Clarification on cable types

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robin Smith, Nov 4, 2001.

  1. Robin Smith

    Robin Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,
    I have the potenital to get some Belden cable for a pretty good price through the company I work for. I am looking for some consensus on what kind to buy.
    I am looking for the best "all-round" purchase, or at least clarification of what cable is best for what application.
    The three main cable models bandied about seem to be:
    1694A
    1505A
    89259
    1694A is described as: Precision Video Cables For Analog and Digital Applications
    It is RG6/U, 18AWG solid copper core with Foam PE insulation it is shielded with aluminum "dufoil" tape (100% shield coverage) and tinned copper Braid Shield with 95% shield coverage. It is NOT quad-shielded according to the site.
    1505A is also described as: Precision Video Cables For Analog and Digital Applications
    It is RG59/U, 20AWG solid copper core but otherwise seems to share the same specs as the 1694A.
    The 89259 is described as Standard Analog Video Cables
    It is RG59/U, 22 AWG with stranded copper core and foam teflon insulation. It has bare copper braid, 95% shield coverage.
    Based on the specs, the 1694A looks best but I am unsure if this may vary based on the application. The other models come up frequently. Are they mentioned because they are almost as good but significantly cheaper, or could they actually be better than the 1694A.
    Ideally I liked to buy one spool of this stuff and then use it to make the following:
    Component Video Cables
    Composite Video Cables
    Audio Interconnect Cables
    Subwoofer cable
    Speaker cable
    and so on.
    Is there ONE cable I can buy that will be well suited to all the above applications. Or, which cable would be best suited to do most of what I want.
    I am least likely to do DIY speaker cable, but am interested in DIYing pretty much all the other cables as I want a step above the Rat Shack and RCA (brandname that is) cable I currently use (they are supposed to be a step above the "regular" crappy cables but I'm not convinced). Can I expect much of an improvement if I make them myself.
    Also, what connectors would you recommend?
    I have done some searching and found a decent amount of help on making my own cables, there just does not seem to be a consistent choice for which actual cable to buy.
    Thanks
    Robin Smith
     
  2. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    The 1694A for sure. You lucky S***! You need the RG6 which is a 75ohm. That will carry all of your signals.
    Glenn
     
  3. Brandon B

    Brandon B Second Unit

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    I think you want are 1695A and 1506A, as these are the RG6 and RG59 with the foamed teflon insulation similar to the 89259 that John Risch recommends on his website. If you are going to use the shield as one of your conductors, it is easier to solder to the copper braided shielding than it is to the duofoil. If you didn't mean the teflon models, you might go read through his discussions on DIY cables, they are very informative.
    I am in the exact same boat as you (actually, I'm curious what price you get thru your company, mine is about the same as the 1000 foot price, except I can get it in any quantity.).
    Essentially, the 89259 is the same core as the 1506 and the 1695, the main difference between the 3 seems to be AWG (and price).
    One other factor, I asked Kevin at DIYcables.com about his kits which use this wire, and he is willing to sell the kits minus cable (connectors, instructions, shrinkwrap) at kit cost minus cable cost.
    I am definitely going with the 1695A for my digital interconnects, and probably 89259 for everything else, except my woofs and sub, which I think draw enough power that I am concerned about using cables this small.
    BB
     
  4. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Well, I'm using 1505A for component video and digital interconnect cables and it works great. I really think it's unnecessary to go with either 1695A or 1506A unless you really need the plenum-rated cabling. For reference, 1506A is approx. $1/ft. vs. $.30/ft. for 1505A.
    I also read an article where it was stated that both 1694A and 1505A cabling is used extensively at Skywalker Ranch. I can't think of a better endorsement than this!
    Brian
     
  5. Robin Smith

    Robin Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    Isn't the 1695A going to be even more expensive than the 1694A? Both the 1694 and 1695 have the same shielding duofoil AND copper braid with 95% coverage. Can you clarify what I gain going 1695 over 1694.
    I haven't got the pricing info yet but I'll be sure and let you know what price my purchaser can get.
     
  6. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Robin,
    Thing is no such thing as a cable that can do everything.
    Either the RG-6 or –59 will be fine for component, composite and audio connections, including subs. You didn’t mention video sources, but if you have CATV or DSS, then you want to use the RG-6 for the feeds, not RG-59.
    While this cable will technically function well for all the abovementioned applications, please remember that coaxial cable is rather stiff, inflexible and unwieldy. If your installation requires cabling with tight U-turns or hard 90s, this is not the cable to use. In addition, everything will have to be cut to nearly the exact length, since excess will be very difficult to deal with.
    If you can live with its limitations, coaxial cable offers excellent performance for a variety of A/V applications.
    However, don’t even think of using RG-6 or -59 for speaker cable. I’m surprised no one has pointed this out already.
    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
    ------------------
    My Equipment List
    [Edited last by Wayne A. Pflughaupt on November 05, 2001 at 09:51 PM]
     
  7. Robin Smith

    Robin Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    I had read about lots of people using coax for speaker cabes on other sites with success, for example, one of the big DIY cable guys Jon Risch has a set based on the very Belden cable (89259) we are discussing. Check the link here http://www.geocities.com/jonrisch/cables.htm for info.
    As an aside, I have created a set of the UTP Cat5 speaker cables that simply need heat shrinking then they are ready to go. I may do more if I like the results I get here.
    BTW, I sent Kevin at www.diycable.com an email about 1694A vs 89259 and he had this to say:
    > Belden 1694a has a foamed polyelthylene core. That means
    > your spending a lot of time and money to put together
    > cables with an inferior dielectric from an audio
    > standpoint. How they work on video is outside my area of
    > expertise but I would never recommend using a PE
    > dielectric in audio interconnects.
    > I use 89259 because of the foamed Teflon dielectric which
    > is pretty much the best dielectric outside of air or a
    > vacuum. It is at least twice as expensive sometimes
    > three or four times as expensive as other coax cables due
    > to the amount of teflon used in construction.
    > The conductor itself is 18 gauge in the 1694a and 22
    > gauge in 89259. For audio the smaller conductor limits
    > the effects of skin effect. Your not passing a lot of
    > current in an interconnect so you can use cables up to 30
    > gauge before they just become to easy to break.
    Any thoughts?
     
  8. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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  9. Ellen

    Ellen Stunt Coordinator

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    I thought that skin effect was only important at radio frequencies. Something about the skin depth at audio frequencies (20 kHz - 30mils) being greater than the thickness of typical audio cables (22AWG - 25mils). The skin depth at the highest audio frquencies is the entire cable. I vaguely remember reading that in a book about cables written by Steve Lampen.
    [Edited last by Ellen on November 07, 2001 at 05:10 AM]
     

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