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Multiple cables/fitting a faceplate

Discussion in 'Audio Visual' started by DeusXM, 29 Jun 2020.

  1. DeusXM

    DeusXM

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    My new house has a socket box slot cut into it, but no faceplate. Instead, there are four black wires coming out of it. Both have a black skin, white 'solid' bit in the middle and then a thin copper wire dead centre. Two are quite thick wires, the other two are quite thin.

    Based on that, my guess is that the thin ones are coax and the thick ones are satellite. Does this sound right, and based on that, what faceplate do I need?

    I'm guessing something like this: https://www.screwfix.com/p/schneider-electric-lisse-1-gang-quadruplex-multimedia-socket-white/4966j

    Is this right, and if so, how do I tell the difference between the radio coax cable and the TV one....or are they basically the same and it doesn't matter which goes into which bit in the back of the faceplate?
     
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  3. ericmark

    ericmark

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    I used screwfix LAP grid switch brushes to make the cables look tidy, but computers were 90Ω, domestic TV and radio 75Ω, and CB and amateur radio 50Ω not that computers still use coax, there are different qualities, in the main the higher the frequency the higher quality required, but Sky often uses two feeds, either one for viewing and one for recording or special SkyQ dish not sure think one vertical and one horizontal, but needs a special dish, however because two coax wires are required it is often shot gun which is two coaxes joined together and often smaller than the terrestrial TV and Radio.

    I would guess therefore the thin are satellite, but since all are 50Ω that is just a guess, no way to be sure, for terrestrial we have three frequencies, FM, DAB, and TV. And Satellite, FM, DAB, and terrestrial TV can be combined into one cable then split again. I have a feeling Quadruplex means it uses two cables and splits the terrestrial TV, Satellite and FM with a band pass filter in the socket, then other F-type goes direct to dish. So likely not suitable.

    Some terrestrial TV uses a mast head amplifier and to work DC needs to go up the cable, and the band pass filters will not allow DC to pass, so it is important to get the right plate, screwfix numbers 82296 is the plate or 68198 or 42092 and the brush 49931 cost around £4:30 will at least make it look tidy until you work out what they all do.

    I suspect @Lucid will answer in time, he is very good, do as he says, but pictures are good, and looking outside and see if shot gun cable, using a double socket version of the grid system you can have 4 independent outlets, but the single unit 4 way outlet reasonable sure will not work.
     
  4. Lucid

    Lucid

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    BIB - more than likely it's the other way around: The thin ones are probably going to be satellite, and the thicker coax will be for TV aerial.

    Sky have been using a thin shotgun (twin) coax for several years. It's a bit more lossy than thicker good-quality coax, but on a typical 7-10 mtr cable run the losses are acceptable so long as everything else about the installation isn't too compromised.

    You mention that this is a new house. Does that mean that your builders have installed the cable? This is an important question because it goes to the quality of the cable and where the ends terminate.

    Second, if this is a new build, are you sure that there's a TV aerial installed somewhere? Ditto for a satellite dish and FM aerial. The reason for mentioning this is that I've worked on several new builds for customers taking first possession, and I've yet to come across one where the building company bothered to have even a basic TV aerial installed let alone a Sky dish or FM aerial.

    On this basis then, I wouldn't spend any money yet on a faceplate until you know what you're dealing with at the other ends of the cables.

    -----------------------------------------

    Looking at faceplates for a moment, if this (LINK) is the same as the one you linked to from B&Q for which the link for me at least isn't working, then it needs just two cables in to the rear to feed all four sockets. I'll explain...

    This type of socket doesn't have four socket connections on the rear. The back of it looks like this.


    quadplex rear.jpg

    SAT2 is simple enough to understand. This is a direct connection from the satellite dish LNB (the lump on the end of the arm with the wires connected to it) in to the SAT2 socket.

    The triplexed input is something different. Here, there's a box somewhere in the house where one cable from the LNB, a TV aerial and an FM or DAB aerial all feed in to a distribution amplifier. This amp combines the three signals. Because they're at different frequencies, they don't interfere with each other. Each output from the amp carries the combined Sat/TV/Radio signal. In each room with a single coax feed, a filtered Diplex (TV/Radio) or Triplex (SAT/TV/Radio) plate is fitted. These restore the signals in to their original separate components.

    The reason why the SAT2 signal is kept separate is that if both feeds from the LNB were combined, they'd interfere with each other because they are two identical signals.


    Relating this back to your home, fitting any kind of filter plate be it a Diplex, Triplex or Quadplex is a waste of time if the signal isn't already combined. You need to find out what's happening at the other end of the cables. Unless you specified for aerials and some kind of multiplexing distribution amp to be fitted, then my guess is that somewhere in your property those cables are just bare-ended.

    Next, I wouldn't recommend putting the LNB signal through a multiplex system. The reason is that until you know whether you're going for Sky or Freesat for satellite reception, then you can't make a choice that will work for both easily. Any new installations for Sky will have the SkyQ system installed by default.

    The basic LNB for a SkyQ installation is different to the type that has been used for Sky+/Sky+HD/Freesat. The frequencies that the standard SkyQ LNB uses won't play nicely with these type of filtered wall plates. They're fine for Sky+/Sky+HD/Freesat, but not for the basic SkyQ wideband LNBs.

    There are workarounds with different hardware, but these cost more than the typical £40-£50 distribution amps.

    The other points to note are that Sky+/Sky+HD/Freesat satellite feeds can't be split and distributed to several live Sat receivers in a house without running in to signal clashes sooner or later. This is a fundamental difference between satellite and Freeview signals. Second, whereas Sky+/Sky+HD/Freesat requires one or two cables to each receiving box in the house, the SkyQ system requires just two cables to the master box and that's it. Any additional Q boxes (Minis) pick up their signal from the master box.


    Knowing the way that house builders and the electrician subbies that they employ think, I would expect that they wired for two Sat feeds (thin shotgun) + 1 feed from an aerial point in the loft + 1 loop-through feed going to a second TV point or back up to the loft for distribution to the rest of the house. This is fairly typical of a Sky+/Sky+HD installation where the loop-through feed picks up the Sky output as an analogue TV signal and adds it to the Freeview signal from the aerial. [Note: this isn't the only way of wiring, but it is (or was) quite common.] It's rather old hat now though. Sky+HD converted to analogue and displayed on <32" TVs looked passable. It doesn't really hold up so well though on larger TVs; not when you compare it to Freeview HD decoded by the TV itself.


    Have a bit of a hunt around for what's on the other end of those cables, then come back and confirm. Once we have some better info from you then we can move forward with some options. (Please read below, thanks)


    If this or any other reply was helpful to you, then please do the decent thing and click the T-H-A-N-K-S button on the posts you found helpful. The Thanks button appears when you hover the mouse pointer near the Quote Multi-quote buttons. This isn't a big thing to ask of you, it takes a couple of seconds to do and it costs you nothing. This is the proper way to show your thanks for the time and help someone gave you, and doing so will help to ensure that you continue to receive help and advice.
     
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  5. DeusXM

    DeusXM

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    Perhaps the below photo will help.

    20200630_083532.jpg


    Apologies, I was a bit amateurish in my terminology. By 'new', I meant the house was new to me, not a new build.

    The cabling in question is in an existing extension to the house and clearly designed to provide power and signal to a wall-mounted TV. When I was buying the house, the previous owners had a TV mounted on the space. The space in the picture is about 5ft off the ground and there's also power outlets to its side. To my untrained eye, it looks to me like the previous owners had a faceplate here and for reasons best known to them, decided to chop it out and take it with them. You can still see the backing box if you look carefully.

    The house itself has a Sky dish and a conventional chimney-mounted aerial.

    There are also what look like dual Sky cables coming out of the carpets in the living room and master bedroom, and on the exterior of the house you can see a black cable coming out of the dish and going into the wall.

    Therefore I'm 99% sure that the outlet cables in the photo above are connected.

    It's probably worth spelling out my intentions here as well. I tend to get all my TV via IP (legal, before anyone jumps in!), so I can't at any point see myself signing up for a Sky service. However, the TV I now have mounted in this room has a 'Satellite' input, so I'm guessing it can decode Freesat without an additional set-top box? Therefore I'm looking for a solution which tidies up the messy hole in the wall and provides me with the option of connecting coax and Freesat to this TV - hence why I'm looking at a faceplate. I'm also not worried about maintaining satellite provision in the other rooms so splitting the signal isn't an issue here.
     
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  6. wgt52

    wgt52

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    straighten the cables out and take another picture - help us to decide on what the cables are and so help you.
     
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  8. Sureitsoff?

    Sureitsoff?

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    I would fit f connectors to the cable ends so that you can figure out what does what then, if you are intending to put a tv on the wall in the same p!ace using a brush faceplate will hide the cables not required and allow the required ones to emerge. looking at the pic the two cables on the that are "stuck" together are the sat connections and the other two may be the aerial feeds. you are lucky that the previous occupiers left as much cable sticking out as they did
     
    Last edited: 30 Jun 2020
  9. Lucid

    Lucid

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    Thanks for the image. That helps :)

    When you were viewing the house, was the TV on and playing either terrestrial TV (Freeview) or satellite TV (Freesat/Sky)? The reason I ask is that without some sort of proof, all you can really say that there was a TV in the room. It may be that the cables have never been connected, and maybe the owners were using some other way to get pictures on the TV such as built-in streaming apps for Catch-Up.

    Looking at the picture you posted, there's plenty of cable within the back box, so I wonder if a faceplate was ever fitted. Perhaps the previous owners left it 'as is' and were happy that the TV covered the space? It's all moot anyway. You're dealing with what you want to do rather than worrying about the ins and outs of how the previous owners had things set up.

    Have another look at the Sky dish. Sky would normally fit an LNB with 4 outputs for any installation where 2-to-4 live connections were required. However, for larger systems it was possible to upgrade to an LNB with 8 outputs. Count the number of cables coming out of the LNB. If it's six or more, then it's possible to have three sets of dual cables (lounge, MB, conservatory) all connected and live from the LNB. However, if there are just four, and it doesn't look like there's an obvious way of connecting any addition cables, then there's a problem with the maths or there are two other common possibilities. The first is that a diplexing or triplexing aerial distribution system has been fitted, but this means that only one satellite receiver can take single from the multiplexed feed without causing signal clashes.

    The other common possibility is that some of the cables are not connected. This is why you need to test the cables. You'll need to work out if they're coming direct of the dish or going via some sort of distribution amp or if there's something else going on.

    The simplest option is to put F connectors on the two thin cable ends, then use a back-to-back barrel connector and extension lead to bring the signal to your Sat receiver/TV. Once you've tested both cables you will know if either / neither or both are live.


    A small but important practical point about faceplates for wall mounted TVs is they look great when nothing is hanging in front. But when you put your ultra-thin telly on a slimline bracket and then find that the cables attached to the faceplate now foul the back of the TV you'll start to curse.

    Unless a customer specifically insists, I always steer them away from a faceplate unless there's a good technical reason to have one. For what you want to do, a brush plate is a better alternative.

    white-plastic-double-gang-brush-plate-1_540x.jpg

    These come in a variety of sizes and colours.

    The cables will lay flatter behind the TV, so you can achieve that slim-line install look rather than having a wafer thin TV stuck out 2-3" from the wall because of the plugs and cables sticking out at 90 degrees.


    If this or any other reply was helpful to you, then please do the decent thing and click the T-H-A-N-K-S button on the posts you found helpful. The Thanks button appears when you hover the mouse pointer near the Quote Multi-quote buttons. This isn't a big thing to ask of you, it takes a couple of seconds to do and it costs you nothing. This is the proper way to show your thanks for the time and help someone gave you, and doing so will help to ensure that you continue to receive help and advice.
     
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  10. DeusXM

    DeusXM

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    Cheers - very good point about outlet faceplates disrupting the bracket space. I've probably got enough room (I've got a PS4 wall-mounted behind the TV!) but a brush plate will probably be neater once I've got some F connectors on them.
     
  11. Sureitsoff?

    Sureitsoff?

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