Satellite Cable Installation Question


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Original poster
Apr 1, 2004
I'm putting new cable in my house for a new Directv system, and am trying to decide on the best cable type. The Directv system is coming off of the MultiSat with four lines, each about a 60'-70' run to the receivers. It is a standard system, but I forsee moving to HD in two years, so I'd like to be sure that cable can handle whatever additional needs an HD signal will present in 2007-09.

I've seen a number of views (here and elsewhere) that boil down to three basic positions:

1. Use the best performance spec'd RG6 you can reasonably afford, with many recommendations for the Belden 1694A. Some people seem to like the Canare L-5CFB, although I thought I saw that it wasn't rated for in wall use so many people are using it only for connections. Others say its fine for wiring the house and swear by the performance.

2. Use any respectable RG6 with good foil/braid coverage because the difference in the specs is not going to be noticable to the typical user. While there are plenty of situations where I agree with this philosophy, I have no issue with paying extra for the cable in a situation where I can't necessarily forsee what the requirements will be 3-5 years down the line.

3. Use a smaller diameter, more flexible cable because the tight turn into the wall is going to be tough on the stiffer Belden RG6, with the risk that you deform the cable to the point where the better overall spec is lost. Belden specifically warns against turning the cable too tightly (10:1 width ratio), so this isn't a totally spurious concern. I've seen several suggestions for using something like a Belden 1505F to deal with this, but others note that it, too, is not rated for an in-wall run.

So what's the solution? I'm happy to buy the Belden 1694A (or the Canare L-5CFB for that matter), but how do I make sure the installer doesn't ruin the stuff trying to make a tight turn into the connector at the terminal box? Or am just way too paranoid reading all this tech stuff from you pros?
Forget about the expensive cables that you mentioned. I'd use a good grade of dual rg6 cable and run it to each outlet in a home run configuration to the location at which you expect to place the dish. If you are not well skilled in selecting a good location, get a site survey from a senior satellite installer. I've seen many good locations selected and many bad ones, too. So, beware.

I'd also run a home run of Cat5e cable to each outlet, too.

Don't staple the cable to the studs. Electricians do this as a habbit, because it is required by the NEC and local codes. Drill at least 2 inch access holes in the top and floor plate studs right above each outlet. Do not drill 2" holes into vertical studs. This violates code by weakening them. Don't use regular outlet boxes, as they are hard to fish to for future upgrades. Use the orange "Carlon" branded low voltage wiring brackets sold at Lowes and Home Depot.

Run wires through "holder brackets" using 1" nominal grey plastic conduit straps. After wire is installed, cover the major part of the 2 inch holes in the top and bottom plates with made galvanized sheet metal, bending over a small lip at the area in contact with the wire to avoid cutting them. Do not use thin plywood, since it is not fire resistant.

As an installer who does exclusively in wall retrofits, this will allow any new additions for future needs.

I'd also place a 2" grey rigid conduit from the attic all the way to the basement for future needs. Cap the conduit at both ends. To go between floors, the retrofit installer can easily cut into the sde with a hole saw and place a wall plate anywhere down its length.

Hope this helps.

The Cable Guy Wrecked Our Home

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