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Optical Cable Question

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by BrianCli, Apr 14, 2003.

  1. BrianCli

    BrianCli Agent

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    Is it possible to get a Digital Audio Optical cable (toslink) that is 50' long?

    Is that too long for it to work properly?

    Where could I buy such a cable?

    Thanks for the help,

    Brian
     
  2. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    I've seen 50' digital audio cable, for somewhere between $100-$200, I forget.

    I have no idea how well it works. At first glance I'd presume they wouldn't sell it if it were no good.

    Then I come to me senses.
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    One source is below.

    http://www.lifatec.com/Lifusa_patchcords.htm where you'll find a 15 meter (49.5 ft) for $44.50 or $89.50 in an armor clad version. The latter means you can step on it. Try that with anyone elses cable. Of course if you've been on the Rosie O'Donald diet you might need military plating [​IMG]

    Nice people at lifatec and they make em here in the good old USA!

    There's a fella over on ebay who is making glass toslink but I'm not sure of the prices.

    What do you plan on using the product for?
     
  4. BrianCli

    BrianCli Agent

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    Wow, I think that site is going to be perfect Chu Gai!

    I am in the middle of building a house right now. My plan is to have a panel in the back of the room where I can hook up my xbox (and other gaming consoles) to the wall to avoid having cables running across the room. The panel will have component connects, Cat5e, and now a toslink for the digital audio!

    Thanks for your help!!!!

    Brian
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    You might want to do some reading and get links to some of the custom-cable sites. They can often sell you great quality cable in custom lengths for much less than commercial prices.

    Are you going to a HDTV/Projector? One thought would be to buy a HD compatible switch box (4:1) and put this in the closet. You run 1 long component cable from this box to the TV, but now you can just run short cables from all your equipment (DVD, XBox, STB) to the switcher.

    Some of these switchers take both optical and coaxial and CONVERT it all to optical or coaxial. And a long coaxial cable is likely to be much cheaper/robust than optical. These switchers also can "LEARN" commands so when you hit "DVD" on your receiver remote, they will switch the video to the DVD cables.

    This link to Inexpensive HD Switching has lots of links and discussion on these units.

    SUGGESTION: Put your receiver, DVD player, XBox all in the panel at the back of the room. Now you just need a short cable to reach the receiver from the XBox. (Your TV wont know what to do with the optical anyway).

    Or look into the Wireless XBox controllers. For about $60, you can put your XBox up front with the rest of the equipment and solve the wire-clutter problem. There was a review a few months back on the 2 or 3 wireless controllers. We also have a Video Game Hardware fourm where people may have discussed this.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. BrianCli

    BrianCli Agent

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    ---

    Thanks for your input regarding the Component switching! I will need that ability when I get DSS.

    Do you know of any sites where I can purchase custom cable (long component cable, long subwoofer cable)?

    I've checked into the wireless xbox controllers and found mixed results. My main purpose of playing xbox is the "xbox live" capability. Many of the wireless controllers have had mixed reviews when it comes to xbox live compatibility. The jury is still out, but I'm always open to new gadgets!

    Thanks everyone!

    Brian
     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well several other options suggest themselves if you're going to be running equally long lengths of cable. You could certainly go the route of having them made. That's gonna cost you a bit. S/H on a few 50 foot lengths aren't anything to sneeze at. You can DIY using RG-6 75 ohm coax. If you're a theoretical stickler for things, you can opt for solid core copper with a teflon dielectric. I don't have prices at the top of my head, but if you're going to be running 3 component cables + sub, you might be able to score a 250 foot roll. Less expensive would be having a polyethylene dielectric. The difference has to do with the former having less capacitance. Is it an issue? Likely not, but if you're DIY'ing sometimes you can overspec on matters and play the 'what if technology changes, i want to be ready' game. More flexible are coaxes that have stranded copper wire.
    You do want to stay away from the copper covered steel as that's often used for CATV.
     
  8. BrianCli

    BrianCli Agent

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    Okay, I'm a newbie at this, so let me get this straight. I need to shop for "solid core copper with a teflon dielectric" cable? Is that RG-6 75 ohm coax? Or a type of RG-6?
    Also, forgive me for asking but what is DIY?

    Thanks again!!!

    Brian
     
  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    In reverse order...sort of:
    DIY = Do It Yourself...You'd be looking at buying the cable, the terminations (RCA plugs), a stripping and/or crimping tool. Is it worth it? Dunno! I think so if you plan on making your own cables and want the flexibility of making the lengths 'just so'. To some extent, the cost of the tools is offset by the bulk savings realized on the wire. If this is something you want to pursue, a post over at the DIY section of HTF will give you a lot of responses and likely some links that'll give you pictures that'll guide you along. As an example consider http://www.bus.ucf.edu/cwhite/theater/diycable.htm

    As you indicate, there are various types of RG6. You're looking for 75 ohms. If you're looking to run the cable in the walls you'll probably have to restrict your choices to cables that are rated for in-wall use. You can verify this with your local building department. It's a code thing dealing with fire retardancy and all that.

    Please understand though that a solid core copper cable is fairly stiff. There is a lot of agonizing by people over wanting to buy the 'best' cable. In virtually every case, each of the 'best' opinions greatly exceed the requirements of ones equipment regardless of pedigree. There are those that are Belden fans, Canare, Gepco, CommScope, and the list goes on. It's really not such a big thing.
    You might find the following a good read from Belden:
    http://bwcecom.belden.com/College/Techpprs/rhtheatp.htm
    It lists typical cables from Belden and their application as well as a brief description and a brief reason why one would consider it.

    Online, there are a ton of places to buy cable from. HTF's Vince Maskeeper, with whom I've no personal or financial connection, also makes cable.

    Keep posting...we're getting there. The idea is to make you understand your particular requirements and then come up with reasonable choices for you to select from.
     
  10. BrianCli

    BrianCli Agent

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    Okay, I had a local retailer order a truck load of solid copper core RG6 for the component runs. Each run will be between 50 and 60 feet.

    In addition to the RG6, I have also purchased a 66 foot TOSLINK cable from LiFaTec. Thanks for providing that link, they were very helpful and a pleasure to work with.

    They urged caution on installing the Toslink cable. Hopefully it will not get damaged in the installation process or during the remainder of construction of the house. Is there any tricks in installing Optical cable that I should know about?

    I also purchased 400 feet of 14 Guage speaker wire and 1000 feet of CAT5e.

    The wife is going to kill me.

    My question is, can I (should I) use that solid copper core RG6 for the subwoofer cable as well?


    Thanks again,
    Brian
     
  11. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    you can if you want to. if you need more flexibility, like i said, go with stranded. as far as the handling of the toslink, just give them a call..toll free as i recall, btw, which one did you pick up?
    take your wife out to a nice restaurant, tell her you saved enough money to do that and more.
     

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