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  • Geek My Crib

    Some are aware, most don't care, but my house burned about 6 months ago. It was stripped down to the studs and no solid walls remain. We're at the point now of wiring / plumbing and I've picked out my wiring closet, had two legs of electricity run to it, and will go with leventon modules to distribute data / video / phone. I've pulled cat5 throughout as I'm using that for phone as well. I've pulled my cable for video to needed areas.

    Now, I got about $80 grand in content money and instead of replacing some items, I want to really tech my house out...so here it is:

    If you had about $30 - $40 grand, and nothing in your house but the studs, what would you do? I really want to investigate wireless options but am limited in my experience / imagination. I want a security system with cams and DVI, a "smart home" system, etc, but just wonder if other like minded individuals had the opportunity what they would do.
    Last edited by SlackJaw; April 23, 2007, 17:41.
    "640k ought to be enough for anybody" - Bill Gates 1981

  • #2
    Re: Geek My Crib

    Originally posted by SlackJaw View Post
    If you had about $30 - $40 grand, and nothing in your house but the studs, what would you do? I really want to investigate wireless options but am limited in my experience / imagination. I want a security system with cams and DVI, a "smart home" system, etc, but just wonder if other like minded individuals had the opportunity what they would do.
    Large pipe conduit for data cables and new, heavy gauge copper power cables capable of supporting 20amp loads or more with no problems. Power run 2 feet from data conduit when possible. Support for E-Power or true UPS upgrades (in the future) and support for integration of SolarCells (on the roof) to feed you power too.

    Conduit makes upgrade in media easier, years down the road.

    UPS and SolarPower support are also good for future upgrades.

    Vents to your NOC/Power closet to keep it cool -- especially if you add switches or network devices.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Geek My Crib

      General: What TheCotman said about conduits. When Cat 8, 9 04 10 come down the road replacing that Cat5 will be so much easier. Also, put "wiring closets" on each floor that are directly connected to each other by 4" conduit. The wiring closet on each floor doesn't have to be large, -one end of a bedroom closet would work- but should allow for wiring access. Leave doubled pull lines in all the conduits. If it's a large house, think about fiber connecting the wiring closets. Yeah, fiber may seem like overkill, but Cat5 in a house was overkill 10 years ago. Consider this: My son lives in NYC and his phone, DSL and "cable TV" are all delivered into his house via fiber (Verizon FiOS). Fiber between the floors will be a logical connection path if something similar comes to your area.

      Power: Leave space in the area of the electric main panel for generator connections and/or total house UPS connections.

      Network: Forget wireless as a general connection. It's great for laptops and mobile devices, but can be difficult for a total system. The best advice I can give is: "Run more Cat6." The real cost with Cat6 is the installation labor. The cable itself is cheap by comparison. Run it everywhere you can think, and then double it or quad at each location.

      Phones: Phones are becoming IP devices, even if you are using POTS at this time. Your use of Cat6 is great, just make sure it goes into a patch panel a the same location as the network. Sooner or later the phones will just be another network device, and switching from POTS to VoIP will be simpler.

      Video and Surveillance:
      Coax is OK, as long as it's for TV/cable/satellite video, but it's age is showing, as video devices become IP devices. Again, "Run more Cat6." Forget coax for surveillance video. Even composite surveillance video will now run over Cat6 with the addition of a balun at each end. As the surveillance cameras become IP devices, it will be a matter of merely changing the device and he connection at the patch panel.

      Sorry to hear about the house fire.
      Thorn
      "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Geek My Crib

        http://www.hiddenpassageway.com
        "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
        - Trent Reznor

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        • #5
          Re: Geek My Crib

          I'm guessing calling Xzibit is out of the question?
          Nonnumquam cupido magnas partes Interretis vincendi me corripit

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Geek My Crib

            Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
            Large pipe conduit for data cables and new, heavy gauge copper power cables capable of supporting 20amp loads or more with no problems. Power run 2 feet from data conduit when possible. Support for E-Power or true UPS upgrades (in the future) and support for integration of SolarCells (on the roof) to feed you power too.

            Conduit makes upgrade in media easier, years down the road.

            UPS and SolarPower support are also good for future upgrades.

            Vents to your NOC/Power closet to keep it cool -- especially if you add switches or network devices.
            Ok, you lost me on some ideas but I follow you on others. I did run all but electricity through conduit, and did not staple (future fiber?) Also, I vented my closet through the roof with 2 4" ducts and fans. I don't know much about high voltage electrical wire so the electricians already ran that - I assume standard.

            Are you just screwing with me saying to run the power near the data? I thought that caused noise. And you lost me on solar...I researched and came to the understanding that the hot water heater was the only viable solar device.
            "640k ought to be enough for anybody" - Bill Gates 1981

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Geek My Crib

              Originally posted by Thorn View Post
              General: What TheCotman said about conduits. When Cat 8, 9 04 10 come down the road replacing that Cat5 will be so much easier. Also, put "wiring closets" on each floor that are directly connected to each other by 4" conduit. The wiring closet on each floor doesn't have to be large, -one end of a bedroom closet would work- but should allow for wiring access. Leave doubled pull lines in all the conduits. If it's a large house, think about fiber connecting the wiring closets. Yeah, fiber may seem like overkill, but Cat5 in a house was overkill 10 years ago. Consider this: My son lives in NYC and his phone, DSL and "cable TV" are all delivered into his house via fiber (Verizon FiOS). Fiber between the floors will be a logical connection path if something similar comes to your area.

              Power: Leave space in the area of the electric main panel for generator connections and/or total house UPS connections.

              Network: Forget wireless as a general connection. It's great for laptops and mobile devices, but can be difficult for a total system. The best advice I can give is: "Run more Cat6." The real cost with Cat6 is the installation labor. The cable itself is cheap by comparison. Run it everywhere you can think, and then double it or quad at each location.

              Phones: Phones are becoming IP devices, even if you are using POTS at this time. Your use of Cat6 is great, just make sure it goes into a patch panel a the same location as the network. Sooner or later the phones will just be another network device, and switching from POTS to VoIP will be simpler.

              Video and Surveillance:
              Coax is OK, as long as it's for TV/cable/satellite video, but it's age is showing, as video devices become IP devices. Again, "Run more Cat6." Forget coax for surveillance video. Even composite surveillance video will now run over Cat6 with the addition of a balun at each end. As the surveillance cameras become IP devices, it will be a matter of merely changing the device and he connection at the patch panel.

              Sorry to hear about the house fire.
              Thanks Frank, and don't be sorry. I lost a few personal items but I'm having the time of my life with the possibilities. (I've moved walls, closets, built for a hot tub, etc...)

              It IS a big house, but one floor.

              I was stupid for not pulling CAT6, but we had over 3000 ft of CAT5e, so I used it.

              I ran CAT5 for POTS, and didn't really give thought to VoIP in the future. I still have time to plan here, THANK YOU.

              I did use double gang plates and quaded all the bedrooms, office and kitchen as well as the den where I pulled for the entertainment center. ( HERE's another place I lack knowledge and god knows I've researched... I at least know I'm using ceiling mount speakers.

              I would have thought you would have pushed wireless more, but I just want to connect from the car (on board system) and my notebook from the yard. Is 9db the highest antenna I can get? I actually believe I will build the antenna.
              "640k ought to be enough for anybody" - Bill Gates 1981

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Geek My Crib

                Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                Interesting site. I actually will have a faux built in bookcase with a compartment and wall safe.
                "640k ought to be enough for anybody" - Bill Gates 1981

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Geek My Crib

                  Originally posted by SlackJaw View Post
                  I would have thought you would have pushed wireless more, but I just want to connect from the car (on board system) and my notebook from the yard. Is 9db the highest antenna I can get? I actually believe I will build the antenna.
                  Switched wired really is preferable for most things, unless they're mobile. The problem with wireless is that it can be prone to interference, and it can bog down with too many devices on it. I really like wireless, but I do know the limits.

                  The largest omni-directional antenna is 15dBd, although most places usually don't have over 12dBd. Building one is relatively easy, and there are plenty of DIY sites to be found.

                  Don't get too hung up about Cat5 vs. Cat6. Cat5 will be fine for this use for the foreseeable future.
                  Thorn
                  "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Geek My Crib

                    Originally posted by SlackJaw View Post
                    Ok, you lost me on some ideas but I follow you on others. I did run all but electricity through conduit, and did not staple (future fiber?) Also, I vented my closet through the roof with 2 4" ducts and fans. I don't know much about high voltage electrical wire so the electricians already ran that - I assume standard.
                    There are different choices for gauge of wire and each can support different loads. Running power in its own conduit can help provide some insulation where EMI is considered. There are also different outlets which are capable of supporting different amp loads. here is little or not value to adding 10, 15 or 20 amp outlets to a circuit with small gauge wire meant for only 5 amps.

                    Are you just screwing with me saying to run the power near the data? I thought that caused noise. And you lost me on solar...I researched and came to the understanding that the hot water heater was the only viable solar device.
                    Sorry. Minimum of 2 feet away. Meaning, if you run data through conduit in the walls and you run power through separate conduit in the walls, make sure these parallel conduits are at least 2 feet apart.
                    Florescent lights can also cause EMI with 100Mbps and higher. Power often runs parallel to the floor about 1-2 feet from the floor. Lights often run in the ceiling. If you are not running data in the floor, and want to avoid power in the walls and power to lights, running data at least 2 feet above power puts you at a level high enough to be away from power and outlets, and not too close to lights in the ceiling. Many people would prefer to locate data outlets at the same level as power, but this means one of two things:
                    1) Run through attic/ceiling near lights and drop down between studs.
                    2) Run immediately next to power (really bad idea on multiple levels.)

                    Solar power (Photoelectric) upgrade support is mentioned so that you can upgrade to Solar power when it actually becomes viable. Same thing with UPS. Provide the work now to make addition of a UPS later easier. For example, conduit to the UPS unit would help. If Internal Combustion Engine is your UPS, you'll need exhaust vents and clean air sources. When Solar power becomes useful in the future, conduit will help you to link it to your power center and allow for distribution.
                    Use of conduit for power will allow for pulling more cables if an alternate voltage becomes a new standard with an expected increase in power costs.

                    (Consider this: Much of our power comes from burning fossil fuels. Prices of fossil fuels are going up. Eventually, there will come a time where present expensive alternatives are cheaper than present-day norms. This may even include a new standard for power, such as DC.)

                    Making room for this expansion now will likely be at least one order of magnitude in savings when compared to a retrofit in the future.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Geek My Crib

                      Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                      Sorry. Minimum of 2 feet away. Meaning, if you run data through conduit in the walls and you run power through separate conduit in the walls, make sure these parallel conduits are at least 2 feet apart.
                      Florescent lights can also cause EMI with 100Mbps and higher. Power often runs parallel to the floor about 1-2 feet from the floor. Lights often run in the ceiling. If you are not running data in the floor, and want to avoid power in the walls and power to lights, running data at least 2 feet above power puts you at a level high enough to be away from power and outlets, and not too close to lights in the ceiling. Many people would prefer to locate data outlets at the same level as power, but this means one of two things:
                      1) Run through attic/ceiling near lights and drop down between studs.
                      2) Run immediately next to power (really bad idea on multiple levels.)
                      The Cat5e you're running will likely minimize this noise as well, if they are running less than 2 feet apart, assuming it's shielded. My house was wired with shielded 5e when built and the builder did have electrical running in the same conduit/space in a few places and I've got great gigabit throughput.

                      Cot's point about Fluorescent lights is 100% on, if you run data cable too close to a ballast transformer you will get some noise/data loss.
                      Aut disce aut discede

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Geek My Crib

                        Originally posted by AlxRogan View Post
                        The Cat5e you're running will likely minimize this noise as well, if they are running less than 2 feet apart, assuming it's shielded. My house was wired with shielded 5e when built and the builder did have electrical running in the same conduit/space in a few places and I've got great gigabit throughput.

                        Cot's point about Fluorescent lights is 100% on, if you run data cable too close to a ballast transformer you will get some noise/data loss.
                        The electricians looked at me like was retarded when I mentioned conduit so I gave in and the ran it like they have for the past 50 years. However, I was adamant about the data in 3" PVC.

                        I was approaching this like my own fun house but Cot struck a deep and viable concern about solar considerations. Surely it will play a major role within the next 10 years and I'm amazed they technology has not broadened in our generation. Frankly, I believe transportation could have been free of fossil fuels some time ago.

                        I had a guy come to the property and give a demo to my wife and me, but he was hung up on the hot water heater and maybe a small generator. He said the problem was energy storage which is near non existent in solar power. Anyway, he sucked as a proponent for solar because he had ZERO scope and imagination for the future, so we opted not to install panels, but it isn't too late.

                        So Cot, you're saying I should install the panels now? Then what? Any wiring plan for future? The panels (and hot water heaters) is about 10 grand - that's do-able, if there's real value in this, even at a later time. I read quite a bit about solar after CotMan piqued my interest but everything was speculation - which is typically the case when discussing the future....yuck yuck..
                        "640k ought to be enough for anybody" - Bill Gates 1981

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Geek My Crib

                          Can you make a command center in your basement?...

                          I like the idea of running more Cat5e sounds tempting...I always enjoyed cable more so than Wireless.

                          ----

                          My mind seems to be shutting off at the thought of 30-40 grand in spending money...
                          A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what's going on.
                          -
                          William S. Burroughs

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Geek My Crib

                            Originally posted by SlackJaw View Post
                            So Cot, you're saying I should install the panels now? Then what? Any wiring plan for future? The panels (and hot water heaters) is about 10 grand - that's do-able, if there's real value in this, even at a later time. I read quite a bit about solar after CotMan piqued my interest but everything was speculation - which is typically the case when discussing the future....yuck yuck..
                            Panels now? No. Water? That is up to you.

                            At this time, solar panels are just not very efficient. However, there is a lot of R&D being invested in making them more efficient, and rugged. What I am saying is that while your building is reduced to studs and frame, it would be wise to include *capacity* to easily upgrade to solar later, if/when it becomes viable, rugged and more efficient. It may not even be in the next 10 years. It could easily take longer. However, in the past 20 years, they have done quite a bit with this technology to move from brittle wafers that easily crack and break, to bendable sheets that can have holes shot in them and still keep converting light to DC power.

                            Having the capacity to include an upgrade to solar in the future just like you add capacity to upgrade to UPS in the future, makes sense.

                            We don't know what will happen in the future with power, but one or more things will change as power prices grow higher.

                            Here is a tangent to consider:
                            We are finding out now, water is a finite and limited resource.
                            Drinking water for people, water for cattle and farms, water for industry and water to protect endangered species are all in competition. Water to run hydroelectric plants can also be in competition with one or more of these items.
                            So, where can we get more water? Desalination of seawater is an obvious choice, but that requires more power and lots of it. For cars that might run on Hydrogen, we see a requirement for even more power to split the Hydrogen and Oxygen from water, and another drain on the water resource, which creates a drain on power.
                            However, our primary power source is still fossil fuels (to fuel electrical generators.)

                            Then, if you assume Global Warming really is happening, we have a potential for huge increases in costs for power and water, and a risk for less rain in some places which add to our reservoirs, and/or more rain in places that we presently don't have reservoirs.

                            We probably won't see exponential increases in costs of water and power, as the market system is dynamic and reactive. When certain costs rise, alternate energy source, alternate energy conservation, power reclamation, water reclamation (greywater), or design of houses to best take advantage of natural light & heat and even complete reorganization of power delivery standards (like from AC to DC appliances for solar-electric power) are possible.

                            (Our computers take in AC to transform to DC to run many of the peripherals. This conversion wastes power. If we have DC appliances, then DC-generating power sources could be used.)

                            So, I'm just saying it would be wise to *plan* for such upgrades now that your house is stripped, since you only have frame and studs now, and your costs for conduit now could be under a $1000 if you do it yourself, vs. $10,000 or more after drywall is up and has been painted.

                            The cheapest plan would be to just run conduit from your power center to your attic so any future power could be run through such pipes if there ever was a need to upgrade. If the electricians have already run power, then it wouldn't be very cost effective to change that now.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Geek My Crib

                              Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                              Panels now? No. Water? That is up to you.

                              At this time, solar panels are just not very efficient......
                              Yes, the primary lines are in, but couldn't I have empty conduit to complete what you say? There's still time for that if say, the future calls for pulling wire. What sucks is the electricians were in and out while I was at work. Not for the reasons you cite Cotman, but I wanted ALL wiring in conduit but as you say, it's moot now, as the initial wiring goes. And I had not planned to encase my speaker wire....

                              WOW! Firefox just crashed and then restored this session - how cool is that!


                              ...as it will be in one room and out in the carport.

                              And don't get me going on so-called global warming ...or more precisely, don't get my bro Brandon going... http://www.brandonjaynes.com/blog/20...nient-science/
                              "640k ought to be enough for anybody" - Bill Gates 1981

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