Keystone four conductor speaker modules?

ecborgoyn

Active Member
I've been incrementally rolling out a whole-house-audio system.  Few of the speakers and none of the control keypads are mounted in-wall.  A few speakers are on-wall mounting.
 
For the most part, the speakers in the zones/rooms were existing and were using a 'poor-mans' WHA system via speaker selector switches, interconnected receiver/amps, etc. etc.
 
For most of the zone speaker wiring I fabricated wall-plates and use Neutrik speakON connectors.  Most are four conductor and some are two conductor.  Some of the wall-plates are based on keystone module plates to provide other connections such as CAT5/RJ45.
 
For one of the remaining zones, I would like to use a keystone module to provide a four conductor speaker termination.  The speakON connectors use 14/4 cables.  The keystone module termination would be 16/4 or maybe 18/4.  The cabling for this zone needs to share the same conduit with a couple of CAT cables and I'd need room on the wall-plate...  I can find keystone modules with one pair of 'push-in' type of speaker cables,  That would mean that I'd need TWO keystone positions for the two speaker channels.  I'm looking for a SINGLE keystone module with a four conductor connector that could handle an 18AWG (or-so) wire.  There's a few 'miniature molex' type connectors that I think would fit in the keystone module footprint...   So I'm thinking of ordering a few from Digikey in an attempt to DIY a module into a blank keystone module.
 
Does anyone have a better option?  Granted that I could just bring the 16/4 or 18/4 cable out of the wall and terminate it on a cable-to-cable  four position connector....  I was trying to be 'neat' about it.  There ARE four position mini-DIN keystone modules that also go as S-video connectors.  In fact I used one of these to terminate the control cable for an antenna rotor system.  Problem is the wire size.  It doesn't terminate easily on the mini-din-4 plugs.
 
Anyway, comments are welcome.
 
While I'm typing, one more question or topic for discussion:  The keypad devices for my WHA installation are all desk-top/table-top.  They are mounted in plastic single-gang PVC boxes.  My plan is to fabricate some enclosures for the boxes to make them look better.  Some fabricated from hardwood and finished for the 'nicer' rooms.  And some fabricated from MDF and painted for the 'less nice' rooms.  The keypad would be help at a 45 degree angle for better use.
 
I looked a bit and could NOT find an affordable, good looking enclosure for single-gang boxes.  Using the boxes I did find, a couple of them would cost as much as an entire six zone matrix amp.  They are targeted for the 'custom design' installations where money is no object.  I'm frugal and would rather fabricate the boxes.
 

pete_c

Guru
Yeah here utilize keystone speaker posts for all of my externally mounted speakers.  These were hidden behind the speakers but looked ugly none the less.
 
Behind the main multimedia center with TV did utilize these for the 7.1 speakers.  Difficult and tight for an inwall 4 gang box.
 
I am not sure if smaller would have been easier with the guage of wire that I was using.  Easiest to use were terminations of each wire with solid posts rather than inserting the wire in the speaker post side hole and screwing it down.
 
speaker1.gif
 

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Neurorad

Senior Member
14/4 cable would fit through a wallplate keystone opening, without any insert
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gregking

Member
jab said:
Here's an option for a tabletop enclosure, they have 1, 2 and 3 gang enclosures. I have no idea what the cost is.
 
smb110series.jpg

 
https://www.extron.com/mobile/products/product.aspx?id=smb110series&subtype=11#aspnetForm
 
Well this guy is certainly very proud of 'em.  Only $170 for a used one! 
  https://www.ebay.com/itm/Used-Extron-SMB112-Series-Two-Gang-Black-Table-Top-Box-/232582616463
 
Also, at first I didn't realize that the solution using the Panduit surface mount box used door stops for the angled mounts.  Pretty clever
 

ecborgoyn

Active Member
The surface mount boxes with the door stopper is interesting...   I was looking for something more like a 45 degree angle for the keypad as it also incorporates an IR receiver.  The Extron boxes are WAY too expensive.  My Monoprice matrix amps were less than $100 per zone and the keypad enclosure can't be more than the zone.  The $25 Simply Automated box is more inline with my budget.  For now I have $0.90 PVC handy boxes until I make wrappers for them.  Or find something for more like $10-$12 each.  Fabricating boxes from MDF or hardwood is more labor intensive, but I also like building things...
 
On the speaker cable keystone:  I'm still looking.  I may just run the cable through the open keystone hole until I find the right solution.  I'm putting together a Digikey order and might add a few small 'molex' connectors that would fit in the keystone outline dimensions and see how that works.  The location that I'm running these speaker wires to might already have too many cables for the existing single-gang box.  I may have to install a second box for the overflow.  In this case I'd have lots of additional wall-plate room.  I'm still trying to decide what cables to route to this location.
 
Thanks for the input.
 

Neurorad

Senior Member
Don't use boxes for low voltage cables and connections - use low voltage rings.  Less stress on the connections, and a lot easier to work with.
71gAvTkLNoL._SL1244_.jpg

 
The orange Carlon LV rings from Home Depot have holes in the corners which are used to mark the drywall for the cutout:
 
boxes-brackets-sc100rr-64_1000.jpg

 
You could consider a pass through plate.  I like these:
31X0DWqsQbL._SY355_.jpg

 
And these brushed pass-through plates:
 
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Another good form factor ('nose plates'):
 
00433473.jpg

 
s-l300.jpg
 

pete_c

Guru
Here recently helped a peer low voltage wire up a basement for his multimedia and family computer.  I used the low voltage rings mentioned above.  Used an in wall box behind the LCD TV.  Historically have hand cut the holes after penciling the wall measurements making the holes square and level.  This time used a dremel tool for cutting holes in ceilings and walls (old Christmas present that I had never used over the years).  Worked great.
 
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