Extending component cables? How?

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Scott Stephens, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. Scott Stephens

    Scott Stephens Stunt Coordinator

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    i need about 20-25 ft of component cable to connect a DVD player to my plasma in my office. i found 15 ft component cables, but can't find any longer than that.

    what's the best way to couple these? i'm looking for a female/female connector, but i'm unsure of what to buy. can i use regular RCA f/f? any help would be appreciated. thanks.
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Yup - that'll do it.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Places like www.bluejeanscables.com will custom-build you cables in whatever lengths you want. 25 ft will be $69-$91.

    If you wanted to couple 2 component cables:

    - Cut the RCA plugs off one end of each
    - Install CATV "F" connectors
    - Buy 3 "F" couplers and join things together
    - Hint: use a wrench/pliers to tighten the "F" connectors at least 1/4 turn past finger tight.

    The "F" type of connection does maintain the 75 ohm impedence that is important for video signals. (RCA plugs are actually very poor.)

    Professional systems use "BNC" connectors which are essentially the same design as the "F" connections - but with a twist-lock feature.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  5. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    I would go with the Bluejeans options myself. Very fast service. Forum Sponsor too unlike the ones mentioned above.
     
  6. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Hmm, not sure I would do this to a perfectly good set of component cables. F-connectors are designed to be used with specific types of coaxial cable – i.e., RG-6, RG-59 etc. In order for an F-connector to accept a component video cable, it would have to have an outer jacket the exact diameter as the coaxial cable, and the insulator on the internal center conductor would also have to be the same diameter as what’s in a coaxial cable.

    Furthermore, the center conductor has to be solid, not stranded. A stranded center conductor will not work with an F coupler.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    True about needing a solid center wire.

    And yes, having the right "F" connector for the form-factor of the wire helps make the connection tight.

    But as long as you can get an aproximate fit to the "F" connector, you should be fine.

    Here is the key point: a coax cable tries to maintain a constant distance of the center wire to the middle of the shield. This maintains the 75 ohm impedence.

    When the coax ends and the "F" connector starts and feeds into the female-female barrel connector the dimensions can change. But the connectors and barrel are designed to still maintain 75 ohms while the signal passes through - even if the dimensions do not exactly match the coax.

    The trick is to get a "F" connector that neatly slips over the white insulation on the coax and under the foil/braided shield. This gives you the best signal transfer, not to mention mechanical connection.

    If the "F" connector is not a perfect fit, you can still make it work if:

    - The "F" connector fits over the white foam insulation and does not cut into it or squish it.

    - You carefully fold back the foil/braid shield, attach the connector, and smooth the foil/braid back over the "F" connector so the crimp ring can grab it.

    This DOES sound like a lot of work, but it just takes some care and patience. And it will give you a long cable that is much superior to just buying RCA barrel connectors to join 2 cables.

    Oh - one important point if you do decide to try this: When you cut the RCA plugs off your existing cable, try and cut all 3 to the same length. In truth, a inch or so difference wont really matter, but a few inches will matter. So give it your best shot to make all 3 wires the same length.

    Hope this helps.
     

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