I'm researching an ethernet-over-coax solution for my home. In my closet where all the cabling meet, all but two coax cables are disconnected. There are 14 cables altogether, with 12 cables entirely disconnected, and 2 cables connected to one another with a female/female connector.

Disconnected coax cables in closet.

If this looks standard, can someone explain basic home coax wiring?

  • Why are nearly all my coax cables disconnected?
  • Is this related to FCC leakage regulations?
  • Do each of the 12 other cables go to wall plates in the house, or is this really just 6 lines that are simply disconnected at the moment?
  • Do you have cable or an antenna? How many TVs in your house?
    – gbronner
    Jan 23, 2016 at 23:58
  • Cable service only, no antenna, though I only subscribe to internet from the cable provider, not TV. Jan 24, 2016 at 0:05
  • 2
    If there has been a previous occupant there may have been more need for cable per room. Also cable installers will run a new line if the existing one is out dated or has been in use for awhile.
    – ojait
    Jan 24, 2016 at 1:36
  • 1
    This question is difficult to answer, without being able to walk through the building. Are there wall jacks/cables in 12 rooms? How many cables enter the building?
    – Tester101
    Jan 24, 2016 at 2:05

2 Answers 2


Because you only hook up what you have to, to avoid signal loss. If you're serious about getting HD to all your jacks, you should probably look into getting a powered splitter.

Otherwise, you just want a small passive splitter in a good MHz range. Over 2k was bare minimum last time I checked.

I have internet cable and I want it as clean as possible, so I use a good two-way splitter to feed the modem and then it feeds another one I had laying around for the giant jumble of TV feeds.

You probably have one or two incomings at most. Unless someone wired your house up for something strange, this is no different than many people's basements I've seen. Where there is either no equipment yet, or it's just like 4 out of the 16 cables run into a passive splitter (cause those things are cheap and cable guys charge ~$5 a termination on the cable ends, so frankly I'm surprised yours all are. Welcome to your new house? ;).

If you move out, you might take your expensive 12-way splitter with you. If it's a new construction house, that's why there's nothing there yet.

  • 1
    Agreed. Mine looks similar to the OP's because I disconnected everything I wasn't using.
    – Comintern
    Jan 24, 2016 at 14:44

My guess would be that each room had coax wires routed to a common panel, and that there are wall plates in each room, or possibly that the wire was left in the wall. Coax cable is cheap, and if your house was recently built, this is a definite possibility.

My other guess is that one of your two connected wires is your outside cable and the other is the wire that goes to the room where you have your cable modem.

When I set this up, I put the cable modem in the basement, got a splitter, and connected the output of the cable modem to the input on the splitter; the outputs were wired to different rooms, and have an in-wall MOCA adapter as shown here: enter image description here

You will want to verify this; you can buy cable testers or make your own with a piece of scrap cable and a flashlight.

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