Posted: August 22, 2019Categories: Coax
What Does “Coax” Mean?
“Coax” is shorthand for coaxial cable.
What is Coax Cable?
Coax cables send and receive audio/video/data transmissions via electrical signals. They are most commonly used for television and Internet applications within the telecom/datacom industry.
What Does “RG” Stand For?
“RG” stands for Radio Guide, the most common type of coax cable. RG cables were originally developed for military use during WWII.
What Coax Cable is Used for TV?
Televisions typically use RG6 for short runs and RG11 for long runs. RG59 is sometimes used instead of RG6 when extra flexibility is needed. Likewise, RG8 can be used instead of RG11 for extra signal strength.
What Coax Cable is Used for Internet?
The same coax types used for TV cable can be used for the Internet.
Posted: August 20, 2019Categories: Wall Mount, ceiling mount
VESA mount patterns are the series of holes found on the back of a television or monitor, used to attach them to wall mounts. There are a few other names that can apply to these standards as well. VESA stands for Video Electronics Standards Association. The organization VESA is a technical standards association located in California that focuses on computer and video displays. Most major companies that manufacture monitors or televisions (Dell, Sony, Samsung, etc.) are members of the organization and follow its standards. Items made by these members follow VESA standards and even non-member companies tend to stick to them for the sake of conformity.
Officially, VESA mount patterns were dubbed Flat Display Mounting Interfaces (FDMI) by the VESA organization. As a secondary name, the patterns were also called VESA Mounting Interface Standards (MIS). This second name stuck and was eventually shorthanded to just “VESA mounts”.
How are VESA Mounts Measured?
VESA mount patterns are made from four holes, forming either square or rectangle-shaped. Each hole is one corner of the square/rectangle and holds a screw that secures the mount to a television or monitor. Made to international standards, VESA mount patterns are measured in millimeters. For example, a mount labeled wit
Posted: August 06, 2019Categories: Connector
All cables (with the exception of fiber cables) are made using metal. Looking at any cable, users can see metal in the connectors on the end. Some connectors are entirely made of metal while others are mostly plastic and contain small metal pins. Regardless of how much metal is used in making a cable, and regardless of what exactly that cable is used for, these materials are all used for the same purpose: to conduct electricity. Any user who has handled various cables over the years, as most people have, has probably noticed that different metals can be used from one cable to the next.
Why are Certain Metals used in Cables?
So why are different metals used? Is there a metal that is better than the rest? There are many different factors that go into selecting what metals are used in making a cable. The first of which is conductivity. The list shows the commonly used metals in cable manufacturing, from most to least conductive (rated assuming the metals are pure).
Different types of cables have different functions and it is easy to view any cable as a single, working unit. But each cable is made of different layers, with each layer providing a different function. Learning how these pieces interact makes it easier to understand just how a cable works and what can be done to avoid damaging a cable.
Coax is one of the most common types of cable, having been in use for well over 100 years. While the technology has improved over time, the basic layout of coax cables is much the same today as it was at the time of its invention. Modern coax cables are most commonly used for television, radio, internet, and security camera connections.
The outermost layer of the cable is the jacket, designed to protect the more vulnerable inner components. Jackets are most commonly made from plastic and come in a few different varieties. Along with providing protection from outside elements, jackets also act as an outer insulator to contain any electrical or magnetic signals that leak past the other layers.
The next layer is the shield, which can be braided or foil. While the shield does help to keep the electrical cable of the signal in, it is more meant to keep other signals out. If a coax cable is near something else that puts out strong signals that can potentially cause interference, such as heavy power lines or a cell tower, the shield cuts down
Posted: April 23, 2019Categories: Computer Cables, Television
Cables to Keep Around the House
Spring is here and a lot of us are going to use that nicer weather to get a little cleaning done. If your house is anything like everyone else's, there is probably a junk drawer somewhere with a big mess of old cables. After untangling all the knots, you will want to look at each cable to see what you should keep and what can be tossed.
Keep: Micro USB 2.0
Micro USB is better known as a “phone charger” since they are mostly used for Android phones. Not to mention tablets, streaming devices, smart speakers, and more. Micro USB is not going anywhere anytime soon, so keeping a few extras around is a good idea right now.
Keep: Micro USB 3.0
This upgraded Micro USB is mostly used for external hard drives. Some cell phones use these for charging cables too. While not as widespread as the older 2.0 version, this is new enough that hanging onto one or two of them is worth it.
Coax cables are capable of transmitting radio frequency (RF) signals and have served as the backbone of communications technology for decades. From radios to telephones to televisions to computers, coax cable has seen continued use even as the technology it supports continues to evolve. Stretching back over 100 years, the origins of coax cables begin towards the end of the 19th century.
Oliver Heaviside, the grandfather of modern coax cable
1880: The original coax cable was created by English inventor Oliver Heaviside. Heaviside studied telegraph lines and discovered wrapping the lines with insulation reduced signal loss and made cables more durable. With this discovery, he created and patented the world’s first coax cable.
1884: A second coax cable is patented in Germany by the electrical engineering company Siemens & Halske (later merged with the company Siemens).
1894: Nikola Tesla files the first American patent on electrical conductors, which later become a key component in the birth of the modern coax cable.
1916: Lloyd E
Coax cables are fairly simple to assemble, but there are a few different ways to go about doing so. Having a good coax signal is heavily dependant on installing a connector correctly. If you are unsure about how to install a coax connector, see our installation guide here.
Whether crimp, solder, compression, and twist-on is the best option will depend on the exact setting the cable will be used in. Consider questions such as:
- Is the cable low- or high-voltage?
- Will it be used for field-work or factory-work?
- How experienced are the individuals working with the cable?
- How long is the cable expected to last?
- What is the budget?
- Will the cable be in a hazardous environment (extreme temperatures, exposure to chemicals, vibrating machinery, etc.)?
The details below cover the different options with general, overall performance in mind. If other factors come into play, a type of connector not normally considered “the best” could be your best option.
Crimp connectors are the most popular option and the go-to for most professionals. Crimping has two large advantages over the other options: it is easy and it is fast. With good tools and enough know-how, a crimp connector can be attached in less than 30 seconds.
Crimping works by taking the metal sleeve of the connector and squeezing it tightly onto the cable, securing the connector into place. It sounds simple, but these connections are gas-tight and can hold up to any reasonable pull test when secured properly. The only special tool needed to install a crimp connector is a
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 a switch that connects all three devices to the TV and lets you change between them at the push of a button.
Most switches are mechanical and do not require a power cable to work. The inside of a switch works similar to switching the rails on train tracks. Say you have a 2-way switch, so the signal can come in from Input A or Input B. If the switch is set to Input A and you press the button to change it to Input B, parts inside the switch move from A to B to change the connection. This is why switches can only use one input at a time. If a switch was built to use multiple signals at once, the signals would interfere with each other and none of them would work.
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 splitters. A 2-way splitter will have signals with ½ the normal strength, a 3-way splitter will have ⅓ the normal strength, etc. This is true even if you are not using every port on the splitter. When a cable splitter is powered on, the signal is split between every port on the unit even if not all of them are in use. For example, if you have a 3-way splitter and are only using two of the ports, each of those two lines will still only have ⅓ the normal signal strength.
Coax Cable Splitters
Coax cable splitters are used to connect multiple TVs to a single coax line. These splitters are made with F-type female ports, the same type of screw-on connection seen on the backs of most TVs.
Coax splitters can be rated for different Radio Frequency (RF) ratings, measured in MegaHertz (MHz). The MHz range on the splitter determines whether it can be used for antenna, satellite, or both
Coax is one of the oldest types of cables and has withstood the test of time, still being used over 100 years after its invention. While many stores today have pre-made coax cables available, sometimes another option is needed. Users may need a cable in an unusual size or just need to replace a broken connector. This guide will show users how to put coax connectors onto the end of bare coax cable.
The installation process can vary a little depending on whether a crimp, solder, compression, or twist-on connector is used. In this guide, the first few steps will apply to all coax installations and then branch off into specific steps taken for the different coax connectors.
Example video guides detailing the below steps can be found at the bottom of the article.
Step 1: Gathering the Supplies
There are a few simple supplies that will be needed for an installation or repair. The key components are the bare coax cable and the coax connectors. Coax connectors come in different types, but the front end of the cable will always be the same size for each type. For example, an F-type male will always connect to an F-type female. There are not different versions of the two.
The back of the coax connector