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Discussion Starter #1
I'll be setting up my OTA hardware in the next week or so and I'm wondering if I could use the cable I was previously using with my Rogers internet service?

The cable is marked "18 AWG CM or CATV". What I need to know is if it's 75 ohm RG6.

As this cable is already run exactly where I need it and to the correct length, any help confirming it's 75 ohm RG6 will save me alot of work and will be greatly appreciated.
 

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Pretty sure that is RG-59.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's about 120' in length.

I think I'll mount my hardware and use the existing cable and see what the signal strength is like. If I encounter any problem, I'll replace it with RG6.

ty for the help.
 

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The chart in the post 3 link indicates that at higher frequencies, you'd see a 10-15 dB additional drop at that length (RG59 vs RG6). So, it may depend on what sort of signal you have in the first place, or if you put an amp by the antenna, etc.

There are people much more experienced with OTA that should be able to comment further.
 

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manolid if your house was built in the past 10 years, there is a pretty good chance its RG6. 18awg is thick and is the standard center core size for RG6 cable. My guess is that you have RG6.

RG59 is rated at 22 gauge for the center conductor.

120' of cable is pretty long and your ota signal will surely suffer. I would highly recommend a antenna preamp for your setup.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My house is 30 years old, but this cable was run by Rogers about ten years ago.

Ty for the help.
 

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If it was used for high speed internet service it is likely RG6. They need better signal strength for high speed internet over coax than analog TV.
 

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terminating rg6 coax

I just got some bulk quad shield rg6, some rg6 compression connectors, and a crimping tool. I'm having trouble getting a consistently good connection though.

I strip the cable, fold back the outer braiding, push the connector on using a T-tool, then crimp the connector. Four out of five times I can just slide the connector off after crimping. I think the problem is that I'm not getting the inner metal sleeve of the connector to slide between the insulated core of the cable and the outer jacket. I just seem to be pushing the jacked back. Does anyone have any tips on using the T-tool to push the connector onto stripped cable?

And I did make sure the connectors were quad shield compatible, so that shouldn't be the problem.
 

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timmy1, With compression connectors you need to use a compression tool, not a crimp tool. Home Depot sells two different models of compression tools by Ideal. I have the cheaper one and it works very well.

If you are using the correct tool, double check that you are using quad shield cable with your quad shield connectors. Quad shield cable has 4 layers of shield (2 layers of foil and 2 layers of braid alternating, i.e. foil, braid, foil, braid). If you only have dual shield RG6 you need to use dual shield connectors.

When used properly, compression connectors should provide a very reliable connection.
 

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Sorry I wasn't clear. The box and website describe it as a crimping tool, but it's made for compression connectors. Here's a pic:



And I am using quad shield rg6 (it says so on the cable, and I also tore it apart to have a look). I feel like I'm doing something wrong. Maybe later I'll post some pics of my technique so it will be clearer what's happening.
 

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cable termination

A follow-up on my cable woes. Here's an image of the process I use:



As you can see it's not working out so well for me. I have to use quite a bit of force to push the connector onto the cable, but it seems that I'm just pushing the insulation and the jacket back. Then when I use the compression tool it just pulls the connector forward again. As I mentioned in a previous post, I do get a solid connection every 4 or 5 tries.

Any thoughts?
 

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My guess is that it is an alignment issue. You have to make sure that the connector is lined up so that the centre core slides into the centre of the connector. Don't push too hard (at least not until you are sure that it is aligned properly). You then need to push the connector on so that the centre core is flush with the back of the connector (your second picture shows it back quite a bit). Only then should you compress the connector. I hope this helps.
 

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Thanks for the photo, timmy1: I think I see the problem here. The copper core wire and the stripped white portion of the coax are too long.

Do you have a coax stripping tool? If not, definitely get one so that you get a standard, correct measurement every time. Get a good one that allows you to set the depth of cut of the knives with an Allen wrench. That way you can set them very precisely.

In the case of the photo, even if your compression tool actually made it fit, the problem is that every time you would screw in that coax end onto a female fitting the threaded nut portion would be pulled onto the female fitting in the inwards direction as we want, but the inner core of the coax would reach a stopping point on the female fitting at which it can no longer travel inwards, so it would act as a "pushing outwards" force opposite of the threaded portion. In that case your compression fitting would fail over a short time.
 

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Hi stampeder the cable stripped does not look too bad.

This is what I noticed not sure if the connector already used.

They are many different connectors on the market and only certian type of compression tool and connector will work together properly.

The connector that you have in the picture it looks like its already been used, unless you just pulled it off and its sitting there, is there a 1/8" gap before compression?

In this photo same type tool but the connector before it is compressed has about 1/8" the blue plastic ring before it compresses on the cable.

http://www.pbase.com/yaamon/image/81316195

Using a compression tool and connectors that dont have a separate ring they compress internally.

http://www.pbase.com/yaamon/image/81316196

Normally there should be a little resistance when you push the connector on and make sure the center( white insulator)is pushed flush to the inner part of the connector.
 

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Thanks for all your input. In the picture, I had just pulled off the connector after being compressed. Before I compress it more of the red plastic ring is showing.

I do have a coax stripping tool and the blades are set at 8mm, which is the right distance for the tool. I will reduce the amount of bare wire showing though.

I tried it again, and I think my main problem is that when I push the connector onto the cable the inner sleeve of the connector pushes back the foil, which causes the foil to bunch up and prevents the connector sleeve from sliding under the cable jacket.

To try to get around this problem I used pliers to gently compress the section of exposed insulation so that the connector could slide over it without catching on the foil. I also took Roger1818's advice and was more careful about aligning everything. I ended up with a secure connection -- a firm tug doesn't move the connector -- but I'm not sure how clean everything is underneath.
 

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flat cable

I have a flat cable for getting my rg6 through the window, i'm wondering if there is any loss from using this? Also is there loss when using connectors (ie. connecting two 25 foot pieces with a f connector thing)?

this:


and this:



I'm wondering how much loss these will contribute to as I need every bit of gain possible.
 

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Loss from adapters is there but quite low, almost immeasurable if all the fittings and coax are new, but the fewer the adapters the better. Connections will last for many years indoors. Tighten all of them just beyond finger tight with two 7/16 wrenches. If you tighten them too hard you could cause the coax core to separate from its insulation and then you'll be very unhappy. Remember: just beyond finger tight.

Outdoor connections will degrade over time and cause problems as moisture gets in, so see this thread for weatherproofing those connections:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=29559

I have no personal experience with flat ribbon-style TV cables so I cannot comment on any signal loss by them.
 

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Should flat coaxial designed for going through windows be avoided?

Please consider this quote before you get such a cable:
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There is no way you're going to avoid an impedance bump with "flat" coax, and that will definitely introduce undesirable effects on the signal in the cable that are detrimental to TV as well as HSI signals. Not to mention that ingress and poor common-mode noise rejection are a problem with this sort of cable.
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Mainly this sort of cable is very poorly shielded, and should really be used as a last resort.
 

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Is the Colour of Coaxial Cable significant?

I was sent a very nice email by someone who didn't want to post here because they were worried that their question was a dumb one. No, it is not a dumb question, it is a very good one! :) Folks should go ahead and post in threads here rather than email or PM me.

The question was whether the colour of a coaxial cable is significant. The answer is no, the colours are meant to just be options for the installer/consumer.

Here is one example of how I've used a few different identifiers such as RG6 colours, imprinted info, and silver or gold connectors to sort out some complex installations:
  • black Belden-brand w. silver connectors = VHF TV antenna
  • white Belden w. silver connectors = UHF TV antenna
  • white RCA-brand w. silver connectors = ExpressVu 91 dish LNB left
  • white Belden-brand w. gold connectors = ExpressVu 91 dish LNB right
  • beige Belden w. silver connectors = ExpressVu 82 dish LNB left
  • beige Generic-brand w. gold connectors = ExpressVu 82 dish LNB right
  • black Belden w. gold connectors = CATV Internet
The purpose of doing all that was so that I could tell right at the grounding blocks at the house demarc point exactly which lead went where. Any time there are similar coloured coax lines and I cannot see their connectors, I can check the imprinted info on them to tell which strand is which. I've tried to keep the same scheme inside the house but sometimes its been impossible due to inacessibilities. A person could use all the same colours for such cabling but they'd have to label each strand separately in weatherproof manner. The problem is that they cannot tell in mid-strand which cable it is if they cannot see the ends. ;)

I am a fan of Belden coaxial cable but Amphenol is a great brand too. Having said that, I've not had any problems with generic RG6 or the RCA-branded spool I once bought at Home Depot.

EDIT: Jase88 makes an interesting point later in this thread in Post #40 that white coaxial cable does not heat up in the direct sun as much as black does - good to keep that in mind for possible connection failures on hot roof tops in the summer
 
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