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What happened to my signal?

stepy2015
I Plan to Stick Around

We have been having issues with our internet, everything from bad upload to short disconnects and degraded speeds and worst of all high ping. we have had several techs out and open tickets to monitor our internet, sometimes I get told its a bad signal and they send a tech out, he tests the cable puts some new connectors on and leaves.

 

Our most recent tech visit the guy was outside, replaced the connector at the box outside and left without telling us anything, so we called him and he said he "fixed it". Sure enough I was getting proper upload speed, however it does not seem to stay like this for very long, so after his visit I rebooted the modem and checked the signal levels and they has not changed,  I believe these signal levels are at least part of the reason we are getting these issues.

 

I remember before we started having issues (early 2019) we had signal levels between 0 and -3 dBmV downstream (can't remember what upstream was) but I don't understand how the signal could have degraded this much, we have had our cable tested and the techs say its fine, they also installed a signal booster a while ago (probably 2015),we haven't really changed anything since having that booster installed and yet our signal has gone down to -7 to -8.

 

Our modem is plugged directly into the signal booster and not to far from it, we do have 4 other tv's plugged into the booster but we have always had them so that could not be the cause. Could someone please explain a possible cause for this?

 

Signal Chart:

 

Spoiler
Downstream Overview
Port ID Frequency (MHz) Modulation Signal strength (dBmV) Channel ID Signal noise ratio (dB)
1 597000000 QAM256 -7.200 8 38.983
2 591000000 QAM256 -7.799 7 38.605
3 603000000 QAM256 -7.099 9 38.983
4 849000000 QAM256 -7.799 2 38.983
5 855000000 QAM256 -7.900 3 38.605
6 861000000 QAM256 -7.900 4 38.983
7 579000000 QAM256 -8.099 5 38.983
8 585000000 QAM256 -7.799 6 38.605
9 279000000 QAM256 -7.000 1 38.983
10 609000000 QAM256 -7.200 10 38.605
11 615000000 QAM256 -7.000 11 38.983
12 621000000 QAM256 -7.000 12 38.605
13 633000000 QAM256 -6.900 13 38.983
14 639000000 QAM256 -7.000 14 38.605
15 645000000 QAM256 -6.900 15 38.983
16 651000000 QAM256 -6.700 16 38.983
17 657000000 QAM256 -6.700 17 38.983
18 663000000 QAM256 -6.900 18 38.605
19 669000000 QAM256 -7.400 19 38.983
20 675000000 QAM256 -7.400 20 38.983
21 681000000 QAM256 -7.500 21 38.605
22 687000000 QAM256 -7.500 22 38.605
23 693000000 QAM256 -7.700 23 38.605
24 699000000 QAM256 -7.700 24 38.983
25 705000000 QAM256 -7.700 25 38.605
26 711000000 QAM256 -7.700 26 38.605
27 717000000 QAM256 -8.000 27 38.605
28 723000000 QAM256 -8.099 28 38.605
29 825000000 QAM256 -7.700 29 38.983
30 831000000 QAM256 -7.700 30 38.983
31 837000000 QAM256 -7.900 31 38.605
32 843000000 QAM256 -8.000 32 38.983
OFDM Downstream Overview
Receiver FFT type Subcarr 0 Frequency(MHz) PLC locked NCP locked MDC1 locked PLC power(dBmv)
0 NA NA NO NO NO NA
1 4K 275600000 YES YES YES -7.599998
Upstream Overview
Port ID Frequency (MHz) Modulation Signal strength (dBmV) Channel ID Bandwidth
1 25900000 64QAM 50.020 6 6400000
2 38700000 64QAM 48.520 8 6400000
3 32300000 64QAM 49.520 7 6400000
4 21100000 64QAM 49.510 5 3200000
5 0 QAM_NONE - --- 1600000
6 0 QAM_NONE - --- 1600000
7 0 QAM_NONE - --- 1600000
8 0 QAM_NONE - --- 1600000
OFDM/OFDMA Overview
Channel Index State lin Digital Att Digital Att BW (sc's*fft) Report Power Report Power1_6 FFT Size
0 DISABLED 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 2K
1 DISABLED 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 2K

 

 

 

***Edited Labels***

13 REPLIES 13

Re: What happened to my signal?

Datalink
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@stepy2015 the problem might be your signal amp.  

 

There are two types of amps that Rogers has or is using.  The older generation amplifies everything, but it causes packet loss for the modems.  These modems are replaced now by a newer generation amp which has a VOIP port that is not amplified.  That non-amplified port is used for VOIP or modem purposes.  This amp essentially has an internal splitter, one leg goes to the non-amplified VOIP port, while the other leg feeds the amplifier which in turn feeds the other output ports.  

 

So, at this point, its important to know what amplifier you have, as in the model number.  If the amp is a newer generation amp, it will have a VOIP port.  If you have this amp, is the modem connected to the VOIP port, or is it connected to one of the other ports?  

 

The problem with signal amplifiers is that they hide poor signal conditions, and its only when the external cable and/or its connectors really break down that you see the problem.  So, depending on which amp you have and which port the modem is connected to, the inbound signal levels might be 3.5 dBmV higher, or they might be drastically worse.  

 

Right now, with your current signal levels, tech support won't do anything as the DOCSIS 3.0 signal levels are still above -10 dBmV.  The OFDM channel looks like it might be in spec, but, I wouldn't guarantee it.  Level 1 Tech Support doesn't have access to the breakdown of the OFDM channel to really determine if there is a problem in the OFDM channel.  

 

The upstream signal levels are near failure.  As the external cable and its connectors deteriorate over the years, the signal loss thru the cable increases, so the Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS) commands the modem to increase it output signal levels.  The max output for DOCSIS 3.0 for three or more channels is 51 dBmV.  Rogers uses 52 dBmV as its failure point.  So, your modem signal output levels are near the failure point and there isn't much room for any increase in power levels if required.  If that happens the modem will start to shut down output channels one by one and use the total power across the fewer number of output channels. 

 

So, the real question is, what amplifier do you currently have?  If its the older style amp, and it was installed five years ago, that either means that you had a problem with signal levels five years ago, or perhaps you're at the tail end of the cable run from the neighbourhood node.  The real solution, instead of installing a signal amp is to resolve the cause of the low signal levels.  Fix it instead of masking the problem.  The problem always comes back to bite the customer and it leaves the problem to someone else to solve.  

 

Assuming that you have an older style amp, or the modem is connected to an amplified port on the new style amp, lose the amp.  Connect the inbound cable directly to the modem cable and reboot the modem.  The question at this point is, what do the signal levels really look like.  My guess is that their terrible.  This is where you call tech support to run a signal check.  If those signal levels are below -10 dBmV, as I suspect they might be, then the signal check will fail automatically.  That will be followed by a discussion to dispatch a tech to determine what the problem is. 

 

The problem at this point is the amp.  If you reconnect the amp, while you wait for the tech, he'll check the signal levels with his cell connected laptop prior to setting out for your home, and if the signal levels are where they are now, he'll probably write off the visit and move onto the next customer.  You'll never see him or hear from him.  The tech won't know that you have an amplifier installed.  So, he needs to know that, or, you have to keep the modem connected to the external cable so that he can see the actual signal levels.  

 

You need to point out to the tech that you're running four tv's and that you have an amplifier installed.  If it is the old style amp, you need to swap that for a newer amp with a VOIP port, which the modem will use.  The tech has to resolve the signal level issue to the point where the amp can be replaced by a splitter, which causes losses at all ports, or, a new style amp has to have sufficient inbound signal levels so that the -3.5 dB drop thru the VOIP port will still leave the modem's inbound signal levels somewhere near 0 dBmV across the board.  At that point, the modems upstream signal levels should drop down to a range of 36 to 40 dBmV.  

 

Ok, hopefully this points out what the possible problems are.  My guess is that the tech that was onsite five years ago should have started the ball rolling to determine why the signal levels are low enough that an amplifier was installed.  

 

Do you have underground or overhead cabling and do you happen to know when the external cable was replaced or installed in the first place?



Re: What happened to my signal?

stepy2015
I Plan to Stick Around
Thank you so much for explaining this, hopefully I will finally be able to get to the bottom of this.

I do not know which model of amp I have I will have to get you that tomorrow.

As for the age of the cable I would guess about 20 years old as I don’t think we have ever had it replaced. Every time we have had a tech out, I mention that the cable is old and probably needs to be replaced, however every time they test it, they say “it’s fine” although I have a hard time believing that. The cable underground so I don’t know how fast those degrade but I would assume they don’t last 20 years

Re: What happened to my signal?

We've been in our current home for about 15 years ??  Have to think about this one.  We're on our third underground cable.  The first lasted 10 years from the original house build date around 2004, the next cable lasted 2 years and the present cable has been in place now for about 5 years now.  We don't do packet loss, period, and I run enough tests looking for it.  Nothing is ever perfect but our packet loss throughout the day is very very minimal, far less than 0.1 %.  So, if the internet goes kaput, the first item to think about is the neighbourhood node, the second item is the cable.  

 

The first cable we had kept working up to the day it died.  There were no signs of any degradation, one day it just died and that was it.  The second cable degraded prematurely after two years, and showed packet loss due to the degradation. 

 

The cables don't last forever.  They're the Achilles heel of the cable system and in need of continual monitoring.  Unfortunately, a good number of techs take the easy route out, replace the cable ends and skip any thoughts of running a temporary cable if the situation warrants it.  Really not trying to slag the techs, but this comes up often enough.  Tech comes out, claims success and leaves but really doesn't solve the problem.  Same for the next tech and beyond. 

 

After the second tech visit, you can ask for a senior tech, which is a real Rogers tech.  He or she should have the experience and equipment to get to the bottom of the problem, although, sometimes these situations require a maintenance crew to resolve.  Don't give up.  Take notes and don't hesitate to call tech support when the system is degraded or breaks.  Call every day if you have to.  Be polite but persistent as they say and keep pushing for a solution to the problem.  My guess is that its way past time to replace the cable but the contract techs don't want to touch it.  



Re: What happened to my signal?

bevg1971
I've Been Around

I am having the same issue and Rogers does  not do anything about it, their solution is to restart the modem.  Call support is a complete waste of time. 

Re: What happened to my signal?

stepy2015
I Plan to Stick Around

I will have to double check to be sure my modem is connected to the VOIP port the model number of the amp is MVRA501B.

 

Here's a picture of it:

https://imgur.com/Mm7FGsh

 

I completely forgot we also have a Rogers Home Phone modem connected so who knows maybe that is connected to the VOIP port or maybe both the internet modem and phone modem are connected on a splitter, I will have to check tonight.

 

I checked on one of the cable boxes a few days ago and it showed -7, so far these signal issues have not impacted our cable TV.

 

We may also be switching to Ignite TV, we are just waiting to hear back from Rogers to see if we qualify for a discount, if we do, then I guess we could completely get rid of the signal booster and just connect the cable from outside to the cable going to the modem which should in theory get rid of part of this problem. In that case I wonder if Rogers would provide, the necessary tools to do that for self install, ideally we would like to avoid having people in the house during COVID. 

 

I have been contacting Rogers almost everyday with the issues I have been having and have been very polite, and I will continue until this is resolved. I just hate how we have to go through all the same troubleshooting steps every time we call only to get to the same conclusion of signal issues, it gets very frustrating when I constantly have to take the modem in and out of bridge mode to prove to them that it is not my router that is the issue

 

So I guess when I test the modem directly connected to the incoming cable, I should just factory reset it or take it out of bridge mode so I can  view the DOCSIS WAN table from my phone. Then if it is bad call Rogers and ask them to run a signal test?

 

Re: What happened to my signal?

@stepy2015 I hear what you're saying about the call in routine!

 

Leave the modem in bridge mode.  It won't matter what mode the modem is operating in, it won't change the signal levels. The tech might give you some static about it but that still won't change the signal levels.  Do not change the mode unless you do it far in advance of any call and the signal levels have dropped back down to where they are now.  Changing the operating mode will cause a reboot which will cause the signal levels to temporarily improve, at which point the tech claims victory and moves on to the next call.  This is not what you're trying to accomplish.

 

You will need an F-81 connector to connect the inbound cable to the modem cable.  That's the same connector that is located on the cable wallplates.  If you don't have a connector on hand perhaps you can borrow one off of a wallplates.

 

That amp is a fairly new amp.  Are you using the whole home PVR configuration for your Nextboxes?



Re: What happened to my signal?

stepy2015
I Plan to Stick Around

Well we will have to move the modem to the electrical room where all the cables are when we temporarily test, I hear what you are saying about the signal levels improving, that used to happen after a reboot, the levels do not improve that much if at all anymore. I was just wondering since I wanted to check the signal levels myself when we do try connecting it without the amp and since I don't have a computer there the only way to check to check my signal levels myself would be to connect my phone to the onboard Wi-Fi

 

 

No we do not have whole home PVR

 

 

Re: What happened to my signal?

stepy2015
I Plan to Stick Around

@Datalink I will explain later but here is the modem directly connected to the cable coming in from outside

Speedtest:
Spoiler
Signal Chart:
Spoiler
Downstream Overview
Port IDFrequency (MHz)ModulationSignal strength (dBmV)Channel IDSignal noise ratio (dB)
1645000000QAM256-2.2991540.366
2591000000QAM256-3.400738.983
3597000000QAM256-2.900840.946
4849000000QAM256-2.799240.366
5855000000QAM256-2.900340.366
6861000000QAM256-2.799440.946
7579000000QAM256-3.700538.983
8585000000QAM256-3.500638.983
9603000000QAM256-2.900940.366
10609000000QAM256-2.7991038.983
11615000000QAM256-2.5991138.983
12621000000QAM256-2.5991238.983
13633000000QAM256-2.5001340.366
14639000000QAM256-2.5991440.366
15279000000QAM256-3.000140.366
16651000000QAM256-2.2991640.366
17657000000QAM256-2.2991740.366
18663000000QAM256-2.5001840.366
19669000000QAM256-2.7991940.366
20675000000QAM256-2.7992040.366
21681000000QAM256-2.7992140.366
22687000000QAM256-2.9002240.946
23693000000QAM256-3.0002338.605
24699000000QAM256-3.0002438.983
25705000000QAM256-3.0992538.983
26711000000QAM256-3.0992640.366
27717000000QAM256-3.5002738.983
28723000000QAM256-3.5992840.366
29825000000QAM256-2.7992940.366
30831000000QAM256-2.7993040.946
31837000000QAM256-3.0003140.366
32843000000QAM256-3.0003240.366
OFDM Downstream Overview
ReceiverFFT typeSubcarr 0 Frequency(MHz)PLC lockedNCP lockedMDC1 lockedPLC power(dBmv)
0NANANONONONA
14K275600000YESYESYES-3.599998
Upstream Overview
Port IDFrequency (MHz)ModulationSignal strength (dBmV)Channel IDBandwidth
12590000064QAM39.77066400000
23870000064QAM41.02086400000
33230000064QAM41.02076400000
42110000064QAM38.01053200000
50QAM_NONE----1600000
60QAM_NONE----1600000
70QAM_NONE----1600000
80QAM_NONE----1600000
OFDM/OFDMA Overview
Channel IndexStatelin Digital AttDigital AttBW (sc's*fft)Report PowerReport Power1_6FFT Size
0DISABLED0.00000.00000.00000.00000.00002K
1DISABLED0.00000.00000.00000.00000.00002K

Re: What happened to my signal?

stepy2015
I Plan to Stick Around

Alright @Datalink let me explain my findings:

Yesterday we took a look at everything and this is what we found

 

the cable comes in from the street and goes into F-81 connector which is connected to another cable which goes into a splitter, one port on the splitter goes to the AMP and the other goes directly to the internet modem. The VOIP port on the amp is connected to the phone modem.

 

The signal charts I posted yesterday were produced by connecting the cable from the modem directly to the F-81 connector on the cable coming from outside, however our upload was still not great

 

Good news we just heard from Rogers and our ignite equipment is getting shipped out and should be here soon, so I will be connecting the modem directly to the incoming cable, after which I will ask them to run a signal test because that will be the permanent setup going forward. We are going with Gigabit so I assume the signal strength will matter even more to maintain that speed

Re: What happened to my signal?

stepy2015
I Plan to Stick Around

We just installed Ignite and the cable going to the modem is now directly attached to the outside line

Its been about 24 hours

Here are the signal charts

Downstream:

 

Spoiler
IndexLock StatusFrequencySNRPower LevelModulation
13
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
 
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
633 MHz
279 MHz
849 MHz
855 MHz
861 MHz
579 MHz
585 MHz
591 MHz
597 MHz
603 MHz
609 MHz
615 MHz
621 MHz
639 MHz
645 MHz
651 MHz
657 MHz
663 MHz
669 MHz
675 MHz
681 MHz
687 MHz
693 MHz
699 MHz
705 MHz
711 MHz
717 MHz
723 MHz
825 MHz
831 MHz
837 MHz
843 MHz
350 MHz
275600000
40.2 dB
40.7 dB
40.9 dB
40.7 dB
40.8 dB
40.2 dB
40.3 dB
40.2 dB
40.3 dB
40.2 dB
40.3 dB
40.3 dB
40.3 dB
40.1 dB
40.2 dB
40.3 dB
40.3 dB
40.3 dB
40.2 dB
39.9 dB
40.3 dB
40.3 dB
40.3 dB
40.3 dB
40.5 dB
40.5 dB
40.2 dB
40.1 dB
40.7 dB
40.7 dB
40.6 dB
40.5 dB
40.1 dB
NA
-4.9 dBmV
-4.7 dBmV
-3.6 dBmV
-3.6 dBmV
-3.6 dBmV
-5.3 dBmV
-5.2 dBmV
-5.1 dBmV
-5.1 dBmV
-5.1 dBmV
-5.1 dBmV
-4.9 dBmV
-4.9 dBmV
-4.9 dBmV
-4.7 dBmV
-4.7 dBmV
-4.7 dBmV
-4.8 dBmV
-5.1 dBmV
-5.0 dBmV
-5.0 dBmV
-5.0 dBmV
-5.0 dBmV
-5.0 dBmV
-4.9 dBmV
-4.8 dBmV
-5.0 dBmV
-5.1 dBmV
-3.7 dBmV
-3.6 dBmV
-3.8 dBmV
-3.9 dBmV
-4.6 dBmV
NA
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
256 QAM
OFDM
OFDM

Upstream:

 

 

Spoiler
IndexLock StatusFrequencySymbol RatePower LevelModulationChannel Type
1
2
3
4
Locked
Locked
Locked
Locked
21 MHz
25 MHz
32 MHz
38 MHz
2560
5120
5120
5120
45.0 dBmV
45.5 dBmV
46.0 dBmV
45.0 dBmV
QAM
QAM
QAM
QAM
TDMA_AND_ATDMA
ATDMA
ATDMA
ATDMA

 

 

 

Re: What happened to my signal?

stepy2015
I Plan to Stick Around

Hey @CommunityHelps can you guys run a signal test?

Re: What happened to my signal?

Good evening @stepy2015,

 

We most definitely can! Please get in touch with us via private message so we can access your account and investigate further. We certainly want to help you rule out a signal issue. 

 

Please send your PM at @CommunityHelps. You can find details about our private messaging in this blog.

 

RogersMaude

Re: What happened to my signal?

stepy2015
I Plan to Stick Around

Thanks I have sent a PM

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