Media wiring day 1: Go Fish

Yesterday was the second day in a row it’s hit or exceeded 100° F (that’s about 38 C, for those of you following along in metric countries) here in Boston. On the face of it, not a rewarding day for home improvement projects. But the open stud bays in two of our bedrooms aren’t going to go away by themselves. And my spur-of-the-moment declaration that I was going to run wiring for phone, cable, etc. up the bays before I closed them has taken on a life of its own. Lisa was particularly enamored of the idea of a phone upstairs, as our new air conditioning, while not loud by any stretch of the imagination, still generates enough white noise to make hearing the phone downstairs more difficult.

So I started running cable yesterday afternoon after returning from church. And quickly learned a few things. Like: it might have made sense to drill my own holes for the wiring between floors, rather than sharing space with the pipes the AC contractors ran. (No real issues until I got to the final run into the basement, at which point things started to get very tight.) Also learned the benefit of dedicated wiring conduit and true bundled cable. I fished my lines from basement to second floor one at a time, since I didn’t have a whacking great hole to drag them through, and it took me almost all afternoon. And I still haven’t run the speaker wire, which I decided to add to the mix at the last minute because I thought it might come in handy.

But I have coax cable, terminated on both ends with F-connectors, and category 5 cable run to the office and the master bedroom, as well as cat 3 which I’ve punched down into the phone block. Next steps: pull the speaker wire; mount the receptacles and pull the cables through them; and gird up my loins and pull the cable wire across the ceiling of the library into the distribution center so the cable connections will light up. I’ve resisted doing the last point for long enough. After that I’ll insulate the bays (since there was only horsehair insulation, I feel bad closing them up without providing at least some modicum of real R-factor) and hang drywall, and start plastering. Then we get to paint. (Joy, joy.)

Unfortunately all these next steps are going to have to wait till Wednesday, since I have rehearsals at the beginning of the week.