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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've seen some conflicting posts about this and now I'm confused, so I figured I'd ask here.


I'd about to start drywalling my basement and home theater and I'm a little confused on RG59 versus RG6. My plans are to have three runs from the where the current splitters are in one part of the basement to my equipment closet to two STBs. One box is for the home theater room and the other will be for the TV in the bar area. We have Comcast Cable with currently one HD box upstairs and a few digital ones. Where the cable comes into the house to the equipment closet is maybe 40 feet. I bought RG6 copper (not copper over steel). Can I use it or do I want to get some copper over steel? Should it be RG59 or RG6? I also plan on using the RG6 copper for interconnects between components. Is that a problem?


Also, since my cable has a bunch of splitters to feed the other rooms, should I get a good quality coax/video splitter like 1 to 8? Any recommendations?


Thanks guys!


Bud
 

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CATV signals are higher frequency broadband. RG6 rather than RG59 is your best bet there. High frequency creates a skin effect so copper coated steel does as well as all copper.


Interconnects are lower frequency baseband. Skin effect is not involved and solid copper is best. RG59 works fine and is more flexible than RG6 but RG6 works fine too.


The best splitters will lose ~3.5db per output so you'll need a strong enough signal coming in to handle that or use a distribution amp instead of a splitter. Your CATV company will be invested in getting you the service you need so you may be able to work with them if they have a competent tech. He/she will be able to supply the signal and splitter/amp your situation requires.


If you want to keep them out of the loop and control the system without having to deal with the typical, less competent, tech, you still need to make sure your incoming signal is good before taking on the design and implementation. It's hard to bypass their technical staff entirely.
 

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Just to help clarify what Pat said. With a two way splitter, each output is down 3.5-4 db. With a 4 way splitter (1:4) each output is down 7-8 db. If you are really going to split 8 ways it will be down 11-12 db and as Pat said you would be advised to have a decent distribution amp in your system and it does need to be able to handle the full cable spectrum. If you are using a cable Modem, you may want to use a 2 way splitter up front and feed your cable modem with one of those lines and then run the other line into your distribution amp before splitting out to your various TV outlets.


..Doyle
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Greywolf,


Thanks for the response. I have two 500 foot rolls of RG6 (one is actually RG/U). I was told at Home Depot that the one roll I bought there was solid copper. I'm having a hard time determining if the other is Copper over steel (thats the RG6/U). Based on the number of feet I need to travel from the splitter and your comment:

High frequency creates a skin effect so copper coated steel does as well as all copper.


It sounds like RG6 copper over steel would be better to get to the equipment rack, but would not matter too much? I want to do it right, so if I need copper over steel, I'll get it.


My signal is pretty good. I worked with the first tech while he was here to ensure certain rooms we wired up front before the rest of the signals were split a million times in the other rooms.


Doyle,


Great, thanks for the reply. I have a cable modem in the system, but it's split up front with a two way splitter. The first side feeds the cable modem, the second side goes into another two way splitter, one going to the family room and the other going to another splitter and it goes to other splitters from there. I'd like to clean this up and get everything in a structured wiring panel. The modem has work flawlessly. Can you recommend a good distribution amp? I know there are probably millions of them out there, I'm afraid I'd end up buying the wrong thing and paying too much for it to boot!


Thanks guys!


Bud
 

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If you already have enough solid copper, use it. It's just that for high frequencies like like CATV, copper coated steel works as well, not better or worse than all copper, and is less expensive. Also, if it is hung between poles in the back yard, it is stronger. The easy way to tell if you have copper coated steel or not is to use a magnet. I'd have the cable company pay for and install the amp. It's their responsibility to get a usable signal to your equipment.
 

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Use the solid copper for you needs. The only real drawback is the strength of the center conductor. With copper the center bends easier than the copper over steal. Just be careful when terminating and you will be fine.


Dave
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinadog
I also plan on using the RG6 copper for interconnects between components. Is that a problem?
Bud,


What did you end up doing for interconnects? And just so I know I'm on the same page with you, when you say interconnects are you talking about audio, video, or both? I didn't realize you could use (or should use?) coax for audio interconnects. Are coax interconnects preferred for audio as well?


The reason I'm asking is that I'm thinking of creating my own audio and video interconnects and I'm just trying to figure out what I need in terms of cable, connectors and tools.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Steve,


Not that far along yet obviously, but plan on using RG6 for all RCA and component interconnects. I don't think ot matters if its Audio or Video. I was going to run RG6 to the projector for component, but found reasonable premade component cables so decided to go with them. I did however run RG6 to the bar area for component if I need it later. I have a very large roll of solid copper RG6 let, so I'm using it.


Bud
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinadog
I was told at Home Depot that the one roll I bought there was solid copper.
Be careful. In my experience, if you ask the typical Home Depot electrical dept droid if a wire's center conductor is "solid copper", he'll say yes as long as 1) the center conductor isn't *stranded*, and 2) the outside of the center conductor is copper-colored.


If you want to be sure of what you're getting, bring a magnet.


- digiphotonerd
 
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