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reply to IowaCowboy
Re: [Signals] Just moved and need some advice
said by wa2ibm:That thought did occur to me, and I was wondering what I should do about it. It looks like at minimum I should use some fire-resistant caulking/seal, but should I be using some kind of conduit and/or box as well?
However, since the wall is between living space and the garage, it's most likely a firewall (a real fire wall, not a network one). Any hole(s) you poke through that will have to be resealed in a fireproof manner.
If anyone could provide links to specific examples hardware/materials that I ought to consider, it would be much appreciated! I'm not much of a DIYer, but I hope to enlist my wife's help as she worked in and taught university level theatre stage management, lighting and sound design
said by wa2ibm:That's a really good idea, thanks! I'm thinking I'd connect from the drop to a 2-way splitter inside the garage, then do a short coax run (5 feet at most) from the splitter to the modem.
Might I suggest that you hang the SB6120 on the wall next to the amp and run a section of CAT5 along with the coax back to the living room and your router. That way, any splitter installed when Comcast comes to visit will be near your service entrance, and any loses to the modem will be minimized.
I'd then run ethernet from the modem to the family room to reach the router, and I would also run coax from the second leg of the splitter to the TV. This means I'd need to be able to feed both coax and ethernet through the firewall between the garage and the family room.
said by IowaCowboy:There was no tech at the house. Comcast gave us the option of doing a "self install" instead of rolling a truck. Since I wanted to get the Internet up ASAP, I chose the former option. This turned out to be a potential mistake because Comcast's walled garden activation wouldn't work for me and I had to do it over the phone instead. The TV activation was similarly involved, except that I also wasted an hour on Comcast's online chat system just to find out that I still needed to call a phone number.
The tech that did the install (move in installs always require a tech as they have physically connect the house drop to the tap) should have checked the signal levels. They are also supposed to check for leakage when they do an install.
said by IowaCowboy:I've made an appointment to make an appointment (seriously) to have a truck roll in order to get a grounding block installed. I plan to talk to the technician about some of the other issues and hopefully bum some RG-6 with good connectors on it.
Sounds like a truck roll is needed.
said by IowaCowboy:I think it's mostly the house wiring, which seems to be costing me at least 8 dBmV of signal loss between the entry to the house and the family room.
Also the rural nature of your area could explain the weak signals as distance from the node/amps may be greater.
As I mentioned before, I can't yet test right at the drop due to a plastic cylindrical box that is likely covering the splice point from the drop to the house wiring, but I get decent power levels of -4 dBmV just after that. Hopefully Comcast can boost the power by at least 4 dB at the tap (so I get at least 0 dB at the drop) once I get my new house wiring installed.
Edit/Update: After finding that example of RG-59 that I had accidentally/desperately used on the TV, I checked the house wiring outside the garage and found that it, too, appears to be RG-59 (I can easily bend the center conductor with my finger). This probably explains why I'm losing 8 dB of signal between the garage near the drop and the modem in the family room.
As I mentioned before, the cable to the family room on the outside of the garage is black, but the family room end is white. It appears that the family room end is RG-6. I wish I knew where they joined them and how the cables are run. It appears that there is probably no crawlspace under the garage (double-checked and saw no crawlspace vents around the garage), so I have no idea at all how the cable runs inside the walls/attic/crawlspace/whatever nor where the black RG-59 and white RG-6 are joined.
reply to HunterZ
So my wife got a voicemail from Comcast saying that they were going to come out "some time in the next couple days" to look at the grounding/bonding situation.
This is disappointing because I wanted to talk with the tech about things like the splice box (if that's what it is) and whether the house wiring at the drop is actually RG-59 (as it appears to be).
I also want to make sure that they don't just hook the ground wire up to the 3-way splitter on the side of the house, because I don't want to waste signal by using a 3-way splitter to service 2 devices (modem and TV).
Should I do any of the following, and/or anything else?
- try to call Comcast and hope that I can somehow get the message through to the right people?
- tack a note to the side of the house?
- remove the 3-way splitter from the side of the house? (the house wiring would still be hanging out there, though)
Update: I happened to be home when the tech stopped by today to install the ground block, which was good for him because he wanted to look in the garage to make sure that it wasn't grounded in there. It was even better for me, as I was able to get a ton of questions answered.
First, the splice box is there because the drop is RG-11. He said that the poles/peds are pretty far apart in my neighborhood because of how far out it is from civilization (IowaCowboy was correct after all - sorry for dismissing your comment!), so both the RG-11 drop and also the amplifier are in fact necessary to get good signal levels. He also said that the house wiring did appear to be RG-6 (even though I had an easy time bending the center conductor).
The tech installed the ground block (looks good, with rubber covers over the coax connections and a warning tag added to the ground line) and checked signal levels at the drop and in the family room, and said that things looked good to him (I don't remember the actual numbers). He mentioned that I could add one more splitter for TV at some point if I wanted, but that using any more splitters with the modem (including just the 3-way splitter outside the house) could push the upstream modem power level out of spec; this is not a surprise since I'm reading 46dBmV from the SB6120 with just the single 2-way splitter.
It looks like he also reconnected the 2 unused house cables to the 3-way splitter, but did not actually route any signal to it. That was probably a good idea, both because it looks nicer and because it will protect the connectors from corrosion or other water damage.
I guess this means I don't need to worry about re-running cable, since I'm getting decent service quality and it probably still won't buy me enough signal to pull the amp out of the chain anyways. I'm not sure why I was originally seeing -4 dBmV downstream before the amplifier near the drop, though...