Installation Question: Steel/Copper Cable?

SpencerCat

SpencerCat

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I posted the following in the DTV forum, but I think the issue is probably relevant here, too, and my friend really needs help.

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
 
skyviewmark

skyviewmark

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Sep 29, 2006
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Steel Center, Copper Clad cable is acceptable for DirecTV and Dish Network Use.. Solid copper is NOT required.
 
Foxbat

Foxbat

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At the distances involved in a normal home, the higher DC resistance of copper-clad steel versus solid copper don't generate enough of a voltage drop to prevent the LNBf from working.

What's more likely to be a show-stopper for a DBS installation is the low-end RG59 in the walls instead of RG6. I'm not sure about DirecTV, but with Dish's band-stacking, the installation needs coax that can handle the 2+ GHz signal coming back from the DishPro LNBs.
 
KKlare

KKlare

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Nov 18, 2003
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Los Alamos, NM
If moisture can get in the connector end then the steel will rust and block the signal. Copper does better but may require a touch of sandpaper or a knife. Of course, better sealed connectors will keep out the water and its problems, so don't scrimp on them. They can also help keep the water out of your switches. Plan to have a little extra cable to cut off a couple of inches ever few years and add a "drip" loop. (Do as I say, not as I get away with.)
-Ken
 
Bob Haller

Bob Haller

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no doubt the installer is concerned that the existing coax is poor quality that may cause flake issues, at which point you will cancel and everyone looses:(

Its highly liikely

why not just do it right and get new cabes installed? this is what many of your neighbors likely did.....

when I was a dealer a perspective sub insisted on using his junk 15 year old existing coax. I flat out refused the install, unless we ran new coax, he was going with a legacy SW64 and that switch was very fussy even when things were perfect.

the perspective custoer refused replacing cables and he was mad I wouldnt do the install anyway..

fast forward a couple months ran into him at the mall he sees me and asks HOW DID YOU KNOW???

he got another dealer to do the install, it didnt work well and he canceked service and no doubt the dealer learned a costly lesson with his charge back.

So why not do it right and run NEW coax?
 
Birdman79

Birdman79

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Oct 20, 2006
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You might have had a do it by the book tech.The system can be installed,and will work.Even though DTV recommends solid copper.But had it been done by the book,a lot of people wouldn't be able to get satellite services then!!
 
SpencerCat

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 most of 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 Dish customer for 10 years, and in spite of all the problems (anyone else remember the DishPlayer and the 721?) and having to get TWO replacement 622's, 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
 

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