====== Signal Leakage ======

Signal Leakage is essentially a condition where by there is a problem somewhere in the system allowing the signal from the cable company to "leak" out into the atmosphere. Cable is and always has been a 'closed' system. Cable has changed though. Things are NOT like they used to be, even compared to just a few years ago. The signals running through the lines are doing more now than ever before. This means it is alot more important now than ever that the wiring be correct. More high definition and faster internet speeds translate to tighter specs for cable. Higher advances in the move to "all digital" becomes an important consideration aswell. Only the correct type of splitters and RG6 coax cable should be used in ALL applications. RG59 coax and 'gold' splitters should be absolutely avoided. ONLY those cable outlets that are to be used should be activated. Due to the fact that cable operates on radio frequency (RF), many aspects of how things work are exactly the same as the way a car radio, rabit ears, or portable stereo works. Signal leakage can be created by quite a few things such as loose connecters, bad coax cable, or a cable outlet somewhere in the house that is active with nothing plugged into it. The same problem that creates leakage also allows outside signal to seep into the cable system (ingress and egress). As outside signal gets in, this increases 'noise' on the lines. As noise levels increase, the digital signal becomes increasingly corrupted. Once the digital corruption gets bad enough, pixelation and tiling start to happen on the tv screen or even take a cable modem off-line. Sometimes this can affect sound quality due to the way the signal for sound is transmitted. Due to the fact that all cable signal is radio frequency, anything electrically conductive or metal can often carry signal leakage to other locations. This means that a leak detected in one place, does not necasserily mean that is where the real leak is. Signal can "ride" other wiring. Ethernet of powerline technology works similar to this. Signal leakage could come from somewhere in a home, outside a home from the drop, or from the main distribution system (large pole to pole lines or underground lines). There are FCC regulations envolved in this. The ultimate goal is to correct these problems and end up with no leakage.

Possible leakage sources are:
1) Loose coax connecter...EVERY connecter needs to be tight, 35 inch pounds
2) Any coax cable that is missing a connecter...center conductor shoved into a device
3) Bad coax cable...broken or chewed...squerils and dogs love to chew coax
4) Active cable outlets with nothing connected to them
5) Bad splitter
6) A splitter with an open port...no cable connected
7) Loose or Bad wallplate connecter
8) Loose, broken, or defective tap
9) Cracked main line distribution
10) Loose distribution connecter feeding signal to, or coming out of tap
11) Other faulty main line equiptment
12) Cable theft
13) Defective customer equiptment such as tv's or VCR's
14) Defective cable box or cable modem
15) Bad, defective, or improperly attached coax cable connecters
16) The use of RG59 coax cable...RG59 usually lacks adequate sheilding