Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Whole house audio, cheap and easy.

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Whole house audio, cheap and easy.

    I read several posts about installing whole house audio and several of them seemed rather complex or they required more effort/money then what I wanted to put into it. I just wanted basic sound through out the house to listen to some music or hear home automation announcements from Homeseer. I thought I would try my own KISS method (Keep It Simple Stupid) and it worked very well. It worked a lot better than I thought it would so I thought I would pass it along to others. It's fun to play with this stuff anyway.

    The biggest problem with whole house audio seems to be running wire to the speakers through out the house. Some posts referred to using wireless speakers which probably works very well but wireless speakers aren't cheap. My solution was to use the existing wiring in my house, the phone line. The vast majority of houses have analog phone lines already ran through out them. If you only use one analog phone line in your house then you can use the phone line for your whole house audio. A typical analog phone line has four wires: red, green, black and yellow. A single phone line only uses two wires usually the red and green wires.

    My solution was to use the yellow and black wires for my whole house audio and use typical computer speakers to amplify the signal. You could theoretically provide sound to any room that has a phone line. I currently have audio in four rooms in my house and they all sound great. I simply put a splitter on my sound card, one side running to the computer speakers on my desk and the other to the yellow and black wires on my phone line. I had to buy some 1/8 male and female connectors and make the connecting wires myself but that was no problem. I probably spent about ten dollars on the wire connectors and patch wire. Since you are not sending an amplified signal over the wire the phone line works just fine. I had an extra set of computer speakers and found a few more sets for little to nothing. I used appliance modules to control when each speaker turns on and off and of course the speakers have a volume control on them. (One word of caution, some of the really cheaply made speakers will still let some sound run through them even if the power is turned off.) The only drawback to this solution is since you only have two wires to work with you can only have mono sound to each phone outlet. This means you only get sound from one speaker which isn't a problem with me. Its easier to place one speaker rather than two anyway. It sounds just like if you were to unplug one of the speakers from your desktop PC. The sound quality doesn't seem to be diminished at all. This solution has worked great for me and I thought others would enjoy it as well.

    #2
    Interesting idea - would work just as well over unused CAT5 network outlets... thx for the tip!

    [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    Comment


      #3
      As Cat5 has 8 wires, only 4 being used by Ethernet, this would of course allow stereo over the un-used 4 if required.

      Comment

      Working...
      X