• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

Chucks place on the bay with Home Automation, Man Cave, etc.


Established Member
I'm chuck have been working on a place in the San Francisco Bay area will show you my journey.

- Cost efficient Home Automation
- Build out Home Cinema (man cave)
- Digital the House
- Security and Cameras.


Established Member
So this is the house I'm building... Approximately 4000 sq feet 2 story

1.MASTER Stonebrae FloorPlan .jpg

Running approximately 6000 feet of CAT 6, CAT 5E cable in the house, cameras, security, automation.

Stonebrae Floorplan.jpg

Stonebrae Floorplan Sound.jpg

The view 1300 feet up above San Francisco bay East side.


just above the pipe and the box is San Francisco.


Established Member
thanks Swynol and Obi the views are amazing, but being high up on the edge of the valley is amazing. We saw this a few weeks ago on an evening trip up there.

Blue Angels (Navy) Display team Blue Angels : Official Website they were about 500 - 100 feet over the house area.


View at night.

View at night.jpg


Established Member
After living in the UK all my life interesting to be out here.

So Technology wise as you can see from all the plans above.

Cutting the cord to the Cable and Satellite I'm going to use Netflix, Amazon, iPlayer etc. cable TV cost for the 5 bedrooms and lounge would have been $200+ per month.

In the area I can obtain about 150 Mbps from the Cable TV provider and 42 Mbps from the telecom provider. New area and being in California you would have thought they would have laid Fiber to almost the house (BUT NO THEY HAVEN'T)

Efficiency is the name of the game in my book so going to try and keep the technology costs in control and allow for the spending for the essentials to help the family.

Can never have too much cable: :)

The house is going to be heavily wired and wireless in my book you can't have enough wire in a place as long as it is efficient, drawing a plan as I did is a big recommendation else you might do too much or not have enough.


  • 1.jpg
    12.3 KB · Views: 210


Established Member
Initial Technology Specification:

Wireless Wise will have 3 x ceiling mounted wireless access points (reason for 3 is to provide great 802.11AC coverage in the house and in the garden area) going to try the 2 x first and see how we go.

Would have loved to buy Cisco everywhere but think there are great alternatives and better if you think supportablity in a home. The Wireless AP's will be EnGenius Technology - EAP1750H 802.11ac 3x3 Dual Band Ceiling-Mount Wireless Access Point/WDS


These are Power over Ethernet (POE) so going with a TP-Link Switch 24 Port JetStream 24-Port Gigabit L2 Managed PoE+ Switch with 4 Combo SFP Slots - TL-SG3424P

JetStream 24-Port Gigabit L2 Managed PoE+ Switch with 4 Combo SFP Slots TL-SG3424P - Welcome to TP-LINK

Cable Mapping Plan:

Colour coding and a mapping plan is also useful. Mapping plan example below what I mean by this is a simple sheet with source to destination, colour cable, the type and when it is need to be complete. Node Zero is where the cables terminate to... (in my case two locations in the master bedroom closets.


Minimum Bedroom Room Specification as I can see it:

- 1 x Coax Connection with F-Type (RG6) in case need

F connector - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

- 1 x CAT 6 (RG45) for TV or Streaming


- 1 x CAT 6 (RG45) for Audio connection or Bluetooth control

- 1 x CAT 6 (RG45) for Audio Wall Control

- 1 x CAT 6 (RG45) for Data connection

- 1 x CAT 6 (RG45) (spare)

Alarm System cabling

- All Windows wired

- Passive Infrared (PIR)

All cabling to a secure location in the house.
All the connections will run back to the Node Zero and terminated in to patch panels


Established Member
Why CAT 6?

CAT5e is good cabling absolutely and capable of the 1Gbit performance the shield option for CAT5e is better than most the cheaper none shielded cable. Personally I really believe you will see slight performance and reliability boost using CAT6 instead of CAT5e.

However, for why I went for CAT6 is the performance on MHz that can be pushed done the cable and less cross talk Minimum frequency capability of CAT 6 is 250 MHz vs. that of CAT5e 100MHz, you can get 350 MHz CAT5e but in my experience this is as expensive as bulk CAT 6.


CAT 6 that I’m using is rated at 500MHz so a Hugh difference in reducing interference and quality of signal.

That said I will be using CAT5e for security system seniors such as smoke detectors, PIR etc.

Rating of the cable that I will be using is what is called plenum / Riser or In-wall rating for fire safety reasons, and very good practice.

CAT3 vs. CAT5 vs. CAT6 - Custom Cable
CAT3 vs. CAT5 vs. CAT6 - Custom Cable

Compare the Cat5e vs Cat6 Cabling Standard Compare the Cat5e vs Cat6 Cabling Standard

FOURPAIR.com Cable Guide - Cat 5e, Cat 6, and Coax
FOURPAIR.com Cable Guide - Cat 5e, Cat 6, and Coax


- Future proofing of your home for continued data flow and streaming


- Helps stopping alien cross talk or inference on bandwidth over distance when streaming media, data transfer, IP based voice, CCTV, HDMI over IP, Wireless access, thus improves per second sustained bandwidth transfer rates.

- Remote powering (power over Ethernet) for say cameras would mean less frequency noise and better delivery over distance.

- CAT 6 can run Full duplex at 1gigabit, whereas CAT5e can struggle for this speed at Full duplex.

Draw back with CAT 6 is distance or length however in a house this is not as big an issue as in office space and defiantly not an issue in my house.

Cabling in the past years has really come down in price, the top plays being CommScope.com or CommScope.com Panduit | Data Center, Industrial, Enterprise, OEM, MRO Solutions really good quality and solutions in this data space however kind of expensive for home where I'm shopping is

Monoprice (HDMI Cable, Home Theater Accessories, HDMI Products, Cables, Adapters, Video/Audio Switch, Networking, USB, Firewire, Printer Toner, and more! - Monoprice.com) Cat 6 Bulk Ethernet Cables - Monoprice.com


My cable: Bulk Cat6 23AWG Solid UTP Riser-Rated (CMR) Ethernet Network Cable, 1000ft Black - Monoprice.com

Excellent supply and available in most colours :)
Last edited:


Established Member
good choice on the CAT6, i used around 500m of CAT6 in my house plus around 1000m of cat5e. Would have preferred to use all CAT6 but considering I was given all the cable i cant complain.

just started installing CAT6A in work, the cable is about twice as thick.


Established Member
Yes Swynol,

CAT 6 now in bulk is more cost efficient than it used to be. CAT 6a absolutely in the office space for the distance reasons you can get thinner and flat CAT 6a now also


Established Member
This is what I'm looking Audio wise

Yamaha Surround Sound Setup
2 x 7.1 / 7.2 setups in Lounge and 5th Bedroom / Man cave

For in house distribution of sound

HTD Lync 6 system


Lync 6 v2 Controller
12-Channel Amplifier (DMA-1240 High Efficiency Multi-Channel Amplifier)
(6) LyncPad Keypads
LyncPad Remote Control
IR Accessories
Bluetooth connects for each bedroom


Yamaha Speakers in each room in ceiling mounted.
NS-IW480C - Natural Sound 3-way In-wall Speaker System



Working on the exterior speakers not a 100% on which to buy on that one yet... any ideas ?


Established Member
Initial Technology Specification:

Wireless Wise will have 3 x ceiling mounted wireless access points (reason for 3 is to provide great 802.11AC coverage in the house and in the garden area) going to try the 2 x first and see how we go.

Would have loved to buy Cisco everywhere but think there are great alternatives and better if you think supportablity in a home. The Wireless AP's will be EnGenius Technology - EAP1750H 802.11ac 3x3 Dual Band Ceiling-Mount Wireless Access Point/WDS



Have you considered Ubiquiti kit? I'm using a couple of their Unifi AP's, which granted are only 11N, but they do also sell 802.11AC versions.

The management UI is great, and they support guest networks, captive portals, zero hand-off roaming etc.

Just a thought :)



Established Member
i can also recommend the Unifi AP's. using them in my place plus other others sites that i support. easy to setup and you get alot for your money. Zero hand-off roaming is a god send.


Established Member
Thanks for the input guys, might give those ago have been testing them recently great value for what you get.. Ubiquiti Unifi AC Pro is the equivalent to the ones that I was looking at..


Distinguished Member
Very nice and great photo with the Blue Angels.


Established Member
This is a cracking thread so far, really looking forward to the progress.

In regards to the AP's, i too was going to mention the Ubiquiti's. I haven't had hands on experience with them myself, however, the following video I've watched a few times is very interesting:

I'm currently running a Meraki MR18 AP and whilst it is an excellent piece of kit, I'm currently about 12 months into a 3 year license and when it comes to renewing it, i don't think i can justify it for home use. So, with that being said, i might try and sell it in between times and pick up some Ubiquiti's which offer very similar features.

keep the posts coming.


Established Member
Cooling x Electricity wise... (extremely important)

2 x AirCon zones (1 x up stairs and 1 x down stairs)

- Upstairs will be in master suite thus cooling all the equipment on a hot day.
- Master closets will have 2 x AirCon vents, plus wall mount 19" racks have 2 or 3 fans blowing up in to Attic space

Digital Z-Wave enabled Honeywell Thermostats 1 x upstairs and 1 x downstairs

8 x outlets and 20 amp feed for master closets
2 x 1500 Watt UPS for master closets
48 x All LED Lights inside
15 x GU24 CFL outside (CODE / Planning outside right now)

2 x Electrical Outlets every 1.5 meters on the walls in every room

Feed for kitchen appliances direct from fuse box to stove, microwave, steamer and 60" fridge.
Pre-wire in the Attic for Solar

2 x Pre-wire in garage for Electric car outlet (I wish one day Tesla X)
1 x 220 Volt connect for Toys, Compressor etc.

I was going to install a 200 AMP fuse box but have upgraded to 300 AMP fuse box and feed to house, also allows to 200 AMP Automatic Transfer switch for back up generator (22KVA)

Generac Guardian™ 22kW Aluminum Standby Generator System (200A Service Disconnect + AC Shedding)


Generac Guardian 6551 ™ 22kW Aluminum Standby Generator System 200A Service Disconnect + AC Shedding

I have been planning this for a while, hoping to have as lower electric bill as I can, solar should make minus figures.


Established Member
The area is gated, security systems also, cameras but also getting a friend.



You know you can never have to much technology or security....

PS: have some interesting security for the perimeter of the house and lock down.


Established Member
So that not to get confused I've made up a simple tracking spreadsheet with the build and the suppliers. This helps to keep a track of issues, decisions, questions etc.


Status is open, (i.e. hasn't had a response that is satisfactory) hold, (waiting till something else happens or an ok answer / fix but needs to be checked), closed (issue resolved, answer is satisfactory or not an issue anymore)

tracking example.jpg


Established Member
Looking at Light Switches fun times in other houses.

Digital Time with sunrise and sunset capability on the left and room senor on the right PIR actually code / law in California for bathrooms etc. saving electric, I'm going to have in closets, bathroom, kids rooms and hallway. Mainly they have auto off but you can have auto on also in hallways and closets that is really great idea.



Also Honeywell home automation panel. Supports voice activated, wireless network, and wired to system.. I like the weather forecast... Accuweather


The latest video from AVForums

Is 8K TV dead? Philips OLED+907, Pioneer LX505 AVR plus B&W 700 S3 Reviews & Visit + AV/HiFi News
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom