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What Coaxial Cable Should I Use?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I am looking at a total coax rewire of my house to upgrade from the outdated RG-59 that has been there for 15+ years! What I would like to have is a coax that will work well with OTA, cable and satellite with all runs being well under 50'. Would regular RG-6 be good enough, and would I be wasting money to go with Quad Shield? Also, will I see any difference at all going with RG6 copper clad steel vs RG6 solid copper for any of the applications listed above? Any help will be greatly appreciated since I am having a very hard time finding anything other than regular shielded copper clad steel locally! Thanks!
post #2 of 27
RG6 should be good enough for the foreseeable future, but there is nothing wrong with using Quad Shield either. Quad shield could be nice if theres a strong broadcast close in the area.

Performance wise over the cores - don't worry about it. Get what you can find. As long as it's RG6 - you're cool.

I would strongly reccomend that you seriously consider doing all your new wiring in a "Home Run" configuration, with 2 RG6 runs to each location.
post #3 of 27
I am having on ongoing issue with DirecTV regarding cabling. They now claim I MUST use solid copper, not clad, on a 50' run to an H20 box. I have an HR20 that works fine on same run. Don't know if they are making this up, can't find copper locally. I can buy it online but returning it if it's ng is a hassle.
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
What are you calling close when you say a strong broadcast close in the area?
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVinNED View Post

What are you calling close when you say a strong broadcast close in the area?

Within 5 miles or so - or certainly - if you can see the towers.
post #6 of 27
I read a couple of posts lately where people are having trouble finding decent RG6 cable. Home Depot carries some decent RG-6 and RG-6QS. They sell it cut to length or in 500' rolls. I got enough Quad-Shield for runs into the house and then a 500' spool for home-runs to the rooms. Works great if you're OK putting on your own ends.

Scott
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooper View Post

I would strongly reccomend that you seriously consider doing all your new wiring in a "Home Run" configuration, with 2 RG6 runs to each location.

What are the benefits of the "Home Run" configuration? I may do the same if it will do me any good.
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Here is what i can get locally for about $100 per 1000', do these specs look okay for quad or should I go ahead and get the 250' roll from Lowes for $50?
http://www.prioritywire.com/c2.pdf
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVinNED View Post

do these specs look okay

Sorry, can't get too excited by the term "Solid Copper Clad Steel". If it's clad, it ain't solid. I ordered my RG6 coax from Blue Jeans Cable. Get the best and buy Belden!
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whidbey View Post

What are the benefits of the "Home Run" configuration? I may do the same if it will do me any good.

All sources to ONE location, easier to add other stuff to ALL rooms. It's just more versatile all the way around. I'm setup in this - all TV runs in my house go to the area behind my home theater area - which is where you find "my home theater" - 1 dual tuner Dish DVR, DVD playerr, A/V receiver, Modulators, etc. I can watch either tuner from the Dish receiver on ANY TV reception device in the house. Was also great so I can watch OTA (both analog and digital) over the same coax to each room.
post #11 of 27
+1 for the home runs. I wired my home with splitters in the wall originally and am pulling it all out now. I use the Commscope5731 cable myself. Its rated up to 2.5GHz and if you want to run a satellite system in one of the rooms the higher the usable frequency the better. Its also a pretty good indication of the tolerances in manufacturing of the cable.
post #12 of 27
You might also want to keep in mind the electrical wires in your house. The quad shield might be an added benefit if runs will have to be closer together than you'd like in some areas.

The Home Run application is a great idea as long as you're using your system that way. For my purposes I just have all of my coax and phone running into a data box.

By the way...I got my coax from a local HT store that I have a relationship with. I put a deposit down on the spool, ran my own and was charged for what I used. I don't remember what I paid but it was pretty cheap and better quality than most. You might look into that option if available.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteWhiskers View Post

Sorry, can't get too excited by the term "Solid Copper Clad Steel". If it's clad, it ain't solid. I ordered my RG6 coax from Blue Jeans Cable. Get the best and buy Belden!

Hasn't anyone heard of something called "skin effect"? For RF, the signal travels on the skin of the conductor and doesn't penetrate thru the core of the conductor. So having clad coax center conductor is the minimum of what will get the job done. Solid copper will be more expensive as copper prices have shot thru the roof over the last couple of years. Just because it's clad doesn't mean its bad.
post #14 of 27
Yep - the steel core will probably be cheaper AND stronger... and the cable should work just as well...
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick0725 View Post

In todays day and age you should purchase the best rated cable currently available which would future proof for any new technologies coming our way. There will be a million opinions but I never skimp on coax.

There are so many varieties. Many companies are skimping/cutting back/offering other options to competitive in a market where the price of copper and other metals are going sky high.

rg6
solid copper center conductor
swept tested to 3000MHz...2250 mhz min.
at least 60% aluminum braid
Foamed dielectric
UL approved

Tri shield /Quadshield only really necessary where you suspect interference ingress from strong FM, TV, Electromagnetic, etc.

I prefer tri shield (can be used with standard RG6 connectors) and transitioned away from quad shield. The description in the link belows explains why in the description of the coax.

https://www.tselectronic.com/belden/...8f70f01b4af5f9

Trusted quality manufacturers...Belden, Vextron, Commscope, etc. Aspen eagle if in a pinch.

If you are going to buy in quantity purchase from an electronics dealer or distributor or online. The coax sold at Radio Shack, Lowes, Home Depot are questionable...copper clad, poor foam dielectric, minimal braid, not of higher quality and durability.

I currently use Vextra V621 and Belden 7915A trishield where appropriate...no longer use quadshield.

highly recommend the expense of compression fittings and tools associated with installation.

and dielectric paste to waterproof the fitting

http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/antsup/1218.html

just be careful what you are purchasing coax and do not skimp on the cable. The priority wire.com stuff just is not my cup of tea.

That's what I was thinking too! The price is cheap, so the cable probably is too! I guess I will have to look in Houston to see what is available there, they should have plenty of stores that carry the good stuff!
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick0725 View Post

I prefer tri shield (can be used with standard RG6 connectors) and transitioned away from quad shield.

That's what I use, too.
post #17 of 27
If I remember correctly, the general specification for RG6 includes an 18AWG copper-clad steel center conductor. I recently did an extensive research of RG6 for another reason and nearly every type of RG6 I found had copper-clad steel CC. There are some types available with a solid copper CC but they're designated primarily for some pretty special applications and are quite expensive.

As to shield, I normally use the dual shield standard configuration (aluminum foil and braid) for OTA TV and radio applications. It does quite well in every residential application I have tried. My home is wired in a homerun configuration with RG6DS with some runs well over 50' length and have absolutely no problems. Some of the runs replaced older RG59 runs and the RG6 cleared up all of the identified problems from the RG59. I do use RG6QS in industrial high speed digital data applications and it is justified there because of the high ambient electrical noise level in those environments and because of the safety issues related to controls. But I have never found it justified in residential applications nor have I found it even remotely necessary.

I am an electrical engineer and I have learned over the years that only labs and the very rich can afford "only the best" and the "best" is subjective and can be very difficult to define (I can read cable specs about as well as most). Most RG6 is virtually identical, when it comes to residential TV applications, and there are a limited number of manufacturers. The primary differences are branding and limited QA/spec variations. I have observed virtually no performance differences even up into the 2 or 3 gig range from one brand to the next although there must be some differences. Some of the really high performance cable is made to tighter specs but often is selected on an extensive test basis out of fairly standard stuff. The test selection process is expensive and leads to higher cost.

When you consider that the price of copper has soared 4 to 5 times its price of about 24 months ago, you might want to rethink your position on specs. QS with solid copper CC can be difficult to find and it's not cheap. If you are going to wire a whole house you can find 500' to 1000' to 5000' rolls of good quality RG6 ranging in price from $0.06 to $0.18 per foot. If you're only adding a run or two, you can buy a decent quality Philips brand RG6DS at Walmart in a 100' putup for about $0.19 per foot. You can sometimes get better prices online but the cost of shipping heavy wire spools may well offset any savings.

Another point of view to think about anyway.

Glenn
post #18 of 27
I see lots of different opinions on this issue. I am having problems with 1 out of 4 DirecTV recievers. It's an H20. My HR20 works on the same cable run, I swapped locations to test them. DirecTV says I need solid copper core for the H20. It's on a run of less than 60'. They said only some receivers react this way. Any comments on this theory?
post #19 of 27
Rick0725- are you a little surprised at this spec, particularly the 60% coverage braid? But then I assume it's over an aluminum foil shield too since I don't think I've seen any RG6 that didn't have the foil. Swept to 3 gig is a little higher than I would expect though not out of reason, but I can't figure the requirement for solid copper at those frequencies. Do you have any insight to their spec? Just curious.

Glenn
post #20 of 27
The reason for solid copper is the five LNB dish. It takes more current to power that many LNBs. Their current requirement plus the added resistance of the steel can drop the voltage below the minimum to select the proper transponders. Adding a WB68 multiswitch and the B band converters suck even more power.
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by greywolf View Post

The reason for solid copper is the five LNB dish. It takes more current to power that many LNBs. Their current requirement plus the added resistance of the steel can drop the voltage below the minimum to select the proper transponders. Adding a WB68 multiswitch and the B band converters suck even more power.

As I mentioned in another thread, while I use solid copper, a friend of mine uses clad - with two HR20's - with no issues. His runs are similar to mine, though at least two are longer. However, I think it really makes a difference that he carefully ran his lines away from electrical sources (while the house was being built) and he properly terminated each cable.
post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
So I take it that I really won't see any difference in signal strength between dual and quad shield or solid core versus CCS. I did finally get a chance to play with the new 50' mast I got and plan on going up about 30 or 40' so I will have a run from my antenna to my TV that will be around 80 to 100', will the dual shield be okay for that long of a run? Should I make that run one continuous piece or is it okay to have a barrel connector or two in the line?
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteWhiskers View Post

Sorry, can't get too excited by the term "Solid Copper Clad Steel". If it's clad, it ain't solid. I ordered my RG6 coax from Blue Jeans Cable. Get the best and buy Belden!

It can be solid or it can be STRANDED,(made out of many thinner cables) like some high end military cables.There is some RG8 cables for instance that are stranded, not solid.as for your installation-if you plan on adding many current drawing switches to your wiring better use solid copper, if not, you won't tell the difference in performance when you use copper clad.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteWhiskers View Post

Sorry, can't get too excited by the term "Solid Copper Clad Steel". If it's clad, it ain't solid. I ordered my RG6 coax from Blue Jeans Cable. Get the best and buy Belden!

There are solid cables and stranded cables.Both can be clad or not
post #25 of 27
I have a few spools of Monster Cable RG-6 Coax. It has solid copper for both the inner conductor and the outside braid. It is rated UL CL3 and has a white UV protected jacket.

Monster sold it for about $1.00 a foot retail. It didn't sell. It is one of the nughest quality coaxes. It is no longer sold by the foot. They still use it in their ready maid cables.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVinNED View Post

I am looking at a total coax rewire of my house to upgrade from the outdated RG-59 that has been there for 15+ years! What I would like to have is a coax that will work well with OTA, cable and satellite with all runs being well under 50'.

Belden 1694A. Best choice for your application. There are other brands with equivalent cable.

bare copper for low DC resistance
dual shield with %95 braid coverage
outdoor rated
excelllent low-loss characteristics
easy to terminate compared to QS
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by NightHawk View Post

Belden 1694A. Best choice for your application. There are other brands with equivalent cable.

bare copper for low DC resistance
dual shield with %95 braid coverage
outdoor rated
excelllent low-loss characteristics
easy to terminate compared to QS

I agree...and buy it off of EBay for a good deal....I bought my RG11 there at a really good price.
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