Latest Discussions : Miscellaneous

dkap

10:49AM | 10/26/02
Member Since: 10/25/02
10 lifetime posts
Being an about-to-be-home-owner, I can see this site becoming very useful! This being my first post, I haven't gotten a feel yet for which forums are appropriate for which topics, but I think it's fairly generic in nature...

One of my planned projects is to run some PVC piping up into the back and front corner of a room for running audio cables through. After considering a number of suggestions, I decided on PVC run through the open attic above. The part I'm not crazy about is having to mess with stringing a line through there for pulling additional cables through down the road.

A subsequent thought that I had is to run a 1-2' tube up into the attic, attach a 90 degree elbow joint, then line that up with an industrial-type cable guide running to the other corner of the room. The guide I've got a mental picture of would be screwed down to the wood boards and have an open channel along the side facing up, making it easy to add or remove cables without having to feed them through the length of the pipe.

Dimensions would be roughly 25 feet long (could be combined shorter sections) and something like 3" wide by maybe 2" high. The exact size isn't important, just that it be big enough to hold several cables.

I've been searcing around the net for something like this without much luck. Lowe's and Home Depot don't seem to carry anything of the sort, but I haven't looked to see if there are any electrical supply stores in town that might be more likely to. I did get one email reply from one company I inquired with:

quote:
WE DO
2" x 5 ft
or
4" x 5 ft
GO TO OUR SITE WWW.ELECTRICSUPPLYONLINE.COM
IN SEARCH BOX..........ENTER..........UG
BOTH SIZES WILL BE PRESENTED

Not the most enlightening, since that search yields 107 results, none of which jump out as being what I'm looking for...

Any suggestions, either where to find this sort of thing or if there are any alternate methods I should consider?

Thanks,
Dan

dkap

10:50AM | 10/26/02
Member Since: 10/25/02
10 lifetime posts
p.s. I'm in Salem, Oregon, so proximity might be nice for shipping costs or possible pick-up/delivery options.

Randy Colin

04:17PM | 10/26/02
Member Since: 04/14/01
43 lifetime posts
dkap, Try "structured wiring" in your search. Also, try www.smarthome.com or www.homecontrols.com.

dkap

04:31PM | 10/26/02
Member Since: 10/25/02
10 lifetime posts
Randy, thanks for the tips. Searching for "structured wiring" in Google resulted in not much of interest from what I could see. Too descriptive of processes more than parts...

I've actually been looking at Smarthome's cable organizer system. I prefer something a bit more secured, but it isn't a bad option. Do you know of any specific items to look for at Home Controls? That site is pretty darn large and no categories or products are jumping out at me as fitting the bill. Also pretty slow, making searching for something which I don't know what or where to look for rather difficult... I may have to send them an email or call and see if they carry something of the sort.

Dan

joed

03:45AM | 10/27/02
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
There is no requirement to run A/V cables in a raceway in the attic. You could just use a wooden board to keep them organized.

dkap

04:12AM | 10/27/02
Member Since: 10/25/02
10 lifetime posts
How would a board keep them organized? Would you place nails along it, sticking up as guides? Or are you envisioning boards standing on their sides to keep the cables in line?

Also, I'm not thinking codes or requirements for this particular project, just ease of installation and maintenance. That and something to protect the cables from being tripped on and dragged (that's a storage area up there, too).

I got a follow-up email from Electric Supply Online with a refined search (would have been easier just to point me to the appropriate category page, but oh well). Here are the 2x5' and 4x5' products they carry:
http://www.electricsupplyonline.com/arlington-pole_guards.php

quote:
LOOKS LIKE THE OLD STYLE 1/2 ROUND RAIN GUTTER

I'm thinking that may not have the side opening I'm looking for...

Dan

Wolley

03:49PM | 10/27/02
What are these cables for? are they low voltage (less than 24 volts)? I don't know the laws in the States, but here in Canada if they are low voltage, you can use regular PVC DWV piping. It is fairly cheap, and available in different diameters. For the 90 degrees elbows, though, I would rather use 2 45 deg elbows, spaced by about 6 inches, so the cables don't bend too much (which can ruin the shield of a coaxial TV cable). Hope this helps!

dkap

04:24PM | 10/27/02
Member Since: 10/25/02
10 lifetime posts
They will be flexible speaker wires and possibly video cables and a subwoofer cable, so a 90 degree bend shouldn't be any problem. Also, I'm leaning toward a 2-3" wide elbow joint, and I wouldn't think the curvature around that bend is any more than what coax is often coiled with in bulk (off the spool, at least)...

What exactly does the DWV signify with regards to PVC? A PVC pipe will definitely work, but as mentioned above, it is completely enclosed and would require running strings through it for pulling additional cables back and forth. That seems like a rather undesirable trait... If I can find a cable guide with a partially open face, it will be easy to just lay the wires down in it with no fuss.

Dan

joed

02:57AM | 10/28/02
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
DWV= drain waste vent
Is this an walk in attic with a floor? Is that why you are concerned about damage? I wasn't thinking of nails but maybe some of those clamps that wrap around the wire and take a screw. If you actually need to protect them then a wooden box with sides and a top would work. I don't think those plastic channels with lids will not take weight on them. They are designed for neetness more than protection.

dkap

04:19AM | 10/28/02
Member Since: 10/25/02
10 lifetime posts
It's a ladder access area with a solid wood floor (except at the ends of the house where the roof slopes down -- that's exposed insulation). Here's a picture looking up at the area:
http://run-down.com/house/102202_garage.jpg

The wires will probably be running about 1' beyond the wall the ladder is up against, running right to left in the picture (along the wall). I plan on using that area for storage, so at least the main access area should have the wires pretty well covered. I'd hate to catch my foot on one and find the cement floor instead of the top run of the ladder... Building up some wood channels like you're describing may not actually be a bad idea. I could do it pretty cheap with some low grade wood and secure it with angle brackets or something like the clamps that hold down PVC. Not a bad backup option.

There are a couple of electrical supply stores in town, so I'll give them a call in a couple of hours and see if they have anything workable.

quote:
I don't think those plastic channels with lids will not take weight on them.

I assume you're referring to the Smarthome cable organizers or something similar?

Dan

rpxlpx

05:48AM | 10/28/02
Member Since: 03/13/00
1674 lifetime posts
Awhile back, my septic system required service. When digging, a small hole was broken in a 1-1/2" pvc pipe. The service guy showed me how to use the next larger size pipe, cut a piece of it around 6" long, then cut a section from it length-ways so that from the end it is "C" shaped. That piece will snap onto the broken piece of pipe, right over the hole, (and can be glued with PVC glue).
I'm thinking that if you started with a similar piece of pvc - maybe 1-1/2 inch, then cut a 3/4" section from it for its entire length, you could snap larger pieces on at intervals - maybe every 4 or 5 feet - like the repairman did with my septic pipe.
It would be really easy to run new wires using that as a raceway. And, of course, elbows and such would be no problem.

[This message has been edited by rpxlpx (edited October 28, 2002).]

dkap

05:53AM | 10/28/02
Member Since: 10/25/02
10 lifetime posts
That's exactly what I had hoped to do, but I was told it would be fairly difficult to cut out the groove. It would need to be well secured in vices or clamps and the saw blade couldn't be very deep.

How exactly did you make the length-wise cut in the larger diameter pipe? Keep in mind, I'm talking about close to 25' long here -- probably two and a half 10' pipes -- so cutting along the length of that can't be too arduous of a process to be doable.

Dan

rpxlpx

07:45AM | 10/28/02
Member Since: 03/13/00
1674 lifetime posts
I used a table saw, with the blade low so that it was sticking out only about 1/2 inch. It took 2 cuts. You should have little difficulty working with 8-10 foot lengths. They're not heavy, but you'll want a second person to help guide the pieces on the saw.
Also, the cuts don't have to be perfect for this to work. And if you mess up a few pieces experimenting, it's not that expensive.

[This message has been edited by rpxlpx (edited October 28, 2002).]

dkap

08:01AM | 10/28/02
Member Since: 10/25/02
10 lifetime posts
Now I just need a table saw...

I called one of the electrical supply wholesalers in town and was told they won't sell to me (as a private party) and that the super small wire mold that Lowe's and Home Depot sell is the only sort of thing available other than running conduit. Seems ridiculous that something so simple would be so impossible to find.

Randy Colin

12:48PM | 10/28/02
Member Since: 04/14/01
43 lifetime posts
dkap, Check out the "horizontal cable management unit" at this site, swdp.com.

dkap

02:02PM | 10/28/02
Member Since: 10/25/02
10 lifetime posts
Randy, thanks for the tip. Took a bit of searching (lots of vertical units), but here it is:
http://swdp.com/cat/swe812.html

Sounds promising, but those dimensions are a bit odd. 8.5" wide x 2.5" deep x 1.75" high. 8.5" long sections means I would need roughly 35 pieces -- probably not very cost (prices not listed) or time (to assemble that many little pieces) effective... Still, it's a worth consideration.

Dan

Randy Colin

03:49PM | 10/28/02
Member Since: 04/14/01
43 lifetime posts
Dan,I'm trying to find something that is made for your purpose.That's just the way I am.I hate to jerryrig things.No offense to anyone.Try a search under "cable/wire management".It's quite extensive but you may find somethung.

dkap

04:19PM | 10/28/02
Member Since: 10/25/02
10 lifetime posts
I certainly appreciate the help and desire to find the right "tool" for the job.

Do you mean a search for "cable/wire management" in search engines, the forum here, or the swdp.com site? I'm assuming you mean search engines, which do indeed yield quite a few results... Most of them seem to be for office work stations or networking racks. Here are a few links with some potential:
http://www.eagledesigngroup.com/wire_man100.htm http://www.chatsworth.com/New%20Products/New_Products_Showcase.htm

More listings: http://www.motionnet.com/cgi-bin/search.exe?a=cat&no=2179 http://www.electroseek.com/Cable_Wire_Equipment.html

Ah, now we're talking! This looks to be the best of the lot:
http://www.monosystems.com/products.asp

The strongest candidates being the SMS3200 and SWA2200 series. No mention of lengths, which I assume means that can be varied. It is 3,000 miles away (NY), so I assume shipping wouldn't be cheap... I'll send them a note and see about getting more details.

Dan



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