Wiring Recommendation...

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by TroySimpson, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. TroySimpson

    TroySimpson Auditioning

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    I have noticed that some new upper class homes have a centralized distribution panel (hidden in a closet) where all UTP, Coax, and other cables come into from most or all rooms of the home. The wiring closet also is where the Phone and Cable Service come into the home (I believe this is called the demarcation point).

    It seems like a pretty neat idea and I thought about doing the same thing in our home. But before I do this I want to understand the pros and cons of a centralized distribution panel/wiring closet. I have a background in computer networking and I can understand the benefits of having a wiring closet for Phone and Network Cable (UTP), but what about Coax for Cable and Satellite? Won’t the video and audio deteriorate over distance? This is the area I don't know much about.

    Secondly, I want to install a small monitor in our exercise room/office and supply audio/video from various sources like a DVD player, satellite receiver, etc. The monitor is on one side of the room and the equipment is on the other side of the room.

    How should I run the Audio and Video to the monitor? The monitor supports Coax, (Yellow RCA - Composite?), and S-Video. I understand that S-Video will provide the best picture of all three but S-Video Cable is expensive.

    Third, what is the best solution for Coax Patch Cables. I have read/seen that BNC connectors are the best over RCA and F-Connectors. Any advise on this?

    Thanks, Troy
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Sure, BNCs are the best. Professional-grade stuff. But you’ll have to have equipment with BNC connections to use BNC patch cables.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. TroySimpson

    TroySimpson Auditioning

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    Wayne,

    Thanks for the enlightenment. I don't mind being flamed, so long as it is constructive and I can learn something from it. LOL!! ;-)

    I have been reading about this stuff for over a year now. I want to learn all that I can about making cables, testing the cables, when and how to use what and where, etc. etc. I want to understand as much as I can. I am obsessed with this stuff. I need more, more, more!! LOL!!

    1.
    I understand that RG-6 has bigger gauge wire than RG-59. And that RG-11 has bigger gauge wire than RG-6. How can I find out what guage wire is appropriate for a particular application? For example, I understand a little about electricity. If I want to run 15 amps of power from the panel to an outlet, I would use 14 guage electrical wire. But I could overkill it and use 12 guage or 10 guage wire. An really, 15 amps is overkill if I am only going to run a 60 watt lamp, but I believe that 15 amps is the smallest that can be installed. How does this apply to Coax?

    2.
    Since Coax carries RF (Radio Frequences) and S-Video carries two wires, does that mean that S-Video carries 2 RF signals? Composite (RCA) carries one RF signal for video and Component carries 3 RF signals for video?

    3.
    I have read different article and web pages that talks about video quality with different types type cable (Standard CableTV/Coax, Composite, S-Video, and Component) and sources (CableTV, Satellite, VHS, DVD, HighDefinition). The quality of the picture is not only determined by the cable, but it's source. For example, if I view a movie on standard VHS using a High Quality Component Cable and a High Definition TV, then the quality of the Picture is more that likely restricted by the standard VHS tape and VHS Player. I believe that the real trick is to know when poor video is the best you can get? If I plan to only watch movies on Standard VHS, then all the Component Cable and HDTV is just a crying shame waste of money, Right?

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,
    Troy
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Hope I wasn’t too hard on you there, Troy. Thanks for being so good natured. [​IMG] I can’t help but chuckle when I see a question like this, “I’m putting a 13” TV on my workbench in the garage, what’s the best cabling to make sure I don’t get any kind of degradation?” Well, let’s see, the TV probably cost $125, doesn’t even have any temperature correction settings, so why don’t we use a $400 run of Monster Cable? Yeah, that'll work! [​IMG]

    Addressing your questions as best I can:
    1. Current and amperage is not an issue with radio frequency signals. What matters is that the cable has the correct bandwidth capabilities for the signal being carried. With RF signals on coaxial lines, this is determined not only by the gauge of the center conductor, but also by the physical distance between the center conductor and the shield. This is why the different coaxial cables you named are different diameters, not because there is an amperage or current issue.

      Generally RG-59 is suitable for regular television and FM broadcasts. RG-6 is best used with cable TV and satellite applications, which have greater bandwidth requirements. Conversely, RG-6 will work fine with TV and FM, since is a lower bandwidth signal, but you shouldn’t use RG-59 for sat or cable.

      I’m not sure what RG-11 is for; I think perhaps commercial applications, maybe to do with broadcast towers or such (any help here, anyone? [​IMG] ). In any event, you will have an extremely difficult finding terminations (connectors) for that stuff. Just stick with RG-6. It works fine for any residential application.
    2. RF signals are not to be confused with line-level composite, S- or component video signals. As I noted, RF is radio frequency. That means it’s what is broadcast from a transmission tower (or satellite) and picked up with an antenna connected to an appropriate tuner or receiver. The receiver converts the radio frequency signal to the line-level audio and video signals our home theater gear uses.
    3. Correct, upconverting video signals will not improve the quality of a picture that originated from an inferior source.

      Upconversion is merely a convenience, and actually a very good one. As recently as a couple of years ago it was a real hassle to implement say, a regular VCR, an older Direct TV receiver with S-video, and a new DVD player with component outputs into a high-quality home theater system. You couldn’t “mix and match” the three incompatible video formats.

      You had to downgrade everything to the lowest mutually compatible format for the sake of convenience, to get one-button sound and picture from the remote. Or, if you were really interested in maximum picture quality at all times, you had to send each video signal separately to the TV (assuming it had that many inputs). That got you the hassle of changing both video and audio inputs for each viewing.[/list=1]
      Hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. TroySimpson

    TroySimpson Auditioning

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    Thanks again Wayne.

    I have probably solved one of those garage TV problems with an expensive cable mostly due to ignorance. The Best Buys and Circuit City's prey on people like me. ;-) And I hate that. I am tired of some untrained sales guy using techno-jargon about how an expensive cable is going to make my viewing experience 10x better. I am beginning to believe that all the stuff that I really want is NOT at those types of stores and for a lot less.

    I discovered CEDIA (cedia.net) from another thread on hometheaterforum.com. I might join if I can afford it. I would also like to attend the boot camp or some other training that would help me to better understand this stuff.

    Do you have any information / articles / websites / books that would help me learn more about this stuff (Home Theater, Home automation, premise wiring, etc)?

    Eventually, I want to build my home network, home automation system, home Theater, etc. etc. So the first thing I need to do is some premise wiring.

    I thought I would start with premise wiring. I thought I would run some UTP Cable for phone and networking from a centralized wiring closet in my home (Cat 5e? or Cat 6?). I know how to do this for phone and network jacks, but I don't know how for Coax Cable. For example, do I use RG-6 Quad or Just RG-6. Should I use BNC, RCA, or F-Connectors? Who makes and where do I get the equipment for the wiring closet for Coax/RG-6? I am not interested in wiring system like the Leviton System. I want my wiring closet to be good and look cool too. LOL

    So far I have bought some tools, parts, and supplies for running the Coax stuff. I started at the Lowes Home Department Store and found the Zenith Snap-and-Seal F-Connectors and Zenith Compression tool. I must have gone through a whole box of F-Connectors before I could get one on correctly (I think). LOL.

    Then my Sister-in-Law signed up for Broadband Internet with Comcast and they sent her, what looks like to me, RG-6 Quad with green Digicon Snap-and-Seal F-Connectors Part-Number: DS6QT.02-04. So I went out on the Internet and found a supplier and then bought the Digicon F-Connectors, Digicon Coaxial Cable Stripper, and Digicon Compression Tool. I guess Digicon is good, Right? I am going to play with the stuff tonight. I hope I can figure out how to make a good F-Connector/RG-6 Quad cable before I get though the whole bag of F-Connectors (100). LOL. I might switch to BNC connectors. LOL

    I thought I would use BNC connectors in the Closet to the Wall Jack, then RCA from the Wall Jack to the equipment. What do you think?

    I need to buy something to test my coax patch cables and coax cable runs to the wiring closet. You have any suggestions?

    I have also read some thread that mentioned Canare and Belden Cable that the pros use. I would like to learn how to make some cool looking cables like other that I have seen.

    Talk to ya soon…
    Troy
     
  6. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Troy,

    You’re getting into stuff here that’s beyond my expertise, but I’ll take a stab at some of it.
    Covered above. Of course, it’s fine to use your own proprietary protocol in-house, but since BNCs and RCAs are for line-level signals you may compromise the bandwidth specifications if you use them for RF (see #1, previous post).

    For your other questions and concerns, you might try the AVS Forum. Look for their “Home Integration and Distribution” Forum in the “Home Theater General” section.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  7. Cornelius

    Cornelius Stunt Coordinator

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    On the contrary, regular RG-6 is normally better in all ways except cost. RG-6 with 95% shielding is better at rejecting interference than RG-6QS. RG-6QS normally is copper coated steel (CCS), which is less costly than solid copper, but has a greater attenuation than the RG-6.

    Hope this helps,
    CJ
     
  8. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Well, RG-11, -59 and -6 are all 75-ohm compatible, but they all have different cable diameters and center conductor gauges.

    Nevertheless, please note the discussion was pertaining to RF, not line-level video signals. With RF, the bandwidth capability of the coaxial is critical to prevent signal degradation, especially when video signals are present (TV, CATV, etc.). That’s why certain coaxial cables are recommended for certain applications.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  9. Cornelius

    Cornelius Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry, missed that.

    CJ
     
  10. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    There aren’t different grades of the stuff from different manufacturers, as with regular RG-6? Again, I have no idea, just asking so I can be informed.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  11. Cornelius

    Cornelius Stunt Coordinator

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    There are different grades of QS- mostly based on the construction of the center conductor and the dielectric. However, I don't think that I've ever seen a QS with greater than 60/40 braided shielding.

    CJ

    PS- Please don't take what I have to say as gospel. I'm just a DIY'er who's picked up a little knowledge on the way.
     

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