What to tell my builder?

I’m building my new home, so what do I need to tell the builder to pre-install so that I can do the security alarm myself? E.g., pre-wiring?

Well it depends on the system you are looking to install or if you are looking to use any wired sensors over wireless (along with a takeover module) but if you are referring to 2Gig or Qolsys, both would simply require low voltage wiring (assume a higher gauge requirement for Qolsys) for power. They do not tie directly into AC, they use plug in transformers.

Thank you for the quick reply, Jason.

I have to admit, I’m completely a noob when it comes to DIY security.

Why would anyone opt for wired over wireless sensors? Also, how does a takeover module fit into the whole DIY installation? I get the control panel and sensors, but what is the module for?

Thank you.

Some people prefer using wired sensors during building, but it is not a necessity at all. The takeover module would go hand in hand with the wired sensors, turning them into wireless signals. It is unnecessary if you want to use all wireless sensors.

Great, thank you Jason.

Suffice it to say, I do not need to have my builder pre-wire anything in order to set up DIY security. Kindly advise otherwise.

Thank you.

The only thing you might want to plan out is if you have the control panel location in mind and want to wall mount it, you may as well let them know so they can run a low voltage power wire near an outlet for your plug in transformer. I would advise 18 AWG unless the outlet is within 25 feet or so.

However, it’s not too hard to fish a wire after the fact if that’s the way you want to go.

The panels are wired for power (main Panel/secondary TS1)

Main Panel should be installed center of home.
See: http://www.2gigforum.com/threads/201-How-to-install-the-control-panel?p=663&viewfull=1#post663

18/2 or 18/4 unshielded. Have wire terminate near an outlet for 14vdc transformer. Each must have its own transformer. So for every secondary panel its needs its own wire run. Besides main panel, you can have up to 4 TS1 secondary panels*. So you may want to select future locations for TS1’s and have conduit/Nylon string pulled.

Usual locations are:

Main CP: center of home
TS1: entries, bedroom, hallways

  • there are currently no secondary panels avail for the QOLSYS.

Cameras are also wired for power. (I pulled nylon string). If you dont know if you want these yet, but may in future have conduit run and nylon string pulled through so that later you can use it to pull 2.1mm power cable through)

^ correct, if you are looking at adding cameras, those should be planned as it would be easier for your builder to run the power cables for those.

Cameras use 2.1mm DC power supply cables. You can get them in 30’ lengths for $5. Run them to where you need them with male end 1’ hanging loose out of wall/ceiling (you can “tie it” up), have the female end terminate near an outlet for the transformer.

female to male DC power cable offers an easy solution for extending the length of a DC power supply.

2.1mm connector size
High quality plug and jack with strain reliefs
Conductor size: 26AWG; Power rating: 1 AMP
10m length

See: http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/23-763

Approx 1’ “Tied up” cable:

Thank you all!

I edited/updated this post (15285), so re-read:

Thank you!

Hello all.

I just came back from my appointment with my builder and he suggested that I get Cat 5e pre-wired for the two cameras that I want to install (one overlooking the front of the house and one overlooking the back of the house). He said that I can get cameras that are compatible with power over Ethernet or that I can purchase adapters to connect the RJ45 to the camera.

What are your thoughts? The pre-wiring was $125 a piece.

What alarm.com cameras are you considering? Do they support PoE?

If outside, you can use the ADC-V720 POE. You dont plan on having any internal cams? Or are planning on using Image Sensors?

Otherwise, my suggestion is as given above, have him run flex conduit, and nylon string (so you can pull cable/wire yourself through conduit as needed).

To be honest, I haven’t gone as far as selecting any hardware…worst case (I figured), I will use PoE adapters where necessary. In terms of inside cameras, I was thinking of doing one in the living room in case we want to have an eye on the kids/babysitter; I need to email my sales rep and add this to our plan as I didn’t think of this when I was with the builder earlier today.

To be honest, I haven't gone as far as selecting any hardware...worst case (I figured), I will use PoE adapters where necessary. In terms of inside cameras, I was thinking of doing one in the living room in case we want to have an eye on the kids/babysitter

My suggestion to you is run the flex conduit with nylon string in it to all locations you may want cameras. This then gives you options later for PoE and regular WiFi cams.

I appreciate your input…and no offense taken. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I’m a noob at this and realized that I had an appointment today w/ my builder to discuss alarm options…hence how I landed on suretydiy.com.


This is an example of trying to adapt PoE to a camera that doesn’t support it:

Thank you @rive. It looks like if I go with the Ethernet cable to the VoIP cameras that do not support PoE, then I’ll have to spend and extra $25-35 per camera for the PoE adapters. To be honest, because I’m using a “national” builder, the conduit pipe (although a superior and more flexible option) is more costly.

Thank you again for the great information!


If you’re paying for a pre-wire then I recommend having them run a Cat5e or Cat6 (Ethernet) cable and an 18/2 power cable to each location where you might put a device (camera, control panel, etc…). (not wireless sensors of course)

It depends on your installer but they usually charge per run/drop/location, not per cable. So running the two together might not cost much more at all and then you’re safe and future-proofed. Having an extra cable in the wall, even if you don’t use it, isn’t a bad thing.

If they insist on charging double to run two cables to the same location and you haven’t decided what devices you’re using then I’d probably choose a Cat5e or Cat6 (or choose a different installer that’s more reasonable). You can use a PoE transmitter/receiver setup as shown above or, if the run isn’t real long, you can strip and combine the twisted pairs in the Cat cable to effectively create 2 “thicker” conductors and run 12V power directly on Cat cable. I can’t guarantee it would work in your case but I’ve done it many times with success. Seriously though, if you don’t know what you’re installing have them run both cables.