10 REPLIES
Observer

Re: Two tuning adapters frequently fail at the same time

A Time Warner tech came out this week to look at my signal levels. He checked at the street, house entry, and at the outlets for each of the TiVo. He said he didn't see anything unusual. My FDC level of -7dBmV he said shouldn't be a problem as he stated the boxes will work down to -10dB.mV I tried passing the signal through the TA to the TiVo vs a 1-2 split. The TA FDC levels came up to -3dBmV as you would expect.  He did change the POE MoCA filter at the house entry but that seemed kind of pointless.

 

Since the visit, one TA needed to be rebooted twice and the other once. Basically no change in the ongoing issue. The tech asked me to log he channels and frequencies of he lost channels with the TiVo cable card menus. For now I'll just contine to periodically reboot the TA when channel loss is noticable as before. The tech did admit it's probably something on their end but other than requesting I log the lost channels for a possible future callback, that was it. I wasn't expecting much to happen and it didn't.  

Helper

Re: Two tuning adapters frequently fail at the same time


chipr wrote:

 

This may be the wrong forum section to ask but do any members get the impression that CableCards are the red-headed step child of the cable industry? 


Yes they are. Cable companies make a boat load of money on rental fees of DVR boxes and almost nothing on CableCards. Using them is definitely a lesson in patience and persistence since training just isn't a priority.

Observer

Re: Two tuning adapters frequently fail at the same time

Tried POE filters on each of the tuning adapters and still getting random failures on one within a day. Haven't waited long enough to see if the second TA was losing channels. FDC levels were improved by 1 dBmV of pre-filter levels. Difference of course was due to removal and re-retightening of connectors, not the filters themselves. In the end, I left the filters off. No need to add more variables.

 

I called the 866-532-2598 CC support on Saturday and the first rep also speculated that "maybe both tuning adapters are going bad, you've had them a little over a year". At that point, asked if I really had the CC support number and the rep did confirm that was the case.  I mentioned regular TWC support said the same thing. Escallated to a CC manager. 

 

While on the phone with a manager, I saw the FDC levels bouncing between -3dBmV and -13dBmV (and levels in between) when refreshing the data on the TiVo TA menu. The manager admitted that since both TAs were having problems and levels were bouncing below -7dBmV, it could be on the hub side. They couldn't address until a tech came out to the home first. The manager put a note on the account to have a TA-knowledgeable tech come out but admitted that he really didn't have control over who was sent out. He also said quite possibly if the problem is intermittant, then they may see nothing. 

 

I'm scheduled but not super hopeful. The manager did say that if nothing unusual was found and the TAs keep dropping off, call back and they could possibly put a ticket in to look on their side. 

 

This may be the wrong forum section to ask but do any members get the impression that CableCards are the red-headed step child of the cable industry? 

Highlighted
Observer

Re: Two tuning adapters frequently fail at the same time

Quite possibly. A TWC tech at the CableCARD 1-800 number mentioned this and I scheduled a visit about a year ago. The tech that came out reconnectorized every cable in the house and I picked up 1dB on the FDC. It was -8dB to begin with. The Cisco STA-1520 tech manual lists -10dBmV to +10dBmV as the recommended range but the actual cable plant may degrade the usable level closer to my -7dBmV.

 

Also the tech said I had a strong signal (didn't quantify) for my video and didn't want to add an amplifier because it would likely cause more problems. TA problems persisted after that visit.

Helper

Re: Two tuning adapters frequently fail at the same time

The -7 FDC is a bit low. I bet this is causing your problems. 

Observer

Re: Two tuning adapters frequently fail at the same time

That's an interesting approach with a timer. I'll keep that in mind. The MoCA filters are due in a day or so and I'll try those first. A timer could be plan B.

 

I re-checked my modem stats and it has zero errors. I rebooted right after the screen shot below showing many errors. Possibly if it's an exernal signal issue the modem also registers the errors at the same time. Complete speculation on my part but I'll re-check the modem after the TAs hiccup again. 

Helper

Re: Two tuning adapters frequently fail at the same time

I have a similar setup as you but my area uses the Motorola TA rather than the Cisco, and fortunately I haven't had your problems.  The Cisco TAs are supposedly super sensitive to any fluctuations in signal quality. Short of fixing any sort of physical coax or signal issues, I've seen many people suggest plugging the TAs power supply into a timer to force a nightly or weekly reboot.

Observer

Re: Two tuning adapters frequently fail at the same time

To correct my previous post, the cable modem is on the -3.5dB leg of the 3-way splitter, not 3.5dB.

 

After some re-reading on the TiVo site, the usage of the 2-way splitter was based on instructions from this tuning adapter and SDV link provided by TiVo. Please keep in mind, these are the official TiVo instructions for their product so hopefully they're pretty close to correct.  I recall bumping into that during my initial TA troubleshooting many months ago. I was happy to find something official w.r.t. a tuning adapter installation. That prompted me to swap from the feedthrough to the 1-2 split. Unfortunately it didn't fix the TA channel loss problem.

 

Still with more TiVo Community reading today, it looks like tuning adapters may be affected by MoCA networks.  I'm using a POE filter at my entry before the 1-3 split. This is a must to prevent the MoCA signals from back-feeding to the neighborhood but apparently some TAs don't work well in a MoCA environment. I suspect that even through MoCA frequences are in a different band, some of that energy could mix down. Especially if Cisco cut corners on the the RF tuner of the STA1520.

 

The remedy seems to be to add a MoCA filter at  the input of each tuning adapter. At about $9 each, I'm planning to give that a try. 

 

 

 

 

Observer

Re: Two tuning adapters frequently fail at the same time

Thanks for replying. 

 

3.5dB on the modem leg. Modem power levels are below. Also below is a photo of one of the tuning adapter levels.

 

Re: using the passthrough versus the 1-2 split, I used that configuration for months and constantly had the same tuning adapter problem. I added the split when someone on the TiVo forums suggested the Cisco TA degrades the MoCA speeds to the TiVo. Since the splitter neither improved nor degraded the need for the TA reboots and didn't create any new issues, the split was kept in place. Other than the power loss of the split, what's the techncal need for the pass through? I thought the USB is for the SDV channel assignment and the Cable Card itself is simply for decryption (authorization) directly from the hub.

 

With the splitter in place and I'm still able to change channels, it doesn't seem the TA feedthrough output has a unique (private) data channel for the CC. Is my understanding correct?

 

 

IMG_1548.JPG

 

 

 

 

Downstream Bonded Channels 
  
   ChannelLock StatusModulationChannel IDFreq. (MHz)Pwr (dBmV)SNR (dB)CorrectedUncorrected
1LockedQAM25618561.0-2.938.646552257
2LockedQAM25628621.0-3.740.3526151
3LockedQAM2569507.0-2.438.5349251563582672
4LockedQAM25632645.0-4.340.321185789
5LockedQAM25631639.0-4.140.413063363
6Not LockedUnknown0537.00.00.046307215594044119
7LockedQAM25629627.0-3.741.0262884363701681
8LockedQAM25626609.0-3.641.323392782519141927
9LockedQAM25627615.0-3.839.2328223833424655
10LockedQAM25615543.0-2.933.12079733124959
11LockedQAM25619567.0-3.041.61449176
12LockedQAM25620573.0-3.341.217074113
13LockedQAM25621579.0-3.142.015940202
14LockedQAM25630633.0-3.940.79189286
15LockedQAM25623591.0-2.842.113432370
16LockedQAM25624597.0-2.941.814788390
Total      793286663124022910



   Upstream Bonded Channels 
  
   ChannelLock StatusChannel TypeChannel IDSymb. Rate (Ksym/sec)Freq. (MHz)Pwr (dBmV)
1LockedATDMA2512024.243.3
2LockedTDMA1256019.443.0
3LockedATDMA3512030.643.5
4LockedATDMA4256037.043.8
Expert

Re: Two tuning adapters frequently fail at the same time

They are incorrectly installed. You must use the TA's internal splitterto feed the Tivo not external ones.

What are the TA's US and DS levels and frequencies with both connected that way?

 What port of the 3 way is the modem on... The -3.5 or one of the -7 dB ports?

 Copy and paste the modems signal level pages.