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ShadedNine
12-17-2005, 02:30 AM
Well, I cracked mine open today, and I'm sorry to announce that resoldering the component video connections is out. They're machine soldered, and far far too tight together at the connection point to get my iron in there to reattach better cables.

However, I did disable to stupid HDTV/TV switch, leaving it permanently set to HDTV...one less nuisance. As for extending/improving my cabling..I cut the cable near the adapter, and I'm soldering the appropriate wires onto longer/better cabling.

For those curious though, the wires themselves are well shielded, but a little limited in conductivity. From outside to in, inside the outer pvc shell there's a thin wire braid, most likely tin or nickel. Then there's a foil wrap, nothing unusual about it. All 6 wires are contained therein, but each one has another thin wire braid (same metal), to cut off any EMI from wire to wire within the cable. Then, each is wrapped in pvc shell, and the wire itself is stranded, again likely tin or nickel, and 22-24 AWG. The RCA connectors at the ends are no better. The visible connection itself is going to make a poor connection with the female RCA terminal, and the connector itself appears to be a solder job instead of a crimp-on.

So...is it worth it to rush out and buy the monster replacement? At their prices, I'd be inclined to say no. Hopefully other options will open up. But for the more technically inclined, a better wire can be made. More on that will come, but you'll need a soldering iron, some heat-shrink tubing, and ideally, a coax crimper. Just thought I'd share my progress so far.

Also in the works: splicing the microphone from the 360 and combining it with an actual audio signal to turn a regular PC headset into a fully functional mic and headphones combination. (since as you've probably realized, the "speaker" on the 360 headset is only for playing back other voices, and the whole thing is disgracefully cheap).

l Maximus l
12-17-2005, 04:05 AM
Honestly, I would buy the Monster Cable just to save me the hassle of soldering and modifying cables with the purpose of maintaining the integrity of the cables, for the long-term, and to avoid any potential visual proverbial eye-sore.

But, at the same time, it's great that you have taken the time to discover practical shortcuts for the budget conscience.

F1Ox
12-17-2005, 07:08 AM
Yeah nice work dude!

ShadedNine
12-17-2005, 04:54 PM
Honestly, I would buy the Monster Cable just to save me the hassle of soldering and modifying cables with the purpose of maintaining the integrity of the cables, for the long-term, and to avoid any potential visual perverbial eye-sore.

But, at the same time, it's great that you have taken the time to discover practical shortcuts for the budget conscience.

It's not so much about budget as it is quality and purpose. If It were as simple as buying a cable and plugging it in, I would have done so already. Unfortunately, my setup requires about 20' from media stand to the back of the projector, and it's running up a wall with a number of other high current wiring, including power. Plugging in an extension and adding a second cable to bridge the gap is pretty much out of the question, that will introduce a great deal of interference.

If they ever release a decent dongle system, where I can just plug my 20' component cables into it, I'll happily invest in that. That way I save the 10' of interference from a cheap cable, and can make the joint in an open area, as free of EMI as possible, but until then, I'll stick with my soldering iron :)

swivel
12-17-2005, 05:28 PM
Hey Shaded,

Is your projector ceiling mounted? If so, have you thought of moving some of your AV stuff to a floor-based projection center? I think it is worth it to have a piece of furniture behind the sofa to contain everything, unless your projector has a noisy fan.

Those long wire runs, even if it is stellar cable, is much worse for signal noise than a short Walmart cable, as you already know.

I feel your pain. I do AV work on yachts, and long cable runs are standard. Frustrating when you keep adding and removing components.

And thanks for the info on the included cables. Keep us posted on the headset.

ShadedNine
12-18-2005, 06:32 PM
I don't use desk mounted for a number of reasons...one, it makes it that much worse when someone walks across in front, two, it requires a decent sized area of prime real estate between sofas for the image (especially since you don't want stray arms cutting off the picture), when I'm already short for sofa space as it is. Three, it's a rec room, meaning there's always chances of a pool ball, air hockey puck, even bottle caps flying off, and the unit is just that much safer on the ceiling. Four, occasionally, against my better judgement, children are allowed near it, and nothing fascinates them like shiny things and lights, and they will automatically want to touch the lens.

Anyway, I still have my media tower near the back, off to the side a bit rather than in front. It's only about 6 or 8 feet from the projo, but I need the extra length to run the wiring up the column, through the roof, and down through the mount to the projo.

Besides, long runs really aren't so bad if the cable is up to snuff, and the stuff I'm using is overkill for a 20' run.

swivel
12-19-2005, 07:34 AM
children are allowed near it, and nothing fascinates them like shiny things and lights, and they will automatically want to touch the lens.



That's funny. Kids are like women, they are just drawn to the most expensive thing in any room.

I need to find a few EE papers for you regarding cable construction. I just read one that included a few double-blind tests, plus a ton of O-Scope work. They were comparing various cables to one another. It was a group of electrical engineers and audiophiles. Their conclusion was that the cable industry is ripping everyone off. Especially when it comes to reducing line noise.

Salmonaitor
12-19-2005, 04:50 PM
I came really close to buying a projector for my basement. I knew I was definately sacrificing screen size when I made my decision, but in the end I'm happy with the decision I made, especially since I totally forgot about all the cable runs I would of had to have made.

swivel
12-19-2005, 05:20 PM
I came really close to buying a projector for my basement. I knew I was definately sacrificing screen size when I made my decision, but in the end I'm happy with the decision I made, especially since I totally forgot about all the cable runs I would of had to have made.

Same. I went with a dedicated AV room instead. All my gear, plus TV are flush-mounted into a wall. A door leads into an air-conditioned room that allows access to the back of all my gear. One entire wall is a labeled set of drawers that hold all my extra cables, computer parts, adapters, etc. I wouldn't trade having this room, and not a single visible cable, for any extra amount of inches. Especially when my neighbor is having to sit 15 feet from his screen and replacing expensive bulbs.

I say go for quality over quantity. And just sit closer. The FOV is the same.

ShadedNine
12-19-2005, 09:09 PM
I just got a free bulb replacement by sending my projo in for adjustment, though my last one was only 50% through ;). Besides that, you speak of replacing bulbs as if we burn through em like a tank of gas. I use my projector HEAVILY, leaving it on more often than I should...and it will still take me over a year to hit 2000 hours. I pay more than that / hour into the power bill for my HT.

Anyway, the house I'm in now doesn't have a custom media room. My next one will, but it will still be projector based. I don't mind doing long cable runs, since I'm able to avoid having to pay outrageous prices from companies like Monster. 20' of broadcast quality component video cabling only cost me about $50 USD..sure beats the $200 monster wants for a similar cable, and the shielding is overkill for a 20' run.

Speaker cabling is easy to get cheap, since all the fancy words in the world don't make a difference, other than "pure copper" and "x AWG". Though some care should be taken to prevent corrosion at the tips.

Digital cables like HDMI and TOSLINK can be tricky, but they don't have to be all that expensive.

Besides, there's just that extra bit of oomf from sitting far closer than I should to a screen wide enough to fill my vision, and you just can't get that from a smaller set.

swivel
12-20-2005, 08:51 AM
Besides, there's just that extra bit of oomf from sitting far closer than I should to a screen wide enough to fill my vision, and you just can't get that from a smaller set.

At 36 inches you can :)

I agree with everything you said. It all comes down to preferences. I would love to tour your room and chat with you about things, it seems we both have the same fondness for all things which draw current.

The thing I love about my TV is the power swivel it sits on, so I can turn it with the remote 30 degrees either way. The room it is in is 30 feet wide, with my computer desk on one side, a fireplace/sitting area on the other, and the sofas in the middle. I love turning the TV with the press of a button towards any part of the room.

Then again, I am a geek with Asperger's Syndrome, so naturally such a thing thrills me.

Salmonaitor
12-20-2005, 10:25 AM
I'm just getting my basement finishedand I'm having a special wall unit built for all my components. It will back onto the closed side of my stairwell leading down to the basement, so I'm having a special door put in down the stairwell for access to all my wiring and under the stairwell will be access to the jacks on the TV. I'm also having a special detour built into the cold air return for my furnace so that the airspace can be properly vented. I'm using monster cable, but only because I'm most familiar with it and I don't know any better. It's a 60" television, and we'll sit fairly far away from it, but I actually prefer it that way, because I like the living space.

swivel
12-20-2005, 12:44 PM
I'm just getting my basement finishedand I'm having a special wall unit built for all my components. It will back onto the closed side of my stairwell leading down to the basement, so I'm having a special door put in down the stairwell for access to all my wiring and under the stairwell will be access to the jacks on the TV. I'm also having a special detour built into the cold air return for my furnace so that the airspace can be properly vented. I'm using monster cable, but only because I'm most familiar with it and I don't know any better. It's a 60" television, and we'll sit fairly far away from it, but I actually prefer it that way, because I like the living space.


That sounds almost exactly like my setup. Keep us posted as you get the basement finished. And congrats.

And sorry for any part I played in derailing this thread.