Which drop amp should i get? (comcast digital cable and internet) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 07-08-2013, 12:33 AM - Thread Starter
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I have Comcast Digital Cable (Digital Preferred), and Blast! Internet (50mb/s). and i have intermittent issues from a low signal, when the signal gets below -20dbmv (QAM256) on my modem and/or any of 3 cable boxes, the tv pixelates, or the channel just says one moment please, and internet speeds drop to 0.2 mb/s.

Here is a link to all the necessary info on my situation

http://oi44.tinypic.com/2q8x212.jpg

Which of these 3 amps is right for me?

1- http://www.amazon.com/Motorola-Booster-484095-001-00-Bi-Directional-Amplifier/dp/B000066E6Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1373264129&sr=8-1&keywords=motorola+drop+amp

2- http://www.amazon.com/Motorola-Signal-Booster-BDA-S1-Amplifier/dp/B00122FCRG/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1373264129&sr=8-9&keywords=motorola+drop+amp

3- http://www.amazon.com/Motorola-Signal-Booster-1-Port-Amplifier/dp/B003T2RY7I/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1373264129&sr=8-3&keywords=motorola+drop+amp
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post #2 of 21 Old 07-08-2013, 12:47 AM
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Call Comcast, blindly replacing amps is not a proper solution IMO. They can get a tech out to properly troubleshoot the issue, which could be many things... Even before your house at the tap.

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post #3 of 21 Old 07-08-2013, 12:51 AM - Thread Starter
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well i did a lot of in depth trouble shooting myself, i actually hooked my modem and router up outside at the end of the RG11, before the splitter, and it was -2dbmv on qam256, and i heard the qam256 reading off the tap should be +6dbmv, and after 210 feet, RG11 would loose around 8dbmv, which puts it at -2dbmv, where it was, which shows that there isnt any PROBLEM with the drop, its just really long, making it hard to split more than once without having the signal out of the comfort zone.
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post #4 of 21 Old 07-08-2013, 08:30 AM
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How many ways do you split your drop? 18dB loss after the ground block is excessive. Did you happen to check the upstream level too? That will determine if you need a passive or active return. Also "i heard the qam256 reading off the tap should be +6dbmv" is pretty meaningless without referring to a channel number (frequency), as is your loss figure for RG-11. But I digress. Find that 'missing' 18dB and likely you don't need an amp.
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post #5 of 21 Old 07-08-2013, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
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All that info is in the first link, after the ~8db loss from the 4 way split, the 5-10db loss after the splitter doesn't seem bad for the distances of the lines.
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post #6 of 21 Old 07-08-2013, 09:47 AM
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The thing that bothers me a bit is that you're saying it's intermittent, this means it could be the amp dropping out from time to time, but it could also be other things. What are the recorded levels when it's working fine?

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post #7 of 21 Old 07-08-2013, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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First I don't have an amp. And it usually is between -20 and -15, mostly near -15, problems start showing if it drops around -19.
As far as intermittent, it can vary over the course of weeks. Which a ~5db fluctuation is normal, I'm just dancing around the border line.

I was just wondering which amp I should use because of the effect on the upstream level and snr im getting Which is all shown in the first link I posted.
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post #8 of 21 Old 07-08-2013, 04:48 PM
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Ok that makes more sense, honestly Comcast would probably come out and fix it for free but I don't know all the details of the situation. It does sound as though the signal is just underpowered, and you've actually done a decent job troubleshooting it.

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post #9 of 21 Old 07-08-2013, 09:09 PM
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Mike you have a line problem that Comcast needs to come out and fix. If you amplify crappy signals you just end up with a stronger crappy signal.
Get the line problem fixed first then if needed get the tech to give you a amplified splitter.
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post #10 of 21 Old 07-08-2013, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeF15 View Post

All that info is in the first link, after the ~8db loss from the 4 way split, the 5-10db loss after the splitter doesn't seem bad for the distances of the lines.
Sorry, I don't click on links. Is there a reason you didn't host it here as an image?
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post #11 of 21 Old 07-09-2013, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

Sorry, I don't click on links. Is there a reason you didn't host it here as an image?
They were to some Motorola drop amps at Amazon.com -- 1 with an active return and the others with passive returns. Posting 3 links is easier than posting 6 images (a photo of the thing and a spec sheet for each).

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post #12 of 21 Old 07-09-2013, 10:02 PM
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Oh, the Amazon links make sense and I trust them. Links to a tiny URL service is what I won't click. Why post this: http://oi44.tinypic.com/2q8x212.jpg instead of an in line image? Similar problem is the people who post pictures as attachments, forcing you to download them to view them. I won't do that either.
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post #13 of 21 Old 07-09-2013, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Tinypic is just a image hosting site. The pic was too big to host here probably
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post #14 of 21 Old 07-09-2013, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

Oh, the Amazon links make sense and I trust them. Links to a tiny URL service is what I won't click.
Ahh, I didn't see the tinypic one.

There is one you can get that is adjustable on both the forward and return paths (up to 15dB gain on the forward and up to 10dB gain on the return) for less than the Moto one that has an active return.

CIAO!

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post #15 of 21 Old 07-09-2013, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeF15 View Post

Tinypic is just a image hosting site. The pic was too big to host here probably
I think Huddler has a very generous size limit. As an experiment I just uploaded 15 14.1 MegaPixel images from a friend's wedding. All 15 arrived fine.
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post #16 of 21 Old 07-09-2013, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
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so...which amp should i get?
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post #17 of 21 Old 07-09-2013, 11:07 PM
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Which one does your cable company recommend? I'm not convinced you need an amp. 18dB sounds like a wiring problem to me.
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post #18 of 21 Old 07-09-2013, 11:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Like I said -
6db at tap
210 feet to RG11 (-8db)
4 way split (-7.5db)
Distance of runs (- ~5db)
plus fluctuation of signal

All seems to add up to where the levels are reading. (around -15 to -17)
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post #19 of 21 Old 07-10-2013, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeF15 View Post

so...which amp should i get?
Your cable modem is pumping out only 45dBmV, which says you probably don't need an amp with an active return.

The 484095-001-00 has been discontinued, so I guess that leaves one from which to choose.

CIAO!

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post #20 of 21 Old 07-10-2013, 06:11 AM - Thread Starter
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So I should get the bda-s1?
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post #21 of 21 Old 07-10-2013, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeF15 View Post

So I should get the bda-s1?
Out of those, that's the one I'd get.

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