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Grounded Signal Splitter same as Grounding Block?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have just installed an outdoor antenna, which is working very well for one TV, and OK for two, using a signal splitter. I have grounded the mast and the antenna lead-in according to NEC specs.

However, as mentioned I am splitting the antenna signal to supply signal to 2 TVs. I have loosely wired this, just to test it, and I intermittently lose one or two channels. My question is this: Can I used a grounded signal splitter as the grounding block for the incoming coaxial cable from the antenna line, or do I need to install a separate grounding block, then a signal splitter? I am trying to minimize loss, as it affects a couple channels that have a marginal signal.

Thanks for any assistance.
post #2 of 14
NEC is not specific as to a specific device used to ground the coaxial shield. The grounded splitter in place of the grounding block meets the requirement under the code.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
I kind of figured it would perform the same function. I guess I'm not only concerned about meeting code, but making sure the grounding circuit is optimally functional, for obvious safety reasons. Thanks for your reply.
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by a m joe View Post

I have just installed an outdoor antenna, which is working very well for one TV, and OK for two, using a signal splitter. I have grounded the mast and the antenna lead-in according to NEC specs.

However, as mentioned I am splitting the antenna signal to supply signal to 2 TVs. I have loosely wired this, just to test it, and I intermittently lose one or two channels. My question is this: Can I used a grounded signal splitter as the grounding block for the incoming coaxial cable from the antenna line, or do I need to install a separate grounding block, then a signal splitter? I am trying to minimize loss, as it affects a couple channels that have a marginal signal.

Thanks for any assistance.

I would guess that it would depend on the conductivity of the splitter case. Case conductivity is not a usual splitter specification.
post #5 of 14
Correct... it would be a guess. wink.gif

OTOH.... it's metal and will provide a ground.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

I would guess that it would depend on the conductivity of the splitter case. Case conductivity is not a usual splitter specification.
But the cases are made from the same cheap pot-metal that the body of a groundblock is. They also make some groundblocks out of aluminum, just like some splitters...
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Correct... it would be a guess. wink.gif

OTOH.... it's metal and will provide a ground.

All metal has the same conductivity? The ground blocks I have are copper-clad aluminum or zinc. Great conductors. I've seen splitters made of cheap "lead-like" metal. They weren't meant to provide a good ground. I doubt that they conduct as well as a ground block.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

All metal has the same conductivity? The ground blocks I have are copper-clad aluminum or zinc. Great conductors. I've seen splitters made of cheap "lead-like" metal. They weren't meant to provide a good ground. I doubt that they conduct as well as a ground block.
Are you really asking if 'All metal has the same conductivity?' Or is that (failed) sarcasm? Since it has to hold a decent machined thread I doubt they'd make splitters from "lead-like" metal, but even if they did it would still have to conduct well enough to connect the cable shields together. That should also be conductive enough to use as a grounding point.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

..."lead-like" metal...
Maybe he means zinc. A lot of folks cannot tell the difference.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

All metal has the same conductivity? The ground blocks I have are copper-clad aluminum or zinc. Great conductors. I've seen splitters made of cheap "lead-like" metal. They weren't meant to provide a good ground. I doubt that they conduct as well as a ground block.
Are you really asking if 'All metal has the same conductivity?' Or is that (failed) sarcasm? Since it has to hold a decent machined thread I doubt they'd make splitters from "lead-like" metal, but even if they did it would still have to conduct well enough to connect the cable shields together.

That connection is usually internal. The threaded connections are often made from a different metal than the rest of the splitter. I have seen splitters whose mounting holes were in a type of plastic. Hey, if someone wants to eliminate the minimal insertion loss of a real grounding block, and use his splitter instead, go for it. Just be aware of the caveats.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

..."lead-like" metal...
Maybe he means zinc. A lot of folks cannot tell the difference.

Hmmm...the quote was "The ground blocks I have are copper-clad aluminum or zinc. Great conductors. I've seen splitters made of cheap "lead-like" metal." Looks like "he" knows the difference.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

Looks like "he" knows the difference.
If you say so...What would you posit that "lead-like" material be if not zinc? I am guessing you are referring to some kind of pot metal, which is usually zinc, with or without the addition of alloys. I don't think I have ever seen a splitter case that looked like it was made of a "lead-like" material, but I certainly haven't seen them all.
Edited by Colm - 7/25/12 at 12:29am
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

Hey, if someone wants to eliminate the minimal insertion loss of a real grounding block, and use his splitter instead, go for it. Just be aware of the caveats.
This really gets back to the crux of the matter. A properly installed grounding block is going to have minimal insertion loss, sometimes specified as .5 dB, but generally less. If that is enough to make your system not work, you are on the ragged edge to start with.
Edited by Colm - 7/25/12 at 12:31am
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

Looks like "he" knows the difference.
If you say so...What would you posit that "lead-like" material be if not zinc?

Don't know. Couldn't identify it. It seem "softer" than most splitters, so I can only speculate on the percentage of fillers. It was an old 500MHz splitter connected to a rusty antenna/mast.
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