Voltage Through Coaxial Cable?

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

  1. GoofyNut

    GoofyNut New Member

    Feb 13, 2016
    Ok, here's what you guys are failing to understand. The only reason they sent out tech #4 was per my request because I had gotten the system to work myself by making sure each receiver was plugged into a different electrical circuit than the other. I don't know why it mattered, but apparently it did. Anyways, it was inconvenient for me to have the receivers situated this way, so I had them come out to, possibly, switch out the bedroom receiver because it was the only remaining thing left over from the previous system. Everything else had been replaced with new things (i.e. wiring, the actual dish, LNB, and the duo-node switcher, etc.).
    So, I told the guy what was going on and he immediately said he knew what to do. Mind you, I had already had an electrician come out and he checked the entire electrical system of the house and found no problems, except the fact that the wiring itself was old. Before he came, I knew there was, at least, one outlet that had hot and neutral reversed. I fixed that issue and put in a GFCI outlet for good measure. So, the electrical system checked out perfectly.
    Anyways, the tech started changing the coax connectors outside the house that were connected to both the DISH and the Duo-Node thingy (I don't know exactly what it is or what it does). Anyways, he changed it. Then, he came in the house and changed the connectors on the cables coming out of the wall. After everything was changed, the moment of truth came and he said he was going to plug in the receiver. Since the receiver in the other room was still plugged in, I went in to panic mode since I didn't know if I had any fuses left. Once I found the fuses, I relaxed and told him to plug it in. When he did, nothing happened. Nothing out of the ordinary. The system powered up and he began to set everything up for the new receiver. He then told me that, while I went looking for fuses, he had put a 3-pronged adapter on the receiver plug before plugging it in to the surge protector. I can't remember why he said he did this, but at that point, I really did not care because my system was up and running again.
    To tell you the truth, I really didn't care about the why's nor the how"s of him getting it up and running. It didn't matter what method he used as long as he was able to get it to work for me. I believed him when he said that changing the things he changed made a difference. In fact, when he told me what he was doing, I asked him: "what difference does it make about which type of connector is used?" He basically told me that the sub-contractors sometimes used by DISH use what is, basically, F-connectors that can be purchased at Radio Shack. They're just basic connectors with no protection against signal loss, etc.. Radio Shack only sells two types of F connectors for satellite/cable TV, I think it is two. But, anyways, they don't sell the higher end connectors. The actual DISH technicians use a different type of connector than do the sub-contracted technicians.
    So, if he says changing the connectors would solve the problem, then so be it. By the way, I've practically lived at Home Depot for the past 10-15 years or so, and have never seen the type of F-connectors that this guy used on my system. Home Depot doesn't carry the better quality connectors because the average consumer will not buy them and opt for the cheaper version. Home Depot only stocks the items that people are more likely to buy. The higher end products, although they are available from them, have to be special ordered. I believe this to be true of most retail home improvement stores. But, if you can find a retail satellite TV store, you might be able to find all different types of connectors and someone there could you what the differences are in them and how they are typically used.
    Now, I don't have an extensive background in electrical engineering, or a degree in any of the sciences. I have an English degree from U.C. Berkeley. But, I have practical, hands on experience/knowledge in a few areas of home improvement, not by choice mind you, but out of necessity. My motto was: "why pay someone to do something when you can pick up a book and learn how to do it yourself?" This has worked out fine for me for the last 22-years. I don't proclaim to be an expert at anything. But, what I do know is that, even though something can't be explained, doesn't make it wrong. The problem itself couldn't be explained therefore, if we don't understand the problem, how is it possible to try to understand the solution?
    Remember, I said that I had tried everything else up to this point and nothing worked. So, I was at the end of my rope and figured that I had nothing to lose. I originally wanted them to swap the second receiver that I had for a new one since, as I said before, it was the last remnant of the old system. So, when the tech kept telling me that this particular receiver checked out fine, I wasn't a believer and was convinced that it had to be the problem. After telling the tech this, he seemed to come to an understanding about what the problem was. And, as I said above, he started changed connectors and swapping satellite components as previously stated.
    So, you know, for whatever reasons, be it the connectors or the fact that my prayers were answered, my system is working again! I don't need to understand it or know why what the tech did worked. All I know that it now works! From reading the posts of different people on various websites about this type of problem, it sounded like these people were describing the exact problem I was having. So, I figured if the problems sound that much alike, then maybe the solution to my problem would be their solution as well. After all, who really cares about why it works, as long as it works! If I required that type of understanding about such matters then maybe I should've been a technician? No, I don't think so! I just want my stuff to work and now that it is, I can move on to the next thing. Because, as you well know, these types of old houses have their own set of problems and issues which are never in short supply! :biggthump
  2. west99999

    west99999 Icon

    May 11, 2007
    The 3-2 adapter basically removed the ground from the receivers. Ill bet he unhooked the ground outside also. Glad its working for you now.
    tecnicoloco likes this.
  3. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2003
    Without picking apart thousands of words in several posts - I am glad that it is working for you.

    You have a unique situation. There is something wrong in your situation that is causing the issue.

    I have had more than one receiver connected to the same outlet without a problem. As long as one is not overloading the circuit or wiring it should not matter if the receivers are on the same circuit or different circuits.

    There are standards for the coax wiring. Using unapproved parts can lead to problems but this is not a "Monster Cable" situation where one needs $1,000 cables to meet an artificial standard. The correct type of cable can be purchased in any decent hardware store. So can appropriate connectors. The bigger issue is the splitters, nodes, hubs and barrel connectors that people put in their system. They all have to be within the design standard for the system. There are more ways to miswire a system than to get it right.

    Wired correctly with no defective parts you will never see 110v on a coax. If you are seeing 110v output on a coax at the receiver or power inserter that device is defective. (Not all devices are defective, just the one putting 110v on a coax.)

    In any case ... I am glad that it is working.
    tecnicoloco likes this.
  4. DoyleS

    DoyleS Icon

    Oct 21, 2002
    El Dorado...
    Sounds like your system is up and running and that is good. From your description of home wiring and glass fuses you have a very old electrical system that was likely put in when only 2 wires fed each outlet and lamp socket. When the tech used the 3:2 adapter, he was installing a work around to ensure grounds were not connected. You do need to be aware that this is not as safe as a properly grounded electrical system. Not a lot you can do at this point about that without ripping open walls and installing a modern electrical panel.
    Please understand that a number of us thrive on the technical detail and always want to understand the workings. Without actually looking at your system with test equipment, we can only go by what you say and sometimes that is insufficient for us to fully understand the problem or offer suggestions.
    The GFCI you installed will improve the safety even if the ground leg is not connected.
    tecnicoloco likes this.
  5. GoofyNut

    GoofyNut New Member

    Feb 13, 2016
    As one of you, or both, said, there is a problem with the wiring: it's old!! When the receiver initially shorted the system out, there were two receivers plugged in to the same circuit. They had been like this for almost three years with no problems. When the one receiver shorted out, it caused the electrical problem. However, I was only interested in getting my system up and running. My solution, although it accomplished what I wanted, doesn't address the fact that when the DISH receiver shorted out, it caused something else in the electrical system to malfunction and it needed attending to. I know that the only fix for this is probably to upgrade the entire electrical system. Which, I am not ready to do at this point. When I am ready, I'm sure that the electrician I choose will find the origin of the problem and I'll most likely be calling DISH because they've already admitted that the source of it all stemmed from their bad wiring.
    But, as a fix for someone, like me, who wants to get their system up and running first and foremost, it does do the trick. Any other problems regarding the electrical can, and will be dealt with afterwards. You guys should know that the average consumer is mainly concerned with fixing the task at hand. Therefore, the solutions that they are seeking should be addressed as such. Because, even though you may say exactly what the problem is, it still doesn't give the answer sought after and maybe the answer is to do something that they are not financially set up to do at the time.
    Yes, my system is safely working now. This allows me to be able to have the electrical issues dealt with in my time frame, not because it has to be for safety reasons. Does that make sense? I hope so...
    All that I was trying to do by posting what happened was to some info about getting a satellite system up and running. The electrical aspect is a whole different ball of wax! And I wouldn't even begin to try to tell anyone how to fix it or what they should try to fix it or anything. They should call an electrician when the y can. But, do it on their own terms. :smoking:
    Also, forgive me if I reacted poorly to your responses to my post. I'm still a bit on edge from the past two week of living in the middle ages (no TV), and need to get back to my normally relaxed and centered self. When I do have an electrician come out, I'll be sure to post his/her initial diagnosis of everything and also the breakdown of cause and effect, as well as the recommendation, as far as everything electrical is concerned. But, as all have suggested, I will take care of the electrical system as soon as I am able to do so. :money:

  6. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2003
    When DISH supplies their receivers with a three prong grounded plug it must be connected to a grounded outlet. Did you connect their receiver to a properly grounded three prong outlet? If not, the equipment was not installed correctly. Perhaps the installers should have simply refused the installation if a grounded plug was not available.

    But installers are also sometimes guilty of the "just get it running" attitude.

    If you have three prong outlets in your home that are not correctly grounded then it falls back on you. A satellite installer should not need to check the integrity of the electrical system in a home. If a three prong grounded outlet is presented it needs to be a correctly grounded outlet.
  7. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 7, 2005
    Kittrell, NC
    I've told this story dozens of times... 25 years or so ago I worked at a two-way radio shop... installing two-way radios and performing some minor repairs as well. I went to one location and they were having trouble talking to their trucks from the office base station. As I disconnected the antenna cable from the back of the radio I got a shock. It was winter, so I initially chalked it up to static. I was running tests and saw that their radio appeared to not be putting out the transmit power levels it was rated for, so I was preparing them for the "I'll need to take this back to the shop and let a technician look at it" bit.

    Disconnecting my test equipment, I was shocked again. Okay, that was weird... so I got out my voltmeter and checked... there was ~60 Volts on the antenna line without the radio even connected! The non-powered antenna on the roof somehow "magically" had power supplied to it. Two-and-two started to come together and I realized it was entirely possible nothing was wrong with their radio after all, but the voltage on the antenna line was providing interference... so I began to look around.

    I got into my X-Files/Supernatural questioning of "have you done anything new recently"... and found out they had bought a new computer and when they installed it they got a surge suppressor. On a lark, I unplugged that suppressor, and poof there went the voltage from the antenna line... and their radio was putting out full power again! I still took the radio back to be checked, since those things were not designed with the intent of having that kind of voltage on the antenna as an input for a sustained time like that... and I told them that they either needed a new suppressor OR a wiring check of their building OR probably both. I told them what they currently had was more like a surge inducer! :) And that they were safer for the moment not using that at all given the other problems it was causing.

    It wasn't until years later, running into other people who had similar experiences that I concluded the suppressor itself was probably fine... but the building likely was not properly wired at least on some circuits, and the introduction of the suppressor was bringing that to light.

    Dollars to doughnuts what you have is a wiring problem in your home, and you may or may not have other looming problems if you don't get that taken care of... I agree that the "workaround" by the Dish tech was probably a bit of sleight-of-hand fluff non-explanation he told you just to get out of there after he ungrounded your antenna.
  8. Michael P

    Michael P Hall Of Fame

    Oct 27, 2004
    There is a small current generated by the dish receiver on the coax for powering and controlling the LNB and switches. It's supposed to be there. You are not supposed to disconnect the coax while the dish receiver is plugged in. Don't try to measure it. If you are getting all the channels the system is working properly. I believe it's around 12 or 13 volts. Early switches used 2 different voltages to switch between clockwise and counterclockwise polarization. I experienced problems when F connectors let condensation into the coax, causing only the low voltage to make it to the LNB. I could only get half of the channels because the higher voltage was not making the LNB change polarity.

    Just because coax is also used for OTA signals you can't treat it in the same way. Keep the receiver unplugged until all the connections are made or you may cause damage to all the equipment connected.
  9. charlzjt

    charlzjt New Member

    Apr 2, 2017
    I suggest that you get an electrician to check the connections within the outlet....The neutral and ground wires that connect to the receptacle could be loose or broken...The ground could be acting as a neutral; causing a hazard shock when you touch it.......The neutral wire carries the unbalanced load of the the current stream....When it's broken voltage fluctuation can occur.....The breaker would normally trip; though when the ground is loose and the neutral amps are charging through the then floating equipment ground; the breaker doesn't have a fault..The breaker won't trip out then......cJT
  10. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    Jul 25, 2002
    W.Mdtrn Sea
    It was _legacy_ equipment: +13VDC for R/V and +18VDC for L/H polarization, next level was SW models and then DP/DPP/etc using DiSEqC like commands (formed by 22KHz tone)
    tecnicoloco likes this.

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