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Old 05-28-2009, 05:17 PM   #1
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HD TV to bedroom or routing CAT5/6 from front to back

Has anyone ever tried to run any kind of cable from the dash to the rear bedroom? We have a 2002 Ultimate Advantage 40' J model and with the advent of HDMI over CAT5/6, it's now possible to run DIRECTV or DISH HD programming (or any kind of programming for that matter) over network cable. The problem is getting network cable in the coach.

I'll have to figure a way to get the cable down to the dash, but that's the least of my problems. I have run cables outside the dash to the engine compartment, but I don't want to run network cable that way. I've seen cable and piping in the cargo/storage bays and could probably run cable there, but need a way in and then a way out.

Any hints or help would be appreciated.
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:30 PM   #2
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Just wondering why you would want to run cables to the back bedroom??
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:07 PM   #3
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The coax that runs from the selector panel in the front doesn't handle high definition signals. Running CAT5/6 network cable to the back would allow me to send high definition signals from our DirecTV HD DVR and Blu-Ray DVD player to our TV in the bedroom.

Also would route a cable to the television that is underneath in the outside entertainment center.

CAT5/6 network cable is easier to work with that HDMI cable with less signal loss over that 40' of distance.

A satellite signal could be sent over the coax cable running to the back but we would need another DirecTV box to process the signal. Doing it with CAT5/6 gives us more and better high definition options.
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:34 PM   #4
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I had a CAT-5 put in at the dealership before delivery

However, The path is kind of obvious, From the overhead compartment (Sat receiver area) they ran it down the "A" pillar on that side, under the dash, through the firewall into the engine area (Mine is a gasser) then along the existing wires to the back, up through the floor in exactly the wrong place and ended with it in the bedroom. I finished the run.. NOTE, though they put it in the wrong place it's not a problem (They should have brought it up under the wardrobe slide but brought it up just being in an a wasted area)

I really can't improve on what they did for my rig, Total issues in 4 years = zero

I was tossing video over it just a couple of hours ago (I'm not now cause I"m not there)
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:53 PM   #5
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Any chance you could use the air conditioning ducts? I seem to remember someone describing taking out the most forward grill and creating an opening from the forward end of the duct into the forward cabinet. Not sure how you would get out of the duct in the back though...
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:36 AM   #6
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If all else fails and you have no choice but to go down, you can always use direct burial CAT/6 in slit-wrap. Short of conduit, that's about as bullet-proof as you can get.
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Old 05-29-2009, 05:41 AM   #7
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Wow! I didn't know you could send HDMI over cat5 wires. I was thinking of using that in my stick house until I looked at the prices of the converters and the requirements (1 shielded and another unshielded cat5). It's very expensive to do it this way unless you are looking for 200 ft+ in distance. The price I found was more than $200 just for the converters!

You can buy a standard 50-ft HDMI cable for a about $54 and a premium for about $87 (Monoprice - HDMI Cable, Home Theater Accessories, HDMI Products, Cables, Adapters, Video/Audio Switch, Networking, USB, Firewire, Printer Toner, and more!). In addition, you only need to run 1 cable and don't have to worry about power supplies.
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Old 05-29-2009, 05:45 AM   #8
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My backup plan has always been to go outside using anti-chafe or wire wrap. Once inside the basement compartments, the cable can be run up in the subfloor with all the other wiring and plumbing. Getting into and out of the basement is the tricky part.

I have 2 cables already running from the cockpit to the engine compartment. I utilized the bottom seal of the living room slideout and then ran shielded cabling to the ECM and tow hitch. Those cables aren't fragile.

I'll be crawling around in the next few weeks looking for an opening. My first look will be at the point where the generator bundle goes into the basement compartment.

Monoprice is a great store for A/V electronics. They are the ones with the HDMI to CAT5/6 wall plate adapters. I highly recommend that people who need this kind of stuff start at Monoprice.

Thanks.
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Old 05-29-2009, 01:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomsm View Post
Any chance you could use the air conditioning ducts? Not sure how you would get out of the duct in the back though...
When Camping World at Seffner, FL installed our satellite dish and two recievers, they ran the coax for the rear reciever down the left-side roof A/C duct. It can be done. I never spent much time investigating how they got it to or from the duct, though.
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Old 05-29-2009, 02:23 PM   #10
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Wow! I didn't know you could send HDMI over cat5 wires.
You don't send HDMI over CAT-5, you send Digital Video, a box, really a computer, at the receiving end converts it back to HD-Video

IN my coach, I don't have HD, but I ship a whole lot of SD video over Cat-5 being as I have two networked digital recorders, one 250 hours/gigs and the other 40, Works great. There is absolutly ZERO quality loss box to box since it's all 1's and zeros. so if the signal comes in as 0.2 instead of zero, the box says "That's a zero" or 0.8 is "That's a 1" and fixes it (In short, signal loss is cancelled)

MP somethign (2 I think in my case 4 for HD)

That means there is indeed loss as compared to the original, but it's the same loss as you get watching DISH or DIRECTV, plus the loss is on the source, no machine to machine loss

One of my DVR's (the big one) can also send/receive via the Internet however... As a mobile client,, That is not an easy task
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Old 05-29-2009, 04:52 PM   #11
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Jim, We have the same model coach and I have looked a little at running cables but just not ready so I don't have a specific answer to your question. But, the cables that run overhead in the 2nd and 3rd compartments on the pax side have an abundance of cables overhead. They get those into the basement somehow and my thoughts were to find where they ran in and shove my cable in with those. Please let us know ow you get the problem solved. Take care and good luck
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Old 05-30-2009, 07:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
You don't send HDMI over CAT-5, you send Digital Video, a box, really a computer, at the receiving end converts it back to HD-Video
I knew about digital video. I have DVRs and digital media centers. My surprise was getting HDMI converted to anything. I thought there was special encryption on it to prevent digital piracy.

After digging around the Monoprice site, this solution seems cost effective and more reliable than a long HDMI cable.
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Old 05-30-2009, 12:26 PM   #13
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Kix, good to hear from you. I still haven't ventured into the pass-through storage to replace that black tank valve. But I still have your directions. Perhaps someday when I'm more motivated....

As for the entry into the basement, it's got to be behind the generator somewhere. The drivers side electronics exit ahead of the propane tank and travel on the frame. I might put it there in one of those bundles. Not weather proof, but at least protected as mentioned earlier.

Was going to start on that today....but there was this snake under the coach and he/she wanted to be there more than I did.

Got some other stuff to do in the meantime.....but will let you know what I find.
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Old 05-30-2009, 12:32 PM   #14
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I'm not disputing wa8yxm.....I can only tell you what the technical folks at monoprice told me about moving the HDMI output.

They said HDMI output from my DirecTV HD DVR into the wall plate, CAT5/6 (they recommend the 6 of course), to the other wall plate and HDMI to the TV set in the bedroom.

I've already moved my center front TV to the side of the coach and ran a 25' HDMI cable w/o an amplifier. It does ok for most 1080p signals, but sometimes I get pixelation for some reason.

That might still happen over CAT5 for 50', but it's worth a shot.
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