RG6 vs RG6/U

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robin Smith, Oct 17, 2001.

  1. Robin Smith

    Robin Smith Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2000
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Simple question. What is the difference between the two and can either be used for both cable TV AND satellite runs. I am prewiring my house and have 500ft of RG6/U and want to make sure its the right thing. I want to do two runs to each location, one for cable, one for satellite and want to do it all with the one cable type (which ideally would be RG-6 /U I have)
    Also, what does the "/U" mean?
    Thanks in advance.
    Robin Smith
    [Edited last by Robin Smith on October 18, 2001 at 09:51 PM]
     
  2. RichardK

    RichardK Second Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 1999
    Messages:
    451
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yes, i would like to know as well.
    My home has been run with RG6/U throughout , definitely not RG59, but i assume it is okay/good, because my DSS prewiring uses the same RG6/U cable, quad shielded. Made by Coleman Cable.
    Please advise.
     
  3. Tom Rosback

    Tom Rosback Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2000
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The difference between the two is the the type of insulation between the center conductor and the braided shield. /U means foam insulation. Either type can be used interchangeably. If you are running long runs of multiple cables, like for component video, you should stick with the same type of cable for those runs.
    RG6/U is an excellent choice for any video or RF distribution inside your home. It has lower loss than RG59/U, but is a little thicker and more difficult to handle.
    Hope this helps.
    P.S. The RG cable standard originated as a Mil-Spec moniker that had very controlled characteristics. Not so today, so cables with the same RG number may be slightly different. That said, you can't go wrong with an RG6/U cable from a well-known manufacturer.
    Regards,
    Tom
    [Edited last by Tom Rosback on October 20, 2001 at 07:20 AM]
     
  4. Sean-D

    Sean-D Agent

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hello Robin,
    I've been installing satellite and cable tv systems since 1993 and I can tell you for a fact that the "U" designation on the RG-6U cable that you have refers to its application, not the insulation it uses. The "U" just means that it's meets all the requirements necessary to be used as an OUTDOOR cable. Most RG-6/U cables are rated for "outdoor aerial" use. This means that it can be used outside in the weather.(some satellite RG-6 cables are rated "UF" or "UG" for direct burial in the ground. But all manufacturers don't list them that way. They just lump them in with all the rest of the "U" graded cables. You definitely want to stay away from RG-59 cables at all costs. There terrible! [​IMG]
    RG-6QS is the best cable on the market because it has 4 copper shields to protect your signal from noise. It's not cheap, but it's worth the cost to upgrade.
    All RG-59/RG-6 Radio-Frequency (RF) Precision Low-Loss Serial Digital Video Coaxial Cables (trade name) come in different grades. You should always use the correct grade wire to avoid potential problems such as signal loss, interference and noise, and most important of all (NEC) National Electrical Code violations. The NEC clearly outlines what types of wiring can go where and what standards it must meet. I don't know for sure but I assume that there are (CCBFC) equivalent codes in Canada that outline this.(In the U.S all RG-59/RG-6 family of video cables for custom installations must be CL2,CL3,or CMR rated to be code compliant.)
    Robin, you have to make absolutely sure that the RG-6/U that you have is a "75 Ohm" cable. That's what is has to be in order to display your video signal back correctly. Be careful, some manufacturers make "50 Ohm" RG-6/U cables that make your picture look terrible.(Limited Bandwidth video cables kill picture quality.) Also, if you wanted to, could you return the wire that you have? Because, even if you have the right 75 Ohm cable you might want to exchange it. If the wire isn't made for custom installations it is probably not what you want. Are these cables going to be run in walls,ceilings,basements,and sub-floors? If the answer is yes you may have the wrong cable.
    Robin, please take a moment to look on the actual cable jacket and post back here the information exactly as it appears. This will help me in determining whether or not you have the right cable already.
    Let me know want you find.
    Hope I didn't bore you to much! [​IMG]
    Take care robin. [​IMG]
    ------------------
    Sean-D.
    "If at first you don't succeed...,remove all evidence that you ever tried."
     
  5. Robin Smith

    Robin Smith Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2000
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the replies.
    Sean D. I am a little worried.
    All the cable says on it is "RG-6/U COAXIAL CABLE"
    It was $60CAN (~$40US) for 500 ft. It was made in China. I fear that the lack of info on the sleeve means its crap. What to do now? I have 9 runs to pull (and have done 3 already). I can't bring it back now as I have used some of it. However, don't want to run it all if its crap. How can I tell if its going to be any good?
    The cables are being run in walls and across ceilings. I am running two drops to each room (one for cable and one for DSS). Plus I am running some extra to basement "just in case".
    So would something liek this:
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...14793&CATID=56
    be what I am looking for or are we talking more like this:
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd...=2955&CATID=56
    Any other specific cable recommendations?
    Thanks again
    Robin
     
  6. Sean-D

    Sean-D Agent

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hello again Robin,
    Well let's see here, the wire doesn't say that it's 75 Ohms, UL LISTED, or CL2 or CL3 approved. Well at least were off to a good start! [​IMG] O.K. let's get back to business. I suggest that you not install anymore of the wire you have because there are to many unknowns. I would recommend that you locate some good name-brand wire.
    These are the two RG-6 cables that I most often use:
    * Monster Cable Dual-Shielded (custom Installation)(various models)(CL2 RATED)(75 Ohm)
    * Belden Quad-Shielded #1694A (CL3 RATED)(75 Ohm)
    *Also Check with any local Satellite dealers in your area.
    (they should have a ton of RG-6 wire on hand)
    Robin, see if you have a Circuit City ,Home Depot, or local home theater store that may carry one of these cables. I saw the cables that you had linked to but I couldn't recommend either cable . The first one had a steel center copper-covered conductor.(Would rust in only a few years.) And the second looked pretty good except for the fact that it has no name brand.(I don't like that,very risky.)
    As for the wire that you already have installed, I would pull it out and start over. But, I don't have to do it ,you do. You make up your own mind. [​IMG]
    Let me know how it turns out.
    Take Care,Robin. [​IMG]
    ------------------
    Sean-D.
    "If at first you don't succeed,...remove all evidence that you ever tried."
    [Edited last by Sean-D on October 21, 2001 at 05:36 AM]
     
  7. Robin Smith

    Robin Smith Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2000
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sean, Thanks for the reply.
    From Home Depot I can get wire that says:
    RG-6 FOAM 18 AWG 75oC (UL) E111378A CL2 CSA LL77501 FT-1 "OR" CATV E135174A
    I have one run done with this before I want and bought the big spool.
    Should I get more of this? What is CL2 versus CL3? I am guessing 3 is better than 2 but don't know why. Is the Belden cable the kind that can also be used to make component cables? I am going to make my own when the time comes so I may buy a bigger spool if it can be used for that too. Would the Home Depot stuff be good for componenent cables?
    I really appreciate your help.
    Thanks
    Robin
     
  8. Sean-D

    Sean-D Agent

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hello Robin,
    Caution! (This gets pretty deep, and very technical) [​IMG]
    Very Long & Drawn Out!
    I apologize in advance if it's too much.
    You have been warned! [​IMG]
    Let me take a moment to explain something to you in detail about (wire/cable) construction. This is what you should look for in ALL types of audio, video, digital, and data transmission (wire/cables):
    #1 COPPER!
    Copper is the best conductor of electrical signals that we use today.(gold & platinum aren't used for obvious reasons) Copper is the key to superior performance. The more copper the better. The best quality (wire/cables) use as close to 100% PURE OXYGEN FREE COPPER as possible. A pure copper center conductor is the first thing to look for. It has a lower signal-loss-per-foot ratio than non-copper conductors. BE CAREFUL , most lower priced (wire/cables) use "copper clad steel" which is a fancy way of saying it's electroplated.(some actually alloy it with copper to give the appearance of pure copper) They do this, because it's cheaper to make a carbon steel conductor and plate or alloy it with copper, than it is to make a 100% pure oxygen free copper conductor. Therefore, they can charge less for more wire.(Example: $50 for 500ft of RG-6)
    But unfortunately robin, in the real world, there is no free lunch. You get what you pay for. And with
    copper clad steel conductors you get rust. The wire/cable, from the moment you cut and terminate it, will start to oxidize. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen in just a few short years.
    #2 SHIELDING(if it has any)
    Most wire/cable manufacturers use inferior materials and design techniques to block unwanted interference and noise (RF/EMI) from entering the cable and compromising the signal that is passing through the center conductor. It can make a dramatic impact on the quality of your signal, regardless of the source.(audio or video) The most common material used in shield construction is aluminum.
    Most coaxial cables have at least 2 shields. The best cables have 4. They are called foil and braid. The foil shield is almost always aluminum.(so I'll concentrate on the more important braid shield) It is made of aluminum,steel, or copper. The problem with aluminum is that it doesn't have the ability to block noise as well as copper. Also, although aluminum does not rust like steel, it does however corrode.(breakdown) And when it starts to corrode, it's protection of the center conductor is compromised.
    I've replaced cables only 6 years old that were basically disintegrating from the inside out because they used a cable with aluminum, steel, or worse "tin" braided shields. Braided shields are rated according to the total amount surface area it covers. If a cable states that it has 60% shield coverage. That's not very good protection from noise at all. The best built cables have shield coverage protection in the 95-98% range.(very tightly woven) The Monster Cable and Belden cables meet this criteria. They cost more money because they use all of the best materials and engineering practices that go in to making a good cable.
    #3 IMPEDANCE (In Ohms) COAX
    A cable's impedance must remain constant from connection to connection in order to preserve the original signal. The wire and connectors must have the same resistance load or maximum performance cannot be achieved. If you terminate your own wires ,make sure that the connectors that you'll be using match. (Example: 75-Ohm coax wire + 75-Ohm connectors= 75 Ohm signal.)
    Buy cable that can meet these standards and you won't have to do it again for a very, very long time.
    Check out these places on the web for cable product info:
    Monster Cable.com
    Onecall.com (online store)
    Belden.com (with their product catalog search engine look up RG6)
    Crutchfield.com (online store)
    Robin, I'm sorry but I'm going to have to leave soon or I'll be late for work .
    The answers to your latest questions:
    . No, I don't think you should buy any more of that wire.(I didn't see a name brand listed, not a good sign.) [​IMG]
    . CL2 is a (NEC) wiring code standard that applies to residential applications.
    . CL3 is a (NEC) wiring code standard that applies to commercial applications.
    . Yes, technically you could use this wire to make component cables, but I would suggest that you use stranded wire with a copper braided shield.(no longer than 25 feet I hope!)
    Tip: Any 75-Ohm coax cable can be used to make a composite video, digital audio, or component video cable.
    WHEW!!!
    I sure hope this helps you understand this better, or did I just confuse you more? I tried to simplify it somewhat. Oh well, take what you can from it and I'll throw the rest out with tomorrows' trash. [​IMG]
    Have to go now robin, may get to post again late tonight but can't promise anything. I'm going to be very busy.
    Take Care. [​IMG]
    ------------------
    Sean-D.
    "If at first you don't succeed,...remove all evidence that you ever tried."
     
  9. Robin Smith

    Robin Smith Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2000
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sean,
    Wow, thanks for the schooling! The information you presented was very helpful. I understood it all too. I understand alot of the basic principles you are describing, I just didn't know the specifics.
    I'll try to get some better quality wire this week as this weekend may be my last chance to wire the house.
    The wire I got from Home Depot that I described has been run for cable TV only. I'll probably leave it in (I have removed the no-name stuff). I'll then run better stuff for the DSS runs and hopefully have some left over to make me some component cables when the time comes to need them. I'm saving this thread so I don't lose the great info you have provided.
    A friend just gave me a local contact for wiring that may be able to provide me with a spool of the good stuff. I need to find it locally as I am running out of time to run wire at my place.
    Thanks again
    Robin Smith
     
  10. Chris Sigua

    Chris Sigua Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2001
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  11. Paul_C

    Paul_C Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2000
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Great info guys.
    You mention that a run of 25 feet is ok. What do you suggest if you have to go longer than that?
    Thanx.
    Paul.
     
  12. Robin Smith

    Robin Smith Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2000
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the help.
    I ended up getting a 1000ft spool of quad-shielded cable with the following specs:
    100% Aluminum Foil Shield
    60% Aluminum Braid Shield
    100% Aluminum Foil Shield
    40% Aluminum Braid Shield
    18 Ga. Solid Bare Copper Conductor
    PVC Jacket - Black
    Nominal O.D.: .307"
    Nom. Imp. (OHMS): 75
    Nom. % Vel. of Prop.: 78
    Nom. Cap PF/FT: 17.3
    Put-Up Meters: 300/150
    Weight Lbs.: 42/21
    Rating: FT-4
    I don't know what *some* of these specs mean, but the cable is good. It is made by a Canadian manufacturer. A friend has used this cable throughout his home theater (I believe for component cables as well) and has been happy with the results. I figured it was a step above average but not the rolls royce of (bank breaking) cables like the Monster or Belden which I could not find for less than US$400 (final cost once it got to me in Canada)!
    I got the cable at dealer cost (through my company) for ~US$130. It should get here tomorrow so I can run it this weekend.
    Thanks for all your help.
     

Share This Page