Is this a Cable Amplifier in my condo's attic? (pic) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 08-17-2009, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
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At my attic entrance, my condo's bedroom closet opening, is a box called Anaconda Electronics, two thick cables connect on the sides, 4 coax connectors on top, with one connected cable that looks to run into the attic of the neighbors condo.

It has me a little worried. What would happen if I connected the loose cable, why is there a cable from the neighbors on my side? My research on Anaconda Electronics has a short history around 1968 (time my condo was built) where they mad Cable Television Amplifier

Quote:
*Patent
Author Year Title Country Assignee Number URL
Rheinfelder, William A. 1969 CABLE TELEVISION AMPLIFIER POWERING
United States ANACONDA ELECTRONICS CO 3435358

Photo with details:
http://premium1.uploadit.org/TimothyB/whatisthis.jpg

Recently, my cable has gotten weaker again, local HD signals over Comcast that always worked on my Tivo HD (no cable card) came in, but now no signal for those. Nothing has changed in terms of what's in the photo for years, but I'm wondering if it's something that could help. Maybe I should call comcast, can they boost the signal? I also noticed they my analog package at $57.95 is the same price as their digital package with more channels, and they don't offer what I have anymore.
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post #2 of 30 Old 08-18-2009, 05:03 AM
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I would call them and tell them what you found, they will probably want to charge you to come and take a look.
Do you know if your neighbors are also having problems with there cable service?
If so this may fall as condo maintenance.
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post #3 of 30 Old 08-18-2009, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCbridge View Post

I would call them and tell them what you found, they will probably want to charge you to come and take a look.
Do you know if your neighbors are also having problems with there cable service?
If so this may fall as condo maintenance.

On another site I was asking questions on how to deal with that hole seen in the photo, as it's a possible firewall breach, could be a code violation in my area. I'm not sure who's responsible, as there's the home owners association, me as an owner of my unit, and the neighbors unit. Since it's just a half inch wall board, attached to the neighbors side of the pillars, who would be responsible? It's no more my wall than it it's the neighbors. If I were to fix it, I'd have to stay on the neighbors side as I close it up. Which seems odd, and why I think such matters would be handled by the association, as this could be a code violation, and the neighbor may be unreasonable to a point that they would not let anyone go through there unit to seal it properly.

Anyway, one person took a guess at how this hole might have appeared, saying sometimes cable installers do this to run cables. And as in the photo, you see, the nieghbors cable connects to the box on my side. Could an install have broken through to get to this box to boost the neighbors signal?

I suppose I should look into scheduling Comcast to switch me to digital cable for the same price as I'm paying now, and have them bring out a cable card for my HD Tivo.

(PRIOR EXPERIENCE WITH COMCAST)
Though, when I bought the place, I'm not very inspired by Comcast's competence. When a guy came down to activate the cable and install in a room, the cable guy would not do anything! He kept saying he'd get in trouble by not approving this with my association and other liabilities. I explained I can do anything I want inside, my approval is all he needs, outside stuff needs approval, like a dish, security doors, etc. Luckily I got him to compromise with a simple, but poor solution.

The room I want cable in has a closet that shares a wall with my living room entertainment wall where cable is already installed. So I had him open the plastic cable cover, then from inside that he drilled a hole into the closet, opening into a bottom built in shelf. He then split the cable to run one through that hole. Attached the metal end to the cable, but just left it dangling in a closet through that shelf, no special wall cap to cover the hole nicely, or run the cable with brackets along the wall. I had to attached a cable and run it under the closet door to hook up a TV.

That has was my first experience with a cable installer, real pro.
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post #4 of 30 Old 08-18-2009, 11:48 AM
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IMO... call Comcast. Get your digital upgrade. Have them address/resolve all issues and concerns with cabling and/or hookups.

If necessary, contact the HOA to work with you and Comcast to get the installation performed properly and any retrofitting back to code... and your satisfaction.

I'd also take a guess that your neighbor has been getting "free" cable on your dime.
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post #5 of 30 Old 08-18-2009, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

IMO... call Comcast. Get your digital upgrade. Have them address/resolve all issues and concerns with cabling and/or hookups.

If necessary, contact the HOA to work with you and Comcast to get the installation performed properly and any retrofitting back to code... and your satisfaction.

I'd also take a guess that your neighbor has been getting "free" cable on your dime.

Heh, our previous mayor that lives in a condo here got in trouble for stealing cable once, so who knows. The thing is, the owners don't live in the unit next door, only renters, so with people coming and going, you'd think a new renter would wonder what's going on if the cable was working for free, unless the owners said they are paying for it.

When I moved in, the renters next door continued to live there for 6 years or so. A nice quiet family lived, no noise, arguing, zero problems, but they left to buy a home. Nice people that would say hi, even helped when I dropped something when caring things to a dumpster.

Slightly off topic,

but a nightmare starts after they left. The new neighbors moved in, dirt bags, they lied to the owners. A neighbor heard the owner banging on the door calling them that, that they did not pay the PG&E gas bill, and they'd come back to take the fridge away. Eventually they had no gas, no power, fridge, all you saw at night were candles, which freaked me out, a fire could start, and I have a hole in the firewall. A small child lived there. They smoked too, which had a strong smell enter my bedroom, making me wonder about that hole in the attic. Then they started to run a gas generator in the patio, putting a fumy gas smell in the air if my window was open, running all day with constant noise. Then they were caught running an extension cord to the other neighbors outlet. Supposedly at a final court hearing the renter showed up with crutches, but stormed out fast when she was told by the judge that their time was up there. Don't think they even had power to run a tv to watch cable.

Anyway, the next renters were two younger guys, they decided to get two little dogs, a chihuahua and pit bull. They were kept in the patio all the time, crapping there, barking too much. They smoked, but only outside and closing my window was enough to solve that. Don't think there was a decline in cable quality or HD signal then. Less than a year, they leave suddenly.

Now the new people, questionable looking, smoke way too much causing my condo to smell bad, yelling and cussing at children, which are up all night disturbing my roommate, the adults arguing often at 2 am with sudden slams against the wall that startle you. They may have running tvs, but if it were hooked to my cable, would that cause my signal to weaken to where the HD stations break up or not detected anymore?

I tell you, I don't know what to think, a lot of these characters seem like they wouldn't ask questions if they were getting free cable after moving in. I'll setup something with Comcast soon, and call the Home Owner's Association about the wall, but I fear they'll only think of their interest and say it's not their problem to fix and say goodbye with no further suggestions or answers about codes and such.
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post #6 of 30 Old 08-18-2009, 01:31 PM
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Again, get your digital cable upgrade, have Comcast resolve your reception issues and remediate illegal hookups because:
1) If your neighbor (owners/renters/whomever) gets cable for free, are they going to complain?
2) If the illegal hookup is in your home/condo, who do you think is liable?
3) Why pay for them to get free cable?
4) You get your reception issues resolved.

One phone call and you're done.
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post #7 of 30 Old 08-18-2009, 02:43 PM
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That's not an amplifier -- it's a 20 value, 4 port tap. The same thing you see all over the place on utility poles and in pedestals. It's probably only a 330MHz tap, though. Definitely call your cable company and let them resolve the issue with the plant.

CIAO!

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post #8 of 30 Old 08-18-2009, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egnlsn View Post

It's probably only a 330MHz tap, though.

If he doesn't get any cable channels above 41 or 42... you could be correct with your guess.
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post #9 of 30 Old 08-18-2009, 09:41 PM
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Attached are some pictures of one of their modulators. The description reads " Anaconda Model 8900 Modulator This particular modulator is configured for Channel 5 output. Anaconda also manufactured modulators for other VHF channels."

Seeing as how VHF only goes up to channel 13, it may only be a 220MHz tap.
LL
LL
LL

CIAO!

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post #10 of 30 Old 08-18-2009, 09:47 PM
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It looks like the drop cable in the pic is pretty crappy too. RG59 Copper Braid shield and crimp connectors...So 1970's.
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post #11 of 30 Old 08-18-2009, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

If he doesn't get any cable channels above 41 or 42... you could be correct with your guess.

A little more than just a guess.

CIAO!

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post #12 of 30 Old 08-18-2009, 10:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, yes, I get channels above 42. So if this a line tap, what is it's purpose up in my attic? What are the two rather large cables connected to it at each end, does that thick cable on the right side also go through to the neighbors? Which makes me wonder, is this part of my cable system, or is it part of the entire 3 unit building and not directly linked to anyone's cable service?
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post #13 of 30 Old 08-19-2009, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egnlsn View Post

A little more than just a guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimothyB View Post

Well, yes, I get channels above 42.

Well, there goes that guess.


As for what it is and what it does, that's another guess. Are you sure that your cable feeds go though that box? If not, it could be part of the condo's original CATV distribution plant and may not even be in use anymore.

One way to find out... mark the cables and where they are connected. Remove all of the cable from the box and see what happens (or who complains). Put them back when you're done. Ask your neighbor if he/she's affected when you remove the cables.
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post #14 of 30 Old 08-19-2009, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egnlsn View Post

That's not an amplifier -- it's a 20 value, 4 port tap. The same thing you see all over the place on utility poles and in pedestals. It's probably only a 330MHz tap, though. Definitely call your cable company and let them resolve the issue with the plant.

This is the correct answer, it is a tap.

The 20 designation means the tap outputs will be 20 db down from the main cable.

A 'phile and his money are soon parted...
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post #15 of 30 Old 08-19-2009, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11001011 View Post

This is the correct answer, it is a tap.

Yeah... but apparently not 330MHz.
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post #16 of 30 Old 08-19-2009, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Well, there goes that guess.

The bandwidth was just a guess. Believe it or not, even an educated guess. What the device is was not a guess.

Perhaps it is part of an old MATV system that has long since been abandoned.

The thick cable on the left is the input that comes from the previous tap in the line (probably in another attic), and the thick cable on the right goes downstream to the next tap to feed another unit. The series 59 cables feed his unit and either a second outlet in his unit or the adjacent unit. As olyteddy mentioned earlier, the cable is copper-braid series 59 and the fittings are round-crimp, with an unattached ferrule. Copper-braid cable cannot be used for CATV, and those fittings have not been used for CATV for 30 years. The cable company would have post-wired the place rather than use that existing substandard stuff.

Not to mention the 25-30 year old tap with unterminated ports. They use a tap they do not have unlimited no access to.

CIAO!

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post #17 of 30 Old 08-19-2009, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egnlsn View Post

The bandwidth was just a guess.

Yes, I know.

Quote:
What the device is was not a guess.

Fair enough... but that was not in question (by me).

Quote:
Perhaps it is part of an old MATV system that has long since been abandoned.

As I suggested in my previous post.

No matter... if the OP has reception problems/degradation, he needs to call his cable provider to properly resolve.
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post #18 of 30 Old 08-19-2009, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Fair enough... but that was not in question (by me).

Yes, it was, in post #13.

Quote:
As I suggested in my previous post.

I saw that.

Quote:
No matter... if the OP has reception problems/degradation, he needs to call his cable provider to properly resolve.

Agreed, as already suggested by a few of us, including yourself.

CIAO!

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post #19 of 30 Old 08-19-2009, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egnlsn View Post

Yes, it was, in post #13.

I guess I should have qualified with "IMO".
+1 for you. It's a tap.
Are we done now?
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post #20 of 30 Old 08-19-2009, 12:36 PM
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Wow that thing is ancient looking. It belongs in the catv equipment museum!
http://theoldcatvequipmentmuseum.org/

"My anaconda don't want none
Unless you've got buns, hun"
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post #21 of 30 Old 08-19-2009, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cypherstream View Post

Wow that thing is ancient looking. It belongs in the catv equipment museum!
http://theoldcatvequipmentmuseum.org/

"My anaconda don't want none
Unless you've got buns, hun"

The Vikoa gear was fun stuff... (NOT!) As was the Theta-com.

The Jerrold was sweet, of course.

CIAO!

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post #22 of 30 Old 08-20-2009, 04:55 AM
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I'm trying to find out what happened to some of those companies. What became of Vikoa? Swallowed up like most of the companies in the Cable industry? What about Sylvania? Didn't Texscan purchase one of those companies? What happened to Texscan? I like the pictures on that site, but I wish there was more information. I had to do some intensive searching to see that the Vikoa amp was a 220 MHz forward bandwidth.

I know Magnavox became Phillips, then CCOR bought them out, now Arris owns them.

I know it was Jerrold > General Instrument > now Motorola. Heck in Wildwood, NJ all the line gear says General Instruments, but there's one line extender on Ocean Ave that still says Jerrold on it! I'm sure the guts were swapped out, but it was pretty cool to see that retro logo on the housing!

Scientific Atlanta was always SA as far as I knew, until not too long ago they were gobbled up by Cisco.

Lot of acquisitions in the industry, not only by MSO's but by equipment manufacturers as well.
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post #23 of 30 Old 08-20-2009, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cypherstream View Post

I'm trying to find out what happened to some of those companies.

Hopefully, Vikoa, Theta-com, and Cascade just went away. Can't imagine anyone wanting to acquire them. RCA abandoned their CATV ventures (outside plant, anyway) in the late '80s, as their stuff didn't work. The passives were alright, but the trunk/bridger amps and line extenders just had too many issues.

CIAO!

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post #24 of 30 Old 08-21-2009, 06:38 AM
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A friend on the S.C.T.E List wrote, "When they were 1st installed in CableCom systems around the country for George Milner's "Seal-a-maybe" coax in his CATV plants they we 300Mhz (for 35 Channels). this is back in 1972 or 73. I installed a bunch of them when I was a field engineer for Anaconda in that time frame."

CIAO!

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post #25 of 30 Old 08-21-2009, 06:57 AM
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Great persistence for a follow up. Jinkies! The mystery is probably solved Scoob!

So, since the OP does get channels above 35, apparently that tap is no longer in use.

Time for the OP to call the cable provider.
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post #26 of 30 Old 08-27-2009, 07:58 PM
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Your mayor hi-jacking cable? What a notorious politician.

As for Tim, the Anaconda's are long gone and since they use heavier gauge coaxial cable then RG6, you must have Comcast come and eliminate the line amp, preferably re-locating it to an aerial tap, or ground ped. As far as them charging, it is their service, you are not adding any new service. You should get this for free. Tell them you will go to satellite. If they value you as their customer they will have some advanced engineering techs out there to clean it up and get you a clean picture with the channeling you pay for.

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post #27 of 30 Old 10-05-2009, 08:25 AM
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cypherstream says:

> Wow that thing is ancient looking. It belongs in the catv equipment
> museum!

Hey, we'll take it! I agree with other posters who suggested that it's part of an old master antenna system. If Comcast confirms this theory, we'll give that old Anaconda tap a good home. We'll even cover shipping charges.

Or just a photo or two would be fine.

Thanks!

Neal McLain
Webmaster, The Old CATV Equipment Museum
theoldcatvequipmentmuseum dot org
webmaster at theoldcatvequipmentmuseum dot org
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post #28 of 30 Old 10-05-2009, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CATV Webmaster View Post

cypherstream says:

> Wow that thing is ancient looking. It belongs in the catv equipment
> museum!

Hey, we'll take it! I agree with other posters who suggested that it's part of an old master antenna system. If Comcast confirms this theory, we'll give that old Anaconda tap a good home. We'll even cover shipping charges.

Or just a photo or two would be fine.

Thanks!

Neal McLain
Webmaster, The Old CATV Equipment Museum
theoldcatvequipmentmuseum dot org
webmaster at theoldcatvequipmentmuseum dot org

Good to see you here, Neal.

CIAO!

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post #29 of 30 Old 01-30-2010, 08:06 AM
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egnlsn wrote:

> Good to see you here, Neal.

Hey -- Lew Chandler asked my to extend an invitation to you to visit the Old CATV Equipment Museum's brick-and-mortar site (Lew's basement) to see the collection. He lives in Riverton, a few miles south of Taylorsville.

You can contact him at
chandlerlewis at qwest dot net

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Webmaster, The Old CATV Equipment Museum
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nmclain at annsgarden dot com
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post #30 of 30 Old 01-31-2010, 06:04 PM
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Is that the same Lew that was with TCI for a many years?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CATV Webmaster View Post

Hey -- Lew Chandler asked my to extend an invitation to you to visit the Old CATV Equipment Museum's brick-and-mortar site (Lew's basement) to see the collection. He lives in Riverton, a few miles south of Taylorsville.

You can contact him at
chandlerlewis at qwest dot net

Neal McLain
Webmaster, The Old CATV Equipment Museum
Brazoria, Texas
nmclain at annsgarden dot com


CIAO!

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