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RG6 coaxial length - Is 250 feet too long?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by M.Wong, Jul 26, 2007.

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  1. M.Wong

    M.Wong AllStar

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    Jul 26, 2007
    Hello,

    New here. I did do a search for information before posting.

    I have a dual LNB (I know, very old) system and I am considering moving up to a 5 LNB to get the HR20 and HDTV. The only location from which I currently have a clear southern view is on a post about 125 feet from the house. There are two coaxial cables going to that dish.

    If I upgrade:

    1. Do I need four coaxial cables from a 5 LNB dish?

    2. Should all four cables (RG6 quad shielded 3GHz, right?) be the same length and the same quality? (Run new, rather than two additional, as the two current go to the side of the house then inside via builder-installed lines, unknown exact path.)

    3. If I run four new lines to the central house junction box, it will be about a distance of 225 to 250 feet from the dish to the multi switch location. Will this distance be a concern? (I am guessing the additional distance from the multi switch to the TV locations ranges between 20 and 50 feet.)

    4. If 250 feet is a problem, can I use in line amplifiers if necessary? Can those be outdoors?

    5. I also read about how this dish is heavier and larger. Will mounting the dish on a pole in the ground be adequate? I have few choices with the trees to the south of my location.

    Any assistance is appreciated. Thanks!

    M.Wong
    Seattle, WA USA
     
  2. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Seattle, WA
    Welcome aboard.
    Yes, you will need four cables.
    Same quality. You should have SOLID COPPER CENTER RG6. Does not matter if it is quad shield unless you are very close to local TV transmitters. I would recommend running new.
    250 feet will probably be too long, especially if you are going another 50 feet beyond that. DirecTV recommends limiting to 125 feet. You can go farther, but you are going to need to do some special planning and probably have a custom installation to make it work.
    Of greater importance than signal amplifier is DC power drop between the receiver and the dish. Look into Sonora power inserters/phase lockers.
    2 inch outside diameter pole in cement will work.
    Glad to offer my input. I'm sure others will also.

    Carl
    Also in NW Seattle.
     
  3. M.Wong

    M.Wong AllStar

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    Jul 26, 2007
    Thank you for the reply, and the welcome!

    My current system has worked just fine... 125 feet to the house (to the exterior wall where the utilities enter the home) plus what ever internal distance to the On-Q box inside the home. That is where my current multiswitch resides, and from there, add a couple dozen feet or so to each TV area. This has worked fine for my dual LNB with and old Hughes HDVR2s for many years. (I know, it's time to enter modern times and step up from the HDVR2s! :) )

    Can a custom installer can help me? I assume the ones D* send over with my upgrade "installation included" will only do basics. How can I help get this ready for them?

    1. At the very least, I would like to run the four coax under the house to the outside, so I have the four ends ready for them about 125 feet from the dish, and let them do their magic from there (and pay what ever is necessary to have it done right, of course...) Reason is, since the dual coax run was set up, I have added a sidewalk to the side of the house and I know it would cost a fortune to get them to deal with running wires under. I have pvc tubes under the concrete for just this purpose, but now I have to go find them.

    2. Should I run all 250 feet to the dish site, and let them splice into the coax here they see fit to make this work?

    *** I re-checked and now I am thinking about 200 feet from the dish to the On-Q box. ***

    3. Honestly, am I trying to do something not practical or possible? I am new to HD and the world of the HR20.

    4. 2 inch OD pole, any more details or suggestions?

    5. carl6, best place to buy the coax locally so I don't have to wait for mail order? I'd like to get started on that part soon.

    Thanks!
     
  4. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    If your current runs are 125 feet, why can't you stay with that? You would be much better off doing so. Put a powered multiswitch or power inserter at that location, then distribute from there to your tv locations. I would really recommend that as opposed to doing longer runs.

    Lowe's and Home Depot both sell RG6, but you may have to hunt to find solid copper center conductor. Take a strong magnet with you and place it on the outside of the coax. If you feel it pulling in, attracting, to the coax it is copper clad steel. No attraction it is probably solid copper core. You can also strip back an inch or so and scrape the copper to see if it remains copper underneath, or is steel.

    As to custom work, call Magnolia. They sell and install DirecTV and probably have access to custom installation workers. In fact, you might get your new equipment there. That's where I got both my HR20's. However, they may also refer the work back to Ironwood, who does the local installs. They are generally pretty good also, so you might try calling them direct.

    Carl
     
  5. M.Wong

    M.Wong AllStar

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    Jul 26, 2007
    I have to do something different as the in-house wiring is limited to two coaxial runs from the entrance point of the house (near the garage and the utilities) to the On-Q box. In order to have four, I have to lay at least the two new, but preferably all four, cables along the outside of the garage to where there is a crawl space (everywhere but under the garage) then go into the crawl and up to the On-Q box.

    I think Magnoila sells C* cable now! The Roosevelt store did not have D* running!

    I might check with Ironwood. Thanks!
     
  6. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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    I would say call D* and ask them about the install.

    You have to avoid going over 125' if you possibly can. The installer I got knew tricks I had never seen to move the cables through.

    They will give you up to 125' x 4 with great compression connectors.

    I would say to try the normal install route first. You can always take further steps later.

    Is there any way you could put the dish on a high roof, etc. but near your house?

    - Craig
     
  7. buzzdalf

    buzzdalf Godfather

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    I just upgraded to an HR-20 and slimline dish from an HR10-250 last week. Did the install myself without issue.
    Anyway - my cable runs are like 200 - 210' and I have no issues. My signal strength on 101 is around 91-92 and on 119 I am getting like 95.
    I installed nothing special inline. Just 4 runs of RG-6 from the pole at the corner of the lot straight into the receivers (2 to the HR20 and 2 to the HR10) about 200' feet of cable later.
     
  8. M.Wong

    M.Wong AllStar

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    Jul 26, 2007
    Thanks for the feedback buzzdalf and Craig!

    The short answer is no.

    1999. Builder has in the spec sheet that the house comes with a mounted dual LNB dish and dual coaxial cable runs, and they assure a signal. Seeing the trees to the south of the site, I ask them how they plan to do that. They said not to worry when I bring it up about every 6 weeks while they are building. Once the roof is on, they try for a signal from every spot and get nothing, just as I suspected. Of course, I think our house is the only one on the street that has this problem! (And I bet they took out that guarantee that there would be a signal after us!)

    They are not allowed to put the dish anywhere but on the house itself, so I had to do the install myself on a post. The dish is only about 75 feet from the house, but I need to run the cables around the driveway, adding the extra distance.
     
  9. M.Wong

    M.Wong AllStar

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    Jul 26, 2007
    Update: I think I can get the run down to 200 feet... :)

    Now for the 'fun' part, digging under the concrete walkway!

    Thanks for the input, everyone. I will be back when I get stuck!
     
  10. aim2pls

    aim2pls Icon

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    Jun 18, 2007

    a trick for getting under that walk way

    1) a piece of pvc pipe 1=1/2 in will do

    2) a hose

    3) dig back from the concrete so you can lay the pipe in that trench and dig out the otherside

    4) insert hose and turn on the water ....

    5) water jet the dig out the pipe as you proceed

    6) leave the pipe in place for the future
     
  11. M.Wong

    M.Wong AllStar

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    Jul 26, 2007
    Thanks!

    I actually do have three pipes under the walkway that I placed before it was poured. Of course, the closest one isn't in the right place, it would add about 15 feet on one side then 15 feet back! In the interest of shortening my distance, I will dig a new one.

    So much for planning ahead... it was a good idea at the time, just isn't quite working out! :)
     
  12. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Seattle, WA
    Interesting. Just a few months ago they had D* HD running on most of their TV's in the showroom. I was able to compare various TV's using a D* signal (both SD and HD), and that actually caused me to change my mind on what TV I bought.

    They did have Comcast also. I suspect they could do a D* demo if you asked them.

    As to the driveway, definately go under it, it that saves you cable length.

    Carl
     
  13. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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    The real problem is not the signal strength but the DC. Your HR20 or Multiswitch powers the dish LNB's and the dish Multiswitch. DC does not travel well. I cannot imagine how much voltage loss you have over 200'.

    As Carl said previously, there are devices that can boost the DC voltage for you.

    If not the dish can be under-voltage. It may not be a problem now or even a month form now. But eventually it can cause big problems.

    Just as important a question: Did you use compression connectors?

    DIRECTV would have if they would have done the install.

    - Craig
     
  14. M.Wong

    M.Wong AllStar

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    Jul 26, 2007
    They did not do the original install, but yes on compression connectors.

    I will call and speak with the installers before they are sent out so they know of my potential issues. Hopefully it all works out!
     
  15. aim2pls

    aim2pls Icon

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    interesting thing about compression connectors ... they are good because the installer can't scre them up easily .... good crimp (with the proper crimp tool) connector .. actually makes a better mechanical/electrical connection
     
  16. HDTVFanAtic

    HDTVFanAtic Banned User

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    Jul 23, 2005
    Why others are telling you that you need four coax cable to a 5 lnb dish is unknown when the fact is you only need 1 coax to the AT9/AU9 per IRD unless it is a DVR (such as the HR20) in which case you will need 2 per IRD until the arrival of their Single Wire Solution.

    You state you have a multiswitch, but never break down how many IRDs you actually have. The AT9/AU9 has a built in Multiswitch for up to 4 connections.

    If you need over 4 connections, then yes, you will need a newer style multiswitch (the older one will NOT work) - and it would make sense to put that at your house instead of at the dish - so then 4 runs would be needed.
     
  17. M.Wong

    M.Wong AllStar

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    Jul 26, 2007
    Oh yes, I mentioned that this will be for an HR20... so I understand four cables are needed.

    I will be getting a new no charge multiswtich when the installers come. My current is only a 2x4, from a dual LNB system - it is so old, as I am finally upgrading from my two Hughes HDVR2s!
     
  18. HDTVFanAtic

    HDTVFanAtic Banned User

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    Jul 23, 2005
    Again, a HR20 DVR only needs 2 cables.
     
  19. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    HDTVFanAtic makes a good point. You do not need a multiswitch if you have a total of 4 or fewer tuners. You need one coax per tuner. A DVR has two tuners, a non-dvr receiver has one tuner.

    However, if you anticipate any future growth (adding a receiver or dvr), you are better off wiring for that now as opposed to waiting, especially if you have to go under a driveway or other complex cable routing.

    The most coax you will need from the dish is four runs. However you could get away with two (for a single HR20).

    With the length of your runs, I would recommend a powered multiswitch or Sonora power inserter at the earliest point you can put it. In either of those cases, you will need four lines.

    Carl
     
  20. M.Wong

    M.Wong AllStar

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    Jul 26, 2007
    I will contunie to be using DVRs, so four from the dish (need to add lines, will run all four new) and two to each room (house came so wired).

    I will check on the power issues, too. Thanks!
     
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