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Compontent Cables Question

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9 replies to this topic

#1 of 10 BrandonB



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Posted October 13 2003 - 05:29 AM

I recently finished my basement and ran all my wires in the walls. My compotent cables were approximately two feet sort. Instead of buying $25 component cables for those last two feet, I just used RCA cables. I was told that it wouldn't make a difference. Does anyone know if this is true?

Secondly, I had to use RCA jacks at the wall because I could not find properly color coded ones for component cabless. I wrote down somewhere which cable was which, but have now lost the key. I have 4 RCA outputs behind my TV, three are component and one is a vid-RCA. I have no idea which is which. I have been trial and error sampling but cannot find the right combination. Does someone know an easier way to figure this out besides busting a hole in my newly finished basement?

Thanks all!

#2 of 10 JohnGib



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Posted October 13 2003 - 06:16 AM

An ohm meter is probably your best bet...you can short out one end by clipping something metal between the pin and the sheilding (after disconnecting all of them) and just measure the resistance between the pin and shielding at the other end. The one with 0 (or close) resistance will tell you which is which. Repeat for the others.

Hope that helps.


#3 of 10 GrahamT


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Posted October 13 2003 - 06:58 AM

That is a good tip john. To answer your first question Brandon, there is nothing wrong with using RCA cables instead of component. They are identical in composition. I would suggest that you label them with coloured tape or something so you dont get confused again.

#4 of 10 ChrisWiggles



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Posted October 13 2003 - 10:24 AM

Just be sure they are video cables, or clearly 75-ohm cables. REgulare audio cables may not be 75 ohm (they don't need to be). While i'd guess most are 75 ohm anyway (they can just produce the same stuff in bulk), any 75 cable should suffice.

#5 of 10 Bob McElfresh

Bob McElfresh


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Posted October 14 2003 - 05:49 PM

three are component and one is a vid-RCA

Actually, all video cables are identical. A component cable set is simply 3 identical-length composite (single plug) cables.

Hopefully: all 4 of the cables are identical length. A few feet extra in one cable will cause problems.

Did you just go out and buy coax for the in-wall, or did you have someone do the work for you?

#6 of 10 BrandonB



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Posted October 15 2003 - 05:37 AM

Thanks for all the help guys, I'll have to see if I can get my hands on an ohm meter (that is really a good idea!). Can you be a little more descriptive in your instructions? I am not inclined to this stuff. What do you mean by shorting one out. If I disconnect the cables from the DVD player, do I then connect two of those ends together (with say a paperclip?). Then test all the outputs. The one with the "0" signal will be the one that is unclipped?

Bob, I did all the work myself. When I was referring to three component cables and one vid-RCA, I meant that I have an RCA ran for the video off my old VCR, and a separate three for the component cables for my DVD player.

I didn't have to run any coax. I have satellite so I used the S-video output. That's what I've been resorting to for my DVD video in the meanwhile.

Again, thanks for the help all!!

#7 of 10 Bob McElfresh

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Posted October 15 2003 - 01:06 PM

you be a little more descriptive in your instructions?

Take a small piece of aluminum foil and crumple it on one end of the RCA cable. Make sure it touches both the center pin and outer ring. Use the ohm meter on the other ends until you find one with less than infinate resistance. Note: many ohm meters have a beep tone to indicate a short - this will work as well.

The center pin and the outer ring on a RCA plug are physically separated. The aluminum foil will short them together. You use the probes on the ohm meter on the center pin and outer ring on the other end to test.

#8 of 10 ChrisTheg



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Posted October 15 2003 - 02:51 PM

There is a much easier way of checking what goes to what, without having to buy a ohm meter. All you have to do is plug a source, like a dvd player in one end of the wire, and a monitor on the other. First hook it up directly to the tv to make sure your on the right input. Oh and about the wire being the same. Not all wire is the same. Most are alike but depending on the composition of the wire like if its silver, copper, or an alloy will effect your picture quality.
A/V Consultant

#9 of 10 Bob McElfresh

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Posted October 15 2003 - 06:22 PM

Not all wire is the same

True, but coax cables for video (and coaxial-digital) must be made with something called 75 ohm coax.

Audio cables can be made with any of the popular impedences: 50, 75, 110, 300. But you cannot look at a cable and tell if it is 75 ohms.

So from a gross catigorization: there are Video cables and Audio Cables.

#10 of 10 BrandonB



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Posted October 16 2003 - 07:26 AM

I had the same thought as Chris on the way home last night. I plugged the monitor plug into a VCR and tried all four outputs until I found the one that worked. I knew the other three were the component cables, but still had to figure out which was which. Used a few of my brain cells I have left and figured there were only 6 possible combinations it could be. And lucky me, the second try worked!! Now everything is working great!

Now I have to find another reason to get a tester. I can't pass on getting a new tool!!

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