Question About Modem Relocation

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Question About Modem Relocation

Coax cable move question. The Rogers cable feed that comes into my house is in the basement. My house is tall so my wifi signal drops substantially on the upper floor. I’d like to have the modem on the main floor 2 stories higher. The supply feed cable is too short to make it that far, but there is coax running all through the house from before the switch to ignite. My question is... can I use one of these coax or are they not the same and will the splice connector degrade the signal?

 

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Re: Question About Modem Relocation

Most likely yes. Why not try it and find out. Can't hurt anything.

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Re: Question About Modem Relocation

@NW2 depending on the age of the home, the feed cable from outside and the internal cables might be the same.  If you look on the jacket of the internal cables you should be able to see the cable info printed on it.  There are two types of cable that you would commonly see, RG-59 and RG-6.  RG-59 dates back to the earlier days of cable tv and over the air broadcasts, where the cable signal feed was analogue.  That cable isn't suitable to todays digital systems as the cable has a higher signal loss at higher frequencies.  RG-6 is what is currently used to support digital broadcast and satellite systems.  So, what you're looking for is RG-6.  Thats not to say that RG-59 won't work at all, but, depending on the length of the cable run, you could run into issues with the higher frequencies that might be in use.  For short runs, you might not notice any issues. 

 

The cable splice that you refer to is an F-81 connector, which looks like this:

 

https://www.homedepot.ca/product/ideal-3ghz-f-splice-adapter-10-pack-/1000751479

 

That should also come in small packs of 4 or 6(?) per pack.  Something like that.  Those are 3 Ghz connectors which will support todays frequency range up to 1.002 Ghz and the extension to 1.2 Ghz when Rogers decides to enable it.  That's what should be used for connecting the cables together and they should also be used to replace any existing connectors in your existing wallplates that are in use. 

 

So, if you're only using the modem, and not the telephone capability, and don't have an alarm system, then yes, moving the modem upstairs in easy to accomplish.  

 

If you use the Home Telephone capability and the modem is connected to the house telephone system, then in theory you can still move the modem.  The ideal location for a telephone modem, or connection to Bell's older system which uses ethernet cabling fed from outside the home is where your modem is currently located.  Thats due to the 66 block which connects all of the house telephone cabling, which is located in the structured wiring cabinet in the basement.  Thats the way that houses are and have been built, and as a result it's the logical location to connect to the house telephone system.  In the case of Rogers home phone modems, their usually connected at that point thru a small telephone block which is wired into the house telephone system.  Usually its just a telephone cable that connects to that block.  So, in theory, you can simply connect the modem upstairs to an existing telephone jack.  Once disconnected in the basement, the house telephone system should be free floating, not connected to any external system and it should be available to connect to a telephone modem anywhere in the house.  Connected upstairs, the telephone signal has to travel downstairs to the 66 block and then outwards to the rest of the house.  So there might be some signal loss, I wouldn't expect that to be an issue, just keep in mind the layout of a typical house telephone system. 

 

If you have an alarm that presents problems as the alarm is connected so that its the first device that is connected to an external telephone system or telephone modem.  The output of the alarm system is then connected to the house telephone system (or 66 block).  Its wired that way so that the alarm system can capture the line, if necessary, hang up any existing in progress telephone calls and then call the alarm company.  So, in the basement, you would typically have the inbound telephone connection, either by landline or telephone modem connected directly to the alarm system.  If you move the telephone modem upstairs, the alarm system is no longer the first device that the telephone modem will connect to.  The first device will be the house telephone wiring and the 66 block, which is then connected to the output of the alarm system, not the input.  So, the alarm system will not work properly in that case. 

 

Thats not a complete show stopper.   You would need to call in a tech, probably an alarm system tech to disconnect the telephone cable that arrives at the 66 block from upstairs.  That cable would then be connected to the input of the alarm system, replacing the input cable from the now non-existent modem which has been moved upstairs.  The output of the alarm system should already be connected to the 66 block.  So, switching the inputs of the alarm system should result in the alarm system working and the house telephone system working as well.  You would lose the use of the one telephone jack at the modem location as it would be connected to the alarm system directly.  Yes, you could probably use a telephone jack splitter, but, that short circuits the concept of the alarm system having first dibs on the telephone system.  Tech support is also supposed to be able to set both telephone jacks to the same number, so in theory you should have access to both telephone jacks for your assigned telephone number.  Again, that short circuits the concept of the alarm system having first dibs on the telephone system. 

 

Hope this helps. 



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Re: Question About Modem Relocation

@NW2  Hi, and welcome to the Community!  It's fairly common to have the Cable Internet modem installed in the main living space.  Yes there will be some signal loss.  From the cable coming into the house, you'll be adding a (F81) splice connector, the cable running from the basement to the wall plate, another connector (the wall plate itself), coax patch cable, and then finally the modem.  If you have a good signal coming into your house then it should not be a problem relocating the modem, provided that the cables and connectors that you will be adding to the path are also of good quality.

 

You can try relocating the modem to see what happens.  If your Wi-Fi gets better but the cable signal to your modem goes below spec, Rogers can perform a signal test to your modem and might be able to help.  Worst case, you'll need to put your modem back in the basement and look at other solutions to improve the Wi-Fi coverage in your home.



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Re: Question About Modem Relocation

This captures absolutely everything I needed to know. I didn’t consider the alarm and will have to deal with that, but I know what to do. Thanks for this! Much appreciated 

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Re: Question About Modem Relocation


@NW2 wrote:

This captures absolutely everything I needed to know. I didn’t consider the alarm and will have to deal with that, but I know what to do. Thanks for this! Much appreciated 


Alarm system.  I was afraid of that.  That's one of the few reasons why a Rogers tech would install a modem in the basement; that and/or a very marginal signal coming into your home.  (I also didn't know whether or not you were an Ignite TV customer with a Home Phone service.)  Okay... in that case, I would definitely recommend leaving your modem where it is in the basement.  That's where my XB6 modem is located as well.  However, you still have several options for improving your Wi-Fi coverage.

 

You could go with adding Ignite WiFi Pods but I don't think that this solution will perform very well for you given your basement modem location and that you have a large/tall home.

 

If you can run an Ethernet cable from your Ignite modem to the main floor, a better option would be to install a Wi-Fi mesh network.  Place the hub/primary node on the main floor and then add only as many additional nodes as you need to provide sufficient coverage elsewhere in your home.  (Disable WiFi on the XB6 gateway and place your Wi-Fi mesh in AP/bridge mode.)

 

What networking equipment did you have in your home before you got Ignite TV?  If you already have a good Wi-Fi router, you could try configuring it as an access point and testing Wi-Fi with that device before investing additional funds in any new network gear.



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Re: Question About Modem Relocation

@NW2 does your home have stuctured wiring installed?  That's a cable bundle that runs from the structured wiring cabinet in the basement to rooms where you have cable / internet / telephone service available.  There is normally at least one bundle installed per room, that runs from the structured wiring cabinet up to each room where you want any of the mentioned services.  

 

The bundle itself usually consists of two RG-6 cables for cable tv / satellite  / internet cabling.  Additionally there is usually one Cat-5e, possibly Cat-6 cable for ethernet and one Cat-3 (possibly Cat-5e or Cat-6) for telephone usage.  With enough foresight, there might also be one single mode and one multi-mode fibre as well.  Those individual cables are wrapped or covered by a singular external jacket so that the bundle is pulled and installed in one shot.  If you happen to have structured wiring installed, then you have a great deal of flexibility to run data throughout the home, either via coax cable, ethernet cable or fibre.  

 

Typically a contractor will install one connector on one cable, either cable connector, telephone jack or ethernet jack and then install the wallplate with the remaining cables tucked in behind the wallplate.  Its up to the home owner to discover whats installed and make use of the cabling by installing the proper keystones and wallplate so that all of the cabling is easily accessible via the connectors and usable for all services.  

 

If you look at the structured wiring cabinet in the basement you would also see a mixture of RG-6 cables possibly with black and white jackets, and ethernet cabling which is used for both telephone and ethernet purposes.  If you have two ethernet cables in the bundles, one would be used for telephones, which would be connected to the 66 block, while the other ethernet cable would be free for use as house ethernet.  

 

With house ethernet available, you could do as @-G- suggested, which is to keep the modem in the basement and use the ethernet cabling to connect to a router or access point upstairs.  

 

The first step however is determine whats available in terms of the cabling. 



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Re: Question About Modem Relocation

Thanks again for the detailed response. The cable was already coming into the basement when we bought the house and subsequent Rogers tech visits ( the latest to hookup ignite) said that it couldn’t easily be moved. And if it was moved, they would only staple cable along baseboards 🙂

 

I use Eero mesh (main plus 2 beacons) but even with that, my wifi signal is all over the map. I’m on the 500 MB plan, but yesterday my speeds was 19MB. I rebooted the modem and Eero and my speed went back up. This led me down a path of testing speeds throughout the house. On the top floor, I average 110MB (but swings wildly depending on the time of day and # of devises in use). In the basement near the router I was getting 530MB! That led me to conclude that moving it upstairs closer to the main living areas would be much better. Now the alarm is the issue. I’ve been considering upgrading it since it’s now the only reason I still have a landline so this might be the final straw.

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Re: Question About Modem Relocation

Thanks for the reply. No, it’s an older home. Regular cable throughout. The previous owner ran 10/100 cat 5 through the ductwork and that’s as good as it gets.
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Re: Question About Modem Relocation


@NW2 wrote:

Thanks again for the detailed response. The cable was already coming into the basement when we bought the house and subsequent Rogers tech visits ( the latest to hookup ignite) said that it couldn’t easily be moved. And if it was moved, they would only staple cable along baseboards 🙂

 

I use Eero mesh (main plus 2 beacons) but even with that, my wifi signal is all over the map. I’m on the 500 MB plan, but yesterday my speeds was 19MB. I rebooted the modem and Eero and my speed went back up. This led me down a path of testing speeds throughout the house. On the top floor, I average 110MB (but swings wildly depending on the time of day and # of devises in use). In the basement near the router I was getting 530MB! That led me to conclude that moving it upstairs closer to the main living areas would be much better. Now the alarm is the issue. I’ve been considering upgrading it since it’s now the only reason I still have a landline so this might be the final straw.


The best thing that you can do improve Wi-Fi in your home is to move your eero Hub to the main floor and ensure that your eero Beacons have a good, strong connection back to the Hub..

 

Wi-Fi can be very finicky.  You may be surprised how any Wi-Fi device with a poor connection, that also transmits and receives A LOT of data, can destroy Wi-Fi performance for other devices in your home, even when those other devices are close to a Wi-Fi access point.  (Same goes for any other nearby Wi-Fi network sharing the same channel/frequencies that also happens to have a strong enough signal.)

 

I can't be certain but its possible that rebooting your eero mesh may have caused it to switch to a different/better channel(s).  If you have multiple neighbours whose Wi-Fi gear auto-selects channels, and your local airspace is saturated with Wi-Fi traffic on all channels, you can also get instability and poor performance from all those Wi-Fi access points constantly switching channels struggling to find clear airspace.  It also doesn't help that you cannot totally disable Wi-Fi on your XB6 gateway.

 

You may find this article interesting: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/04/remote-work-lagging-if-you-cant-plug-it-in-upgrade-to-mesh/