Best brand coax and F connector for HD cable?

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hi,

Ever since I got a HD cable box and a plasma TV I have been having
occasional signal loss (total loss of picture and audio, as well as failed
DVR recordings due to signal loss).  I've exchanged the box and still have
the problems, so I don't think it's the box.  Next, I will re-do the
interior wiring to get rid of the 2 splits that exist and doing a straight
homerun from exterior of building to cable box.

The thing is, I don't own the installation tools for cutting a custom length
of quality cable and attaching connectors.  I don't want to buy Radio Shack
RG6 and a hex crimper. That's how the interior wiring was fashioned to begin
with 2 years ago, and if the wiring is the problem I want to fix it not just
replicate it.

My local cable company, Time Warner, uses Beldon DuoBond III coax with PPC
EX6 XL connectors.

If I buy PPC EX6 XL and Belden coax, I must also buy the installation tools
(expensive for one time use).  On the other hand, there is this guy who
makes up custom lengths of RG6 Quad Shield with Thomas & Betts Snap n Seal F
connectors.  Way less expensive for me than buying installation tools!

So, to make a long question short, which would be better:
1.  Belden Duobond III with PPC EX6 XL connectors (must buy my own tools,
over $70, plus $35 for cable)
2.  SCP quad shield with Thomas & Betts Snap n Seal connectors (can buy from
guy already made to length for $30)
3.  Perfect Vision quad shield with Thomas & Betts Snap n Seal connectors
(can buy from guy already made to length for $30)

I spent $2000 on the TV, so I'm not trying to cheap out here on the wiring;
just trying to make the right decision.

Thanks.



Re: Best brand coax and F connector for HD cable?
Why not get the cable co do it free
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Re: Best brand coax and F connector for HD cable?
Jim,
I don't want the cable company to do it because they won't run the wiring in
the wall.  They will staple the coax to the baseboard.

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Re: Best brand coax and F connector for HD cable?

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And that's all that they should. I don't want a cable guy cutting into my
walls, making a mess and crawling through my attic. Get a professional
installer to set up your wiring if you are concerned about appearances. They
can suggest and provide quality cable and connectors and fully test their
work to insure that it was done properly. Most of these guys rely on word of
mouth for business and can't afford to do anything but an excellent job. All
that the cable company needs to do is to activate a box and deliver it to
you.

Bob Walker



Re: Best brand coax and F connector for HD cable?
even if you get a professional installer to run the internal wiring the
cable company will latch onto the internal wiring as a scapegoat and
blame any difficult to solve problem on the wiring, whether a
contractor or homeowner installed. I know, because the cable company
did this to me when I had terrible intermittant cable internet
performance.

 They couldn't solve the problem and blamed it on internal wiring even
though everything had been fine for more than a year.  Even after I
hooked everything up directly to their feed coming into the house the
problem existed and they still couldn't solve it.  Yet, for the first 6
appointments they would just walk away saying the problem was the
internal wiring.  Well, it wasn't.  But they blamed it anyway.

You can't win for losing with the cable company around here.


Re: Best brand coax and F connector for HD cable?

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Yes you can.........switch to satellite.

I don't know the details of your problems with the cable company but I've
had different results from different techs and what one guy claimed as
gospel was dispelled by another. The guys that come to your house are
generally trouble shooters with rudimentary skills and it's sheer luck to
get someone who is actually knowledgeable beyond his work boundaries. I had
a problem with my internet connection as well and the first two techs did
exactly what you said and walked away. However, the third guy switched out
the splitter that I was using at the wall and unhooked another splitter and
a cable that I was using to run a TV signal into the comouter. He said that
the TV and internet video signals were not compatible and that I would need
a switch and use one or the other. He didn't have a technical explanation
but it's worked perfectly since.

I had techs to my house at least four times last year because my TV signal
was deteriorating. They would see it and agree and then run tests and tweak
stuff. It was always a lot better before they left but it would deteriorate
within a week. The last guy that came out went immediately to the outside
box and changed the connector when I told him what was happening. Apparently
it had some crap built up and although the other guys had unhooked it and
attached it to their equipment they never bothered to look at it. However,
the handling would get it slightly cleaned resulting in the improved picture
but it wasn't enough to keep it clear for more than a week or so. If he had
never come by I would be hooked up to satellite by now.

Bob Walker



Re: Best brand coax and F connector for HD cable?
Your story points out that even cable systems need maintenance. Exterior
connectors - even the "gold" ones are not impervious to the elements and
certainly not air and water tight.  Not only do the connectors
themselves go bad but the copper center conductor can tarnish and build
up an insulating patina that will compromise signal quality. It's not a
bad idea to change any outdoor connectors every year or so. It's an even
better idea to house all connections in a raintight enclosure.
  The thing about TV and cable modem signals not being compatible is
nonsense. However, too many splitters will provide too weak a signal to
the modem. A good quality cable amp with two way capability can solve a
lot of problems. You can get the Electroline 2100 series (and several
other good brands like PCI & SVI) on ebay for about $30.


Yes you can.........switch to satellite.>
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Re: Best brand coax and F connector for HD cable?

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You may be right about the TV/Internet cable thing but it solved the
immediate problem, which was the internet signal. It was more than likely
just bad wiring that had been removed but you're backing up my point that
these guys are not experts by any means, even though they may think so, and
that quite often it's just a fluke when they get things working. It's like
asking the Quick Lube guy about an engine problem. In my case the TV to the
computer was pointless and it hasn't been missed. However, thanks for the
cable amp advice and I'll keep it for the future.

Bob Walker



Re: Best brand coax and F connector for HD cable?
Actually, compression fittings (T&B snap-n-seal and Digicon) are
watertight if the cable installer uses the rubber seals on the
connections. I've seen fittings over 5 years old that look like new.
I've also seen 6 month old fittings that look like crap. It all depends
on how careful/careless the installer was.


Re: Best brand coax and F connector for HD cable?
wrote:

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He didn't have a technical explanation because he was wrong.  Most cable
internet connectivity failures occur because the upstream channel fails
and the head end doesn't "hear" your modem's requests.  Splitters
attenuate the signal in both directions and, in your case, probably
dropped the upstream channel levels too low.

I have one splitter where the cable enters the house.  One leg feeds the
cable modem only and the other leg is amplified and split several times
before terminating.

--
Tom Stiller

PGP fingerprint =  5108 DDB2 9761 EDE5 E7E3
                   7BDA 71ED 6496 99C0 C7CF

Re: Best brand coax and F connector for HD cable?
Hi,

I think the best (easiest) way to test the connection would be directly
connecting your box to the incoming cable. Test it for some time; if
you still have the same problem, call the cable company and tell them
to fix it. As someone else noted, the company people blame inside
wiring for everything. You are telling that your wiring worked fine
before, and your service is new. The most probable problem is the new
service.

One problem I had in the past was that the grounds of the TV and the
Cable were different, so a ground loop was causing horizontal lines
across the screen. You can get a surge protector with Coax in and out.
Also the incoming service might have a short with AC.

I hope it helps,

Baris


Re: Best brand coax and F connector for HD cable?
Have a look at this tool and the associated F-connectors on the same
page:

http://www.smarthome.com/849301.HTML

I bought that tool, along with a few dozen of those connectors.
Worked really well so far (it's probably a water-proof connection).

Have a look at coax prices on this page:

http://www.mouser.com/catalog/624/768.pdf

Here are the specs on the Beldon Duobond III:

http://www.belden.com/Master%20Catalog%20PDF/PDFS_links%20to%20docs/06_Coax/6.21.pdf

I think you're looking at P/N 9118 ($32 for 100 ft, $83 for 500 ft).

I'd go for Duobond 4 (quad shield) P/N 1189A which, for some reason,
is $27 for 100 ft.

This page has some Beldon specs:

http://bwcecom.belden.com/catalog/techinfo/TechTransfer.htm

A few years ago, I bought a box of Beldon 9060.  I did some research
and determined it was the best RG-6 available.  When I went to order
it, I think I was told it wasn't in production any more, but that
there were a few boxes left, and I got one.  I believe the graph in
the link above shows that the 9060 (95% braid, 2 foil shields) was the
best at shielding from external ambient noise.  If 9060 is really no
longer available, you might want to look at 9058, 9056 or the 1189A.

Here's another Belden link:

http://bwcecom.belden.com/College/Cable101/coaxrefc.pdf

You might want to look at some RG-6 plenum cable with good shielding
(90% and more) on that page.

Re: Best brand coax and F connector for HD cable?

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http://www.belden.com/Master%20Catalog%20PDF/PDFS_links%20to%20docs/06_Coax/6.21.pdf
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Thanks Cable Guy.  I'm just a layperson and like I said, I'm not looking to
cheap out but I would only use the tool once, maybe twice in the foreseeable
future.

Do you think there would be a quality difference between these 3 choices
(meaning is Beldin so superior over SCP or Perfect Vision, and are
PermaSeal-II connectors way better than Snap n Seal?):

Choices:
1.  Make my own length of Belden Quad Shielded with the connectors you
indicated (F RG6-Quad PermaSeal-II ).   Would have to  buy the compression
tool, the coax striper, the cable, the connectors.

2.  Buy a custom made length of  SCP quad shield with Thomas & Betts Snap n
Seal connectors from the ebay guy.

3. Buy a custom made length of  Perfect Vision quad shield with Thomas &
Betts Snap n Seal connectors from the ebay guy.

I can buy #2 & #3 options from this ebay guy who makes up custom lengths of
coax with the Snap n Seal connectors attached for about $30 for 75 feet.

I would use this tool only once, maybe twice in the forseeable future (I'm
not a cable guy, you see ;).  Should I just go with the stuff from the dude
selling custom lengths on ebay, and skip the whole part where I try to be
The Cable Guy myself?
thanks!



Re: Best brand coax and F connector for HD cable?
Rogue Petunia wrote:

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http://www.sadoun.com/Sat/Products/Perfect/PPC-EX.htm

PPC EX6 XL connectors (100 for $35).  I think you're going to have a
hard time finding a compression tool for those.

At the very least, you will need this coax stripper:

http://www.sadoun.com/Sat/Products/Install/HT-302-Cable-Stripper.htm

You can get that same exact stripper from many vendors.  It looks like
$10.

A cable cutter like this is optional.  $7.

http://www.sadoun.com/Sat/Products/S/HT206-Cable-cutter.htm

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Here's your Thomas & Betts stuff:

http://www.youdoitelectronics.com/id104.htm

I don't know if I like that tool.  Lots of stuff on that page - don't
necessarily know which items to get.
 
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Are you running coax in walls and stuff, or short lengths out in the
open to connect between various A/V components?  You're gonna need
some flexibility if this is for short lengths out in the open, because
the RG-6 stuff doesn't like to be bent in too tight a circle (limited
bend radius).

If you're running coax inside walls, then the connectors go on last.

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I think that tools are a good investment, so I'm biased towards buying
the tools even if you *think* you'll only use them once.  More than
likely you'll want to update/improve or add to the cable plant in your
house at some point later.

Re: Best brand coax and F connector for HD cable?
Get the cable for $30 and be done with it. Either brand will provide
excellent performance. If it doesn't, call the cable company and make
them boost the signal coming in to the house. In fact, that may be all
you really need. Has the cable company told you to replace the cable or
are you guessing that's the problem? Do replace your old splitters with
1000Hz ones though - cable company will give them to you.

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Re: Best brand coax and F connector for HD cable?
I'm sure service varies between providers, but my local comcast guys have
been very good. They even terminated a run I made (because it wasn't accessible
when they were here to do the other runs). They also installed an amplifier
near the entry point and better quality splitters, all for nothing (extra).
I did pay $14.95 per new run, but the old ones they cleaned up for free.
I couldn't even think about running it myself for $15.

So, I'd certainly give them a call.

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Re: Best brand coax and F connector for HD cable?
BruceR,
The splitters are from the cable company.  They are the type they use for
broadband.  But my intention is to eliminate the splitters and do a homerun.
Don't need the splitters anymore.  Have only 1 TV now.

When a person has interior wiring, whether done by homeowner or even by a
licensed contractor, the cable company will say "the problem is your
internal wiring and cable company is not responsible. Goodbye."  They have
done this to me before, even though the internal wiring was in place for a
year and no problems, they insisted it was the internal wiring.

So, that is why I will try everything *I* can do to resolve the problem
before calling the cable company.


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Re: Best brand coax and F connector for HD cable?
On Sat, 25 Feb 2006 15:39:52 +0000, Rogue Petunia wrote:

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It's real easy to test coax. Short one end to the shield and test with an
ohm meter at the other end.

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Re: Best brand coax and F connector for HD cable?

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That only tests the DC characteristic of the coax.  

Signal degradation across coax can occur when that simple test says
things are fine.  To really test it you need to do more....

Re: Best brand coax and F connector for HD cable?

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That's true but how many people have access to a TDR (Time Domain
Reflectometry)?  About all the average guy can do is hire someone to check
out the cables.
--
Bearman
If it's got tits, tires, tubes, or transistors,  it's trouble.



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