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Topic # 103114 30-May-2012 19:23 Send private message

Just finalising the details for a structured home cabling system in our new house (roof/walls are on, will be pre-wiring in the next couple of weeks. Would appreciate the advice of you geekzoners on a couple of things. Sits across a couple of forums, so figure diy is the most appropriate category.

1) I cant find it explicitly through searching the forums, but have sky stopped using siamese rg6 on their installs? Im deciding how many rg6 to run to the main tv location, was thinking only two, since we dont have any plans for sky at this stage, but do want it to be future proofed. I know that sky/mysky is 'served' only over one rg6 at the moment, can someone confirm that it is unlikely to require two in the near future? Have prepared for the possibility of UFB delivered TV as well.

2) What is the best way to mount a UHF TV antenna? I was thinking J-pole off the barge board, but they seem to be out of stock/hard to find online. I see a lot of solutions involving stays that attaching to the roof, but something about drilling roles in a brand new roof is just wrong to me. Its a colour steel roof, so wouldnt be technically hard to do, im just not keen.

3) Do masthead amps pass through signal effectively when they aren't powered? Reason that I ask is that the in our current house at the location (we are building in front of our old house), we have a masthead amp, however have quite old cabling and a very old UHF antenna. I would like to find out if the masthead amp is really necessary, but dont want to physically remove/isolate it. If I simply remove the power injector from the circuit, the signal is too bad. Will the masthead amp be attenuating the signal significantly if it is unpowered? We are in the middle of Paraparaumu, so no major hills in between us and Ngarara, so I might have thought that with a 43 element antenna, I should get enough signal without an amp (im trying to skimp on the $100 for an amp here)

4) Im trying to keep the central hub as discrete as possible, looking at a PDL DBF-45 (Standard home power switchboard, flush mounted into the wall). I know that its going to be tight, but can just fit a 19" patch panel in there, thats the main thing to me. Heat may be an issue as it doesnt have any vents as standard, but at this stage it should just be a modem in there, and I could drill holes and add a fan to the door later if neccesary. Anyone used this sort of enclosure for their structured cabling before, or any thoughts?

5) Cable routing: I seem to recall a recommendation of running bundles of cables in the ceiling space suspended from the rafters, so avoid tradies from walking on them. Is it worth the hassle?

Thanks for your time/thoughts!

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156 posts

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  Reply # 632925 30-May-2012 21:35 Send private message

...
4) Im trying to keep the central hub as discrete as possible, looking at a PDL DBF-45 (Standard home power switchboard, flush mounted into the wall). I know that its going to be tight, but can just fit a 19" patch panel in there, thats the main thing to me. Heat may be an issue as it doesnt have any vents as standard, but at this stage it should just be a modem in there, and I could drill holes and add a fan to the door later if neccesary. Anyone used this sort of enclosure for their structured cabling before, or any thoughts?


Don't skimp on a 'tight' cabinet. You will regret it. I'd go for something like the Hills 'Home Hub'

Here: http://www.hillshomehub.com.au/en-au/products/smart-homes

It is a good solution for home installs as they come with smaller patch panels and plenty of space to mount gear.

You can also just purchase the enclosures that come in flush or surface mounted (I'm guessing that you will want flush). 

No, I don't sell them, and I'm sure there are a lot of similar products, they just seem to fit your needs very well.

...5) Cable routing: I seem to recall a recommendation of running bundles of cables in the ceiling space suspended from the rafters, so avoid tradies from walking on them. Is it worth the hassle?


I would do this. You don't have to suspend them, just keep them away from 'high traffic' areas, such as by the manhole and in the center of the pitch (the easiest places to walk / crawl in a roofspace).

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  Reply # 632967 30-May-2012 22:33 Send private message

I think Jaycar has the mount you are after, or Dick Smith. Our Sky dish was attached to a bracket like a J but it curls around and screws to the underside of the overhang (English is my second language, is it called the sofeit?) and then 2 stays to attach it to the roof. We have a clay tile roof but that was fine drilling a hole and smearing silicone in it. Apparently it is not allowed to attach the dish to the side of the house, and our barge board is just colour steel so not much to screw into.

You now get active patch antennas which are flat and you do not need an additional amp and you do not need much space. But keep in mind all antennas must be attached to a building which has a code compliance, so you cannot attach an antenna to a fence or a tree for example despite it being advertised that way on TradeMe.

For us Sky installed a single cable and a 4-LNB dish. Our electrician installed a total of I think 6 cables in the ceiling and Sky hooked up to the one I asked them to. This was done in December in a brand new home, new install. We have only 1 STB and is not MySky. I did not complain, thought I'll run extra cables myself rather than explain what I want where.

The amp will attenuate if it does not have power. Can't see any manufacturer add an RF rated relay to a cheap consumer amp for a function that does not make sense.

My hub is on a shelf in the walk-in wardrobe and a PDL 6-way wall plate filled with cat6 (will be fitting a second plate). The wall plate is in a top corner of the wardrobe so it is easy to get more wires in from the ceiling.

Seriously consider fitting sound insulation in all your walls, if makes a big difference especially when kids go to the toilet in the middle of the night, of containing the noise when they have friends over.

Cables need to be clear/restrained within 2m of the ceiling access. For the rest it is fine to run under the bats. There are regulations, but no one cares including inspectors. I suspect it is because the electrician is responsible as he issues an electrical compliance certificate. And you will have few tradesmen in the ceiling once the electrics is done. Maybe only an aircon installer.

We did similar to you, we built a new house behind our old house but then we sold the old one for $50 to a guy who removed it at his cost. It was cheaper than paying over $10 000 for demolition, and I made an old guy happy that he got a house to do up. Funny, very few people knew we had built the new house until the old one was removed, even a lady across the road from us did not know!

Keep a very close eye on the finishings, check frames for straightness/alignment before they gib. We have a few wobbly skirtings. And meeting code compliance is the minimum spec, there is nothing wrong with fitting extra insulation. It is not a target to meet, it is the absolute minimum required. Friend of mine built his house with double thickness external walls so he could install double thickness insulation. Also installed triple glazing. In winter he actually has to cool his house!




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  Reply # 633088 31-May-2012 08:53 Send private message

http://www.tcf.org.nz/content/02b3940f-1b3b-4cc8-bfc6-28173756da29.html



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  Reply # 633217 31-May-2012 10:58 Send private message

Hmm I have since realized that the central hub is likely to be right next to the manhole haha, so might combine ideas and suspend for the first few meters from there, and then run loose but away from the center of the pitch for the rest.

Ahh, soffit mount, that might be a goer. If i can get a couple of tek screws into the rafters then that should be fairly sturdy, i may even try to attach the stays to the barge board to avoid holes in the roof.

Im not keen on the proprietary solutions (overpriced), but might go for a larger 'box' then

Some great tips there Niel, thanks.

I am familiar with the TCF document, but find it a little over the top in some aspects. Also find the notion of minimum requirements (but only recommended) amusing.

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  Reply # 633478 31-May-2012 14:52 Send private message

illicit: http://www.tcf.org.nz/content/02b3940f-1b3b-4cc8-bfc6-28173756da29.html


I like the TCF's guidlines on how to set up a cabinet and all that but the cabling amounts are just retarded. You can't just say to people run 2xcat6 and 2xrg6 to every outlet. Like in their diagram in the office they show there will be a modem, phone, printer and computer. 2xcat6 is not enough! You need 4 network cables. And in the kitchen there is just one phone yet they say run 4 cables to it. WTF?! And don't even get me started on lounge. I think they have that back to front. I would put 2xRG6 and 4xCat6 because you are going to use HDMI most of the time and not RF modulators. Run cables for what you need and then add one extra for future. Don't just cable it to what the TCF say.

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  Reply # 633484 31-May-2012 14:55 Send private message

3) Do masthead amps pass through signal effectively when they aren't powered? NO



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  Reply # 633507 31-May-2012 15:25 Send private message

chevrolux:
illicit: http://www.tcf.org.nz/content/02b3940f-1b3b-4cc8-bfc6-28173756da29.html


I like the TCF's guidlines on how to set up a cabinet and all that but the cabling amounts are just retarded. You can't just say to people run 2xcat6 and 2xrg6 to every outlet. Like in their diagram in the office they show there will be a modem, phone, printer and computer. 2xcat6 is not enough! You need 4 network cables. And in the kitchen there is just one phone yet they say run 4 cables to it. WTF?! And don't even get me started on lounge. I think they have that back to front. I would put 2xRG6 and 4xCat6 because you are going to use HDMI most of the time and not RF modulators. Run cables for what you need and then add one extra for future. Don't just cable it to what the TCF say.


+1

I can see what they are trying to achieve in general with that document, but cant help but wonder that if they lowered things down a notch then it might get more widespread adoption by non-geeks/electricians than its current form which is likely to end up in the too hard basket for many. But I digress.

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  Reply # 633511 31-May-2012 15:40 Send private message

nickb800:
3) Do masthead amps pass through signal effectively when they aren't powered? Reason that I ask is that the in our current house at the location (we are building in front of our old house), we have a masthead amp, however have quite old cabling and a very old UHF antenna. I would like to find out if the masthead amp is really necessary, but dont want to physically remove/isolate it. If I simply remove the power injector from the circuit, the signal is too bad. Will the masthead amp be attenuating the signal significantly if it is unpowered? We are in the middle of Paraparaumu, so no major hills in between us and Ngarara, so I might have thought that with a 43 element antenna, I should get enough signal without an amp (im trying to skimp on the $100 for an amp here)


Funny, I recently bypassed the in-laws masthead amp in the middle of Paraparaumu, as the power supply was missing. It is a 43 element UHF and it gets a very strong digital TV signal. I used 2x screw-on F-type plugs, and a back-to-back F-type joiner. (and some insulation tape, but self-amalgamating rubber tape would be best). Cost about $3.

EDIT: they got no signal at all prior to me bypassing the amp.

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  Reply # 633512 31-May-2012 15:40 Send private message

Why run phone cables? Run only Ethernet and adapters if you need to have a wired phone somewhere. Go wireless on phones and a UPS for when power goes out. When I get to it I'll modify my UPS to get 12V straight out instead of stepping up to 240V and back down to 12V. This will drive my VoIP modem, wireless phone, and a couple of other things.

Regarding wireless phones, you are not supposed to charge NiMH batteries 24/7. You can and it is not dangerous, by they will fail within 1 to 2 years. I've got an older model DECT phone (3 actually) and charge them once a week. In theory the batteries will last 10 years. I can go into a long detailed explanation, but not today, trust me, I've studied battery technologies.

I would not go overboard with coax, the future is in streaming (either internet or home network).




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  Reply # 633515 31-May-2012 15:43 Send private message

Hi, amps dont pass very much with the power off.

Supereme antennas (SADL.co.nz) in Levin have hundreds of j poles plus all the other TV stuff you need, you will find them in Power street.

I recommend 3 runs to each major AV site, plus 1 run to the TV above for the freeview (assuming wall mounted), minor AV areas, 2 to AV area below and one to the TV on the wall. Master bed just one to a low location for a possible sky box and one to the wall mounted TV is fine. Minor bedrooms, just a single low TV point is fine.

Also dont forget a cat5e run to each wall mounted TV for the inbuilt media player/client.

Sky have no medium term plans for capacity on a 2nd orbit location, therefore one run to a dish and one to the UHF antenna are fine, if you need another Sky feed in future then diplexing the UHF feed should do.

Most definitely dont scrimp on the hub cabinet, I would do the ST3600, and dont forget the 2 CAt5e/6 runs to each room, although thtat said minor bedrooms can scrimp by on one and maybe a decent high location in the nearby hall cupboard for a wifi AP. Obviously office areas need more, and TO plus GPO up high in teh pantry to cover the main open plan living area makes good sense too.

http://www.sigtech.co.nz/webapps/p/72000/105425/440756

Also dont forget to allow for the mounting of an ONT in the garage near the demarc, make sure the 2 or 3 cat5e runs you have from there to the hub are easily accessible as is the rear of the demarc (just use a blank plated flush box directly behind the demarc) so you can sort the fibre to the ont and cat5e runs to ont with little hassle, and a GPO to power the ont.

Cyril



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  Reply # 633522 31-May-2012 15:49 Send private message

Skolink:
nickb800:
3) Do masthead amps pass through signal effectively when they aren't powered? Reason that I ask is that the in our current house at the location (we are building in front of our old house), we have a masthead amp, however have quite old cabling and a very old UHF antenna. I would like to find out if the masthead amp is really necessary, but dont want to physically remove/isolate it. If I simply remove the power injector from the circuit, the signal is too bad. Will the masthead amp be attenuating the signal significantly if it is unpowered? We are in the middle of Paraparaumu, so no major hills in between us and Ngarara, so I might have thought that with a 43 element antenna, I should get enough signal without an amp (im trying to skimp on the $100 for an amp here)


Funny, I recently bypassed the in-laws masthead amp in the middle of Paraparaumu, as the power supply was missing. It is a 43 element UHF and it gets a very strong digital TV signal. I used 2x screw-on F-type plugs, and a back-to-back F-type joiner. (and some insulation tape, but self-amalgamating rubber tape would be best). Cost about $3.

EDIT: they got no signal at all prior to me bypassing the amp.


Yeah, i wouldve done that if the masthead amp had f-type connectors, but it has the old style saddle/clamp ones. I just know that the cable will be corroded, and ill have to replace it if i tinker with it.

Good to know the signal is good there. I think ill just wing it without an amp, and order one later if it doesnt work out

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  Reply # 633531 31-May-2012 16:10 Send private message

nickb800:
Skolink:
nickb800:
3) Do masthead amps pass through signal effectively when they aren't powered? Reason that I ask is that the in our current house at the location (we are building in front of our old house), we have a masthead amp, however have quite old cabling and a very old UHF antenna. I would like to find out if the masthead amp is really necessary, but dont want to physically remove/isolate it. If I simply remove the power injector from the circuit, the signal is too bad. Will the masthead amp be attenuating the signal significantly if it is unpowered? We are in the middle of Paraparaumu, so no major hills in between us and Ngarara, so I might have thought that with a 43 element antenna, I should get enough signal without an amp (im trying to skimp on the $100 for an amp here)


Funny, I recently bypassed the in-laws masthead amp in the middle of Paraparaumu, as the power supply was missing. It is a 43 element UHF and it gets a very strong digital TV signal. I used 2x screw-on F-type plugs, and a back-to-back F-type joiner. (and some insulation tape, but self-amalgamating rubber tape would be best). Cost about $3.

EDIT: they got no signal at all prior to me bypassing the amp.


Yeah, i wouldve done that if the masthead amp had f-type connectors, but it has the old style saddle/clamp ones. I just know that the cable will be corroded, and ill have to replace it if i tinker with it.

Good to know the signal is good there. I think ill just wing it without an amp, and order one later if it doesnt work out


Sorry, I meant twist-on F-type connectors, like these or these. The amp just had the saddle/screw down type terminations.



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  Reply # 633566 31-May-2012 17:13 Send private message

cyril7: Hi, amps dont pass very much with the power off.

Supereme antennas (SADL.co.nz) in Levin have hundreds of j poles plus all the other TV stuff you need, you will find them in Power street.

I recommend 3 runs to each major AV site, plus 1 run to the TV above for the freeview (assuming wall mounted), minor AV areas, 2 to AV area below and one to the TV on the wall. Master bed just one to a low location for a possible sky box and one to the wall mounted TV is fine. Minor bedrooms, just a single low TV point is fine.

Also dont forget a cat5e run to each wall mounted TV for the inbuilt media player/client.

Sky have no medium term plans for capacity on a 2nd orbit location, therefore one run to a dish and one to the UHF antenna are fine, if you need another Sky feed in future then diplexing the UHF feed should do.

Most definitely dont scrimp on the hub cabinet, I would do the ST3600, and dont forget the 2 CAt5e/6 runs to each room, although thtat said minor bedrooms can scrimp by on one and maybe a decent high location in the nearby hall cupboard for a wifi AP. Obviously office areas need more, and TO plus GPO up high in teh pantry to cover the main open plan living area makes good sense too.

http://www.sigtech.co.nz/webapps/p/72000/105425/440756

Also dont forget to allow for the mounting of an ONT in the garage near the demarc, make sure the 2 or 3 cat5e runs you have from there to the hub are easily accessible as is the rear of the demarc (just use a blank plated flush box directly behind the demarc) so you can sort the fibre to the ont and cat5e runs to ont with little hassle, and a GPO to power the ont.

Cyril

I didnt know supreme handled walk up customers - thats good to know

Flush box behind the demark, noted.

I wont be installing a satellite at this stage, nor the cable for it, but just wanted to think about how many rg6 to feed to the main TV. Sounds like 3 is a good number, given sky only needs 1



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  Reply # 634780 2-Jun-2012 19:22 Send private message

Have been getting a little bit excited about this all, even though the prewire is a couple of weeks away.
Made up a frame for TV distribution, inputs from antenna, satellite, etc at the right, and outputs to TVs on the left. RG6 comes through those grommets.


Have an oversized cat5e patch panel, so using one of the extra 6 jack modules to make a separate phone distribution module, along the lines of cyril7's st2206


So should look really nice and tidy once its all done. Though probably under-used, its a one TV household at the moment, with no plans to change that. Gotta future proof it!

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  Reply # 634795 2-Jun-2012 20:21 Send private message

chevrolux:
illicit: http://www.tcf.org.nz/content/02b3940f-1b3b-4cc8-bfc6-28173756da29.html


I like the TCF's guidlines on how to set up a cabinet and all that but the cabling amounts are just retarded. You can't just say to people run 2xcat6 and 2xrg6 to every outlet. Like in their diagram in the office they show there will be a modem, phone, printer and computer. 2xcat6 is not enough! You need 4 network cables. And in the kitchen there is just one phone yet they say run 4 cables to it. WTF?! And don't even get me started on lounge. I think they have that back to front. I would put 2xRG6 and 4xCat6 because you are going to use HDMI most of the time and not RF modulators. Run cables for what you need and then add one extra for future. Don't just cable it to what the TCF say.


The TCF guidelines very clearly say in many places that their guidelines are minimum spec.

The problem is the vast majority of people don't really have a clue. I was installing a master filter at a house recently probably close to a $1 million last week and underdoing a complete refit. The sparky there
was simply rewiring the phone in series with somewhere in the vicinity of 7 jackpoints. He was also using RG59 for the TV. He quite clearly knew nothing about TV or data despite thinking he was an expert.





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