Monday, October 10, 2011

How To Install a Coaxial Cable

One of our biggest pet peeves is when people drill through their hard wood floors to get their cables up from their crawl space/basement. What is even more annoying is that, according to the guy that came to install our cable, this is how most cable companies will install it. The most annoying thing about this is that it costs just a little more and a different tool to install it properly. This also saves having holes drilled through your really nice hard wood floors.

Since this irritates us so much, we decided to give a little how to on how to install the cable correctly so you can see how easy it is!

What you need:
(Pictures from Lowe's)
COAX Thermoplastic Wall Plate
On-Q/Legrand 1-Gang Old Work Low-Voltage Bracket (allows you to attach the wall plate
 Zoomed: On-Q/Legrand 1-Gang Old Work Low-Voltage Bracket
Wire Cutters or if you want to do a lot of them, invest in a Coax wire stripper
F-pin push on Coax Cable Connector
Zoomed: RCA 10-Pack F-Pin Push-On Coax Cable Connectors
A short piece of Coax Cable to go from your new wall connector to your cable box and a long piece of coax cable (if your house doesn't already have some) to get from the main cable connector to the box.

Once you have all of your materials, it is time to do some cutting. Chose where you want to have the cable (behind your tv) and making sure you are not on top of a stud, trace out the back of the Low-Voltage bracket (the little flaps on the front of the bracket need to catch on the wall). Once you know where to cut, cut out the hole using a jigsaw. If you don't have one, you can use a hand saw.

Once you have a hole, you can put your bracket in. This is a cool bracket because the little metal flaps on the back turn out as you turn the corner screws so that it gets pinched on either side of the wall.

Now comes the slightly dirty part if you have a crawl space. You need to feed the coaxial cable from the main cable connector the cable company puts in to your box. Nate and I are a good team with this because he doesn't mind crawling around in the dirt toooo much and I have small hands that can fit through the hole in the wall to catch the wire. Being able to tag team this process makes it a lot faster and a lot less frustrating (vs trying to feed a wire through a small hole you can't really see)

Now it is time to put on your connector. The whole point of a coax cable is that it has an inner wire and outer wire which is composed of lots of little wires. Because of this, when stripping the wire, you have to be really careful not to cut the outer wires. You should first strip the wire down to the inner wire, and then go a little further down the wire and strip it down to the little wires. It should look like this

Pic from Google images
If you have managed to not cut all the little wires off, then you bend them back over the outer plastic. You want to then trim down the inner insulator and cut the inner wire so that it is about half an inch long. If you got the push on connectors, you can then just push on the connector and it should look like this

coaxial cable connectors
Pic from Google images
Then you take your wall plate and screw the long coax cable (coming out of the wall) to the back. (you may notice the cable changed colors... we were having some cable issues so we ended up running a new wire. The previous one was what was being used previously in the house)

Then you can screw the wall plant to the bracket and attach the shorter coax cable to the wall plate and you cable box and you're done!

Now you have a nice, clean looking cable connector and no holes in your floor!
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