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Frank_C

join:2005-02-13
Washington, DC

1 edit

Active Return Amp for Cable Modem?

I posted this yesterday but cannot find the post anymore. Has it been deleted? Is it something I should not have asked?

Basically, I want to know if it is advisable to amp the Cable Modem line. If so, if it is advisable to use an Active Return Amp. If this question is not legit, please let me know.


DrDrew
That others may surf
Premium
join:2009-01-28
SoCal
kudos:16

1 edit
99% of the time an active return amp in the home is a bandaid fix covering up some other problem.

It's just best to get the original problem fixed first.

Return amps amplify the entire return spectrum, not just the modem signals, and this can cause huge problems for everybody connected to that same CMTS port and other upstream receiver gear if some unintentional signal gets in on the line.

It's STRONGLY recommended that if ANY amp is needed, let your cable company install it. They should verify the cabling in your home is good before installation, the signals getting to your home are good, and that an amp is actually needed.

P.S. Your post was fine. this site had a problem this morning and lots of posts got wiped out from yesterday.

Frank_C

join:2005-02-13
Washington, DC
reply to Frank_C
Thank you.

The reason I am thinking to amp it is b/c I continue to have problem w/ my Cable internet & phone connection and so far (6 tech visits, new coaxial, new splitter, new connectors, new eMTA, etc.) RCN still can't fix it.

The internet & phone connection will starts to degrade every night around 10, 11PM. By mid-night, it will be totally useless. Then next morning, it'll be back to normal again. So, every night when it first starts to degrade, I will do speed tests. Usually, the downstream will be half of the provisioned 10mbps but the upstream is so bad that the speed test won't even start. I have mentioned this to RCN and they still can't tell me why as of yet.

So, I think upstream is the problem, and amplifing it may help. I am not technical in these things, so do you think, in my situation, I still should not amp the Return Path? Do I get the idea wrong?


nerdburg
Premium
join:2009-08-20
Schuylkill Haven, PA
kudos:1
There are all kinds of things that can cause these problems. What are your signal power levels?
»192.168.100.1/
--
There's a great power in words, if you don't hitch too many of them together. -Josh Billings

Frank_C

join:2005-02-13
Washington, DC

1 edit
Downstream
Freq/Power: 735.000 MHz 6 dBmV
Signal to Noise Ratio: 34 dB
Modulation: QAM256

Upstream
Freq/Power: 24.816 MHz 36 dBmV
Channel Type: DOCSIS 1.x (TDMA)

Symbol Rate: 2560 kSym/sec

Modulation: QAM16

**********************************************

I have been keeping track of these parameters for 2 days but they don't seems to change much whether the connection is normal or bad, though.

How do they look to you?


nerdburg
Premium
join:2009-08-20
Schuylkill Haven, PA
kudos:1
Your signal power levels are pretty good, so you have something else going on. An amp won't help you. I hate to even say it, but my guess would be that RCN is having capacity issues. I think you have to keep trying to have them fix it.

Are you using a router and do you have the same issues if you bypass the router and just plug directly into the modem?
--
There's a great power in words, if you don't hitch too many of them together. -Josh Billings

Frank_C

join:2005-02-13
Washington, DC
Yes, I have tried many times taking out the router from the loop and connect directly from the eMTA to the computer but it doesn't change a thing.

When you say "capacity issues", what do you mean?


nerdburg
Premium
join:2009-08-20
Schuylkill Haven, PA
kudos:1
If too many users are on-line and the cable plant isn't designed/upgraded correctly you end up with a slow connection.
--
There's a great power in words, if you don't hitch too many of them together. -Josh Billings

Frank_C

join:2005-02-13
Washington, DC
Since the RCN tech came out on Wed & put in a whole new coaxial cable running from the post directly to the eMTA (bypassing the splitter) there has been significant improvements:

1) I make it past the usual 10, 11PM all the way to around 4AM w/o any problem.

2) For 2 nights in a roll, at around 4, 4:30AM, the phone & internet starts to degrade but it doesn't go completely dead like it used to do.

So, the mystery continue. If I do not have a weird work schedule, it probably won't bother me. But, I usually go home late and I stay up till early morning. That's when I surf the net most. So, it is still a problem for me.

It's interesting b/c I think internet traffic would be light during late night - early morning hours.

Do you have any suggestion I may ask RCN to try?