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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, my family suffered a house fire last year and we are just at the rough in stage of the rebuild. Would like opinions as well as links for research on a smart panel for all cable, data and telephone wires termination point next to the breaker box. Plan chosen so far is based on coax and cat5 to all TV and computer locations as well as 2 cat6 runs from termination to TVs. HDMI run from computer to TV with additional cat5. The home vacuum will be getting installed next week and furnace ducting finished then also. The time is now and I never thought of future proofing the wiring until this week :mad: Need help and info quick. Companies have different view of what a smart panel is but I'm interested to know what people could suggest that have personal experience with this. Not someone trying to profit. I am not so much interested in automation, mostly just video and audio distribution through the home.
Please, to keep thread short and to the point, refrain from expressing condolences on my situation and thank you. We've moved forward and need to get this done.
Thanks in advance for all helpful replies.
 

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Do the wiring first. The panel can be done later.

See this thread and this thread for previous discussions.

I would string a CAT6 and RG6 to most locations. Rooms that will have servers or more than one PC or TCP/IP device may require more than one RG6 (though a switch can be used to share an IP drop if the load is low.) I would run extra CAT6 and RG6 drops to the home theater location. It may also be wise to run extra electrical circuits for PCs, servers and home theater. (Definitely put the home theater on its own circuit.)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks ScaryBob, I don't think I'll have any problems with what wiring to run and where. More than anything I'm curious to know what to use at the the termination of all the wires (demark?) in the way of smart panel or junction box for future proofing. We use 2 ISP's in the family, the upper level is on Shaw digital phone and Shaw cable the bottom level shares the Shaw cable for now but may switch to Optik as it currently uses Telus phone and internet and the fibre optic line has become available since the fire.
Thanks for the links to the other post. Never found it in my forum search. I think my searches were too specific for the panel.
 

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It kind or depends on how much room you have and the look you want?

I have a 19" wall mount bracket with a 24 port patch panel, 24 port switch and 2 shelves that I have an old Bell receiver, Slingbox, modem and my router all mounted in the laundry room.

Search "keystone patch panel" you'll find a products that should enable you to install data, phone or coax all on the same board.

Or if your after cabinet or enclosure search "Leviton Residential Solutions"
 

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For future proofing, you may want to install conduit from all the outlets down to the basement or utility room so that you can change the wiring later as technology changes. Just a thought.
 

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Install two runs of CAT-6 to each room of the house (except bathrooms), then 4 runs of CAT-6 to the home theatre room.

Where the CAT-6 goes, also install an RG-6 cable. Double up on the home theatre room.

All cables come to one junction point where they can then be managed. As for the panel, it can be something simple as a piece of plywood, or a box where things are mounted and organized.

Phones are going VoIP. Down the road, rooms that you can't imagine would be "connected" could turn into home offices (when the kids move out).

As stated previously, the interconnect panel is secondary to the runs of cables that can be installed.

One more tip when buying patch panels and connectors. Please use the CAT-6 adapters. They are different than the CAT-5e adapters.

CAT-6 use 23 GA wiring, CAT-5e uses 24 GA.

In the home theatre room, if you're planning a projector, then run a 3" pipe from the projector to the amplifiers/DVD/BD/games consoles rack. Also run 16 GA speaker wires to the appropriate places in the wall for the surround speakers.

The pipe is to allow changing the HDMI cable for whatever will replace it going forward. A 2" pipe could be a bit small, depending on the connnectors at the end of the cables, and would also be tricky if the pipe has a lot of bends in it.
 

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I second getting the wires in place first then worrying about the panel later. Depending on your layout and equipment I would suggest 2 dedicated circuits for you media/living room if you plan on having amps, speakers, subs. I would stay away from cat5 and run all cat6 (I don't think the cost is too different these days). For all your LV locations throughout the house ensure that you use the Class 2 boxes and not electrical boxes. You will find that if you use electrical boxes that you don't have the space to fit the jacks and any extra wire.

at each location throughout the house run 2 cat6 and 2 RG6. The 2 RG6 will allow for dual tuner sat PVR (I know you said you weren't using Sat but is always a good idea for a selling feature or a service change down the road)

If you are planning for a projector I would just run 4 cat6 to the location and use HDMI baluns rather than worrying about HDMI cables and length restrictions. I would also run a wire cat5/6 from the amp location looped at the projector and to an approximate left side of the screen location as well as an electrical circuit with an outlet box in the ceiling. This will allow for a powered screen with 12v control triggered by either the amp or the projo.

I install Home Automation and will tell you that for every LV job we install we use a wall mounted rack (usually 8U). We have a 24 port network switch (1U), 24 port (1U) and 48 port (2U) cat5 patch panel and a 12 port (1U) coax distribution.

The 24 port panel is used strictly for phone distribution and the 48 port is for ethernet and controls with 1' patch cables between the switch and the panel.

Since everything is going to be over fibre, it gets transfered from fibre to ethernet at the demark then ethernet out to TV and Network so you may want 2 Network switches to allow one for internet and one for TV (I don't think you can combine the signals).

If you are looking for a cheaper solution, use another sheet of plywood beside your electrical panel and mount your equipment to it using zip-ties and double sided tape. Providing that whoever trims it out plans first then does the trim out it will look fairly nice and will be very serviceable. If everything is just slapped up with no planning it will look horrible and not serviceable. Ensure that you have 2 outlets installed (same circuit) to allow for all the devices to receive power and keep it as low as possible on the plywood sheet to allow for maximum useable space.

Try to keep all your service in feeds on the left and networking and distribution on the right.

Also if you are building anything different then a bungalow install a 2" pipe from your electrical room to the attic to allow for running wire in the future.

You will have to wait for the HVAC and Plumbers to finish before installing any wires. I know it sounds kind of dumb but they have priority over runs and locations and cannot adjust their runs to accommodate the electrical or LV wires. This is a standard that I have accepted as I have wired houses prior to them finishing and had to go back and re-run wires since they were cut by the HVAC and plumbers.

Sorry for the length of the post but I think that you are getting a little ahead of yourself worrying about the terminations rather than the actual wiring.
 
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