need cable wiring expertise

dr0doom

SatelliteGuys Family
Original poster
Jan 18, 2006
43
0
I have 4 cable jacks througout my house. On the outside the cable co has installed
a box with one coax coming in, and 4 seperate coax outputs, 1 each running to the
4 inside jacks (4 seperate coax's running through the outside wall into the house).
The cable guy said that's the best way to get maximum signal to
all 4 jacks. My signal seems a little weak on all 4 inside jacks, especially on the
upper channels (analog cable only), like channels 60-72, where the pic gets pretty
grainy/snowy. I was thinking of putting in a drop amplifier on one or more of the
4 coax's coming out of the outside box into my house, but I'm not sure whether or
not it should be installed on the single cable coming into the box, or on the seperate
cables (1 amp for each line if necessary) coming into the house. Any suggestions on
installing a drop amplifiers?
 
A quick and easy test if you have easy access to the splitter, remove the input cable and one of the output cables and put in a barrel (if you don't have one R/S)
go to the TV connected to that cable and observe the picture quality, if it improves an amp will help you if it doesn't an amp will not help. When you remove a splitter
the effect is the same as adding gain. I don't know the loss of your splitter but it could be 9-12db. Try this first, you can repeat this for the individual sets and note the results. If the increased signal helps you can buy a variable amp or a distribution amp to take the place of the splitter!!
 
Thanks for the tips. I'm not sure I can open that box on the outside of my house,
but I'll try. I also have a cable service tech scheduled to come look at it this
weekend, so maybe I'll get to the bottom of it then. Do you know if that box
is just a splitter, or a distribution amplifier?
 
If you have a tech set up to come out let him look at it, there is probably a splitter in that box an amp would require a power supply.
Let us know how you made out, something you can try is to make sure the connections are tight and wiggle the cables looking for changes in the picture.
 
dr0doom said:
Thanks for the tips. I'm not sure I can open that box on the outside of my house,
but I'll try. I also have a cable service tech scheduled to come look at it this
weekend, so maybe I'll get to the bottom of it then. Do you know if that box
is just a splitter, or a distribution amplifier?


Scientific Atlanta does make a drop amplifier that has 4 ports, which you can sub your 4 way splitter with this. However since you do have a service tech. coming, let him/her check it out. It maybe a bad trap, connector, crack in the cable, tap port,etc. He/she maybe also able to change the tap plate to give you more signal, which would depend on if the design of the plant would allow him/her to do that (which would depend on if there was any problem or not). 4 way splitter has a lose of 7 db. good luck with the service and call and let us know what they find out.
 
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The service call ended up being kind of a joke. He said there was nothing wrong
with my signal strength, and it looked as good or better than all the customers.
He just simply connected a direct cable from the wall jack to the TV, bypassing
my DVR, and flipping through some channels with the remote.
He came up with some crap about how the upper channels look bad on
everbody's TV, and they were going to eventually convert all cable tv service to
digital only. He suggested putting a drop amplifier right at the wall jack, going into
the TV, saying it would be the easiest way to install it. He did admit that the
outside box is simply a splitter. I would love to get into that box and install my
amplifier there, possibly using a multi-port output distribution amp. I realize I
would have to run the AC adapter cord out there, but that would not be very
hard, there is plenty of space for a small cord to run through the holes where the
cables are coming in. Any tips on getting into the box?
 
If you are having bad pictures on your upper channels, more often than not water has gotten into something. Converting to digital is only going to make is worse later on, as your picture will pixilate like crazy making it impossible to watch.
 
kind of a joke was an understatement. granted the signal roles off more the higher you go. I wonder though what it would look like from the point of entry to the tv without a splitter?
as for the box, I don't recommend messing with that at all. Each state has different laws concerning theft, tampering, hacking, etc. I would not want you to get in to trouble in that aspect. Even if they converted to digital, if the problem in the cable, is not fixed then digital will not be any better. You mentioned earlier about 60 through 72 gets snowy but no mention of channels before? I still run into 300 to 400 mghz (works up to ch.36 to 53) splitters from time to time that really screws with your picture that far up.
 
I see no issue going and opening the box on the outside of your house. Now there could be traps inside the box used to manage the amount of channels you receive, but as long as those are left in place you should be fine.

If you live in an apartment, then I wouldn't go inside a locked box, but if its your own house then I see no issue with it.

You might even want to get a cable and string it on the floor in your house and run a Direct line from the box outside to your Tv to see if there is a difference in picture quality.
 
Claude Greiner said:
I see no issue going and opening the box on the outside of your house. Now there could be traps inside the box used to manage the amount of channels you receive, but as long as those are left in place you should be fine.

If you live in an apartment, then I wouldn't go inside a locked box, but if its your own house then I see no issue with it.

You might even want to get a cable and string it on the floor in your house and run a Direct line from the box outside to your Tv to see if there is a difference in picture quality.

I was thinking ped not the box on the house. :rolleyes:
 
i'd personally see if a neighbor had the same service and see how theirs looks on the upper channels... if theirs is better, call back and demand they fix it. if theirs has the same issues then the problem lies in the cable companys lines.
I know at my parents house they have the same problem. they locals, and all of the upper channels are bad most of the time. and at theirs I know its not their house wiring because I have reran every wire in the house with 3GHz cable, and replaced all the splitters with really nice ones
 
If the upper channels look bad on all tv's it is probably a old splitter in the house box, A bad drop cable (cable coming from pole or pedestal to house), or possibly the outlets themselves (but unlikely that all the outlets would be bad). Also make sure you don't have any push on jumper running from wall plate to tv or vcr to tv etc.
 
I have gotten rid of all push-on cables. I looked at opening the access box outside
but no luck. There was no lock on it, but it was shut pretty tight. Its just plastic,
so I did not want to force it open and bust something. I've ordered a nice Electroline
drop amp, so I guess I'll play around with it when it arrives and see what happens.
 
Get the technician to come out again and document the signal level on ALL of the channels. According to the cable TV regulations there should be enough signal at their demarcation point (aka the box on the side of your house) to supply 0dBmV at each set. A reading of +12dBmv prior to the splitter is the MINNUM amount of signal each channel should have in order to get 0 dBmV at your wall outlets with a total lenght of 100 feet of coax from their tap to your set. If your total cable is longer than that they should replace your drop from the tap to the house with RG-11 coax.
 
Another thing, (as far as bright house networks) goes if your house needs an amp they will install it free, and if you put the amp right behind the tv it does not much to help as you will just amp the signal + nosie. it may even make it worse, plus you may hit your tv wiht to much signal to mess up the tuner.. If you get an electroline(which is same BHN use's) amp then id suggest you put it on the drop itself and feed all 4 outlets, electroline has a feature where you can power the outlet remotely from behind one of your tvs using a "Power Inserter" which should be included wiht your amp so you dont have to install a power outlet or run a cord outside to the groundblock. First id run a line directly from your drop to your tv, if its the same then ether thier signal as the tech said is just grainy on those stations (which we have afew that are tnt/tbs and some of our spanish channels) they just seem to be snowy everywhere, or your drop is bad, if they improve then the amp will help you..
 
Therein lies the problem, I cant get to the main drop because it feeds directly into
the outside service box, which I cannot open. The best I could do, is cut the cable
right when it enters the house (one of the 4 off of the splitter in the svc box),
and try to inject the amp at that point.
 
sounds like the box on the house has a terminator to lock the box. without that tool or a simple crafty idea, your not getting into it. personally, I would't cut it out of the box like that. See if the company would open it for you to install the amp or to provide one to you.
 
Get a pair of needle nose pliers and see if you can get it open with that. Most of those boxes lock with screws that use a special screwdriver.

Take a look at the box from the phone company, one side opens with a phillips screwdriver the other requires a star like screw driver.
 
I think it is the terminator type of lock. It has a cap on the front which I popped off
and behind the cap is a BNC type connector (male). The phone box is easy to
access, at least the customer side. Wish the cable box had a customer side too.
 
buy a terminator tool off ebay for ~$15.00, just don't use it for anything other then getting into the house box.
 

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Hillsborough County