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DTV Long Coax Runs

1092 Views 16 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  AntAltMike
I will be repositioning my DTV dish next month due to trees growing in the way. This will be creating a new problem for me in that I will have a run of at least 300 feet and probably 400 feet. Also I need to split the signal to three different location within that range. What I need help on is:


1. What is the best coax cable for this, brand and type?

2. What is the best splitter?

3. Do I need amplifications and if so what type and where in the line?

4. Anything else I should do that I have not addressed?


Thanks from my family, they want this to work out.


Steve on San Juan Island
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1) Most likely RG11 would be your best bet

2) You can't split Directv signals, you need a run to the dish for each receiver.

3) You'll need a good quality powered multiswitch like a Spaun at the dish to have any chance of that long of a run working. This will require a 120 volt power outlet at the dish and protection from the elements for the switch also.


You might want to contact a company like Solid Signal or Value Electronics for advice on this, the distances your requiring are double the Directv limit and may not be possible at all.
Thanks for the information. For the RG11, do you know if the standard copper coated steel is acceptable?
Why wouldn't a mid-span powered multiswitch serve as a "repeater?"


If an everyday MS would not, they do make distribution-style multiswitches that may work, for example ... http://www.basshome.com/subcategory_553.htm
The problem with copper coated steel is the passing of the 13V/18V transponder selection signal. The 18V signal especially can drop below threshold and disable the selection of even numbered transponders. If RG11 is used, transition it to RG6 before connecting to equipment. The heavy center wire can force the contacts on the jack apart so it won't work with RG6 any more.


I'd use a solid copper conductor RG6 like Belden 1694A with a line powered amplifier in mid run if necessary. That should do the trick without the bother of RG11 connections. RG11 will be lower loss but probably is not required, is more expensive and harder to work with. Mid run amping allows a balance between power loss from the receiver/multiswitch and signal loss from the dish.


Less expensive multiswitches such as the Eagle Aspen S-4180-GX+ and Terk BMS-58 will do the job fine with significantly less expense than the Spaun but only amplify the signal enough to overcome the 8 way split. The price difference is way more than 4 inline amps though with one example being

http://www.buy.com/retail/Product.as...cs&dcaid=17282
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Quote:
Originally posted by greywolf

.... but only amplify the signal enough to overcome the 8 way split. The price difference is way more than 4 inline amps though with one example being

http://www.buy.com/retail/Product.as...cs&dcaid=17282 [/b]
How do I measure the amplification to determine if it is enough to overcome the split? Also, is the mulitswitch powered and close to the dish?

Thanks.
The powered multiswitch is enough to overcome the split. The inline amplifier is meant to overcome the line loss due to length. You don't need to measure anything. If the signal strength is low, add the inline amplifiers. The multiswitch can be placed anywhere between the dish and the receivers. It also provides the signal power to the dish. I would probably choose a place in the house for an electronics closet for dish, phone, computer network, etc. and put the multiswitch there with distribution throughout the house. If inline amplification is needed in addition, one on each of the four lines between dish and multiswitch will do the trick.
listen to greywolf,

he hit everything on the head:D


I've always been told however its better to put the multi-switch close to the dish but who knows?


for that distance you'll definetly need inline amplifiers...terk is a good manufacturer.
Putting the multiswitch closer to the dish helps because its internal amplifier gets a better quality signal to amplify. Now come the buts if the 8 outputs are used.


8 inline amps intead of 4. 8 coax runs over the long distance instead of 4. Power is easily available and multiswitch is easily accessible at the house but might not be at the dish. The multiswitch doesn't amplify the signal very much anyway. The multiswitch is the power source for the inline amps rather than the receivers which normally means a more reliable and shorter run situation. Terk quality is no better than anybody else, is much worse for some products like OTA antennas, and is usually more expensive. http://www.dssparts.com/eshop/10Brow...ory=Amplifiers shows an example. Their BMS-58 multiswitch is a notable exception with comparable quality and a competitive price.
Greywolf and those who know.


I'd like to know if this is the best scenario to use. I have to purchase the coax and have it in the ground by next Sunday (27th) and am putting all my marbles into this step.


I'm having a DTV HD satellite and receiver installed with this long run set up. It's the only TV we have over here on the west side of San Juan Island.


1. Is RG11 (which brand & type), the best way to go over RG6 if cost is not a factor, just signal quality now and in the future.


2. Spaun's recommendation is as follows:


"As close to the satellite dish as possible, install the SBK5503NF. This is a powered system launch amplifier that should not be installed any farther

than 150 ft from the satellite dish. After the 350ft run you should

install a SMS5602NF - a six way multiswitch.


This should do the trick. Just make sure that from the amplifier output 1 gets connected to the V/Low input, output 2 get connected to the V/High input, output 3 gets connected to the H/Low input and output 4 gets connected to the H/High input." (Honestly, I don't know what this last paragraph means)


Will this work in place of in-line amplification as you described?


3. Any question I shoud be asking?


Thanks for your contribution to us all. Fisherman
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Since theres a lotta talk about in-line amplifiers, could anyone suggest a good in-line amp for a OTA antenna or for that matter a long run with CABLE. Is the Cable Vision SAT-20DB a GOOD overall In-line AMP?
Sorry, I have no info about Spaun amplified multiswitches. They are too expensive to justify my playing with them.


My favorite preamp for OTA is the Channel Master 7777.


I would put the burden of CATV reception on the cable company. They, unlike the satellite and OTA providers, have the ability to adjust the signal on your incoming line to provide proper signal readings. You shouldn't have to purchase any equipment.
Quote:
Originally posted by greywolf
If RG11 is used, transition it to RG6 before connecting to equipment. The heavy center wire can force the contacts on the jack apart so it won't work with RG6 any more.
I don't think that anyone is still making RG-11 connectors that use the coax's center conductor as the center pin terminal. Any such RG-11 connectors that you may stumble across cheap on eBay or elsewhere are actually "New, old stock", which is to say, they are new but they have been sitting on someone's shelf for a decade. You can buy RG-11 crimp connectors with center pins that mate nicely into "F" female connectors for $1 each or less. If you buy RG-11 compression connectors, you would have to buy an expensive tool to install them that you'd likely never use again. Nevertheless, it is a good practice to mate them with a very short piece of RG-6 before connecting them to a chassis mounted "F" jack, because the RG-11's stiffness puts excessive strain on the jack.



Roughly speaking, you can safely go 700 feet with RG-11, 400 feet with RG-6 and 300 feet with RG-59 before typical LNB signal levels will approach the input threshold of DBS receivers. Estimating the safe lengths to assure that the 18 volt switching voltage stays above the trigger level of about 15.5 volts is more difficult.


For your application, I'd run RG-6 with a copper center conductor. Actually, I, myself would first run the cheapest RG-6 I could find and then evaluate its performance with some test equipment that I have, but since you don't have that equipment, you really should pay the extra few pennies per foot for the copper center conductor coax.


Most Spaun products are designed to develop high-powered trunklines for large, multifamily dwellings. Placing a multiswitch close to the LNBs is relatively unimportant, since the LNB internal amplifiers have published gain figures ranging from 50 to 62dB, meaning that their output is so far above the thermal noise floor that even a 30dB signal loss over a 400 foot RG-6 coax will not qualitatively degrade that signal to any degree that you could detect. I think the only reason that Spaun recommends keeping the distance between their commercial launch amplifier and the LNBs short is that it won't have enough gain to allow it to develop its maximum rated output if the LNB is over maybe 100 feet from the amplifier. Typically, LNBs have transponder output signal strength levels of about -30dBm, and I think that Spaun's trunkline amplifiers have a maximum output level of around -10dBm with a full channel load, but their amplifiers have no more than 28dB of gain, so if you put their amplifier more than 100 feet from the LNBs, the trunkline would not be optimally powered.


Buy the cheapest, externally powered multiswitch you can find. As far as I can tell, none is any better or any worse than any other.
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Thanks Mike. As usual, I get to learn something new.
Thanks Mike and Pat.


Given that I'm not needing an industrial strength amplifier, what brand/model would be best for my four runs if I keep them in the 300' foot range?


Also what Cat 5 cable would you use for any 'future' sat HDTV?


Steve

Originally posted by fisherman



2. Spaun's recommendation re: system launch amplifier is as follows:


Just make sure that from the amplifier output 1 gets connected to the V/Low input, output 2 get connected to the V/High input, output 3 gets connected to the H/Low input and output 4 gets connected to the H/High input."



Can anyone tell me what this means. Does HD DTV Satellite Dish has four outputs (are they different voltage/dB/?) that get combined to one or two outputs to the HD receiver?


Also, anybody else make a quality launch amplifier for DirecTV HD Dish?


Thanks
Spaun products were originaly engineered for use in Europe, where satellite signals are linearly polarized. They also are designed for connection to dedicated LNBs and so, in that application, must be matched up properly, whereas if a Spaun amplifier with a 22Kz tone capability is interfaced with a contemporary US domestic DBS integrated LNB, each Spaun input will call for and receive the correct signal. After that, if one has constructed a cascadable trunkline, each dedicated output must be mated to each corresponding cascadable multiswitch input.


In other words, this particular quirk regarding Spaun amplifiers is of no concern to most U.S. users of the product, and unless you are looking to spend $500 for a Spaun amplifier, it definitely will be of no direct concern to you.
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