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Mod #13: Satellite Receiver Cable Rewiring

Posted By Mark Corgan On June 17, 2008 @ 6:15 am In electrical | 17 Comments

So some family members are coming in for the weekend and you want them to stay in the RV. And like most of us, we need our TV but the RV has a batwing antenna that can only receive a few channels. Meanwhile, the in-laws aren’t happy that you are getting 500 channels in the house over satellite. How can you wire the RV so you can hook up a satellite receiver and keep the family peace all in one fell swoop? This mod will help you get connected and stay in the will.

Mod Difficulty:

Most RVs have a cable connector somewhere on the side of the RV. This connector receptacle is generally used for connecting to cable service provided at an RV park for example. So why can’t you just connect the satellite cable to the RV’s cable connector? Well, you could but chances are that it won’t work. Here is why.

Although the typical cable wiring type in your RV is RG59, which is fine for satellite signals over short distances, the problem lies in the RV antenna signal booster. The signal booster, located in the antenna, helps amplify the signals received by the rooftop antenna. The boosted signal terminates at the wall plate where the TV cable connection and 12-volt receptacle are located. There is a little button you push to turn on or off the booster. Even if the booster is off, the wall plate cable configuration will not let the satellite signal pass through.

You have a couple of choices here. You can install another cable connector through the wall of the RV next to the standard one, and run new RG6 satellite cable to where the satellite receiver or TV is located. You will have to install another wall plate with a cable connector receptacle and connect the new cable to it. This will provide a permanent solution and you won’t have to jockey with switching cables around. This is the preferred method.

The other choice is to modify the wall plate to bypass the amplified signal by adding 2 additional cable connections to the wall plate for amplified and non-amplified signals. This will allow use of the standard cabling installed in the RV. There are 3 cable connections to the wall plate. The center connection is from the RV outside cable connection. This is disconnected from its receptacle on the wall plate and connected to one of the new receptacles, providing a non-amplified signal and allowing the satellite signal to pass through. There are a few other changes to be made as well. See the links below for a nice online article with pretty pictures on the wall plate mod.

There is even another choice. You can just run the cable through an open window. A special flat cable section is available that you splice in to the cable where it runs through the window opening. This allows you to close the window completely with the cable in place. Not so pretty but it is the easiest and fastest way to get connected.

TipIf you choose to run new cable a distance longer than 25 feet, use RG6 type cable rather than RG59. RG6 has a thicker center conductor and different shielding, providing less signal loss over longer distances. It’s available at any home improvement center.

ModMyRV recommends these parts for this mod:
Audioplex Wallplate DSS-2CAT-5DW DSS/Satellite White
25 ft RG-6 Black Coaxial Cable, copper clad/dual shielded
Audiovox Accessories VH5910NV Coaxial F Connector

General Reference
Satellite Cable Wall Plate Modification

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