Adding Cabling to your home professionally yourself (Preface)

Before you can go gun-ho on something like this thinking “I can do it, who needs a cable guy!” You need to know a few things. Reason why I say this I do this as my job and always hear “I was going to do it but I just don’t know”. So with that said here are things you need to know.

1. – Safety
This requires to go into the Attic. You might want to plan for a cool day such as the Morning or Late Evening. Mid day you will sweat buckets within minutes if you live in a hot climate. If you never been in an Attic before you will learn quickly to watch your head for roofing nails and to be sure to walk on the supports, studs and trusses. Never walk let alone sit on the drywall ceiling, it will not support you. Also avoid stepping on electrical wire and watch the AC duct work.

2. – make land marks.
Before going into the Attic do a walk through to where you need to go and take note of light fixtures, AC vents and plumbing. This way when you go into the Attic you’ll know the room you want is the correct room. If you’re running Coax you can make a marker by stripping a large chunk and stick the bare copper (stinger) through the ceiling near the location. This will leave a small hole you can easily patch.

3. – Tools.
You’ll need a few tools such as a head lamp, drill with at least a 7/8 paddle bit (bigger if you plan to run four or more cables into the same location), Tape, wire cutters, Glow-rods or chain. These tools are needed for the Attic portion.

4. – Misc
Try not to use wire that already has connectors on them. If you have no choice then use plenty of tape on the connector end and if dropping more than one cable then stagger the cables if you they have connectors on them.
Also it is far much easier with a second person. They can guide you if you get lost by knocking on the wall and they can even tell you if the wire dropped all the way.
Avoid exterior walls. The insulation will hinder you. Also there is a chance you’ll run into fire blocking. Fire blocking is a 2×4 or 2×6 that is running Horizontal between two studs. They’re typically four to five feet up in the wall. A stud finder might be able to locate them, most stud finders are just metal detectors and locate a stud by finding nails and screws that secure the drywall on. Hopefully the Dry-wallers put a couple of screws or nails into the fire block. The only way around a fire block is to cut the dry wall to reveal it then notch it, break it out or just drill through it, just easier to drill through it.

5.- Cable
Avoid laying your cable on Can lights, they get very hot. Try not to follow the same path as electrical if you’re running Data, TV or Audio. If you’re running Data or audio have it four inches away minimum from any electrical. Keep in mind you need to measure the wall distance. For an example you want to splice into an existing TV and want to add a Coax cable to another wall in the same room and your walls are eight foot and the span twelve feet, add sixteen and twelve and add six to give you some wiggle room of slack, the total should be thirty-four feet of cable will be needed.

6. – Interior side of things
This is the easy part. You’re just “trimming” and if you had a helper it would be a breeze since the helper could have cut the drywall and pulled the cable ends through. However if you’re doing it alone then you would have cut the drywall for your plate and shoved a marker in the ceiling before going into the Attic.

If there is anything I missed it will be covered in the finished guide.

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Planning for more shop lighting.

Currently the only light sources in my Garage shop are two lights. The Ceiling light and my desk lamp. It’s enough light for a few things but if I need to work with small things I need extra light. So to add more lighting at on a small budget and not require much attic crawling I am going to go with a Vintage look. Some pendant light fixtures with some “Edison bulbs”.

There will be a total of four light fixtures. One will replace the current light fixture and three more over the desk. I want to splice into the current fixture and run some romex to a junction box for the center light fixture for the work bench then use modern cloth-covered wire to branch over to the left and right fixtures that will also be over the bench. The wire will be exposed to give it that more of a vintage look.

If I need more lighting at the bench I can add some LED lighting under the pedestal I am using to mount a couple of LCD computer monitors.

Down the road I can find myself a vintage desk and chair to give my shop a Vintage look and feel. I’m still holding out for HarborFreight to put that wooden tool box on sale.

Anyway, The Pendant light fixtures I have been looking at are twelve bucks a pop. Also I found a three pack of the fixtures for sixty bucks. It’s cheaper to buy the four by them selves let alone the three pack doesn’t include the light bulbs. When it is all said and done I’m looking at anywhere from eighty to one hundred and thirty bucks for the lighting.

The shop is good to go.

Spent all day yesterday and got the shop in working order. Soon I will start getting back to builds and repair projects.
The first project in the new place will be running Cat5E and electrical for the media closet. I will show step by step on this process so you wouldnt need to depend on the cable guy or a VDV tech again.

Here is a big surprise

I finally have a shop. Well more like the wife and I bought a house but the two car garage is my new shop/man cave.

Soon I will be able to pull off the back burner projects and finally get stuff rollin.

For now I just neds to get the shop all setup and install a few things around the house.

Vaccum Tube amp for MP3 player.

Today I bought from the flea market a TrueTone D2626 SW/AM vacuum Tube radio that was made in the late 1940’s. The cabinet is a bit on the rough side but repairable and the chassis looks to be in good shape.

Since there really isn’t any AM stations worth listening to and I have no idea about short wave stations let alone the radio isn’t worth much that I decided to strip it down to the bare chassis and rebuild it into a Class-A Amplifier. This way I can connect an MP3 player or smart phone via bluetooth.

The build is super simple and already have most of the parts I can reuse from the radio. Just need the typical new caps and add a 6SN7 Tube for the Pre-amp. The radio already has a 6V6 Tube for the power amp. I’m still deciding to use silicone diodes for the rectifier or use the 6X5GT Tube that came with the radio.

A nifty idea came to mind for the dial face of the radio to be replaced with a LCD that can display what is playing but that would take away the vintage effect unless I can find an LCD that uses Red text with no backlight and have a bezel over it with the TrueTone logo or something. Yet there isn’t anything off the shelf that will work with the specifications I want and I really don’t want to wrap my head around trying to build one. Ether way I would have to add another power transformer to power the Bluetooth because if I use say the 6.3v filiment secondary I’ll end up with a nasty hum in the audio. Not to mention I might end up having to use one of those Automotive Bluetooth modules if I wish to use the LCD idea.

This is an up coming project. As for now I have other things going and will have a surprise soon.