Backyard Music System Pricks Up Ponies’ Ears
This three-zone system's horsepower covers the pool, patio and the owner’s two ponies.
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SILVER WINNER: Best Outdoor Space
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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. 

Outdoor Plans
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.

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Steven Castle - Contributing Writer
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.

Installers/Equipment List

Systems Design and Installation
Sixth Avenue Electronics
Springfield, N.J.
www.6ave.com 

Equipment List
Elan system 12
Elan D1651
Elan com2r
Elan n800
Elan ss1
Panasonic 50” display
OmniMount 1N1L
Rockustics Econorocks
Rockustics Omniplanter
Elan MM650C
Middle Atlantic Racks
Sony Blu-ray player
Panasonic phone system
Linksys WAP
Netgear 24 port switch
Elan VIAMigo
Elan VIADJ
Elan DTNR
Comcast cable boxes
Elan V883
HAI Lighting
Elan E36
Elan c36h
Monster power center
Monster cable wiring


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