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Cable wiring configuration question

toolcubed
I'm a Senior Contributor

For all the tech experts out there, I have a question. My current cable wiring setup is as follows: main line coming into the house (not split outside) goes into a 3-way splitter. The 3.5db port goes to Internet modem. One of the 7db ports goes to home phone modem, and the other 7db port goes into a single output PCT 15db amp. The amp then goes into a 2-way splitter which feeds two NB3s for TV. My question is - will I get better/worse/same signal levels and performance on the NB3s if I replace the single port amp and splitter with a dual output amp and connect the TV cables directly to that amp (without needing a separate splitter)? The dual output amp has 11.5db gain on each port. Logic seems to indicate that it would make no difference since my current setup boosts the signal by 15db (per the single port amp) and then reduces the signal by 3.5db with the 2-way splitter for what would then equal the same 11.5db gain that the dual port amp would accomplish. Thoughts?

 

***Edited Labels*** 

21 REPLIES 21

Re: Cable wiring configuration question

toolcubed
I'm a Senior Contributor
Forgot to mention that splitters and amp are all Rogers certified. Splitters are Regal and amp is PCT. The dual port amp which I'm thinking of using is also a PCT.

Re: Cable wiring configuration question

At least signal strength wise.. your math looks right.

 

So at least on paper.. no i dont think it would make a difference.



Re: Cable wiring configuration question

Pauly
Resident Expert
Resident Expert
I agree with Gdkitty, the signal strength should be the same, but the second method would make it a bit cleaner with less connections etc.


Re: Cable wiring configuration question

toolcubed
I'm a Senior Contributor

Thanks guys.

 

@Pauly, one thing I thought of is - with fewer connections, maybe there would be an improvement?  For example, fewer connections means less insertion loss?

Re: Cable wiring configuration question

OLDYELLR
I'm a Senior Advisor

I suspect the way the Rogers tech connected it is the most economical way.  But the connections are always the weak points and the first thing a tech checks and replaces if a signal issue is reported. If you change the configuration, be sure you use cables, connectors and tools equal or better than what Rogers uses.


Rogers PayGo. Location: S-W Ontario

Re: Cable wiring configuration question

njd
I Plan to Stick Around

The Rogers tech will check for signal strength and normally just splitting 3 ways, you shouldn't need an amplifier cuz there is the possibility that an amp could "overdrive" something. Anyway, if the amp is Rogers certified, that is it doesn't block the "upload" signal path especially since going to ignite, they may be using new frequencies besides below 50 MHz, then the proper place for an amp is before any splitters cuz splitters reduce signal, but the "noise" stays the same so all you are doing is amplifying the reduced signal to noise ratio.

The weak points are the cable connectors and connections. You can unscrew and reseat your connectors, this "scrapes off" any accumulated corrosion and then make sure the connetors are reconnnected to the splitters and splices tight, not just finger tight, but use pliers or a 7/16 wrench to tighten them a bit more than finger tight. A loose connection or loose connector, if you've installed your own, will make the signal very noisy cuz the signal return can loose its connection to the cable shield or brade and then the ground path is found via a "ground loop" through the noisy neutral connector on a device power cord. Also make sure none of the exposed metal parts of your cabling, the connectors or splitters are in contact with anything that would "ground it" such as your plumbing. The signal return should ideally be "isolated"...

The Rogers tech brings along a signal power meter to test signal strength, but I don't believe this gives any idea of the signal to noise you are getting at the end of your cable. Cable boxes seem to be somewhat sensitive to noisy signals these days. A way to test your cable is to plug it directly into your TV and there should still be an analog signal on channel 3, in Ottawa it's fish swimming around in an acquarium. The picture should be clear, if it's "fuzzy", then you got a cable connection problem somewhere.

I replaced all my indoor cabling with some good RG-6 quadruple shielded 75 ohm cable with factory installed connectors, similar to the "snap and seal connectors" Rogers uses, to replace all the old RG-59 stuff after the splitter. My configuration is a two way splitter, one going to the NB PVR the other going to another two way splitter going to the internet modem and to another TV with the simple conversion box.

Re: Cable wiring configuration question

Datalink
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@njd wrote:

Anyway, if the amp is Rogers certified, ........., then the proper place for an amp is before any splitters cuz splitters reduce signal, but the "noise" stays the same so all you are doing is amplifying the reduced signal to noise ratio.



 

 

Nope.  If you need an ampifier Rogers will install one.  There are two amplifiers on the go at the moment, I believe that they are both Antronix amps.  The older version amplifies everything and apparently causes packet loss on the internet modem.  So, if a tech sees one of those amps in service, most likely he or she will replace it.  The new amp has a passive pass-though for VOIP devices and the internet modem.  Its only a single passive port but is used for either purpose.  So, the internet modem cable signal levels are not amplified.  The amp has enough ports on it that there is no need for a splitter, so it will drive everything else. 

 

The amp as suggested by @njd should not go in front of the splitter.  This could cause packet loss as was determined with the amp that Rogers had been using.  There is probably no reason for you to install an amplifier at all.  If there is a signal level issue, that should be solved by replacing the cables and connectors so that the signal levels delivered to the various modems are where they should be.  If you suspect that there is an issue, pull the amp out of the network, call tech support and ask the CSR to check the signal levels at the modems.  If there is an issue, such as signal level problems, or you are seeing pixelating of the tv image, or audio problems with the TV audio, the CSR will arrange for a tech visit.

 

The problem with installing your own amplifier is the possibility that some day Rogers will flip the switch and use the extended upstream frequency ranges below 100 Mhz as is specified in DOCSIS 3.0.  I think that a vast majority of amps on the market are DOCSIS 2.0 capable. So, if and when Rogers decides to implement the DOCSIS 3.0 frequency scheme, anyone with a DOCSIS 2.0 amp will run into problems.  And, if you call out a tech to "fix" the situation, he or she will pull your DOCSIS 2.0 amp out of the network and charge you for the cost of the visit as the issue was caused by customer installed equipment.  I just checked the PCT store very quickly and looking at a couple of amps shown, they are DOCSIS 2.0 rated.  So, that is food for thought down the road.

 

DOCSIS 2.0:  Upstream:  5  - 42 Mhz

                         Downstream:  85 - 1002 Mhz   Operational frequencies MAY include all channels between, and including center

                                                   frequencies of 57 MHz to 999 MHz. Operational frequencies MUST include at least 91 MHz to 867 MHz.

 

DOCSIS 3.0:  Upstream:  5 to 42 Mhz (Pre DOCSIS 3.0), or 5 - 85 Mhz

                         Downstream: - 108 - 1002 Mhz



Re: Cable wiring configuration question

toolcubed
I'm a Senior Contributor
My amp was installed by Rogers years ago. It's a PCT brand as I've mentioned before and has a passive return path. I have no idea if it's one of the older problematic ones that cause packet loss but it's placed AFTER the 3-way splitter that feeds Internet and home phone, and before the 2-way that feeds my two NB3s. The amp is strictly for TV. I've never had a problem with TV, home phone, or Internet unless its a problem on Rogers' end (e.g. down completely, DNS issues, or the recent Internet slow-downs I'm seeing between 8pm and 10pm which I'm chalking up to possible mode congestion).

Re: Cable wiring configuration question

Yup, that makes sense.  The internet is off on its own feed from one of the splitter ports, and it has the least amount of signal drop from the -3.5 dB port.

 

If you download pingplotter, which you can run free for 30 days (?) or WinMTR, you can see if the next node is presenting issues with congestion.  Pingplotter presents the data in an easy to read graph, which can be copied from within the application and pasted into other applications if you want to send it somewhere as proof of an issue.  WinMTR is text only.

 

www.pingplotter.com

 

http://winmtr.net/



Re: Cable wiring configuration question

toolcubed
I'm a Senior Contributor

How does this look?

 

image.png

Re: Cable wiring configuration question

That looks terrible.  It looks to me like you have problems at the first node, which might be the neighborhood node or the Cable Modem Termination System.  But, first things first. 

 

1.  Is that a wired or wifi test.

2.  Can you run a wired ping test to your router.  Bring up a command prompt and type

      Ping 192.168.0.1 -n 100

      When that is done, please right click on the box area and select "Select All".  Then right click on the top title bar and select

      EDIT.... COPY.  Then paste the bottom 20 (?) rows and final results into this thread.  A direct paste will paste in everything after

      which you delete the top section.

3.  If you have a CGN3ACSMR and maybe the CGN3 as well (?) as seen by the product sticker at the back of the modem, run the

     same ping test to the modem by using:

     Ping 192.168.100.1 -n 100

     That address should work right thru the router.  I run an Asus RT-AC68U and the modem can be reached thru the router.

     When that is complete please copy and paste the results in here as well.

 

The reason for this is to check the ping times to the router and modem and eliminate any possibility that they might be a good part of the problem.  I think the ping test to a CGN3 will work again after the latest firmware update, but don't quote me on that.

 

Is the modem running in Bridge mode, and is the router running in full router mode?  What model of Asus router are you running?

 

Here are my ping times to google, exporting the text instead of the image:

 

Target Name: www.google.com
         IP: 209.148.210.59
  Date/Time: 2016-02-12 12:06:30 AM to 2016-02-12 12:07:38 AM

Hop Sent Err     PL%    Min Max Avg  Host Name / [IP]
 1      28   0 0.0               0       0        0  [10.0.0.1]
 2      28   0 0.0               7     20      10  [7.11.164.173]
 3      28   0 0.0               9     31      11  [67.231.220.29]
 4      28   0 0.0               9     28      14  van58-9-231-77.dynamic.rogerstelecom.net [209.148.231.77]
 5      28   0 0.0               8     25      13  van58-9-231-70.dynamic.rogerstelecom.net [209.148.231.70]
 6      28   0 0.0               8     26      11  [209.148.210.59]

 

This is using OpenDNS as the DNS server:  primary:       208.67.222.222

                                                                               secondary:  208.67.220.220

 

I've seen from a posted report, that switching from Rogers DNS can make a huge difference in ping times and paths.  This might be worth looking at as well,changing the DNS server in the router.

 

In any event, I would expect your results to be close to what I end up with.

 

 



Re: Cable wiring configuration question

toolcubed
I'm a Senior Contributor

I have a CGN3ACSMR in bridge mode.  I'm using an Asus RT-AC68U router with latest firmware.

 

Results (last 20) from ping test to Asus RT-AC68U router:

 

>ping 192.168.1.1 -n 100

Pinging 192.168.1.1 with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from 192.168.1.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64

Ping statistics for 192.168.1.1:
Packets: Sent = 100, Received = 100, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms

 

 

Results (last 20) from ping test to CGN3ACSMR:

 

>ping 192.168.100.1 -n 100

Pinging 192.168.100.1 with 32 bytes of data&colon;
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=4ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=63

Ping statistics for 192.168.100.1:
Packets: Sent = 100, Received = 100, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 1ms, Maximum = 20ms, Average = 2ms

Re: Cable wiring configuration question

Ok, that looks good.  That tells me that whatever is going on is beyond the modem.  Can you ping google.ca and post the same bottom results.  I would think there would be a pretty wide variation in the ping times.  Just curious at this point. 

 

 



Re: Cable wiring configuration question

toolcubed
I'm a Senior Contributor

Results from pinging google.ca are below.  This was done right now (~9:30am ET).  I'm pretty sure things will be a lot different later tonight after 8pm 😉

 

>ping www.google.ca -n 100

Pinging www.google.ca [209.148.199.24] with 32 bytes of data&colon;
Reply from 209.148.199.24: bytes=32 time=23ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.24: bytes=32 time=19ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.24: bytes=32 time=31ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.24: bytes=32 time=65ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.24: bytes=32 time=22ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.24: bytes=32 time=17ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.24: bytes=32 time=28ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.24: bytes=32 time=23ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.24: bytes=32 time=44ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.24: bytes=32 time=35ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.24: bytes=32 time=69ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.24: bytes=32 time=37ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.24: bytes=32 time=17ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.24: bytes=32 time=41ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.24: bytes=32 time=29ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.24: bytes=32 time=22ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.24: bytes=32 time=16ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.24: bytes=32 time=30ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.24: bytes=32 time=30ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.24: bytes=32 time=21ms TTL=59

Ping statistics for 209.148.199.24:
Packets: Sent = 100, Received = 100, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 15ms, Maximum = 90ms, Average = 32ms

Re: Cable wiring configuration question

Interesting.  I would expect the ping times to average out at a lower number and be more consistent.  It will be interesting to see what happens when the tech has had a chance to look at the local tap near your home and at the neighborhood node.  Hopefully its an easy fix.  Here's a ping test to google from West Otttawa:

 

ping www.google.ca -n 20

Pinging www.google.ca [209.148.199.157] with 32 bytes of data&colon;
Reply from 209.148.199.157: bytes=32 time=11ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.157: bytes=32 time=  9ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.157: bytes=32 time=  9ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.157: bytes=32 time=  9ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.157: bytes=32 time=  9ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.157: bytes=32 time=18ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.157: bytes=32 time=  8ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.157: bytes=32 time=18ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.157: bytes=32 time=10ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.157: bytes=32 time=27ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.157: bytes=32 time=10ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.157: bytes=32 time=11ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.157: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.157: bytes=32 time=12ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.157: bytes=32 time=  9ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.157: bytes=32 time=10ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.157: bytes=32 time=10ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.157: bytes=32 time=  9ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.157: bytes=32 time=11ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.157: bytes=32 time=   9ms TTL=59

Ping statistics for 209.148.199.157:
    Packets: Sent = 20, Received = 20, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 8ms, Maximum = 27ms, Average = 11ms



Re: Cable wiring configuration question

toolcubed
I'm a Senior Contributor

Ping test results to google.ca at ~10:30pm ET (a tad worse than earlier today as I've predicted).  I'm not going to be overly patient with Rogers this time.  I work from home full time with my primary means of communicating with my global team being Skype for Business.  The call quality has been horrendous since this issue surfaced.  I'll give them a very reasonable 2 weeks to fix the problem - if they haven't fixed it by then, I'll be taking my business to their largest competitor in Ontario 🙂

 

ping www.google.ca -n 20

Pinging www.google.ca [209.148.199.54] with 32 bytes of data&colon;
Reply from 209.148.199.54: bytes=32 time=97ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.54: bytes=32 time=51ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.54: bytes=32 time=134ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.54: bytes=32 time=31ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.54: bytes=32 time=104ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.54: bytes=32 time=68ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.54: bytes=32 time=22ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.54: bytes=32 time=106ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.54: bytes=32 time=34ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.54: bytes=32 time=37ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.54: bytes=32 time=42ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.54: bytes=32 time=33ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.54: bytes=32 time=112ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.54: bytes=32 time=70ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.54: bytes=32 time=46ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.54: bytes=32 time=46ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.54: bytes=32 time=29ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.54: bytes=32 time=46ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.54: bytes=32 time=23ms TTL=59
Reply from 209.148.199.54: bytes=32 time=24ms TTL=59

Ping statistics for 209.148.199.54:
Packets: Sent = 20, Received = 20, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 22ms, Maximum = 134ms, Average = 57ms

Re: Cable wiring configuration question

Yup, thats looking a little ugly, not as bad as we have seen, but still not great.  Can you remind me, which modem do you have, CGN3, CGN3ACR, or CGN3ACSMR as seen by the product sticker on the back of the modem.



Re: Cable wiring configuration question

toolcubed
I'm a Senior Contributor

CGN3ACSMR

Re: Cable wiring configuration question

Ok, so your ping times to the modem will look something like this:

 

ping 192.168.100.1 -n 1000

Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=25ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=2ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=1ms TTL=63
Reply from 192.168.100.1: bytes=32 time=3ms TTL=63

Ping statistics for 192.168.100.1:

Packets: Sent = 1000, Received = 1000, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:

 

Minimum = 1ms, Maximum = 67ms, Average = 1ms

 

Usually sitting around 1 ms throughout the test, with an occasional wacky ping time in the multiple tens of milli-seconds.  In any event, not a contributing factor to the ping times that you are seeing to the external servers.

 

Keep calling in to push for progress.....



Re: Cable wiring configuration question

toolcubed
I'm a Senior Contributor
Right. Pings to modem are 1-2 ms and pings to RT-AC68U are 1 ms. Also, not sure if it's related or not (I'm assuming it is) - during the same bad period between 8 and 10, the audio of all on demand services (ROD, Shomi, TMN OD) cuts in and out and the video stutters (sometimes freezes completely). Live TV is perfectly fine on all channels though. I also had them put that info in the ticket. Will keep bugging them 🙂
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