Different cable types in house for cable/internet


Old 10-30-10, 09:21 AM
CMil's Avatar
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Different cable types in house for cable/internet

I'm trying to set up a wireless network in my house to allow multiple computers to access the internet and each other. Where I may be having an issue is that there are runs of RG-6 AND RG-59 cable in my attic, running through splitters all over the place, and the bedrooms farthest from the cable service entrance get horrible cable signal and zero internet or wireless connectivity. I've moved the modem and router from the garage into the house and made an indoor computer the network host. I should probably also try to eliminate as many splitters as possible to reduce my signal loss. My immediate question is, which type cable do I want to use for this application? Is there even any difference in performance between 6 and 59? Thanks in advance for help and advice. - Chris
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Old 10-30-10, 09:53 AM
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Chris, from what I have read the RG59 is mostly for analog signals and short, less than 10 feet, distances. The RG6 is better suited and the standard for broadband.
Eliminate as many of the splitters as you can or at least check the resistance on them and get the lowest you can.
Old 10-30-10, 10:34 AM
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Thanks, badeyeben. Is RG6 a lower-resistance cable than RG59, is that why the improved performance in broadband applications? I'm hoping eliminating splitters will help - dropping cables into six rooms, after going through two and three splitters, I'm sure the signal strength is dropping some at the ends. What's the highest number of outputs anybody has seen on a cable splitter?
Old 10-30-10, 10:48 AM
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Not that it has lower impedance (not the same as resistance)...it has better frequency response(?) over a wider range.

Might be better getting one splitter with enough output for what you need (and the future expansions), then adjust your input strength.

Here's an 8 way
...but I think I've seen higher. Many include an amp..but I don't know which brands are the better quality.

Any splitter will drop the signal strength by about 3.5-4.0 dB (which is roughly 1/2 the strength of the input).

I'm not positive enough to quote all the numbers...but as a rule you are better running 1 splitter with the number of taps you need. You can also have losses by bad connector or connections, kinked cables, etc, etc.
Old 10-30-10, 11:23 AM
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run rg6, it helps if you can have all the cable leads merge to one point, this is called star configuration, when i wire up house i use structered media cabinets and all cat 5/6, rg6. and phone line start at one point, then the incoming services from the cable co, the phone company and so one also come into the cabinet and then split, patch or punch down out from there. for satellite services R run 2 rg-6 ( pure copper not copper over steel like normal rg-6 ) in addition to a cat 5/6 drop
Old 10-30-10, 12:02 PM
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I would agree. You should eliminate as many splitters as possibe. If you still need to use one, dont get a cheapo one, use the good quality splitters, also make sure you ground each splitter. I only use RG-6 cable. RG-59 is primarily used for security cameras, but it was used in houses before RG-6 became popular. I also do as Mikerios sugggested. I start with a Structured media box and split from there. I only use one splitter at the source and run dedicated lines to every TV/Phone/Computer, that usually consists of 2 RG-6 and 2 Cat 5/6.
Old 10-31-10, 04:38 AM
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The difference between RG59 and RG6 is in the attenuation loss over distance. RG6 has less loss. The loss is also frequency dependent: The higher frequencies will attenuate more than the lower frequencies in the same cable. Again, RG6 has less loss at high freqs than RG59. The use of RG59 has been phased out for home installations.

A typical cable drop into the home is roughly +15dB. This allows several spitters to be installed before the signal drops to below 0dB, which is the minimum you want to each device (TV, Cable box, DVR, VCR, etc.).

Each splitter has a connection loss of about .5dB, so:
-- A two-way splitter will drop the signal by 3.5dB to each output port.
-- A four-way splitter will drop the signal by 7dB to each output port.
-- An eight-way splitter will drop the signal about 10.5dB to each output port.

This is additive, which means that if you split the signal with a 2-way and then split it again down the line with another 2-way, your signal will be down -7dB at each output of the second splitter. Subtract the cable attenuation (for RG6, it's generally 6dB per 100 feet) and it's easy to see how fast the signal degrades once it reaches the end of a run.

That's why it's better to "home run" all cables in the home to a central point -- usually near the cable entrance -- and use one large splitter. An amplifier ahead of that splitter can then be used to overcome the insertion losses.

The exception to all of this is that cable modems expect to see a more robust +12dB signal. This is why it is strongly recommended to install the cable modem right at the point at which the cable enters the house. Split the incoming signal with a two-way. Send one port directly to the modem, and the other to feed the amplifier and master splitter.

One more thing: All splitters (known as "passives") should have a bandwidth of at least 5MHz to 1GHz. 5MHz to 2GHz passives are starting to be common. Digital cable, cable modems, and especially satellites need this higher bandwidth in order to operate properly.

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