Fess Up: How Bad is Your Equipment Cabinet?

After seven years, our structured wiring, home automation and and A/V rack are a mess! What’s in your own closet?


Oh what fun it is to mock structured wiring cabinets, equipment racks and entertainment centers that have lost their way!

But I’m willing to bet that half of CE Pros have wiring demons in their own closets.

Take mine, for example. The structured wiring was pristine when my integrator installed it six years ago.

The A/V rack was gorgeous, too, with everything beautifully labeled and organized and … working.

Since then, though, I’ve swapped out equipment, rearranged some things, completely shut down components, and switched from POTS to cable telephone, then to VoIP, then back to POTS.

I still have a 400-disc Sony CD changer and Escient TuneBase Pro MK-1 music management system occupying 9 rack spaces. I unplugged the whole rack a few years ago.

Now I’m moving across the country. My original Crestron integrator Drew Wiatrak from Sensation Design Group is the happy recipient of my nine-year-old home automation gear that occupies another 20 or so rack spaces. He has a charitable cause that he’s working on.

SnapAV is filling the gaps in my rack with shelves and drawers and blanks.

RELATED: Julie Jacobson’s Install: The Retrofit from Hell

Local security and home automation integrator Webco will be cleaning up the mess I’ve made of my structured wiring. The technician assures me it’s not as bad as it looks. At least everything is labeled.

Meanwhile, I need to replace the Crestron keypads/touchscreens with something. We’re putting in an affordable ZR-4 multiroom audio system from Niles for us to enjoy for the time being … and the new renters or home owners to enjoy eventually.

Show us your mess! Send pictures of your own messy wiring to jjacobson@ehpub.com. You know you want to.

Meanwhile, check out our collection of messiest installs ever.

Seven years ago, our integrators did a beautiful job on the retrofit from hell. That’s Drew Wiatrak on the left. How did things go so terribly wrong?


About the Author

Julie Jacobson
Julie Jacobson:

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson