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I have coaxial cables that are poking out of walls in numerous places all over the house. I don't use them and I don't know why there's so many coming out of each hole. These were left by the previous owner. They look ugly just sitting on the ground. This is illustrated on the right side of the following photo. How do I make it look nicer like the faceplated contraption on the left?

  • How would I handle the 3 wires if I don't see anyone selling coxial faceplates with 3 holes?
  • The niceley faceplated contraption on the left has holes, whereas the wires on the right have pointy metal pointing out. Is it okay to convert the pointy into the holely ones? I don't understand when you would use one over the other.
  • What is the point of having 5 coaxial connections in one corner of the house? Is anyone going to put 3 TVs and 2 internet modems in one corner??? If there's no purpose, should I just cut off the wires and seal the wall?

enter image description here

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As to why there are so many, are there any satellite dishes mounted to the house? –  Steven Jan 17 at 18:19
    
Do all these wires go somewhere? It is entirely possible that the two at left aren't connected anywhere (they might be, in-wall, but don't do squat where your provider's cables come in, so are effectively just sitting there); and the PO picked up a new set of cables for some reason. –  alt Jan 17 at 19:12
    
@Steven , yes there is a satellite dish near these cables. I have never used satellite before and I don't use it now, so I don't know how satellite works. I just use Comcast cable which is simple - 1 coaxial for your TV and 1 coaxial for your internet modem. –  JoJo Jan 18 at 1:08
    
@alt , I see where they come from if I go outside the house. They all go to a metal box with dozens of tangled wires. –  JoJo Jan 18 at 1:10
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3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Shopping

They sell modular wall plates in 1 to 6 port flavors.

enter image description here

Pick up as many as you need from the local home improvement store. Grab some F type modules, and some low voltage brackets while you're there.

enter image description hereenter image description here

Installation

  • Cut a hole in the wall large enough for the low voltage bracket to fit.
  • Install the low voltage bracket.
  • Shorten the lengths of cable, and add new connectors to the ends (you'll also have to buy these from the home improvement store, so go back and get them).
  • Connect the cables to the modular jacks.
  • Install the modular jacks in the modular wall plate.
  • Install the modular wall plate in the low voltage bracket.

Holey VS. Pointy

The pointy connectors are "male" connectors, whereas the holey connectors are "female". When a male connector loves a female connector very much... You get the picture (I hope).

Why so many?

There is no way to say for sure why there are so many cables here. It's possible that some come from somewhere, while others go somewhere else. You'll have to trace the cables to determine where they come from, or where they go to.

For this a cable tracer such as the Gardner Bender Wire-Tracker, can come in handy.

Gardner Bender Wire-Tracker Wire Tracer

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This is a helpful start. Can you briefly mention the names of the techniques for shortening the wires? I've heard of crimping and stripping. Which of these techniques are needed? I can just look up the video tutorials online after I know the correct terms. –  JoJo Jan 18 at 1:12
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Jojo, you will always need to strip. The center wire needs to be exposed and the braided metal sheathing gets folded back over the outer insulation. There are tools that do this, or you can use a sharp hobby knife if you are careful to not nick the center wire. Crimping is one way to attach the connector. Other types have a screw compression type of action to fasten the connector securely to the cable. You could also shove the extra wire into the wall cavity instead of shortening. –  bcworkz Jan 18 at 1:21
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@JoJo this answer might be helpful. –  Tester101 Jan 18 at 13:52
    
@Tester101 Are the coaxials coming out of the wall supposed to be male or female? How do you decide on which type to use? –  JoJo Jan 18 at 20:35
    
I hope you don't mind me butting in again for the sake of a quicker answer. Connectors on cable ends are almost always male. If you look closely at the modular jack, you may see it is simply a female x female coupler attached to a plastic clip. –  bcworkz Jan 18 at 23:47
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There's a good chance that the extra cables were installed with the satellite dish; the cable requirements are a bit tighter than what you can often get away with antenna or satellite lines, so dish installers sometimes run new wires so they have a known good system, rather than spending time troubleshooting existing wires or worse, getting a callback due to signal issues.

If you don't intend to use the wires immediately, I'd cut them back to about 16", install a low voltage bracket as Tester101 suggests, stuff them in the wall and put a blank plate over it. If you later want to use them, terminate them with male crimp or compression connectors and install a modular plate with inserts like Tester shows. You'll be glad for the length while you're reterminating the cables. I would not bother reterminating them until you need them; if you do switch back to satellite, the installer would probably prefer to terminate them unless you use professional grade compression connectors.

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It's also worth noting that recent DirecTV systems only use a single coax. Older systems used one for each tuner in a multi-tuner receiver. I'm not sure if Dish Networks has a single- or multi-coax system. –  TomG Jan 18 at 17:01
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Go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy one of these: enter image description here

Curl up the wires and stuff them in the wall while screwing the two you want to possibly use in the future to the back of the new wall plate. Then just screw the wall plate to the wall: the screws won't hold the plate if you pull on the cover, but, if all you're trying to do is make it look prettier, that's the quick and dirty way to do it.

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