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Backplate vs. Can


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#1 duece3815

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 08:14 AM

Hello All,

Which do you prefer and why:

1) A Backplate

or

2) A structured wiring can

Please give your opinion. Thanks!

#2 AnthonyZ

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 08:34 AM

I vastly prefer a board because it allows for much better access and can be considerably better laid out. Unfortunately, in this day and age, people expect a silly little can and thus, cans go in almost every install. I've even started converting my home system over to an enclosure as it's sometimes used for "demos".

#3 duece3815

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 08:45 AM

I vastly prefer a board because it allows for much better access and can be considerably better laid out. Unfortunately, in this day and age, people expect a silly little can and thus, cans go in almost every install. I've even started converting my home system over to an enclosure as it's sometimes used for "demos".


What about dust and 'accidental' wire tampering?

#4 AnthonyZ

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 08:49 AM

Dust is a non issue for most bits and for those that it can be (like modems, routers, etc.), many different vendors sell compressed air. "Accidental" wire tampering is avoided by keeping my wife and kids out of the closet. Client's systems are protected by carefully explaining how their warranty works and I also place a document/sign pointing out that service providers must call to terminate anything to my system for approval. There is a disclaimer in my warranty and on the sign that points out that EchoStar, Dish Network or their contractors will void the warranty on any of my runs that they terminate to. There are NO exceptions for EchoStar or their contractors. Period.

#5 Monk

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 08:53 AM

I vastly prefer a board because it allows for much better access and can be considerably better laid out. Unfortunately, in this day and age, people expect a silly little can and thus, cans go in almost every install. I've even started converting my home system over to an enclosure as it's sometimes used for "demos".


What about dust and 'accidental' wire tampering?

Oh! Oh! "silly little can"!!?? You do this for a living and your personal opinion on a protective, secure enclosure is as you stated? If people didn't want one, you would never consider installing them???

#6 Steve

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 09:04 AM

Well, I'm sure the OP meant back board as AnthonyZ responded, but taken literally I prefer a backplate IN a can. I like to use something like this or this to mount components inside a can. So there you have it, the answer is both - a backplate inside a can.

#7 PaulD

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 09:26 AM

In my new house, I have a bit of both. The closet I am using for all my HA equipment is lined with plywood. I mounted can's along with 2x4 and 4x4 wire channels for most items as a WAF (gotta be neat). However, I am using the plywood wall for some items that I prefered to keep outside a can. The plywood wall also gave me lots of flexability in mounting my cans (3 ea) as well as several wall mounted patch panels.

#8 AnthonyZ

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 09:54 AM

Oh! Oh! "silly little can"!!?? You do this for a living and your personal opinion on a protective, secure enclosure is as you stated? If people didn't want one, you would never consider installing them???

That's right, if the client doesn't want the "protective" enclosure (that's funny), I don't sell it. Anymore, clients expect a can, though. I find them pretty ridiculous. Most rigs are installed in mech. rooms and the like. Aesthetics be damned. A well laid out board can be a thing of magnificent beauty. A can is a can is a can is a can. They bore me. Alarm panels typically stay in the can. Everything else, as I said, I want to mount to a board.

#9 Neurorad

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 11:02 AM

I'm going with enclosures because of esthetics, sawdust, dirt, and children.

My mechanical room is drywalled, though I'm pulling the drywall off one wall to make the wall deeper (shared wall with bathroom - pics to hang in Ba, new holes to be drilled in enclosures).

Also, I think wire management would be easier in an enclosure - easier to keep things neat.

#10 CORT

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 01:06 AM

I'm not a pro, but I have enough experience to have an opinion. Open boards always look amateurish and cheap regardless of neatness. Plus, I don't want my security system zone wiring open to curious fingers even if I can lock the entire room.

For the alarm or home automation system, use the largest can(s) you can get. Think "this is the largest can I could ever want", and then double it. You run out of space quickly, and you need room for expansion /wire management.

For anything home network, computer, audio, etc., use a 19" standard network cabinet/rack/enclosure. Once again think big, as wire management and component "breathing room" takes a significant amount of space. Count up the number or rack units you need, then double or triple that number.

Wire managment components are as important as the devices themselves. Don't be tempted to cheap out.

#11 charliebarns

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 06:22 AM

I'm with CORT, I prefer the cans, the more the better. I ended up going with 4 CV 50" cans which will hold some of my equipment, the rest will be in a Middle Atlantic rack in the same room and cabling will run between the rack and the cans. I also have 3 28" cans (one on each floor) terminating my hardwired lighting system. Once it's all drywalled it's a nice clean install, IMO.

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  • Attached File  cans.jpg   43.52K   60 downloads


#12 duece3815

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 06:48 AM

Thanks guys for your input. Thanks for the picture Charlie!

#13 BryanE

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 12:10 PM

I'm with CORT, I prefer the cans, the more the better. I ended up going with 4 CV 50" cans which will hold some of my equipment, the rest will be in a Middle Atlantic rack in the same room and cabling will run between the rack and the cans. I also have 3 28" cans (one on each floor) terminating my hardwired lighting system. Once it's all drywalled it's a nice clean install, IMO.


Beautiful stuff CB... I'm a huge fan of big cans as well. :rolleyes:

#14 CORT

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 01:31 PM

I'm with CORT, I prefer the cans, the more the better. I ended up going with 4 CV 50" cans which will hold some of my equipment, the rest will be in a Middle Atlantic rack in the same room and cabling will run between the rack and the cans. I also have 3 28" cans (one on each floor) terminating my hardwired lighting system. Once it's all drywalled it's a nice clean install, IMO.


Wow! That is one impressive installation. Please post more pics.

Beautiful stuff CB... I'm a huge fan of big cans as well. :rolleyes:


I'm surprised no one has mentioned his appreciation of big racks yet.

#15 charliebarns

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 06:14 AM

Hehehe, yup love big cans. Here's a few more pics. The wiring closet is located at the end of this hall, it has a hidden door (DVD display shelves as this hall also leads to the theater) with an actuator button located in the third niche. The conduits you see terminated in the next picture are installed for future runs to the main rooms of the house, and to the attic. The conduits that terminate to the bottom of the cans come from the utility room and will provide the pathways for wiring coming from the MA rack, which stands perpendicular to the cans. The wiring closet itself is 8ft by 6ft deep, although I lost 3.5" of depth as we had to frame an additional wall for the cans so we could keep the required insulation behind them. The last two pics are different stages of wire organizing. More to come.

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