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What is the longest range I can run RG6 to DirecTV dish?
This thread has 23 replies. Displaying posts 1 through 15.
Post 1 made on Friday December 31, 2010 at 19:13
william david design
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I got a job today and the homeowner was told by the original DirecTV installer that since the cable was 300ish feet to the dish he wouldn't be able to upgrade to HD. I thought there was an amplifier available in the old days for long runs like this but the low def boxes are working fine with old 2 LNB dish and there is no amplifier that I can see on the current run.

Anyway, what about the new SWM setup? Could I get signal that far or do we need to run another cable the direct route under his driveway (which is about 100 feet) to get HD?


I thought if we can get low def channels the hi def channels would come in okay...
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results...
Post 2 made on Friday December 31, 2010 at 19:26
Hasbeen
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 I personally unspooled a roll of 1000' RG-6 quad shield and ran it through a huge office Started on the roof, went halfway across the building, down a floor and into an IT closet.  Installed a SWM dish.  No problems.  No amplifer.  No service Call. That was 2 years ago.

Because of the difficult run, I even ended up cutting it about 400' into the line, and placing a barrel coupler on it.

When I was done, I had about 3' left on the spool.  I was actually worried about it before I got there, I took one end of the spool tapped onto the dish, took the other end of the spool,(hanging out of the wood spool) and connected it. Worked no problem. 

I was still worried the entire time I was running.



After reading your thread thoroughly, I was at a job today that had a longer run than 300'...Got HD....(This is a log Cabin in the woods)The DirecTV installer ran the line through the woods to a clearing and mounted the dish on a non penetrating roof mount on the ground(not very bright)...I hooked up to it today.

I have a feeling there's something else going  on..Now if the customer had a bunch of RG-59 in the house, you may have real issues.

I have a feeling you got an installer that doesn't know how to site a dish in, or there is a line of site issue. (trees)
That would be a better solution. But the client's two sons disagree. And they know more than me because they work in finance. -Fins 2013.
OP | Post 3 made on Friday December 31, 2010 at 19:46
william david design
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On December 31, 2010 at 19:26, Hasbeen said...
I have a feeling there's something else going  on..Now if the customer had a bunch of RG-59 in the house, you may have real issues.

I have a feeling you got an installer that doesn't know how to site a dish in, or there is a line of site issue. (trees)

The dish is at the front yard looking back over the house as there are trees in the back yard blocking the sight from the back of the house. The wire used was DirecTV branded 2 conductor RG6 cable run to the side of the house into RG6 runs to all the outlets. There 2 different subcontractors that came out from DirecTV (Mastec or maybe Mastek) to this address in Alpharetta, GA, and told the homeowner no HD was possible. If you say you have done longer runs then I am willing to try this installation using SWM dish setup.

The good news is he is willing to pay me to trench the existing cable or rerun a shorter cable under his driveway. Then the question is what is typically the fees you would charge the client to either trench existing run (350 feet) or trench and run under driveway (150 feet)? I assume conduit would be required?
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results...
Post 4 made on Friday December 31, 2010 at 22:32
Hasbeen
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 Unless you're using direct burial line, then yes I'd use the grey pvc conduit.  DirecTV techs charge 1.25 per foot to trench (2 years ago pricing). That doesn;t include conduit.  I charge my hourly rate + per foot.  

What you described in your post definitely sounds like a line of site issue to me...In my location (midwest) When standing behind the dish, the HD signal is very low and to the right of the dish (that's why you have to skew the dish)....the HD dishes need a very wide berth.  I'd bet dollars to donuts, that they have line of site for 101 satellite, and they don't have line of site for the HD signal..

On top of that, DirecTV only rates their dishes for up to 150ft.  Those technicians are feeding that guy a line of bull.

However, he may just not have line of site and there's nothing you can do about it.

You can easily  check the signal with a satelliite meter (bird dog) befoer you start pulling the lines...I bet it's not there.
That would be a better solution. But the client's two sons disagree. And they know more than me because they work in finance. -Fins 2013.
Post 5 made on Friday December 31, 2010 at 22:41
SB Smarthomes
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Keep in mind that not all RG6 is created equal.

You'll be able to go farther distances with DirecTV using solid copper center conductor RG6 compared to RG6 with CCS center condutor due to voltage drop.

This isn't much of an issue with cable TV, but can make a big difference with satellite where voltage is also transmitted over coax.
www.sbsmarthomes.com
Santa Barbara Smarthomes
OP | Post 6 made on Friday December 31, 2010 at 22:42
william david design
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Got it. I will check signal before I go any further.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results...
Post 7 made on Friday December 31, 2010 at 22:42
Hasbeen
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On December 31, 2010 at 22:41, SB Smarthomes said...
Keep in mind that not all RG6 is created equal.

You'll be able to go farther distances with DirecTV using solid copper center conductor RG6 compared to RG6 with CCS center condutor due to voltage drop.

This isn't much of an issue with cable TV, but can make a big difference with satellite where voltage is also transmitted over coax.

True, we use Quad shied solid copper....However, if you've ever seen the cable that the DirecTV techs use...it's the cheapest stuff on the market.

That would be a better solution. But the client's two sons disagree. And they know more than me because they work in finance. -Fins 2013.
Post 8 made on Friday December 31, 2010 at 22:46
SB Smarthomes
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Yes, the cable doesn't really matter much for short runs in small homes, but in larger homes where runs can be 150ft - 300ft+ it starts to make a big difference.
www.sbsmarthomes.com
Santa Barbara Smarthomes
Post 9 made on Saturday January 1, 2011 at 00:39
amirm
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I went through this a while back for my own home. The story I got from both Dish and DTV was that their standard installers would not touch anything more than something like 60 feet. Anything more than that and you had to deal with their "pro" dealers.

As noted, the main issue is the voltage drop that signals polarization change at the dish and to power the LNB. The voltage switches between 18 volts and 12.  If you have too much voltage drop, then the 18 volt signal looks like 12 and you have trouble.

If you can manage the extra cost, RG-11 is a better choice due to its resistance being half as much as RG-6. At 300 feet, RG-6 voltage drop is around 2.5 volts (cutting your margin almost in half). Whereas for RG-11 it is 1.0 volt. 

Here is a little spreadsheet I created comparing the two cables showing both voltage loss and signal:

LNB Voltage:18
LNB Current :0.3
Distance :300ft

Type: 5787 CommScope(RG6) / 5917 CommScope (RG-11)
Loss/ft: 0.029 / 0.012
Resistance Total: 8.580 / 3.600
Voltage Drop: 2.574 / 1.080

Loss per ft@2200Mhz: 0.097 / 0.054
Total loss @2200Mhz (db): 29.100 / 16.080
Amir
Founder, Madrona Digital Audio, Video, Home Automation
http://madronadigital.com
Post 10 made on Saturday January 1, 2011 at 02:40
JimInNJ
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Actually, unless your Locals are on 110 or 119, the remaining birds are clustered between 99 and 103. Most DTV Techs will want a few degrees more to allow for tree growth, so that they don't get hit with a chargeback/callback because a tree grew into the LOS. For runs over 175'-200' you really want copper RG11. Be aware that 'trenching' generally means dropping the cable into the space behind the shovel when tipping it forward, about 3" below the ground.

Good Luck!

On December 31, 2010 at 22:32, Hasbeen said...
 Unless you're using direct burial line, then yes I'd use the grey pvc conduit.  DirecTV techs charge 1.25 per foot to trench (2 years ago pricing). That doesn;t include conduit.  I charge my hourly rate + per foot.  

What you described in your post definitely sounds like a line of site issue to me...In my location (midwest) When standing behind the dish, the HD signal is very low and to the right of the dish (that's why you have to skew the dish)....the HD dishes need a very wide berth.  I'd bet dollars to donuts, that they have line of site for 101 satellite, and they don't have line of site for the HD signal..

On top of that, DirecTV only rates their dishes for up to 150ft.  Those technicians are feeding that guy a line of bull.

However, he may just not have line of site and there's nothing you can do about it.

You can easily  check the signal with a satelliite meter (bird dog) befoer you start pulling the lines...I bet it's not there.
OP | Post 11 made on Saturday January 1, 2011 at 08:17
william david design
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On January 1, 2011 at 00:39, amirm said...
I went through this a while back for my own home. The story I got from both Dish and DTV was that their standard installers would not touch anything more than something like 60 feet. Anything more than that and you had to deal with their "pro" dealers.

As noted, the main issue is the voltage drop that signals polarization change at the dish and to power the LNB. The voltage switches between 18 volts and 12.  If you have too much voltage drop, then the 18 volt signal looks like 12 and you have trouble.

If you can manage the extra cost, RG-11 is a better choice due to its resistance being half as much as RG-6. At 300 feet, RG-6 voltage drop is around 2.5 volts (cutting your margin almost in half). Whereas for RG-11 it is 1.0 volt. 

Here is a little spreadsheet I created comparing the two cables showing both voltage loss and signal:

LNB Voltage:18
LNB Current :0.3
Distance :300ft

Type: 5787 CommScope(RG6) / 5917 CommScope (RG-11)
Loss/ft: 0.029 / 0.012
Resistance Total: 8.580 / 3.600
Voltage Drop: 2.574 / 1.080

Loss per ft@2200Mhz: 0.097 / 0.054
Total loss @2200Mhz (db): 29.100 / 16.080

Thanks for the calculations. RG11 it is. I assume there is burial grade cable in RG11?
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results...
OP | Post 12 made on Saturday January 1, 2011 at 08:19
william david design
Super Member
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On December 31, 2010 at 22:32, Hasbeen said...
 Unless you're using direct burial line, then yes I'd use the grey pvc conduit.  DirecTV techs charge 1.25 per foot to trench (2 years ago pricing). That doesn;t include conduit.  I charge my hourly rate + per foot.  

What about going under driveway? How much would you charge?
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results...
OP | Post 13 made on Saturday January 1, 2011 at 08:21
william david design
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On December 31, 2010 at 22:41, SB Smarthomes said...
Keep in mind that not all RG6 is created equal.

You'll be able to go farther distances with DirecTV using solid copper center conductor RG6 compared to RG6 with CCS center condutor due to voltage drop.

This isn't much of an issue with cable TV, but can make a big difference with satellite where voltage is also transmitted over coax.

I would always use solid copper core...
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results...
OP | Post 14 made on Saturday January 1, 2011 at 08:25
william david design
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On January 1, 2011 at 02:40, JimInNJ said...
Actually, unless your Locals are on 110 or 119, the remaining birds are clustered between 99 and 103. Most DTV Techs will want a few degrees more to allow for tree growth, so that they don't get hit with a chargeback/callback because a tree grew into the LOS. For runs over 175'-200' you really want copper RG11. Be aware that 'trenching' generally means dropping the cable into the space behind the shovel when tipping it forward, about 3" below the ground.

Good Luck!

I think I can sight in the HD channels. The location at the front of this lot is elevated somewhat at the front so I think iit was the long distance. I would like to go under the driveway if I can figure out reasonable cost to the client.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results...
Post 15 made on Saturday January 1, 2011 at 09:25
Hasbeen
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 Just in case you're not aware, you have to make sure you get the signal for the HD channels above 85% or the receiver won't let you activate them.  You'll have red X's on those satellites when you go through the configuration menu.

Good Luck.
That would be a better solution. But the client's two sons disagree. And they know more than me because they work in finance. -Fins 2013.
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