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521 posts

Ultimate Geek

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# 107052 6-Aug-2012 12:58
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I'm in the process of getting my parents set up for the digital switchover, and would appreciate some advice on the best way to wire up the wall plates for their installation.

Their house was built in the early 1980s and has had existing tv aerial wiring in the walls to an external point on the roof which has never had an aerial fitted. The TVs in the house actually got fairly acceptable Freeview reception just off the wiring in the walls, but had trouble picking up TV3 and other channels on the same frequency, so I arranged to get a UHF aerial installed and attached to the existing wiring.

The installer had some reservations about using the existing wiring because it was so old, but running a new cable (either internal or external) isn't really a practical option. Unfortunately it looks like he was right, and hooking up the aerial didn't actually improve the signal at all (vs hooking up to the in-wall wiring with no aerial). After trying a couple of things, the installer decided there wasn't anything he could do for us short of replacing all the wiring, and left.

I decided I would have a go at replacing the aerial jacks in the house, and see if that made any difference. The aerial is wired into the lounge jack, which then has another cable twisted into the jack daisy chaining it to the jack in the dining room (i.e. there is no splitter installed) - see below.

<|||-----------o-------------o
aerial        lounge            dining

I replaced the dining room jack with a new Belling Lee connector (the wire is similar to RG6 but thinner, and with a braided central core meaning I can't wire f-connectors), which gave me strong reception in the dining room. I also opened up the jack in the lounge where the wires are twisted together and gave that join a bit of a clean, which now gives much better (but not perfect) reception in the lounge. 

The setup now allows for use of either jack, but not both at the same time, which makes me think I need to insert an amplifier somewhere in the chain. I'm thinking that I will rewire the lounge jack to separate out the wires (see below) which means I can then patch in an external amplifier splitter like this one http://www.kingray.net.au/products/splitter-amplifiers/indooroutdoor/SA162F.

<|||----------o o-------------o
aerial        lounge            dining

The guy at the electrical wholesaler turned his nose up at this and said I should be installing a splitter into the ceiling space, which unfortunately isn't really an option given these appear to use f-connectors, and there is no access to the cable other than at the jack points.

Would appreciate any views on the best approach here.




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5621 posts

Uber Geek


  # 668242 6-Aug-2012 13:01
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How long are the cable runs - is it possible to use the existing cable to pull through new cable, or are there too many bends?

80 posts

Master Geek


  # 668243 6-Aug-2012 13:03
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Sounds like you really do need new cable. Is it possible to tie RG6 to the end of your existing wire and pull it through the existing cavity?

 
 
 
 


Banana?
4885 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 668249 6-Aug-2012 13:08
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They should not be twisted together. Try a splitter in behind the loung wall plate.



521 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 668250 6-Aug-2012 13:09
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I had considered giving this a go, but the house is quite a complex shape and the cable likely goes around quite a few corners and changes in angle. I also wonder whether the electrician who originally installed it would have stapled the cable to the framing.



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Ultimate Geek

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  # 668254 6-Aug-2012 13:11
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trig42: They should not be twisted together. Try a splitter in behind the loung wall plate.


The wholesaler I went to didn't actually stock a splitter which would fit this older cable (with braided central core). Any idea if one actually exists?

1956 posts

Uber Geek


  # 668274 6-Aug-2012 13:35
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If you were getting a reasonable signal with just the co-ax plugged in with no antenna then it's most unlikely you need any sort of amp.  An amplified indoor antenna may be worth a try but I would recommend new RG6 from the antenna to the sockets and a splitter is essential which is probably why using both at once doesn't work.
Would pay to check that the co-ax hasn't been shorted out with staples in the wall. You really need to check for continuity and shorts with an old installation.
For Freeview you really need the metal cased splitters with f connectors which also means RG6 co-ax.
I run my co-ax down the outside of the house inside electrical conduit (same colour as house and looks tidy) then under the floor and up into the wall socket. Did it myself and it wasn't difficult.
Try unplugging from the wall and connect about 30 cm of wire to the co-ax inner and see what happens. Would show if an indoor antenna might work. Can get signals OK here doing that but I still use a good outdoor antenna with RG6 and good quality splitter.

5621 posts

Uber Geek


  # 668278 6-Aug-2012 13:41
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At this price per unit, it's a bit painful, but would these F connectors help with your cable and installing a new splitter?

 
 
 
 




521 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 668370 6-Aug-2012 15:25
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Thanks for all your responses guys. I might try and install a splitter behind the wall plate using the f-connectors suggested above, but failing that, the consensus seems to be that I need to find a way to install some new RG6 cabling. Might get an installer's view on whether drawing through new cable using the old is going to work.

My parents are against the external wiring because the house has Oamaru stone cladding, and they are more concerned with ruining its appearance than getting good TV reception. The house is on a slab, so we would have to drill through the cladding rather than go under and up. There may be an option to run the cable along guttering and down pipes with some difficulty.

Indoor bunny ears do actually work, but seem to get interference from people walking around / smart phones / etc.

5621 posts

Uber Geek


  # 668381 6-Aug-2012 15:33
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froob:  [snip] Might get an installer's view on whether drawing through new cable using the old is going to work.
etc.


If you know roughly where the cabling goes, just give one end a tug, and see if you can pull it through the existing holes - if so, you should be able to use it to draw a new cable through the existing holes.

1956 posts

Uber Geek


  # 668430 6-Aug-2012 16:33
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froob:
Their house was built in the early 1980s and has had existing tv aerial wiring in the walls to an external point on the roof which has never had an aerial fitted. The TVs in the house actually got fairly acceptable Freeview reception just off the wiring in the walls, but had trouble picking up TV3 and other channels on the same frequency, so I arranged to get a UHF aerial installed and attached to the existing wiring.



If the signal didn't improve when the antenna was connected then there is definitely a problem with the co-ax.
If you're getting channels with just the coax connected then connecting the antenna should have given full strength signal.
I'm surprised the installer didn't pick this up and check the co-ax for continuity.
If an antenna was never fitted then how have they been receiving analogue TV?




521 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 669788 8-Aug-2012 19:46
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B1GGLZ: 

...If an antenna was never fitted then how have they been receiving analogue TV?...



They have had bunny ears for years, with mixed results.

727 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 669834 8-Aug-2012 21:33
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If you have a soldering iron, just apply some solder to the braided core; that'll stiffen it up nicely and could make it compatible for an F connector, maybe with a bit of sanding. Just a thought.

30 posts

Geek


  # 670168 9-Aug-2012 16:24

Whats your roofing material? Where are the TV sockets? are they on internal walls?

you can just get a saddle and clamp splitter. 

What street/suburb/city are you in?

Lots of info required for a decent answer.



521 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 670256 9-Aug-2012 20:15
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Roof is made of asbestos cement slates, so not ideal for mounting an aerial. The aerial has actually been fixed to the facia on the west side of the house, which is where the existing cabling ran to.

There are two sockets, which are both mounted on external walls in the lounge and dining areas on the north side of the house.

The house is in Dunedin with an almost line of sight to Mt Cargill.

mjb

923 posts

Ultimate Geek

Trusted

  # 670262 9-Aug-2012 20:33
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No ceiling space access?




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