May 03, 2010
by Steven Castle
One of the challenges faced in an extensive outdoor electronics project such as this is planning and running the cables to all the speaker and video locations. (See sidebar below.) Sixth Avenue used separate 2-inch conduit for each of the power, security, and audio/video wiring to the pony barn and cabana. From a closet in back of the cabana, connections to the pool area speaker locations were added later.
The carefully planned prewire allows one more TV in the offing outside. Guess where? Yep, the ponies were smart enough to wire for video ahead of time. They may end up with a better A/V system than that in the cabana.
What to think of when you’re planning to have electronics systems outdoors?
Have an idea ahead of time. “The best jobs I’ve done come from the customer’s ideas, and if you really want to do something, stick with it. The end project much is usually much better than what I envisioned,” says Martinez.
Run the wires now. This is a good idea, even if you’re not going to do something for years. The pony barn on this property is already wired for video, for instance. “We went back and forth on this project several times, and ran several different conduits to the barn, pool and cabana,” Martinez says.
Be flexible. The pool in this project got moved, and Sixth Avenue had to be ready for it. Not knowing quite where the pool area speakers would be located, the electronics installer ran conduit with speaker wire to a closet behind the cabana and later made connections from there to the speaker locations in the mulched garden areas.
Protect your electronics. The Rockustics speakers in this pool and patio area are made to be outdoors. Make sure any electronics that will exposed to the elements or even splashes from the pool are weatherproof or waterproof (there’s a difference). The plasma TV is not made for the outdoors, but Sixth Avenue made sure it would be protected from the weather.
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates