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Dream Home Wiring - NAS - Security - AV


Jedi2155
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So my new home is still scheduled for completion sometime between Dec. and Jan. There are several areas of work to be done in the tech space alone (not to mention tons of others). I would categorize them as follows:

  • NAS - Synology DS1520+ seems to be the NAS of choice because of its easy to use UI, and tons of add-ons
    • Primary Purposes:
      • 1. Act as DVR for home security system
      • 2. Network Backup for important items to replace a yearly DropBox subscription (~$100-200/year)
      • 3. Media Server for new home AV setup (relatively low priority since this is a very time consuming endeavor)
    • HDD choices
      • Considering these 14 TB Easy Stores from Black Friday
        • Any issue using these in NAS (especially the 3.3v issue)
        • Should I go with a 3 drive or 4 drive setup? (RAID 5? 1+0?), I'm leaving towards a 3 drive setup for cost presently.
  • Security IP Cameras
    • Will be using Synology the IP Camera license pack for my own custom POE IP cameras
    • 4 Camera locations (1 front yard, 1 back yard, 1 covering main entrance, 1 covering 2nd floor stairway), home is prewired.
    • Considering cameras like this Reolink - POE Turret camera
  • Networking
    • Most of the home will be pre-wired for CAT6, but i'm assuming places like the camera maybe Cat5E
    • Will need a good POE switch (16 port minimum with 4 POE ports at a minimum)
    • Will need a good WiFi Mesh (waiting for Unifi 6 APs)
    • Might just use my Asus Tmobile as the router still
  • Audio
    • Will need a good receiver capable of at least 3-5 "zones"
      • Great Room - 7.1 surround - Zone - Entertainment
      • Patio/Outdoor - Zone - Outdoor
      • Loft - Zone - Hallway
      • Master/Bath - Zone - Personal
    • Considering 9.2 and 11.2 receivers
  • Video:
    • TV's needed in the following Areas:
      • Great Room - Utilize existing LG 75" 75SJ8570 which eventual plan for a 77" OLED
      • Loft - TBD
      • Office - To Buy - 55" LG OLED
      • Master - Utilize existing 55" 2012 LCD until I budget for a 65" OLED. then move 55" to Loft

That's just my rough plans for now. Lots of details to be followed.

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2 hours ago, Jedi2155 said:
  • NAS - Synology DS1520+ seems to be the NAS of choice because of its easy to use UI, and tons of add-ons
    • Primary Purposes:
      • 1. Act as DVR for home security system
      • 2. Network Backup for important items to replace a yearly DropBox subscription (~$100-200/year)
      • 3. Media Server for new home AV setup (relatively low priority since this is a very time consuming endeavor)
    • HDD choices
      • Considering these 14 TB Easy Stores from Black Friday
        • Any issue using these in NAS (especially the 3.3v issue)
        • Should I go with a 3 drive or 4 drive setup? (RAID 5? 1+0?), I'm leaving towards a 3 drive setup for cost presently.

 

Replace? I would caution against this since it breaks the 3-2-1 rule of data redundancy. 3 backups on 2 different devices/media and 1 of them offsite. With a feature rich pre-built NAS like a Synology I'm sure they have a feature to schedule a regular sync to something like DropBox or Backblaze.

This does not have to be very complicated. The DS1520+ is already on Plex's  compatibility list (link). Malaphax and I both use Plex and, speaking for myself, I'm pretty satisfied with it.

2 hours ago, Jedi2155 said:
  • Security IP Cameras
    • Will be using Synology the IP Camera license pack for my own custom POE IP cameras
    • 4 Camera locations (1 front yard, 1 back yard, 1 covering main entrance, 1 covering 2nd floor stairway), home is prewired.
    • Considering cameras like this Reolink - POE Turret camera

I'm curious why you picked this camera brand and where you go with this item.

2 hours ago, Jedi2155 said:
  • Networking
    • Most of the home will be pre-wired for CAT6, but i'm assuming places like the camera maybe Cat5E
    • Will need a good POE switch (16 port minimum with 4 POE ports at a minimum)
    • Will need a good WiFi Mesh (waiting for Unifi 6 APs)
    • Might just use my Asus Tmobile as the router still

So that T-Mobile router (aka Asus RT-AC68U) is solid but you want to pair with Unifi APs for mesh? It's not that you cannot do that but why the mish-mash? Would you run the controller software just temporarily on your laptop/desktop and turn off the SSID on the Asus?

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2 hours ago, kuhla said:

Replace? I would caution against this since it breaks the 3-2-1 rule of data redundancy. 3 backups on 2 different devices/media and 1 of them offsite. With a feature rich pre-built NAS like a Synology I'm sure they have a feature to schedule a regular sync to something like DropBox or Backblaze.

This does not have to be very complicated. The DS1520+ is already on Plex's  compatibility list (link). Malaphax and I both use Plex and, speaking for myself, I'm pretty satisfied with it.

I'm curious why you picked this camera brand and where you go with this item.

So that T-Mobile router (aka Asus RT-AC68U) is solid but you want to pair with Unifi APs for mesh? It's not that you cannot do that but why the mish-mash? Would you run the controller software just temporarily on your laptop/desktop and turn off the SSID on the Asus?

1 - I do like that my data-redundancy is off-site with history and backup. I would be lacking off-site storage but it was meant as a redundant storage on top of what storage I'd have on my local machine. Currently I have backups in Cloud, Local, and Externals. Going this route would be just Local + NAS which would be lacking on the cloud.

2 - I have done zero research on how plex services work because generally I don't consume a lot of media (mostly YouTube, Netflix, Amazon) with a few pieces on my local devices. I do not have a massive library but I do have a number of TV shows I still am trying to finish (Andromeda, Stargate SG-1, Atlantis etc, Small Ville)

3 - It was just a random brand but did some quick googling few months ago and that came up near the list. I'm looking for a better one because I doubt that is the best, but researching this is also a time consuming endeavor. I think the outdoor cameras I want PTZ, while the indoor can be fixed.

4 - I haven't looked into how this network topology actually works. I also do not have a 24/7 PC running, I regularly power off my PC. The NAS might be a good DHCP/router though. I wonder if can use that as the router and connect it to my Unif-APs. I actually have zero clue on how to configure this network presently, what equipment I'd need to use it properly.

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Thinking more about the Network Question it would be:

Router -> Synology DS1520+

POE Switch (need 7+ POE at least 70-80 watts).

Switch might need to mounted external to the Structured wiring cabinet....

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2 hours ago, Jedi2155 said:

1 - I do like that my data-redundancy is off-site with history and backup. I would be lacking off-site storage but it was meant as a redundant storage on top of what storage I'd have on my local machine. Currently I have backups in Cloud, Local, and Externals. Going this route would be just Local + NAS which would be lacking on the cloud.

2 - I have done zero research on how plex services work because generally I don't consume a lot of media (mostly YouTube, Netflix, Amazon) with a few pieces on my local devices. I do not have a massive library but I do have a number of TV shows I still am trying to finish (Andromeda, Stargate SG-1, Atlantis etc, Small Ville)

3 - It was just a random brand but did some quick googling few months ago and that came up near the list. I'm looking for a better one because I doubt that is the best, but researching this is also a time consuming endeavor. I think the outdoor cameras I want PTZ, while the indoor can be fixed.

4 - I haven't looked into how this network topology actually works. I also do not have a 24/7 PC running, I regularly power off my PC. The NAS might be a good DHCP/router though. I wonder if can use that as the router and connect it to my Unif-APs. I actually have zero clue on how to configure this network presently, what equipment I'd need to use it properly.

  1. Just local + NAS means you are one house fire away from losing all of your data 🙁
  2. Plex is free software that takes local media files and makes them accessible via a pretty interface you can access over a local network and/or remotely. Includes features like setting streaming quality, etc. There is not a lot of configuration needed out of the box for example: If it finds multiple seasons of a show it will automatically in the interface catalog them separately into seasons. The idea would be the NAS runs the server software and then you could use a smart stick or integrated smart TV device to access it over the network (and most smart device support Youtube, Netlix and Amazon too nowadays).
  3. I have not done a ton of research into this either but I have looked around a little. You have really expensive commercial level solutions like Bosch or Axis. Then you have the SOHO-celebrity Ubiquiti which are still pretty expensive. After that it starts to become a flood of cheap chinese stuff and it's hard to quickly figure out what's worth it and what's not.
  4. For any Ubiquiti hardware, you would not need to have the PC running the controller software all the time, the devices can run without the controller, but any kind of management would require it. Looking at that link you provided, that does not turn the NAS into a DHCP server or router. It's just the controller software running in a docker container on the NAS. In the setup you proposed the Asus would still be the router and DHCP server for wired with the mesh APs would be their own DHCP server for the network they provide probably.
1 hour ago, Jedi2155 said:

Thinking more about the Network Question it would be:

Router -> Synology DS1520+

POE Switch (need 7+ POE at least 70-80 watts).

Switch might need to mounted external to the Structured wiring cabinet....

Could write out a lot here but I just want to comment that I am pretty turned off to POE switches now. Ubiquiti POE switches run hot and on top of that you then have to ensure your entire run is using cable that is "POE worthy".

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  • 6 months later...

FINALLY Found the perfect mulit-zone amplifier to do all sets of combinations that I need:

 

Been debating between 4 amplification channels or 6 now. Since its only $100 more for 2 more channels I might do the 6 so I do bridge amplifier outputs as necessary. 

https://www.osdaudio.com/12-channel-6-zone-digital-home-theater-amplifier-mx1280-outdoor-speaker-depot.html

It has an amazing amount of combinations (Dual Bus, Line Input, Individual Triggers, and Bridge mode so gives me a ton of options on how I want to setup my multi-zone setup).

My patio speakers are 75W though and these are 50W per channel into an 8 ohm, so I might get the 6 channel to do bridge mode to get more power to them.

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  • 1 month later...

Partly considering replacing my Asus router with this guy

https://store.ui.com/collections/operator-isp-infrastructure/products/edgerouter-x

or this guy:

https://store.ui.com/products/unifi-security-gateway

Also currently looking into actually cleaning up my wiring, lots of ideas and realized I have a TON of unterminated network connections (~6-7 more cat cables on top of the 16 I already have). debating on installing a patch panel vs. just wiring RJ-45 and going straight in the switch. Hrmmm...

.image.png....
Wiring is still a mess but I don't think I'll actually need a cabinet since I think I have a way to get it all wired in.
AAWUweXHAL9GMQWSMlSopIdJe7VagPt_9ZPN5jAE

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12 hours ago, Jedi2155 said:

EdgeRouter X is not part of the Unifi family which can be a deal breaker but at least it's really cheap. I have used one and it's definitely capable.

USG is part of the Unifi family but it's really old at this point (so the price for it makes no sense) and does not have the processing power to do everything it is advertised to do on faster connections which can be a big issue depending on your implementation. EDIT: I should mention I use one of these right now.

I don't follow all the ubiquiti news but, unless you are going to budget route with the edgerouter, for the unifi family you have to step all the way up to either:

  1. UDM
  2. UDM-Pro
  3. UXG-Pro (in early access, not released yet)

There is not really a proper USG replacement that is more prosumer/soho setup.

Actually more broadly Ubiquiti is slowly starting to feel a little meh in the prosumer/soho segment. Prices keep going up. Transparency seems to be going down. Patches seems to be slower. Bugs seem more prevalent (people think too much outsourced devs).

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Quote

Actually more broadly Ubiquiti is slowly starting to feel a little meh in the prosumer/soho segment. Prices keep going up. Transparency seems to be going down. Patches seems to be slower. Bugs seem more prevalent (people think too much outsourced devs).

I'm actually feeling the same TBH. I have several issues with my UniFi 6 LR's and noticed firmware updates aren't very regular. Tons of products though and I think they just have too much hardware and not enough software people. The UniFi controller release is also a little slower. I get a bunch of WiFi failed to connect bugs on my UniFi config.

Honestly my Asus router mostly works and has a decent QoS engine built in, far more regular software updates as well and never gave me the wifi issues that the UniFi is giving me. Plus with the WiFi radio off, power draw drops from 30-40w to like 5W for the router alone. Not terrible. Was hoping that a more integrated router would also be nice and would fit more nicely on media closet.

Another important thing I discovered recently was the EA release of the UniFi 6 Pro which is a different variation compared to the LR for $149 vs $179 on the LR.

  • Qualcomm (Pro) vs MediaTek chipset (LR)
  • 2.4G WiFi 6 on the Pro vs. WiFi 4 on the LR (I was quite upset about this)
  • Some signal quality differences on the powers and antennas
  • LR lists 2.4 Gbp on the 5g vs 4.8 Gbps on the Pro. Not sure why that is because WiFi 6 states 1.2 gbps per channel and the LR does have a 4x4 MU-MIMO configuration...
  • Several other weird changes.

 

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17 hours ago, Jedi2155 said:

https://webresources.ruckuswireless.com/datasheets/r650/ds-commscope-r650.html

These are better than UniFi and more durable from what I've heard. I know Lennar as a builder uses them over any UnIFi for their stability.

For reliability, yeah I've seen a lot of praise for Ruckus wireless units for a while now but in the big picture I don't feel like the are different enough and they are definitely priced for enterprise.

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4 hours ago, kuhla said:

For reliability, yeah I've seen a lot of praise for Ruckus wireless units for a while now but in the big picture I don't feel like the are different enough and they are definitely priced for enterprise.

This is the most technical comparison I found:

 

Quote

Unifi hardware-- off the shelf wifi chipset and SoC, take the reference design, strip it of any components possible to drive down build costs. Linux firmware phones home to the "controller" which is really a management server that collects log data and pushes configuration. The ruckus connects back to the controller with a GRE tunnel, and the controller handles control and data flow in realtime for all AP's on the network to extensively coordinate and manage the user experience. Packets don't just vaporize in transit when a client roams from AP to AP, and you get consistent low latency hand off.

Pop open two similarly specced units side by side. Inside the ruckus you find a 6 axis CNC machined antenna of proprietary design. Shielding. Capacitors and resistors to isolate circuits. Little touches to add a dB of sensitivity and selectivity here and there. In the unifi you find that the antenna is a cheap piece of sheetmetal origami. In place of isolation recommended in the SoC reference design, you find bare circuit traces that were "engineered out" via trial and error rather than analysis. "Good enough" sensitivity and selectivity rules the day.

The experience is night and day when it comes to applications intolerant of packet loss and intermittent connectivity. Aka anything enterprise oriented. VoIP. Legacy applications. High user density.

In either case I applaud anyone stepping up from SMB unmanaged gear to managed systems. Can't improve without data, and at least Unifi can deliver that.

 

Ruckus is higher end hardware compared to Ubiquiti. The RF elements design is much more complex and advanced in Ruckus APs. The software is more complete and stable than Ubiquiti as well.


My network is not stable at all and I'm constantly fiddling with the UniFi settings. I currently have  20+ clients, but2-3 clients are constantly giving me trouble. A lot of devices drop off and my end devices have trouble deciding between 2.4 and 5 Ghz. Signal is amazing though, so that isn't the issue but rather than handshaking process with my 6 LR + asus router is giving me a lot of grief. I've ended up turning off a lot of the "functionality" to ensure reliability. Features that are present on the mobile App are missing on the UniFi controller (Optimize for IoT devices? yeah... MIA on the controller but several additional features are available on the App).

image.png

There is a lot of polish, but a lot of little bugs too.

 

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12 hours ago, Jedi2155 said:

Ruckus is higher end hardware compared to Ubiquiti. The RF elements design is much more complex and advanced in Ruckus APs. The software is more complete and stable than Ubiquiti as well.

I don't think there is going to be much debate on that but price just cannot be ignored here. A lot of Ruckus hardware is going to be 2x (or more) the price of the roughly equivalent Ubiquiti solution unless you find some good deals on ebay used.

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12 hours ago, Jedi2155 said:

A lot of devices drop off and my end devices have trouble deciding between 2.4 and 5 Ghz.

I forgot I wanted to comment on this too.

I resolved this issue by making different SSIDs and only advertising them on one frequency or the other so my devices have no choice.

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On 7/16/2021 at 9:37 AM, kuhla said:

I forgot I wanted to comment on this too.

I resolved this issue by making different SSIDs and only advertising them on one frequency or the other so my devices have no choice.

The problem with this is that it breaks seamless roaming. I'm 5 GHz indoors, but if I walk outside to my front yard, I drop to 2.4, and if I'm on a VOIP or WIFi call, that won't be seamless like it is with a single SSID.

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3 hours ago, Jedi2155 said:

The problem with this is that it breaks seamless roaming. I'm 5 GHz indoors, but if I walk outside to my front yard, I drop to 2.4, and if I'm on a VOIP or WIFi call, that won't be seamless like it is with a single SSID.

If I want device X to be on 5 Ghz, I only connect it to the 5 Ghz SSID. That SSID is not available on 2.4 Ghz. I never connect that device to the 2.4 Ghz SSID. It never switches.

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22 hours ago, kuhla said:

If I want device X to be on 5 Ghz, I only connect it to the 5 Ghz SSID. That SSID is not available on 2.4 Ghz. I never connect that device to the 2.4 Ghz SSID. It never switches.

That's exactly what i want to avoid. The new single SSID allows seamless switching between the 2.4 and 5 GHz for better performance and roaming coverage.

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  • 1 month later...

https://evanmccann.net/blog/2021/9/unifi-speed-tests

Best comparison of 11 UniFi AP's including the latest U6 Pro.
UniFi+Speed+Tests+-+Models+Tested.png?fo

Quote

TL;DR:

  • Wi-Fi 6 is faster… when using wide channels at close range

  • These results show average Mbps values for single client iPerf throughput tests

  • The U6-LR has the best range, the U6-Pro is fastest for nearby clients

  • The BeaconHD struggled due to it's lack of Ethernet. Wired backhaul is just as important as model choice.

 

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3 hours ago, kuhla said:

My AC-Lite is still going strong right now but I did not realize the U6-Lite was that cheap. Somehow I expected it to be more expensive.

https://store.ui.com/products/unifi-ap-6-lite

 

The main competition is the Aruba Instant-On AP22 vs the U6 LR.

https://evanmccann.net/blog/2021/7/aruba-ap22-review

A little bit of update on the situation:

Quote
  • Video:
    • TV's needed in the following Areas:
      • Great Room - Utilize existing LG 75" 75SJ8570 which eventual plan for a 77" OLED
      • Loft - TBD
      • Office - To Buy - 55" LG OLED
      • Master - Utilize existing 55" 2012 LCD until I budget for a 65" OLED. then move 55" to Loft

On this note:

  • Great Room - Its currently a 77" OLED CX (kind wish I got the C1 due to the better darkscene SDR content performance)
  • Loft - Using my 55" 2012 Samsung 3D TV
  • Office - To Buy - 55" LG OLED (C1 or C2 or whatevers)
  • Master - I was going to get a 65" OLED for here but I'm pretty happy with my 75SJ8570 in here right now with no plans to swap it for an OLED.
Quote
  • Security IP Cameras
    • Will be using Synology the IP Camera license pack for my own custom POE IP cameras
    • 4 Camera locations (1 front yard, 1 back yard, 1 covering main entrance, 1 covering 2nd floor stairway), home is prewired.
    • Considering cameras like this Reolink - POE Turret camera

I've installed 2 out of the 4 camera locations and I have a floating blink camera running around. I currently have 3 RLC-822A's but haven't bought the 4th yet because this guy is around but i still have NO justification to buy a PTZ camera. I get pretty good coverage with just my 822As. The main niceness of the 823A is the spotlight feature, motion tracking an object, and 2-way audio where none of my current cameras offer that. I can see value for that outside but not sure if its worth the cost/weight/power aspects. $75 vs $250.

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