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I'm finally getting around to the point of thinking about what kind of structured wiring stuff I want to put in. I'm doing this in my own house as a sort of a trial run. I ran the Belden combo cable (2 RG-6 + 2 Cat-5) what seems like years ago (months actually :rolleyes: ) and now it's all just hanging there where the panel should be.

I've been doing a little research online, and I've been leaning towards using the OnQ stuff, but I don't really have any idea what people think of that stuff. I've also noticed that it seems to be a little hard to find someone that sells just the equipment and doesn't want to install it. I have found it online at www.homecontrols.com and they seem to have a full selection.

Curious what others like/dislike/use. It will basically be home network + telephone + video distribution, although the video is at least right now going to be "limited" to over-the-air HD.
 

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DGR,IABD
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Your local electrical supply house will have everything you need to build your structured wiring panel. Square 'D', Leviton, and Cooper all make excellent structured wiring components that you can purchase at any electrical supply house that will perform the tasks you outlined. This is becoming pretty standard fare in new construction, particularly in mid to high end homes. I think the money spent on the combo cable was wasted. Compare what you paid for that against just pulling two runs of series 6 and two runs of cat5e to each plate.
 

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BigE, You may want to think fiber optic, cat5 is going the way of the dinosaur.
 

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Teetor - that's an interesting comment. Back in 2000 Us West/Qwest spent around a billion or so dollars building out huge amounts of internet back bone here in the west, only problem was that they built out something like overcapacity that won't even approach ever being used in the next 100 years, and most likely will actually never be used because who can say that old technology fiber won't be replace during the next 100 years. (Wireless perhaps)

Anyways they spent a few billion, tore up every street, sidewalk and back yard easement they could get their hands on installing fiber, but then never allowed for the last 10 feet of hook up or a way for a household to take advantage of it.

I don't know if fiber has a future either. It all seems to be about to become obsolete thanks to wireless technology anyway.

Is the situation different in Florida in regard to being able to use fiber in the house for something?
 

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Ol'#2 is a consultant in the tel/com field (Avaya). She designs, installs and implements systems and networks for banks, hospitals, etc. I only know what she tells me before my eyes glaze over. They are still running Cat5's but often run the fiber next to it for future use, about half go directly to fiber and skip the Cat5's altogether. I have a few friends that have fiber hookups but I can't tell any difference from my cable connection.
Her company tried wireless a few years ago, it failed miserably and they lost a bundle. Reading some of her mags indicates that there is still a long way to go with this technology.
As far as capacity, who knows where it is going to end? About 20 yrs. ago, I retired my Tandy 1000 for the biggest, baddest Apple II GS. Cost almost 4 large too. Who foresaw high speed connections, 3+Gig processors, 130 Gig harddrives, Internet gaming, VoIP, E-Bay, banking? This list could go on forever. It's all cheap too. What's going to happen when 3 billion Chinese can afford to get online?
 

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I understood that. Homes are becoming much more sophisticated and will continue to advance in that direction as equipment prices come down. Many a kitchen today includes a flat panel TV, computer and multiple line telephone.
Bedrooms have his and hers TV's and amazing sound systems. Whole home sound systems are becoming more common as are smart homes that are run by a computer. The hard wired connections can be run through a rats nest of wires or a single FO cable.
 

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DGR,IABD
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I havn't put much fiber in homes. In accordance with the latest BICSI residential standards, it's still optional. Two Cat 5e and two series 6 cables are still the minimum standard load to each jack plate in accordance with current residential standards. I'm not against fiber, since it's just as cheap as Cat5e, but nobody's demanding it and I'm having a hard time selling it in resi.

One interesting note, the last structured wiring update class I went to they advised us to put at least one run of cat5e and one series 6 cable to a plate behind the refrigerator! Apparently, there are refrigerators on the market with flat screen Windows CE computers in them. They related that these are getting more popular in larger markets where you order your groceries delivered to the home. This is now being facilitated through the computer in the fridge. I'm doing this now in home's who's market value will be in the top 1/3. I can't see the occupants of an otherwise mundane dwelling springing 4 grand on a frige.
 

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The 2 places that I see it most are in the very high end and Techie's homes. I suspect the the heavy's want bragging rights, the Techie's may need it currently or can see the into the future. I'll ask Ol'e #2 tonight.

The new wave in reefers have a docking station in the door for a laptop. A few mos. ago, I saw a washer/dryer that were interfaced and connected. The washer tells the dryer the weight and moisture content and the dryer sends a popup to household monitors when it is done.

A few weeks ago I overheard a techie explaining to the HO how he could operate his security alarm, operate door locks, check the security cams, control the interior and exterior lighting and on and on.....from his office. They were installing a refrigerator/oven (also wired) so, I assume, you can put dinner in the oven when you leave for work and get it cooking before you leave to go back home.
 

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Mike Finley said:
Back in 2000 Us West/Qwest spent around a billion or so dollars building out huge amounts of internet back bone here in the west, only problem was that they built out something like overcapacity that won't even approach ever being used in the next 100 years, and most likely will actually never be used
Ditto for Verizon and Comcast around here. My neighbor does underground directional drilling work for both and has been pulling bore-duct and fiber daily for going on five years now. Still no end in sight. The fiber ends at residential easement lines and in commercial utility rooms. Another frend works for Verizon converting fiber optic signals to copper in commercial buildings. I think very few users actually utilize fiber optic technology all the way to their workstation.
If I was building a new home I might pull fiber just for kicks - depending on the cost. As it stands now, I can't see me needing to 'upgrade' beyond coax or ethernet cable.
 

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DGR,IABD
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Until the prices of consumer level fiber capable devices fall below the "astronomical" level, fiber inside the home is not going to get utilized. I'm not sure why the alternative would be called a "rats nest", but a properly installed structured wiring system is worlds away from that. Even in the future, Cat5e or cat6 along with series 6 cable will be a constant companion to fiber inside the home. Fiber allows for the bandwidth and throughput that is 100% unnecessary within the home. Commercial is a different story, the home is not. There's darned little equipment for the home that is utilizing fiber at this point in time anyhow.
 

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The logical solution the the inevitible obsolesence of currently availible wiring is to run conduit, this allows you to add or replace your wiring/fiber etc. in the future without tearing up your walls.
 

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DGR,IABD
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bergenbldr said:
The logical solution the the inevitible obsolesence of currently availible wiring is to run conduit, this allows you to add or replace your wiring/fiber etc. in the future without tearing up your walls.
That's a fantastic and very viable solution. The trouble begins and ends with trying to get someone to pay for that.
 

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EMT was code here for quite a few years, 40's thru 60's, then along came Romex. It cheapened homes and allows no variations.
My work is always in EMT conduit which is grounded. Lingnappe!
 

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DGR,IABD
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Teetorbilt said:
My work is always in EMT conduit which is grounded.
EMT is not grounded, it's bonded. Huge difference.

Pictures, pictures!

I can't believe any FL contractor can compete and have homes wired in EMT. I have to think Teetor's pulling our collective legs.

EMT in a residential setting, outside of the Chicago area, truly is lagniappe! I use it for exposed runs in unfinished basements and garages only. Not concealed in resi. Heck, even in commercial work, EMT has mostly given way to MC cable for concealed runs. EMT is mostly reserved now for exposed runs and concealed home runs.

There are some fundamental problems that are almost insurmountable using EMT as a raceway for structured wiring. Not the least of which is the bend radius, objectionable ferrous raceway material, and the code limitation of no more than 360 degrees worth of bends between pull points. When a raceway is spec'd for structured wiring, I generally use ENT which eliminates many of the objections to EMT.
 

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md, I'm a contractor, not an electrician. I will submit to your authourity as I do to my electricians. I am still a believer in EMT. There was a day when it was considered a ground. Not today but still a nice safety factor. A fire, contained within metal, will self extinguish due to lack of oxygen. Plastics will open and contribute to fires. I know what the specs say but have been witness to reality a few times.
 

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Any service provider or product manufacturer that creates an application that requires fiber optic cable to run in a residential setting will most likely go out of bussiness. With all the existing homes in the country needing to be upgraded. Fiber optic to the service entrance is a necessity. The need for a low voltage panel becomes a necessity. Just add a module in the future to convert the service to Cat5e or coaxial cable or both.
 
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