Installing TV Cable

Intro

Coaxial cable used for cable and satellite TV installations uses special male/female connectors and splitters. Twist-on connectors are available but do not provide as solid a connection as a crimp-on connector. You need a special crimping tool to work with those connectors. For outdoor locations, use watertight connections. All are available at electronics or hardware stores.

Run cable into a low-voltage (LV) ring, which is like an electrical box without a back.

Have the service provider do as much of the work of running the cable as possible. If service technicians run the cable into your house, provide specific instructions to route the cable, requesting that they adequately hide it. Or ask them to leave a coil of cable that you can install yourself.

Checklist

Time
About 3 hours to install a splitter or two, run about 40 feet of cable, and install a jack

Tools
Drill, long 1/2-inch bit, screwdriver, strippers, utility knife, crimping tool, drywall saw

Skills
Stripping cable, crimping cable, running cable through walls or behind moldings

Prep
Spread a towel or drop cloth below where you cut the wall.

Materials
RG6 coaxial cable, cable staples, male connectors, splitters, LV ring, wall jack

Step 1

Where the cable enters the house, there should be a watertight metal connector or a splitter and a drip loop that carries water away from the connector. To split the line outside rather than inside, ask the cable company to provide the fitting and the cable.

Step 2

To split a line, cut the existing line at a convenient location. Make male ends on both cuts and on the new line. Screw the three male ends into a splitter, and attach it to a wall or joist with screws. If you're attaching to masonry, drill holes and use plastic anchors with screws.

Step 3

To run cable up from a basement or crawlspace, cut a hole into the wall for a low-voltage (LV) ring. With an extended 1/2-inch bit, drill a hole down through the floor inside the wall.

Step 4

Insert an LV ring into the hole and tighten the mounting screws. Poke a wire hanger down through the hole in the floor. From below, attach the end of the cable to the hanger with tape. Pull the cable up through the holes.

Step 5

Make a male end on the cable and screw it tightly to the back of a coaxial wall jack. Screw the jack into the LV ring.


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