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Structured Wiring - Part 2

Part 1

In structured wiring ever outlet terminates back at a common panel, as shown in Figure 3. The incoming signal wire also terminates at the same panel.

By having all the inputs terminated in a common place with all of the outlets you achieve complete control of what service is delivered to each of the outlets.

Structured wiring panels and their associated accessories provide additional features:

  • Convenient termination of input and output lines on specially designed terminal strips. This allows the homeowner to easily convert what signal is connected to any specific outlet. Telephone today – data line tomorrow.
  • Amplifiers can be added to boost signals for all low voltage inputs
  • Security camera outputs can be easily added to TV sets on a vacant channel.
  • A neat and tidy wiring (rather than a bunch of assorted wires randomly stapled to the electrical panel backboard) that allows for identification of wires in years to come.
Structured wiring method of low voltage wiring in a home
Figure 3 - Structured wiring method of low voltage wiring in a home

As previously mentioned, structured wiring techniques have all of the wiring running to a common control panel. In most cases the control panels are modular. You purchase a cabinet or enclosure, as shown in Figure 4, and the modules that you require as their are different modules for TV, as shown in Figure 5, telephone, as shown in Figure 6, security and other low voltage systems.

Structured wiring cabinet
Figure 4 - Structured wiring cabinet
Structured wiring video module
Figure 5 - Structured wiring video module
Structured wiring telephone module
Figure 6 - Structured wiring telephone module
2 Cat. 5e, 2 RG6 Quad, Jacket structured wiring cable
Figure 7 - 2 Cat. 5e, 2 RG6 Quad, Jacket structured wiring cable

In some cases a cable is run from the control panel to an outlet for that specific requirement. As an example coax cable could be run from the control panel to each TV outlet. However, in other cases a "structured wiring cable" is run from the control panel to each outlet. There are many cable configurations available, as shown in Figure 7, with an assortment of internal wires, coax cables for video, communication wires for audio and additional wires for security and computer communications, all encapsulated into one cable.

This structured wiring cable provides the homeowner with the ability to install outlets that have multi-functions and conveniently change their minds as to what is in what room or location at any one time.

Their are a number of excellent books available to help in the design of a structured wiring system for your home. I highly recommend the following selections:

Additional book selections on structured wiring

If you are involved in a major remodel or home renovation you should consider the benefits of using structured wiring for all of your low voltage requirements.