Questions for the experts on motor placement, burying coax, switches (1 Viewer)

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thisBUDsforyou

SatelliteGuys Guru
Dec 9, 2007
141
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I've been playing around for a coupla weeks with my 3ABN dish sitting on sawhorses and coax snaking out a window with some rags keeping the cold air out (mostly). One thing's for sure - if you weight down the plywood the dish is bolted to with some big rocks the dish is less likely to blow over! (found that out the hard way). Anyway I'm getting to the point where I'm thinking of a motorized setup but have some issues to overcome that maybe some of the more experienced hands can help me with.

First off is where to situate the dish. Easiest would be the roof of the house. Sitting up there the other day with a compass and my soda straw inclinometer I figure I can see way out to the Atlantic down to about 20 degrees elevation to the east but only to about 107W to the west because of the dang oak tree across the street. There is a spot on the ground next to the house where I can see G10 through a gap in the trees. So one option would be a motorized to see 50 something W to 107W plus a fixed dish for G10.

Q#1 If I went this route would I be missing very much FTA-wise between 107W and 123W?

The other option is to put the motor on the roof of the garage, which is detached and sits maybe sixty feet back from the house. Since the garage is a lot further back from the dang oak tree I can see over it and would be able to see everything on the arc higher than 20 degrees elevation both to the east and west.

The issue here is the long cable run, probably a good 110 feet of cable to the house and another 25 feet in the house for a total run of 135 feet.

Q#2 Is 135 feet too long for motor control?

Q#3 If I have more than one LNB on the motorized dish am I better off using 22Khz switches or diseqc switches at the end of that 135 foot cable run?

I found an article about burying coax here:
Coaxial Coax Cable and moisture and burying

So I'm thinking a belt-and-suspenders approach might be to use RG-11 coax rated for direct burial, but run it through PVC instead of directly in the ground. RG-11 because less line loss and better chance of getting enough current out there to turn the motor (14 gauge for RG-11 as opposed to 18 gauge for RG-6). Direct burial as opposed to regular RG-11 because it will last longer subjected to moisture outside. Run the coax through PVC to provide more protection to the coax both from salts in the ground and from an errant shovel when I'm out there gardening.

Q#4 What do y'all think about my comments about burying coax?

Q#5 All things considered am I better off on the house roof or the garage roof?
 
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turbosat

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 26, 2006
9,001
75
Oneonta,AL
Lot of people will end up with 2 or more dishes to cover the arc because of issues like that, if I could find a spot where it would travel the entire arc that's where I would put the dish. 125feet of rg6 is nothing, you shouldn't have any trouble with the motor or signal if you get a reasonable sized dish.
All of mine are at least that distance, a couple may be more like 145' to the house.
Don't think the expense of RG11 would be worth it for that length of run, its expensive and takes special connectors, or so I have heard. Prob take special crimping tool to fasten them too. I'd just go for some direct burial rg6, dual cable, incase you want another line later. Or just regular rg6 and put it in some pvc.
 

thisBUDsforyou

SatelliteGuys Guru
Dec 9, 2007
141
0
Thank you! That's reassuring. Seems like a lot of digging to get from the house to the garage but it sounds like it's worth it.
 

lumpkin666

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 21, 2007
941
0
USA
#1) Missing anything will bug you, so try to avoid that

#2) 135 feet is no big whoop at all. I would plan on doing a 135 foot drop with RG6 and good connectors, and wouldn't think twice about whether it would work or not.

#3) Distance should not matter with either switch. If you're going with just two standard lnb's, I'd use 22k so that you have less ports to cover from the weather. But personally I'd go with a good diseqc switch so that you can choose a universal lnbf for those atlantic sats if you choose - and so that you can add another lnb or two when you start figuring out that you really want more ;)

#4) I buried my RG6 inside pvc and am happy with that. If I had it to do over again, I'd use a better quality flooded rg6 and just do direct burial since the pvc will tend to collect water and not let it drain - thereby making your cable lay drowned in water. Depending on the conditions of your terrain and the likelihood of something accidentally puncturing your buried cable, you might chose pvc for the added protection, but allow for holes/etc in the pvc to allow drainage of water.

#5) That's for you to decide! I'd go for the garage since it sounds like it's got better visibility of the arc with no real downsides mentioned.
 

Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
295
43
Mankato, MN
1. um yeah. Galaxy 10 at 123 has a lot of English channels (ABC, RTN, Fox) so you could always do a 2nd dish
2. nah. I've done 150 feet on a motorized with no issues. USe good quality RG6 and compression connectors :)
3. I use a 22k switch beause they seem to be built sturdier than some diseqc switches.
4. I havent buried cable as I don't need to so cant comment
5. what is the easier route? If you can do the 2 satellite setup (motorized from 50-107 and 2nd dish for 123) I would do that. check out thelist for satellites and what is on them. Between 110-119 there are 2 satellites that mainly have Spanish and Chinese channels so you may not need them :)
 

thisBUDsforyou

SatelliteGuys Guru
Dec 9, 2007
141
0
#4) I buried my RG6 inside pvc and am happy with that. If I had it to do over again, I'd use a better quality flooded rg6 and just do direct burial since the pvc will tend to collect water and not let it drain - thereby making your cable lay drowned in water. Depending on the conditions of your terrain and the likelihood of something accidentally puncturing your buried cable, you might chose pvc for the added protection, but allow for holes/etc in the pvc to allow drainage of water.
Yeah, I was thinking that perforated PVC might be a way to avoid having the cable sitting in water. But on the other hand that kinda defeats at least one purpose of the PVC, which is to keep salts in the soil from deteriorating the coax. I definitely want to have some sort of PVC because part of the cable run will go right under the vegetable garden where I'm constantly digging around with a shovel. Don't want to put a shovel through my coax!

That article I posted in the original post suggests a method to keep water out of the PVC - keep the PVC watertight from one end to the other by carefully cementing all of the joints, and at each end where it comes out of the ground, have a couple of 45 degree elbows so that the ends of the pipe are parallel to the ground, at a height sufficient to keep snow melt out. That way rain doesn't get in, plus you use large enough diameter PVC that you get some air flow through the PVC to dry out any condensate. He also suggests using something to keep out insects and mice but still allow air flow, so I'm thinking wire mesh of some sort.

So I'm thinking I would dig the trench first, then start at the house side laying PVC, fishing the cables through, cementing the next 10 foot length, fishing again, etc.
 
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thisBUDsforyou

SatelliteGuys Guru
Dec 9, 2007
141
0
1. um yeah. Galaxy 10 at 123 has a lot of English channels (ABC, RTN, Fox) so you could always do a 2nd dish
2. nah. I've done 150 feet on a motorized with no issues. USe good quality RG6 and compression connectors :)
3. I use a 22k switch beause they seem to be built sturdier than some diseqc switches.
4. I havent buried cable as I don't need to so cant comment
5. what is the easier route? If you can do the 2 satellite setup (motorized from 50-107 and 2nd dish for 123) I would do that. check out thelist for satellites and what is on them. Between 110-119 there are 2 satellites that mainly have Spanish and Chinese channels so you may not need them :)
Thanks Iceberg! Now I was all ready to start digging and now maybe you're talking me out of it. This stuff is so cool - so many things to think about, what switch to use, what kind of dish to use, where to put the dishes, what box to get. Hours of fun! :D
 

lumpkin666

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 21, 2007
941
0
USA
The thing about pvc is it tends to collect the moisture from the air since it's underground and cool. Mine is watertight (pressure tested it before burying the whole sections) and has 180 degree turns at the end so that water doesn't get in from the rain (no caps on the ends though). I also have drip loops in the RG6 cable so that no water runs down the cable and into the pvc. Moisture still builds up in there.

It's hard to say what the best answer is here. I think you're right though, you'll want pvc to protect your cable if it's going through an area that is likely to see penetration that might damage the cabling (slight penetration isn't a big deal for flooded cable since it is sort of self-healing as long as you don't cut into it too far)

Also, if you're doing PVC, make sure you use pvc that is large enough. I used what I thought would be sufficient for 4 RG6 runs, and it easily allows for 10 widths of rg6 with no problems. BUT, When you put a turn in your pvc with piece of angled pvc, the cable needs a lot of room to get around the turns since it's not really that flexible. I thought I'd have room to add a few pulls of RG6 later, but at 4 cables, I get hung up trying to pull the cable through the bends already (I also dug up a piece of the pvc to see what the issue was, and noticed that pulling the cable around those bends quickly was burning a pretty deep groove in the pvc from the friction of the cable!)
 

schlever

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 1, 2007
491
1
Regina, SK
Yeah, I was thinking that perforated PVC might be a way to avoid having the cable sitting in water. But on the other hand that kinda defeats at least one purpose of the PVC, which is to keep salts in the soil from deteriorating the coax. I definitely want to have some sort of PVC because part of the cable run will go right under the vegetable garden where I'm constantly digging around with a shovel. Don't want to put a shovel through my coax!

That article I posted in the original post suggests a method to keep water out of the PVC - keep the PVC watertight from one end to the other by carefully cementing all of the joints, and at each end where it comes out of the ground, have a couple of 45 degree elbows so that the ends of the pipe are parallel to the ground, at a height sufficient to keep snow melt out. That way rain doesn't get in, plus you use large enough diameter PVC that you get some air flow through the PVC to dry out any condensate. He also suggests using something to keep out insects and mice but still allow air flow, so I'm thinking wire mesh of some sort.

So I'm thinking I would dig the trench first, then start at the house side laying PVC, fishing the cables through, cementing the next 10 foot length, fishing again, etc.

My first job out of university was burying cables for the phone company. While the information you received is good, here's an easier way to do it.

1) Dig a hole at the house and garage about 1' square 3 feet deep
2) rent a chain trencher from your rental store
3) trench between the holes at least 3 feet deep, so you are below the frost line
4) At each end, place a 1/2 inch conduit to the bottom of the hole, no need for 45 angles at the end. Secure at the top using pipe clamps.
5) run the cable through the conduit and make sure its laying flat in the trench. backfill the trench
6) Thats it. Your now good. If you want wrap some steel wool and spray construction foam into the conduit on either end to keep out mice or insects.

I've done this over a thousand times with both copper and fibre and never had a issue, other than frost heaves. If you want run a conduit all the way and stick a strong string through it to pull a future cable through it, but in reality its not needed.
 

Larry1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 24, 2005
1,586
122
Port Hope, ON Canada
If you run the coax over a bar of soap, it will reduce the friction of it pulling through the pipe. If you drill a hole through the soap and thread the coax through it, it will make the job easier. A little soap sure cuts the friction down. I just have my coax tied up to my fence bit like the idea of running a PVC pipe to run all the cables down. If you leave some type of fish in the pipe, it should make it easier for when you want to run you 2nd, 3rd,...etc cable down the pipe. Just make sure to use a large enough of pipe to be able to run them all through. As already pointed out, sharp bends (even 45 deg bends) can drastically cut down the number of cables that can be run down the tubing.
 

Gray1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 11, 2005
308
2
St. Louis, Missouri
Im running 150 feet of commscope flooded RG6. I have no problems with signal strength.
My run is in pvc to protect the coax from rocks. I had to go through a couple of rocky areas.
Just my 2 cents.
 

lumpkin666

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 21, 2007
941
0
USA
If you run the coax over a bar of soap, it will reduce the friction of it pulling through the pipe.
I did learn later from our guys that pull fiber through conduit/etc that there is a product called "cable lube" that is designed for this purpose. I suppose any non-corrosive lubricant would work for this. Of course I didn't think about this until after I was done running cable. I'll be using something like this when I go to pull another cable through though.
 

Larry1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 24, 2005
1,586
122
Port Hope, ON Canada
The soap even works great for pulling coax, network or electrical cables through holes in floor joist. Soap works great as a lubricant.... makes sticky coat zippers run smooth and you always have some available. No need to buy a special lubricant that you will only need to use once a year.
 

thisBUDsforyou

SatelliteGuys Guru
Dec 9, 2007
141
0
My latest thinking is to run the PVC all the way into the house and into the garage so that the entire coax run is protected from moisture and sun. On the house side I can punch a hole in the cinder block foundation wall and run the PVC straight into the basement, then before it goes underground include one of those rubber connectors with hose clamps so that the whole thing has a little give to it for frost heave, and also make it easier to fish additional coax through later if I need to. On the garage, the roof overhangs the wall where the coax will go in so I can just cut a hole in the bottom of the eaves and run the PVC vertically straight up against the wall into the eaves so it will look like an oversized downspout (much nicer having white PVC against a white wall than black coax against a white wall). Again I can incorporate a rubber connector before it goes underground on the garage side.

I'm thinking I would buy at least one 1000 foot spool of flooded RG-6 and cut it up into 6 or more 160 foot pieces and fish them through as I'm laying PVC in a trench across the yard. Each piece would be numbered at both ends so I can keep 'em straight.

Then the whole dish farm would get mounted on the back wall of the garage which is the best spot on my property for seeing the arc. All of the switches would go inside the garage out of the weather. Probably a T90 for the eastern end of the arc, at least one motorized, maybe I'll get ambitious and try to motorize the big Primestar dish I just got, a fixed dish on G10. Since all of the switches would be in the garage each run of coax would be for one receiver in the house. I gotta read up more on switches. Hmmm maybe six runs isn't enough, maybe I should lay 9 just to be safe, especially if I put an Invacom quad on the motorized. I'm thinking 4 inch PVC but maybe 6 inch would be safer.

Am I getting carried away, or what? Two months ago my knowledge of satellite TV was about zero. :what
 

red2grass

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 3, 2005
65
0
SF Bay Area
You seem to be quite serious about the FTA 2 months into this hobby. Do you already have one dish and one receiver working yet? If not, I would suggest you to get on some hands on experience on FTA before investing in 1000 feet of RG6 which is quite expensive and digging into the ground which sounds a challenge to me. I installed multiple OTA antennas for HDTV many years ago and a fixed 76cm dish 3 years ago but did not do much after that on FTA. Now I am preparing to install a motor to get more channels. I have all my RG-6 directly exposed to the weather and never had a problem. Of course I am in California and don't know what snow or frost will do to the cable. And also do you really want a dish farm of 6 dishes? Even if you end up with a farm, I would leave the burying of RG-6 as the last thing to do when you know 6 RG-6s are all you need instead of the first thing to do. I don't think having RG-6 exposed to weather for a few month will cause much damage to it. After all RG-6 is designed to be used outdoor. Certainly FTA is not my main hobby compared to most people on this forum. I don't like non HD video but almost all FTA signals are.
 

Anole

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
11,819
12
L.A., Calif.
yes

Am I getting carried away, or what?
Put in a simple system, and get your feet wet.
Come summer, you'll know SO much more about what's out there, what you want, and how you want to hook it up!
Instead of worrying about making mistakes or "the right decision" now, just get going.
In a few months, you'll be much more seasoned, and you'll know all the answers for your particular situation.
Plus, the weather will be better, too. ;)
 

thisBUDsforyou

SatelliteGuys Guru
Dec 9, 2007
141
0
Put in a simple system, and get your feet wet.
Come summer, you'll know SO much more about what's out there, what you want, and how you want to hook it up!
Instead of worrying about making mistakes or "the right decision" now, just get going.
In a few months, you'll be much more seasoned, and you'll know all the answers for your particular situation.
Plus, the weather will be better, too. ;)
That's good advice. For the moment I'm just trying out several dishes on the ground to see what I can get. Then maybe I'll progress to a motorized with temporary cabling. Then when I have things figured out better I'll think about the Big Dig.
 
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