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  • RCA Cables How To

    Hey, I need a decent RCA cable to get from the front of my car to the back, will it make a difference what kind I use? Or will the wiring kit for cars from walmart be good? Guy at radio shack said I would need to amplify the signal if it was going a long distance, is this true??
    CarComputer Status: New Car & Broken (Motherboard Fried)
    Owen JH | My Linux Blog | The Tech Fellows

  • #2
    Originally posted by owenjh
    Hey, I need a decent RCA cable to get from the front of my car to the back, will it make a difference what kind I use? Or will the wiring kit for cars from walmart be good? Guy at radio shack said I would need to amplify the signal if it was going a long distance, is this true??
    Get some decent RCA cables. Just don't get cheap-*** thin wire ones. The ones sold at Radioshack will be fine. I doubt you are going the length needed to amplify the signal.

    As a side note; It is rare to find a Radioshack employee with correct knowledge.
    ODYSSEY

    Originally posted by Tidder
    Hey, as long as it's not any particular race I'm offending, I can stand to be a pedophile.
    All information expressed in this post is my opinion, and should not be regarded as a statement of fact.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by ODYSSEY
      Get some decent RCA cables. Just don't get cheap-*** thin wire ones. The ones sold at Radioshack will be fine. I doubt you are going the length needed to amplify the signal.

      As a side note; It is rare to find a Radioshack employee with correct knowledge.
      I USED to work for RadioSmack, and I at least knew what time it was out on the street. The problem I had was people coming in wanting adapters to plug their washing machine into their televisions and other various stupid nonsense. They would insist it was possible and would ask through the store until someone caved and sold them some stupid arbitrary thing that made them happy enough to leave.
      As an electronics junkie, if you require good sound, get some good heavy shielded cables, preferably with gold connectors. That will keep your audio as pure and interference-free as possible. Don't bother with Monster cables though. Although quite good, they are overpriced for all the weird "features" they are purported to have. "Oxygen-free" my eye!
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      • #4
        If you're going to run RCAs (or install any new car audio stuff) take a read of this:

        http://www.epanorama.net/documents/g...oop/index.html

        It's an intro page to ground loops.. You'll run into them sometime

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        • #5
          Yea, I know about cables i have a $30 set of monstor cables for my CD player, I just don't know where to find long ones, I need to run quite a length from the trunk to the glove box. I would like to conceal them which means I would probably need about 15ft, I was thinking why not make it 20ft to have some slack which is always good when I was running network cables. What do you guys think? I want a decent sound but am not paying over $20 for cables maybe i could order online??
          CarComputer Status: New Car & Broken (Motherboard Fried)
          Owen JH | My Linux Blog | The Tech Fellows

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          • #6
            http://www.bonuscable.com/default.php?cPath=466
            Found a decent amount of cables that radio shack doesn't have. I guess I will use a piece of string and work out the exact amount I need, thanks for your help guys. I figured I didn't need to amplify the signal for that amount of wire but its better to ask the people who actually know. Thanks again
            CarComputer Status: New Car & Broken (Motherboard Fried)
            Owen JH | My Linux Blog | The Tech Fellows

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            • #7
              cat 5 works well. get yourself a length of cat 5 network cable and some rca terminals from radio shack, strip the ends of the cat 5 and for now keep the twisted pairs together, one at time untwist a pair, you'll need maybe 2 inches of seperated wire. now really carefully strip about 1/2" off of each single wire from the pair. now all you have to do is use one for your + connection on the rca and the other as your -. crimp of solder the wires to your rcas and you're ready to roll. just match em up on the other end of the cable, thats why its important not to untwist more than one pair at a time. I used cat 6 and all of the light colors in each pair were identical. so basicly i had 4 white wires and 4 dark ones. just kep em in thier respective pairs and you wont have a problem

              so with one network cable you can have 2 pair of rcas in one nice little shielded cable
              i iwred my amps and head unit this way and I have no problems with noise or anything, works great and cost me all of $6 for the rca terminals.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by JaxPt
                cat 5 works well. get yourself a length of cat 5 network cable and some rca terminals from radio shack, strip the ends of the cat 5 and for now keep the twisted pairs together, one at time untwist a pair, you'll need maybe 2 inches of seperated wire. now really carefully strip about 1/2" off of each single wire from the pair. now all you have to do is use one for your + connection on the rca and the other as your -. crimp of solder the wires to your rcas and you're ready to roll. just match em up on the other end of the cable, thats why its important not to untwist more than one pair at a time. I used cat 6 and all of the light colors in each pair were identical. so basicly i had 4 white wires and 4 dark ones. just kep em in thier respective pairs and you wont have a problem

                so with one network cable you can have 2 pair of rcas in one nice little shielded cable
                i iwred my amps and head unit this way and I have no problems with noise or anything, works great and cost me all of $6 for the rca terminals.
                AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! I don't know what else to say!
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                • #9
                  RCA is not a balanced line!!!

                  Just a light-hearted warning:

                  Please be aware that Cat 5 is not shielded and designed for running balanced lines.
                  Line level audio (eg. RCA) needs to be shielded and is *not* a balanced line.

                  There are specific devices (eg DI Boxes) which convert an unbalanced line into a balanced line. These are used in professional audio where noise is going to be a problem (long cable runs, noisy environment, etc).

                  You are likely run into problems with crosstalk and noise using Cat 5, but YMMV.... (as JaxPT said his is fine..)

                  Also be aware that there are a lot of Car Audio BS products floating around that advertise "Balanced line technologies!!" which are developed by people who have nfi of what they're doing.. please don't fall victim to them.

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                  • #10
                    I've heard you can wire speakers with cat5 too, but I have never tried.

                    http://www.venhaus1.com/diycatfivecables.html
                    ODYSSEY

                    Originally posted by Tidder
                    Hey, as long as it's not any particular race I'm offending, I can stand to be a pedophile.
                    All information expressed in this post is my opinion, and should not be regarded as a statement of fact.
                    Digital-Car UK|

                    (\__/)
                    (='.'=)
                    (")_(")

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Another you can use is mains power cable..

                      An electronics magazine did a comparison between high quality speaker cable and other cables a while ago here in Australia. Our mains wire is quite thick, and was nearly equivalent to expensive speaker cable, yet much cheaper.

                      Just don't use it in your house..

                      Btw.. just a side note for newbies: line level cable and speaker level cable are very different things. You cannot interchange to two. Line level cable is low voltage, high impedence and unbalanced. Speaker level cable is higher voltage, low impedence and can be thought of as a balanced line.

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                      • #12
                        The guy at radio shack said that I could not use speaker wire to run RCA's even tho they sell adapters for it, is this because the speaker wire is not shielded? He said that speaker wire is rated for watts and not current but on my home audio I used a RCA to speaker to power my subwoffer and it works fine. Not sure about the cat 5 idea but it does sound very sexy, I will have to run 3 network lines in my car 1 for R&L audio 1for video and the other one for my IR LED's I will give it a try and if I don't like it I will just fork out for the RCA's
                        Thanks for the input.
                        CarComputer Status: New Car & Broken (Motherboard Fried)
                        Owen JH | My Linux Blog | The Tech Fellows

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                        • #13
                          Don't even think about running video through Cat 5. :P

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                          • #14
                            Well im going to scrap the cat 5 idea and just run some decent RCA's then Can you use a regular RCA for a video signal??
                            CarComputer Status: New Car & Broken (Motherboard Fried)
                            Owen JH | My Linux Blog | The Tech Fellows

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                            • #15
                              Yes by all means use RCA for composite video, but try to keep the cable as short as possible.

                              Running an RCA for video over long distances will degrade the signal, and it's fairly difficult to fix that.

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