Audio Everywhere

The new components available these days allow all kinds of cool setups. If you’re a music lover (or even if you’re not) and you like projects, consider wiring your house for audio and controlling everything by remote control with your smartphone. Sound esoteric? It used to be but with today’s products it’s not only do-able, you do-it-yourselfers can have fun, get creative and wind up with sound everywhere.

Only a few years ago, a project such as this would have not only been fairly complex but expensive. Today, you can do it for a very reasonable cost. The most common system today uses A-bus technology. There are several manufacturers of A-bus components. Such a system uses the same cables as the ones you use to connect to the Internet, the so-called cat-5e cable. Its eight wires can do everything needed for the task. This article is too short to describe the details. You can get the help you need where you buy the components. From a cost standpoint, you can probably do a reasonably comprehensive system for somewhere in the neighborhood of $1000.

The most difficult part of the project is running the wires from a central location without destroying the walls or giving yourself a new plaster and paint project. Once that’s done, installing the locak connector boxes is not very difficult for our handy readers. However, choosing the right location for the components and hence the terminals should be thought about carefully. Be aware that you’ll need an electric outlet nearby to power the central transformer. Most installers put the central unit in the basement, out of the way. Each room with sound needs a low voltage box. The cat 5-e cables and speaker wires are mounted in the box.

If you look on-line, you can find several good descriptions of a system. with wiring diagrams. Many suppliers will even give you suggestions about which manufacturer’s components you should buy. They would probably love to sell you the components and would even like to contract with you to do the job. But if you want to do it yourself, find a company that represents] a line of components and check their willingness to be available to answer questions when you get stuck. Most companes are happy to do so. They want you to be satisfied since most of their customers will add capabilities as they improve and recommend them to their neighbors.