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Tidying Cables
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Old 17-05-2011, 18:02   #1
Egmel
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Question Tidying Cables

Hi Everyone,

When I bought my property the previous occupants had already had VM cable/phone installed so I decided this would be my easiest option (even having sworn never to use them again). I got a self set up and after a few false starts with the phone line everything was eventually working ok.

Unfortunately the original installer had drilled through the aluminium window frame to install the cable and attached the box onto the window sill. I'm assuming the former was done because the flat is tile hung and the latter was done for convenience. Even more unfortunately the double glazing units started to fail and I replaced them about 6 months after moving in (about a year ago). The guys who were replacing the windows advised against me repeating the window drilling trick saying it would invalidate my warranty and most probably my insurance if that window was compromised. Instead they chased it into the wall to one side of the window and left it for me to do what I wanted with. As they were also replacing the window boards/sills they didn't re-attach the vm internal box (at my request) and I've just been using it loose for the last year without any issues.

I have finally got round to redecorating that room. I have chased in conduits and boxes to house the cables, isolator and splitter. I've also got fascia plates for both the 2 cable outputs (internet and tv though I only have the former I felt it advisable to future proof for the tv too) and one for the telephone. However all the cables are the wrong lengths for where I need them to go. I've read that it's in-advisable to alter the installation set up (which I've probably come close to already given the work that's been done), when I phoned VM they wanted £99 to come and do the work.

So, What I want to know is what I'm allowed to do myself and the best way to go about doing it.

The black main cable (prior to the isolator) needs to be shortened by a few inches (I could poke it out through the hole but this will leave it loose and it will end up damaging both itself and the hanging tiles).
The cable between the isolator and the splitter also needs to be shorter.
I need 2 very short cables to connect the splitter to the fascia plates.
The telephone line needs to be extended by about a yard.

I can make new cables to connect the various internal bits and pieces but the current cables don't have any markings on them saying what their ratings are.

How much trouble am I likely to get into if I shorten the incoming cable myself? Are there local (edit: near to Guildford) people I could use to ensure the job is done correctly?

I've seen jelly connectors for phone lines on ebay, would these be a good solution to extending the phone line?

Piccy which shows a bit what I mean (though it was an in-progress image and now everything looks a lot better - for a start all the sockets are back on the walls!)


Many thanks in advance (especially if you've read through all that!)
Helen
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Old 17-05-2011, 18:29   #2
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Re: Tidying Cables

The official line is that you as the customer cannot alter the cables. If you get it wrong you potentially can affect the quality of your own services. In extreme cases you can also affect those of your neighbours. Messing with the phone line, on the street side of the master socket can be agains the terms of telephony provisions.

I anticipate there is a junction box on the outside of the house (usually brown in colour) into which the drop cable from the street cabinet will connect. From this your phone line wire and the broadband coaxial can be run.

Changing the phone line from that junction bo to the new master socket location is relatively easy. You might need some of those jelly connectors and a punch down tool. Just make sure the phone cable you get is suited to eternal use, i.e. the sheathing is UV resistant.

The coaxial for the broadband is more of a challenge. The connectors are mecahnically crimped, rather than the DIY screw on things you get for most satelite things. More improtant is the quality of the cable. It is not standard satelite grade co-axial. Indeed it's identification is quite difficult. I've seen numerous posts on this subject over the years and never seen the same thing mentioned twice. The common reference seems to be RG6, but that doesn't seem to mean a lot when you check sites such as Maplins.
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Old 17-05-2011, 18:57   #3
Egmel
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Re: Tidying Cables

Thanks for the quick reply
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob View Post
The official line is that you as the customer cannot alter the cables. If you get it wrong you potentially can affect the quality of your own services. In extreme cases you can also affect those of your neighbours. Messing with the phone line, on the street side of the master socket can be agains the terms of telephony provisions.
That is what I'd expected.
Quote:
I anticipate there is a junction box on the outside of the house (usually brown in colour) into which the drop cable from the street cabinet will connect. From this your phone line wire and the broadband coaxial can be run.
You anticipate correctly.
Quote:
Changing the phone line from that junction bo to the new master socket location is relatively easy. You might need some of those jelly connectors and a punch down tool. Just make sure the phone cable you get is suited to eternal use, i.e. the sheathing is UV resistant.
Ok, I had no intention of replacing the outside wire as its connection at the junction box is dubious to say the least (the whole box looks like the foxes have investigated it, it is certainly not watertight and it comes away from the wall in high winds, however since I share it with the downstairs flat I don't want to meddle with it. The engineer also didn't comment on it when he came to connect the telephone line so I'm assuming it's not that much of an issue - this is vaguely backed up by the fact that everything still works). My original idea was just to extend the connection from the current wire ends using some jelly connectors. Punch down tool also got.
Quote:
The coaxial for the broadband is more of a challenge. The connectors are mecahnically crimped, rather than the DIY screw on things you get for most satelite things. More improtant is the quality of the cable. It is not standard satelite grade co-axial. Indeed it's identification is quite difficult. I've seen numerous posts on this subject over the years and never seen the same thing mentioned twice. The common reference seems to be RG6, but that doesn't seem to mean a lot when you check sites such as Maplins.
This is what I suspected also, it means that if I try to remove the current connector to shorten the cable I'll probably end up with a connector I can't re-connect.
Ok, well screwfix sell RG6 cable, so this with the standard co-ax connectors should do for the internal wires (eg the ones after the isolator).
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Old 20-05-2011, 22:27   #4
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Re: Tidying Cables

What i would do is buy a coax stripping tool from screwfix or if you can get one cheaper from maplins, then get the f connectors from screwfix preferably the compression ones you may need the compression tool and if you have enough cable from what you got, all virginmedias cable is either rg59 or rg6 tri sheild coax. For the telephone whats best is if you still have the isolator box screw that back on the wall and cut and strip the telco cable back so you can fit it in the isolator box then get how much telco cable you need and run it to the master. To connect the two cable together just srtip the other cable back and strip it again for the two colours, and twist it together and tap each colour separately.(proberly blue, and blue/white).
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