How to check coaxial wiring at facilities

March 26, 2019.

Coaxial wiring in new buildings (with no headend equipment installed has to be checked using a pilot carrier generator connected to the headend and a field strength meter certifying the reception levels in each outlet.

For those facilities with installations in operation, each section can be checked in the same way, disconnecting and testing one section at a time.

Pilot carrier generator

The RP-080 is a handy, versatile and easy to use signal generator with which satellite receivers and coaxial cables of buildings can be checked. It generates up to 4 independent pilot carriers with selectable level (from 75 to 105 dBµV).

RP-080 test signal generator
RP-080 test signal generator.


RP-080 can be powered via RF. Therefore the field strength meter itself can be used to supply the device while it is used to check the proper reception of the pilot signals. It also can be connected to an external AC adaptor.

Field strength meter

Field strength meter
It is possible to verify the pilot signal level using the SPECTRUM analyser mode on a TV level meter.

How to check coaxial wiring

  1. Facilities with an installation already in operation: Separate the installation section that is desired to check from the general panel or from one of the jack outlets of the TV signal distribution network.
  2. Connect the RP-080 OUTPUT connector to one of the ends from section under test, and use the TV level meter (RF input) on the other.
  3. Turn on the level meter, activating the LNB supply output (from 13 to 18 V) to feed the RP-080. Select on RP-080, depending on the presence of amplifiers in the line, the output levels for each carrier by means the pilot level selection buttons.
How to check coaxial wiring using an RP-080 pilot generator and a field strength meter
How to check coaxial wiring using an RP-080 pilot generator and a field strength meter.
  1. Select the TERRESTRIAL (UHF) or SATELLITE (IF) band, select the representation of the spectrum in the whole band (Full Span) and set as maximum a 100 dBμV reference level.
  2. Verify on the TV level meter screen in the SPECTRUM ANALYSER mode the presence of the two pilot frequencies generated by the RP-080 as well as the received signal level to evaluate the attenuation value from line. Adjust the frequency span to a suitable margin.
  3. Repeat the two steps previously described in order to verify the following frequency band.
  4. Repeat the three previous steps for each outlet.

After disconnecting the field strength meter from the installation, the RP-080 will shut off (because it is no longer being RF-supplied). The pilot levels adjustments are stored in memory. Therefore, after connecting the field strength meter to other outlet the RP-080 will power ON because it will receive RF power again and will keep the levels set in the step 3.


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PROMAX is a leading manufacturer of test and measurement systems, broadcast and TV signal distribution equipment. Our product lines include measuring instruments for cable TV, satellite TV, broadcast, wireless and fibre optics networks, FTTH and GPON analyzers. DVB-T modulators, IP streamers or IP converters (ASI, DVB-T) are among the company’s latest developments.