Sound isolation

As part of our rearrangement of our TV room, my server has become part of our entertainment center. Unfortunately the server melt down caused me to switch to a server that is significantly louder. So, I went on a mission of deadening the sound. First task was to get acoustic foam. Guitar Center had some (what a weird store to visit). I cut the foam and placed it in my cabinet. It didn’t do much because there is a big hole in the back of the cabinet for ventilation. So, I had to devise a ventilation system. I bought some 3″ PVC pipes from Home Depot and attached them to the server such that they act as intake and exhaust from the server. This would allow me to completely encase the server in the foam and stick the pipes out the back of the cabinet. So far so good; I put everything together this morning and it was still noisy. I picked up a quieter fan from Fry’s (I hate that place, but where do I find a case fan). While the server isn’t 100% quiet (I looked at water cooling systems, but water in my computer scares me), it’s acceptable especially with music or the TV on.

All wires pulled!

Well, my installer decided to come back today and finish the job. (Granted I had to get in the attic when it was 80 degrees out to pull the wire.) I just have to drop down 3 wires, finish the termination and patch the walls. Victory is almost here!

Audio System Installed

The system is finally done. (OK, I still have to patch some holes.) I pulled the last wires and terminated the connections. It feels good to finally be done. My wife and I are really going to enjoy the system. Lots of work, but it will be worth it. I’ve posted pictures of the system all wrapped up in it’s temporary home in the gallery. We just have to move our entertainment center into the other room and then I can put all the components in the cabinet.

Almost done!

My dad came over today and helped me install 2 pair of outdoor speakers, the control unit for those speakers as well as putting the Sirius radio antenna on the roof. It was an exhausting day, but we now have everything working in all but one room. I still have a bunch of patching to do (and my dad added some stucco patching to the mix), but I can almost taste victory over this project! I have to call the installers tomorrow and find out when they can find time to finish the job they should have finished on Friday. (My dad was quite surprised when I connected the control unit and the speakers worked on the first try. I only had one control module not work on the first try and re-punching down the connections cleared up all the problems.)

Audio System Installation

Well, the installers showed up today at 9 am and said that they could only stay only 2 pm as they had another job that had to be done before the weekend. I guess my money isn’t as good as someone else’s. Anyway, The first room progressed quite quickly with only a couple of holes to patch. The next room was extremely difficult and took several hours. I just had them run the wires and only install speakers in the locations that I couldn’t reach with helped speed things along. So, 2 pm rolls around and they don’t have to go to another job, but one guy says he’s not feeling well and going him; they’d finish the job the end of next week. I asked if the other guy could stay to finish another room with me and he did; that room went quickly because I knew exactly how to fish the wires. While I’m pleased that the wires got run, I’m a little disappointed that the job wasn’t completed today (2 controls and 2 speakers are left). I did spend the entire day either helping them fish wires, installing speakers, or terminating the connections (I didn’t even have them pull the wires the last 8 feet down the wall as I had already done that a number of times and I could do it again). So finally around 6:30 pm when my wife came home, I had music playing in 6 rooms in the house! I still have to patch a bunch of holes, texture, and then paint them. My dad is coming over on Sunday to help me install the outdoor speakers. Maybe at the end of next week this project will be done. (Pictures of the installed system will come when it’s done.)

Audio System Installer

Yesterday the installer came to look at my house to get a feel for installing my speakers and wire. He was recommended by my dad and my dad’s pretty picky, so he should be OK. However, some of the things he said didn’t install confidence in me. First off, the tallest A frame ladder they have is 8 feet; I have vaulted ceilings and to be safe, a 10 feet A frame will be needed; he said that he can use an extension ladder and rest it against the beam (the beam is exposed). Second, he tried to tell me to place the speakers somewhere where it would be easier to install. Third, he told me that the installation in 2 of the rooms would be hard; those rooms are the easiest as when we had ceiling fans put in, the electricians had no problems in there…they just cut a hole for the fan and fished the wires to the attic. Fourth, he told me that in his own house we just notched the drywall and ran wires in the notches instead of drilling holes through the floor joists which seems to me the cleaner way to go; granted my way is more time consuming, but I’d prefer not to have drywall patches all over the place. I guess we’ll see tomorrow when they come to do the install. I’m just going to have them put in the speakers and run the wires; I’m not even going to have them run the wires to my termination panel, just to the attic area and tack on an extra 10-12 feet of cable and I’ll fish the rest. I’ll be around for the install and will show them the easy

Bit the bullet

I spent some time today (after fixing my server and repairing the stupid TestTrack database) calling installers to find someone to finish the install on my audio system. I bit the bullet and arranged for a company to come out on Friday to finish pulling the wire and putting in the speakers. I say “bit the bullet” because it isn’t cheap to have them come out. However, based on the time it has taken me and how frustrating it has been so far, it will be worth every penny. After the wires are pulled and speakers connected, I still have to terminate the controls (easy), solder the speaker wires at my panel (harder), make speaker patch cords from wall to distribution panel (easy), mount my outdoor speakers (2 pair), and install the volume control for one pair of the outdoor speakers. Hopefully I can finish the project this weekend (crossing my fingers).

First speakers are in!

With the help of my patient wife, I was able to get the speakers and the control installed in our kitchen. Low and behold, it even worked! It only took 2 days and 15 or so hours. Whatever installers get is probably not enough. Today I’m going to attempt to find an installer to finish the 14 cable runs left.

Low Voltage Wiring Installers

My saga about getting my audio system installed continues. First, the installer I was going to use was in Florida doing hurricane repair work. Next he called a co-worker who was supposed to call me. A week later, I still hadn’t heard from the co-worker. Next, I called Dr. Electric and they pointed me to a company called Audio Impact. I called them and got a fax machine; they never returned my email. Next, I called Mastercraft where I bought all the equipment and one of their installers was going to help me out at night/weekends. He never called me back. The my original installer called back to apologize for his co-worker. He might be able to do the work in a week or two; OK, he’s a backup. Next I called Missions Hills TV & Radio Repair. They’re backlogged for about 2 weeks. However, they sound most promising. So next week I’ll call around and see if I can find someone. This project is just turning into a nightmare.

More audio wiring

I managed to run some more cable today; the runs were to outdoor speakers and quite straightforward, but time consuming. I need to remember to carefully label the wires at both ends. I ended up having to use an Ohm meter twice to get the correct labels on the wires. I felt real stupid as I already did this once before in my wiring project. I’m trying to find a professional to a bit more of the wiring as many of the remaining 17 runs are a bit complicated and a little more than I can handle.