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Cabling Factors and Tools Discussion

In: Computers and Technology

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Cabling Factors and Tools Discussion When performing cable installations there are three factors that need to be considered, fire protection, water intrusion or flood protection, or changes in the structural foundation in your home. The two most important considerations to take into account when either pre-wiring a house or wiring after the house is complete, are the routing of the cable and the quality of the wire used. These two points are often overlooked and the decision to wire the house at all often comes as an afterthought, when most if not all of the interior of the structure has been completed.
Pre-wiring your house, or installing the wire in the stage of construction just before the drywall goes on, is always the preferred method and offers the most flexibility in placement of outlets and the routing of your cable .When deciding on the location of your outlets, try to visualize where you'll eventually be placing the furniture in the room in relation to the location of your television. Internet services are also being provided now by a lot of cable companies so placing an outlet in a spot near your planned computer station is also a good idea .In general it's a good idea to put at least one outlet in every room whether or not you plan to use it immediately. At least it will be there when it is needed, avoiding the drilling of any unsightly holes in the future.
Outlet boxes can be purchased at any hardware store and should be fastened to the wall stud in the location that you want at the same height as existing electrical outlets. It is recommended to install the outlet box in the adjacent wall stud cavity. Any wiring system should have a suitable ground and wiring for your cable TV needs is no exception. When planning your wiring layout always take the point of grounding under initial consideration. This is where most cable companies prefer to enter your house with their service and is where all wires leading to various outlets throughout the house should originate.... point of origin. This is almost invariably where the main power service enters the residence.
The most popular method of prewiring your house is called the "home run method" in which each run of wire for each outlet is ran separate back to the point of origin. This type of wiring is preferred for ease of troubleshooting in case of any problem. Also in the future possibility of apartments etc., separation and security of services are more easily maintained. This method of wiring also ensures obtaining the least amount of signal attenuation for each run of cable. So now that you have your wiring route all planned out it's time to drill your holes in the floor and joists.
This assumes, of course, you have an open basement or crawl space to work in. Otherwise you may have to look at routing your wiring up through the walls, across the attic and down by your electrical panel. Drill a hole big enough to accommodate your cable directly below your outlet boxes and a hole either 1/2 inch or 3/4 through all the joists in the planned route. This helps to maintain the structural integrity of the floor joists. Try placing your reel or box of cable at the point of origin and pulling your cables through the holes to the various outlet boxes one wire per outlet. Care should be taken not to pull too hard on the wire or to try and fit too many wires through the same hole. Hauling a couple wires through each 1/2 inch hole is plenty and for more wires you should use the 3/4 inch size hole. Another technique used by some is to loop the outlets in each room to each other creating one continuous run back to the point of origin. Although this may seem convenient on the surface, in the long run it is much more susceptible to troubleshooting problems and unnecessary degradation in signal loss may be experienced. It is very important when installing the cable to not bend it too tightly around corners or squat it unnecessarily when fastening it. Any considerable change in the physical characteristics of the cable will almost certainly result in a degradation of its performance.
Once it is installed and the dry wall is up it will be very difficult to repair any damage. Never haul your wires through the same holes as electrical wires. If you are fastening your wires to the bottom of the floor joists, try using tower clips instead of staples. They hold just as good and there is less chance of squatting or puncturing the cable. Remember to mark your wires according to the rooms they are going for ease of identification after the house is complete. Leave a few inches of wire coiled up in the outlet boxes and a couple feet of slack to work with at the point of origin and you are pretty well done.
Wall plates and connection of the cable are most times provided by the cable company when the cable service itself is installed. If you are not ready to have the service installed yet or you are installing a satellite dish then you should be able to purchase wall plates and connectors at your local hardware store. If the house you just bought isn't pre-wired for cable and has a completely finished basement, then your only option, besides fishing wires up through the walls, may be drilling through the wall to the outside and routing your cable on the exterior of your house. If you are getting cable TV service installed by your local cable company then this type of job is best left to them as they are the professionals and have the experience and materials to do the job properly.…...

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