Finishing Door/Window Contacts


Old 04-11-17, 07:51 PM
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Finishing Door/Window Contacts

I'm planning my security system for a new home to be built in the next year or so. I've already bought my panel (DSC 1864) and a few sensors to experiment with beforehand. I understand the logical circuit design of everything, including resistors, etc. I'm also comfortable roughing in all the wiring (my dad's an electrician and I worked with him growing up). What I don't understand completely, and can't find an answer to via extensive googling, is the final details of hooking up my sensors to the wiring after drywall/woodwork goes up. Basically, I'll have my pre-wire wire sticking out. How short do I cut it? Will I be able to cut it longer to have room to work, and then push excess back through the hole into the door frame or the wall for a window? I just seems like both doors and windows will have had expanding foam put around them for insulation purposes, so I won't be able to push/pull much on the wire. The contacts I've been playing with so far have terminals on them, instead of a wire lead, which seems like they might be difficult to work with if I have to cut the wire shorter. But other contacts have wire leads - where do you hide your splices onto that wire?
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Old 04-11-17, 08:29 PM
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For the situation you are describing, the terminal style device is the way to go. I've used a tool like a bamboo skewer to enlarge the hole around the protruding wire a little, so I can work some of the excess back in (the wood is less likely to damage the wire casing) 2-3 inches will give you enough to work with (more is better), and have enough room to mount the contact. Put the contact on the wire, _then_ put it in place, then work the excess wire back in the hole.
Old 04-13-17, 12:41 PM
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I would suggest drilling a large hole (3/4") through the framing/header then once the door goes in it is much easier to line up and pre-drill the hole (3/8") in the door jamb.

That should give you plenty of room for stuffing the wire back up. Leave at least a few extra inches of wire -- Also, leave a small pocket (inside the wall) for the wire.

Also be sure you have enough clearance above the door to drill in the magnet.
Old 04-13-17, 03:16 PM
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If you have to use contacts with leads, you can cut the leads to about 2" (plus the 3" tail you leave on the wiring) will give you plenty of room to work. To splice, you use "B connectors". You technically don't even need to strip the wires but I do and twist them together just for physical strength. You insert both wires and then squeeze it with apair of pliers. They have teeth inside that will pierce the insulation and make the connection. They are small enough that you can shove them back through the hole, even if it's a "slim reed" switch.

Old 04-13-17, 07:11 PM
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I have to agree strongly with MrRonFL that contacts with terminals is the way to go, especially for a novice. Those B-connectors ("beanies") are notorious for getting hung up so you can't pull them back out if you need to check your connections or replace the contact years down the road.

For the same reason, I recommend following tpring's advice and use the larger 3/4 inch contacts & holes: It makes fitting everything in and future service SO much easier.
Old 04-13-17, 07:59 PM
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If the house is being built, I would think that ideally, you would keep an eye on the progress and hook everything up prior to the trim (casing) being installed. I don't know why anyone would intentionally want to wait for the trim to go up before finishing the wiring on your contacts.

When I'm installing doors and windows and have to hook things back up for the homeowner, that's when I do it.

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