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Thread: Running wire

  1. #1

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    Default Running wire

    I'll start with what I've accomplished this past week. I started by reinforcing the framing of a wall where I have my HT system located. I live in a mobile home, and if I want to mount a TV on the wall this is necessary. Many will say I go overboard, but I can mount this ting from anywhere between about 30-50 inches, in relation to the screen center. Figured I may as well cover just about any application the first time, and never have to worry about it again.

    I also installed some new outlets, 4 to be exact. Decided that I want to future proof just about any situation that may arise in the future, so 4 dedicated 20 amp outlets would probably cover it. Didn't do anything special, just aluminum clad, 12 awg, MC cable and spec grade plugs. Will add this piece of information to anybody considering this project.

    While connecting the 2 outlets, I had the radio on, entry level Yamaha AVR, playing in 2-channel. Turned out that when I was installing the breaker, a song was just starting, and when I pugged the system into the dedicated outlet, the same song was still playing. I heard a very noticeable improvement immediately. I don't claim to be an audiophile, and don't think that I will ever be considered one, just throwing that out there for those on the fence.

    Anyway, to my question. I only wish to do this once, because I don't like to waste my time redoing any project. I plan on running a 9.2 system when all is said and done, just don't have the room to go 11, so 9 it will be. My front heights will be RTI A1's, and I may as well run the wire in wall, since I will already have to cut into the wall to reinforce and mount these speakers. I figure I have 3 options routing speaker wire in wall. Simply run wire point to point. By this I mean basically running solid wire from the AVR to the speaker, without using one of those RCA connector assemblies. Sorry, don't know the technical term.

    The second option is simply using one of those connection centers, which I still don't know the technical term for, and purchase it from the local hardware. Finally purchasing the same thing, but buying a better made brand from some on-line parts supplier. I'm sort of leaning to running straight wire, so as to take one component out of the chain, but figured it would be better to ask those of you who know a bit more about these things.

    Any advise is always appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpf65 View Post
    4 dedicated 20 amp outlets would probably cover it. Didn't do anything special, just aluminum clad, 12 awg, MC cable and spec grade plugs.
    Congrats on your "new & improved" sound system . . . sounds like a semi-big under-taking

    I'm no electrician, but generally speaking, aluminum wire is rated differently than CU . . . So if you're using 12 awg AL it is equivalent to 14 awg CU. If you have 20 amp rated receptacles, you may want to bump the aluminum gauge wire up to 10 . . .

    Again, I'm no electrician, just try'n to help . . . . Must be nice in TX this time of year. Can you help me shovel snow? 16 inches in the forecast !!!!!!
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    Appreciate the advice, but the wire itself is 12 awg copper. MC stands for metal clad, and I chose the aluminum over the steel version. Since I live in a mobile home, I had to run it underneath the floors, and didn't really feel like running separate conduit. So I chose to run the MC cable instead. Kind of resembles rope, and the wire is already encased, so it's just quicker.

    I gave up shoveling snow when I left Pittsburgh, about 30 years ago.

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    If it were me I would opt to run straight wire. You can put in a box and just drill a hole in a blank cover. It doesn't look too bad and you negate the extra connections.
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    Quote Originally Posted by amulford View Post
    If it were me I would opt to run straight wire. You can put in a box and just drill a hole in a blank cover. It doesn't look too bad and you negate the extra connections.
    I agree. I use one of these behind the equipment http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (no box required) and a single hole behind each speaker. There's also enough room for all your HDMI, Coax, optical cables, etc.

    Eliminates many connections, and can be completely hidden behind each speaker. It's hard to use wall plates and plugs without it being quite visible. There are other styles and colors too:

    http://www.amazon.com/DataComm-45-00...9054076&sr=1-7

    http://www.amazon.com/DataComm-45-00...9054076&sr=1-8

    http://www.amazon.com/DataComm-45-00...054076&sr=1-13

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    Didn't know products like those mentioned existed. Should make running wires easier and cheaper than I imagined.

    Wasn't really worried about the other cables. What I planned on doing was adding a shelf for the center channel, so it sits directly under the TV. Place it about 26 inches or so high, and the bottom of the TV would be 34 inches or so and tilt in downward, think it would work. I'll only have about 6 inches of exposed wall before the top of the stand, but then again in wall would solve all kinds of additional issues.

    Something to think about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpf65 View Post
    I figure I have 3 options routing speaker wire in wall. Simply run wire point to point. By this I mean basically running solid wire from the AVR to the speaker, without using one of those RCA connector assemblies. Sorry, don't know the technical term.

    The second option is simply using one of those connection centers, which I still don't know the technical term for, and purchase it from the local hardware. Finally purchasing the same thing, but buying a better made brand from some on-line parts supplier. I'm sort of leaning to running straight wire, so as to take one component out of the chain, but figured it would be better to ask those of you who know a bit more about these things.

    Any advise is always appreciated.
    They're called connector wall plates.

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    Aluminum wire is not allowed any more for internal house wiring in N.J. The code enforcers say it over heats to easily. It was primarily used as a copper substitute because of war rationing and as an added benifit it was a cheaper product. As a former alarm installer straight or home runs are ALWAYS better than splices if physically possible. Make sure to lable all runs w/ tape and if you have an electrical splice it has to be in a box w/ wire nuts, connectors and a cover. It is a great idea to reinforce your tv wall as your doing and should be done in any situation where you can not get to the 16'' on center wood studs.On the audio side for a neater application yes those wall mount connector plates are a way to go if you have your exact termination point and then all you need are minor jumpers from the wall plate to avr, amp, whatever.Another twist on the same theme is to get a multi gang switch plate and have the wires come out of that and then go directly into your audio gear.Cruise Home Depot and you will see so many options of wire dispersion devices your head will spin...Good luck

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    Connector wall plates, thanks Glen B, hopefully I won't forget that; ever.

    The wire is copper, not aluminum. The cladding surrounding the wire is aluminum, as opposed to steel or conduit tubing. I know armaflex would have also been an option. Running wire with no external protection to the wire was an unacceptable option. Aluminum wire itself wasn't even a consideration.

    When it came to the wire the biggest decision was 10 or 12 AWG. The reason I went with the 12 is space limitation. Where this wall is located a floor joist is directly under half of it, and I simply didn't think I could incorporate anything larger than the 12 AWG.

    I have all the time necessary to complete this project, live alone, and have enough patience to put a step off a week or 6 months if money is a problem. Since I'm doing everything my self, I don't think I've broken the $200 barrier yet. I decided to share with everybody the things I have did so far, in case I have overlooked anything, and to possibly answer why I did what I did.

    I was also curious to what others thought about those connector wall plates. Are they worth the time and effort, would it be better not to have them, are their other options, and most important are the better options.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpf65 View Post

    I was also curious to what others thought about those connector wall plates. Are they worth the time and effort, would it be better not to have them, are their other options, and most important are the better options.
    Basically wall plates are cosmetic so whether or not to use them is up to you. Be aware each wall plate introduces several more possible points of a poor contact developing and the resulting issues. As you noticed the simple act of you unplugging the amp from the old outlet and putting it into the new outlet was enough to 'clean' the contacts for a better connection thus the apparent 'improved' sound. Wall plates become spice points. IMHO the fewer splices points the better.

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    Decided to skip the connector wall plates, and run wire from point to point. Actually thinking of just tinning the wire, and skip any connectors all together.

    Have all the plugs wired in, and all speaker wire ran, except for the front heights. Means couple of more holes on the wall, plus reinforcing the wall to mount them. Not in a big hurry, hopefully have this project completed in a month or so.

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    Still have the hole in the wall where I ran the speaker wire and line voltage. Guess I can take a picture with my cell, but then I really have no idea how to get them to this site. Guess I'll have to spenp some time reading, and try to figure it out.

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