Manual T switch for a Freesat cable?

larachantie

Novice Member
Thanks to the great advice on this forum, I've successfully used an unused Sky Q dish and cable - left in my house by the previous owners - to watch Freesat using one of the new "wideband" compatible Freesat boxes from the official Freesat website. All works great. The cables terminate in the living room so my question is about watching Freesat occasionally, not regularly, in another room. The cable run from the dish only runs into the living room.

I've read that the proper way to do this is to run a dual cable from the Sky Q wideband LNB on the Sky dish into the occasional other room as the LNB will have the sockets already in place. Then buy another Freesat box and install it on the occasional room. So we can watch Freesat in both rooms. However it's a rented property and as we only want to use it occasionally (for my mother-in-law when the Freeview - not Freesat - digital signal plays up in certain weather) we are happy to occasionaly sacrifice using it in the living room. I'm asking for help on how to do this "switch over" and "switch back" in an easy way.

We can do this by running an extension cable from the living room into the other room using another Freesat box but the problem is that it is a real faff each time to disconnect the F cable ends (two) from the Freesat box and then screw it back into the extension dual cable and impossible for an older lady to do if alone. So my real question is whether it possible to buy a "t switch" with a manual switch that at a flick of the switch directs the signal from one cable to another? (I'd obviously have to buy two as it's a dual cable coming from the dish into the living room). The T switch(es) would be connected between a) the original Sky cables and b) either short cables into the living room Freesat box or the extension cable into the other Freesat box in the other room.

Looking online there are loads of satellite F-Splitter devices - such as the Konig ones on Amazon -but they are apparently incompatible as you can't split a satellite signal. I don't want to split the signal, just easily switch it from one cable to another in the living room so that it works either in the living room or other room but not both at the same time. Sorry to ask such an odd question!

In computing, you can buy a "KVM" switch that allows one keyboard, one video cable and one mouse to toggle between more than one computer by pressing a button so this is the type of thing I'm looking for. Unless any ideas for other ways to achieve the goal?

 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
It may be possible to split the signal to another box if needed (recorder or receiver) using directional power pass both ports so that DC from one box isn't fed back to the other box.

Depends a bit on the cable lengths involved, and their losses as a splitter will introduce significant loss (6dB).

Is the incoming WF100 type (6.5 mm diameter) or the thin WF65 (4.2 mm dia) stuff?

Split a wideband lnb signal has a technical discussion around the topic (although it drifts off into legacy LNB stuff more).
 

larachantie

Novice Member
Thanks for the suggestion. The cable diameter seems to be 4.2 mm diameter on both the original that Sky fitted and the extension cable I purchased from Amazon. The total cable run including the extension must be in excess of 30 metres. I'm not technical but splitting not switching sounds dubious.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
OK Assuming WF65 on both cables, joined, at 2 GHz the loss is 48.6 dB/100m = 16.2 dB for the total run (inc joiner losses).
29.4 dB/100m for WF100 = 9.8 dB.

Even on legacy LNBs where the top frequencies are slightly lower than wideband the rule of thumb 'limit' was usually 20 m max for WF65 ... 40 m for WF100 - see The best coaxial Cable for Sky, Freesat, Freeview

The power pass one way splitters effectively adds more cable length... 12.5 metres for WF65, 20 metres of WF100. So it's also a 'suck it and see' situation for diy... a professional installer would use a meter to check that levels are within acceptable margins.

You can try a joiner with what you've got, and see if it works (but likely it won't reliably - in the rain especially) at that total length..
Then use these style of F-adapter to make swapping cables easier to the main and distant room: F connector : "Quick" adapter - A.T.V. Poles, Brackets, Clamps & Aerials

Swapping the cable for WF100 from LNB to both rooms would likely be a better solution? If both end up shorter and maybe install the splitters in weatherproof enclosures outside?

NB Most RF antenna switches you can find (as used in amateur ham radio) are severely bandwidth-limited and also 50 ohm impedance so unsuited to your planned use. (Domestic cables/receivers and connectors are 75 ohms.)

Alternatives become (much) more expensive and involve multi-switches e.g. TdSCR 504 such as would be installed in communal aerial systems.
 

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