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#153604 2-Oct-2014 16:08
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We are building a new house and now is the time to make plans for concealed cabling, etc. 

I'd love to hear some ideas:  If you were (are?) building, what would you plan for in terms of home automation, media, networking, general geekery?

I have mixed feelings about home automation.  The geek in me would love to understand lights/heating/blinds controlled from a smart phone, but any time I think about it it just seems impractical, especially with kids - but I'm happy to be convinced? 
However I do have an interest in automated path lighting at night, in the hallway and outside; weather station and automated watering; security; power monitoring (we're hoping to include solar panels).

There are some obvious things, like running a cat6 to each room.  I'm going to need a "server closet" somewhere aren't I, for router, NAS, modem etc?  But what else?  What would you include, given the opportunity?

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  #1145798 2-Oct-2014 16:59
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There are some obvious things, like running a cat6 to each room

Dont Just run one, run lots

Everywhere you think you might want a TV, run a Aerial feed and a Cat 6 cable,

For places where you think you will have AV gear, (STB, Freeview recorder etc) run a few more,

Think about if/where you want to have wifi points and run cable there too,

Run ducting from outside into your "server room/cupboard" so you are fibre ready

edit: spelling

 

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  #1145803 2-Oct-2014 17:09
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There's a big thread on this general topic that happened in within the past few months, it's worth having a look for.

Server closet good. Multiple runs of Ethernet to each room, with maybe four ports where you expect your TV to be. Wire in for rear surround speakers.

I'd be looking more at other things: insulation, heating (central would be nice), ventilation (ideally integrated with heating, and central), double glazed PVC windows that can be locked closed or open, passive heating (eg large eaves prevents sun shining into house in summer, lets it in during winter), good drainage for the lawn could mean running perforated pipes around, maybe keyless entry.

 
 
 
 


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  #1145808 2-Oct-2014 17:16
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Central vacuum is also a great thing to have - not very geeky though.

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  #1145873 2-Oct-2014 18:45
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Geeky stuff for automation change too fast, and everything is moving to WiFi/Bluetooth/BLE/Zigbee/NFC anyway.  For about 10-12 years now I've been using a wireless alarm system with fixed codes (not rolling/hopping codes) but the design is so good that it is nearly impossible to hack.  Don't think I'll ever go back to any wired systems (except for a couple of meter).

Network point for TVs and STBs, maybe a few for computers but again wireless is fine these days.

Couple of power points inside the roof cavity for working there, plugging in a ventilation system (which evolves over time), or even to run a server hidden in the ceiling space.

Outdoor power point so you can later run cable through the garden for lights, electric gate etc.

Consider running CAT6 to a gate for a wired video intercom (this is where wireless don't work well unless you buy expensive stuff).  Maybe a few CAT6 + 12V power cables through the ceiling cavity for network security cameras, probably one cable to each corner of the house as you can run 2x 100Mbps connections over one cable.

Trunking to where the garden water controller will be.




You can never have enough Volvos!




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  #1146781 3-Oct-2014 16:40
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Thanks for some really good suggestions.  I have plenty of research to do on a number of topics.  One thread I've found really interesting is this solar power thread.
I have had a good hunt but must be overlooking the thread you're referring to timmmay. 

A pretty ignorant question, but one I've been wondering about:  with that number of ethernet points throughout the house, what do they all terminate to in the central server closet?  A patchbay?  Or do I need a really big switch/router, one with a port for each ethernet point in the house?  I currently have 4 ports on my router and already struggle with having to choose what to have connected at once.  I have found wifi to be good for streaming a movie, or playing an online game, or general internet browing, but never more than one at a time.  That's probably a separate issue with my wireless.

TV requires more thought, we can't get terrestrial Freeview due the shadow of a hill and I'm not interested in SD satellite and another box.  Currently we have Freeview via cable which is great, but that only feeds one TV.  I need to look into alternatives to broadcast TV.


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  #1146783 3-Oct-2014 16:42
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Ethernet ports can sit in a Patch panel not connected to anything. Then you simply need to plug the specific plug on the panel into your switch as and when you need it

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  #1146791 3-Oct-2014 16:51
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You can even leave the cables unterminated, both at the server closet and and the other end.  When you need them you can put a connection on either end.  This assumes that you are able to do this yourself, you wouldn't want to get a cabling contractor in every time you decide you want to use a connector.  Just make sure the cables are labelled at both ends, even cables that are terminated should be labelled.

 
 
 
 


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  #1146793 3-Oct-2014 16:56
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Rhinosaur:
A pretty ignorant question, but one I've been wondering about:  with that number of ethernet points throughout the house, what do they all terminate to in the central server closet?  A patchbay?  Or do I need a really big switch/router, one with a port for each ethernet point in the house?  I currently have 4 ports on my router and already struggle with having to choose what to have connected at once. 


Buy a 24 port switch and be done with it...
They are not that expensive,

Something like this

http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?z=p&p=SWHHPC1165757

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  #1146810 3-Oct-2014 17:23
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Server Room, 4 Cat6 to every room I would say at least personally, as it is so useful. If you want to go hard out Cat6 to every wall in the house.




Home ADSL:                                                             School: 
 


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  #1146872 3-Oct-2014 18:29
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Also, DUCTING. Makes life so much easier if you need to upgrade. Get a patch panel and wire up all your ethernet points to it and then just get a switch, and then you can patch them in. Remember to name them, makes life so much easier when you are patching them in. Just print out labels if possible and just number them around the house. Try get everything on a server rack.




Home ADSL:                                                             School: 
 


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  #1146874 3-Oct-2014 18:33
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Every TV = 4 Cat 6.
1 for connection to the web.
1 for a HD Base-T solution (instead of straight HDMI).
1 for future proofing of a HD Base-T solution (UHD bandwidth as an example).
1 spare just in case you have a cable failure / a VPN solution etc.

Overkill of ethernet is a good thing.

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  #1146877 3-Oct-2014 18:37
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wellygary:
Rhinosaur:
A pretty ignorant question, but one I've been wondering about:  with that number of ethernet points throughout the house, what do they all terminate to in the central server closet?  A patchbay?  Or do I need a really big switch/router, one with a port for each ethernet point in the house?  I currently have 4 ports on my router and already struggle with having to choose what to have connected at once. 


Buy a 24 port switch and be done with it...
They are not that expensive,

Something like this

http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?z=p&p=SWHHPC1165757


I bought that switch, came with lifetime warranty (not sure if it still does) and is fanless so no noise.   

This is the perfect switch for a house. 



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  #1147552 5-Oct-2014 11:30
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surfisup1000:
wellygary:
Rhinosaur:
A pretty ignorant question, but one I've been wondering about:  with that number of ethernet points throughout the house, what do they all terminate to in the central server closet?  A patchbay?  Or do I need a really big switch/router, one with a port for each ethernet point in the house?  I currently have 4 ports on my router and already struggle with having to choose what to have connected at once. 


Buy a 24 port switch and be done with it...
They are not that expensive,

Something like this

http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?z=p&p=SWHHPC1165757


I bought that switch, came with lifetime warranty (not sure if it still does) and is fanless so no noise.   

This is the perfect switch for a house. 


That looks perfect thanks.

Thanks for the other suggestions too.  I have to keep in mind the wife factor, and to be honest the server closet is purely hypothetical.  (There won't be a server rack, haha).  It looks like one shelf in the linen cupboard might suffice...


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  #1147560 5-Oct-2014 11:40
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does the switch get hot?


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  #1147565 5-Oct-2014 12:44
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If I was building a house I'd probably want ducting to each room, so that things can change in 20 years when the cables are different, and then a removable piece of wall material (wood, metal, I don't know) that means I can easily run the cables to the jacks, wire them and then cover it again with the material.

 

I'd also like a small network/device cupboard that could fit all the central components, with ventilation and soundproofing, as well as a smoke alarm.  Perhaps another on of these cupboards in the lounge behind a TV mount, with a small opening to feed the cables to the TV, as well as IR blasters.

 

It would also be great to find out where Wifi routers could be positioned to funnel the signals into rooms for best performance for minimum hardware, with these positions also having adjustable screw head clips so you can hang all sizes of wireless routers on the wall, without drilling more holes.

 

My biggest concern with the technology aspect would be making it future proof beyond the technology horizon.  

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