HELP! How can I run my antenna cable down from the attic? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 02-11-2007, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, I went out an bought an OTA antenna today and have assembled it in the attic. My next question is how do I run the antenna cable down to my reciever? I positioned the antenna directly above the TV in the attic. So hopefully it will make for an easier drop between the walls. Is there any tricks to this? My wife is terrified that Im going to be putting unnecessary holes in the wall and quite frankly so Im I. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated, both from me AND my wife.
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post #2 of 15 Old 02-11-2007, 03:20 PM
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It's not that hard if you have the right tools...ie, glow rods or a fish tape. Is there insulation in that particular wall? If not, use a nearby electrical outlet as a frame of reference on where that wire goes down the wall. If you can position the hole in the attic at least in the vicinity of where the hole will be down below, you could just use a string with some sort of weight on it. If there's insulation, you'll have to use a fish tape or glow rods or something long, thin, and flexible to push through the wall. Hope this helps. Remember not to make the bottom hole any bigger than can be covered by a single gang plate.
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post #3 of 15 Old 02-11-2007, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbwell View Post

I positioned the antenna directly above the TV in the attic. So hopefully it will make for an easier drop between the walls.

You shouldn't worry about positioning the antenna directly above the TV. You may have to move the antenna around a few times in order to find the spot where reception is best. From the antenna you can run a long coax cable dropping it in the hole above the TV.

Radio Shack also has wall plates for the cable that don't require you to nail them to a wall stud. They come with an instruction sheet.

If you're drilling from above, make sure you're not drilling into a wall stud. Otherwise you'll never see the hole appear I have a stud finder that tells me where the wall studs are and then I can drill between them. Some wall studs have crossbeams between them (rare) so if you drop the cable down you may hit that piece and wonder why the cable never made it to the bottom.

I locate where to drill the hole by reference to something (eg what relationship is the entry to the attic with respect to where the TV is below). Do some measuring and you'll know where to drill.

Once I've cut open a square in the wall for the wall plate, I shine a flashlight into it so I can see it from above (peering down into the hole I've drilled in the attic). Sometimes I tape the coax cable to a long rod and let it down the hole aiming for the light. Then from the hole below I grab the cable.

If your attic doesn't have a floor and you're balancing yourself on the attic beams, be careful. Ceilings aren't very sturdy (and a friend of mine went through one). Even leaning on them strongly may crack the paint in the ceiling below the attic. If you don't have an attic floor, it may be good to take a wide plank you can lay across some beams in order to make yourself comfortable when drilling.
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post #4 of 15 Old 02-11-2007, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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yeah, I have a stud finder and I have found I have cross beams, which isnt going to make it any easier for me
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post #5 of 15 Old 02-11-2007, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbwell View Post

yeah, I have a stud finder and I have found I have cross beams, which isnt going to make it any easier for me

They may not be everywhere. You don't have to put the wall plate exactly where the TV is. You're going to run a coax from the wall plate to the TV anyway.

My crossbeams are not the full width of the wall studs - a few inches less wide than the wall studs. You can still manage with a rod to push the cable down around the crossbeam. Or find a space where there are no crossbeams even if a few feet from the TV. Then run 3' or 6' cable from the wall plate to the TV/receiver.
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post #6 of 15 Old 02-11-2007, 08:53 PM
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In my place, I was able to find a pair of closets that got me from attic to basement. My RG6 cable snakes down the inside of the closets, attic to 2nd, 2nd to first, first to basement, then over to TV and up through floor. Slick, and no fishing required.
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post #7 of 15 Old 02-12-2007, 06:11 AM
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Several points here. It hasn't been mentioned yet, but there will be a double plate you have to drill through - about three inches. If you indeed have blocking in the wall (implies a fairly recent house), you could a) put the coax outlet above the blocking (WAF may be low on this one), or b) make a reasonable size hole in the sheetrock (hopefully it is sheetrock), find the wire, drill a new hole through the blocking, push the wire on down, and then repair the sheetrock, or c) get a long flexible drill and drill through the blocking from below. Of these choices, I have only done b) and had no problems.

Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess.
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post #8 of 15 Old 02-12-2007, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbwell View Post

OK, I went out an bought an OTA antenna today and have assembled it in the attic. My next question is how do I run the antenna cable down to my reciever? I positioned the antenna directly above the TV in the attic. So hopefully it will make for an easier drop between the walls. Is there any tricks to this? My wife is terrified that Im going to be putting unnecessary holes in the wall and quite frankly so Im I. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated, both from me AND my wife.



Do you have a buddy that is a electrician? Buy him a case of beer and he could drill the hole and put in the outlet box in for you. If you going to go though all the trouble of putting Coax I would pull 2 or even 3 so if want to add Sat* you would have it there already if you have a PVR for the SAT you would need 2 runs from the dish. Would run RG-6 Quad as Sat feed need to be RG-6 Quad. And also would run a rotor wire too if you want to put antenna on the rotor make sure leave extra if you need to install it on the roof if attic mount don't work out. It not really hard to do, it just like some poster above just look around in the room and other room and then look in the attic. And yes DON'T walk on drywall in the attic they don't hold your weight. This is the best time of the year to do this, because you would regret it in the summer if you waited until then. Also have some one in the room tap the corner ceiling and the wall where the wall outlet will be at you could hear and feel where the person is below at.

GOOD LUCK !!
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post #9 of 15 Old 02-12-2007, 10:54 AM
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I did what blood_donor did. The wall behind my HDTV has a bedroom closit. I drilled a hole in the ceiling in the corner of the closit and then just below that a hole through the wall to the HDTV room.

This has the added advantage that it is easy to add additional cables. Through this I have an OTA coax, a satellite coax, a return coax for my second TV onnected to my satellite DVR, a telephone cable to connect to my DVR, and an ethernet cable for my PS3/Blu-ray player.

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post #10 of 15 Old 02-12-2007, 11:22 AM
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I'm in a similar situation to the OP, so thanks for the good info.

Any recommendations on what brand RG6 coax to use? Basic RG6 from Lowe's or Home Depot or Radio Shack? Or should it be something like Belden?
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post #11 of 15 Old 02-12-2007, 11:37 AM
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RG6 from HomeDepot or Lowes would be quite adequate.
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post #12 of 15 Old 02-12-2007, 03:16 PM
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Another question - how (or can) you tell if the existing coax cable for the cable TV service is RG6 or RG59?

We've lived in our house for 14 years and it was there when we bought the house if that helps.
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post #13 of 15 Old 02-12-2007, 03:32 PM
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Just a thought:

why not run the line outside your house? If you have a house with vinal (aluminum siding) you can easily pull small sections apart just enough to tuck the wire in it. Let the wire run down underneath the siding. Then just drill one hole where you want the cable to go into the wall. That should be easy enough to pinpoint. If you don't have siding, well, having one one cable neatly fastened into place or running along the inside corner of a chimney or something down your house won't look too bad at all.
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post #14 of 15 Old 02-12-2007, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Podium View Post

Another question - how (or can) you tell if the existing coax cable for the cable TV service is RG6 or RG59?

We've lived in our house for 14 years and it was there when we bought the house if that helps.


Most likely you have RG-59 cable as 14 years ago RG-6 was just coming out and was very costly. Just look along the cable if black jacket look for white imprint it should say RG-59 every 6" or 12" it about 1/4" dia. RG-6 is little bigger than 1/4" dia.
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post #15 of 15 Old 02-13-2007, 08:00 PM
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Use a 1/8" locator bit to drill at an angle up from the wallfished wall plane into the attic cavity (top plate). There is no quess work, in finding it in the dark attic. visit www.lsdinc.com for details

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