Tutorial - Get connected

Why turn your installation into a gamble for the sake a few points of margin? Choosing poor quality, or cheap and unproven cables in demanding projects is bound to come back and bite you.

It’s a fact of life, only good quality products with guaranteed technical specifications and approved manufacturing tolerances can ensure smooth, trouble-free operation in installations. It’s true of loudspeakers, amplifiers, video switchers and of course cables.

Recently I have seen installation firms realise this to their cost too late as they’ve had to rip out cables runs they had just installed and replace them with better quality ones due to unacceptable signal losses. But how can you tell whether your cables are of a sufficient standard?

In many cases it’s something you can see and feel. Just by bending a cable, the flexibility and surface of the outer and inner cable jackets give you an impression of their technical quality. But one factor that cannot be felt, but sometimes smelt if not guaranteed by the manufacturer, is the use of non-polluting materials, in other words, RoHS compliance in all components. Install or supply non-compliant cables and you could be in serious trouble.

Other important cable properties cannot be felt, but only measured. Braiding coverage is an important issue relating to EMC (Electro Magnetic Compliance). It has been known for manufacturers seeking to save money to reduce the copper coverage in the shielding without notice. The capacitance of analogue audio lines and characteristic impedance of digital audio, video and data lines are important parameters that must be guaranteed throughout the complete production cycle. Absolute precision in the dimensioning of all cable components is necessary to ensure perfectly fitting connectors – In a nutshell, the quality of cables is not a question of faith – it can be quantified.

SDI / HD-SDI Video cables

The transmission of SDI video signals, and to an even greater extent HDTV

Article Categories

Most Viewed