How to Check Coax Cable for Signal – Don’t Spin Your Head

How to check coax cable for signals? Check this article if you are experiencing distortion and poor picture quality in your TVs or CCTVs.

Imagine watching the most awaited football league, and your TV screen goes black, or you have to submit your online paper, but the internet is not working.

Worst-case scenario, you have to go out of town, but the CCTV camera is not catching any signal. You call the helpline, and they ask to check the coax cable. Now the question arises, how to check coax cable for a signal?  

How to Check Coax Cable for Signal
How to Check Coax Cable for Signal

Do you know that you can check your coax cable signal all by yourself?

Yes, you read it right… 

It is not at all a strenuous task. With some pieces of equipment and our step-by-step guide, you are good to go.

A coax cable short, for coaxial cable, is the most commonly used cable for connecting televisions, internet, CCTV cameras, etc. to the antennas. Coax cable has metal inner cords covered with a metal braid mesh to create a resistive coax. It helps in keeping the signal intact and prevents electric noise from interfering with the signals. Coaxial is used at homes and offices for its durability and flexibility. 

Let’s not waste more time and go straight to our guide. You will find easy steps to check your coax cable and identify signal strength while using a multimeter!

Steps to Check Coax Cable For Signal

Check Coax Cable For Signal
Check Coax Cable For Signal

9 Steps How to Check your Coax Cable Signal

Following are the simple steps to check the signal of the coax cable using a multimeter and probe wires.

  1. First of all, you need to disconnect your coax cable from the devices such as TV, cable splitter or Camera, etc., and make sure that both ends of the coax cable are free and not connected to anything.
  2. Now get a multimeter and a testing probe. It is better to run a test on the multimeter to check if it is functioning. For this purpose, you need to set your multimeter at ohms or (Ω). Further, insert the black probe in the COM port of the meter and the red probe to + port. Now, touch the black and red probe to each other and see what the reading is. If it shows a reading of 0 or near zero, it means there is no resistance, and your multimeter is accurate. However, if it shows OL or another digit such as 1 then the multimeter is faulty.
  3. Once you are sure your multimeter is accurate, you can move to this step. Set the multimeter at continuity or CONT option. 
  4. Connect the positive end of the probe to the center point of one side of the coax and the negative end to the center point of the coax on the other side. Make sure that the probes do not touch the outer covering of the coax. 
  5. Now take the reading or measurement by listening to the sound of a multimeter. If there is a continuous sound, this means that there is a signal in your cable.
  6. Now, touch the negative probe to the outer wire (if you are using a coaxial connector then to the outer jacket) and connect the positive end of the probe to the center point of the coax. 
  7. At this point, there should be no sound emitting from the meter. If you experience the opposite, then the coax is damaged and most likely the reason for signal loss.
  8. Another way of checking the signal continuity is to connect one side of the coax to the circuit or any device and the other side to one end of the probe to the center point and the other to the outer part.
  9. The meter will show a reading or produce a beeping sound to ensure the coax is perfectly fine and there is a signal in it. If the opposite happens, then coax is damaged and possibly needs replacing. 

So if you follow these simple steps, you can easily find if the coax is receiving and transmitting signals or not. You can also check the signal strength of the cable while using a cable signal meter. This meter will give you readings in DMV or decibel millivolts. 

Let’s discuss some of the questions you might have on your mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

–          Does the length of the coax cable affect the signal?

Yes, there are chances that the length of the coax cable may affect your signal. According to the experts, if the coax is 50 feet, there is a high chance of interrupted signals. However, a 100 feet cable would drop one-third of the original.

–          Does coax cables damage?

Yes, the cables may experience deterioration or damage over some time. Bending, high temperature or water exposure can cause damage to the coax cables that cause loss of signal or signal interruption. 

–          What are different ways to increase the signal strength of the cable?

Coaxial cable strength can be increased by using a shorter length cable and avoiding a cable splitter. Directly plug the cable into the device instead of using the splitters. Further, routine checks can help you know the condition of the cable.

The Bottom Line – Wrapping up the Story

The importance of coaxial cables is undeniable in our lives. From entertainment to work to our homes and office security, we need good quality coax cables. However, there is no denying that these cables may tear or break after some time, all thanks to harsh weather, water leakage, or any other technical fault.

But why are you fretting over it? You do not need a technician since we have got you covered with our easy step-by-step guide above. We hope that the next time you face a signal loss, you would know what to do. 

About Charles Ingram

Hi, I am Charles your local Home Tech and Gadget Expert. I’ve been fascinated with electricity for as long as I can remember. I grew up in an old home in a rural setting, so the quality and continuity of our electrical service were spotty at best. Spending time without power (or running off a generator) gave me a lot of appreciation for the benefits of electricity. I love writing and talking about it.