AV Wiring – Part 4: Installation Landmines to AvoidMark von Keszycki
AV Wiring Installation – Avoid these Landmines
Proper AV wiring installation involves much more than simply pulling wires from point A to point B. There’s a whole range of factors during the installation phase that can either cause or prevent problems. Typically, these are things that only experienced technology integrators understand. For example, does your electrician or general contractor know about:
- Preventing Interference: Due to the type of signals they carry, electronics cables are susceptible to interference from electrical wiring. Low voltage cables shouldn’t run parallel to high-voltage cables unless at least 18 in. apart. If they must cross, it should always be at 90 degrees. This is often overlooked in prewires done by other trades, and the result can be hum through speakers and other problems that can be almost impossible to correct after the fact.
- Proper Protection: Exposed cables need to be routed so that they are protected from damage as construction proceeds. Time is money, and few tasks are more time-consuming than tracing a bad cable back to the spot where a drywall contractor has put a nail through it.
- Adequate Slack: Technicians need enough length to work with when terminating cable and connecting equipment at final install. Service techs need to be able to easily access the backs of equipment even after everything is in place. A foot or two of cable poked through the wall is simply not enough.
- Labeling and Documentation: This is almost never adequate when prewiring is done by another trade. Toning out poorly-labeled cables is a two-man job that can take hours before any equipment can be installed. Poor documentation means that final installers need to spend extra time “figuring out” the prewire, and it makes adding future equipment and capabilities much more difficult and costly.
So important is the documentation aspect of AV wiring installation that we’ll go into more detail on the topic in our next post as our Wiring series concludes.