Voltage Through Coaxial Cable?

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by HoytR, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. HoytR

    HoytR Cool Member

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    Mar 10, 2011
    :righton: You must have missed this post:

    I was thinking of running a grounding wire by itself to the grounded outlet. The outlets grounded in my house are only grounded to the receptacle box they are in.
     
  2. Jim5506

    Jim5506 Hall Of Fame

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    Sounds like it's time for a "Holmes Inspection".
     
  3. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset DBSTalk Club

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    An outlet that is attached to a grounded metallic receptacle box is indeed grounded (although typically not to current code). You should find continuity between the ground jacks within the outlet and the frame that locates the outlet in the box. Screwing the outlet into the box completes the connection to ground.

    If the outlet box isn't grounded (or is non-metallic), all bets are off.
     
  4. 356B

    356B Icon

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    Northern...
    Now I'm getting confused.......you're thinking of running a ground to a already grounded outlet....? either this house is grounded or it isn't.

    Attaching a ground wire to a metal box only works if the box is daisy chained some way to metal in the ground......cold water pipe or copper ground rod. Merely attaching a ground wire to a box is that is not grounded (to the earth) is a feel good, get me past the inspector gimmick that Hacks use.
     
  5. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    We seem to be going in circles here... the OP seems to be in agreement now that there is a wiring problem, so the next steps should either be:

    1. Fix the problem if he is qualified.

    OR

    2. Call a qualified person to fix the problem.

    I'm not sure what is left to talk about until a qualified person takes a look at the wiring in his home, which at least certainly has problems at some outlets.
     
  6. 356B

    356B Icon

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    Northern...
    I concur, it's become an exercise.
     
  7. kevinm34232

    kevinm34232 Legend

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    This discussion is very interesting, but I'm still a little confused. I'm a cable technician and from time to time I run across issues with intermittent modem problems and it turns out there is 50-60 volts AC on the cable measured at the ground block. Last time I saw this I unplugged everything off the circuit that cable was coming from, but it turned out that if any device connected to cable was plugged into either of those 2 outlets, you would get the voltage backfed on the cable. It wasn't anyone of the devices causing the problem, so I assume something was wrong in the wiring. One outlet looked like it was added at some point.
    What is cuasing the voltage on the cable, can't seem to find a real solution except call an electrician. Is it the hot/neutral reversed or can it be more than that?
     
  8. matt

    matt New Member

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    Had a call once where the modem would randomly disconnect like that. Cox came out before I did and told the customer that the electric service wasn't grounded and voltage was feeding back and that proper grounding (which they wouldn't do) would fix it. I was called because then tenant was afraid of being shocked without a ground so I came around and drove in a ground rod and connected it at the meter pan. That much needed fix made the tenant happy (even though it was knob and tube wiring and there was no ground in sight except at the meter, main, and sub panel) and that resolved the cable modem issue.
     
  9. 356B

    356B Icon

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    Northern...
    50 to 60 volts is half of 110/120.......your getting a half voltage, check the polarity, could be a reversed wire. I would start with the add on plug, that could be the culprit. Testers are cheap for this type of issue.
     

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  10. DoyleS

    DoyleS Icon

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    I guess the question I have is whether your home is an older home and was originally wired without a safety ground wire going to each outlet. If that is the case, and you or someone has replaced what should be 2 wire outlets with 3 wire grounded outlets but not brought a ground wire from the panel to that location then you have a serious problem.
    1. An electrical fire with this illegal situation would likely mean your home owners insurance would not cover the damage.
    2. You cannot connect a ground from a water pipe to an outlet ground. Not legal! the ground must come from the panel where it is bonded to the Neutral line as Kessler described.
    3. If this is an older house and you are trying to get one grounded outlet going, then you should be looking at running a new 3 wire (hot, neutral, ground) cable from the power panel to your outlet and disabling the old 2 wire run to that outlet.
    4. If all of this was the case when you purchased or rented the house, you might also call the power company and see if they have someone that can come out and check whether you have a safe situation or not.
    Again, you really don't seem to be well versed in this and appear to not want to spend the money on an electrician who is qualified to fix the problem. True, he may tell you some of what you already know but he can also tell you how he would fix it and what it would cost. You then have the option of getting a couple bids and choosing the one you are comfortable with. Do this wrong and you or one of your loved ones could pay the price.
     
    tecnicoloco likes this.
  11. bnborg

    bnborg Icon

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    Did you install the plastic receptacle boxes yourself? How are the receptacle boxes that are metal grounded?

    Outlets in plastic boxes should be grounded with an independent bare or green ground wire, either in a three wire cable or conduit. The outlet is grounded using the ground terminal near one end of the outlet.

    If there is no ground wire, running one to a confirmed ground in a grounded outlet box should be ok, and is preferable to using a cold water pipe.

    You should also check the grounding of the dish itself. One of my previous Dish installers grounded the grounding block to one of the air conditioning coolant pipes.
     
  12. DoyleS

    DoyleS Icon

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    Definitely do not want to ground to a nearby water pipe. If you checked the voltage between that water pipe and the ground at the service panel, I think you might be a little surprised even shocked.
     
  13. flatus

    flatus Legend

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    FWIW, My house, with early 1960's wiring had the ground wire coiled around the incoming electrical cable. the cable was clamped to the metal outlet box where the ground wire was coiled around it. Until i looked very closely, i did not see that ground wire. The ground wire was several gauges smaller than the hot an neutral wires.

    I also had a situation where the neutral wire was laying up against the side of the metal outlet box. It has been like that long enough that the insulation had 'squished away' and would trip the breaker whenever something was used on that outlet.

    All in all, though, the wiring in this house was done very professionally and neatly. Just not up to today's codes.

    One more thing, I don't know if this is a BS story or not, but I was told about a guy who rewired his whole house with white= hot and black = neutral. Apparently his dad was a coal mine electrician and they use white = hot to make it easier to see. Is there any truth to that, or an old wive's tale?
     
  14. DoyleS

    DoyleS Icon

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    It does not sound like the guy had his wiring done with a permit and inspected as they would quickly call that in most any city or county. It is allowed to use a white wire as a hot wire but it must be tagged where ever it enters a box. Red tape or Black tape or blue tape typically is used to tag a conductor at its end. By the same token a neutral wire would be tagged with white tape. The mine thing sounds a bit suspicious. I know that inherently safe mine cables are tagged with Blue to indicate they are safe. Does not mean that in a mine that they didn't develop their own practices but to move that into residential wiring is asking for trouble.
     
  15. GoofyNut

    GoofyNut New Member

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    I know this is an old post but the problem described above, complete with major sparks, is still happening. There is light at the end of the tunnel though because, after three previous satellite technicians tried, one finally paid off and solved the issue! Here goes...

    Apparently when satellite companies, like DISH and DIRECTV, send a technician out to your house, he's usually a private contractor. Ergo, not directly employed by the satellite company. After I described what was happening to the most recent tech, he knew exactly what to do and here's how it was explained to me: the coax connectors that, let's say, DISH Network uses to do installations, are supposed to have a specific rating because the Hopper receiver does put out a bit of voltage when it communicates with the dish. If a connector is used that is not rated for the system and when a second receiver is added, when connected the coax to the satellite input, the coax connector, you will get sparks. Also, the coax doesn't have to be connected to anything, it just has to touch metal and then: POOF! :bang For my system, every time I tried to plug in the second receiver to the electrical outlet while at the same time that the other receiver was also plugged in....POOF! :bangI'd blow a fuse. With only the added receiver plugged in the wall, and not connected to the coax, it would spark when touching any metal...no blown fuse though. Now, if both receivers were plugged in on different circuits, they worked fine. But, they wouldn't work on the same circuit. This type of problem usually happens in older homes that haven't upgraded the electrical system to be of the newest panel type. I still use glass fuses believe it or not!!
    So, to cut a longer story shorter, for those that are still have type of problem, like me, where the electrician can't find the problem and your satellite tech doesn't know what's going on, I can say with 100% certainty, especially and specifically for DISH customers, that the contracted satellite technician probably is using standard F-connectors for the wiring of your system. If you ask for a DISH technician, not someone from a random satellite company, but a regular DISH technician, and tell him what the problem is, he'll, more than likely, know exactly what to do to fix it. if he doesn't .....well, what can you say about his dedication to his profession? Anyways, what should be done is a complete re-wire of your system using the rated type of F-connectors. I guarantee this will solve your problem!
    It worked for me...I went through 3 contracted technicians, two of which actually did know what they were doing, but yet they still were using the less expensive, hardware store, type of connectors. I never heard of connectors being rated!!!!! But, I guess they are because my problem was instantly solved by using them!! In this case, the fourth time was the charm!!!!! :up: :smoking:
     
  16. west99999

    west99999 Icon

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    This is total bs that the tech fed you. The connectors cannot make 120 volts show up regardless what type you use. The only thing that I can think he may have done if he fixed your problem is ungrounded your system.
     
  17. DoyleS

    DoyleS Icon

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    I have to agree. Sounds more like a first posting troll.
    Absolutely no concept of electrical behavior.
    The OP clearly had problems with his electrical wiring.
    Might even have been an open neutral line allowing cross feed from one side of his wiring through an appliance to the other side. In the end I don't think we ever heard a clear resolution of the issue.
    But non sparking super rated F connectors.
    Those are only used in left handed smoke generators and require autonomous connection to ensure phase and frequency stability.
     
  18. GoofyNut

    GoofyNut New Member

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    You know, I think it's pretty rude for you guys to say what you've said. You weren't there! I followed this guy around and watched everything that he did, so don't tell me that he's feeding me b.s.. The voltage that was present did not come from the house electrical system. The electricity causing the sparks and such were coming from the DISH satellite system itself. I don't know all the technical jargon and whatnot, but I do know what I saw and I tried my best to explain what the tech said, but I didn't want to a short novel, so I intentionally kept it somewhat short. All he did, during his brief stay, was change the connectors on the ends of the coax. Nobody said anything about "super rated F connectors". Incidentally, do you know for a fact that all F connectors are not created equal? I know for a fact that they are not. Just like all coaxial cable isn't created equal. If I'm not mistaken, coax cables are measured by impedance and range anywhere from, I believe 48-ohms up to 75-ohms, and are used for a wide variety of things. Coaxial cable design choices affect physical size, frequency performance, attenuation, power handling capabilities, flexibility, strength, and cost. The inner conductor might be solid or stranded; stranded is more flexible (of course). To get better high-frequency performance, the inner conductor may be silver-plated. Copper-plated steel wire is often used as an inner conductor for cable used in the satellite TV industry.
    The point being that there are many types of common coaxial cables and then there are specialty cables. Why would anyone purchase a top of the line coaxial cable only to put generic connectors on the ends? Didn't you ever wonder why DISH advises against long coax cable runs of 200 ft. or more? Did someone say signal loss? Wouldn't it stand to reason that if a highly rated cable is used for its ability to produce strong signal with very little loss of signal, if any, that putting a generic connector on the ends of it would defeat the purpose of a higher rated cable? You might as well get your cables from the dollar store!! You do know that they no longer use RG-59, right? I wonder why???? HMMMM, maybe should think about it.
    So, to sum it up, what you've said is offensive to me and I resent the fact that you, basically, are calling me stupid and gullible for believing what I saw to be true and actually proved itself to be true. Just because you can't sit back and figure out a solution to something that you've only tried to figure out on paper, doesn't make it unsolvable.. I bet if you were having the problem, if a tech said he was going to replace the connectors on your system, you would be Ok with it simply because you'd have a non-working satellite system, at that point. And then, OMG, what he did worked!! Would you question the solution then?
    I'm telling you, now, that I've had a total of 4 technicians come out in the last two weeks. Three of them were sub-contractors who didn't work for DISH. The third technician replaced everything in my system. Every wire, cable, wall plate, and even the DISH mounted on the side of the house, was replaced. It was all new. After all that, I still had the problem. Incidentally, the problem started because some other technician a few years ago, installed the outside cabling outside the house using metal staples. A couple of weeks ago it rained pretty good and I came home to a blown fuse and a fried DISH receiver. Apparently, the staple had sliced through the cable and got wet and shorted the whole system. And, yes, there is voltage sent through the coax up to the DISH and then back. It's called, communication between the satellite dish and the receiver.
    Anyways, I even had an electrician come out before the last technician came and he checked the entire house and found no issues at all. This problem was isolated to the DISH satellite system. To tell you the truth, I really don't care how it worked or what type of connector he used to get it to work. I was just trying to share what I thought would be helpful to others with the same type of problem. Because, if you do have this problem, you really don't care how they fix it, as long as they fix it!!! Usually by the time someone posts something about their problem, they've tried everything under the sun, yet they still have the problem. So, if someone is at their wits end and sees my post and decides to give it a try, why shouldn't they? It's such a simple solution that no one would believe it could work. But, what if it does???????? (IT REALLY DOES WORK!)
     
  19. DoyleS

    DoyleS Icon

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    El Dorado...
    Ok, I understand your situation. I apologize for the sarcastic nature of my post. In a case like yours where the original installation was done wrong and as a result you had a shorted cable, I would also agree to replace all of the old wiring and connectors in the system, and tie the cable down with proper insulated cable holders. That was not the situation with the original poster from 2011.

    The bells went off when you started talking about rated connectors and "try this, it really works, 100% guarantee." You had one post to your name and no real history on the forum to judge your posts.
    Cable and satellite installers all use compression connectors. They are more rugged, there are water tight versions and they are available at your local Home Depot and Lowes not just to installers. They require a special tool to install them. Older twist on and crimp on connectors are still available and in common use. A good installer will always spend the extra time to change out questionable parts to avoid a return call.

    My background is that I am an Electrical Engineer in the microwave field. Very familiar with cables, connectors and their electrical properties.
     
  20. west99999

    west99999 Icon

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    I wasn't trying to be rude either but they shouldn't try changing connectors for this problem because connectors cannot cause this problem. Satellite receivers put out 13 and 18 volts they cannot put out 120 volts on the coax unless there is an electrical problem and it feeds back through the electrical system.
     
    Grampa67 likes this.

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