Running Cables - Prep
The first step was to place Post-It notes in each location of the plates. As you will remember, we determined the four standard plate configurations that we would be using and which connections each plate offered. We examined our drawing of the plate locations and placed additional Post-It notes on each wall for each of the locations that had the plate type number and the connection number written on it.
Sticky notes indicate proposed jack locations
Labeling each of the connections with a number is very important. Doug created a method where each and every plate had an assigned number. Multiple types of the same type of connection were labeled with a letter. For example, a plate was numbered 1008 in the first floor office. In the data patch panel you would find a connection that was labeled 1008A. If this plate had a second data connection it would be labeled 1008B. The 1008 number carries over to the voice and coax as well, with these being labeled using the same number scheme. As long as you know the plate number, you can find the connection quickly within the patch panels for the voice, data and coax.
Once all of the locations were selected and labeled, we then needed to find a pathway to get the cable fished into the existing walls. The challenge was running the cable to the second floor, as there was no direct access from the termination point in the basement to the second floor. The first floor was fairly easy because we had ample access provided by the full basement and crawl spaces under both the first floor office and family room. The termination point that was located in my basement lab was being built from the ground up, so we had the ability to run the cables during the framing process prior to hanging the drywall.
Tape multiple cables before pulling
Getting the cabling to the second floor can present a challenge in any installation. Depending on the age of your home and its design, this task can be more or less difficult. Doug examined several options for doing this while keeping the cabling inside the house. Many installers like to take the easy way out and will want to run the cable outside with some sort of casing like Panduit, for example, and bring it into the attic this way. but is this the way that you would want it done? I don't think so. Perhaps in older homes this is the only option, but it is NOT the preferred method. The better option is to take advantage of existing raceways, ducts, and areas that can be used to route the cabling.
In our case, Doug tapped the knowledge of Newcome team member Jeff Harris, who has over ten years of experience installing alarm systems into pre-existing homes. Jeff spent considerable time examining both our basement and the attic to determine the best solution for running the wiring up to the second floor. Jeff also had to consider building codes and dos and don'ts for running cable up to the second floor. Fortunately, Doug found an old coax cable from a previous cable TV installation that helped clue him in as to how to do this.