by Jeff Fisher
This application note describes how to install HomeTech's speed-wrap or combination cable.
This application note only covers installations where the sheet-rock is not yet up. Installing combo cable after the sheet rock is installed is a more complicated process.
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What You'll Need
- A pair of wire cutters capable of handling the combination cable. EC-200069, Good. CV-1016, Better.
- A sharp pair of scissors for the fiberglass strands, if you have fiber.
- A helper. The spools weight over 70 pounds and the whole job goes much faster.
- A cable reel. You can improvise with a pole or rod and two chairs.
- A drill.
- A 3/4" bit for drilling the combo cable holes.
- A phillips screwdriver or screwdriver bit for screwing in mud-rings.
- The spools of combination cable. (Approx. one spool of 500 feet for every 8 runs.)
- A Single-gang (MP1S) or double-gang (MP2S) mud ring for each location.
- Miscellaneous cable hangers. (See below.)
- A box of #6 x 1/2" pan-head phillips sheet-metal screws. (For mud-rings.)
- A few cable-ties.
- Marked up floor plan with each drop and the headend location noted.
- For all headends except the FutureSmart Pro panels, you'll need the headend install can.
Do's and Don'ts
- Do wait for the electrical and plumbing to be roughed in before installing low-voltage wiring.
- Don't run combo cable within 18" of AC wiring for more than 18".
- Don't run combo cable and AC wiring though the same stud cavity (for more than 18").
- Don't put a mud-ring on the same stud (even the other side) as an electrical box.
- Do cross AC wiring at a right angle.
- Don't kink or step on the combo cable.
- Don't bend the combo cable with a radius of less than 4".
- Don't jerk the cable or pull at an angle to holes. (Doing so could tear the outer jacket and expose the inner cables to damage.
- Do watch for sharp edges that could damage the cable.
- Don't use staples or other securing devices unless you are sure that they will not crush or kink the cable. (Use our cable hangers, cable ties applied loosely with random spacing, or plastic staples <i>larger </i>than the cable.)
- Don't use securing devices inside stud cavities if it can be avoided. (This makes it easier to replace the cable in the unlikely even it is damaged.)
- Do label cables on each end. A marker and masking tapes works fine for temporary use.
- Don't try to splice or repair a cable. Instead, remove it, use the pieces somewhere else, and pull a new cable.
- Don't let the cable lay on the ground in the crawlspace or on the ceiling joists in a main access area in the attic. Instead, support the cable from the roof or floor-joists with J-hooks.
- Do drill through center of stud. This spacing protects the cable from drywall screws. If you must drill closer to one side, use a nail-plate on the face of the stud to protect the cable.
- Do not drill through fire-walls, shear-walls, or specialized members like glue-laminates without first checking with the builder or local codes.
- Do drill holes straight and even when passing cable through several studs at once...the cable will pull much easier.
- Install the headend enclosure per the manufacturer's instructions.
- Place a combo cable spool on your cable reel immediately below the headend enclosure.
- Walk through the structure with your plans and a brightly colored crayon. Mark the studs where the mud-rings will be placed, drawing an arrow to the right or left.
- Install the mud-rings. Use at least two screws, one on each face to hold the plate in place. Measure the height your other electrical boxes, from floor to center, for reference.
- Starting from the headend, feed the cable through the top or bottom of the stud cavity of the headend (no need to pass through the headend knock-outs at this point.) Pull the cable through each hole about 10 feet at a time. Keep working the cable through, 10 feet at a time, until you reach the mud-ring. You'll want about 18" of cable past the mud-ring.
- Bend the center tabs back and secure the cable inside the stud cavity with a tie-wrap. Double-check that the tie-wrap can be cut through the opening, the cable can be fished out, and that there will be at least 18" of slack cable available.
- Pull back any remaining slack towards the headend.
- Cut the cable long enough at the headend so that the end reaches just past the furthest point of the headend box. This will insure that the cable will be able to connect anywhere inside the box.
- Fish the cable through the knockout in the headend can, secure it inside, and label it.
- Repeat for other runs.
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