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Discussion Starter #1
What will a good quality 10' vga to rgbhv cable run me?


At what cost point does it become a scam, meaning price vs. performance?


Anyone had a source for a good affordable FLAT cable?
 

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I would think you are pushing the $150+ mark for a good cable. Considering it is not BNC to BNC and has the VGA connector, and the fact it is a 10' run, I would be very concerned about quality.
 

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RG6 coax (best you can get) will run you about $0.33/foot. 5 channels for RGBHV will cost about $17 for the wire alone. BNC connectors are nearly $10 each, so 10 total (5 for each end) will cost you another $100. For a good 10' run I would expect to be paying in the $120+ mark. This is assuming you were to purchase the raw materials retail, and build it yourself, which most don't do. So closer to $150 to add in some labor costs for assembly and their profit.


There's no good flat cable for RGBHV. You really want RG6 coax, a Belden 1694A or Canare L-5CFB. When in a 5 channel bundle, they have a diameter larger than 3/4". They are both garden hoses.


As far as a scam, I think Bluejeanscable has a good value on their cable assemblies, as they are close to what it would cost you to build the cable yourself. Terry F. (Chuchuf here on the forum) builds cables for forum members for a very good price too, and is well respected. I'd try these resources first. I think places like Monster Cable, Austic Research, etc. do tend to overcharge, same with BetterCables, Rivercables, etc. But I didn't just say that. :D


Me, I build my own cables, but it would have saved me over $500 to just have ordered through Terry. Which is what I should have done. :mad:
 

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BTW, cables are in fact important, and do make a difference in a system, especially in the video end. A good quality RG6 can make a noticable difference compared to a simple VGA cable you picked up at the local computer store. Enough that given the $$$ you have placed in the rest of your system, the $150 cable is worth it to most people.


Audio cableing is definately a touchier issue, and one we shouldn't even try to get into on this forum. :D
 

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Video cabling is important up to a point - anything over 200 bucks and you are probably burning cash where it could be better spent.

Poor quality cables are instantly noticeable with ghosting etc. showing up.


BTW. I have never been a fan of 'intelligence free copper handwoven by peruvian virgins' audio cabling either. Nice high quality fat copper cabling is more than most people will ever need, and it is relatively cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Quote:
Originally posted by spearce

[

There's no good flat cable for RGBHV. You really want RG6 coax, a Belden 1694A or Canare L-5CFB. When in a 5 channel bundle, they have a diameter larger than 3/4". They are both garden hoses.


[/b]
The flat cable I saw looked like 5 rg6 cables lined up next to each other - not FLAT cables but flat array - are you saying this is bad too?


Banded flat rather than in a round pvc snake.
 

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Ah, I have not seen such a snake before. I don't think its really much worse in any way than the rounded (twisted) snake. Especially on shorter runs like you are talking about.
 

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I'm a VERY cheap guy. I couldn't find any breakout cables locally, and was a bit leary of ordering from the bay, so I built my own breakout cable. Between a couple of local computer stores, I managed to scrounge up some old 10base2 networking cable they were going to throw out anyway and used that together with a VGA extension cable. My run is only 6' or so. It seems to work really well, although I really have no high quality reference cables to compare with. All I know is all my friends and relatives are pretty impressed with the image quality from my AmPro 2000G and my cheapo cables being driven from a computer I already had with a Radeon 9000.


As a nice side note, it was kinda fun for me and my 9 year old son to spend an evening figuring out how to make the cable. Now if only I can find some crazy company somewhere that is going to throw out a nice projector with minty 9" tubes somewhere.....
 

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Stop and think about this for a moment. Any supplier can buy the appropriate impedance wire from Canary or Beldon or many other reputable wire manufacturers. How hard is it to correctly solder on the right connector? Can it be messed up - sure. Can someone use the wrong impedance cable with a mismatched connector - sure. However, with just a little effort many manufacturers of very low priced cable assemblies can, and do, it right. If you really need fancy burl wood ends on your cables then by all means spend several hundred dollars on them. In my opinion, very adequate cables can be purchased for a few dollars and made even less expensively if you are so inclined.


Ever wonder why you (probably) have never seen an A:B comparison of a variety of cables? Very few (if any) people can see the difference. The obvious exception to the rule is the guy who just spent $600 on a fancy oxygen free, nitrogen dipped 3m cable. He can always see the difference.


There was an A:B comparison on the Internet comparing a $300 dollar digital audio cable to a coat hanger. No one could tell the difference. The audio component error meter read zero errors on both cables. The "don't wast your money rule" applies double when you are talking digital signals. Either they get there or they don't. If they do, they don't care how much you spent on the wire....


Analog video cables might be an exception, but then only when they are electrically long (say over 3m) and even then - if the cable supplier is using the right impedance wire and has terminated the ends of the cable reasonably well, the difference will be virtually unnoticeable. O.K. - O.K., just my opinion. Go ahead and sped what you want.


:)


Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I just remembered something.


I used shielded VGA cables from Best Buy ($20+) on a 21" monitor and got ghosting. (Belkin or similar)


Used triple shielded cables from the net (CVS) (actually less money than retail - $7) and on 21" monitors got (and still get) excellent results.


There is a difference in cables. Anyone know if any of these cables are triple shielded?


Also - the cost of quality cable and ends alone will make this cable somewhat costly.


I think I am going to forego the length in order to apply the money towards a quality product.
 

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The length is really not so much the cost of the cable, check my figures I posted above. Your length of 10' is only around $17-$20 in Canare or Belden cable, which you can't buy better. Most of the cost is in the good quality BNC connectors. I'm sure you could find cheaper BNCs, but you get what you pay for.


I agree, for shorter lengths of wire, especially with low bandwidth digital signals, almost anything, including a coat hanger will carry the signal just as well as a $600 cable. Problem is with digital, as you go to higher and higher clock speeds the cable becomes more important. Look at DVI, the cables can't even be made by a human because the clock speeds are so high that you cannot have the different channels varying in length by even the smallest amount, or else you get data errors.


Its best to match the proper impendence when you can, so I wouldn't use a 100 ohm cable for video, especially on long runs. I also wouldn't use 50 ohm BNC connectors (in trying to save money), as they can introduce ghosting, etc.


Many cable companies may actually spend less on the wire. That sheilded VGA cable you got from Best Buy most likely cost $1 to make, but has a huge profit margin in it for everyone in the retail chain. The other cable you got off the 'net most likely cost $2 to make, and has a much lower profit margin. That $1 difference in materials is mostly why you are seeing a better signal, its most likely better shielded (higher braid and foil coverage) and uses better wire.


I'm pretty sure BetterCables, Rivercables, etc. rebundle Canare or Belden wire (or both depending on what they can get at their target price this month). They charge higher prices for marketing and fancy cable wrappers. Some of the raw stock for the cable wrappers they use is more expensive than the wire itself on a per-foot basis... Rivercables was started by a group who is also a Canare/Belden reseller for the pro-av market... Makes you wonder just how much profit is in the cable market when you see them starting this venture.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by spearce
RG6 coax (best you can get) will run you about $0.33/foot. 5 channels for RGBHV will cost about $17 for the wire alone. BNC connectors are nearly $10 each, so 10 total (5 for each end) will cost you another $100. For a good 10' run I would expect to be paying in the $120+ mark.
I agree with your cable costs, but your connector costs are way up there. Canare BNCs are only about $2.5-3/ea at Q10. Of course the crimper is $150, but that's another story.


-MM
 

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I had a spool of 50ohm coax ethernet cable left over from the days of coax ethernet and bought a 5 pack of 50ohm BNC ethernet connectors for about $5 at my local MicroCenter. Then I bought a shielded 15pin RGB at RadioShack for about $5. So, I make a 30' cable for around $10 that seems to work great for me. I don't see any ghosting or other problems in the signal.


- Brian
 
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