Structured Wiring Wrapped Bundle

Category: Hardware & Appliances

A wrapped wire bundle for our structured wiring project.

Our Review

After doing some research and discovering the "structured wiring" approach, I've been getting my bearings on how to handle our own needs. I finally found the right wiring solution for our household wiring plan. I looked at SpeedWrap All-in-One bundled cable from Smart Home. However, I found much better prices on equivalent composite cable mentioned on the AV Science Forum.

People seem to prefer bundled cable that is wrapped and includes 2 RG-6 (coaxial), 2 CAT5e (ethernet), and 2 fiber optic cables. This supports a pretty wide range of needs, including:

  • Cable or satellite TV
  • Computer networking
  • Telephone (via the ethernet cable)
  • Future technologies using high-speed fiber optics

After making the decision to go with that cable, we do face one problem...the "run" that we've already installed from the basement to the attic is 1/2" conduit, which isn't wide enough to carry a bundle. We want to run three bundles upstairs so our plans were inadequate from the start. We'll have to use the existing conduit for electrical work and find someplace else to run the 2" PVC. Our best bet is probably the linen closet next to where we also intend to install a laundry chute.

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Have you considered running the cable parallel with your DWV main stack? It is generally boxed in and hidden. The hole in the floor already exists, you may have to drill a small one beside it. Once you get the cable to the attic, you can run it into a splice box. Another consideration would be to have the source in the attic and supply the second floor only. The third option is to acquire the individual cable components and run them down your existing half inch runs (or just split the outer jacket) and put your junction box either at the top or bottom of your runs. If you source your cables in the attic and have the cable guy run the cable up your outside wall instead of down, it will be harder for someone wanting to break in to cut off your communication. Just a thought.

All good suggestions. Perhaps we could do the run next to the stack, which is actually where the existing 1/2" runs are. I'll check to see if there is room when I get home this evening.

I did some more research and it looks like we should avoid running the structured wire bundle next to the electrical runs:

"The current industry practice is to install low voltage wiring inside of plastic PVC pipe or conduit well away (at least 12") from high voltage wiring."

More info at articles/sbtauto/sbtauto.htm

AVS is a very informative site. Their forum can be useful, but I want to offer a word of caution (based on my experience there):

Money does not matter to most folks there and the site has a lot of business interests to promote.

That being said, I agree with your assessment of the bundled wiring. One thing to consider is that Cat 5e can be used in a LOT of ways. It is really useful for audio, video, phone, data, you name it. In my opinion, for a whole house, generic data/phone/video/audio wiring plan, it is the best solution and value. Hence, if all you can do in the end is run a few Cat5e plus coaxial you will be doing really well.



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