Installation:I am being lied to?

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by yan, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. yan

    yan
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    Hi everyone

    I have recently had SKY installed and the pittcure is intermittent, sometimes its there other times I get the message "no signal is being recieved". This happens regardless of the channel or weather and occurs about 10 times a day. I have tried another box and the same thing happens I have also plugged my box into a friends house where it works fine, so I know its not the box. This would suggest its the wiring.

    When I asked the chap who installed it he said its because he had to use about 40-50m of cable which is too long a run and this is whats causing it. We live in a 3 storey block and the wires were pased before decoration, I get the feeling he doesnt want to be held responsible or can be bothered to do it again. I also think the cable is not particularly good quality.

    Is he telling the truth?
    Thanks
     
  2. Starburst

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    There are issues with signal loss on a long cable run however that doesn't alter the fact you paid for an installation and it doesn't work. He was paid for the job and since he is the expert he should have known about any issues and worked around them or refused to do the job.
     
  3. yan

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    I am actually doubting whether he has used 50m of cable anyway to be honest, I believe he knows that to re-route the wires will cause a lot of disruption to the decoration that has been finished and I believe he doesnt want to accept responsibility for this.

    However if he is telling the truth can anyone advise on on what lengths problems begin to occur and how can I work around it. If he is the type to do a "dodgy" install then if I get him back I want to know what I am talking about otherwise he can fob me off again.
     
  4. DRGL

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    It would more likely be too many bends in the cable(against the cable's permitted bend radius) that would cause signal problems than the length of cable.I'm an ex Sky enginner and that length of cable will cause no problems if it was installed correctly with minimal bends(no more than 4)
     
  5. Emm

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    :confused:

    No more than 4 bends?

    Really?

    I don't doubt your word in the slightest (and I'm happy to be corrected), but if the bends are not smaller than the tightest radius permissible, surely the cable run would still function OK?
     
  6. DRGL

    DRGL
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    Sky's training was to install with minimal bends to avoid signal refelections.6 was their absolute maximum,if the install is done correctly it's not a problem. Problems start when people bend the cable too much and hammer cable clips in too tight and crush the cable.........Good dish location and cable route planning should mean there is no need for too many bends.
     
  7. yan

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    That sounds about right, most of it is a straight run, with decent planning Im sure it can be routed with no more than 4 bends.

    I have since looked around the net and found this article which covers the whole issue of long runs, cable quality, bending shielding etc. It does state that bending and crushing the cable can be a problem. You can read the article here

    The relevance for me was to use a quality cable for long runs like Raydex CT125 that is foamed for sat installations as this is more flexible for bending etc, it was tested with 50m run which is what I need.

    Has anyone come across the CT125 or used this cable in an installation?
    Thanks everyone
     
  8. DRGL

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    Sky use CT100 cable as standard,looking at CT125 it gives better return loss which would be better for a long run. Remember even if you fit CT125 to avoid cable crushing,CT125's bend radius is 45mm.Is it not possible to fit the dish closer to the TV location?
     
  9. Bradford Blade

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    Hi DRGL,

    As a newbie to Sky (more specifically Sky +) and all the installation thing, I've taken some interest in this thread and in your comments as an ex-Sky engineer/installer. Rumminating upon my property design & location etc., I reckon that my upcoming install this Friday might also present a few issues.

    For instance, my house is built on an incline and hence has three storeys at the front and two at the rear, with my living room being the very bottom storey at the front, but the dish (after viewing a couple of my neighbouring properties) having to go around the back near the property's apse.

    I was wondering at what cable-run lengths that you DID experience probs? Also, are there other things that I might need to consider/point out to the installer so as to avoid any hitches/glitches at the very outset?

    BTW, I'm also confused as to 'Sky' installers and 'independant' installers. Please forgive my ignorance, but am I right in thinking that the 'Sky' engineers are the ones in the official Sky vans, and independants are basically local 'installers' subcontracted to do the work? Are Sky engineers more reliable :confused:

    Cheers in advance for any help offered :smashin:

    All the very best,

    LAGAVULIN
     
  10. yan

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    Unfortunately I cant put it closer as I live on the 1st and second floors whilst the in-laws live on the 3rd floor and for it not to be an eyesore (according to local regulations) we have to put it up on the roof at the back where its not seen. However, I have been told the CT125 is good for runs even up to 70m so this should be fine.

    Having measured out the cable route generously with a lot of rounding up I can estimate about 40m is what is required, it is probably closer to 35m than it is 40m though. Crushing can definatley be avoided though.

    I have also been recommended the CTF125 which is foamed and apparently gives more flexibility or the CTF167 which has a bend radius of 50mm. Any advice on these cables will be much appreciated.


    Thanks again
     
  11. DRGL

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    Sorry i don't have any experience with the cables you mentioned,to be honest at that cable length i would have no problems installing CT100 ;) When i worked for Sky i never had any problems with cable runs,i would guess the longest run was only 40M however as there usually is a way around longer runs-be it a T & K bracket to mount else where or clever dish positioning,never look at next door and think "my dish will have to go somewhere similar!!" Half the time the engineers will fit in the easiest place not the best place! Sky engineers used to be (and still are AFAIK) the only ones with Sky branding all over the vans(now dark blue-used to be white),the sub-contractors used to be USELESS,most of my week was spent attending installs that sub-contractors had fitted making them work! Usually poor dish position and generally shabby work-they are paid on number of installs per day,NOT quality installs-this may have changed though. Certainly in my day the Sky engineers would get more hassle if the call back rate on their jobs were high-note that Sky didn't pay the best wages and a LOT of the installers couldn't really give a damn about quality etc!!! All Sky are interested in is another subsciber.......
     
  12. DRGL

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    Sorry i don't have any experience with the cables you mentioned,to be honest at that cable length i would have no problems installing CT100 ;) When i worked for Sky i never had any problems with cable runs,i would guess the longest run was only 40M however as there usually is a way around longer runs-be it a T & K bracket to mount else where or clever dish positioning,never look at next door and think "my dish will have to go somewhere similar!!" Half the time the engineers will fit in the easiest place not the best place! Sky engineers used to be (and still are AFAIK) the only ones with Sky branding all over the vans(now dark blue-used to be white),the sub-contractors used to be USELESS,most of my week was spent attending installs that sub-contractors had fitted making them work! Usually poor dish position and generally shabby work-they are paid on number of installs per day,NOT quality installs-this may have changed though. Certainly in my day the Sky engineers would get more hassle if the call back rate on their jobs were high-note that Sky didn't pay the best wages and a LOT of the installers couldn't really give a damn about quality etc!!! All Sky are interested in is another subsciber.......
     
  13. cinesom

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    Yes your being lied to! Too many bends in your cable!! non sense! You can bend 100 times as long as you dont kink the cable i.e. the bend radius of the CT100 has been passed and the inner dilectric has been crushed. Even then it shouldn't really matter.
    What is the signal strength and quality like? Services, System set up, signal quality - is it good? More like an LNB problem or connectorisation problem. Check the F connectors at each end, mke sure they have a good contact with the outer sheild and that the inner conductor is not too long (it should protude 2- 5mm out from the plug). If the connectors are ok, change the LNB, check for good "null" of the polarisation.
    Good luck
     
  14. DRGL

    DRGL
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    As above yes you could bend the cable 100 times IF the bend radius is adheared to,but there is no need to have too many bends!! Each bend has the potential to have a problem,a crushed cable or poorly bent cable WILL cause signal reflections and problems,trust me! The signal strength meters on the digi boxes are rubbish,they don't give a true indiation of signal strength and quality-only a digi meter will do that.
     
  15. yan

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    We have a very good LNB the quad Invacom which I share with the in-laws, I used this to rule out the LNB as an issue and was told this has the lowest noise figure at 0.3dB, so it I am sure its not that.

    Also my in-laws have perfect reception all day regardless of the channel or the weather. Signal strength and quality is not bad, 50% 50% but again my in-laws have perfect reception. I have tried my box in their house upstairs and its fine and vice versa I get the same drop-out using their box in my house so the only differing factor is the cable.

    I have not been able to rule out any crushing as having traced the cable its buried beneath the tiles of my bathroom.

    I have checked the f-connectors to see if there is any connection at all with the outer shield and that seems fine.
    Thanks
     
  16. NinjaKi11a

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    Sorry for the bombardment of questions DRGL, but this thread is very interesting.

    Do bends deteriorate the quality of the TV picture? I have four bends in my Sky+ cables that are less than 45mm (round corners in the room). I rarely get signal loss while I'm viewing (though overnight there's often an interruption, but I assume that's not uncommon) and I'm happy with the picture. Would I be able to improve the picture quality by increasing the bend radiuseseses ;) ?

    Cheers.
     
  17. yan

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    From what I have read and speaking to various suppliers bends should not deteriorate the quality of your picture providing they stay within the permissible bend radii. Although its best to keep bends to a minimum as every bend is a chance for a kink which will deteriorate the picture quality.

    If your bends are within the cable bend radius then I cant see how you will improve picture quallity further. Also bend radii vary from cable to cable so you need to check the specification for your particular cable, its a set specification so you wont be able to increase it for your current cable but you can buy other cable which has a higher bend radius such as the CT167 which has 50mm and the CT233 which has 65mm, but I dont know how suitable they will be for domestic use.

    Basically if your bends in your cable exceed the specified bend radius then maybe you can improve picture quality by using a cable with a higher bend ratio or spreading your cable out further so it conforms to the bend radius, but if it has kinked already then you will need new cable. This is my understanding. DRGL feel free to correct me
     
  18. NinjaKi11a

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    I had a good look last night and two bends are blatantly tighter than the bend radius. Having said that, I can't really imagine the picture quality is improveable... perhaps I've been lucky?
     
  19. yan

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    If it hasnt kinked or broken inside then you should be fine.

    A quality cable will make difference to your picture, but it all depends on the quality of your current cable, there can be lots of interference and loss that can be experinced with poor quality cable. If you have good quality cable that hasnt kincked or cracked then I doubt you will see much improvement.

    On my installation it may as well have been a piece of string, add to that the crushing and the bending, well its a recipe for disaster which has been realised for me with no signal.
     
  20. Fernsehman

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    The number of bends in a cable becomes an issue only with cheap cable. The type with metallised film can be damaged by bending as the stuff splits rather than expands.

    Lower loss cable such as CT125 is a problem because you have to buy a crimp tool and crimp on special "F" connectors - twist types don't seem to be available.

    If the Digibox works fine when connected to the LNB via a short cable, that proves the long cable is at fault. You can replace the long cable temporarily with a piece of the same length simply draped through a window. If this is OK, you know the existing cable has a fault. Replace it. Otherwise, it's the cable length which is the problem.

    Good cable such as WF100 should be fine up to 100 metres (dependent on your location and dish size) but in bad weather you can expect to lose the signal. In this case you have two options:

    1. Fit a larger dish or
    2. Fit an LNB amplifier near the LNB

    Here's what satcure has to say about amplifiers:
    http://www.satcure.com/tech/dishes.htm#lnbamp
     
  21. yan

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    OK guys, guess what, problem solved, I got another engineer in and he said that the cable is indeed not of particularly good quality, but he also said it was not the worst. He recommended copper cables but he said he has used this type of cable with the metal sheath for runs of upto 90m and not had any problems.

    Anyway the first thing he did was to put the cable in a different port on the LNB. This has solved the problem. The port I was using was damaged and the one my father-in-law has his sytem plugged into was fine so this is why he had great reception all day and I didnt. He said it is not uncommon for one port to be damaged and not work properly, he said he has seen it many times. So it was as simple as that.

    However he did confirm that for jobs of over 90m he uses the copper cable and that at 40m it should not have been a problem to use the cable that had been installed.

    Thanks to everyone who replied
     
  22. DRGL

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    As already stated in the thread it's not a problem to have bends in the cable but it's good practice to keep them to a minimal and bend readius MUST be adhered to.It's similar with data cabling,CAT5e/CAT6 can all have signal problem if the cable is kinked/bent tightly.The most common cause is when going around a corner in brick work,it's hard to get the cable looking neat whilst adhering to bend radius rules,there a nice trick on that one though :) The second most common problem is knocking clips in too tight on textured bricks........,actually that's not true,the most common problem is a poorly aligned dish!!!!
     
  23. Emm

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    I guess you mean running the cable along the horizontal mortar line and scraping it out at the wall corner ;)


    I had my dish set up yesterday by an 'independant'....

    With 40m of CT100 (with a few gentle radii) and a Zone 2 dish, his alignment meter read a signal quality of 61% at the 'box' end.

    Is that a good result in my case?

    (The Sky+ box quality meter shows one block short of max :rolleyes: ).
     
  24. DRGL

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    The digi meters they have now are differnt to ones i used,i honestly can't remember the signal strength recommendations,i don't think i've got the Sky books any more either! I would only worry if you get signal problems in bad weather to be honest as the signal strength should be set high enough so that even bad weather has no effect on picture performance.
     

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