Superbowl at stake...

B Switzer

Original poster
Jan 26, 2004
Yesterday...In hopes of getting a little better PQ out of my Toshiba I rerouted the coax away from the electrical wiring in my garage. As it WAS...The coax was running through the same holes as the electrical wire for a 30 foot stretch. MY PROBLEM ...I use the same piece of RG59 but only rerouted it. Now...I get an error message (I think 051) as it runs through different transponder #'s and a signal strength of Zero and a "not locked" message.

The fella at 800-Dishnetwork said that RG59 would not carry the satellite signal and I had to use RG6. The Dishnetwork manual said the same thing. I'm a little confused as to why it was previously working while using RG59...very odd. Will RG59 NOT carry the Dish signal???

Regardless...I'm going to get a 100' stretch of RG6 with factory installed ends this evening and run it again. Another factor would be that I'm not too confident on the screw on ends I put on ( coax stripper).

Even if this solves my dillemma, I'd still appreciate someone explaining the RG59 issue to me. Thanks...

I had rg59 with Directv, but when I switched to Dish and the rg59 would not work(no signal). I switched to rg6(which has a bigger diameter center wire) and it has now worked perfectly for three years. Both D* & E* require rg 6. Why it worked before and would not work after is a mystery. I did not even rerun my wire, but maybe you damaged the cable moving it.
I'm gonna give it a shot...I'm still at a loss since the tech that installed the dish used RG6 in the same runs as RG59, so doesn't seem like a compatability issue. Like you said, could have been a damage thing to since I pulled the coax back through some pretty tough spots...
100 feet of RG 6 cable at will give you 3dB of increased signal strength with a 30 foot run, (less loss than RG59). It could be that you needed that extra 3dB. Its even more pronounced with longer runs.
wa1hog said:
100 feet of RG 6 cable at will give you 3dB of increased signal strength with a 30 foot run, (less loss than RG59). It could be that you needed that extra 3dB. Its even more pronounced with longer runs.

Line loss is an issue. Since 3 decibels is logarithmic, it is important to understand that this equates to a scale factor of two. 3db = 10^(3/10) = 2 in terms of power. 3db = 10^(3/20) = sqrt(2) in terms of voltage. Twice the power is nothing to laugh about.

Cable ratings come in a few flavors. Band-width, line loss, and shielding. RG58 does not have as much band-with as RG6 does. I had an antiquated cable system for a while which used RG58. This system used two cables to carry the signal, known as the AB cable system. It is because RG58 didn't have the bandwidth in the first place. It was later replace with RG6. The second is line loss. RG58 has more attenuation per foot than RG6. It is always a good idea to make the cable as short as possible. The third is shielding. I put a quad shield RG6 from my dish to the receiver because that is what was recommended for it.
Any problem with using the standard cable couplers (F-81's) as long as the packaging says they are rated for RG6? Is there any signal loss here that you know of? I don't have any splitters in the mix, but do have a couple of couplers...
Both RG59 and RG6 are 75 ohm transmission lines. The primary difference is that RG6 uses a foam based insulation while RG59 uses a solid PVC insulation. Mixing air with the plastic (making foam) offers less loss thru the insulation. Some coax designs use a thin strip of helically wound plastic as the insulator, thus offering even more air and consequently less loss... So the primary reason is RG6 has less loss. A secondary reason is that RG6 is 100% shielded, while RG59 is usually less than 100% shielded. RG59 will work fine with DBS installations, it just will not go as far as RG6.
Well...Ended up using a 50' run of RG6 with about 4' to spare. Whether it was the RG59 itself or the F-types I put on the RG59 I guess I'll never know. I don't have the gear to test the cable. I did however have to call the Dish-lady (still wondering if she's as attractive as her cute, flirty voice). I did get somewhat scolded for running a Switch Check at the inopportune time thus losing the video. Oh and learn...
Glad you got it going.

The most common mistake do-it-yourselfers make with screw-on f-connectors is with the stripping. Most folks will just cut off the outer braid along with the pvc jacket, and then screw the connector on, over the outer jacket. To carry the proper voltage, the outer braid (shielding) needs to make contact with the connector. Always make sure that the braid is folded back over the jacket, and that the connector is screwed on over the folded back braid. That may not be the problem with your cable, but that is the most likely situation for a complete loss of signal. You may have just gotten lucky when it was installed before and got the connector to touch just enough braid to make contact.
That's a fact Mainstreet!!! It also doesn't hurt to have the right tool for the job. Have all the tools to finish a basement and wood working tools, but not one associated with coax. Thanks for the advice...

My main goal now is to get rid of some of the upconversion softness associated the dish (non-HD) and bigscreen before the Superbowl party. As I can't afford HD right now, I"m going to see tonight if I get a better PQ from the dish CBS channel or the CBS channel from an aerial. Thanks again for all the help...


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