Can I Use Rg6 Cables As Component Cable?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dodie, Nov 13, 2002.

  1. Dodie

    Dodie Agent

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    Can I use RG6 Cables as component cables? If that is possible are there connectors available in the market so that i can use this (RG6) as component cables?
     
  2. dave_brogli

    dave_brogli Screenwriter

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    As far as I know.... no
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    i take it you mean as video cables. so long as they're capable of passing the necessary bandwidth, there's no reason to not use them if you've got them laying around. Crimp on RCA's are readily available. Do you know specifically what cable it is that you have i.e. Belden xxxx or whatever?
     
  4. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    My buddy uses them for a 30 foot run, they seem fine.

    Brent
     
  5. Ken Smith

    Ken Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    If you do a search, there is alot of info on this. I, like many others use Belden 1694A RG6 coax with Canare 75 ohm RCA connectors. You have to buy the tools to strip and crimp the cable but if you plan on making alot of cables it's well worth the cost.
    I use RG6 for component, digital, ota, and satellite. The Belden cable sure is alot better than the stuff Radio Shack sells.
     
  6. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Absolutely, yes. As a matter of fact, I compared 32ft RG6 to my 12ft Monster cable and there was no difference in PQ. I always recommend using RG6 for long runs rather than pay for an ultra expensive custom component cable.
     
  7. dave_brogli

    dave_brogli Screenwriter

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    lol Opps I guess I was worng.. lol thanks guys
     
  8. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Uhhh.... lets be a little careful here.
    When we say "RG6", we mean the stuff you can buy at the hardware store for CATV or Sat use.
    But RG6 is like saying "14 gauge" wire. It describes the wire, but does not tell you what it was built for.
    Example: the street in front of your house is covered with asphalt. The freeway is also covered with asphalt. Since you drive 60 mph on the freeway, does this mean you should also drive 60 mph on the street in front of your house? It's both covered with asphalt right? No.
    The two roads are built for different speeds.
    There is different RG6 coax for different frequencies & uses (indoor/outdoor).
    The Connector:
    Audio RCA plugs can be nearly any impedence. But video signals want to see a smooth "75 ohm" impedence. So just grabbing some Radio Shack RCA plugs and soldering it up WILL create the electrical connection, but is likely to create a bumpy path for the video signals. You really want to use an RCA plug designed for video signals, not audio.
    Example: You have a front-door. You have a car in the driveway. The cable becomes the sidewalk between the two. The best sidewalk is one that connects the two with no steps/bumps. Putting the wrong plug on the cable is like having the front porch be a foot down so people have to step down onto the porch, then up onto the sidewalk.
    Sure, most people can handle this, but as people start running faster and faster, more stumbles will appear.
    FYI:
    CATV signals stop below about 1 Mhz
    Component Video tops out at about 4 Mhz
    Progressive Video tops out at 12 Mhz
    True HD video tops out at 35 Mhz
    So do you really want to use outdoor-rated CATV coax and generic RCA plugs for your video cables?
    The Good News, and some bad
    You are trying to save money by building your own cables, right? Boy do I have a deal for you [​IMG]
    HD rated video coax sells for about $1.50 /ft
    Good Video RCA plugs sell for about $2.50 ea (you need 6)
    So you dont have to spend tons of money for High Def rated coax. A 10 ft cable at these prices should run you about: $30 in materials.
    Now...the bad news [​IMG] (you knew it was coming)
    You often have to buy the coax in spools of 300/500 feet. The cable is basically rubber-coated metal so it's a bit expensive to ship. Sometimes you have to buy the plugs in box's of 50.
    While you CAN connect the plugs using a sharp knife and a pair of pliers, there are proper tools to strip & crimp which run about $300.
    (Go to the "Do it yourself" fourm for posts by people who have done this).
    Let me guess your next question: Is there anyone who has the tools and could build me a cable?
    Yes, places like BetterCables grew out of this need/desire for high-quality cables. A link to them is at the top of most of our fourm pages.
    And remember the 10% rule: budget 10% of the electronics price for the cables.
    With the Monster CV300 cables selling for $230, places like BetterCables will give you a superior cable for less than half the price. Highly recommended.
     
  9. Jay_E

    Jay_E Stunt Coordinator

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  10. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    well yes Jay, it's just that I think it makes sense to use a copper center conductor seeing that as we move into the GHz region often one might find wire with a steel center core and copper on the outside. In this situation and at those frequencies more and more of the signal is traveling on the outside of the wire whereas with the typical signal frequencies we're looking at in HT very little does. Steel is also a bit less flexible than the copper.
     
  11. Jay_E

    Jay_E Stunt Coordinator

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    Chu,

    The cable I referenced above does have a solid copper center conductor. Here is part of the cable spec:
     
  12. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    The kind of RG6 cabling I used for my composite, component, and subwoofer cables is the same cable found in Home Depot. It has a solid copper internal conductor. In my setup, I simply used crimp-on F connectors and gold-plated F-RCA adaptors for each end.
     
  13. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Yes, ordinary RG6 DSS cable is rated for up to 3 Ghz, but its a DIGITAL application. The signals are ones and zeros - very insensitive to the cable.

    While you CAN use RG6 with generic RCA plugs, it will appear to work. Until you start:

    - pushing progressive HD signals
    - Magnify the display to 80-100" in a front projector

    Now the system is sensitive enough that the cable becomes a limiting factor.

    Check the Secrets of Home Theater where they did their progressive scan DVD player shoot out. They used some video analysis equipment that showed changes to the signal even when moving the video cable or touching the connector (and they were using real video cables). Finally, Brad of BetterCables wired up some Canare coax with Canare plugs and the readings stablized. They use that one cable for all measurements to avoid introducing variables.


    So we are talking about $0.70/ft difference for coax designed for HD signals vs hardware store CATV stuff. Is it really worth it to not use the correct cable?
     
  14. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    You know Jay, I hadn't noticed that link you posted the first time around. Looking at it, I can't see why that cable wouldn't be perfectly suitable for all those applications. I believe the type of cable that was used in the tests that Bob mentioned above was a solid rather than a stranded conductor, hence one would expect greater uniformity of impedence and other measurements as say when the cable was bent.
     
  15. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    (Ok, I'm back. Had to take a final exam.)

    I just did a little more reading on that cable. While the info does say: "Rated for Video Signals up to 2.2 Ghz", the section following says this:

    Application:
    - Roof Top Antenna UHF/VHF
    - Over Air digital TV and HDTV
    - DSS Sat Systems
    - Cable TV and Digital Cable


    Except for the first item, all the applications are DIGITAL. And the one analog application is fairly low frequency. They dont even recommend this cable for composite/component video applications, let alone high def signals.

    So when they say "Rated for..." what criteria are they using to justify the rating?

    I always thought that the rule/rating for coax was when you:

    - rolled out 100 ft of coax
    - shove higher and higher frequencies in one end while measuring the signal strength at the other
    - When you hit a frequency that has lost 15db of it's signal strength, this becomes the limit/rating for that cable.

    Is there some other way to 'rate' a cable?
     

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