I made a little more progress today; I pulled 3 more runs. The first being the Cat 6 for my office; that was easy as I was just replacing some Cat 5. The next 2 proved very challenging as I had to spend time in the sweltering hot attic. After a few tries attempting to fish the wires down the wall in the attic, I remembered I had a 3 ft drill bit my dad let me borrow. That did the trick to get the wires where I needed. In this particular room, I decided to use a low voltage add on box that clips to a regular box. Getting it in was a little tricky, but doable. The volume control had to be nudged into the box as the add on box must have been designed for low voltage outlets or something else with lots of wiggle room. However, when I went to put the cover plate on, I realized that the original box was a bit wider than normal boxes, so the cover plate didn’t fit. A little work with a drill on another switch to move the mounting holes yielded a perfect fit. Despite the extra work involved, I really like the look of the light switch and volume control in one cover plate. I’m not sure if I’m going to do this for the other 3 that I have like this.
I couldn’t sleep last night and finally realized why. In all my planning for the audio system, I seem to have left out connectors for half the speakers. I planned for one wire for left and one wire for right. Obviously there are two wires for right and two for left. That means I need to order more connectors from DeepSurplus and goto Home Depot to get some more low voltage boxes. I feel like such an idiot; this project probably would get done much faster and correct the first time if I hired a professional, but then I wouldn’t get the joy of knowing I did most of the work myself.
Since I had some spare time this weekend and still don’t have anyone to pull my cable, I went ahead and started tackling the project. First off, I installed a light switch (not really part of the audio system, but part of moving our family room) which only took 3 hours; it shouldn’t have taken that long, but getting the old single gang box out took far longer than it should have and getting all the wires back in was a royal pain. Next up, I decided to run a few runs of cable. This turned out to be an interesting task. I knew there was some access to our walls from the garage and had been told by the previous owner that the owner before him had a darkroom in the back of a storage area; this got drywalled in some time ago. I chopped out some drywall and discovered the “hidden” room. Running the wires was relatively easy, but extremely time consuming. 2 runs down, 26 more to go.
Putting in the first speaker control turned out to be challenging. I cut in the low voltage box, wired up the Cat 5 and tried to put the control in the low voltage box. Unfortunately the company that makes the low voltage box (Carlson) must never have talked to the company that made the control box (Russound) as the low voltage box was a few millimeters too small! The volume control box is huge because it contains an amplifier (it’s an A-BUS control); after a little modification of the low voltage box, I managed to get it installed.
More pictures are in the gallery. Hopefully this week I’ll be able to run some more cable.
My speakers arrived today for my home audio system. 9 pair of various types of speakers are now sitting in our spare room (soon to be our TV room). I’ve posted some pictures in my gallery. I’m real excited to now get everything installed, but the person that was going to run the cable is in Florida doing hurricane repair work. One of his co-workers is supposed to get back to me about pulling the wire, but it looks like I may be searching for someone else to pull the cable.
Our speakers should be here by Friday which means that we can start installing everything. Very exciting. Unfortunately the person who was supposed to pull the wires is in Florida doing hurricane related work. Luckily, one of his colleagues is available to do the work. There is a ton to do as we have 9 pair of speakers, 8 controllers, and 3 audio sources. My dad is going to help me cut in the boxes for the controllers. Maybe next week we will be well underway with this. I didn’t realize the scope of this project until recently. I have a ton of equipment on my floor and just got a box of Cat 6 wire today. As part of this work, I’m upgrading our home network to Gigabit ethernet. I’ll try to post pictures (if I remember) as things progress.
I just snapped some photos of the components of my home audio system. They’re in the gallery.
I decided a few months ago to get a whole house audio system so that we can listen to music throughout the house. I decided on the components I wanted and found a local dealer. I picked the Russound CA6.4i 6 zone system and found out that the warranty is void if the product isn’t purchased through a local dealer, Music and Movies by Mastercraft. So far, I’ve been quite happy with the dealer as being honest and straightforward about what I needed and what fit in my budget range. I’m waiting on the speakers and will have wires pulled by our contractor’s (my wife’s friend’s husband) cousin before I can actually use the system. The speakers are backordered and should arrive in a few weeks.
Russound will only sell through authorized dealers and won’t allow them to sell retail, mail order, or online sellers. This seems like a crock as technically savvy people like me can figure out how to get things working. Luckily my local dealer gave me a discount for just buying the equipment and basically agreeing not to contact them to configure it. That’s fine with me as I did most of the system design (I added a few sub zones and an extra volume control on a separate set of speakers). To make matters worse, two of the components I ordered require 24 volt DC power supplies; if I want the warranty, I have to buy the power supplies from my Russound dealer; the power supplies are about $150 each! A power supply can’t be more than a $35 part and the component doesn’t work without it.
I’ll post some pictures of all the components later; I got Cat 5 jacks for the control, gang boxes, power strips, and lots of other pieces. My office is a mess as I keep putting all the pieces in there to see what this not so cheap system contains.