Busy day for me yesterday.

By | July 8, 2010

Yesterday was a long day for me, but there was quite a bit accomplished – both things I wanted to get done and weren’t really looking forward to.

At 8am, I had a root canal performed and had a cavity filled.  This was my first (AND LAST) root canal.  Hopefully, it’s my last cavity also.  I never got a single one until I hit 30…I guess it’s downhill from there :)

Anyway, if you have never had a root canal before, it’s easy to pretend you’re having one done.  Get a corded drill, sit in a chair, open your mouth, stick the drill in it and let it run for 3 1/2 hours.  If your jaw gets tired, just jam a block of wood between your teeth and keep drilling.  Fun, right?

After that, I got to go to work and squirm around knowing that my shipment from MonoPrice was delivered.  The day before, I received my SmartHome delivery that included my hardwire IR relay kit.  I played around with it a little that evening, but not enough to see what it could really do.  I just wanted to make certain it wasn’t defective.

Displayed is the receiver unit, distribution block, extension cable and IR emitter.  I had my own 12V 1000mA power brick, so I didn’t have to purchase one of those.

The TV wall mount from MonoPrice is very nice.  I got this one, that supports up to 63″ TVs and/or 165LBs for just $17.58.  The thing I like most about it is the built-in level which really makes mounting it to the wall that much easier.  I highly recommend it.  The only thing you really need to keep in mind is that being an ultra-slim mount means you will not be able to access the back of your TV once it’s hung…there’s just no space between it and the wall.  So, you have to hook your cables up the way you want, then hang the TV.  Adding additional cables will require you to take the TV down.  I don’t plan on taking this TV down until I upgrade it, so no big deal for me.  It included dozens of bolts, spacers and washers to fit virtually any TV.

Getting the mount to the wall just took a few minutes.  I had an electronic stud finder, so I just marked where the center of my studs were and then guesstimated about how high I wanted it to be.  I used the mount as my template since it was so light weight (don’t let that fool you though…it’s very sturdy), drilled my pilot holes using a 1/8″ bit and then ratcheted in  all 4 of the included stud bolts.  I already dropped the necessary wiring and cabling through the wall, so all I had to do was pilot drill the cable port, then use my drywall saw to finish the job.

After the piece of drywall was removed, I could just reach right in an pull out my cables.  I only had to run a center channel, IR relay extension, HDMI and power cord.  The power cord was cut and then spliced back together.  I had no intentions of using a 1″ bore through double-stacked 2x4s again…my attic was 125 degrees yesterday.  The 16″ auger bit made quick work of it :)

The extra component cable you see in the picture was actually removed afterwards…I decided I didn’t need/want it.

All of my cables conveniently reach the ground so that I could hook them up and then hang the TV without any additional help.  I would recommend you get a helping hand when hanging your TV though.  My HannSpree Xv37 is not that heavy, but I still had to wrestle with it a bit to get it hooked on since I couldn’t really see what I was doing.  Needless to say, it took a couple of attempts before it was on for good.

I swear it looked much larger when it was on the media cabinet.

The next thing I did was drop my front right and left speaker wires.  As of now, I only have some really big Onkyo front, left and center channel speakers which pretty much dwarf my TV, but I planned ahead for some in-wall speakers.  So, I skipped a stud space and dropped my speaker wires in a location that will allow me to install the in-wall speakers.  I installed speaker ports to run my wiring through in the same location that I will eventually place my in-wall speakers.  The hole was a bit small for my hand to fit, so I cut and bent a little grappling hook out of an old coat hanger.  Once I got the wire fished out of the wall, I installed my speaker port…nice and clean.

Once I finished getting the speaker wire fished through the walls and into the closet, I set up the hooks to install my speakers.  I used some heavy duty drywall plugs that come with washer-style hooks…I forget what they’re officially called.  They can support up to 25LBs, so they were good enough for me (if you look closely, you can see it in the image above).  I used one a piece for the front right and left speakers and a pair for the center channel.  They will hold up nicely, but I’ll have to patch and paint those holes once I get around to in-wall speakers.  Small price to pay.  The little black box on top of the TV is the IR receiver.  I wanted it to fit between the TV and center channel speaker, but I lacked about a 1/2″ of clearance.  Oh well, once in-wall speakers go in, I’d have to put it up there anyway. You can also see I still need to move that cabinet out of the bedroom…I dread it.  It’s freakin’ heavy.

I still have a few things to do when I get home today, but the hard stuff is done.  My in-wall and in-ceiling surround speakers arrive today, so I probably won’t bother re-routing those wires until I actually get them installed.  It’s just way to hot in my attic to do stuff that will be changed again this weekend (Update: Speakers were just rescheduled for delivery on 7/13…damn you UPS!).  When I get home, I’ll hook everything back up in the closet after I bore a couple of more holes in the shelving for the cables to run through.  If all works well, I will get to watch something on it tonight.  My 2 year old snuck into this picture of my ugly ceiling mounted surround speakers.  Those will be replaced tomorrow evening next week…

I spent about 3 hours doing all of this yesterday and honestly didn’t run into any “gotchas”.  It all went well and I’m happy with the end result.  I just can’t wait to get it all completed…it’s really going to “clean up” the bedroom a bit.

Check back next week as I’ll have this all wrapped up!


Almost forgot…my trusty ’96 Honda Accord EX went over 200,000 miles yesterday too!

4 thoughts on “Busy day for me yesterday.

  1. Chad

    How long is the cable you received with the IR extender? I am toying with doing the same, but the closet is 75 ft away.

    1. Jon Post author

      The cable connected to the receiver is 7′ and I got a 50′ extension. You can go beyond that if you need to…the distribution block is powered, so the signal is amplified.
      I actually only needed about an extra 10-15′, but they didn’t sell anything shorter.

  2. Chad

    Thanks Jon. Does it appear that the extension could be connected to another extension?

    1. Jon Post author

      Certainly. It’s a very standard 50ft. 3-wire cable with a female TRS on one end and a male on the other (regular ol’ stereo plugs). You can even run this stuff over CAT5.


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