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long run for coax cable?

tufenhundel's picture

Hi all--a related question for this section:

My house is set back about 1500ft from the road. Comcast serves this area, but the tech that came out to recon my house for service said they can't go back this far. Well, maybe the can, but I'll have to pay for it.

My real goal for cable is broadband internet. Does anyone know how far I can run coax? One idea for me is to have Comcast provide service to a pedestal near the road, and I'll run it back to the house. Whaddabout repeaters/regenerators?

Any solutions for this? I am fairly desperate since I can not go back to dial-up.

(post #113289, reply #1 of 54)

Why not look into DSL? Your profile shows that you're in Chicago but I assume you're outside of town, right? You should be able to get DSL for a lot less than running cable to your house.

"I cut this piece four times and it's still too short."

"I cut this piece four times and it's still too short."

(post #113289, reply #3 of 54)

Yeah, looked into DSL too. I may be too far from the CO for that. I entered my neighbor's address into this DSL page and came back with "no service". And he's right at the road.

Looked into satellite, but no one has any thing good about them...over priced and underpowered.

(post #113289, reply #7 of 54)

If you need to run your own, you could rent a trencher, get some direct burial cable (RG-11), run it to a service box like they do, convert to RG-6 quad shield and run plastic conduit to the house. Once inside, if it's a single story and depending on how many drops you need, you can drill up through the sole plate for the walls and install trim rings to mount the wall plates on. If it's more than two story, the upper floors can be wired fairly easily if teh roof pitch isn't too low. If it was my house, I would also run Cat 5e to the same locations. You can buy RG-6Q/Cat5e cable siamesed together so it's one run for both cables. Otherwise, you can buy bundled cable with 2 RG-6Q and 2 Cat5e together. Makes it really easy to wire back-to-back boxes. Home Depot has Ideal snap-n-seal F connectors pretty cheap now and they have a compression tool for about $15.00 that works on these connectors. Much better than the old style of F connectors. For the Cat5e, you can get "Keystone" inserts that just need you to match the color code on the back. My house was never wired properly and I'm probably going to mount a structured wiring box with the distribution blocks because A) it's a lot easier to work on later and B) that's the way I did it when I worked for a low voltage contractor/home electronics integrator.

Make sure the coax in grounded at the electrical service ground stake- it's required by the NEC and could save you and your house if the cable is hit by lightning.
"I cut this piece four times and it's still too short."


Edited 8/5/2006 4:14 pm by highfigh

"I cut this piece four times and it's still too short."

(post #113289, reply #9 of 54)

Good tip on the ground. I have a call into Comcast to see if they'll provide service to a pedestal or enclosure for me to take back to the house. In the house, I have all my coax and Cat5/6 cables in place. I'll have to install a rack and other equipment for my uber home network. Just didn't count on Comcast changing their tune on me.

Thanks.

(post #113289, reply #2 of 54)

if you don't want to pay them to run the cable, have you asked them if you can run cable, and have them come afterward and hook up to it?  That way, the point of demarcation is still at your house (rather than 1500 ft away), and they are responsible for signal levels, etc. at the demarc).


If that doesn't work, 1500 ft. should be OK if you use the right cable.  A good quality, foam dielectric RG-6 may be OK.   Beyond that, RG-11 has much lower loss.  You'll need to consult the specs at a cable vendors site like Belden or General Cable, and work out how much attenuation 1500 ft will contribution.  If you could get Comcast to set the levels at the demarc a little higher to compensate, you'd be all set.


As a last resort, Motorola has an amplifier for use with their cable modems that amplifies in both directions (most "cable modem compatible" amps do not amplify the upstream path).


As an absolute, absolute last resort, if all you want is broadband, build a little shed where Comcast is will in install service.  Put the cable modem in that, and use wireless or ethernet to get access to it.  ethernet is good for 100 meters, and can be repeated indefinitely with switches.  POE (Power Over Ethernet) equipment makes this easier.


'sounds like you may have a few options.  Me, I'm stuck on satellite. ;)

(post #113289, reply #4 of 54)

That is the plan...to DIY my cable run. I'll look into the Mot amplifier. Thanks.

(post #113289, reply #5 of 54)

So according to your installer anyone that wants cable must live within 1500' of a Comcast distribution center?


Those guys are idiots on a good day.


I had one on a site with completely open walls for a rough-in, he was flabergasted. Had no idea how to rough-in, I had to show him.


Just blow it through the wall and tack it to......whatever.


 

 

Family.....They're always there when they need you.

(post #113289, reply #6 of 54)

I am 2000 feet from the road, and I have cable internet (using it now)  The cable company ran it for free.  (I dug the trench)  It looks like regular coax, but is at least an inch thick.


150 feet from my house it splits into regular sized coax in a conduit.  There is a small amplifier inside my house, and the signal is very good.


 


Treat every person you meet like you will know them the rest of your life - you just might!
Treat every person you meet like you will know them the rest of your life - you just might!

(post #113289, reply #8 of 54)

More details!!! What is your cable company? Did they require a trench? What other equipment did the cable company have to install?

(post #113289, reply #13 of 54)

A friend and I bought 14 acres, split it and are building two houses.  We put in electric in the spring ~2,000 foot trench alongside our shared lane.  We called the cable (Antietam Cable - local) and phone companies, and they each brought out a crew to run their respective cables while the trench was open.  I am only guessing, but I think the deal would be the same if it was just me back here - 1 customer.


B/c we would soon be customers, there was no charge for either cable cable (?) or telephone cable.  Electric was not so cheap. 


I heard a story once where a customer did what I did and then didn't actually subscribe to cable, so he received a bill from the company for the wire after 6 months.


 


 


Treat every person you meet like you will know them the rest of your life - you just might!
Treat every person you meet like you will know them the rest of your life - you just might!

(post #113289, reply #14 of 54)

This is what I wanted to do. During the planning stage, I called all the utilities, including tel and cable. They both told me they can service me, and in essence, to call back when I am ready for connection. They won't bother with me until then.

I had power and gas trenched in back to the house. The property is wooded, so there is not a lot of room for another trench now, without using up the drive. They piss me off as this could've been done easier earlier.

(post #113289, reply #10 of 54)

Yeah, use the best quality low-loss direct-burial cable you can get your hands on, but 1500 feet isn't that much, so long as the signal at the road isn't weak to begin with.


If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. --James Madison


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #113289, reply #11 of 54)

can't you get RCN in Chicago ?


 


carpenter in transition

carpenter in transition

(post #113289, reply #12 of 54)

Uh...yeah...I haven't updated my profile. We actually moved to northern Indiana recently.

(post #113289, reply #15 of 54)

My knowledge is probably out dated by now, but some things never change.


TV broadcast freqs are channel 2-6 below the FM band (<88Mhz) and 7-13 above FM, (>108Mhz.) TV antennas provide about .1 db signal strength and we tried to give 1db/set to the house.


In another life as a cable guy, our stands put out 11db into 75ohms, IIRC, and we split that 4 ways, so each house had about 5db to play with. We used attenuaters to drop that to about 1db.


Look at this table and find a 75ohm cable that will give you about 1db/device after 1500 feet at around 70 -250 Mhz.


If you can find a knowledgable cable installer check with him re the freqs and power rates (db's.) If you know any television engineers, whoo rah.


Here's some more tables.



SamT


SamT
A Pragmatic Classical Liberal, aka Libertarian.

I'm always right!
Except when I'm not.

(post #113289, reply #16 of 54)

Thanks. Been working on this all night and I've actually found a way around this distance problem. I've found cheap Ethernet media converters to go from UTP to fiber optic cables. I come out of the cable modem, go to the converter, then I can go 2km (in multimode fiber), or longer using single-mode.

Lightning is longer an issue, and fiber is more robust and secure than copper. Now to find an environmentally shielded cable modem.

(post #113289, reply #18 of 54)

You figured out how you're going to get power out there?


If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. --James Madison


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #113289, reply #22 of 54)

Yeah, I think 14 gauge wire gives me .5v drop per 100 feet. It'll be current dependent, of course, but I am looking at a total of 8w of power max. All the equipment selected for the pedestal will be low voltage, meaning I can select the transformer windings to match my input voltage to get 5v out. I am just running a power cable from the house. So that's covered.

If it were just one piece of equipment, I'd seriously consider solar+battery. But I am looking for the golden balance between cheap, reliable, and fast.

Two last pieces of the puzzle: Comcast, and a robust modem. Thanks.

(post #113289, reply #23 of 54)

Keep in mind that you may want to plug in a light or drill or some such out at the pedestal.


If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. --James Madison


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #113289, reply #20 of 54)

Good thinking -- you probably are set for quite a while. With all the advantages of fiber over coax, it makes me wonder why the cable companies have never used it for "the last mile".

(post #113289, reply #21 of 54)

The terminations are a PITA (though getting easier). And, unlike the trunk coax the cable cos use, you can't "tap" fiber.


If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. --James Madison


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #113289, reply #17 of 54)

Digital cable should be rated to at least 4000 Mhz, and more importantly, the connectors should be also.

If the origianl poster has to use an amplifier, be sure to follow the advice about one mated to the modem. Pass & Seymour claim their amplifier will work with cable modems, but it won't work with mine. My understanding is pretty limited, but when I looked it up before, there is about 150' before potentially needing amplification.

(post #113289, reply #29 of 54)

Digital cable should be rated to at least 4000 Mhz, and more importantly, the connectors should be also.

He is right, the broader bandwidth your connection the higher the frequency your cable system has to handle. If you are doing both cable modem and TV, you will go to at least 2000 MHz on the cable signal. Cable modem also requires a return signal to cable company, so any amplifiers need to be bi-directional.

RG-6 and RG-11 are a little lossy for a 1500ft run. The cable company usually uses 1/2 or 3/4 inch foam dielectric hardline for their distribution runs. Then RG-6 or RG-11 for the service drops. The hardline runs in the $2-5 per foot range, so it could be a little pricey.

You also might want to check the franchise agreement that the cable company has with your local government. You might find that there is a 'must serve' clause in there where the cable company has to hook you up despite the distance from their current feed point.

(post #113289, reply #19 of 54)

What ever you do be sure to put in conduits plus some spares. Do not direct bury anything.

(post #113289, reply #24 of 54)

Direct burial cable should still be used underground even if it's in conduit. Even though the conduit is supposed to be sealed, moisture will still accumulate in the pipe from condensation and that will kill regular cable. According to the charts, RG-8U and RG-11 are pretty much what will be needed and at 1500', extra runs will be very expensive and at this point, won't be necessary. If it was 150' of RG-6, it would be different. A gentle curve at both ends of the conduit and wire libe make it easier to pull cables of any gauge. To get the pull cord through, compressed air or a strong vacuum and a wad of cloth or soft paper attached to the cord is a lot better than trying to push it through. For the small diffence in price, 2" would be my choice.

"I cut this piece four times and it's still too short."

"I cut this piece four times and it's still too short."

(post #113289, reply #25 of 54)

Interesting thread...


The recommendation to use direct burial rated cable is spot on. 


Enough experience with underground conduit runs has shown that they will fill with water.  Expect it.  Wire needs to be rated for it.  Must be why Greenlee sells that neat vac with a taper plug fitting for the end of the conduit. 


LOW VOLTAGE 


FWIW - I have found that the 3" COEX irrigation tight line (H Depot) was the cheapest 3" "conduit" I could drop in a trench for low voltage stuff.  The AC lines were direct burial in sand (3" down, 5" top cover) or P80 sleeves under roads, etc.  Very legal and kosher. 


The inspector could care less about the LV stuff and so stated, so we ran COEX and two pull strings with irrigation boxes for pull boxes every turn or few hundred feet.  Now, you could buy the real deal boxes for this, but when you see the price, I suspect you will decide that common green irrigation boxes work just fine.


Used 22d bends to ease the COEX into the boxes and back dow.  Pulled phone, CCTV, signal and assorted things in these runs, with room for more.


 


 


 


 


The ToolBear


"Never met a man who couldn't teach me something." Anon.

The ToolBear

"You can't save the Earth unless you are willing to make other people sacrifice." Dogbert

(post #113289, reply #26 of 54)

AC lines 3" down is kosher???

Keep in mind that there are required minimum separations between 120V lines and data lines, both for safety reasons and to avoid interference.

Glass, however, doesn't need to be kept separate.


If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. --James Madison


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #113289, reply #27 of 54)

I suspect he will direct bury the AC. 


We put the low voltage chase 24" over and higher than the AC lines in the trench.  As you noted, running them in the same conduit is not a best practice.


The ToolBear


"Never met a man who couldn't teach me something." Anon.

The ToolBear

"You can't save the Earth unless you are willing to make other people sacrifice." Dogbert

(post #113289, reply #28 of 54)

Running them in the same conduit isn't legal, period. And dumb besides, from an interference point of view.


If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. --James Madison


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #113289, reply #30 of 54)

What about wireless broadband from a cellular service like Verizon or t-Mobile?  Quick and painless with decent download speeds.  You should have coverage/access in your area...where exactly in Indiana did you move to? 


I realize it's not the best option if you're trying to get an entire network on-line, but it might be a good starting point for one or two computers until you get the cable/fiber option ironed-out.


tony b.