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Control Home Speakers with Cat 5?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Audio' started by Ric, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. Ric

    Ric Godfather DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Apr 26, 2002
    Ok - we just did an inspection on a new home. Unfortunately we don't have access to original owner as they traded in the home on a new sale and that builder now owns it. We found speakers throughout the house with control switches. Our issue is we found absolutely no speaker wire or anything else at any outlets. We did find outlets in the main room that consisted of 1) Coax and Cat 5, 2) Coax, 3) Coax, 4) Cat 5 all lined up.

    Does this mean that somehow they wired the speakers to a Cat 5 cable? I can't imagine they did but we just didn't find a single outlet or box anywhere in a closet, rooms, or the basement that had speaker wire or speaker connections.

    The speakers are in ceilings in the main room, the foyer, the master bedroom and outside on the deck. Each has one control knob in that area for that zone. That is all we could find (PS - speakers are infinity)
     
  2. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    21,192
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    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    CAT5 is pretty versatile for lower frequency stuff. What you need to do is dislodge one of the "speakers" and see what's what.

    edit: It would appear that the in-wall stuff from Infinity is conventional 8 ohm gear so they're probably using the CAT5 as speaker wire. Don't be looking for concert level volumes.
     
  3. Ric

    Ric Godfather DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Apr 26, 2002
    my apologies - I typed Cat 5 but it is actually Cat 6
     
  4. xIsamuTM

    xIsamuTM Icon

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    Jul 8, 2008
    man, i should have used cat5/6 to run my laundry room stereo. I ended up running 4 thick runs of speaker cable :new_cussi sound's ok, but without the sub it's rather flat.
     
  5. smiddy

    smiddy Tain't ogre til its ogre

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    Apr 5, 2006
    I have Russound system that uses Cat 5e for the controllers. The controllers are all wired to a central location (in my case, my media closet). In the central location there will be all your speaker wires along with all the controller connections.

    What does the controller look like and what information is on them? Do they turn on?
     
  6. dave29

    dave29 DIRECTV A-Team

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    Feb 18, 2007
    we installed an intercom/whole house speaker system last year for a customer and used cat5 for everything(intercoms, speakers, volume controls). it worked out great.
     
  7. Ric

    Ric Godfather DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Apr 26, 2002
    No sound from speakers (house is empty so no receivers either). Controller at each zone is just a blank knob that turns clockwise with about 7-8 clicks. We searched every potential spot for speaker cables and there is only one 'media connection box' and it just has Cat 5e, Coax, and Security wires going to the area.

    Wire is actually CAT 5e. I can't ever keep those straight.
     
  8. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    21,192
    182
    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    Try not to get hung up in the wire rating. At audio frequencies it just doesn't matter.

    Usually there is a distribution box that helps with impedance matching. Again, I suggest dislodging one of the speakers and see if the cabling is labeled.

    It is entirely possible that the previous owner took the brains of the system with them.
     
  9. mightyb

    mightyb Cool Member

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    Jan 5, 2006
    I would agree, you are missing the controller unit.

    I have a small one that takes an input from the stereo. That then controls my in room speakers throughout the house (all run with the cat5)

    Something like this:

    http://www.crutchfield.com/p_717AU7...ce-Four-zone-Distribution-Module.html?tp=8458
     
  10. dave29

    dave29 DIRECTV A-Team

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    the cat5e is the "speaker wire" in this setup
     
  11. Ric

    Ric Godfather DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Apr 26, 2002
    perfect - thanks guys. Now to just sell my house.....
     
  12. dave29

    dave29 DIRECTV A-Team

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    Feb 18, 2007
    good luck with that, in this market:eek2:
     

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