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#43716 - 10/21/04 07:17 AM What type of phone/TV cables do you use?
Active 1 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 684
Loc: Grayslake IL, USA
Just wondering what type of TV cable others are using for homes. With cable internet, HDTV, and who knows what elce in the fucture I want to install quality products. I also want to avoid over kill to be competitive and make money. RG-6 duel shield, RG-6 quad shield, or other? I know some EC here are still using RG-59. Any one have a brand prefrance.

Also for phone are you useing cat 5e, cat 3, 2 pair? I am using cat 5e with the idea that it could be used for networking at a later date. A few people still have dial up internet. But was thinking of using something less to keep bids down (if not specified) and then upselling if they wanted better.

Tom

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#43717 - 10/21/04 09:07 AM Re: What type of phone/TV cables do you use?
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Hi there Tom,
I'm personally of the Belden school of thought.
I've either used that brand or Maser.
As far as Coaxial cable goes, I like to use the Duo-Bond RG-6 type of cable, I find it easier to work with when using stripping and crimp termination tools for F-connectors.
I have also used the RG-11 version of this cable for internal reticulation in a couple of hotels in the past and it was rather good to work with.
My first choice for Phone/Data cable would be Cat 5e cable, I like the cable that has the Teflon coating on the outer jacket, that makes pulling it, without damaging it or other cables nearby a cinch.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#43718 - 10/21/04 10:29 AM Re: What type of phone/TV cables do you use?
hbiss Offline
Member

Registered: 12/16/03
Posts: 893
Loc: Hawthorne, NY USA
There is really only one way to do this so your idea of "using something less then upselling" won't fly. If you want to upsell push additional jack locations above the minimum of one per room.

Since the coax runs could be used for anything from off air broadcast TV to satellite I recommend Belden #1829A. This is an RG-6 size cable with a 60% shield over bonded foil that is swept to 2500Mhz. Provide one run to each TV jack location from an accessable location such as the basement utility room. Keep in mind that a CATV drop will need to be brought to this location so keep that in mind as well as bonding to the service ground. I would also provide two runs from this location to the attic for possible connection to a dish. If any runs are in excess of 100 feet I would get the advice of someone experienced in satellite or master antenna system design as losses add up and RG-6 or your layout may not work. Of utmost importance here also is to use the proper connector properly installed with the right tool.

For voice (telephone) always use 4 pair home run to a central location again. You could save a couple of dollars by using CAT3. I like CAT3 because it does not have tightly twisted pairs and makes termination easier.

Data has to be (currently)CAT5e. I wouldn't worry too much about whether the cable may be used for networking at a later date. If the cable is used for a phone they aren't likely to give up that phone for the network connection. Proper thing to do then is provide two runs to each jack location with the exception of those locations that will never be used for data like wall phones, hallways etc.

-Hal
_________________________
www.myphonetechs.com

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#43719 - 10/21/04 03:46 PM Re: What type of phone/TV cables do you use?
Electric Eagle Offline
Member

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
We only use RG6 Quad Shield, whatever brand the supply house sends is fine with us.

For phones, we only use cat5e, whatever brand is OK.

Threadjack:

Why is it that we have 5 diferent companies calling us almost weekly to sell us low volt wire and each is willing to beat our current price. Yet for Romex, nobody tries to undercut other suppliers so we have to pay market price. Does anyone get great deals on romex?

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#43720 - 10/21/04 05:14 PM Re: What type of phone/TV cables do you use?
hbiss Offline
Member

Registered: 12/16/03
Posts: 893
Loc: Hawthorne, NY USA
We only use RG6 Quad Shield, whatever brand the supply house sends is fine with us.

Problem is you are buying from an electrical supply house. They are brain dead when it comes to this stuff- it's not an electrical item and the fact that you are an electrician installing it does not change that.

Years ago I owned one of the larger master antenna system installation and service companies in the area until cable killed us. I used to cringe when I was at the electrical supply house and somebody next to me would ask for a reel of "TV wire". The guy behind the counter would come back with a reel of God knows what and drop it in front of him. It was no wonder then when I found whole houses prewired with RG-58.

I don't know where the "trend" to use quad shield cable came from. It costs more money, is harder to work with and is normally not needed.

I wish I could recommend a good place to learn this trade (and it is a separate trade) but like electrical you learn by doing and working with someone who has been there.

-Hal
_________________________
www.myphonetechs.com

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#43721 - 10/21/04 07:23 PM Re: What type of phone/TV cables do you use?
Electric Eagle Offline
Member

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
 Quote:
Problem is you are buying from an electrical supply house. They are brain dead when it comes to this stuff- it's not an electrical item and the fact that you are an electrician installing it does not change that.


I never said it was an "electrical" supply house. We buy our low volt wire from a wire supplier that deals with LV cable.

What does it matter where we buy the wire? We buy quad shield to avoid the chance of interference. A waste of money? Maybe, but what does it cost you to try and correct a bad signal after the walls are finished? I'd rather not find out.

Why not just use bell wire for your phones and loop jack to jack? It'll work just fine for phones. I just hope the customer doesn't want to use the internet or use the same wire for data.

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#43722 - 10/21/04 08:56 PM Re: What type of phone/TV cables do you use?
hbiss Offline
Member

Registered: 12/16/03
Posts: 893
Loc: Hawthorne, NY USA
We buy quad shield to avoid the chance of interference. A waste of money? Maybe...

No offence, but whenever I see quad shield or CAT5 all over the place it screams that the job was done by someone not familiar with the work or the materials available.

Just like there are many types of electrical wire, there are different types of cables for these applications and each has a reason for being used. To simply use one that you consider the best or whatever is available is like wiring all 15 and 20 amp branch circuits with #8 wire. The same logic could be applied- it can't hurt and what if they needed to use the wiring for something else later. If you saw a job done like that you would wonder where the guy was coming from and it's the same with communications wiring. A good design along with the proper choice and installation of materials shows that the person has a good understanding of what is going on and why.

If you are going to prewire you are up to bat first and other people will have to rely on your decisions and knowledge. So, when I see suitable coax with the right connectors properly installed, a mix of CAT5 and 4 pair CAT3 and no boxes in the walls for the jacks I am pretty confident that the customer got a good job and I won't have any problems when I get there to complete the systems.

-Hal



[This message has been edited by hbiss (edited 10-22-2004).]
_________________________
www.myphonetechs.com

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#43723 - 10/22/04 03:19 AM Re: What type of phone/TV cables do you use?
Scott35 Offline

Broom Pusher and
Member

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 2724
Loc: Anaheim, CA. USA
Using RG-6 Quad Shield only when absolutely needed is my motto too! Terminating the stuff is more time consuming and difficult - and more $$$.
If there are factors which require its use, I will gladly install the stuff - and without complaining either!

There were two instances where I installed "Normal" RG-6 Dual Shield Cable (Residential remodel/additions) , and some Clown came along who tried convincing the Client that what I had installed would not work - and "Quad Cable" must be used.
One Clown was a Neighbor, the other was a Cable TV Service rep.
In each case, CATV service was active at the location (from pole to the house and in service), just not connected to any premisis wiring yet (terminating resistor on cable).

To make a clear point that the install would work (and by "not working", was described as "totally distorted picture" to "nothing but snow"), I hooked up the complete MATV structure, and placed several TV sets on the system - at various locations and one at the farthest outlet/longest run.
Turned on the sets, and picture quality was beautiful for all.

Too bad the Clowns were not there to witness this (or rebut to their prior statements!).

Seems like the Quad Shield thing is another one of those "My Freind/Neighbor/Cousin/etc. has a 400 Amp Service, I want one too!" kind of scenarios!

As to the use of CAT 3 for Voice lines, I agree with Hal. Easier to deal with the longer twising ratio for simple voice terminations.

There have been times where I used standard CAT 5 (not CAT 5 enhanced), because I had several near full boxes left over - and it was a different color jacket than the data line cable I was planning to install.

Just wanted to throw in some words.

Scott35
_________________________
Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

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#43724 - 10/22/04 08:34 AM Re: What type of phone/TV cables do you use?
hbiss Offline
Member

Registered: 12/16/03
Posts: 893
Loc: Hawthorne, NY USA
You might also consider that the cost of CAT5 plenum rated cable is several times that of CAT5 PVC riser. On the other hand the price difference between plenum and PVC for CAT3 is only a few dollars per thousand.

I know that it would be rare to have to use a plenum rated cable for residential but anywhere else this is another good reason to use CAT3 wherever possible.

-Hal
_________________________
www.myphonetechs.com

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#43725 - 10/22/04 01:45 PM Re: What type of phone/TV cables do you use?
classicsat Offline
Member

Registered: 11/23/02
Posts: 449
I use whatever Cat5e for date, Cat3 for phone
(I have a bunch salvaged from an office), and RG6 I can get a deal on. If I am going to use it for satellite, I be sure to get 2000+ Mhz stuff.

Generally, it would be a good idea to prewire 2 RG6 and 2 cat 5, or 1 cat5 and 1 cat 3. Double the RG6 and data Cat5 for where a home theater would be installed, as well as the possibility of a satellite dish.

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