House Data, Telecom and Audio Plan

Under Construction

Chrissy and I listen to a lot of audio books and when we’re not doing that we like to have classical background piano music playing. Lately, we’ve been amazed by how nice it is to have our Bose wave radio playing soft and quiet Christian music using Pandora which is being streamed from Chrissy’s iPhone. Since we’re putting some insulation in our basement and about to seal off the ceiling, we decided its time to at least wire our basement and consequently the rest of the house for whole house audio.

Fortunately, there a lot of great resources on the Internet for this. Crutchfield has some good tutorials, but they seem to be priced for much different market — namely those willing to spend a lot of money on audio. While we like technology, I’ve never quite considered myself an audiophile, at least at this stage to not have interest in buying the highest quality speakers in optimizing our sound throughout the home, but rather want to have good quality sound so we can listen to an audio book while we clean, or perhaps relaxing piano music while we play with our kids.

The three most helpful resources in determining our whole house audio plan were:

Crutchfield. Even though their prices are quite high, they have very good online tutorials. See their learning center. They also have a good selection of equipment, most focusing on custom multizone high fidelity systems.

Slashdot. This one really piqued my interest. Here you can find a great discussion from hackers perspective of how to build a whole house audio system doing everything from taking components of car stereos to modifying 70s gear.

I myself feel straddled between these two options. The thought of hacking a bunch of hardware together is those amazingly appealing, but nonetheless would require too much time. However, I called Crutchfield and asked them for custom system design. As expected, the price premium was too high. Fortunately, the spectrum between a hacked set of old hardware and a custom solution can be found from a number of other websites. The best tutorial that has a lot of DIY insights as well as links to equipment is found at the home tech website. Not only do they have good prices, but they also cover the history and a big picture view of whole house audio systems. There, they get down into details such as pre-wiring and installing a whole house audio system. hometech article

So after the research from sites such as those described above it looked like a system that was able to send audio data through category five cabling (what most folks know as ethernet cables) would provide the best option for the major zones around the house were simply looking for background music or mono audio signals. Not only could you buy the complete kit with nice key pads for under $600, but it seem like the level of fidelity and ease of installation were just right. Moreover, I’ll now have cat 5 wiring going to all controls throughout my house, which provides what I really want, an opportunity for progressive growth for our system, and preserves the potential for completely integrated home automation for the future.

From designing online businesses web presences,

what are our goals?

  • provide growth path
  • listen to an audio book throughout the house as we clean/work
  • listen to background music for party (indoor and out)
  • listen to music as our children play

what is our budget (equipment)?

we need an audio plan for our house


Speaker Calculation

OSD Audio ICE620TT 6.5-inch 125-Watt Polypropylene Dual Voice Coil In-Ceiling Stereo Speaker, Single

  • Woofer: 6 1/2-Inch polypropylene woofer with dual voice coil
  • Tweeter: Dual (2) 5/8-Inch center mounted tweeters
  • Power handling: 125W, Impedance: 8 / 16 Ohms
  • Frequency Response 40Hz – 22kHz, Sensitivity 89db
  • Cut-Out Diameter: 7 3/4-Inch, Unit Dimension: 9-Inch diameter x 3 1/4-Inch deep
  • Shipping: This item does not ship outside the U.S

In order to power these, I’m thinking this OSD link, but much cheaper under the Dayton brand at Amazon. You can find the manual here.

So in order to distribute them, I’m thinking about this.

Downstairs audio and data plan

Upstairs audio and data plan

you can figure out where to place speakers here

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