Introducing Maximum PC Lab North


Introducing Maximum PC Lab North

MEDIA ROOM (continued)

I haven't fully evaluated Logitech's new diNovo Mini keyboard, but I like the small form factor and the D-pad can replace a bulky mouse. You can leave it on a coffee table (or on top of a speaker) when you’re not using it, so it doesn’t draw anyone’s attention.



I had Allen install speaker jacks and volume controls in the dining room, great room, master bedroom, and the enclosed patio. Those, and the speaker selector box, really leverage the one Sonos zone player in the media center.

This arrangement, however, doesn’t allow someone in the media room to use the receiver to watch TV while music plays in the rest; and using one zone player for multiple rooms means I can’t have different music playing in each room, but that’s just not something that I need.

Another option I decided to do without is volume controls with built-in IR receivers. These would have allowed me to control the local volume from across the room, but then I'd have to keep track of a remote control in each room. My rooms are relatively small, so it's not a big deal to walk to the control to make adjustments.

Allen installed Niles Audio VCS100 volume controls because they can handle up to 100 watts of power each and they're capable of magnifying the impedance presented to the amplifier. The impedance magnfication feature was particularly important because I sometimes use my A/V receiver's front-channel amp to drive up to four sets of speakers. (The typical amp expects to see a six- or eight-ohm load on each channel. As you add additional speakers to the channel, the impedance can drop below those thresholds, resulting in damage to the amp.)

Niles Audio OS10 indoor/outdoor speakers are installed in the enclosed patio. The volume can be adjusted using an in-wall volume control. This is a better alternative to using the A/V receiver or the Sonos controller to adjust the volume, because those are both master controllers that would change the volume in every room.

Page 1: Introduction 

Page 2: The Media Room

Page 3: The Media Room: Wiring and Video

Page 4: The Media Room: Audio 

Page 5: The Home Office and the Home Run

Page 6: The Kitchen and the Video Surveillance System

Page 7: The Garage

Page 8: The Solar Power System





+ Add a Comment


I'm currently remodeling my home and would love to have more info on the Z-Wave stuff you selected, how you configured it, etc.



I was also interested in more about lighting control and more information on Z-wave. I was planning on starting to do my home automation and was reading about Z-wave. Maybe another section added to the forums on this topic would be great for ppl to reply back with ideas and feedback.

Good article and very interesting.



Great stuff! Thanks for writing this up and walking us through your experience.

Did you hook up your HVAC to z-wave functionality? I'm curious to know more info on what you decided to do in this area...




Interesting stuff you got going on there. I see that you're using a piece of carpetting to help dampen speaker vibration on the pull out trays. Not too many people think of doing that. I use a small piece of cork between my speakers and the carpetting to help deaden the noise from the woofers so that I don't disturb my neighbors below.

- mike_art03a
IT Technician
Gov't of Canada



I think I'm drooling. Someone slap me.



So when's the PC lab north BBQ and music festival???? I'm there!

There's no time like the future.



that is a absolutely stuningly tech out home good job!



you sure went to lengths to make this house tech-ed out!

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