Help Needed With CATV Splitting - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 03-14-2010, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi, We are in the process of finishing our basement off, so I need to run some coaxial into the room. We already have a signal amp (installed by TWC), so I think I'll be good there. I want a few CATV jacks in the basement. Also, when I opened up our CATV box on the outside of our home I saw that there is a 3- way splitter with all of the OUTS occupied. So, my first question is: Is it okay to simply remove the 3-way, add a 5-way and just run two lines into the basement( or go with a 4-way and run one line into the basement and split inside)? Second: If the answer to question one is YES, what is a good 5-way splitter to go with? Thanks a bunch for any help.
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post #2 of 22 Old 03-14-2010, 05:29 PM
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Good luck finding a 5 way. Get a 4 way and split one of the output legs with another 2 way. Send the outputs of the 2 way to the 2 closest sets. You're better off to run separate lines to the basement then to split inside, unless both lines are needed at the same place (TV and VCR for example).
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post #3 of 22 Old 03-14-2010, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

Good luck finding a 5 way. Get a 4 way and split one of the output legs with another 2 way. Send the outputs of the 2 way to the 2 closest sets. You're better off to run separate lines to the basement then to split inside, unless both lines are needed at the same place (TV and VCR for example).

What do you think of one of these:

http://www.yourbroadbandstore.com/pr...php?pid=202275

http://www.uxsight.com/product/45125...-splitter.html

http://www.buy.com/prod/monster-cabl.../90109002.html
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post #4 of 22 Old 03-15-2010, 04:39 AM
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Is there a cable modem or will there be a cable modem?
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post #5 of 22 Old 03-15-2010, 06:08 AM - Thread Starter
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We already have a cable modem running in an upstairs bedroom. There will not be on in the basement area we are finishing.
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post #6 of 22 Old 03-15-2010, 06:58 AM
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The Monster Cable splitter is likely far more expensive than you want to pay. The second one listed does not mention "EMI Shielding" (in dB), or "solder back", which is important for shielding from ingress and egress of signals.
The first one does, so I might go with that particular brand.

You should keep the line to and from the cable modem as low-loss as possible, though. The Cable guy probably even hooked that run to the lowest loss port (-3.5 dB) on the three-way splitter....all splitters are just cascades of 2-way splitters, anyway). The others are probably -7 dB.

Get a 2-way splitter and a four-way, connect one output of the two-way to feed the modem, and the second to feed the four-way. That gives the Cable modem a good, low-loss signal path in both downstream and upstream directions. The modem gets -3.5 dB (half the power), the rest get -10.5 dB.
If there isn't enough signal level left for the TVs, you'd need an amplified splitter...but, you may be OK with just the passives.

If you do need an amp, go with the name brands, "bi-Directional" or "two-way path" versions...your local Cable company may just give you one across the counter (or, a +15 dB gain, single output amp, which would go just before the 4-way splitter, making it the same as a splitter/amp).

Ken English, Sr. Engineer, KSL-TV.
"The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent the Company positions, strategies or opinions."
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post #7 of 22 Old 03-15-2010, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, now that I've been home and have had an opportunity to look at the CATV box on the side of our home, I'll post them and give a more detailed description of what's inside:

1. The Amp is a PCTMA21P Multimedia Drop Amplifier
2. The 3-way splitter is a PCTNGN113SB Genesis II
*both supplied by TWC

Coming out of our home are 6 coaxials (3 not hooked up to anything, why I don't know). One of these is going into the RWRFF jack on the amp(I guess this is the one that ends up in our spare bedroom where the modem and a TV are). The other two run into the splitter.

Coming out of the other side of the amp are 2coaxials - one running into the third splitter OUT and the other being the power supply that runs into the house and plugs into an outlet.

I am going to drill a hole in the side of the house and run 2 coaxials into the basement for each wallplate (only one will be used at a time for a TV. We are simply installing 2 in case we want to move the TV to a different wall). If I can do this myself I will save myself $89 bucks TWC will charge me (and that's if it takes an hour or less). If I can hook everything myself I will save another $45.

I have 2 splitters currently in my possession I can work with; a 2-way 5-1000MHz w/ -3.5dB outs and a 4-way 5-2300MHz (no markings on the outs).

What can I do with all this? Thanks for all the help.



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post #8 of 22 Old 03-15-2010, 06:02 PM
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If you have an amp supplied by the cable company for the few outlets you have, they did a bandaid fix. You either need a new drop, new fittings on existing if coax no visible damage, different port at the tap, system swept and balanced, or the tap fixed/repaired/replaced. They need to get the signal coming to your place within spec. And most important, a proper ground block. Not grounded through splitter. Reeks of inhouse. That being said, your drop coax goes into GB-into 2 way. One leg supplies the modem. Other leg goes to next splitter. If the outlets hooked up now are all you use, along with the 2 you are adding in the basement, put in a 4 way. Unless their system is total FUBAR, you "should" have plenty of signal. If amp is still needed, it would be between the 2 way and 4 way.
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post #9 of 22 Old 03-15-2010, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkxmlr View Post

If you have an amp supplied by the cable company for the few outlets you have, they did a bandaid fix. You either need a new drop, new fittings on existing if coax no visible damage, different port at the tap, system swept and balanced, or the tap fixed/repaired/replaced. They need to get the signal coming to your place within spec. And most important, a proper ground block. Not grounded through splitter. Reeks of inhouse. That being said, your drop coax goes into GB-into 2 way. One leg supplies the modem. Other leg goes to next splitter. If the outlets hooked up now are all you use, along with the 2 you are adding in the basement, put in a 4 way. Unless their system is total FUBAR, you "should" have plenty of signal. If amp is still needed, it would be between the 2 way and 4 way.

If one leg coming out of the house is running into the amp, is this the leg that supplies the modem?

Also, if what you see in these pics is not correct, I wonder how I get TWC to admit it's wrong and correct it if they are the ones who rigged it in the first place?
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post #10 of 22 Old 03-15-2010, 06:30 PM
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Once again, they band aid fixed a signal issue. How about backing off and getting picture of house box in its entirety. Couple angles maybe. Amp should have an RF in port. This is from cable company plant(drop). Another should be PWR. And third is PWR/RFout. PWR is used when power for wallwart transformer with coax fitting is close by. Coax feeds to amp. PWR/Rf out is used when remote feeding from one of the TV locations. Then you have a power injector(looks like a splitter sometimes) behind the TV. Picts requested will help follow the wiring. But again, sometimes being there is best. Will offer what help I can.
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post #11 of 22 Old 03-15-2010, 06:33 PM
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post #12 of 22 Old 03-15-2010, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TigerJon View Post

Hi, We already have a signal amp (installed by TWC), so I think I'll be good there.

As best as I can figure, the amp is only amping one of your feeds going into the house.

The feed from TW is going into a balanced 3-way. Each port is -5.5. Two ports are going into the house unamped. Only one port is going to the amp then into the house.

Like jkxmlr said, TW may have band-aided a signal issue. Can you undo each of the three black coax cables one at a time and report what each one disconnects inside the house.

Lastly, can you report your modem signal levels. All this will help to figure out your setup and possible fixes.
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post #13 of 22 Old 03-15-2010, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I will unhook each one at a time tomorrow and get back. How do I find my modem levels?
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post #14 of 22 Old 03-15-2010, 07:13 PM
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192.168.100.1 What brand modem? There may be a login. Sorry about that.
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post #15 of 22 Old 03-15-2010, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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SA Webstar
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post #16 of 22 Old 03-15-2010, 08:37 PM
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Been awhile since I looked into one of those. Don't think there is a login. Might be a tab labeled Signal, Diagnostics, something like that. If I remember, sometimes they give a generic page showing that cable co has locked page.
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post #17 of 22 Old 03-16-2010, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
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How do I try to find the levels with this model?
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post #18 of 22 Old 03-16-2010, 06:45 PM
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Google brand and model. There might be something useful.
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post #19 of 22 Old 03-17-2010, 12:57 AM
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post #20 of 22 Old 03-17-2010, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I'll give this a shot. Thanks! I think I'm going to still have TWC come out though. I figure I'm going to spend between $10 and $20 on a good 4-way splitter. TWC will charge me $42 and I won't have to worry about not getting something right. Besides, I want to point out some of the issues(especially grounding to the 3-way splitter already in the box) that jkxmlr raised in an earlier post to see what they say.

I will say this about the current service; it seems to work okay...I think. In the bedroom with the modem, the coax splits before the modem and one leg runs to the modem, the other to a TV. We do not have a cable box or DVR on this TV, so the highest channel we get is something like 74. I have noticed that on this TV some of the higher channels (i.e. Disney and TCM) have reception that is not as good as the rest of the channels. Any suggestions on this? Also, and I don't know if this is a signal issue or a DVR issue, we have only one TV in our home with a cable box (it is a DVR...a SA 8300HD). We have had to return at least one of these in the past because it did not seem to be working correctly. THe thing that drives me nuts with this DVR (and it may be all DVRs for all I know), when I start surfing the thing can't keep up. Let's say I start out surfing from channel 274 and surf up to 290, once i get to 290 there is a delay in the display showing 290(289 may be on the screen while the info bar says 290...then 290 will appear). Any ideas on this? Thanks for all the help.
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post #21 of 22 Old 03-17-2010, 10:49 PM
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Quote:


I will say this about the current service; it seems to work okay...I think. In the bedroom with the modem, the coax splits before the modem and one leg runs to the modem, the other to a TV. We do not have a cable box or DVR on this TV, so the highest channel we get is something like 74. I have noticed that on this TV some of the higher channels (i.e. Disney and TCM) have reception that is not as good as the rest of the channels. Any suggestions on this?

Could be anything. It could be the source material or the digital to analog conversion at the headend. It also could be a problem with the coax wire from the demarc box to its termination point in that room. If your coax terminates in a wall box, take of the cover and check to see if the cable is kinked inside the wall box. You also can be getting ingress in the splitter in the room and it is effecting the frequencies of those channels.

A simple thing you can do is go to Lowes or Home Depot and get some barrels (connects two male F connectors together http://www.hometech.com/hts/products...gc-aff2ff.html ) and a 50 foot or 100 foot RG6 coax cable with two male F connectors on it. Remove the drop from the splitter in your demarc box and connect your patch cable to the drop with a barrel and run it in a window right to the tv in question. If you seen an improvement then you know the problem is with your wiring and if you don't see any improvement the there maybe a problem with the cable company wiring or the source material that they are sending you.

Quote:


Also, and I don't know if this is a signal issue or a DVR issue, we have only one TV in our home with a cable box (it is a DVR...a SA 8300HD). We have had to return at least one of these in the past because it did not seem to be working correctly. THe thing that drives me nuts with this DVR (and it may be all DVRs for all I know), when I start surfing the thing can't keep up. Let's say I start out surfing from channel 274 and surf up to 290, once i get to 290 there is a delay in the display showing 290(289 may be on the screen while the info bar says 290...then 290 will appear). Any ideas on this? Thanks for all the help.

First try the same technic with the barrel and the patch cable and see if you have any improvement.
The thing with the channels numbers you see on a cable box is that they are virtual. It is a number that the cable company assigns to that channel but you don't know what the actual RF channel that those virtual channels are assigned to.
For example, channel 289 could actually be physical RF channel 80 and channel 290 can be physical RF channel 115. So if you are having signal issues with the high frequency channels they may be harder to tune in.
Here is the procedure to get to the diagnostics window for your cable box:

Diagnostics
Diagnostic Mode. There are two ways to enter Diagnostic Mode:
1: Press and hold Select on front of unit until Mail light starts to flash, then press INFO.
2: Press and hold Pause on remote until Mail light starts to flash (around 10-15 seconds), then press Page Up (-). On some remotes, Page (+) might need to be used instead.
Disappearing Diagnostic Window. Enter Diagnostic Mode (see above item). Change transparency of screens by pressing Select on front of box or "B" on remote. It goes from 100% opaque to about 50% opaque to about 5% opaque. You can then use Page Up/Down on remote to cycle through screens. This is useful when changing channels, noting signal levels/PQ, or trying to see levels fluctuate as glitches occur.

Tune the box to channel 289 and then enter the diagnostics screen. Right under the column Current QAM you will see the frequency of that channel. Look it up on one of these charts to see the actual physical RF channel it is. Repeat for channel 290.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_A...on_frequencies
http://www.mastervideo.com/ntsc_chart.htm

Here is a link to a thread on AVS for the SA 8300HD:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=471859

Here is a link to a thread that is about four years old. This guy has TWC and has the same situation that you do.
http://www.satelliteguys.us/time-war...l-quality.html

Quote:


I'll give this a shot. Thanks! I think I'm going to still have TWC come out though. I figure I'm going to spend between $10 and $20 on a good 4-way splitter. TWC will charge me $42 and I won't have to worry about not getting something right. Besides, I want to point out some of the issues(especially grounding to the 3-way splitter already in the box) that jkxmlr raised in an earlier post to see what they say.

This is a good idea. Since you have a basement, the coax runs, amplifier (if needed), and splitters should be moved to a central loacation in your basement and not in the demarc box. I can't understand why it wasn't done this way in the first place.
I figure since all your runs go to the demarc box that there was once a six way splitter there which might be another explanation for the cable amp. Then sometime later it was removed and a three way splitter was put in. Another explanation is that the coax run that is hooked to the amp has some kind of signal issue with it.
Even if they charge you a hundred dollars or so to fix it right, the peice of mind it gives you will be worth it.

Here is a good website on how to do structured wiring yourself:
http://www.swhowto.com/index.htm
I put all the structured wiring in my home by myself. It cost me almost 3000 dollars and I bought everything from this place. They sell top notch products.
http://www.hometech.com/

"You lose it in here you're in a world of hurt"
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post #22 of 22 Old 03-19-2010, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jed1 View Post

Could be anything. It could be the source material or the digital to analog conversion at the headend. It also could be a problem with the coax wire from the demarc box to its termination point in that room. If your coax terminates in a wall box, take of the cover and check to see if the cable is kinked inside the wall box. You also can be getting ingress in the splitter in the room and it is effecting the frequencies of those channels.

A simple thing you can do is go to Lowes or Home Depot and get some barrels (connects two male F connectors together http://www.hometech.com/hts/products...gc-aff2ff.html ) and a 50 foot or 100 foot RG6 coax cable with two male F connectors on it. Remove the drop from the splitter in your demarc box and connect your patch cable to the drop with a barrel and run it in a window right to the tv in question. If you seen an improvement then you know the problem is with your wiring and if you don't see any improvement the there maybe a problem with the cable company wiring or the source material that they are sending you.



First try the same technic with the barrel and the patch cable and see if you have any improvement.
The thing with the channels numbers you see on a cable box is that they are virtual. It is a number that the cable company assigns to that channel but you don't know what the actual RF channel that those virtual channels are assigned to.
For example, channel 289 could actually be physical RF channel 80 and channel 290 can be physical RF channel 115. So if you are having signal issues with the high frequency channels they may be harder to tune in.
Here is the procedure to get to the diagnostics window for your cable box:

Diagnostics
Diagnostic Mode. There are two ways to enter Diagnostic Mode:
1: Press and hold Select on front of unit until Mail light starts to flash, then press INFO.
2: Press and hold Pause on remote until Mail light starts to flash (around 10-15 seconds), then press Page Up (-). On some remotes, Page (+) might need to be used instead.
Disappearing Diagnostic Window. Enter Diagnostic Mode (see above item). Change transparency of screens by pressing Select on front of box or "B" on remote. It goes from 100% opaque to about 50% opaque to about 5% opaque. You can then use Page Up/Down on remote to cycle through screens. This is useful when changing channels, noting signal levels/PQ, or trying to see levels fluctuate as glitches occur.

Tune the box to channel 289 and then enter the diagnostics screen. Right under the column Current QAM you will see the frequency of that channel. Look it up on one of these charts to see the actual physical RF channel it is. Repeat for channel 290.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_A...on_frequencies
http://www.mastervideo.com/ntsc_chart.htm

Here is a link to a thread on AVS for the SA 8300HD:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=471859

Here is a link to a thread that is about four years old. This guy has TWC and has the same situation that you do.
http://www.satelliteguys.us/time-war...l-quality.html



This is a good idea. Since you have a basement, the coax runs, amplifier (if needed), and splitters should be moved to a central loacation in your basement and not in the demarc box. I can't understand why it wasn't done this way in the first place.
I figure since all your runs go to the demarc box that there was once a six way splitter there which might be another explanation for the cable amp. Then sometime later it was removed and a three way splitter was put in. Another explanation is that the coax run that is hooked to the amp has some kind of signal issue with it.
Even if they charge you a hundred dollars or so to fix it right, the peice of mind it gives you will be worth it.

Here is a good website on how to do structured wiring yourself:
http://www.swhowto.com/index.htm
I put all the structured wiring in my home by myself. It cost me almost 3000 dollars and I bought everything from this place. They sell top notch products.
http://www.hometech.com/

Thanks. When I have an opportunity I will try all of this out.
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