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Drop List - more

Some of the entries in the drop lists bear a bit of explanation. I wanted the Living Room and Studio to be able to support large screen HDTVs fed by DirecTV boxes with built-in DVRs. Perhaps at some point DirecTV will stop requiring a telephone connection for their boxes to phone home, but for now, I needed a phone drop handy. The three Video drops were for two lines in (needed for the DVR) and one out, so that I could feed TV to other locations back at the central wiring panel. The Data line would allow connection to the house net, both to bring content in from a remote server, or allow distribution out in digital form at some point.

Due to luck more than planning, we ended up with spare space in the floor plan that we turned into what we called the living room closet. Part of the space ended up being used by a return air duct, but there was still plenty of room left. So I duplicated the Living Room drops inside the closet and put a power outlet in there, too. This gives me the flexibility of hiding an access point, server, NAS or other networking or A/V gear out of sight - that is, if my wife doesn't claim the space first for table linens and coats!

The trickiest locations turned out to be the Kitchen and Breakfast rooms, and I have to admit to my main mistake here. I didn't put a video outlet in the Breakfast room because I thought the location we picked in the Kitchen for mounting a small LCD TV on a wall arm would allow it to also be positioned to be viewed the Breakfast room.

But as we've settled in, I don't think that's going to work, at least not without a fairly long and unsightly mounting arm. Fortunately, a fix in the way of adding the coax run is still possible, since the Breakfast room is located over a semi-finished crawlspace that doesn't have a finished ceiling. So, as much as I dislike fishing cables through walls, if I have to, I can do it.

The last thing to note is that the list contains drops that don't yet exist - in the Laundry and Storage rooms. Walls to both those rooms adjoin the Utility room which has an unfinished ceiling and sheetrocked, but unfinished walls. So I saved my self a few bucks and will add those drops myself (no cable fishing required) when the need arises. The reason I added the drops to the list, however, was to properly size the patch panels back in the Utility room.

That's it for this time. In Part 2, I'll cover configuring the wall boxes and describe how the cabling was done.

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