This e-zine is dedicated to a wide variety of issues in
the area of home & SoHo telecom cabling and networking.

Issue #7 (May 2002)
© Cabling-Design.com, info@cabling-design.com
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=> From the Editor
=> Sponsorship Notice
=> Feature Article (Home Cabling)
=> Sponsorship Notice
=> News You Can Use
=> Q & A
=> Sponsorship Notice

From the Editor

Dear subscriber,

Technology is everywhere. It overwhelmed our office and now it
attacks our home. We can use the Internet in each room, watch
hundreds of TV channels and even create our own intra-house video
channels, remotely control our home appliances etc.

The list of options can be continued.

Is it bad or good for us? Does it help us in having a more
successful and full life?

I fear it is not always the case. There are cases when
technology was THE reason for divorce because the husband
could not ‘disconnect’ himself from browsing the Internet a
nd spend some time with his children.

It is strange, but communications technology can improve
our communication with people far away and at the same time
make us more distant from our relatives and friends.

We have to be aware of it when dealing with technology.

It is exciting to live with technology, but we need to remember
about moderation and balance.

Today, we continue our series on cables for Smart Homes and
address cables for whole-house audio distribution.

Please remember that your feedback is very important and
highly appreciated. Please email me
at info@cabling-design.com with any topics you would like to
be covered in future issues.

Best regards and happy networking,

John Rogers
tel/fax (435) 514-7074


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>SPONSOR MESSAGE<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

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This book is an excellent addition to the best-selling
‘Residential Cabling Guide’ from Cabling-Design.com.

It provides all the necessary information for:

* discovering the benefits of home networking
* creating a whole-house phone and PC network
* choosing and wiring a whole-house security system
* creating a multi-zone whole-house audio system
* exploring X-10 and other home automation technologies
* and much more …

This book is highly recommended by Cabling-Design.com.

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>>>>>>>>>>>>>>END SPONSOR MESSAGE<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Essential Facts for Cabling Your Home in a Smart Way
Part 3: Cables, cables, cables ...
By John Rogers
<continued from Issue #1>

Whole-House Audio Distribution

In the last issues we mainly talked about communications
systems, now let’s talk about a very important entertainment
system: whole-house audio.

This system may consist of only a pair of speakers and
one audio source or may include multi-zone distribution
and multiple sources allowing listening to different
sounds in different rooms.

For saving costs, audio cabling should also be planned
for and installed together with telecommunications and
video cabling.


Whole-house audio systems may be divided into two groups:

() Single-zone system (one audio source plays in each
room at the same time, of course you can control the volume
in every room)

() Multi-zone system (different audio sources can be
played in different rooms at the same time: for example,
CD player in one bedroom and FM tuner in the kitchen)

Here we will concentrate on single-zone audio because
it is much more simple to install and less expensive.

Whole-house audio system consists of the following components:

* Audio sources (CD player, MP3 player, FM tuner etc)

* Amplifiers (those boxes amplify signals from audio
sources to speaker levels)

* Audio cabling
Audio cabling in general includes the following components:
- Audio speaker cables and audio patch cables;
- Audio connectors and outlets
- Audio bridging modules

* Volume controls
Those devices control the volume in each room and
may include impedance matching.

* Speakers
Those devices convert electronic power signals
delivered by audio cabling from the amplifier into acoustic sound.

Wiring Topology

Your audio cabling system should also use a star topology.
All the audio sources and amplifiers should be located in
the center of the star (preferably, near to the whole-house
Distribution Device).

Audio cables run from the Distribution Device to the
volume controls in different rooms. Additional audio cables
connect the volume controls with the appropriate speakers.

Choosing the Best Audio Cables
Buy the best audio cable you can afford. Poor audio cable
degrades the audio signal quality and may add a lot to possible
frustration. Below are some recommendations for choosing
the best audio cables:

() 2- or 4-conductor construction within one jacket
Each speaker requires 2 conductors of speaker wire,
so 2-conductor audio cable supports ONE speaker and
4-conductor audio cable support TWO speakers (left and right).

() UL Class 2 or Class 3 rating for in-wall use
Those classes rate cables for safety according to the
National Electrical Code (NEC). Always check with your
local authorities which minimum Class rating your in-wall
cables must be.

() 14 AWG copper conductors for better power transfer
‘Gauge’ measures the thickness of the conductor and is
measured in AWG units (American Wire Gauge). The lower
the gauge the thicker the conductor. The thicker cable
(with the lower AWG number) has less attenuation and is
better for audio power transfer. Your audio cables should
be minimum 16 AWG. 14 AWG is recommended.

() Twisted conductors for better noise immunity
Audio cables also may have twisted conductors for the
same reason as Unshielded Twisted Pair cables: noise immunity.

() Color-coded jacket for easy identification
Do not forget that most cables look the same if the jackets
are of the same color. Choose color-coded jackets, assign
a color to each application and you will be able to identify
cables faster.

() Rip cord for easy jacket removal
If you install cable on your own, this feature will definitely
make your job easier.

Planning Audio Cabling

Audio cables should be planned using the following rules:

(1) Audio cables from the Amplifier and Audio Sources
to the Distribution Device.

If the amplifier and audio sources are not located near
to the Distribution Device, run six-conductor speaker
cable from the amplifier to the Distribution Device.
Four conductors are used for audio signal transmission,
additional two conductors may be used for DC power.

(2) Audio cables from the Distribution Device to the
Volume Controls in different rooms.

Run four-conductor speaker cable to each volume control.

(3) Audio cables from the volume control to the speakers.

For each speaker, you will need to run two-conductor
speaker cable from the associated volume control.

<In the next issue, we will talk about different types
of outlets, faceplates, mounting brackets etc>

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* How to cable your house for voice, data, video and other
* How to turn your house into a state-of-art communications
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technologies like Internet connection sharing and multi-room
video distribution
* How to plan, design, install and maintain your advanced
home network
* How to choose the best components for your home network

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>>>>>>>>>>>>>>END SPONSOR MESSAGE<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

News You Can Use

Internet Security Systems Releases BlackICE PC
Protection for Small Office and Home Users

Internet Security Systems (ISS) today announced
the launch of BlackICE(TM) PC Protection, a powerful
desktop application combining intrusion detection
systems (IDS) and firewall technologies with a new
security measure, application protection, to advance
the level of protection available to small office and
home users in an affordable, easy-to-use package.
BlackICE PC Protection builds on the same award-winning
technology used in its predecessor, BlackICE Defender,
but takes its capabilities a step further to protect
online users against the new breed of hybrid threats
able to circumvent traditional firewall and anti-virus
applications. BlackICE PC Protection is optimized
to secure any Internet connection including dial-up,
Ethernet, cable, DSL and wireless networks.

Many of today's common PC applications including
peer-to-peer instant messaging, file sharing and
email programs, and web browsers contain applications
that automatically accept inbound and outbound
communications through the Internet. These applications
are susceptible to attack and are not fully protected
by traditional firewalls and anti-virus.
Application protection is superior to traditional outbound
blocking techniques by not only automating the initial security
settings for the user, but by automatically blocking attacks.
For example: attackers often disguise illicit applications
as legitimate ones by using a common file name to fool users
into giving them access to carry-out malicious activity.
BlackICE PC Protection's application protection automatically
detects the wolf lurking under sheep's clothing and
quickly stops dangerous attack programs delivered
through common PC applications.
The BlackICE system disables destructive programs before
they can create damage to the user's desktop, or launch new
attacks on other users or corporations.

Protection from the Latest Threats
Like its predecessor, BlackICE PC Protection offers powerful
intrusion detection with personal firewall and protocol
analysis capabilities that automatically recognize and block
new attacks, often without requiring frequent, laborious
product updates. This feature helped protect BlackICE users
from last year's destructive Code Red and Nimda "hybrid" threats.
It also secures wireless connections, preventing attackers from
penetrating PCs connected using wireless network cards.
This is an escalating trend among attackers who take
advantage of the increase in wirelessly connected users and
the lack of security in wireless networks.

Availability and Pricing
BlackICE PC Protection is now widely available and
its suggested retail price is US$39.95.

Questions You Ask, Answers You Use

When I had DSL installed at my house, I ran a CAT5 cable
from the demarc to the DSL modem. Since the DSL line only
uses 1 pair, will there be any problem with using one
of the other pair for my other phone line?

You can run DSL line in parallel to the other analogue line
in one CAT5E cable with absolutely no problem. Make sure
that you use the DSL line for placing phone call too. Use
DSL filters or take it filtered from the back of the modem.

Having broadband Internet connection also helps to reduce
load on the analogue phone line and on your phone bill too.
I'm an extensive user of Voice over IP applications that
saves me on international calls more than I pay for DSL
service itself. I really forgot when was the last time
I called internationally with regular phone service.

So, again, make sure you get most out of your DSL connection.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>SPONSOR MESSAGE<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


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>>>>>>>>>>>>>>END SPONSOR MESSAGE<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Copyright© 2002 Cabling-Design.com


Issue #7 Published: 31 Aug 2005
Issue #6 Published: 26 Aug 2005
Issue #4 Published: 26 Aug 2005
Issue #5 Published: 26 Aug 2005
Issue #3 Published: 26 Aug 2005
Issue #2 Published: 26 Aug 2005
Issue #1 Published: 26 Aug 2005
Residential Cabling Guide

Home Cabling Guide

Finally, an instantly downloadable book that saves you thousands in home improvement dollars! Enjoy living in 21st century technology-advanced home while increasing its selling value and competitive advantage on the real estate market. Whether your cabling is for home office or high-tech leisure, you can wire your home yourself or learn "wirish" to speak with your cabling contractors in their language!

Learn more ...

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