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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Control Home Speakers with Cat 5?


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11 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Ric

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 10:45 AM

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)

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#2 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 10:51 AM

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 OFFLINE   Ric

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 10:59 AM

my apologies - I typed Cat 5 but it is actually Cat 6

#4 OFFLINE   xIsamuTM

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 11:11 AM

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.
Here I am! Rock you like a Hadoken!!

#5 OFFLINE   smiddy

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 11:17 AM

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)


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?
Aaron 'smiddy' Smith

#6 OFFLINE   dave29

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 11:21 AM

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 OFFLINE   Ric

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 11:24 AM

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 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 11:34 AM

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

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 OFFLINE   mightyb

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 11:49 AM

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


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.crutchfie...le.html?tp=8458
DirecTV
HR20-700
HR22-100
DVR40 (DIED - going to replace HD for the kids box)
DVR80
2 LG 47" 1080p LCD

#10 OFFLINE   dave29

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 12:45 PM

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.


the cat5e is the "speaker wire" in this setup

#11 OFFLINE   Ric

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 02:23 PM

perfect - thanks guys. Now to just sell my house.....

#12 OFFLINE   dave29

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 03:54 PM

perfect - thanks guys. Now to just sell my house.....


good luck with that, in this market:eek2:




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