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Home networking project - Office and Home Theater

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Voodoo Rufus

Powder Junkie Moderator
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
A few months ago I decided to embark on upgrading my home networking. My wireless works totally fine in my subdivision, and I don't have a large house. But I did see potential to nerd out and I'm almost always looking for new projects to tinker with. Whoever buys my house in the future is going to wonder what the heck kind of person lived here.

The house RJ11 landline phone cables were all Cat5e when the house was built, plus another Cat5e that went from the master communications box to the garage area where it hooks into the city lines. I don't use a landline phone, so these are all unused. I also wanted to hard wire my home theater for gigabit internet for streaming and other duties. I also saw potential to tidy up the office of ethernet cables, which is where the cable modem/switch/wifi box sat.

So here's a photo progression of where I started and where I ended up.

The old limited capacity comms box in my master closet. As you can see, it has power, a little phone patch panel, and all of the coax cables that would supply television or internet throughout the house. The only one used is the office coax for my modem.
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Practicing keystone wiring on the kitchen plug.
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The evolution of the plan:
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Of note, there are 4 dedicated 120V 20A lines from the main house breaker box. 3 to power my kilowatt Emotiva monoblock amps, and one for the TV and other lower power electronics.

The office and home theater that are getting some serious wiring upgrades:

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Hired a little help to do the dirty task of running Cat6 in the attic for me. Totally worth the $150.
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The 8 new Cat6 cables in the comms box. And my new Cisco 24-port unmanaged Gigabit switch, that barely fits. No room for patch panels. Well, I can fix that.
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Wiring up the office and HT 4-port keystone plugs, and wired up the cable to a coax keystone for tidiness, although it is unused for now (streaming only):

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Got an overpriced Leviton RF transparent structured media box to give plenty of room for the upgrades, and a four port surge protected power box.


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Lots and lots of punchdown time.

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Mocking up the final layout with cables. Got a short 90degree power cable for the modem.

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Another overpriced Leviton modem mount. The sheetrock cuts and fixed have been hidden by the box bezel. Starting to tidy up now.
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Since I recently got a LG/Enphase solar system installed this spring, I decided to get the Enlighten telemetry box off of WiFi and onto the Ethernet, using a short 90-degree plug equipped patch cable, and a rubber dust plug to keep the box clean.
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And finally, after about 3 months of off and on work, the finished product. The lower patch panel is all of the Cat6 for the HT and office. I added a 90 degree 3GHz coax connector to reduce the bend radius, and 90-degree patch cable for the modem to the switch. I also had to adjust the mounting holes of the entire box to make sure the door can close easily and not bind too bad. The plastic is rather flimsy. The top patch panel is all of the house Cat5e. Plug number 1 is for the solar. I have also labeled all of the plugs accordingly, too. It also seems that my streaming widgets react much faster than on Wifi. I don't know if that's just my head, or real, but it's wicked fast.
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Automata

Destroyer of Empires and Use
Joined
May 15, 2006
This looks great! I'm a sucker for ridiculous home setups.
 
OP
Voodoo Rufus

Voodoo Rufus

Powder Junkie Moderator
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
Speakers are a 3.0 setup, consisting of Legacy Focus SE mains and Marquis HD center channel.

Console: Standout Designs Haven 82 in Rosenut over walnut
Surge protector: APC H10
TV: Panasonic ZT60 65" plasma
Blu-ray: Oppo UDP-205
Preamp: Emotiva XSP-1
Amps: 3x Emotiva XPA-1 1000w into 4 ohm monoblocks. Blu-ray through to amps are all connected with balanced XLR interconnects
AppleTV 4K for streaming duties
 

dfonda

Senior Golfer
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Nice wiring...Modern boxes are so much nicer then "Madison Brackets" :beer:
 

habbajabba

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Location
Oregon
Just your cabinet is $$$. But those speakers could easily be put in the corner of a very large living room. I don't even want to know how much they cost at 750watts ea. The spacing on them is such a waste. It's like crawling in work traffic driving a rocket ship. Nice work on your patch panel btw. In other news lol.
 
OP
Voodoo Rufus

Voodoo Rufus

Powder Junkie Moderator
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
I have not found the limits of these speakers. My ear drums have, though!

They are more than capable of filling a larger living room with a lot of sound and music. They are also big enough that I have zero need for subwoofers, even on the most challenging LFE movie tracks. I get to 16Hz or under in-room at sufficient SPLs.

The Focus also play extremely well at low levels. They truly are full-range.

The Marquis center channel really is the "mother of all center channels". Seemless left to right integration. It took me many months to wait for that one in Rosewood to show up on the used market, and it came from Canada. I imagine not many are made.

Another note is that I was lucky that the house had that gray plastic expansion conduit going to the attic from the comms box. That made adding the 8 Cat6 wires super easy.
 

habbajabba

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Location
Oregon
16hz. That really is an impressive sound system. And here I thought the center was the sub lol. I'll stick with what anthonygallo has to offer (I prefer the less is more look). Plus the pendant models are too cool for school.
If you ever have a party, I'd love to hear about it.
 
OP
Voodoo Rufus

Voodoo Rufus

Powder Junkie Moderator
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
The bass drivers are 12" for all three, crossed over at 120Hz, so they effectively are in the subwoofer category. It's a big system, meant to make big sound very accurately. I grew up with my father's Klipsch corner horns, so I've been spoiled since birth pretty much. This system is essentially a speaker system for life, and very masterfully made.

I looked up the Anthony Gallo speakers. Very different purpose than mine. But if they make you happy that's the main thing.
 

Zerileous

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
I think with the spacing he was referring to the arrangement of having roughly and equilateral triangle formed by the two speakers and the ideal listener position.

Either way it appears to be an amazing setup. It is amazing what small speakers can accomplish these days, but I wouldn't take them over a large stack of discrete drivers given the option.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
I'd cross those over much lower... 120Hz is high for 12" drivers. Those, waht look to be 6" drivers should be able to handle things down to around 80Hz or so without more than -3dbA loss.
 
OP
Voodoo Rufus

Voodoo Rufus

Powder Junkie Moderator
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
The midranges are 7". 120Hz is just fine since they're in the same tower. No directionality can be discerned. PA drivers in the 12" range can go up to 400-500Hz.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Their range isn't the concern so much as it is muddying the sound with a higher crossover point. Let the mids do mids..

Correct, since they are in the towers, directionality, which I believe can be found over 60 Hz, isn't an issue.

I suspect if they are crossed over a bit lower, it would work out better...?
 
OP
Voodoo Rufus

Voodoo Rufus

Powder Junkie Moderator
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
Asking a 7" woofer to do 110dB cleanly at 60Hz is asking too much. You'd need huge power handling and huge Xmax.

The only thing hindering large diameter woofers that dig deep into the bass region is the inductance of the voice coil. High Le woofers will roll off very quickly on frequency response. The cone physically doing a couple hundred Hz cleanly is not usually the issue.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Not saying to cross it over at 60hz... that's just the threshold were sound becomes directional (iirc). I'd still lower it to 80-90hz. Those speakers will handle it just fine. :)