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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 2005-06-03, 05:24 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Thanks, the screwdriver and coat hanger did the trick!

I had a similar situation, the cable company hooked up my cable modem jack and left all the other jacks in the house disconnected, so I needed access to the box to connect my other jacks to my Dish Network setup.

Anyway, a coat hanger bend at the tip as shown in your picture along with a thin screwdriver was all I needed. I had it opened in two minutes.

Thanks again!

Last edited by hugh; 2005-06-03 at 05:32 PM. Reason: remove unnecessary quoting
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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 2005-06-04, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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You are quite welcome Moe. I am glad that this helped you out.
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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 2006-06-15, 10:52 AM
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can someone post the picture of the coathanger thing again??
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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 2007-06-07, 09:52 AM
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Hey, Guys...(those that connected your satelite dishes throughout your homes, using 'your own coax feeds' within those grey boxes), here's a little heads up....if your satelite system quits one day, look back in that box to ensure someone didn't sneak around and disconnect some cables there. Fifteen years ago when I had my first system installed, I was so pleased with the available programming that I cancelled my cable. In those days, there was nothing really worthwhile on it to watch, anyways. However, serveral years later, the first time, the signal from my dish disappeared. After wasting much time to troubleshoot the problem within my home, I checked the connections outside of the house only to find that someone had somehow gotten into the box and disconnected everything. And apparently when they did that, they shorted out the center conductor against the shield and blew the fuse on my IRD. Thinking that it might have been an envious neighbour or some other miserable SOB with a little technical expertise, I re-connected everything, replaced the fuse and everything was just fine for another couple of years. Then, it happened again and I went through the same procedure. Over the following 10 years, the same thing happened time and time again and I continued to pull my hair out, wondering who the heck hated me so much that they would keep annoying me. Finally, when the signal was lost one year ago, I clued onto the plot when the cable guy left his business card in my mailbox, along with an 'invitation' to sign up for cable again! So, I phoned the guy and he explained that "if I wanted cable, I would have to subscribe, like everyone else". Doubtless to say, I did a lot of yelling and threatening (lawsuits and all, of course) unless he went back and made the re-connections as he had once again, disconnected my satelite dish. And yes, within 10 minutes, he was back onsite to fix the problem. Following that, I called the cable provider's office and gave them a good yell, too. I asked them what would happen if I came into their headend and started to disconnect their cables. They replied that they would likely call the police and have me charged with trespass and public mischief. And that is exactly what I promised I would do to them and their cable guy, the next time that they came back! Consequently, to prevent any future problems, I removed that grey box, replaced it with one of my own and put a padlock on it. Haven't had a problem since!!!

Recently, I have learned that they have guys going around from time to time to ALL HOMES, in all neighborhoods, (whether the owners have cable or not) to perform what they call 'audits'. If they see a connection that they don't like, they WILL disconnect them! So, fair warning......
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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 2007-06-07, 11:37 AM
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Location: Toronto, Rogers, 9865 & 8300-eHDD, Sharp LC75N8000U, Denon AVR4310Ci; Sony KDL40W3000, 9865
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Part of the reason for your problem is that you used the cable box for your connection. Although it's on your property, the box is considered cable company property. They have the right to access that box and should they see something amiss to "correct" that situation - sometimes they add filters, etc.

You could have avoided a lot of grief if you had:

- replaced the box in the first place
- advised your cable company in the first place (they may have removed the box or put a label on it)

I'm not saying that they aren't partly to blame since any competent installer should have noticed that the "cable feed" wasn't connected, but rather your satellite.

57's Home Theatre (Latest equipment & photos)
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post #21 of 34 (permalink) Old 2007-06-07, 11:54 PM
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Location: Chilliwack BC
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Well, I suppose that is partly true....I should have known better. But since I wired the house as it was being built, purchased the original box myself and installed it over the top of the cable entrance to prevent moisture leakage through the exterior wall, I considered it to be mine. They installed a locking mechanism on it however, which was definately not mine.

In any case, the whole situation is now ancient history. I posted the message to serve only as a 'heads up' to others that appear to be going through the same motions as I did. And to perhaps save them from the same type of aggravation that I went through.
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post #22 of 34 (permalink) Old 2007-06-08, 01:18 AM
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I posted the message to serve only as a 'heads up'
And for that I should have thanked you in my previous post, which I forgot, sorry.

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post #23 of 34 (permalink) Old 2007-08-04, 09:24 PM
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dks..could you repost the picture again ??? please

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post #24 of 34 (permalink) Old 2007-08-05, 05:14 AM
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Yeah! I paid for the box and all the cable and the electrician to install the coax in my home. The cable guy after cancellation and the use of the cable and box for satellite told me it was their property. I recently padlocked it with my own lock because I was pretty sure I would lose satellite one day if I didn't.
They can disconnect at the street if they are so concerned.
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post #25 of 34 (permalink) Old 2007-09-04, 05:34 PM
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pic requested

Any chance we can get that pic reposted, or any more input how to open those boxes with out the tool, ie coathanger/screwdriver
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post #26 of 34 (permalink) Old 2007-09-10, 04:37 PM
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I have a metal lock box in my garage that I would like to get into to do the same thing. This box has a "radial lock" and I am looking for a key for it. The box is manufactured by Budco and I have looked everywhere for a key for this box. Anyone?
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post #27 of 34 (permalink) Old 2007-10-09, 12:24 PM
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Hi guys,

I've been following this thread quite closely and also have done a partial research (not done yet) into this matter.

The reason for my interest is as follows: I already have cable wiring to several rooms in my house which ends inside the cable providers (Videotron) demarcation box/point. All I want to do is connect the endpoint of the cable to the splicer already present in the demarcation point as I am paying for the signal (just want to enable another room). My rational is I should not have to pay for a trained monkey to open the damn box to simply screw in a cable wire for 50$ (yup, they charge 50$).

Here are some of the facts I have dug up from the CRTC site:
A) The demarcation point/box IS the property of the cable / phone company.
B) The house's internal wiring is the property of the house's owner.

What is obvious here is that the internal wiring ends inside the demarcation point thus preventing/ limiting the rightful owner's access to his property. This is obviously the result of bad desing (perhaps dubious tactics) on the part of the cable provider. I pay for the signal, not the number of live jacks in my house. A more appropriate design would be to have the house's distriubtion box (where all the house's cable ends and meet up at one or more splicers - or whatever) connected via a "main" to the demarcation point where the cable provider can monitor theft and service provisionning to their hearts content.

Bottom line is, the house's internal wiring is 100% the house's owner. The cable company has no right to it whatsoever. So you can use it however you see fit.

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post #28 of 34 (permalink) Old 2007-10-09, 09:57 PM
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A more appropriate design would be to have the house's distriubtion box (where all the house's cable ends and meet up at one or more splicers - or whatever) connected via a "main" to the demarcation point where the cable provider can monitor theft and service provisionning to their hearts content.
Most new homes in Ottawa have this technology installed. In my current and previous homes, I have an IBM patch panel.
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post #29 of 34 (permalink) Old 2008-05-03, 10:35 AM
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Thank you all for this thread. We've had Comcast out to the house three days in a row and they were unable to figure out where our problem was. We opened the box, using this thread's advice, and did some testing of our own. It turned out the problem was a faulty splitter, not a problem with the neighborhood's signal strength.

So, I'm here to post a summary about our experience with the "inconvenience mechanism" on the grey Multilink outdoors cable box, mounted on the side of the house, patent number 331740 ("Cover with a securing element chamber for a television subscriber receptacle"). I'm probably not going to get all of the terminology exactly right, but it should be good enough to help a layperson get the box open.

At the bottom of the cover is a plastic plug, covering the security mechanism. This is easily removed. The mechanism itself presents you with a female cable termination socket (with no pin) and four slots deep inside on the side walls. As user HDTV101 noted, this "lock" is meant to be opened with a cable termination tool, since this is a specialized tool most people are unlikely to have handy.

The inside of this mechanism needs to be turned, but you can't just use pliers to grab the outside and turn it because the inside rotates freely within the outside. You have to get a grip on the inside to rotate it. First, we used a coathanger and a thin, narrow screwdriver, but the coathanger was too thick to fit into the slot. About the slots: they're just for getting a grip on the inside of the mechanism so you can turn it. There's nothing to press down inside the slots.

What worked was two thin screwdrivers, crossed near their tips and inserted into opposite slots in the barrel of the "lock". By keeping the handles of the screwdrivers pressed open, the heads stayed in their slots with enough pressure to let us rotate the inside of the mechanism. This is tedious, but not particularly difficult.

The back end of the "lock" is threaded and not shallow. It looks like another female cable end (but with the center pin intact). It's going to probably take a lot rotation to get the mechanism free of the box, but this depends on who closed it last. I think the cable people tighten it so much so that if you manage to play with it a little and get the inside rotating, but the box doesn't open, you'll figure it opens some other way and/or give up before it comes off.

The "lock" mechanism should come off all the way, using your improvised tools. If anyone has more foresight, take some pictures of it when it's off and post them here. After it's off, opening the box is straightforward. Just lift it out and up and the whole cover will come off, leaving you free to access the components inside.

When you're done, put the tab of the cover into the slot at the top and bring it down to cover the inside of the box. Depending on how many connections and splitters you have, it might be a job to shove everything back inside.

The hardest part (for us) was getting the female back end of the inconvenience mechanism back onto the male end deep inside the bottom hole of the cover. It's difficult to hold onto without the cable termination tool, and you have to make sure the little pin goes into the tiny hole in center of the male end. It didn't take us very long, but it was an unexpected frustration. Also, we didn't tighten it very much (maybe a turn or two), in case we have to get back in there.

And that's all there is to it. Thanks again for your posts on this thread. I hope we added something.
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post #30 of 34 (permalink) Old 2008-09-04, 10:09 AM
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Cable Box

Here are some pictures of the cable box I believe might be in question.

Thanks to all the people who have posted all their comments. It's helped alot.

Now I know where to start and try to get the stupid box open. I would like to attach my sat. dish to the house cables and I'm in the middle of trying to open the box.

Anyone have the pics of the coat hanger and/or screwdriver in action?

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