If you were building a house right now..... data/alarm

Discussion in 'General' started by crazywolf450r, May 17, 2015.

  1. crazywolf450r

    crazywolf450r Well-Known Member

    My g/f is currently building a pretty nice house and I'm trying to help her lay out her internet/alarm/video system. The house is basically on top of a mountain, 3 stories plus a 'tower'. She wants a very good alarm system with PTZ cameras outside, with one camera at her gate about 1/4 mile away from the house. Im worried that wifi will not be good enough for her house without doing multiple access points since its basically built straight up. I'm thinking should we have data runs put in each room, and plan on running the cameras PoE. Shes also considering a home automatiom system, but I'm very uneducated on what is available now. Need some help from you folks. Venom? Beac? Where ya at? :D
  2. Rico888

    Rico888 Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you got the right guys in mind for some advice :up:
  3. sicc

    sicc Well-Known Member

    There is no reason you should not run data to every room. Cat6 is cheap. Run some into closets too in case you need to hide AP's throughout.

    How do you intend to put a poe camera 1/4 mile away? Is there power?
  4. crazywolf450r

    crazywolf450r Well-Known Member

    Thats my thought as well. I'm thinking two cat6 drops in every bedroom plus 3 in the living room. Running to the closet is a good idea as well.

    I dont expect the gate camera to be poe. There will be power at that location because of the access gate. I just dont know how to get the signal back to the house. Do we just run 1/4 mile of data cable? I would think directional wifi bridge would be better, but there is no line of site to the house.
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  5. Fencer

    Fencer Well-Known Member

    Is the gate automated (or going to be) for remote entry?
    I did one similar to what you describe. IIRC the gate was 900 ft from the house.

    There are products available that will allow you to WIFI (Cell repeater) that distance, but it ait cheap. Bestest most reliable would be hardwire. but if not done correctly you can get signal loss over the length.
  6. XFBO

    XFBO Well-Known Member


    Not knowing what phase you guys are at in construction, the sooner the better to figure that stuff out. They could just as easily run a separate pvc conduit for data in the same ditch for the power to the house (assuming it's u/g) or power for the automated gate entry.
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  7. duck62

    duck62 V7 Scooter

    I would recommend installing some conduit to the gate. Pull shielded cable to the home from the gate. You can install a analog camera and get it back that distance no problem. Do not forget to plan for TV locations as well and use RG6/RG6Q. I tend to use a bundled cable with Cat and coax. If you have a closet, try to plan for a rack for everything to be terminated in. This can house any NVR/DVR's, Modems, routers etc. You can even distribute your Audio and Video from this central location. Plan as much as you can, and pull all the cable you think will support it and then some.
  8. fastfreddie

    fastfreddie Midnight Oil Garage

    Plan a dedicated electronics room, possibly also acting as a safe room. Wire everything from there.
  9. beac83

    beac83 Well-Known Member

    Front Gate cam:

    Ethernet is only good on copper cables for 320 ft. So to the front gate, you will need fiber. Put in a conduit of 1" or larger next to the power run out to the front gate. You can pull in the fiber later. (remember to install pull boxes/hand-holes every 250 feet (max) ) You'll need local power and a small UPS at the gate for the cam/security stuff (card reader, gate controller, etc.) While you can do analog for a quarter mile on coax, it will lose resolution and need several amplifiers installed in hand-holes/manholes along the way to get it to work reliably. Also Analog is limited to standard definition, and may not provide the quality you want. If you have lots of funds, you can do an HD on coax, but it will cost a couple of thousand to set up. Your security system will probably need ethernet at the gate anyway, so run fiber, and have network at the gate for security, VOIP intercom and one or more HD IP cams.

    As for inside, I'd run cat 5E (good for 1Gigabit) or Cat 6A (good for 10Gigabit) to each room at a minimum. Forget Cat 6, and use 6A. Cat 6 provides no better performance than Cat 5E in practical installations.
    Actually, if it were my place, I'd run 2x Cat6A and 2x RG6 Quad Shield to each location that I put a data outlet. Home run everything (keep the Cat cables under 300 ft per run) to a common panel.

    I'd plan on also running single Cat5E or Cat 6A to locations where I'd want to mount Access Points for wireless services. Depending on the construction design and footprint of the house (sq footage per floor) you will need a minimum of 2 and likely more, access points to cover three stories.

    Run 3x RG6 QS (quad shield) to where the satellite dish would go (most need to see a southern sky without obstructions). Run a good ground to that location as well (preferably as straight to ground as possible, and since you are on a mountain, I'd actually consider hiring a lightning consultant to design lightning protection for the house). Same/additional if you are planning a Over-the-air TV and/or FM radio antenna installation. Figure out where the Internet service is coming from (wireless provider, phone co, cable co, etc) and put in a run + a spare to where that would enter the building (if terrestrial services, then they usually bury them in the same trench that is dug for the power line).

    While the wire isn't free, pre-wiring all that will make it possible to move things around the house with ease after it is built, and will mean you probably won't ever need to re-wire.

    When I do a custom house, I try to convince the customer to install data outlets so that every wall that is more than 8 ft long has at least one, in pretty much every room. This way you have more freedom to move the arrangement of the room to whatever you want down the road. I make all the data outlets the same - 2x Cat cable and 2x RG6QS. That way you are ready for satellite TV, Internet, and more down the road.

    As for home automation, there are several good systems out there, I'm partial to Insteon/ZWave and the ISY controller, as its the most programmable one out there.

    There are three fully developed systems standards - Insteon, ZWave and Zigbee. With a house as large as you have, I'd stay away from Zigbee (unless you end up with a high-end system like Crestron that supports multiple bridges in Zigbee). I'd probably go with some mix of Insteon (widest range of switches and devices) and Zwave (most universal support) and the ISY controller. If you are hiring out the automation design, you can get really deep into this stuff, and add higher end stuff like Crestron controllers, etc.

    Not sure how deep you are going into home automation, but if it's more than controlling a few lights, the thermostat, the gate, maybe some drapery control, etc. I'd suggest getting a local expert in to help with the design. Pretty much anything can be done, it's all about your budget and desires. I'm guessing if she's building a 3 story house with a tower on a mountain top, this is pretty high-end construction.

    Never depend on wireless systems for security. Wireless systems are affected by outside parameters that you cannot control, and can be easily jammed. Wireless is a good backup for wired security, but I never recommend it for primary loops. The wireless security stuff out there is mainly there for retrofit and to cut install costs in existing buildings. But since you are building new, there is no reason not to install hardwire security (Perimeter protection, motion sensor connection, Fire/Smoke/CO, camera) lines.
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  10. XFBO

    XFBO Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a solid plan and makes sense especially in rooms that are more likely to see furniture placement change over time.

    I need to ask though, in the same room, say you install two data boxes, do you actually run each to the main panel or for that specific room you can settle making a jumper from one box to the other?

    I wouldn't be too surprised if the answer is every box runs to the main panel but damn, that's a LOT of wire/runs. I also realize every added 'splice' can be problematic.
  11. beac83

    beac83 Well-Known Member

    All data connections have a home run to the panel. It's a lot of wire, but Ethernet won't work well if at all if it's bridged to multiple outlets. If you employ splitters in the RG6QS, your choices in splitter model will limit the usefulness of that connection. Better to have a solid copper connection to the panel for each run.
  12. crazywolf450r

    crazywolf450r Well-Known Member

    Thank you Beac! Knew you would know whats up!

    Re: the camera and gate system... I may have spoken too soon about not having line of sight. IF we can establish solid line of sight (her house is about 50ft high at the eaves, and there will be a light pole at the gate which is down the hill, so it may be doable) would a wireless bridge be a good solution? The Enstation5 boasts excellent performance at that distance and would be exponentially cheaper than running fiber.

  13. beac83

    beac83 Well-Known Member

    Its all about budget and level of security necessary. Wireless can be made to work, but it's easy to jam (especially over that distance outdoors). Also, if you are shooting through several hundred feet of elevation, you might run into temperature inversions morning/evening that would interrupt the microwave signal (2.4Ghz or 5.8Ghz). If you go wireless, I'd use a dedicated point-to-point link with something like the Ubiquiti MIMO wireless ISP radios with directional gain antennas on both ends. For this application, I'd want to design in a 40dB fade margin in the wireless signal path.

    The engenius unit you linked is similar the the Ubiquiti stuff i use. For a vertical elevation change, I'd go with 2.4GHz though. The higher the frequency, the more likely the signal will be bent/refracted by temperature inversions on the hill. At 2.4GHz, you can still get 150Mbps with a 40MHz bandwidth, you'll just need to go to higher gain antennas due to the wider bandwidth.

    Your call.
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  14. thrak410

    thrak410 My member is well known

    In a house like that we'd centrally distribute the sources, no cable box in each room. We'd use HDBaseT distribution for video and control. We're a Savant dealer, and would run the entire control system off IP so the wifi and network reliability is critical. We use Ubiquiti APs, routers and switches and have had great success and very very reasonable price points... In the end, its a lot easier to prewire for a home automation/distribution system while the place is still being built for sure, but make sure whoever does it has a complete plan for 'today' and for 'future' additions.

    Good luck! Sounds like a fun project.
  15. crazywolf450r

    crazywolf450r Well-Known Member

    Yes, she is wanting an automated gate with keypad and remote controls. I'd like to have the ability to close or open the gate from inside the house, Im imagining that will work into the data network somehow...
  16. beac83

    beac83 Well-Known Member

    Thanks Thrak!

    I knew someone on here is a HO specialist and couldn't remember who.
  17. thrak410

    thrak410 My member is well known

    :) You covered a good bit already!

    For gates we integrate it into Savant so you can answer/open from any ipad or iphone (or android phone) in the system. We can even automate it so when you open the gate the entryway or porch lights come on or whatever... cool stuff! :D I love one touch homes.

    I just wish I could afford to do some of the stuff in my house that we do for clients!! :eek:
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  18. Venom51

    Venom51 John Deere Equipment Expert - Not really

    Beac is on the money. I second everything he suggested. I'll only add the sentiment that wireless is for convenience. I only use it for things that come and go from the house. If it never leaves the house it gets a hard wire.

    Also plan for future needs or wants a little. Leave an unused conduit to locations that may need additional cabling later. I've got a 2 inch tube that runs from the basement D-Mark to the attic for just in case uses. If you are going to centrally locate the switching and routing gear and any other equipment then make sure to add additional cooling if they are in a smaller confined area. Every piece of equipment you plug in will add additional heat load to the space.

    Don't forget good documentation. Good labeling, Diagrams of wire paths and anything buried are nice to have around when something fails.
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  19. beac83

    beac83 Well-Known Member

    We did this when my brother built his house a few years back. It worked out well as there was no direct path, and the tube had some bends. No way we could have added anything after the house was built without it.

    Another thought. Since this is a 3 story house, the 2nd floor is captive (no access above or below). I might want to run 3/4" conduits from data locations on the 2nd floor to the basement so that future stuff can be handled on the 2nd floor.

    I never put anything secure on wireless. I hardwire the main PC to the network as well for banking, etc. Maybe I'm a bit paranoid, but that doesn't mean they aren't out to get me. :cool:
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  20. thrak410

    thrak410 My member is well known

    Depending on whats on the other floors, a single 3/4" might not be enough. In the framing stage adding conduit is super cheap. Do multiples or a large single. Its always surprising how fast it fills up. You can only fit 5 Cat6 cables in a 3/4" conduit... maybe 6 if you pull hard enough :p

    Of course if its just an uplink from floor to floor its fine.

Share This Page