Cutting & Reconnecting coaxial cables...

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  #1  
Old 01-06-14, 06:30 PM
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Cutting & Reconnecting coaxial cables...

Hey Guys, I have verizon fios MOCA. I need to create another coaxial line in the garage. First obvious thing to consider is using a splitter, but I cannot get to the connector heads. Where it starts at the Verizon box is so bunched up and I just have too many things in the way for me to reach it and work comfortably. I follow one of the cables along the walls and see that it goes into the walls for the upstairs bedroom. I'm thinking of just cutting the cable somewhere at a point before it enters the wall. Give it new connector heads and connect the splitter there.

They sell these cable cutting, stripping and connector head sets at home depot, lowes, etc. And I've seen the cable guys use these tools. I'm thinking this is common, right? People do this all the time when they can't reach the original connector heads?

Please let me know if there are any reasons I shouldn't do this. If it's okay to do this, then the next question is are there different types of connector heads to consider? Thank you.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-06-14, 06:50 PM
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The current practice is for each cable to go to the jack unsplit. Depending on the signal strength you may be able to split but may also lose performance.
 
  #3  
Old 01-06-14, 07:22 PM
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With digital TV these days, you need to use high quality splitters and RG-6 cables with appropriate fittings. No more of those little $3 splitters that used to work with antennas and analog TV.

FiOS installers typically will use a 2-way splitter between the ONT and cable modem. Then one of the outputs will go to another splitter and out to any boxes/TVs.

The tools to strip and crimp the connectors are pretty easy to use, but it takes a bit of practice to get it right. You may want to practice once or twice before you go cutting the real cable.
 
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Old 01-06-14, 11:25 PM
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I like the thomas and betts snap and seal f terminals. The coax strip and crimp tool for them is the it-1000. The f terminals are different colors for the rg59 or rg6 or rg6 quad sheild.
 
  #5  
Old 01-07-14, 12:12 AM
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In my experience the FiOS system is pretty forgiving of signal issues. I've cleaned up a few rat's nest self-installs where I was amazed that they worked at all.

As far as 'standard practice' nowadays, just forget that crimp fittings even exist. You will never see an A/V tech with a crimper in their toolbox. You have to use compression. Period. Why crimp fittings are even made anymore is beyond me. If you only need to do a few, Home Depot has a little kit with a stripper, a compression tool, and 10 fittings for like $25. It's not bad to have around.

On the contrary to what Zorfdt said, the splitters that are used by cable techs and satellite installers (made by Holland, AMS, etc) only cost $3-4 apiece online. The $18 super-duper gold plated splitters that places like Home Depot and Radio Shack carry are nothing but a waste of money (they are pure markup and profit for the store) - and they rarely cover the low frequency ranges required by DTV equipment backchannels.

If the modem isn't in the upstairs bedroom, you'll have no issues with the inline split. If it is, you probably won't have issues, but if you do (modem randomly drops offline or your speeds suffer), you will want to do as Zorfdt said and have it running off its own port of the first 2-way splitter (you can also use the -3.5dB port of a 3-way splitter).
 
  #6  
Old 01-07-14, 11:25 PM
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Thanks for all the tips!

How do installers run cable lines anyway? The one that goes into the upstairs bedroom from the garage. There is no other way, no crawl space, nothing. If I can find a way to get in walls, I would split it in the bedroom and feed the cable back into the garage, but you'd have to take down a chunk of the drywall to have vision. So how did they do it? It was done by the builders?
 
  #7  
Old 01-08-14, 01:42 AM
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It all depends on the construction and how much extra the customer is willing to pay to hide them. The more complex the situation the more it will cost - and the customer has to decide whether it is worth it.

Its possible that particular line was run before the drywall was put up. Without seeing it I couldn't tell you for sure though. I'm not getting a very good mental picture from your description.

I was under the impression that the cable ran exposed in the garage and then through the wall into the bedroom.. You could install the splitter somewhere along that exposed cable. If that's not the case, maybe post a diagram or some pictures showing what you want to do.

There are various tools and techniques that we use for hiding cabling inside existing walls. The tools aren't cheap though, and access from above or below is almost always required (unless the customer is okay with removal of baseboards and other trim).
 
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Old 01-08-14, 03:04 AM
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It can be run under vinyl siding or through the corner posts to get to upper floors.
 
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Old 01-09-14, 02:24 AM
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Instead of cutting and compressing cables, I decided to clear out the clutter and I was able to get to the source at the Verizon box. They installed a 4-way splitter. Instead of splitting one of these outs, I'm thinking why not reconnect everything to a 5 way splitter? So option A is to replace the main splitter, and option B is to split one of the outs with a 2-way splitter.

But can you guys educate me a little on what these numbers mean? As mentioned, the main splitter is a 4-way. Each of the out shows 7.5db. And somewhere on the label it also says 5-1000MHZ 6kv.

If i go with option B in splitting one of these outs, there is a 2-way splitter that was recommended to me. It doesn't say what db each out is, but it does say 5-24000MHZ. Is that okay?

Now if I go with Option A in getting a main splitter that has more than 4 outs. I found one with 6 outs, and it says 5-24000MHZ. Is that okay?

Or, should I only buy splitters that are labeled 5-1000MHZ like the one Verizon game me?
 
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Old 01-09-14, 05:35 AM
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5 - 1000 is the frequency bandwidth that the splitter passes, in MegaHertz (MHz). You might see "DC" instead of the "5". This is the necessary low-end that Taz referred to. As for 2400 MHz being better than 1000 MHz, the higher numbered device is typically used for satellite cabling from the dish to the receiver and is not necessary for distributing CATV signals through the home. It won't hurt to use it, but it's not necessary. As long as it passes 5 - 1000 MHz you'll be fine.

The other number is insertion loss, in decibels (dB). The 4-way has a loss of -7.5, which means the signal will drop 7.5 dB from the input to each of the outputs. The 6-way will probably have an insertion loss of -9 or -10dB. Most of the time there is enough signal at the provider's drop (your input) to handle an additional split, but sometimes you'll need to install an amplifier into the input side to increase the signal. It is much preferred to use only one splitter rather than multiple splits. The dB numbers are additive from one split to the next, so it's easy to calculate the total loss -- and see how fast your signal drops to below threshold.

If you add an amp, make sure it also passes the same bandwidth as the splitter(s). In this case, though, the amp must have a return path. The specs will look something like this: Forward gain 11dB (or 15, 20, 30, etc) @ 54MHz to 1000 MHz. Return gain 11dB @ 5 - 50 MHz. Notice if you add the forward and return bandwidths you get the splitter's spec of 5 - 1000 MHz.
 
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Old 01-09-14, 01:59 PM
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Yes, the number that ends in MHz is the frequency range that the splitter has been tested to reliably pass through it. TECHNICALLY MoCA runs between 500 and 1650MHz, but FiOS (at this time) is definitely running at 1000MHz or less because those splitters come directly from Verizon with the FiOS label on them. At some point down the road, when/if Verizon upgrades the system to MoCA 2.0, the splitters may need to be replaced.. But considering all of their current equipment is MoCA 1.1, it won't happen anytime soon.

Insertion loss.. Rick pretty much covered it, except a 6 way splitter will have two -7dB outlets and four -11db outputs. An 8 way splitter has eight -11dB outputs. Using a larger splitter no different than stacking/chaining smaller splitters - there is no "extra" loss (or advantage) signal-wise doing it one way over the other unless the connections and cables are in (or are allowed to degrade into) bad shape. It's just neater to use the fewest number of splitters.

I don't normally encourage mid-run splits - especially when they are somewhere that can be hidden.. But it is a necessary evil in the trade because you can't always home-run. BUT, there's nothing wrong with stacking splitters when they're all in the same spot - and indoors.

Where you DO have an advantage in stacking is when there is a large number of TV outlets AND a modem. Broadband modems are less tolerant of low carrier signals than the set-top boxes are, and your speed can suffer. So what is normally recommended is to use a two-way splitter at the very beginning (the cable that comes out of the ONT) and connect the modem to one of its outputs. Then run the other output of that splitter to the input of a splitter with the appropriate number of outputs for your TVs. This gives you a modem port with a stronger signal than you'd get from any port on a 6-way and ensures that the modem is starting off with the strongest signal that it can.

-------

Splitter output losses:

2-way: -3.5dB each
3-way: (two) -7dB, and (one) -3.5dB (same as stacking two 2-ways)
4-way: -7dB each (same as stacking three 2-ways)
5-way: Doesn't exist
6-way: (two) -7dB, and (four) -11dB (same as stacking one 2-way with two 3-ways)
7-way: Doesn't exist
8-way: -11dB each (same as stacking one 2-way with two 4-ways)

Every -3dB is loss of half the signal strength at the output.
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As I said, in my experience the modulator inside the ONT on the side of the house is pretty good. It puts out a strong signal to begin with, and the system is relatively tolerant of a low reverse channel signal as far as the interactive features go. The WHDVR service (whole home DVR) is less forgiving, but you'd need to have more than -11dB of loss to see issues. Basically it was designed to be a 'self-install' system that can be run through existing wiring - which is almost always of 'questionable' quality and integrity.

That said, there are no 'consumer level' amplifiers that will work with FiOS, due to unique use of backchannels. It uses the normal low-frequency control channels, but the data return channels used for interactive features like guide and VOD (normally in the same 5-49MHz band as the control channels) are actually around 900MHz in FiOS. This means the normal digital-ready amplifiers on the market will not work. There is supposedly one that can be had directly from Verizon, but they will not give it to you directly, a tech must come test your system and install it if necessary.
 

Last edited by taz420; 01-09-14 at 02:16 PM.
  #12  
Old 01-10-14, 12:54 AM
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Very helpful info. Thank you guys!

I had to google ONT though. LOL! Optical Network Terminal.. Never knew the name for that box in my garage. I'll do as taz420 suggested, "use a two-way splitter at the very beginning (the cable that comes out of the ONT) and connect the modem to one of its outputs. Then run the other output of that splitter to the input of a splitter with the appropriate number of outputs for your TVs."

The only issue is I can't tell which cable goes to which room, but that's easily solvable by an elimination game of unplugging and seeing which room goes out, and when the modem goes out. I'll put color tabs on them too to remind me in the future.

Thanks again for all the info!
 
  #13  
Old 01-12-14, 04:20 PM
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Turned out I didn't need a splitter. I have cable in 4 of my rooms, and the source is a 4 way splitter, so naturally I thought each cable occupied a port. But it turns out that 2 of the rooms shared a port with a splitter. One port had a cable that went to a room we don't use, so I unplugged that one and now I have moca in the garage.
 
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