How to Boost a Coax Cable Signal

By Eoghan McCloskey

Coaxial cables are commonly-used for a variety of household electronics; from cable modems, to digital set-top boxes and satellite receivers. A weak coaxial signal can cause intermittent problems that manifest themselves in different ways. On a TV, you may see static on the screen, missing channels, or audio distortion. On a cable modem your upload and download rates may diminish or the connection could intermittently drop. Maintaining a consistent coaxial cable signal is therefore essential to ensuring the consistency of your home network or home entertainment center. Luckily, there are several easy ways to boost a weak coaxial signal.

Step 1

Check the coaxial cable connection both on the wall cable jack and on the device to which it is connected. Tighten any loose connections. A coaxial connector that has come loose even slightly can cause a drop in coaxial signal. Check the devices for any improvement after tightening all connections.

Step 2

Unscrew the coaxial cable from the device into which it is connected and check the copper needle that runs through the middle for any bending or damage. Also run a soft, dry cloth over the coaxial input connection to discharge any static electricity buildup. Repeat the procedure on the wall jack and again check the devices for any improvement.

Step 3

Bypass any coaxial cable splitters being used. Splitters, as the name implies, split the coaxial signal in half so that you can run more than one device off of a single cable outlet. However, a split signal may not be strong enough to power your device, so disconnect everything from the splitter and run a single coaxial cable from the wall jack directly to the device. If the signal improves at this point, you may need to replace the splitter or, if possible, continue to use the device without the splitter.

Step 4

Use a shorter coaxial cable to connect the wall jack to the device. The longer a coaxial cable, the more the signal degrades by the time it reaches the device. If possible, replace any coaxial cables longer than 20 ft. with a shorter cable. If the device is too far from the wall jack, it may be worthwhile to have your cable provider install a new cable "drop" closer to the device.

Step 5

Install a house amp. Amps are devices used to boost a coaxial cable signal; they can be purchased at most electronic stores and installed per the manufacturer's instructions. Your cable provider can often send a technician to your home to have the amp properly installed.