How to Wire Your Home with Coaxial Cable

How to Wire Your Home with Coaxial Cable

Introduction

Coaxial cable, often called coax, is a common type of cable used for delivering cable TV, broadband internet, and satellite TV services to homes. With its braided metallic shielding, coax is designed to transmit signals with minimal interference or data loss.

Wiring your home with coaxial cable allows you to distribute cable and satellite connections to multiple rooms. While coaxial cabling may seem intimidating, with proper planning and the right tools, I was able to wire my home successfully. In this comprehensive guide, I will walk through the complete process of wiring a home with coax step-by-step.

Planning Your Coaxial Home Network

Proper planning is crucial when wiring your home with coax. Here are some key steps I took to map out my coaxial network:

Determine Where You Want Service

Decide which rooms you want to have access to cable/satellite TV and internet. I wanted service in my living room, bedrooms, and office.

Map Out Cable Runs

Map out where you will run cables between rooms and where your devices will be located. Avoid placing devices like cable boxes behind large furniture.

Choose a Central Distribution Point

Select a central, accessible area like a closet or basement where all the cables will run back to. This is where your cable/satellite box, modem, and splitter will be located.

Purchase the Right Coax Cables

Buy enough high-quality RG6 coaxial cable to run from your central point to each room needing service. RG59 cable is also available but RG6 is better for long runs.

Cable and Tools Needed

To wire my home with coax, I gathered the following equipment:

Having the proper coaxial tools on hand made the installation process much easier. Investing in a quality crimping tool ensures solid cable connections. A cable tester is also invaluable for troubleshooting any issues.

Running Cables Through Walls and Attic

Here is the process I followed to run coax cables from the central distribution point to the rooms needing service:

Drill Access Holes

Drill a small hole through walls, ceilings, and floors to route cables between rooms. Use fireblocks to seal openings between wall studs.

Fish Cables

Use fish tape to pull cables through walls and the attic space. Be sure to leave plenty of extra length for connecting equipment.

Secure Cables

Use coax clips or staples to securely fasten cables every few feet. This prevents sagging and damage.

Label Ends

Label both ends of each cable with its destination room. This avoids confusion when making connections.

Connecting and Terminating Coax Cables

Connecting and terminating coaxial cables properly ensures optimal signal quality:

Strip and Crimp

Use coax strippers to remove the outer jacket and expose the center conductor. Attach an F-connector using a crimping tool.

Install Wall Plates

Attach the connectorized cable end to the back of a wall plate. Snap the wall plate into the outlet box.

Connect Splitter

At the central distribution point, connect all the cable runs to the output ports of the splitter. The cable/satellite line connects to the input port.

Test Cables

Use a coax cable tester to validate connectivity through each cable and isolate any issues.

Troubleshooting Common Coax Wiring Problems

During my first coax wiring attempt, I ran into a few problems:

Issue: Picture quality decreasing on longer cable runs.

Solution: Replace RG59 cables with better-shielded RG6 to prevent signal loss.

Issue: Crackling noises coming from outlets.

Solution: Re-crimp F-connectors to ensure cables make solid contact with ports.

Issue: No signal at some outlets.

Solution: Double check all cable connections. Use a toner to trace bad cable runs.

Carefully inspecting connections and using a cable tester quickly resolved these issues.

Tips for Maintaining Your Coax Home Network

Here are some tips to keep your coaxial home network running smoothly:

Conclusion

While wiring your home with coax requires planning and work, the benefits are worth it. You'll be able to enjoy cable/satellite service anywhere in the house. Follow my guide to properly plan, install, and troubleshoot a coax home network. Let me know if you have any other coaxial cabling tips!