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a current install design question


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this is probably the best place to start this type of topic.

so now that i can actually get my hands on some required C4 equipment i decided i will sell a system into one of my current projects. it is a modest 2nd home here in cottage country but the owners intend to retire soon and move up full time. it would best be described as a 1 1/2 story as the 2nd floor includes a large open loft area that looks over the great room, and the master bedroom and bath. they will put a couple small "office" areas in the loft area (under some dormers) as well as a small home theater area.

the main floor has the kithen/dining room, mechanical/laundry room, great room and a spare bedroom with full bath. there is a basement that is only about 5 feet high that is more a crawl space for the furnace, plumbing etc. (but i, being vertically challenged, can get around quite comfortably and smashed my melon only once so far)

i'm placing an Elk M1G done in the basement. and home-ran all the security wiring here. a keypad will be at the front door.

in the loft area i secured a nice sized closet area where all my audio, video, networking and telephone are homerun to. i like using the the GE bundled cable for this.

anyway, so now i am struggling a bit with the whole house audio equipment. i ran all my speaker wire from the speaker location down to the keypad location before running it back up to the loft closet. that way i can use pretty much any system on the market. to be honest, i'm not entirely sold on the way Control4 does whole house audio. i would prefer there was some digital amps in the Mini-Touch screens instead of the RCA jacks. i really can't see much use for those RCA jacks stuck inside a wall. do they expect us to use those to run line-level out to some amp somewhere that is to power the local speakers?

for the cost of trying to do it the C4 way, wouldn't i be better off just installing some Russound amp (like the new CAS44 or CAS88) using the russound keypads and integrating it all into the MC? looks to me to be 1/2 or 1/3 the cost of using C4 amps/kepads ... how else do they expect us amplify and control an audio-only zone?

maybe i'll post some pictures of the project ... would be great way for us to share how we pre-wire a new home construction project.

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Hey Sfleck,

You bring up alot of valid points. I agree, the RCA connectors in the back of the Mini Touch screen are pretty much useless. It seems to me their original intention was to have it plugged into a local amplifier or a receiver that can be controlled by the system. If that was the case I wonder why there are no IR outputs or Contacts to control that local amplifier, receiver, etc.

I have to say I don't think the C4 Media Control (MP3s) is really there yet. You can automatically put rooms into sessions and the volume is individually controlled.

I think (or at least I hope) within the next 6 months they will upgrade the software for their media management. In the interim, It may be better for you to use another system if the homeowner cannot wait (which they never want to do)


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You stupid Canadian you're doing it all wrong eh!!!! Just kidding brother.

First, you ARE running Cat5E and 16/4 at least from audio keypads to wiring closet RIGHT!?!?! Just checking man.

If it we're my job I would talk to them about how they want to control the audio. A cheaper solution would be to put blank plates at the audio keypad locations (except maybe a key one or two), and to use the remote control for audio. We got screwed with that since the join session function didn't work but now that's good to go as of this December update. Anyhow, that way they "get" the C4 solution (which barring it's many setbacks I am still completely super excited about I just manage my customer's expectations better now regading it's capabilities or lack there-of), now and can add to it as their needs and budgets grow.

Regarding prewire when we have a room where they specifically know that they may want separate amplifier control or line level input we run a second Cat5e from the keypad to the outlet (like a Master bedroom or master bath where a TV might go, etc.) This is because the Netstreams (and ABus) systems could use the Cat5E for line-level in and have a local source in that room (i.e. iPod). Granted that wouldn't be a clean solution with C4 right now but the wire would be there if needed.

Also regarding prewire, know that basically the Cat5E can be used as a line-level with many different "baluns" on the market so any where there's a Cat5E jack could essentially be capable of line-level input.

Hope I added some tidbit of knowledge for you.

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