Installation Question: Steel/Copper Cable? (1 Viewer)

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SpencerCat

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Guru
A friend of mine arranged to have HD DTV installed, replacing a local cable system.

When the installer arrived at my friend's house, the installer said that he would not recommend installing DTV because the coax cable that was installed inside the walls in all the houses in our large development (5,000 homes) have a steel center wire, and DTV requires a copper center wire. He said that the system might work for awhile, but that it would probably soon stop working and my friend would be stuck in a 2-year commitment.

Hundreds of other people in our development have DTV and Dish, and, as far as I know, no one has had any problems.

We were skeptical about the installer's comments, so my friend called DTV and spoke with a supervisor, who confirmed what the installer had said. So now my friend is reluctantly going back to the local cable system.

The installer and supervisor are probably correct in what they told my friend, because I can't imagine that they would turn away a customer. But how is it that so many others in our development have DTV and the same in-wall cabling?

Thanks for any advice and comments.

Richard
 
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wildbill129

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 31, 2009
1,273
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Redding, CA
Richard,

DirecTV requires RG6 solid copper core. That doesn't mean what your friend has won't work. If it's RG6 copper clad steel, it should work fine, especially for shorter runs. If it's RG59, I wouldn't use it.
 

sddtvtech

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 17, 2009
1,202
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in a van down by the river
Bill youre correct, however, if he gets a SWM set up, they dont work for very long, they might work for say 4 months, but once 6 months or so passes, those voltage will eventally kill the cable steel conductor. solid copper will have a better life span than the copper clad steel.


if its just a regular SlimLine set up with non SWM, he'd be just fine with copper clad steel. most digital cable that were used for Midco company install copper clad steel even for the digital DVR they have.

to the topic starter, copper clad will eventually give you pixel pictures, dropped sound and if with the SWM set up, your cable will melt. i could be wrong, but thats from what i understand. copper clad wont carry signal that great saying if your cables come to your basement to one location, once signal is passed into that line, say your cable is on the third floor, it will work for now, but eventually, you'l; have trouble with pic, sound and then you'll really start saying negative things about directv when in fact its the cable that isnt approved for Directv.


full copper conductor will give you the best of the service, without that, you will say bad things about how dtv is crap. cable DOES make a difference how you see your tv.
 

SpencerCat

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Guru
My Friend is Going Back to Cable

Installing new cables throughout the house is not a viable option. The cables were installed when the houses were built 12-18 years ago, and thus are embedded in the walls. It would be extremely expensive to run all new cables, and my friend who is involved in this situation is "frugal". We live in a retirement community, and many of us are far from wealthy, especially considering what has happened to the economy over the past few years.

I have relayed these comments to my friend (thanks, everybody, for your comments), but he and his wife are addicted to TV (especially reality shows) and have been without TV for a week, and The Bachelor -- or some other reality show -- is on tonight, and my friend's wife might kill him if they don't have TV tonight. So the local cable company -- the one that is almost universally despised and vilified -- is coming back today to reinstall the cable service.

And that's too bad. I've been a satellite TV customer for 10 years, and in spite of all the problems, satellite TV is so much better than cable. My friend was going with DirecTv rather than Dish because Qwest has a bundling deal with DirecTv.

Oh, well. I've done what I can, and I guess he is stuck with cable.

Richard
 

Joe Diamond

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 3, 2004
2,596
6
This is the first example I have run across where Directv actually turned away an account because solid copper cable was not possible. There must be a real high percentage of existing customers running on copper coated steel right now. There is probably a little rg59 in use too. Wonder how that situation will be handled?

Rewire all existing accounts?

Joe
 

fleetfarmer

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 5, 2010
236
1
indoors
I know that my HD slimline dish hookup isn't all solid copper center conductor and it's working just fine. I know it's all RG6 for sure. I installed the slimline dish over a year ago. The dish is on the roof of a 2 story house, the 2 cables run from the dish to the basement back up to the 1st floor living room. I may change my setup to a SWM this summer, then I'd better switch over to 100% solid copper center conductor. Thanks for the info guys.
 

Joe Diamond

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 3, 2004
2,596
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I know that my HD slimline dish hookup isn't all solid copper center conductor and it's working just fine. I know it's all RG6 for sure. I installed the slimline dish over a year ago. The dish is on the roof of a 2 story house, the 2 cables run from the dish to the basement back up to the 1st floor living room. I may change my setup to a SWM this summer, then I'd better switch over to 100% solid copper center conductor. Thanks for the info guys.

I can't help but thinking that IF the copper wire thing is now a technical necessity for the SWM it will become unavailable except for new installations and way above the FREE installation price. OR they will figure a way to make the SWM equipment happy with less voltage.

This is BIG! This is ...Deal Breaker!

Joe
 

sddtvtech

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 17, 2009
1,202
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in a van down by the river
yah.. SWM will not tolerate copper clad steel for very long. ive done it where i had the customer sign off by permitting me to use existing cable.. (my supervisor told me i could do this) bc theres no way i was gonna be able to route new cables unless i drill out of the wallplate to outside and then run new cables. the DR said no.. so he signed off and i wont be responsible for that.

however, i did get a call back on that a month later... and it affected my SIN rate. i told and warned my supervisor of this before the install and he said to have him sign it off... and i got a SIN rate for it. BS.

my super's only comment, go fix it.

but i found the problem.. it was the PI was NOT plugged in. kids accidentally unplugged it. so WHEW. got it at cust caused and my SIN was not affected.

typical. i told him if i have this discussion with this customer, i will call you (my super) and YOU will explain to him why its having trouble.


SWM will tolerate it, but try to keep the SWM PI as far away as possible from the dish bc the closer it is, the hotter it will run.
 

Joe Diamond

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 3, 2004
2,596
6
yah.. SWM will not tolerate copper clad steel for very long. ive done it where i had the customer sign off by permitting me to use existing cable.. (my supervisor told me i could do this) bc theres no way i was gonna be able to route new cables unless i drill out of the wallplate to outside and then run new cables. the DR said no.. so he signed off and i wont be responsible for that.

however, i did get a call back on that a month later... and it affected my SIN rate. i told and warned my supervisor of this before the install and he said to have him sign it off... and i got a SIN rate for it. BS.

my super's only comment, go fix it.

but i found the problem.. it was the PI was NOT plugged in. kids accidentally unplugged it. so WHEW. got it at cust caused and my SIN was not affected.

typical. i told him if i have this discussion with this customer, i will call you (my super) and YOU will explain to him why its having trouble.


SWM will tolerate it, but try to keep the SWM PI as far away as possible from the dish bc the closer it is, the hotter it will run.

I seem to recall reading where techs were adding cable to the PI line to make it long enough to be detected by the receiver for set up.

You guys really pay attention to that bean counter stuff; SIN 7 etc?


Joe
 

sddtvtech

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 17, 2009
1,202
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in a van down by the river
I seem to recall reading where techs were adding cable to the PI line to make it long enough to be detected by the receiver for set up.

You guys really pay attention to that bean counter stuff; SIN 7 etc?


Joe



yah you can do that, ive done attic installs so when i do that, i throw in 50 ft of cable to throw off voltage abit, especially if youre using copper clad steel and the recievers are basically 20 ft or bit more from the dish.

You guys really pay attention to that bean counter stuff; SIN 7 etc?


right down to the number!

Directv In House strictly follows numbers over performance. if your performance is good, then your numbers should be low in SINs. but when it comes to faulty equipment or weather..

i once had a 6.2% SIN rate when the cold hit hard and snow... i got written up for it. it can NOT be over 6.0 for more than 2 to 3 days. i was like what?

and i once got a bad batch of equipment, especially the HDDVR where i was swapping out a few of them a week after a new install or upgrade. my SIN was at 17% and got written up for it. at that time, Corp wanted my manager to can me bc of that.


its BS.


as a contractor, the only thing DTV complains about is phone lines and complete rates.

SIN was unheard of.
 

Joe Diamond

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 3, 2004
2,596
6
yah you can do that, ive done attic installs so when i do that, i throw in 50 ft of cable to throw off voltage abit, especially if youre using copper clad steel and the recievers are basically 20 ft or bit more from the dish.




right down to the number!

Directv In House strictly follows numbers over performance. if your performance is good, then your numbers should be low in SINs. but when it comes to faulty equipment or weather..

i once had a 6.2% SIN rate when the cold hit hard and snow... i got written up for it. it can NOT be over 6.0 for more than 2 to 3 days. i was like what?

and i once got a bad batch of equipment, especially the HDDVR where i was swapping out a few of them a week after a new install or upgrade. my SIN was at 17% and got written up for it. at that time, Corp wanted my manager to can me bc of that.


its BS.


as a contractor, the only thing DTV complains about is phone lines and complete rates.

SIN was unheard of.

I got some further insights into the copper thing & the tech controls.

It seems the switching voltage on the SWM line is pretty high and they get better results on the dish to PI / SWM8 line. Beyond the SWM8 the runs can be standard rg6 or even rg59 (yeah I know). Anyhow the load is lower between the SWM8 and the receivers. That isn't as bad as I thought.

Regarding the bean counter thing, those statistical results are a management tool in the rest of the world. I have little doubt I could go through a pile of WOs and make even a beginner look good just with routing decisions. And someone who was technically competent but a pain in the ass could be run out of town in a week.
All things being equal, the numbers can indicate a competent tech. Things just are not equal so over relying on the statistics becomes a management failure.

The last project I worked on with a statistical analysis of my work showed a 96% completion rate.The son of a bitch left town owing me $1000.00. (Frank...G call me!)

Joe
 

stonecold

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 23, 2004
3,487
0
Directv La La Land
My understanding that only the PI line had to be Copper core do to the higher voltage. Yes there is policy that says it should all be Copper core and then there techincal reality. that ccs was just fine for everything but the PI.

But as the unoffical voice of the company,

Coper Core is required for all runs on a swim setup no exceptions.
 

Joe Diamond

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 3, 2004
2,596
6
My understanding that only the PI line had to be Copper core do to the higher voltage. Yes there is policy that says it should all be Copper core and then there techincal reality. that ccs was just fine for everything but the PI.

But as the unoffical voice of the company,

Coper Core is required for all runs on a swim setup no exceptions.

Stone,

It always comes to the same thing! Directv would rather spend the extra money for the copper cable because...it is easier to say than explaining how things work and why it is important to follow certain procedures.

So the no exceptions means all prewired residences get their systems abandoned, surface runs installed across rugs and over doors . or those techs who use the prewire may not get paid.

Joe
 
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