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I depend on an OTA antenna for all my TV programming. From the antenna, there is coax going to the outside part of a signal booster, then coax going down into the ground, through my foundation wall, into the crawlspace, where it connects to the inside part of the signal booster. From there it goes about 40', through the crawlspace, up inside a wall, to a faceplate where it connects to a female coax connector. On the other side, the cable goes to a splitter and into two HDHomeRun quad tuners.

Originally all the coax was RG6, but I changed it to RG11 last fall. This spring, on hot days, I would lose the TV signals until in the evening when things cooled down and I could get a signal back. I talked with a tech where I got my antenna and he said they've seen this before, with RG11. The conductor is larger than the conductor in RG6 and stretches the connectors. They sent me a new antenna (at no cost).

He said a big issue (that they've seen before) is that the RG11 conductor is notably thicker than the conductor in RG6, so it tends to expand the female connectors to the point where the connection is not as solid. He said that if I have RG11 in place, it helps to use short RG6 cables to connect to my devices so the connectors in the devices aren't ruined.

I do have a few components with female connectors that have had RG11 cables in them. If that's stretched out the connectors, what do I do if I need to connect some RG6 to them now? Can I do something like insert some aluminum foil to fill the gap and provide a better connection?ler conductor where it connects to the booster.

I'm open to other ideas about whether to use RG11 or RG6, but with some of the weaker TV signals, I got better signal strength in the house when I upgraded to RG11, so I don't want to just replace all the RG11 with RG6, but I'm worried about this issue of the RG11 having stretched connectors on some of my components.

Are there other things I should be considering to deal with the issue of smaller RG6 conductors in stretched female connectors?

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  • Wow can you eliminate some of the non useful text and get to the problem . For the most part I would say no to foil but I just could not read It all. – Ed Beal May 14 '20 at 6:42
  • @EdBeal: I can work on that. It seems every time I try to cut something to necessary details I spend the next several days providing details I didn't think mattered. – Tango May 14 '20 at 15:30
  • Since you haven’t received any other advice yet it might help. – Ed Beal May 14 '20 at 22:49
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    @EdBeal: The issue is I have VERY restricted keyboard time right now due to a back injury and an idiot delivery service that insisted on delivering something large and heavy today that was supposed to come in later. The pain gets rough after a few minutes being vertical. – Tango May 15 '20 at 3:12
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You could use better connectors - just had a quick look and found (there are probably others) Belden's (no affiliation) FS11 F-Conn for RG11, which uses a pin that connects to the central wire, so that the pin is the expected/standard size for F-connectors. No cramming the wrong size thing in...

Mind you, for 40 feet at typical Over The Air Broadcast Frequencies there should be minimal difference between RG11 & RG6 - The highest channels in UHF should be where the most difference is, and for 50 feet of cable there should only be about 0.4 dB difference between them, while at VHF frequencies 50 feet should be 0.25 - 0.3 dB - not clear from your question what the overall length is - if it's 100 feet rather than 40 feet, double those numbers, but still a small difference at broadcast frequencies (54-806 MHz) unless you are actually dealing in several hundred feet, or higher frequencies not seen in broadcast TV but common in satellite TV.

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  • Good point. I have limited experience, but every F connector I found to fit on RG11 has a pin on the end that is separate from the cable conductor. But, looking back, I think the connectors I used had thicker pins. One reason I am using RG11 is because, for a good while, I was on satellite for TV and internet and was having notable signal drop and needed to reduce signal loss on both as much as possible. I redid both the underground and in-house cabling in RG11 for both, but now I don't use satellite at all. – Tango May 15 '20 at 17:56
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Are you saying you used an RG6 connector on a RG11 cable? I don’t think that would work because of the size differences. Adding a spliced piece of rg6 to “reduce the stress” on the cables sounds like cheap connectors to me. Yes rg11 has lower losses but each splice even if perfect has losses and if you are resorting to aluminum foil you have larger problems Use something like the frame work or add a dowel Or short piece of metal and zip tie the cables to it To relieve the stress. If you cut the RG11 short because it is expensive you may have to replace the connection to the antenna (each splice adds 3db of losses and at the head end that is a lot) so do something mechanical to support the cables and reduce the stress you went to a big expense to swap over don't loose your gains by trying to cobble together a patch. Totally replace the wires in the antenna extending them and use quality connectors and support the conductors, I normally have a small loop at the head end for this very reason.

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  • When you talk about splicing, do you mean joining cable to cable directly? I'm assuming you mean using connectors and a female to female to go from, say, RG11 to RG6. – Tango May 15 '20 at 14:14
  • Yes proper fittings / connectors to join the antenna RG6 to the RG11 and use some kind of mechanical support like zip ties to eliminate the stress on the splice or junction. – Ed Beal May 15 '20 at 15:05
  • I'm thinking I need to replace the booster, at least the outside parts. The crawl space does not have the temperature extremes the outside does and they're not as frequent, so the daily heat/cool expension won't be as much of a problem in there. I suspect the outdoor part of the booster has the same issue with the connectors and RG11 as the antenna seems to have had. – Tango May 15 '20 at 15:48
  • I have not had thermal issues but the head end gear I installed With RG11 did have service loops and a max annual temp swing of just over 120f. – Ed Beal May 15 '20 at 16:10
  • There's enough play in the cables that any heat issues shouldn't be an issue, which is why I think the antenna guy was right that the issues are RG11 conductors in the female F connectors that would normally be fore RG6. Have you heard of RG11 connectors where the conductor on the end is the width of an RG6? – Tango May 15 '20 at 16:44

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