Terry Culhane / Tripod Audio      (413) 575-9699

The Installation Phase

Although every project is unique, the installation phase is usually similar – lot's of wire! It's still a wired world in the electronics biz. Wireless solutions have for the most part been elusive or simply non-existent. So we begin by running the wire, as much as several miles of cable for a big project.

The proliferation of system electronics in a modern homes has been nothing short of amazing, even to those of us in the business. These days a well planned new house could very easily have:

In addition to these fairly routine cables, individual projects may need cables for closed circuit TV, lighting controls, video distribution, and other specialized applications.

New Construction vs. Existing Homes

Naturally it’s easier to create a comprehensive wiring plan while a house is in the planning and construction phases. And there’s no doubt that projects tend to be bigger and more complex while the walls are open. On the other hand we spend a good deal of our time working in existing homes. We’ve found that there is almost always a way to install the wiring necessary to complete a project, even in homes built over a hundred years ago.

While a finished home may challenge our flexibility and constrain some of our choices, there is an advantage. After all, we know what the room looks like. Using an existing room as the starting point often makes it easier for everyone to picture how a home theater might work with the decor. This often facilitates the initial discussions and planning.

Either way, the emphasis is on custom installation. We want to create solutions that work - that are practical, cost effective and that will last for years.

Wiring Methods, UL Listing, and Inspections

To us it’s critical that systems we install are designed to last for many years. To the extent that it’s possible, we build our systems so that the wiring harnesses and materials will last as long any of your other wiring – lighting or thermostat wires for example. We use only UL Listed cable, install everything according to the latest Electrical Code, and in new construction everything is checked by the local Inspector of Wires. This phase of the job happens after the mechanical and electrical systems are roughed in, but prior to installation of insulation.

Final Installation

Shortly after the prewire, we order all of the equipment and related equipment racks. We assemble the racks and relevant cabling, and begin programming and testing the equipment at our shop. If our job is part of a larger construction or remodeling project, items that need to be painted, (typically in-wall speakers), are installed immediately prior to final wall painting. Other permanent fixtures, such as in-wall volume controls, intercoms, trim plates and security devices, are installed after final painting.

Our final installation step is to install the electronic equipment and complete any on-site system programming. For new construction we often install the audio/video equipment after the clients have moved in to their new space. We completely test our systems at this time, and show the family how to use and operate each system.

Created by
Terry Culhane
© 2005-2016