Quad-shield RG6 and electrical lines?

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Old 11-26-11, 12:05 PM
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Quad-shield RG6 and electrical lines?

I've read quite a few times that one should not run cat5/6 parallel to power lines if not at least 1 foot apart.

How does this apply to RG6 that will be carrying in my cable internet from the street drop-off box?

The previous owner never had the house wired with conduit from the street so I had to call Time Warner and have a 3rd party come out, dig up the lawn, etc. and I had them drop it near the outside wall of my garage.

I'm going to pull it inside via some conduit and a jbox (they won't do inside-structure wiring and I didn't want this run along my outside wall).

Thing is, I need to take this to the electrical panel as I'm told they installer can't set it up if it's not grounded at the panel for some reason.

Do I still need to follow the same general conditions as cat5/6 even though it's quad-shielded cable? I know shielding is meant to help, but it's not an absolute protector.

If I run it on the other side of a stud/joist, does it still need to be a foot apart?

The real issue is getting to the panel. You can see many electrical conduits but I do see bare cable (the bare bundle appears to be phone) on the other side of the joist.


I was going to run it up this wall and across the top of the garage but there are some electrical conduit near. Also, it seems not smart to go over a jbox?


Thanks for any advice or guidance...
 
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Old 11-26-11, 02:05 PM
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The farther from power cabling the better but I have Category 5e UTP run through plastic conduit within six inches of NM power cabling with no problem whatsoever. My RG-6 (not quad) runs through the same conduit and has no problems.

You do NOT need to run the coax to the power panel, merely have the grounding/junction block close to where the Grounding Electrode Conductor (GEC) is located so that the tech (or you) can run the grounding connection from the block to the GEC.

My installation is underground to the house where it connects to the grounding/junction block which is screwed to the siding. There is a short, maybe 12-15 inches of #10 grounding conductor to the main GEC that exits the siding and then goes into the earth, A clamp connector connects the two. You want the grounding conductor to be fairly short and to run in a fairly straight line with a minimum number of bends.

At my sister's house I brought the coax into the garage through a conduit and then installed the grounding block in a stud bay. I connected the grounding conductor to the GEC. The power panel was in the next stud bay over from the coax and Ethernet cabling and the wall was finished. I installed an access door over the coax grounding/junction block.
 
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Old 11-26-11, 02:53 PM
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Ahhh that could help. I'll go to home depot to find a GEC (never seen one) that I can mount in the garage somewhere.

I think the initial installer mentioned it was law or code (or he doesn't know) that the coax needs to be visibly grounded outside of home.

Not sure if its specific to California or Time Warner or...? Or just crap.
 
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Old 11-26-11, 03:45 PM
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The GEC should already be installed. It is a large, typically bare copper conductor. It connects to ground rods and metallic water lines.
 
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Old 11-26-11, 04:54 PM
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This is a picture of a grounding/junction block. It could have any number (always in pairs) of coaxial connections. The green wire goes to the Grounding Electrode Conductor (GEC) which is a heavy copper wire, usually bare but sometimes with green insulation, that runs from the main circuit breaker panel (sometimes the electric meter) to a rod driven into the earth. It IS possible that your local code requires this device on the outside of the house.


(Image courtesy of ar15.com)
 
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Old 11-26-11, 09:26 PM
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The 2008 NEC requires an intersystem ground block. Arlington makes a nice one.

http://www.amazon.com/Arlington-GB5-.../dp/B00422M1K4
 
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Old 11-28-11, 05:15 PM
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I thought the bond had to be made outside of the structure.
 
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Old 11-28-11, 05:44 PM
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Network cable is twisted pair. The twist provides protection from interference like the shielding in coax does. Keeping your communication cables at least 12" away from your electrical system is good advice. If you don't and close up your walls and find you have transmission problems, then you have a major issue on hand. However, like Furd had said, a lot of times it isn't an issue. I have a mess of spaghetti behind my desk that includes ethernet and electrical wiring and I don't have any problems. The armor on your electrical cable is also acting as an RF shield. I wouldn't be concerned running your coax next to it.
 
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Old 11-29-11, 04:12 AM
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Ethernet and coax use two different methods to prevent noise from entering the signal.

The twisted pairs in ethernet (and phone) cables are "balanced", which means that one wire carries the "hot" signal and the other carries the "cold" signal. Neither wire is grounded. Because these signals are out of phase by 180 degrees, any noise that is common to both is cancelled. This method is called "common mode rejection".

"Unbalanced" coax (and consumer audio) use a single conductor for the hot signal. The shield carries the cold signal and it is grounded. This method relies on the shield to carry noise to ground. Because of this, noise can be introduced through ground loops and induction.

Although it's a good idea to keep all low-voltage cables physically separated from AC power lines, coax and consumer audio cables are less forgiving.
 
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Old 11-29-11, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
I thought the bond had to be made outside of the structure.
Thanks guys for the replies.

Justin, I think you might be right. I don't know if this is California code, city code, Time Warner code, or not even pertinent.

I've scheduled an appointment with a Time Warner installer for this Saturday. I tried asking them to talk to a technical installer before they come out but no go. My cable is still on the outside of the garage and before I drill to bring it inside, I need to know how they will need to ground it, etc. and where.

So he will be coming out for nothing but advice since they won't be able to set me up as nothing will be drilled until I know where I need to run the cable.

Did I mention how much I hate Time Warner?
 
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Old 11-29-11, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick Johnston View Post
Although it's a good idea to keep all low-voltage cables physically separated from AC power lines, coax and consumer audio cables are less forgiving.
Hmmm. For some reason I always thought it was the other way around. Ignorance really is bliss

Well, if they decide to ground this at the electrical panel, I can't avoid the electrical lines - but I suppose avoiding running it parallel with them for any distance is my main goal.

My main question now - and new to me (no luck with Google) - is how do I check for any effects from crosstalk, electrical interference, etc. in a line?

Is there a software program or hardware tester I can use to see the performance of a line? Not just speed, but any all the other aspects of "perforance"?

If a termination is bad, I assume it will either work or not. But I might not realize there are some burried or hidden electrical lines, etc. in a wall I don't know I'm running RG6/CAT6 near and would like to test before I close up the walls.

Any software or testing tools you can recommend would be great!
 
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Old 11-29-11, 06:45 PM
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I wouldn't worry too much about it. There are thousands and thousands of installations that are done with much less attention to detail.

Some cable modems track dropped packets from each interface; you may be able to figure out how to connect directly to the modem and see that information. Also, the installer may have the test equipment to test the line for attenuation, noise & signal strength. Those neat little boxes generally cost about $1-3K... so probably not an investment you need or want.
 
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