RG6 wires- HELP

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by RipleyK, Oct 2, 2007.

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  1. Oct 2, 2007 #1 of 16

    RipleyK Mentor

    Sep 25, 2007
    OK, HD was installed yesterday. I verified w/ D* that we would get all new cabling. The installer said he put in all new cabling. When I went to the back of the receiver last night to adjust some speaker wires I noticed that there were 2 feeds into the HR20- one as new cabling and one was old cabling. :mad: The old cable is 4 years old.

    I called the local installation co and they said it's not on our work order (it was supposed to be per D*) and that new cabling is a $50 custom upgrade. Any advice?

    Does it matter that there is 4 year old wiring and new wiring?

  2. Oct 2, 2007 #2 of 16

    msmith Icon

    Apr 23, 2002
    It shouldn't matter, unless there's a serious problem with the old wiring. I have wiring as old as the original installation of HD, and it works fine.
  3. Oct 3, 2007 #3 of 16

    silk1234 Cool Member

    Oct 2, 2007
    so long as the old wiring is RG6 it shouldnt be a problem, the only time that old wiring gives us any trouble if there is damage to the sheathing or sharp bends in the line damaging the center conductor. Both of these problems wil present themselves at the time of the installation.
  4. Oct 3, 2007 #4 of 16

    captain16vgti Cool Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    I had an install yesterday and found out that the installer ran a whole lot of old dual coax cable for one of my dvr's. I asked him if I could get that replaced with new cable and he promised me it would be fine. I asked him if it was at least RG6 and he said yes. I think im gonna replace it on my own since it was previously painted a dark brown and I know its not new. It kinda bothers me that everything is new except for that cable. Oh well.

  5. Oct 3, 2007 #5 of 16
    B Newt

    B Newt Icon

    Aug 12, 2007
    The RG6 in my home is 14 years old and works like a champ.
  6. Oct 3, 2007 #6 of 16

    tonyn Cool Member

    Aug 3, 2007
    4 year old cables would not worry me a bit. The connectors are a different matter.

    Take a careful look at the connectors. Don't forget the connectors at the ground block.

    If they are the least bit loose, have shield strands dangling out, show corrosion, etc then the cable should be cut back several inches and new connectors installed. The newer compression type connectors are superior to the older crimp connectors.

    The 5lnb dish sends a much wider band of frequencies down the coax so it is a more critical issue than previously. It is important that the connectors are neatly installed on correctly trimmed cable.

    Home Depot carries a kit with a compression tool and a dozen of the new compression type connectors, made by Phillips, a high quality mfr.

    If the old coax jacket isn't damaged and it hasn't been bent into excessively sharp bends it will work fine.
  7. Oct 3, 2007 #7 of 16

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    For anyone with RG6 over a few years old...

    Look at the center conductor (wire). It should be copper all the way through.

    It should not be silver in the center.

    It is very important that the HR20 and the new dish be connected with the solid copper core (center wire) RG6.

    If the center wire has a silver color in the middle it is steel core and cannot be used.

    Also, on the outside of the cable it should say RG6. If it says RG59, it should be replaced.

    - Craig
  8. Oct 3, 2007 #8 of 16

    glennb Hall Of Fame

    Sep 21, 2006
    I'd say the RG6 with the center wire silver in color isn't the greatest, but I think it's going a little to far to say - it can't be used at all.
  9. Oct 3, 2007 #9 of 16

    aim2pls Icon

    Jun 18, 2007

    a little extreme .... a betetr answer would be inthis case .... IF it ain't BROKE .. don't fix it
  10. Ein

    Ein Mentor

    Sep 3, 2007
    Same sentiment here.

    I'm using 20+ year old RG59 50ft plus runs that were for cable service and they worked.
  11. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    You are recommending that others take action that could break their systems.

    We spent endless months last winter trying to help users with a variety of problems. Many got one "bad HR20" after another. So many had one thing in common: self installations.

    Once they had DIRECTV out to correct the installation, they were typically good to go. That is the reason that DIRECTV will not allow self installs now: People tend to say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    In spite of your contention, we saw first hand, time after time that steel core will break it over time. Since new 5 LNB dishes, the DC power requirements have increased. The steel core cannot handle the current requirements except at short distances from the HR20 to the dish (at most 25').

    The resulting under-voltage condition loads the LNB and the HR20 and in many cases has caused:
    1. Intermittent Searching for Satellite errors.
    2. Intermittent 771 errors.
    3. Dish or receiver intermittent or catastrophic failures.

    Often what made the problems so vexing was that the system would eventually trip out from heat or voltage over-laod, cool back down and work again until it finally heated up again.

    Our dish and HR20 installation manuals specifically state that only solid copper RG6 can be used.

    DIRECTV will install the right cables, typically for free.

    If you would have been here to have seen first hand the consequences, you would not be making this recommendation.

    - Craig
    EE U of I
  12. glennb

    glennb Hall Of Fame

    Sep 21, 2006
    I don't know if I have 100 % solid copper center conductor wire throughout my whole system or not but I'm not about to switch it all out.
  13. newsposter

    newsposter Hall Of Fame

    Nov 12, 2003
    i've never seen silver centers...is it really that common? My first hdtivo was from VE and i bought rg6 from him then bought a bunch at home depot for other uses. All was not silver colored. So when i read there was another type, i was surprised.
  14. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Looking at the center conductor, it looks copper because it has a copper layer on it. If you scrape the center conductor and it stays copper, it is solid copper. If you scrape it and see silver underneath, it is copper coated steel.

    An easier way to check is with a small but powerful magnet. If the magnet attracts to the coax, it has steel in it. No attraction it is probably solid copper.

  15. Thaedron

    Thaedron Hall Of Fame

    Jun 29, 2007
    While I agree wholeheartedly with everything that Craig says above, I personally would not rush out and start ripping out RG59 if everything was working fine. However, if you are getting marginal performance and have RG59, then I would seriously consider replacing the cable. Or at least run a line (out the window, down the stairs, etc..) temporarily to see if that improves the situation.
  16. skyviewmark1

    skyviewmark1 Godfather

    Sep 28, 2006
    My two cents on this.. If it works, leave it alone. The age of the cable is irrelevent. Type of cable can be an issue with long runs of cables but not always. The key here is does it work? And that is the only issue that really matters.
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