. Gigabit is useful if you're tossing large files around between computers and/or NAS devices.

If you go as far as building a centralized wired network (as in, they all go back to one point) then it would be silly to store large files all over the place. If you store everything centrally, then the ODD and RARE moments needing to transfer large files will just be longer, but not an issue.

said by AVonGauss:

Wireless can be a good compromise in an existing structure, but for a new construction I think you'd be a fool (most p/c way I can say that) not to pre-wire for Ethernet and Coaxial, preferably in conduit.

I am currently ripping out all the telephone jacks that were put in every bedroom. I gotta patch up the drywall as well.

Those who installed those jacks probably thought that one day, everyone will have a telephone in every room! Yet look at what is the fashion now. People barely even have a land line, and if they do, it's on a single wireless phone station that transmits to all other wireless stations, because those jacks weren't always where you'd want to place your phone.

said by AVonGauss:

Wireless is convenient, but it also has its quirks especially when you start using multiple devices with different usage characteristics. The only way to avoid that, as many home gateways have done, is to let users set up multiple wireless networks but that too can get interesting or irritating.

Beefy wifi router(s) will handle that nicely.
People tend to buy the cheapest routers and then complain that wifi technology has reliability issues.

Again, to all my above replies, I am not saying that we shouldn't place wired outlets for network in key locations, but there is overkill resulting in a lot of unused outlets that WILL go obsolete.

AVonGauss
Premium
join:2007-11-01
Boynton Beach, FL

said by alkizmo:

Beefy wifi router(s) will handle that nicely.
People tend to buy the cheapest routers and then complain that wifi technology has reliability issues.

It has nothing to do with how "Beefy" the unit is, it has to do with how different usage patterns affect the protocol. A media player streaming from a local source, a media player streaming from online (i.e. NetFlix), a laptop browsing and a VOIP phone all have different characteristics and needs. With a wired based network, you don't have the same level and type of overhead plus you have excess capacity so they all tend to play relatively nice together. On a wireless 802.11 network, that is not true and consequently the more you actually use it and with more diverse devices is when you encounter the problems. This is true whether you're using 802.11 b/g based equipment or 802.11ac based equipment, its not just a question of how many bits you can sling through the air at once.

I'm not saying wireless sucks, I use it everyday including at home. However to represent it as equivalent is not accurate, it's just more convenient.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

1 edit

said by AVonGauss:

I'm not saying wireless sucks, I use it everyday including at home. However to represent it as equivalent is not accurate, it's just more convenient.

I'm not saying wireless is an equivalent

There are devices that should be wired (central PC, central storage, main HTPC). In fact all heavy demand devices should be wired (included latency sensitive devices like VoIP).

However to go put a networking outlet in every room is to expect something like a bedroom desktop or bedroom TV with a set-top box to be numerous and bandwidth hogs. OR to expect to decentralize most devices, like the VoIP box to be in a bedroom instead of near the modem OR the central file server to be in a different room from the HTPC or network hub.

Oh and for the original poster: 2 outlets is way too much. Nobody uses wired telephones


tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
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1 recommendation

said by alkizmo:

2 outlets is way too much. Nobody uses wired telephones

Just to nitpick a little I think 2 is the ideal number of UTP jacks at each location.
1) If for any reason a cable fails you have a back up.
2) Does not cost much more then running a single line.
3) Some of us still use POTS.
4) If you use wired VoIP phone nice having a second jack for a PC or other computer. Eliminates need to have a switch and allows PoE.

/tom

TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:2
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel
reply to alkizmo

To each his own I suppose. Personally if I was building a new house, I'd run a couple drops to each room. True, most of the ports might never be used, but they'll be there if/when you ever need them, and it is much cheaper and easier to run cable before the drywall goes in, so why not? Especially if you run and terminate the cables yourself, the cost is relatively nothing looking at the big picture. Another alternative would be to run conduit to each room, so cables can be pulled in the future if needed, without ripping any drywall out.

Ultimately it is the homeowner's decision. Some people are perfectly happy with WiFi everything.



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to tschmidt

said by tschmidt:

1) If for any reason a cable fails you have a back up.

Then why not 3, or 4 or 5, you know where this is going

said by tschmidt:

2) Does not cost much more then running a single line.

It costs double. Maybe if the two jacks are side by side then labor is a little bit cheaper, but material is double.

said by tschmidt:

3) Some of us still use POTS.

Ever heard of wireless phone stations? You just need 1 outlet that feeds as many wireless stations as you want, placed ANYWHERE! It's magic.

said by tschmidt:

4) If you use wired VoIP phone nice having a second jack for a PC or other computer. Eliminates need to have a switch and allows PoE.

You only need ONE VoIP device that plugs to the wireless phone station I mention above.

COUNTER NICK PICK!

said by TheMG:

it is much cheaper and easier to run cable before the drywall goes in, so why not?

It's not the cost for THAT addition that is too much, but the mentality of it towards a house construction will apply to MANY other parts of the home. The "why not" applies to electrical, plumbing, insulation, etc etc.

Though I admit that getting network to every room isn't as an expensive superfluous addition compared to extreme insulation or electrical wiring (Like 1 circuit per outlet, oh wow!)

said by TheMG:

Ultimately it is the homeowner's decision. Some people are perfectly happy with WiFi everything.

It's all about balance.

Wired for key spots (living room, den, whatever other room that isn't just a bedroom/toilet/kitchen).

Wireless to cover the randomly located networked device.

TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:2
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel

said by alkizmo:

said by tschmidt:

4) If you use wired VoIP phone nice having a second jack for a PC or other computer. Eliminates need to have a switch and allows PoE.

You only need ONE VoIP device that plugs to the wireless phone station I mention above.

Having multiple VoIP phones/devices can be handy since you can have multiple concurrent phone calls. This can be useful in a large family when multiple people are wanting to use the phone.

Now you're probably going to mention cell phones to counter my point...


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

said by TheMG:

Now you're probably going to mention cell phones to counter my point...

Yes....
AND
VoIP devices can have multiple lines

Cmon, if you're going to defend your point with modern societies with families using MULTIPLE lines at the same time, then cellphones are in the mix buddy!


nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12

My kids won't even touch a cordless phone, let alone a phone on the wall - they won't text.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.