Ask an Electronics Technician, The E help Thread!

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by WebleyFosbery38, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    Ive been an Electronics Technician for about 35 years now. My interest, training, Background and expertize in the area have grown wide over years starting as a US Army Radio Operator in 1980, apprenticing 10 years in a TV shop and as Lead E-Tech the last 20+ in our Universities Sciences Electronics shop. Aside of my main income, Ive owned a couple businesses that deal with integration of high tech electronics into auto's, Homes and commercial entities. Im closing in fast on designing, wiring and launching 1000 Tech enhanced Learning spaces mostly in Colleges and Universities on the east coast, some are the first of their kind.

    Many of the things I work with have little or no practical consumer applications (Xrays and tons of lab quality equipment). Other stuff I do is all about what people want in their homes and businesses Like Big Video Displays, Surround Sound Systems, Digital Signage, Voice and sound Reinforcement and Multi Media systems delivery and control.

    I do not pretend to know everything and will often tell you, "I will get back to you on that one". I will get back to you, I cant know everything but know how to find out quickly enough.

    Are you thinking about doing some Home Systems? Adding a Big Screen, Zoned Sound System, Security Cameras or having issues with one you currently own? Ask an E-Tech, me! If I dont know the answer, there are at least a few folks here that are Engineers that can tell us both what to do.

    One of the home projects Im currently working on is moving my Whole Home System to a centralized location. I underestimated my intentions 12 years ago when I started building it and its outgrown its location in the living room, wife says its got to go and I agree- Unfortunately Ive already got over 5 miles of wire and cable run to the old location so rerouting and reconfiguring everything will be a challenge (I like challenges).

    The Backbone is all Crestron switching and control and when Im finished, there will be two 5.1 surround sound systems, 3 (maybe 4)flat panel displays, up to 10 other stereo zones indoors and out of sound, multiple cameras, lighting controls, Dish/ DVR, AM/ FM/ TV Antenna, Phone and internet distributed from one central location to the entire home. Heres a link to the main processor that runs the entire system, check it out, its awesome!

    http://www.crestron.com/resources/p.../online_catalog/default.asp?jump=1&model=AMS#

    When I say its a project, it is and prolly will never be finished till the day I sell our home many moons from now but I expect to have much of it fully functioning in the next few weeks. I dread cutting over to the new location cause thats gonna mean lots of crawling, reterminating and programing before my wife can again push just one button on the touch panel labeled for her and see and hear her favorite FOOD Network without yelling to me "It doesnt work"!

    Thats my fun, what have you got going on in the Multi Media or other Electronics world you want to talk about or have questions about?
     
  2. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    I got some simple things for you. Fix the outlet in my bathroom and mount a TV on the wall in my bedroom. :D
     

  3. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    Easy Peasy, Only thing is I wont give advice other than get an electrician for 12o Volt wiring issues in someones home. Even if I were a licensed Electrician, the obvious is I dont want to see anyone hurt especially people I like like you Winds!

    The TV on the wall is easy. The mounts now a days and the very light TV's arent too tough to hang at all. Take a picture of the wall you want to hang it on and tell me what size TV your putting there and we can get you going on the job in no time flat!

    Mounting considerations-

    Power? Cable TV or Sat TV outlet? Are you using a Convertor Box, where could that go? What type of walls and can you find any stud's in them near where your mounting? A swing arm mount or just a flat or tilt bracket on the TV?

    Thoughts to Ponder about DIY-
    Do you have basic tools and any understanding of fasteners? If your capable of hanging a heavy mirror, you can probably hang up to a 40" LCD or LED TV safely on a tilt bracket.

    Option- when you get that electrician to fix your outlet (soon!). Have him/ her hang the TV Bracket for a few bucks extra. They are very capable of doing that and might be able to fish some wires in the wall if you want to dress up the installation.
     
  4. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    I think a tilt bracket would be fine. All the other questions, I dunno. That's why I want someone to do it for me. Well, I have cable to my one and only tv in the living room. I wouldn't know how to get cable to the tv I want in my bedroom.

    My walls are real plaster. Not plaster board or sheet rock, as it seems to be called. It is difficult to even hang a picture on real plaster. It tends to chip away. Again, that's why I want someone to do it for me. :(

    I do have a mighty fine Bosch/Skil drill. I have some understanding of fasteners but not enough to trust myself to hang a tv and know that it won't come crashing down. :(
     
  5. FernandoTheCommando

    FernandoTheCommando New Member

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    Ive got some paradigm tower speakers as my fronts in a 5.1 setup. Got them from a friend going through a divorce and they were a steal. I have them hooked to a yamaha receiver. These are supposed to be high end speakers and the manual recommends they be hooked to an amplifier (in addition to the yamaha head unit). It also says that if you dont have an amp, you can "bi-wire" them by running two sets of speaker cable from the same output on the reciever. Thats what i did and they seem to sound pretty good. My question is: is it worth getting an external amp and am i losing sound quality by not doing so? The speakers are loud and clear....much louder than i care to push them and without upsetting the neighbors.
     
  6. CardiacColt68

    CardiacColt68 New Member

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    I'll jump in.

    It depends on the quality and features of your current Yamaha. I've got a Denon 7.1 in my basement, and had to add an amplifier to power the patio speakers. The good news is that most amplifiers are pretty reasonably priced compared to an A/V receiver. Depending on power requirements of cours


    Sent from my iPad using Firearms Talk
     
  7. TLuker

    TLuker Active Member

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    WF, I tried your link and under specs it said that product had been discontinued. That is what is driving me nuts about home entertainment. It keeps changing and it seems like every time a simple solution comes along it gets replaced by a pricier alternative and I end up more confused. :eek:

    So let's talk basics for a moment. I currently run everything on my lap tap. I have an HDMI cable ran to my TV and my TV connected to surround sound. I would like to tie in a TV antenna and have speakers throughout the house for listening to music. What is the simplest an easiest way to tie everything together, and do it really cheap? And it would be nice to run everything from my laptop but computers and entertainment stuff seem to be set up specifically so they won't play well with each other? :confused:
     
  8. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    I think you might be talking about Bi-Amping the speakers not Bi Wiring. Your typical 2 (Woof/mid, tweeter or 3 way speaker (Woofer, Mid, Tweeter) use a single combined input with internal crossovers to seperate the appropriate frequencies inside the speaker. Bi amping for 2 way or tri amping for 3 way splits the combined speaker system into 2 seperate inputs (or 3) for the Highs and the lows. The easy explanation is if you do this right, your speakers can perform at peak efficiency and you can contour the sound in ways that you could not do the way your hooked now.

    Unless you have a really sharp ear, your seeking audiophile sound and you have an audiophiles wallet and patience to get there, dont bother, it adds uneeded complexity to the system.

    Sounds like you have a nice system the way it is. The best way to get the most out of your system is to ensure your speaker placement is as close to the manufacturers guidelines as possible even if it doesnt look the way you would like, it will sound the way it should if you do!

    Enjoy!
     
  9. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    They are trying to give you a whole home system but the second zone is actually also being used to power some of the 7.1 speakers also. Thats a great reason to use a second amp with the Variable Line level outputs. More bounce to the ounce!
     
  10. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    Sounds like the plaster walls could be a bear to deal with. Plaster usually means youve got relatively impenetrable walls also. If that plaster is on masonry (Brick, concrete), its not a big problem to hang the TV but your not gonna be doing it. Someone with the bcg can use Tapcons or shields and lags. If its on sheetrock, your gonna need to locate at least one stud to hang a smaller tv and drill pilot holes with a Masonry bit and hammer drill. That will make a cleaner penetration than a regular bit.

    As far as the wiring goes, you will probably need an electrician to make that happen (as I said before, they are a good choice to do all of the job). Yesterday. it literally took me 4 hours to run 3 wires inside a 10' wall and Im not new to this.

    Wish I was closer Winds, Id do the whole job for you for fruitcake!
     
  11. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    Yes, this piece was discontinued by Crestron a year or more ago even though its still supported (and will be for a very long time). Its a very complex beast and not something JQ homeowner do much with. I program so I can get it to rock but if your not a Crestron Programmer, its a boat anchor without one of us. It was designed for exactly what your asking about except its not cheap or even close. My cost on that piece wholesale was over $3500.

    What your trying to do can be done reasonably but probably not really cheap. You will need an AV SS Receiver with a second speaker level output zone to handle the switching and an impedance matching transformer/ speaker vol controls like the Niles SSVC 4 that can also handle up to 4 zones of stereo sound. A second amp hooked to Zone 2's Variable Line level outputs will give you more power to distribute than your typical 5o watt zone 2 speaker level output on a ss receiver.

    http://www.nilesaudio.com/product.p...D=Speaker Selectors&catcdID=7&prdcdID=FG01043

    Your multi zone ss receiver will accept your Antenna input but only AM/ Fm. The TV signal can be fed into a VCR to strip the audio off or just use the Audio outputs from the TV and feed them to a spare input on the SS Rec (I think thats how you have it hooked up already) that will play out to the whole house if you activate other zones.

    Niles Audio has a number of devices to do whole home AV that can give you remote access from other rooms and a speaker lineup that literally fits every need low to high, in walls, in ceilings, Sound Bars and some indoor outdoor boxes (some that even look like rocks and flower pots to hide in your garden.

    Your greatest challenge is wiring the place for Multi Zone speaker distribution, every location has its challenges but once done, your good for life. I suggest that you add a Cat 6 cable to every room that your putting equipment in even if you just leave it coiled above the ceiling or in the basement for now. You can literally run any consumer electronics signal other than Speaker on a single cat6 with the right "Dongle" (adapter) on each end for control, signal distribution, even CATV/ Antenna. Worth the additional wire even if you never use them. Thats how you can avoid the next generation issues you spoke about, so far cat 6 is as close to next gen ready as you can plan for.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
  12. FernandoTheCommando

    FernandoTheCommando New Member

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    Thanks! The advice is much appreciated.
     
  13. Mercator

    Mercator Active Member

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    WF can you recommend a battery-powered motion sensing flood light? I understand it won't be powerful like a wired unit, but enough to signal a trespasser that we are watching. It would also make a better picture for the hunting camera overlooking the driveway.

    Edit: we have them around the house, but I have not seen an outdoor variety.
     
  14. primer1

    primer1 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How about a recommendation for a multi tester? I don't want to lay down big bucks for one, as I'm not an electrical ician. :rolleyes: The most I do is test for power to a circuit, check a car battery to see if it producing enough volts, etc. I bought a digital craftsman around 7-8 years ago and the screen got so discolored to the point I can't read it.
     
  15. F4U

    F4U Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Winds what type of house, ranch 2 story etc.? Is your living room and bedroom on same floor? full basement or crawlspace? How old is your house?

    I have some of the same problems with my place, plaster etc. Mine was built sometime in the 1880s, and that is both good and bad for retrofitting modern stuff.
     
  16. TankTop

    TankTop Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm joining this conversation, always been an audio file fan. Before I was married I even had some nice equipment, someday after the kids start moving out...

    Budget friendly and works great in normal living rooms (not designed around home theater) for surround sound. Vizio surround system, it's a sound bar for R/L/C and wireless sub that the rear R/L speakers plug into. Put the sub behind the couch and your not running speaker wire all over the place. All the major hifi mags give this system very high ratings, probably the best for under a grand, and it comes in just over $200!

    http://www.vizio.com/s4251wb4.html
     
  17. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    I love home theater and piece together nice components, upgrading components when it's time. Right now by far my oldest component is my 1080p 56" DLP HDTV which is holding up but it's 6.5 years old and approaching end of useful life. (20,000 hours on the original lamp!) I'm researching current technology as I plan to go with a 65" screen next year. My main concerns are an expensive smart 3D HDTV vs. a dumber model since all the smarts I need are in my new Blu-Ray player. I see 3D as a gimmick so am leaning toward an inexpensive HDTV that has excellent video specs and black level. I'm not convinced 4K is needed over the next 5 years but am open to differing opinions. Since my A/V receiver is my HDMI hub, the TV doesn't even need a lot of inputs so a $1000 Samsung or LG 65" TV might just do the job.

    Winds, you might look at YouTube videos on replacing a wall outlet, it is cheap and easy - if you know what you're doing. You must kill the right circuit breaker then properly replace the outlet, $10 for a GFI outlet in the bathroom. If you don't feel up to it of course pay a qualified electrician.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
  18. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    I dont know any in particular but have seen a couple that were solar powered with a small aim-able PV Panel. The new leds should make them easier to find and more efficient.

    One of the greatest deterrents is a dummy camera that has a little blinking red led on it run off a 9v battery. Just make sure you attach a piece of wire to it so it looks real.
     
  19. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    Im a Fluke meter lover, just about any meter they make is as good as most people need or even way better. Ive got 6 diff flukes age 30 and less, all work as good as the day I got them.

    The Fluke 11 was perfect and inexpensive but now discontinued. The 114 is great if you dont need current measurement @ about $115 bucks. Most people dont need current measureing, if you do it wrong, you will bake your meter even a good one! I really dont know of any cheaper ones that will stand the test of time but Im sure thy are out there.
     
  20. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    Cant beat a simple yet effective all in one for that price and its easy. Vizio makes very descent stuff for a tier 2 company. Only problem I have with their stuff is its pretty much 100% disposable if it breaks out of warrenty. They have no real service centers, more like you send them yours, they send you a new one if its under warrenty, if its not, its never going to be fixed.