RG6 cable run length-signal quality

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by BillTHO, Jan 6, 2003.

  1. BillTHO

    BillTHO Auditioning

    Jan 3, 2003
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    I am having a problem with signal quality on a run of RG6 cable that is about 100' long. I get a picture, but it is grainy. I've checked and rechecked the connectors, but still won't totally rule that out as I know they are finicky. I've traced as much of the line as I can (this is newly finished construction), and I noticed that the electrician ran the cable parallel to a 120v line in a couple of spots, which I was able to separate by 12" or more. Don't know if there are other concealed spots where the cable was strung alongside the 120v or not.

    I'm not able to string a new line unless I take it outside the house and bury it, and I'm not real anxious to do that.

    So, that leaves a couple of questions- how long of a run can I go with RG6 before the signal quality starts to drop, (seems like 100' should be ok . . .) and would a line amp be a good idea?

    Appreciate any thoughts
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
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    Hi Bill.

    Is this for a CATV system? If so, call the CATV company. They will come out with a meter and test the signals at each end and work their way up the line to decide if the problem is that cable or their service.

    The number one cause of poor picture quality is loose or poorly-attached "F" connectors. Most CATV techs will simply cut and install commercial-grade connectors simply as a matter of course.

    If you dont want to do this, here are some things you could try:

    - First, determine what channel is the worst. Problems with cables will affect some stations sooner than others. Use this channel for all your tests.

    - Try moving the TV to the head of the line (ahead of the 100 ft RG6). Does the problem exist still?

    - Or buy a length of RG6 with pre-installed connectors and just run it to the TV in a non-perminent fashion (through doors/windows, etc.) Does the picture still have problems with this entirely different coax routed differently? If not, it's something about that original coax causing the problems.

    - You might still be stuck needing an amplifier. But the amp needs to attach at the far end of that 100 ft coax, not the TV end. Otherwise you will be amplifying garbage as well as signal. You will need a source of AC power at that end. The Radio Shack amps work, but I seemed to burn through them every 3 years or so. A better, but more expensive units are the ones made by "Channel Plus". Check the web for dealers.

    Good luck and let us know what you experiement with and discover.
  3. Brae

    Brae Supporting Actor

    Jul 25, 2002
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    Bill, you may want to make an investment into your future and buy some stock RG6 Quad-Shielded cable. It can be had at Home Depot for $36 for 500-feet. I decent crimper frmo PartsExpress will cost you $16 (360-045) and the actual F-connector $0.45 (090-409).

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