Networking & Cables

#TBT: 50K Feet of Cable Inside Log Cabin

Throwback Thursday goes back to 2011 when Amenitek redesigned an A/V system in an 18,000-square-foot log cabin that featured two 7.1-channel surround-sound rooms, three 5.1 surround rooms and 12 zones of audio.


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In this edition of Throwback Thursday, go back to 2011 when CE Pro featured this Neat-O! installation with 50,000 feet of cable inside a log cabin.

What do you get when you add up two 7.1-channel surround-sound rooms, three 5.1 surround rooms, 12 zones of audio and a request to have all the wire hidden among an 18,000-square-foot log cabin?

Well, eventually more than 50,000 feet of cable running from a centralized rack system to 136 Cat 6 drops, 14 coax drops, 15 multi-mode fiber locations and enough 12- and 14-gauge wire to accommodate the speakers.

The cabling length is a rough estimate, but because of the obstacles that come with outfitting a log cabin of that size, many of the Cat 6 runs were over 300 feet, according to Jared Martin, vice president of Pittsfield, Mass.-based Amenitek, which did this installation in the nearby Taconic Hills region of New York.

Chief among the obstacles was actually the evolving redesign of the home’s systems for this project that started several years ago, with the home still two years away from completion.

“The original design used Lifeware … the system was redesigned three times before the final installation,” says Martin, who worked on the project with president and designer Ben LaRoche and lead technician Jeremy Kindel. “The second design was to get away from Lifeware and update all the components to HDMI; the third and final design was required to bring the cost down to fit the owners’ new budget.”

Photos: Neat-O: 50K Feet of Cable Inside Log Cabin

In all, the cabling and installation work was spread out over two years, says Martin, who estimates the condensed labor effort likely to have been the equivalent of four weeks.

For housing the centralized equipment, the client designated a basement mechanical room as the hub of what turned into an Elan g! whole-house system. Along with distributed A/V, integrated technologies include GE security, LiteTouch lighting, Carrier Infinity HVAC, DirecTV, Cartell driveway monitoring and both wired and wireless networking. Amenitek also prewired for fiber-optic cable to all eight TV rooms and irrigation control, and has had discussions with the client about integrating IP cameras and Tekmar radiant heating into the Elan g! controls.

Both sides of two Middle Atlantic racks are outfitted to accommodate current and future gear. Amenitek used Just Add Power’s 2G HDMI gear for video distribution, but also incorporated a separate digital audio matrix from Kramer in order to dual-purpose the TV rooms’ speakers for surround sound and the Elan distributed audio.

“Just Add Power baluns are capable of sending audio, but in several locations we had to break it out and matrix the audio signals with a Kramer matrix using all digital audio connections from the sources to Denon AVRs,” Martin says. “This is because all the amplifiers and most of the sources are located in the mechanical room using large Middle Atlantic racks, where they have protection with an over-sized 5KVA Eaton UPS and adequate cooling. This also provides an easier working environment and plenty of room for upgrades.”

Congratulations to Amenitek for a Neat-O! installation. We’re looking for over-the-top projects. Cool, unique, tidy or meticulous, share your best work with our readers. E-mail your submissions, with high-resolution images, to managing editor Arlen Schweiger at [email protected].





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