What's The Difference Between RG-58, RG-59, RG-6 And RG-6QS Coaxial Cable? UPDATE: Splitter Issue Solved!

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Ornery, Sep 30, 2003.

  1. Ornery

    Ornery Lifer

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    I'd like to do my whole house cable over again. I need a good quality splitter, cable and F-connectors. I don't have digital cable, but it might be smart to use digital compatible stuff, no? I've discovered that the splitters come with different MHz ratings. That further clouds the issue to me. I do own a Hex Crimping Tool, so I guess I can buy the cheaper crimp connectors instead of the twist on type. I've got four TVs to hook up now, but plan on adding a fifth. There's also two or three VCRs to connect, and I hate looping through them, so I guess the splitter should handle about eight units. I've heard it's not too cool to split again after a splitter, which is what I have at this point.
     
  2. Evadman

    Evadman Administrator Emeritus<br>Elite Member

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  3. Ornery

    Ornery Lifer

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    Does that have lots of shielding, low loss? 75 OHM or 50 OHM?
     
  4. EyeMWing

    EyeMWing Banned

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    I'm installing RG-6 w/ hex crimper. And it's just fine to split multiple times - put a 1=>2 splitter, and then an amp on one of the two output lines (The un-amplified line with nothing connected to it is for use with a cable modem or whatever) and then after the amp you can connect all the splitters you need (Ratshack has some amps in the $40 range that actually have built in splitters)
     
  5. Ornery

    Ornery Lifer

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    I've got a couple Radio Shack Amplifier/Splitters, and they caused me a service call to the Cable company due to noise. After we took the amplifier out of the mix, it was all fine. He was nice enough not to charge me for the call. He said I had enough signal here to run several sets easily.

    I had snow recently on the lower channels, so I called for service again. Just before he was due to show up, i started checking connections. I'll be darned if the cheap Radio Shack splitter wasn't causing trouble. Either that, or the VCR at the end of one cable was the culprit. Either way, it's fine now, so I canceled the service call.
     
  6. FeathersMcGraw

    FeathersMcGraw Diamond Member

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    If you're going to distribute video through the house, you probably want RG6 (I don't know what the precise electrical specifications are, but a rough analogy is that RG58 is to RG6 as Cat 5 is to Cat 6). RG6QS is quad-shielded RG6, which is probably overkill for home installation unless you know that you will be running cable near your in-wall power lines.

    I hope if you're using an eight-way splitter that it's amplified.
     
  7. Ornery

    Ornery Lifer

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    Beats me, I'm a newb at this crap. All I know is that the amplifier screwed me up once, and that it's not good to split after a splitter. I keep hearing disparaging stuff about Radio Shack's equipment, so maybe that's why my amplifier caused noise.

    I found a link to a 8-Way Monster® Standard RF Splitter for only $16.00. Most places want $24.00 for it. Hell, if it's the same company that makes Monster Cable, I'm surprised it isn't $150.00!
     
  8. FeathersMcGraw

    FeathersMcGraw Diamond Member

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    I watched the tech install my cable, and at the outside junction box where the feed enters the house, there's a four-way (passive) splitter. He said that they could add another on there if I really wanted to, but that I likely wouldn't be pleased with the results.

    Was the amplifier installed before the splitter? Amplifying an attenuated signal is going to accentuate any defects in the signal caused by splitting it in the first place.

    There's also the possibility that your splitter is low-quality. The shop where I bought my A/V equipment only uses a splitter rated up to 2.4 MHz. It's entirely possible that they use a pricier connector purely to raise their margins, but after spending what I spent on my setup, I wasn't about to quibble over a $10 vs. a $5 part.
     
  9. Ornery

    Ornery Lifer

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    Hmmmm, it used to be like this:
    • Cable from street,
    • Box on house,
    • Through attic to amplifier split 2 ways
      • One split led to a 4 way amp/splitter which fed a bedroom TV, VCR and Receiver
      • Second split led to a 4 way splitter that fed 2 TVs and a 2 way splitter which fed a TV and VCR
    Now all amplifiers are removed and the last 2 way splitter is removed. It looks good at this point, but I want to add one more TV. I'd like to get it right this time while I'm at it.
     
  10. Mday

    Mday Lifer

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    ornery, you know well enough to google...

    rg 58 isnt used much anymore, neither is rg59 really. they still can be, though. rg6 replaced them for cable television due to the higher bandwidth reqiurements needing a better cable. the QS is for shielding, and not all shielding is the same. RG6 cables are smoe 25% thicker in diameter for the entire cabling. the white dielectric surroundnig the internal conductor is thicker as well.

    most new cable installations require 2 way communications. most amps only amplify one way, and may block the other. also, a strong signal will cause problems. good amps are somehting radioshack does not carry.

    that 8 way splitter will cause problems if you dont use all the ports, or attach terminators (re scsi) to prevent signal reflections. generally, you want them split at ONE location merely for convenience of testing and troubleshooting.

    if you're splitting 8 ways, its best to go with an amp. look for reviews and guides online. calling the cable company will cost you money, if a tech needs to hit your house. maybe you can ask for recommendations on parts.

    home depot carries (somewhat low quality) cabling. you can hit sites like partsexpress.com for connectors. that much cabling to purchas online costs a lot to ship.
     
  11. Ornery

    Ornery Lifer

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    All my Google attempts so far, have been geared toward actual parts and cable, but I don't know which to go for. I know how to run it through walls and what not, but splitting it is a bugger. All I have to go by is past experience there. I'll stick with the RG-6 I guess, maybe even the ultra shielded, if it isn't too much more. I've seen twist on connectors for as little as .29 cents each for RG-59, but none that cheap for RG-6. I'll see what kind of amps I can find. I do have a couple F Terminators floating around here... somewhere... :confused:
     
  12. BillGates

    BillGates Diamond Member

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    If you remember only one thing in your life, make that one thing be that Radio Shack sucks.
     
  13. Howard

    Howard Lifer

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    RG6 is preferred now, I think, but RG-59 cable is still packaged with a lot of home electronics.

     
  14. nsafreak

    nsafreak Diamond Member

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    Speaking of cabling I'm wondering what is wrong with mine. Had the cable guy come buy and do a kind a temporary fix (my permanent is going to be to get satellite soon :p ) but well it's not exactly what I want. You see he replaced a splitter because a set in the household is sending extra voltage down the line although he doesn't know which one. So he replaced it with a splitter that could handle it, cable going out to this outlet is what caused the call, and he put a new end on the cable coming from the wall and ran it directly to my TV. The thing is I normally run it to my VCR which runs to my receiver. The cable he used is to short to run to it so I went & got some RG6 grade cable, ran it to the VCR and the picture looks like crap when running it that way. I should also note that I was trying to run it initially I was going to run it through a surge protector but when I did I got a spark so no more of that. Could the charge that ran down the cable have crapped it out? Right now I have it running directly to the TV & the picture is fine but I want the audio coming out of my receiver.
     
  15. Ornery

    Ornery Lifer

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    I remember as a kid, reading big thick Allied Radio catalogs, dreaming of what kind of stereo equipment I'd buy with my paper route money...

    ...now I dread walking into their stores! As high as their prices are, our local electronics supply house is even more! Oh well, I'll be shopping online for this stuff from here on out. If this looks like a decent amplifier, I'll start shopping for the best price.


    nsafreak, I don't care for using the cheap switches found inside VCRs, to pass the signal to the TV. I'm either going to feed mine from the amp/splitter, or a 2 way splitter near the TV and VCR.
     
  16. Squisher

    Squisher Lifer

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    I know many here are pointing you toward amps when you split that many times, but I've probably bought a half dozen amps in my time and every one of them eventually has introduced noise into the signal.

    <---still searching for a good amp


    I'm happier now that I'm using a quality 8-way splitter.

     
  17. RayH

    RayH Senior member

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    You can't go wrong with Belden 1694a (RG6QS) cable and Snap N Seal connectors.
     
  18. Kelemvor

    Kelemvor Lifer

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    You just have to watch the splitters. Every time the signal goes through a splitter you lose some of the signal. The bigger the splitter (more lines) the more signal gets lost. I'd have someone from the cable company come in and see what the signal strength is and then you know how much extra you have to spare from the splitters.
     
  19. edfcmc

    edfcmc Senior member

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    The laymans answer to your question is:

    rg58 is coax with 50 ohm impedance (not what you want to use for video as it requires 75 ohm impedence)

    For video you would want to use rg59u or rg6 (RGQS)
    rg59u is a 75 ohm impedence and was the industry standard for awhile until modern data transmission requirements required a cable with low signal loss at higher frequencies which rg59u sucks at.

    Current devices operate at higher frequencies such as cable modems, digitial cable receivers, and digital satellite receivers.

    rg6 is a 75 ohm impendence coaxia cable with a 18awg center conducter (bigger than the rg59u) and is a thicker cable and as a result has better high-frequency handling over distances of 100 feet.

    rg6qs is rg6 cable with better shielding than rg6. So if you are running new cable you would want to use at least rg6 which would be adequate for your needs. if you need the extra security for sheilding obviously rgquad shielding would be the way too go.

    Please note that not all cable is alike. THe directv freaks make it a point to state that the cable sold at Home Depot isnt the greatest in the world and that it the center conductor is not full copper merely a copper coated coated conductor. The better cable with less signal loss at higher frequencies and large cable runs is a RG6 cable with a pure copper center conductor.

    Anyway, that is the laymans scoop on the difference between the cables list above. The differences between rg6 and rg6s and rg59u has been beaten to death on the directv forums and Usenet. If you google you will find all you would want to know and what kind of cable (manufacturer) the directv/cable installer freaks use.

     
  20. Ornery

    Ornery Lifer

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    I'll try a good splitter first, Craig. I can always switch to an amp later. As Franky said, I could have the cable company out for a double check of the signals all the way around. I beleve they only charge per visit, which is less than $20.00.

    75 cents per foot, eh Ray?:Q

    Thanks loads, Ernest. I have a sneaking suspician you're not a layman. ;)
     
  21. WTT0001

    WTT0001 Golden Member

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    Also, a sidenote for ya if you are wiring the whole house, run all your cables to one location and work from there, this makes it much easier if down the road you want to go with satellite or something like that. Also, don't hide any splitters in walls, if one goes bad;)

    Good Luck and have fun,

    WTT

    P.S. RG6 with compression fittings will do fine, Quad RG6 with compression if you want the best.
     
  22. Ornery

    Ornery Lifer

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    I've been thinking about that central location deal. Right now I have the main splitter in the crawl space, which is central, but not so easy to get at. All the runs shoot straight up through the floor, and into the TV sets. This saves having connection boxes in the walls, which is just one more connection to get corroded or allow interference.

    I'm thinking about the lengths of cable involved. Would it be better to send one signal down a 75' run to a 2 way splitter, or two 75' runs to that same VCR and TV? I notice a lot of noise on the TV, when the signal is passed through a VCR. Maybe the switch inside gets corroded or something, but I don't care to do that this time around.
     
  23. WTT0001

    WTT0001 Golden Member

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    As a DTV installer I would say 2 runs but we don't have the loss you seem to be having, even on a 200' buried run I didn't lose enough signal to worry about so I think this one is your call
     
  24. RayH

    RayH Senior member

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    Can be had for closer to 28 cents / ft in bulk and is also good for making a lifetime supply of component and audio cables using the Snap N Seal RCA ends. Snap N Seal F connectors can be found cheaper on 3bay. About the only thing that's not discounted much is the crimper.
     
  25. Ornery

    Ornery Lifer

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    My longest run will be those 2 to the bedroom, so I guess the biggest concern now, would the extra cost of the cable. In total, I'll probably have an average of 30' per run, times 6 or 7 runs. Does this drain on the signal only take place when all the sets are turned on? That never happens. Usually only 1 or 2 sets are ever on at once.

    I'm also wondering about corrosion taking place inside these splitters and connectors. I don't think there's a very good connection inside those things. Just a tiny piece of spring steel against the center conductor. I'm thinking I fixed the bad signal by reinserting the cable into the splitter a few times, thus scraping that connection clean. I can clean those center conductors, or redo the connectors easy enough, but how do you clean inside the female part? That goes for the connection on each set, as well as the splitters!

    Here's what's inside a Radio Shack 2 way splitter.