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61 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 150310 18-Jul-2014 09:28
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Hi all.

My wife and I are doing an extension and renovation of our home soon and I'm thinking that it might be the time to add some structured wiring. Unfortunately the budget is such that I'll have to do the work myself and even after all my research I still have some unanswered questions, and need some clarification on some things.

Some quick info:
Single story weatherboard home with under house access on a gently sloped section going from standing height at the back to lying (40-50cm) at front. Small roof space with trusses everywhere but I could get in there if need be :)


OK, here goes:

Panel position
Is it OK to put a distribution panel under the house? It's not a lined basement, just concrete block foundations and only has a concrete pad about 2mx3m near one end (with standing room), with the rest of the area being dirt. It doesn't get muddy under the house (It's actually dry for most) but the dirt near where the panel would go does get noticeably damp. I will be installing a damp barrier (polythene) on the ground eventually but I'm not sure when. It reall would be the most convenient place for the panel for us otherwise I have to put it inside a linen cupboard, which means less storage and general ugliness. I'll be putting patch bay, switch, fibre box (??) maybe coax distribution and phone distro in there.

Plug types
Assuming I want network, video, audio and phone in the long term, can this all be done with just RJ45's (cat6) and adapters for versatility or should I ensure I have some coax as well for the AV?

Also, what type of connector is typically used for coax at the wall plate? PDL (What the rest of the house is so I'll be matching it) seem to only make "old style RF" modules as opposed to F connectors. Does this matter?

PreWiring
In reality our needs will likely be met with just office and media room wiring, but I'm trying to limit the cost/effort required in the future if we decide to add to places like the bedroom or speakers in the living area but I'm not sure of the best approach.

Would you recommend prewiring everything and just leaving it in the wall; or Flush boxes + pull up cords and no cables; or just drill through the floor (the trickiest part to do later??) and leave it at that, or nothing? If I can avoid the time/cost of running cables I might never use then I'd prefer that but if it's a complete nightmare to drill floor holes later, or pull cables I'll do it up front.

Unit Spacing
All I've read suggests if you have more than one unit (or a power point already there) that they are not put opposite sides of a stud due to difficulties in cutting the gib that narrow. What do you typically do in this case? Is it OK to add a bit of timber to the side of the stud to basically make it a 2 stud spacing or alternatively place them horizontally under each other with a good spacing between? What should this spacing be?

Fibre Box
Will have to be moved from where it is so is this typically in the panel too?

Flush Box Choice
I see there are essentially enclosed (metal) boxes with pop-out holes, open backed plastic ones and even just simple plates with nothing behind them at all. Is there any particular (dis)advantage of either? Is there any major issue with thermal-properties and how they affect insulation or future wiring?


Sorry for the long post but I guessed it was better to throw it all in together as opposed to make a bunch of threads.

Many thanks
Aaron

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1091194 18-Jul-2014 09:32
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PDL do F modules for 600 series at least - they have blank ones and labeled ones. It's just a F-F female on each side.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1091195 18-Jul-2014 09:34
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Have you searched the forums, there is lots of threads on this subject.
You should find all of your answers there



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1091201 18-Jul-2014 09:48
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RunningMan: PDL do F modules for 600 series at least - they have blank ones and labeled ones. It's just a F-F female on each side.

OK, I'll look again. I was looking at their site and maybe it's just a problem with the image they are providing but they looked like the non-f type.

Thanks.

Brunzy: Have you searched the forums, there is lots of threads on this subject.
You should find all of your answers there


Hi Brunzy. I have, yes, but often I find answers not quite exactly what I'm after in some cases. Will keep searching.


Cheers

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  Reply # 1091212 18-Jul-2014 10:23
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  Reply # 1091223 18-Jul-2014 10:37
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Your panel would be better IN the house. It will house your routers and/or switches which like dry conditions. It's also easier if you decide to repatch something.

Run coax and ethernet (not sure on speaker cable). Use F-connectors NOT RF sockets. You can get F-connectors that screw on to the cable so you won't need to get a crimp tool to terminate cables. You WILL need a punchdown tool for the CAT cable though.

Use standard plastic flushboxes or the open plastic ones if you feel the need. There is no problem putting boxes on both sides of a stud, it makes good sense in many situations.

I have put (and would recommend it) twin CATx to every room. I'd also recommend it to everywhere you'd want a phone plugged in or a TV positioned. 
You have a lot of space under the house, so adding in the future shouldn't be an issue. Finding walls is usually easy enough if you have carpet. You bang a nail through the floor next to the wall then go find it under the floor.
It will certainly be easier to do it all at once, and there is a possibility you won't find matching gear in the future (more likely for the panel).




Location: Dunedin



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  Reply # 1091234 18-Jul-2014 10:53
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andrewNZ: Your panel would be better IN the house. It will house your routers and/or switches which like dry conditions. It's also easier if you decide to repatch something.

Run coax and ethernet (not sure on speaker cable). Use F-connectors NOT RF sockets. You can get F-connectors that screw on to the cable so you won't need to get a crimp tool to terminate cables. You WILL need a punchdown tool for the CAT cable though.

Use standard plastic flushboxes or the open plastic ones if you feel the need. There is no problem putting boxes on both sides of a stud, it makes good sense in many situations.

I have put (and would recommend it) twin CATx to every room. I'd also recommend it to everywhere you'd want a phone plugged in or a TV positioned. 
You have a lot of space under the house, so adding in the future shouldn't be an issue. Finding walls is usually easy enough if you have carpet. You bang a nail through the floor next to the wall then go find it under the floor.
It will certainly be easier to do it all at once, and there is a possibility you won't find matching gear in the future (more likely for the panel).


Thanks Andrew.   There will be a mix of carpet (Bedrooms) and wooden floors but anywhere with a wooden floor will have cabling on external walls (Open plan house) so that should be easier to get right I imagine.


Interesting to hear about the placement on a stud given what I've read elsewhere.

Thanks
Aaron

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  Reply # 1091395 18-Jul-2014 13:33
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I presume you mean the ONT when you mention the 'fibre box'?

It doesn't need to be moved as you can just run an ethernet cable to the control panel. Moving the ONT requires a fibre job!



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1091398 18-Jul-2014 13:36
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linw: I presume you mean the ONT when you mention the 'fibre box'?

It doesn't need to be moved as you can just run an ethernet cable to the control panel. Moving the ONT requires a fibre job!


Sorry yes I mean ONT. You're right I don't NEED to move it but in our case it's in our office which is being demolished and becoming a dining room and it'd look pretty naff there so I'd prefer to move it :)

Cheers


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1091435 18-Jul-2014 14:32
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AzaK:
linw: I presume you mean the ONT when you mention the 'fibre box'?

It doesn't need to be moved as you can just run an ethernet cable to the control panel. Moving the ONT requires a fibre job!


Sorry yes I mean ONT. You're right I don't NEED to move it but in our case it's in our office which is being demolished and becoming a dining room and it'd look pretty naff there so I'd prefer to move it :)

Cheers



IN that case you will have to pay the fibre Company (Possible Chorus ) to move it - and No they wont put it under the floor

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1091839 18-Jul-2014 23:04
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Something that was recommended to me in another thread:-

Rather than wiring cables and sockets you may never use, if your access is good both under the floor and in the ceiling, you should take the opportunity while your wall linings are off to make sure you can pull wires between those two spaces easily in the future. So, you might want to drill holes through the nogs in the wall in a few key locations and put a draw wire or plastic conduit in.

If you have good under floor access, adding in new data jacks in the future shouldn't be too difficult. The path for cables you put between the ceiling a subfloor will also let you run any cable from the ceiling space (for example for a new UHF aerial) down to the sub-floor, where you can route it back up into a jack.

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