Blog

  1. Making & Mending - DIY Install - Swing Arm (Articulating) TV Wall Mounts

    The days of giant, boxy televisions that take three people to carry are long behind us. Modern TVs are flat, slim, and most importantly, lightweight. These newer, sleeker designs make it much easier to save space by using a TV wall mount over a traditional TV stand. Before installing a TV mount, there are a few basic details to be aware of.

    In this guide, we will be covering articulating (swing arm) TV mounts. Articulating wall mounts allow a TV to swing back and forth, making them best for areas where a TV needs to face different directions. For tilting and fixed mounts, see our other TV mount DIY install guide here.

    There are a few different ratings that apply to TV wall mounts. The first is the size of the television. Wall mounts will be rated for different screen sizes, so be

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  2. Cable Distance Limits - Audio/Video

    Every type of cable has a maximum distance. These distance limits can vary greatly from one type of cable to the next. Along with determining whether a cable will work, distance limits will also determine how well a cable works. Knowing the fundamentals behind cable distance limits is the first step in selecting the best cable for your needs.

    Cables will always have some sort of “maximum signal” rating, depending on the type of the cable. For ethernet cables, it will be the maximum upload/download speed. For HDMI, it will be the maximum resolution of the video. And so on and so forth for other cables. Any type of “maximum” rating should be taken with a grain of salt.

    Thos

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  3. Making & Mending - DIY Install - Fixed TV Wall Mounts

    The days of giant, boxy televisions that take three people to carry are long behind us. Modern TVs are flat, slim, and most importantly, lightweight. These newer, sleeker designs make it much easier to save space by using a TV wall mount over a traditional TV stand. Before installing a TV mount, there are a few basic details to be aware of.

    In this guide, we will be covering fixed and tilting TV mounts. Tilting wall mounts tilt down, making them the better choice for televisions mounted higher up, but aside from that they are the same as fixed mounts. For articulating (swing arm) mounts, see our other TV mount DIY install guide here.

    There are a few different ratings that apply to TV wall mounts. The first is the size of the television. Wall mounts will be rated f

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  4. West Penn Products From ShowMeCables

    West Penn Wire is a designer and manufacturer of low-voltage cables that falls under the Belden umbrella. Here at ShowMeCables, we carry a number of their multi-conductor options. Dozens of standard multi-conductor cables for audio/video are available as well as cables with more specific uses.

    Multi-Conductor Cable

    One of West Penn’s specialties is multi-conductor cables that can be used for a multitude of applications. For example, there are 2-conductor cables designed for basic at-home speakers as wel

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  5. Making & Mending - DIY Install - Wall Mount Brackets & Patch Panels

    While many data centers and other tech rooms use large racks and cabinets to hold equipment, sometimes a more compact solution is needed. A full-fledged rack or cabinet can be overkill for installing something as simple as a single patch panel. To save space and keep the installation easy, a bracket is often the best option.

    Installing a bracket is a fairly easy project once a good spot has been picked out for it. The bracket itself will come with the screws, washers, and wall anchors that will be needed. Beyond that, just a few sim

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  6. ShowMeCables Custom Cable Builder Guide

    Here at ShowMeCables, we carry thousands of different standard cables from ethernet to fiber to coax and more. While these stock options cover a multitude of different scenarios, sometimes users find themselves in a situation where a more specialized solution is required. Whether that means a cable in an unusual size or something with off-beat connectors, ShowMeCables likely has a solution for you.

    To get started with custom cables, click the button that says Shop Custom Cables in the blue ba

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  7. Making & Mending - DIY DIN Cables

    The term “DIN” covers a variety of different connectors used for power, audio, data, video, and more. DIN stands for Deutsches Institut für Normung, the German national standards organization that developed DIN connectors. There is a bit of basic information to know about DIN connectors before working on assembling one.

    There are many different versions of DIN connectors. The name of each type comes from the number of pins the connector has (3-pin DIN, 4-pin DIN, etc.) Some of these pin numbers come in different configurations, with the pins arranged differently from one configuration to the next. For example, 8-pin DIN comes in 262° and 270° versions.

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  8. Cable Switches

    Cable switches are used to connect multiple signal inputs (computers, DVD players, video game consoles, etc.) to a single output (televisions, computer monitors, etc.). Switches all work on the same general principle and most are purely mechanical. A switch only goes from multiple inputs to one output; if you need to go from one input to multiple outputs, you will need a splitter instead.

    Switches are used when you have a screen, such as a TV or computer monitor, that does not have enough ports. For example, say you have a TV with one HDMI port but you want to connect a DVD player, a laptop, and a video game console. One option would be to constantly reach behind the TV and switch the cables, but that gets old fast. The simpler solution would be using

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  9. Making & Mending - DIY Banana Plugs

    Banana connectors are the most common speaker wire connector, with virtually every speaker on the market having banana ports. While there are other connectors that can be used with speaker cable (the cable can even be wired directly to speakers without a connector), banana plugs are by and large the most useful.

    Other types of speaker connectors are harder to use and a bit outdated, being more fragile and not providing as strong of a connection between the wire and speaker. While connecting bare wire straight to a speaker technically provides a better signal, bare cable without a

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  10. Cable Splitters

    Cable splitters are used to connect multiple TVs, computer monitors, or other devices to a single signal source. There are differences between the various types of splitters, but a few general rules apply to them all. Splitters only go from one input to multiple outputs; if you need to go from multiple inputs to one output, you need a switch instead.

    When a signal goes through a splitter, it is divided and becomes weaker. Imagine an HDMI splitter as an example. Modern HDMI cables are capable of a 4k signal, which works fine if you are using a single HDMI cable by itself. However, say you use a 4-way HDMI splitter to run four cables to four TVs. Each signal would only have half the normal strength so none of the TVs will have 4k quality.

    Because the signal is evenly divided, the signal will become weaker for bigger sp

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