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Itís the little things that matter

Frequently the failure of an LNB or receiver is created by an improperly installed fittings, barrel connectors or improper cable preparation. Most of these problems can be further traced to improper materials and or preparation. It is amazing to think that the least expensive items (the fitting and barrels) in the installation are responsible for a significant portion of service calls.

Here are just a few things to remember this subject that will save you time and money.

Ensure that you are only using materials from your platform providers Approved list. These materials have undergone the necessary testing and inspection to ensure that they will properly function for the environment that they will be used. Remember that while some components are approved for a specific technology they may not be for others. If you do not have a list of Approved Materials contact your authorized distributor for an updated copy.

Don’t assume that the existing fittings and barrel connector for the wall plate are going to pass the required frequency of the component you are using. Many service calls can be traced back to failure of a product that was not designed to pass the higher frequency. While these may work temporarily, they will soon fail thus creating a future service call. A general rule to follow is to replace all of the existing fittings and wall plate barrels to ensure a working system.

Verify that your installation tools are designed for the job and are in proper working order. Ensure that your crimper is compatible for the fittings you will be using. If you are using quad shield cable you must use a fitting designed for this purpose.

Check the blade on your cable prep tool to ensure that it is sharp. A dull blade will often cause a couple pieces of braid to wrap around the center conductor instead of cutting them. If you unsure if the blade is dull you should replace it. Never use a knife or utility blade to prep a cable.

Be sure to properly prep the coaxial cable. Even if you use only Approved Materials, failure to properly cut and crimp the connector can lead to signal loss and or system failure.

While these tips may seem like a simple step for a seasoned installer, it is best to always check all of your connectors before you leave to ensure that they are Approved Materials and that they are properly installed.

Lastly, if you use employees or contractors to perform your installations be sure that they are also using the proper tools and following all the necessary steps for cable preparation. Don’t assume they are, check their work and tools. It may save you the cost of a service call or a chargeback and will further ensure a satisfied customer. Remember, if you are receiving an installation subsidy, you are responsible for the quality of work.

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