Color coded RCA to RCA Bulkheads

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Rick Wilson, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. Rick Wilson

    Rick Wilson Stunt Coordinator

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    I've searched the internet and places like partsexpress but can't seem to find what I'm looking for.

    I'm building an inwall component rack. The back of this rack extends into the attic. I was hoping to find some keystone jacks so that I could run cable from the rack to a small box in the HT room. This connection would be through PVC so that I would not have a hole in the rack dumping conditioned air into the attic. This box would have the RCA to RCA bulkheads so that I could then run cables from the box to the TV. These jacks need to be RCA to RCA and color coded. I need 2 sets of component (red, green, & blue), 1 S-video and 1 set composite (red, black & yellow). The problem is with the component ones. I just can't seem to find red, green & blue coded RCA bulkhead fittings.

    Where should I look?

    Thanks
     
  2. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Get Red/Green/Blue electrical tape and cut squares, then holes to slip around the RCA plugs.

    I have to warn you - RCA jacks are rather horrible as few of them are truly 75 ohm impedence which you desire to avoid reflections. All professional gear uses BNC connectors for their bulkheads which:

    - Maintain the 75 ohm impedence
    - Have twist-lock connectors instead of friction-fit

    You would actually be better buying keystone "F" connectors and cutting the RCA jacks off the ends and installing "F" connectors.

    You can also buy panels of "F" and BNC jacks from places like MarkerTek. They are not color-coded, but the panels have space for labels which you can write on or use the colored electrical tape idea. (Search for "Patch Bay"). Just make sure the patch-bay says something about "video" signals and not just audio or 'analog'.

    The custom-cable sites are usually happy to put BNC connectors on one end and RCA jacks on the other for either end of your distribution panels.

    Mr Patchbay

    Canare Patchbays

    BNC Patch Bays on eBay
     
  4. Rick Wilson

    Rick Wilson Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the comments.

    Bob,
    So changing everything to "F" connectors would be better than RCA. If I'm going to cut the cable and put on another type of end, should I just go ahead and use a BNC? What tool would I need to do that?

    Also, what about the S-video? Would a S-video bulkhead work? Are these available?

    Rick
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Here is a link to Chris White's DIY Cable page which has inspired many of us to become cable builders.

    You would basically need a box of BNC connectors (about $0.49/ea or less), a crimp-frame (about $25) and a set of dies that screw into the crimp frame to correctly crimp the BNC connectors onto the end of the coax.

    You have to strip the coax to fit the BNC jack and there are a variety of coax-strippers available for about $9-$150.

    The secret is to find the right video coax and connectors and crimpers that are designed for each other. While I love the Canare stuff (because you can get everything made by Canare), the Belden web site has specs on coax, connectors and I think crimpers.

    Note: The custom cable sites will build cables with RCA jacks on one end and BNC on the other to feed the patch panel. On the back end of the patch panel, you would have other custom cables with BNC on one end and RCA on the other for the display side.

    SVideo: I have never seen a patch bay with SVideo. Note that SVideo is simply 2 mini video-cables in a single bundle with the funny connector on the end.

    Some of the custom cable sites offer "SVideo Break-out" adaptors. It is a SVideo plug with 2 short wires that terminate in BNC jacks. Then they sell you long runs of ordinary RG6 video coax with matching BNC jacks. This way the bulk of your run is standard video coax and the ends have the "Y" adaptors that terminate in SVideo plugs.

    There is a lot of info here about this stuff, but let me ask: why are you installing a patch-panel? Perhaps all you need is a 4-in, 1-out video switch.
     
  6. Rick Wilson

    Rick Wilson Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll check out the video page - Thanks

    Regarding the patch panel, I was originally thinking about using keystone jacks. I have a sat dish (component connection for DTV input on TV), a DVD player (component), a super VHS VCR (S-video) and was wanting a composite connection for if / when I need to downrez the Sat receiver from 1080i.

    Would a 4 in - 1 out switch handle this? Is the switch automatic in what is output?

    The HD signal from the Sat must be connected to the DTV component "in" on the TV. Would the switch take composite, s-video and component (for DVD) and output all as component?

    I'm looking for the easiest but also want to do things as right as possible. I'm building the rack that will be installed in the wall. I will need to insulate it (outside of the box) because it will be in the attic. I need to get the cables from the attic side of the wall into the room close to the TV without leaving any holes for conditioned air to be lost. This is why I was thinking about keystone jacks. This had led me to the implication that RCA bulkheads are not the way to go for video and that BNC would be better.

    All of this is very confusing and I appreciate any help. I don't want to make a mistake.

    Thanks
     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    A simpler solution would be:

    - A custom component cable from behind your equipment to your TV.

    - A second custom component cable with 2 of the wires ending in a SVideo connector and the third wire with a RCA jack to handle composite.

    This gives you a un-broken connection from source to your monitor (superior). Much better than patch panels or jacks. And cheaper because you would have to buy long video cables anyway from your box to your television.

    Run these cables through electrial outlet box's. Buy blank wall-plates and drill your own holes to thread the coax through. Cut a slot so you can slip the coax through the plastic into the holes. You can buy small pages of insulating foam that will plug any leaks. Or there are cans of spray-foam that you can use to fill the empty area of the outlet box's.

    Note: you will need a A/B switch box to select from the Sat reciever or DVD player for component video. Or does your reciever offer component-video switching? You could always install a third component cable and let the TV do the switching.

    The switch box's will not convert composite or SVideo to component. However, some recievers will up-convert to component if you run video through them.

    Follow the links at the top of the Tweeks page and email them about the long cables. Mention HTF and I am sure they will do a honest job for you.
     
  8. Rick Wilson

    Rick Wilson Stunt Coordinator

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    Bob,

    I thought there had to be a better way. Thanks for the post. I will look into custom cables.

    Rick
     
  9. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Good Idea. While it is kind of cool to imagine some high-tech looking patch panels - it's over-kill unless you plan to re-configure things a lot. A straight, un-broken long cable from behind your equipment to your display is the best way to go.

    Check out the "Display" devices fourm. A lot of people have a similar issue as yours if they ceiling-mount a front projector and now want to run video cables in-wall from the rack to the ceiling.
     
  10. JohnN

    JohnN Agent

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