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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an empty box with a 2 - 1" conduits running to it on the front "wall" of my rear-row seat riser. The conduit runs out of the HT room and to my equipment rack. Total lenth is 40+ feet from the box to the rack.


I plan on pulling an S-Video cable, (3) RG-6 cables (for component video) and a cat5 cable (for analog audio) from this box to the rack and use the box to hook up game consoles (X-BOX, etc...).


My problem: The X-Box's high-definition pack uses an optical (TOSLINK) signal for digital audio. I have two choices to get this signal to my surround sound processor in the equpment rack 40+ feet away:


1 - Get a converter and convert the TOSLINK signal to digital coax and pull another RG-6 cable for the digital signal. Probably the safest route.


-OR-


2 - I found a source for a (relatively) cheap 50 foot (yeah, fifty!) TOSLINK cable. I could pull this and use it to hook to the X-Box's high-definition pack directly.


My question: Can you reliably send an optical signal 50' via TOSLINK cable? Please don't answer with anything containing the word "jitter" as we're talking about playing games here, not audiophilia. I just want to know if it'll work reliably...


Thanks in advance,


Chris
 

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Chris,


First off, classify this response as a "what the heck does he know anyway" (referring to myself) type of deal but thought I'd throw in my 2-cents.


My understanding is that the max you ever want to go on an TOSLINK cable is 10 meters (about 30 feet). I have no scientific evidence to reason why, but it seems to be the concensus among the usenet groups (FWIW). Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any manufacturer's guidelines on the subject.


Good luck!


- Ed.
 

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Yes, the cable will have no trouble carrying a signal that far. Toslink cables are similar to fiber optic computer cables and use the same technologies. Fiber cables are designed for long distance data runs. The only concern is if your sending device can send a strong enough signal through that much cable, but I doubt it will be a problem. Search around the NET and you'll find cables in your required length for $40-100 or so. I also saw a repeater that claims to be able to send the signal over a 60+ foot cable for about $25.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by ELB_III
Chris,


First off, classify this response as a "what the heck does he know anyway" type of deal but thought I'd throw in my 2-cents.


My understanding is that the max you ever want to go on an TOSLINK cable is 10 meters (about 30 feet). I have no scientific evidence to reason why, but it seems to be the concensus among the usenet groups (FWIW). Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any manufacturer's guidelines on the subject.


Good luck!


- Ed.
Most of that has to do with the device generating the signal and the quality/type of cable. Consumer product makers generally assume that the average person isn't going to need a cable run more then about 10 feet or so. They generate the signal with parts tested to send a good quality signal 10-15' through an average cable. Move up to high speed computer data equipment, for example, and the fiber run can be about 2000m or more before a repeater is needed.



Long story short, the max distance is based on the quality of the cable and the strength of the original signal.
 

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And there you have it! I'm going back under my rock now. D'OH!
 

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Always happy to be useless! :D


Cheers!


- Ed.
 

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covermye, I had 2 projects last year that required extended Toslink cables. One was around 50 feet and the other was around 80 feet. If I remember right I think they were using some cheap DVD player that not have a dig. coax output. Anyway I ordered Toslink cables with one end left unterminated. The field guys pulled the cable through conduit and terminated them in the field.

They both worked just fine. Toslink cable uses P.O.F. Plastic Optical Fiber.

It is simple to terminate and very forgiving.

Good Luck,
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It's the day after Christmas and my XBOX is now open :)


I bought the HD breakout box and plugged the 50-foot optical cable in question into it, temporarily ran it through the doorway, and into my surround decoder. It worked flawlessly. No problem whatsoever.


Why am I wasting time typing here? I've got games to play!


-Chris
 

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Good to hear that the long fiber-optics worked out.


I'll toss my thoughts in for anyone that is still curious.


There should be no problem using toslink over long distances unless you fall into the category of people that like to, and can hear, the difference between different optical cables. At my workplace, we have a 200 foot optical cable running under a parking lot with no additional repeaters. There aren't any problems as long as the cable gets installed without any damage to the optical fiber. Incidently, fiber with very little shielding can be bought cheap, really cheap. The fiber we're using is only about 2mm thick including its plastic jacket. Its almost ridicuously thin ;-)
 

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The difference between the data system running across you parking lot and Toslink is in the drivers, receivers, and fiber ends. High speed data stuff uses laser diodes and optical grade fiber ends. On the other hand, Toslink uses cheap red LEDs and unpolished fiber ends. Because of this, I believe the recommendation by manufacturers is 6M max, but with the higher quality cables available with optical grade ends, that can be pushed up to 20M.

-Bill
 
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