How should I wire my home for the Mid-Level system?

The schematic below shows how to run cable for the Mid-Level whole-house audio system. KC6 or KC7 keypads spread throughout the home are connected to the main controller (MC-66 or MCA-66) via Cat5 or Cat6 cable. Speaker cable is also run from the same central location as the Mid-Level controller directly to each of the speakers in the zone. However, if an area inside a zone (called a sub-zone) is being set up with volume control independent of the main zone, run the speaker cables first to a junction box that will hold a standard rotary or slide-type volume control, and then continue the speaker cables up to the speakers in that zone.

Tip 1: If you are in new construction and are not sure what brand of system you are going to use, it is recommended that you run your speaker cable slightly differently. Note that most custom installers and home builders will pre-wire a home this way in order to allow for the most flexibility in choosing a whole-house audio system: run 4 conductor cable (+,- for both left and right channels) from the central area to the Keypad location in each zone; run 2 conductor cable from the Keypad location to each speaker in the zone.

If you choose an Advanced Setup such as our own, you will simply tie the speaker cables together near the Keypad location. Should you choose a more basic setup that only requires independent volume control in each zone (i.e. all zones must listen to the same source), you will replace the keypad with a basic Volume Control (inputs connected to the 4-conductor speaker cables, and outputs connected to the 2-conductor speaker cables) and abandon the Cat-5 cables. Some mid-level systems, such as A-Bus systems that include a small amplifier in the keypad, will utilize the Cat-5 cable and the 2-conductor speaker cable. The 4-conductor speaker cable is abondoned because the amplifier is not centrally located.

Tip 2: Run an extra Cat-5 cable into each zone to allow for future enhancements and flexibility. As an example, there are already devices on the market that allow you to run HD video signals over Cat-5 cable. Cat-5 cable is relatively inexpensive and it is much easier to add a cable now while you are running all of your other cables.

<<To the Mid-Level whole-house audio system

See Also:How to install EZ-RJ45 tips on Cat5e cable
 Tips for running Cat-5/6 cable for whole-house audio
 Sub-zones with Mid-Level and Advanced Systems
 How do I get music from the Internet or my PC into an HTD Whole-House Audio System?