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#1683021 - 07/12/05 08:56 AM What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
therabbit Offline
Member

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 7
I am building a studio in my basement. I am thinking of using PVC pipe in the walls to run cables between rooms. This would also allow me to add more cables at a later time if I need to.

A problem would be sound leakage through the pipe.

What is the best way to run my cables?

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#1683022 - 07/12/05 08:59 AM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
Billster Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 04/16/04
Posts: 6378
Loc: Wilmington, MA
Pardon?

Do you mean like a pass-through a wall (like a window, only cable sized), or do you mean a longer, point-to-point run, like regular power and telephone wiring?

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#1683023 - 07/12/05 09:07 AM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
therabbit Offline
Member

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 7
Hey Billster. I mean like a pass-through a wall. The whole could be just a couple of inches wide in diameter.

For example:

My control room will have adjoining walls with my amp closet, vocal room, drum/big room, etc. How do I get the snake/mic/speaker/headphone/whatever cables from one room to the next without compromising my soundproofing?

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#1683024 - 07/12/05 09:27 AM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
RaGe Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 04/26/01
Posts: 800
Loc: 1614 N 6132 W
I ran my cables under the raised floor. I cut thru the plywood making like a groove for them to run and also cut the hardwood flooring that I screwed back to the cut plywood ... err..not sure I am making sense here, see if this helps:

CUT VIEW
_________
=======
[]cables[]


[] : 2x4
= : plywood
_ : hardwood floor

Cables run in between the 2x4's, on top of the insulation. I cut both plywood and flooring along the "groove", it made like a cover for the groove (a grooving cover :pathetic:) that I can scew/unscrew to access my cables. I have a pic of it somewhere, will try to find it.

In your case, you would need the PVC pipe to make multiple turns in order to minimize leakage but that would not be the best solution if you wanna add more cables later. Although, if using double walls with insulation leakage should be almost inexistant ... Schedule at least 2 90 degrees turns from live room to control room.

Hope this helps.

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#1683025 - 07/12/05 09:31 AM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
RaGe Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 04/26/01
Posts: 800
Loc: 1614 N 6132 W
Oh and remember caulking, caulking is what you'll eat breathe and drink, caulking everything everywehere. There's a good web ressource on studio building: http://homerecording.com/bbs/forumdisplay.php?f=20 ... all you need to know is in there.

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#1683026 - 07/12/05 09:36 AM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
therabbit Offline
Member

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally posted by RaGe:
I ran my cables under the raised floor. I cut thru the plywood making like a groove for them to run and also cut the hardwood flooring that I screwed back to the cut plywood ... err..not sure I am making sense here, see if this helps:

CUT VIEW
_________
=======
[]cables[]


[] : 2x4
= : plywood
_ : hardwood floor

Cables run in between the 2x4's, on top of the insulation. I cut both plywood and flooring along the "groove", it made like a cover for the groove (a grooving cover :pathetic:) that I can scew/unscrew to access my cables. I have a pic of it somewhere, will try to find it.

In your case, you would need the PVC pipe to make multiple turns in order to minimize leakage but that would not be the best solution if you wanna add more cables later. Although, if using double walls with insulation leakage should be almost inexistant ... Schedule at least 2 90 degrees turns from live room to control room.

Hope this helps.
Yeah, if I use the PVC I will have to make some type of cover.

The reason I am thinking this way is because I know that I will need to add more cables in the future. I am hoping to make that as painless as possible.

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#1683027 - 07/12/05 09:38 AM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
therabbit Offline
Member

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally posted by RaGe:
Oh and remember caulking, caulking is what you'll eat breathe and drink, caulking everything everywehere. There's a good web ressource on studio building: http://homerecording.com/bbs/forumdisplay.php?f=20 ... all you need to know is in there.
Thanks for the link, I'll go check it out.

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#1683028 - 07/12/05 10:46 AM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
Lee Knight Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 10/19/01
Posts: 1077
Loc: Encinitas,CA,UNITED STATES
I'd use multicore.

Run it through a hole and caulk up any air space left after running the multicore cable. Put a box at either end but don't cut a hole for the box to flush mount them...

...instead, surface mount them right over where the cable run is so you haven't compromised your airtight run you just created.

Neat and clean and airtight.

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#1683029 - 07/12/05 10:51 AM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
Lee Knight Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 10/19/01
Posts: 1077
Loc: Encinitas,CA,UNITED STATES
My post above is assuming you got airtight walls to begin with. If not, don't bother. You've got the normal leakage a standard wall has... just cut a hole, shove some wire in there, and stuff the gaps with lots of foam.

If your walls ARE airtight, see above.

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#1683030 - 07/12/05 11:56 AM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
Billster Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 04/16/04
Posts: 6378
Loc: Wilmington, MA
I know you can get wallmount plates and have a box of cable jacks, just like a box of power outlets. The downside I guess is that then you have plugs on either side of the wall, instead of a straight cable run.

Gigacables

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#1683031 - 07/12/05 12:21 PM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
Lee Knight Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 10/19/01
Posts: 1077
Loc: Encinitas,CA,UNITED STATES
Quote:
Originally posted by Billster:
I know you can get wallmount plates and have a box of cable jacks, just like a box of power outlets. The downside I guess is that then you have plugs on either side of the wall, instead of a straight cable run.

Gigacables
Hey Bill, I'm not clear on that downside. I have the boxes and it's still a cable run, just terminated at surface mounted boxes.

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#1683032 - 07/12/05 12:24 PM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
where02190 Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 5402
Loc: Weymouth, Ma. USA
Definitely multicore whenever you can. Some audio insulation will seal out any leakage, yet allow you to expand your cabling by simply removing it when the time comes.

It is very very unlikely you have airtight walls, If you did, you would eventually run out of oxygen with the doors closed and suffocate.
_________________________
Hope this is helpful.

NP Recording Studios
Analog approach to digital recording.

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#1683033 - 07/12/05 12:29 PM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
Lee Knight Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 10/19/01
Posts: 1077
Loc: Encinitas,CA,UNITED STATES
Quote:
Originally posted by where02190:
Definitely multicore whenever you can. Some audio insulation will seal out any leakage, yet allow you to expand your cabling by simply removing it when the time comes.

It is very very unlikely you have airtight walls, If you did, you would eventually run out of oxygen with the doors closed and suffocate.
Dude! I thought we were just starting to get along! ;\) I've got airtight walls. I didn't say an airtight room.

I've got plenumed ventilation but the walls connecting to other parts of my home are indeed airtight. AND... I'm still alive!

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#1683034 - 07/12/05 12:43 PM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
Billster Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 04/16/04
Posts: 6378
Loc: Wilmington, MA
Quote:
Originally posted by Lee Knight:
Quote:
Originally posted by Billster:
I know you can get wallmount plates and have a box of cable jacks, just like a box of power outlets. The downside I guess is that then you have plugs on either side of the wall, instead of a straight cable run.

Gigacables
Hey Bill, I'm not clear on that downside. I have the boxes and it's still a cable run, just terminated at surface mounted boxes.
Just a thought that each cable plug is another potential failure point, more so than a straight cable run.

I do advocate the junction box over a hole in the wall though. The benefit is way ahead of the risk of a bad connection.

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#1683035 - 07/12/05 03:53 PM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
Calfee Jones Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/25/00
Posts: 395
Loc: Memphis USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Billster:
Pardon?

Do you mean like a pass-through a wall (like a window, only cable sized), or do you mean a longer, point-to-point run, like regular power and telephone wiring?
Bill - I am faced with some point-to-point runs in this new house I'm in. In the old house I just dropped it into the basement and then ran it up through the floors or ducts. Here - no basement.

Do you have any advice for those point-to-point runs? (for video, cable and speakers).

- Thanks, CJ
_________________________
- Calfee Jones

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#1683036 - 07/12/05 03:53 PM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
therabbit Offline
Member

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 7
Thanks for the replies everyone.

I will have airtight walls as much as possible. The first room that I am finishing will be a small guitar cab room so suffocation won't be a concern. \:\) . I'll probably just put one cab in there and leave it so I won't need many mic cables.

The simplest thing to do in this room may be the multicore idea that Lee Knight was talking about. Or...I guess I could just run a few cables in the wall and seal around them.

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#1683037 - 07/12/05 10:23 PM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
Billster Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 04/16/04
Posts: 6378
Loc: Wilmington, MA
Quote:
Originally posted by Calfee Jones:
Bill - I am faced with some point-to-point runs in this new house I'm in. In the old house I just dropped it into the basement and then ran it up through the floors or ducts. Here - no basement.

Do you have any advice for those point-to-point runs? (for video, cable and speakers).

- Thanks, CJ
Yeah, unless you are stripped down to the studs, my advice is call an electrician. I have seen and participated in snaking wires into existing walls. and without the proper tools, the frustration factor is something like putting a genie back in the bottle.

If you have the right tools, and the right amount of patience, go for it.

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#1683038 - 07/13/05 02:45 AM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
Quarterwave Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/13/02
Posts: 83
Loc: Sydney, Australia
What about a patch bay in the wall - one side facing the main live room to just plug yr mics into, and the other side is hard-wired into your mixer....

Or a multicore is another great space saving (and tidy) idea....

Peace,
Quarterwave

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#1683039 - 07/13/05 09:19 AM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
Calfee Jones Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/25/00
Posts: 395
Loc: Memphis USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Billster:
Yeah, unless you are stripped down to the studs, my advice is call an electrician. I have seen and participated in snaking wires into existing walls. and without the proper tools, the frustration factor is something like putting a genie back in the bottle.

If you have the right tools, and the right amount of patience, go for it.
Yep - that sounds like some advice... It's always important to know when to get someone else to do it - Thanks Bill!
_________________________
- Calfee Jones

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#1683040 - 07/13/05 10:16 AM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
Lee Knight Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 10/19/01
Posts: 1077
Loc: Encinitas,CA,UNITED STATES
Or... this is a good chance to brush up on your soldering skills. The cable run should be straight forward. Cut a small hole in the wall using a drywall saw, shove your cable through, etc.

If it's a tricky run, use a fish tape? I think it's called?

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#1683041 - 07/13/05 09:27 PM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
Billster Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 04/16/04
Posts: 6378
Loc: Wilmington, MA
Lee, the thing with pulling cables through walls in any situation other than drilling a hole from one side to the other is a massive PIA.

I have had to add wired power outlets to places. You need to stay between the studs on any vertical move, so to go horizontally, you first must go up to the ceiling, and then across (avoiding joists of course), and then down in the right spot.

You use a tool that is basically a flat spring lever with enough rigidity to push along the route. After you get the tool showing on both the in- and out-points on the wall, you attach the wire (as neatly as possible so as not to create any "barbs" to snag the other stuff already within the wall) and then gently pull the tool with attached cable through.

As you are fishing the tool and then the wire, remember that you are blind behind the wall surface, and God only knows what else is within the wall. You may also damage existing wiring if you are not careful.

Not for the faint of heart.

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#1683042 - 07/14/05 10:06 AM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
Lee Knight Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 10/19/01
Posts: 1077
Loc: Encinitas,CA,UNITED STATES
Quote:
Originally posted by Billster:
Lee, the thing with pulling cables through walls in any situation other than drilling a hole from one side to the other is a massive PIA.

I have had to add wired power outlets to places. You need to stay between the studs on any vertical move, so to go horizontally, you first must go up to the ceiling, and then across (avoiding joists of course), and then down in the right spot.

You use a tool that is basically a flat spring lever with enough rigidity to push along the route. After you get the tool showing on both the in- and out-points on the wall, you attach the wire (as neatly as possible so as not to create any "barbs" to snag the other stuff already within the wall) and then gently pull the tool with attached cable through.

As you are fishing the tool and then the wire, remember that you are blind behind the wall surface, and God only knows what else is within the wall. You may also damage existing wiring if you are not careful.

Not for the faint of heart.
You're right of course. It's been roughly 2 years that I've done anything like that. One forgets the pain when you're reaping the benifits everyday. \:\)

PIA? Absolutely.

Worth it? For me... absolutely. Maybe not worth it for someone else.

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#1683043 - 07/14/05 10:43 AM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
where02190 Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 5402
Loc: Weymouth, Ma. USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Billster:
You use a tool that is basically a flat spring lever with enough rigidity to push along the route. After you get the tool showing on both the in- and out-points on the wall, you attach the wire (as neatly as possible so as not to create any "barbs" to snag the other stuff already within the wall) and then gently pull the tool with attached cable through.
It's called a fish, or sometimes a snake, you can get one at any hardware store.Electricians use them all the time.
_________________________
Hope this is helpful.

NP Recording Studios
Analog approach to digital recording.

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#1683044 - 07/15/05 10:16 AM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
Dak Lander Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 7729
Loc: Temecula, LoCal, USA
A fish tape does not do short 90's very well, especially once cables are in the conduit, so you only want to do that once. Along with the cabling, attach a pull cord. When you need to pull more cable, attach another pull cord to the cable being pulled and you'll always have a pull cord available.
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"When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it." The Duke...

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#1683045 - 07/15/05 10:22 AM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
where02190 Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 5402
Loc: Weymouth, Ma. USA
the older style spring steel ones don't do corners well, but there are some newer ones that are an articulating plastic composite that do, and because of the material, they slide through pretty much anything very easily.
_________________________
Hope this is helpful.

NP Recording Studios
Analog approach to digital recording.

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#1683046 - 07/15/05 12:43 PM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
Dak Lander Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 7729
Loc: Temecula, LoCal, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by where02190:
the older style spring steel ones don't do corners well, but there are some newer ones that are an articulating plastic composite that do, and because of the material, they slide through pretty much anything very easily.
That's true Where, for empty conduit. Tight 90s are virtually impossible to get any fish through with cabling in them unless it's only one or two cables. Any more than that the fish tends to get caught in the cabling.
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Our Joint

"When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it." The Duke...

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#1683047 - 07/17/05 07:12 PM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
alfonso Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/06/00
Posts: 1166
Loc: Fregene, Italy.
I have the cables coming from my computer: I/Os from 3 Scope cards of various types, Analog, AES-EBU, ADAT lightpipe, BNC, Video monitor, Keyb & Mouse wireless receiver....

The machine is out of my treated Studio room. I drilled a 10cm large and almost 25cm long hole to accomodate a piece of pipe like those used for w.c. purposes...I don't know if it's pvc exactly, it's orange colour.

After passing the cables, I made a tight roll with a piece of lead sheet, that closes the inside part of the hole well and adapts to the presence of the cables. on the 2 sides I've put 2 disks per side of thick acoustic rubber, originally large as the pipe, but shaped by the cables in their lower part.
Everything seems very tight, cables dont suffer for the strong pressure of the rubber discs and the insulation seems excellent.
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.... now it's finished...
Here it is!


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#1683048 - 07/18/05 01:19 PM Re: What's the best way to pass cables through walls?
Billster Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 04/16/04
Posts: 6378
Loc: Wilmington, MA
Good solution alfonso. Pack the pipe and the ends.

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