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Thread: Quality Of Cable Wire

  1. #1
    Does the quality of your physical cable wire affect your download speeds? Oh, and if you have it split off several times, does that make a difference?

  2. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Yes, the quality DOES matter -- but it has to be relatively bad before it causes any issues. Number of splitters hurts alot too, because they can cause echo reflection of the signal. My local friend who just recently got a cablemodem had to have his old cable lines replaced because it was dropping connection ALL the time and speed wasn't too good even when it was 'up'...

  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    harrycary's Avatar Poster
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Omaha, Ne USA
    Echo reflection? No such thing. If you have RG59 cable get rid of it. It is outdated and lacks the insulation that RG6 has. Old cable can cause performance issues due to oxidization(kind of rare tho). Splitting a cable signal is detrimental because it decreases the signal by half(exponentially so). So splitting merely causes signal lose. It's best to split it at the entrance to your home/apt and connect your modem here if at all possible.

  4. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    Thanks. I think I'm going to get better cable wire and connect my computer at the first split like you all suggested.

  5. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Hardwareworld for hardware questions!


  6. Software & Hardware   -   #6
    Size is only important in relation to distance when you talk about broadband on cable. If you&#39;re six feet from the outlet then rg-59 will do fine. It&#39;s what delivers the signal to your home that you should worry about. If your home is newer it&#39;s probably been wired in 56 cable right to the outlet. if it&#39;s more than 10 years old then you could have some loss. One important thing to check in either case is what the cable is made of. Copper braid won&#39;t cut it for closed circuit with the frequencies cable carries. It should be dual aluminum braid, foilwrapped,copperclad steel center conductor.
    The larger the center conductor, the higher the bandwidth it can carry and for longer distances.
    The signal travels to your modem only on the outside cladding of the center conductor so that&#39;s all that has to be copper. There is No voltage involved unless you have line powered devices supplied by the cable company(rare).
    The basic formula is insertion loss & distance. 56 cable drops roughly 3 db per 100 feet. each device you insert drops from 1.5 to 3 db. and up to .5 db for each side of a splice. If the signal leaving the multitap at the street is 12 db , at the house it might be 9 db. Add your first splitter here. One leg to the modem and one to a second splitter for all your TVs. you now have less than 5 db on it&#39;s way to the modem. If it&#39;s a reasonably short distance, you&#39;ll have about 3.5 - 4 db at the modem. Maybe a little less.
    It&#39;s the TV&#39;s that suffer here. Leaving their splitter at about 3 - 4 db, the tv might see 2 - 2.5 db . That&#39;s getting a bit low. You can run on 0 db but any local stations would ghost badly. You should have 7 - 9 at each set and there may be a minimum requirement set by the cable associations governing body in your area.

    If you have any doubts about your signal levels, contact the cable company to take levels inside and out and adjust if needed. Make sure they show you the results. There&#39;s some lazy asses who just don&#39;t want to follow through on the paperwork to get a line crew out to put a different value tap in. (It keeps us all working though when you insist on service&#33 ask them to do a S/N test too to check your internet quality.

    If you plan to install your own cable, remember cable is meant to be round and sheilded. Don&#39;t mash the connectors flat and don&#39;t use two peice connectors. Don&#39;t use tight bends. Minimum 3" radius on all bends. Treat it like a water pipe. kink the wire and you kink the signal and create "standing waves" which can cause herring bone or strobing effects in video. Don&#39;t nick the copper cladding at all.
    Ground it all&#33;

  7. Software & Hardware   -   #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Cheap RadioShack cable doesn&#39;t work well&#33; I&#39;m telling you from experience. I borrowed some "extra" cable from the cable guy and now everything is better&#33;

    If you notice, cheap cable has that open wire braided shield, with gaps in it. Bad news. It accepts interferrance.

    The good quality cable has solid shielding (like foil).

    Each time the cable is split, you loose signal. Use new high quality splitters with a minimum of 1gHz tolerence.


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