Such a thing as high quality CATV wire?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Allen Longcor, Mar 7, 2002.

  1. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

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    Sorry don't know the correct term for it, but the wire from the cable outlet to your TV (or through a line conditioner first). Is it coaxial? Anyways what is a high quality, or at least good brand of this that I won't have to sell myself on the corner for?
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Now I know the reason why those people walk the streets!

    The cable you're referring to is a 75 ohm coax and it is certainly possible for one to purchase such cable that vastly exceeds the capabilities of your present equipment in terms of signal loss and shielding. I'll leave it to others to suggest both types and sources.
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Allen.

    I think you are talking about the CATV coax.

    While you COULD go out and buy a section of Monster coax with "F" connectors, do me a favor:

    Go outside your house. Locate the main CATV feed running into your house. Follow the wire with your eyes and estimate how many feet of wire is between your home and the nearest AMP (large box on a pole). Then ask yourself: what good will a short, 6-foot section of coax do to improve the picture after the hundreds/thousands of feet of the generic stuff?

    You can do a "tune-up" with your existing coax. Just un-screw the connectors and examine the copper center wire. If it is shinney copper, it's fine. If it is dull brown, trim off an inch or two and install new "F" connectors. (Radio Shack has the parts & tools). Then make sure to tighten down the connections with a pair of pliers. (A quarter-turn past finger tight is enough).

    If you still think you are having problems, call your CATV company. They will send out a tech to measure the signal strength and trace back /replace wires to fix any problems.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Jim A. Banville

    Jim A. Banville Supporting Actor

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    Didn't the cable company leave a piece that could connect from the wall to your TV or cable box? If not, just get a short RG-6 (75 ohm) coaxial cable from Radio Shack with F-pin connectors. There is no need to get anything "better" as the signal coming into your house has traveled probably 100 ft. on "standard" RG-6 or RG-59 coax from the street and adding a couple ft. of "high-quality" coax at the end isn't going to make anything better.
     
  5. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Having actually tried it...Try some Belden 1694a with canare 'F' connectors. Worked wonders on my digital CATV. Started from the tuner to the TV (improvement noticed) then went and re-wired the whole house (dramatic improvement).

    Alternatives to the belden 1694a (RG6) cable are offered by Commscope and Gepco which have similar specs and performance.
     
  6. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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    Obviously untrue as I have just demonstrated.
    Amazing to me that people can be so closed minded.
    The Shielding and the grounding are the most important things for CATV coax. Also, make sure that the connectors are crimped properly and provide a nice tight fit to the cable box or splitter.
     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Mark: I too love the canare connectors and believe in good wires. But my knowledge/understanding of CATV and digital systems cannot explain why you saw improvement.

    First - CATV companies like Digital service because it can make ageing/poor copper wireing look suddenly perfect. (Digital signals are a lot less sensitive to the wires than analog). I cannot explain how changing a local wire made the digital feed look any better. (Could you have been looking at an Analog feed?)

    Second - Digital signals tend to be all or nothing. You either get a perfect signal or something horrible. By it's nature, there is not much middle ground between a "1" and a "0". I have seen large pixel-blocks and screen freezes, but they are the exception rather than the rule.

    Some people have noticed that just un-screwing and re-attaching their existing CATV wires improved their pictures (I'm assuming Analog service). This makes sense for 2 reasons:

    - The deattach/attach scraped oxidiation off of the center conductor.

    - Tightening the connector gives a better ground. (Important for the circuit in your CATV box after it converts the digital to analog)

    So I suspect you accomplished both of these things by replacing the inside coax.
     
  8. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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  9. Jim A. Banville

    Jim A. Banville Supporting Actor

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  10. Allen Longcor

    Allen Longcor Supporting Actor

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    Wow this turned into an argument I didn't mean to start. Ok here is MY OPINION after reading the posts. Buying high quality coax cable will not improve the signal as it comes into the house, BUT it will stop it from degrading any further. The whole reason I wanted a new cable is because some of the stations in my room are grainy, while downstairs they are not. So either the signal running up to my room is getting distorted, or the cable I am using is poor. So I think replacing it would be a good idea. Now, I don't need or want any high grade stuff since I only have a 32" Toshiba and dont' do much TV watching. So can I get a 75 ohm cable from radioshack and be fine? Or perhaps another good quality one for cheap can be recommended? Thx.
     
  11. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  12. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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  13. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Allen. Dont worry about the arguments. We're just renewing old friendships. [​IMG]
    Since you obviously have some internal wire issues (upstairs vs downstairs), Mark Rich had a great suggestion: Belden 1694a .
    Look in your yellow pages under "Electronics". You may have to find the Telecom catagory, but many of these stores sell bulk CATV coax. Ask them if they stock Belden and sell it by the foot. (Some places only sell it by the 500 foot spool).
    Mark also mentioned the wonderful Canare connectors. I have some of these and they are FANTASTIC. But -
    - They cost about $5 each
    - They like a special cut/strip on the coax
    - They need a $80 tool (Die Set - $60, Crimp Frame - $20) to properly crimp them.
    So I might suggest that while at the electronics store, you buy some more industrial, but cheaper F connectors. Leave a few inches of slack so you can go back later and retro-fit with the Canare stuff if you decide to invest in the tools.
    Note: Radio shack sells a $3 "T" handle for pushing F connectors onto coax. Highly recommended.
     
  14. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Real Name:
    Lee
    I have some thoughts on this subject since I was recently victimized by Monster Cable.
    Just a warning here: avoid the cool looking but non-functional thin coax cable offered by Monster. This can be incompatible with most set top boxes like my digital box from AT&T.
    While most of you know I am the first to drop big dollars on cable, see any number of recent heated threads - [​IMG], this is one case where the good stuff in fact is good ole' RG-6 from the cable company. I replaced my Monster Cable with RG-6 from AT&T and the ghosting stopped and lines that came across the TV from HBO disappeared.
    In this case, it may not be the wire quality per se, but the cheap connectors that Monster uses to terminate. They are smaller in diameter to the normal RG-6.
    In short, Philip is right on the money.
    Just don't want anyone to make the same mistake...[​IMG]
    Lee
     
  15. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  16. Bill_Weinreich

    Bill_Weinreich Second Unit

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    Another point to consider might be digital or not. If you have digital service, a quality quad shielded RG6 coax should be considered from the outside connection to each outlet. Use quality connectors and a minimum of splitters. The reason being that it (the coax) offers better shielding in the higher frequency range.

    Ric, my friend had a similar experience with his cable modem. After many a call to the tech support he just reconnected his modem nearer to his service connection instead of after multiple splitters. No more drop out.

    Bill
     
  17. Robert Cranwell

    Robert Cranwell Stunt Coordinator

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    "Ric, my friend had a similar experience with his cable modem. After many a call to the tech support he just reconnected his modem nearer to his service connection instead of after multiple splitters. No more drop out"

    This is more of a case of return level problem or forward level. I myself being in the CATV industry agree with RIC on one 6' jumper being bad and causing headaches with the other outlets. You really can't loose with the cable itself as long as its not plastic clad RG-59, the weakest link is always the connector itself 95% of the time. We just did a look at our service calls and the biggest thing the Techs were marking for the problems were F-connector repairs.

    Also I disagree with alot of people thinking that Digital box problems are from the cable. Most are from bad or inferior splitters. We where going thru alot of vendors to find what would actually pass out to 862mhz without alot of problems. So if you can check your splitters and try something out till it works.

    Rob..
     
  18. Scott Holt

    Scott Holt Agent

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    Call the cable company and tell them to boost your signal or change the line to your house. You pay high costs for this service why not get the service you pay for.
     
  19. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Robert Cranwell: Could you do us a favor? Do you have any good "war" stories about what people have done with CATV wire in their homes? Could you write up some of them and post in the "Basics" area? We have a lot of people who would benifit from these stories. We'd all have a good laugh at people who did something silly, then quietly go off and fix where we did the same thing :b

    Also, any advice on splitters/amps (including brand names & web sites) that you know to be good quality would be appreciated.

    There is also the dredded "60 hz hum" that is brought in by the CATV coax. Advice on how to deal with this would also be welcome.
     
  20. Robert Cranwell

    Robert Cranwell Stunt Coordinator

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    War Stories, give me a couple days and we get together at the office and compile the best over the years.
    Favorite cable: Belden 1694a is O.K. but, Belden 9167 or 734d1 is tops (Silver Tinned Copper) To me its the best out there for video and audio interconnect cable!! Just add a Canare connector and hands down beats anything of Monster.
    For short runs under 100' I use it my house for cable and satellite.
    Great drop amp Viewsonics, just be carefull of you input levels i.e. 10dbmv dropout only needs 10dbmv or less for input levels,but the 15dbmv amp only needs 7dbmv or less for inputs.
    Splitters be carefull of store bought cheapies i.e. Radio Shack or Home Depot variety. Hit your local cable guy up for some splitters or if your local in NJ E-Mail me at work
    [email protected] and I will set you up with you need or can take a drive over to your residence and find whats wrong with your set-up.
    Rob
     

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