New Home for Satellite or Cable in 2006!
* Includes New
Rules for 2006*
PRE-WIRING NEW HOMES
FOR SATELLITE & CABLE
No one likes to add wires to a home once the
walls have gone up. Here are some guidelines, updated with the
new industry changes for 2006, to assist you and your electrician in
planning your satellite/cable wiring.
WHEN TO INSTALL
The best time
to wire your new home for satellite, alarm or sound systems is when your
electrician is installing electrical wires and conduit in your home –
before the walls go up.
cabling after the walls go up is often difficult. Rafter tail
locations, wall braces, wall insulation and other obstacles will
generally increase labor costs significantly if cabling needs to be
installed at a later date. In addition, satellite or cable wiring added
after the fact will generally mean ugly cable is tacked to the outside
of the dwelling and a hole drilled through an exterior wall, usually
found on a ‘standard’ or ‘free’ system installations.
WHAT TYPE OF WIRE
recommend you use RG-6 coax cable
for your installation. While many contractors use a slightly cheaper
and thinner RG-59 cable (that’s what the cable company used to use),
this cable will not work effectively for satellite and/or exterior
antennas, particularly for longer cable runs.
The other primary
benefit with RG-6 cable is future growth of new service offerings with a
coax cable, as well as a better picture from an outside antenna. Video
On Demand (VOD) is one of the many new services we are hearing about now
that will be enhanced with this thicker cable. Do it right the first
There are other
cables (like “monster cable”) which combine RG-6 wires with other type
of wire in one small bundle for telephone, alarm, computer, audio and
video services which you might wish to consider. See
www.monstercable.com for info.
now use Cat 5 UTP (8-conductor wiring at all phone or computer jacks in
new construction for future growth and flexibility.
THE NEW WAY TO RUN THE WIRES!
When it comes
to satellite wiring, the wires must be run without other extensions
piggy-backing off the original wire. Thus, no splitters
should be used throughout the entire length of the single cable, and
should not exceed 100’ from the satellite dish or attic distribution
point to the wall plate.
must be “home-run” (all terminate at one location)
from the wall plate all the way to where the satellite dish or
distribution center (attic or computer room) will be located.
least five (yes, 5) cables from a central location in the attic out
through the sidewall. Up to
four are for the new type satellite, and the fifth is for an outside
antenna. This will work for cable TV and cable internet systems as
accessible, central distribution point in the attic
allows easy changes in the future, often
saving wiring dollars.
Be sure to
add a 110v outlet where the wires come together in the attic as many of
today’s multi-switches and amplified outside antennas need AC power
inside and must be protected
from the weather. Attic heat usually won’t affect these devices.
cases, bring these wires to the south or southwest side of the
dwelling. This is where most satellite dishes are located.
wall plate, at least one RG-6 cable must be run, however, many
high-definition (HDTV) and/or dual-tuner systems (such as TIVO) will
require a second RG-6 cable for full functionality.
It is therefore recommended you pull at least two RG-6 cables to the
location where you may someday use such equipment, such as a living or
lines – You may have heard
that the only purpose for running a telephone line to each location you
have a satellite wall jack is to order Pay-Per-View movies. However,
a continuous connection to a telephone line may be required for certain
products (like TIVO) or functions (like Caller ID and system
diagnostics) to properly operate. The number one issue installers
face is that phone lines are most often located near the couch and the
TV is across the room. The best course then is to place a phone line in
every cable wall outlet so it is available when you move the furniture
later. It sure beats having a cord lying across or under the carpet,
these low-voltage wires (satellite, telephone, alarm, etc.) may share a
single wall box AND should be placed next to electrical outlet boxes.
Do not locate these
low-voltage wires in the same wall box as higher-voltage household
electrical wires or near or
across fluorescent lights or motors.
Pre-installation of a solid-copper ground wire between the home’s
primary ground to the distribution point where all the wires come
together is also recommended.
(‘OTA’ or ‘off-air’) antenna signals can often be combined on the same
cable as the satellite signal with diplexers. Diplexers are often
mistaken for splitters, as they look identical and cost about the same.
However, a diplexer (sometimes called a combiner) splits the frequencies
on the cable for satellite vs. antenna signals whereas a splitter does
not. A splitter merely divides one cable into two and thus will not
work at all for satellite and for some off-air systems.
Use only the
properly sized cable staples when securing wiring to rafters or studs.
It is easy and common to accidentally puncture coax wires shielding.
A clear view
to the Southern Sky is a prerequisite for satellite. In Central
Louisiana, this is 167-230 degrees azimuth, 36-53 deg. elevation, for
most satellite TV and internet products.
ends of each wire with numbers, stickers or color-coding for easy
identification in the future. Even a permanent marker on masking
tape is better than nothing at all.
PRE-WIRING FOR SATELLITE INTERNET
Two single RG-6 cables (or one dual RG-6
cable) must be run from the satellite dish all the way to where the
modem is to be placed in the home. Two wires are necessary as one will
transmit data and the other will receive data.
Please keep total cable length under 100
feet. When a slightly longer run is required, RG-6 Quad Shield wire
will provide a gain of 50 to 75 feet. Line amplifiers are highly
No splitters or other shared switches
can be used.
After all this, if you still aren’t sure
what wiring you’ll use down the road, put empty PVC conduit in the walls
with a pull string through it for future wiring needs.
Please remember these are general guidelines
and will vary slightly for each structure. Please contact a
state-licensed installer or qualified electrician for assistance with your
existing, new or remodeled home.
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permission to reprint.