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austinpike

join:2013-02-04
Saint Paul, MN

MoCA losing connection

A couple days ago I set up a MoCA network with a handful of Actiontec MI424-WR (rev F) routers off eBay. Configured using info here - basically - disable wireless, disable broadband coax, disable IP address distribution, assign unique IP.

My setup is CenturyLink Q1000 DSL (bridge mode) -> Netgear WNR1000 -> everything else (including 4 TiVos.) Comcast for digital TV service. Goal is to get better streaming between the TiVos, maybe eliminate a couple of them and swap for TiVo minis in the future. For now I've got two TiVo Premieres, an HD, and an S3. The HD is direct ethernet; the primary Actiontec + Netgear are at the same location. Premieres and S3 on Actiontecs via MoCA. Everything worked great, I could transfer between all of them much better than I ever could on wireless. Went to bed, got up the next morning, and none of them could see each other.

Verified from a computer that I could not log in to the admin screen of the 3 remote Actiontecs. The primary one, connected to the router, I could get to OK. After rebooting/ unplugging/ the remote Actiontecs, everything eventually came back up. Next day, again, all had lost connection.

The wiring in my house is far from optimal, I know there are a couple of splitters buried in walls with no way to get to them. In the interest of trying to minimize loss, I'm using a Holland DPD2 diplexer to split the frequencies at each coax outlet (vhf outlet to TiVo, sat to Actiontec.) I put a 4way 2-2150MHz splitter at the cable inlet branching off to the various rooms - SWM MSPLIT4R0-03 - with a POE filter on the input side. Frankly I was surprised it all worked. But it did.

I'm not including a number of details here for the sake of brevity. I can certainly provide more if it would help. Everything I have read seems to be about MoCA either working, or not... I don't see much about losing connections. It just seems like there may be something basic I'm missing in the router settings. The only other obvious thing I can come up with is trying to reduce signal loss - at the HD TiVo outlet, it reports cable strength as 62. The other TiVos are around 85-100. The HD outlet is also where I have the first ActionTec feeding into the rest of the house, so given that that line is weak, could that be problem? Can a weak signal manifest as having connection for awhile, but eventually dropping out?

Checked Connection Stats for MoCA speed on the primary Actiontec - all devices appear to be ~235-240 Mbps.

I can run some temporary cables to other locations to troubleshoot, maybe test one coax outlet at a time - but given the connection takes hours+ to drop, that will be a long process. If it is just a router setting, I'd rather figure that out first.



More Fiber
Premium,MVM
join:2005-09-26
West Chester, PA
kudos:31

said by austinpike:

I'm using a Holland DPD2 diplexer to split the frequencies at each coax outlet (vhf outlet to TiVo, sat to Actiontec.)

The diplexers are your problem. Diplexers have high return loss. MOCA is a bi-directional protocol. There is no reason to use diplexers with MOCA. Replace the diplexer with a standard 1Ghz splitter.
--
There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary and those who don't.

austinpike

join:2013-02-04
Saint Paul, MN

Cool, thanks. I'll give that a shot. This Amazon review mentioned using them in a MoCA application, but the note about "High Return Loss" on the Holland page made me wonder if it wasn't such a great idea.


austinpike

join:2013-02-04
Saint Paul, MN

I replaced the diplexers with RCA 2400mhz splitters. Only other option locally was a cheaper 900mhz, played with those a bit but they really didn't seem to work. Also swapped the SWM 4-way splitter back to the original one the cable co installed. Definitely working much better now, the Actiontecs seem to be keeping their connection. I'm still getting some flakiness on the TiVos seeing each other, though from what I have read that can be an issue regardless.

I'm thinking if I can optimize the wiring some more it will help with the TiVo connections. Wondering if these "moca enabling" MCR 1200mhz splitters would be an improvement. Are there any other particular splitters that are known to work well?



More Fiber
Premium,MVM
join:2005-09-26
West Chester, PA
kudos:31

The MCR splitters won't be any better than the RCA ones you have. The "MOCA enabling" is just marketing hype for a splitter rated 1Ghz or better.

In your OP you mentioned having splitters hidden in the walls. I would certainly try and find those and make sure they are rated 1Ghz or better. My guess is they are not.
--
There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary and those who don't.


austinpike

join:2013-02-04
Saint Paul, MN
reply to austinpike

Well it turns out the connection at the wall plate with the primary Actiontec connection (at the Tivo HD w/62 strength) was flaky. I pulled the plate off to see if there was a splitter hidden behind it going to another room and the connector pretty much fell apart. Repaired that and Tivo reports at 95-100 now.

I really thought that would solve the problem. But the whole system still cuts out overnight, or after so many hours. Transfer speed while it is up is great. Coax speeds on the routers all report at ~230-240.

Maybe the problem does lie in the hidden splitters, but the basement ceilings are all finished and it really isn't worth it to me to rip up a bunch of drywall to find them. Is there a reasonably priced test device that would show what frequencies are passing through the cable? Given how well it all works when it's up, it just feels like there is something else I might be missing. When it goes out, rebooting the primary Actiontec seems to bring everything back up. I'm considering just putting it on a power plug timer to automatically reboot twice a day. But that isn't much of a solution.


Ostracus

join:2011-09-05
Henderson, KY

1 edit
reply to austinpike

I'm attaching to the end of this thread since I have the same issue.

2-way splitter (5-2100 Mhz)--->Motorola SB6120-->Asus RT-N66U router-->Actiontec MI424WR Rev. G-->5-2100 Ghz 4-way splitter--->Diplexer--->Verizon Actiontec MI424WR (Rev E)--->Roku

...from diplexer--->HDTV.

...from 4-way splitter--->2-way splitter--->Verizon Actiontec MI424WR (rev F)--->Pogo-plug.

....from 2-way splitter--->Regular TV.

Very first splitter, leg one goes to the modem, the second to the Actiontec. The 4-way is at the demarcation point for cable TV & internet.

This all worked till last night till they both disappeared.

Edit: Found the output on the diplexer was wrong. The other thing is there's a post (»www.avsforum.com/t/1145636/actio···22445614) that recommends disabling the automatic time and date as well as DST to resolve the "losing connection" problem.


wr0ngway

join:2013-04-07
East Weymouth, MA
reply to austinpike

Having a similar problem. Using 3 Actiontec MI424WR (rev G).

After a period of time they just lose the connection. I am also using the Holland diplexers, I guess I'll try without, though from your post that didn't seem to resolve things, plus it would seem that it would be an all/nothing thing - the fact that they work (very well!) for a while is strange. Maybe something to do with some bug in the actual router/bridging?

Note that I have a dedicated coax line that goes between my living room and bedroom, and when I use just 2 actiontecs connected point to point over this dedicated line, they stay connected indefinitely (weeks). However, once I switch to using the third router, with all three connected back to the home coax entry point (which has a POE filter), they only work work a few hours before losing the connection. Getting 150Mbps when it works.

Not sure what the problem could be.


Ostracus

join:2011-09-05
Henderson, KY

Well my cause may be different than yours. I'm working on my issues in another thread in this forum. So far two Verizon Actiontecs (E&F) and one Actiontec (G) have been up for several days. Splitters are important. Switch to regular splitters for a start. Check your coax stats to see if they're above 200.


Badonkadonk
Premium
join:2000-12-17
Naperville, IL
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Dish Network
reply to austinpike

I agree with Ostracus. I have 5 Actiontecs working without issue for a few years. I use the inexpensive cable company brand splitters. I have a mix of Regal, Antronix and BP. They are all 5-1000MHz. No issues when I use MoCA channel 1. I haven't tried any other channels.
--
"You lie!" Talk about an understatement, Joe.


Ostracus

join:2011-09-05
Henderson, KY

BTW would this be a good way to run things with the Moca being on the four-way?


Badonkadonk
Premium
join:2000-12-17
Naperville, IL
kudos:5

Is the four-way an amplified unit?


Ostracus

join:2011-09-05
Henderson, KY

No, just a splitter. I think my numbers overall would be better.



More Fiber
Premium,MVM
join:2005-09-26
West Chester, PA
kudos:31

How are you getting +2db on each tap out of the 4 way splitter?

You should be seeing -7db on each tap on a passive 4 way splitter (for a total of -10.5db).

MOCA doesn't work with amplifiers since the amplification is only in one direction and they do not pass the reverse channel.
--
There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary and those who don't.


Ostracus

join:2011-09-05
Henderson, KY

I "borrowed" the image, but the goal is first one two-way splitter. One leg straight to the cable modem. The other leg will go though a POE into a four-way splitter. One of those legs will go straight into the root Actiontec. The other legs will go into two more two-way splitters with a TV and Actiontec apiece. That leaves one last leg going to just a TV. That all should give the cable modem the strongest signal possible. And the four-way will handle all the port-hopping MoCA needs. Not to mention eliminate one splitter from the MoCA set-up.


Badonkadonk
Premium
join:2000-12-17
Naperville, IL
kudos:5

That should work pretty easily. I've likely got that much loss as well.
--
"You lie!" Talk about an understatement, Joe.


wr0ngway

join:2013-04-07
East Weymouth, MA
reply to Ostracus

Ok, did a little more digging. I upgraded all my moca direct path splitters to be moca compatible so that my coax network looks like the below.

Holland 4-way: "Splitter, 4-Way, MoCA enabling, 2-2150Mhz, Direct TV Approved" on Amazon
RCA 2-way: "RCA DH24SPR Two Way 2.4 Ghz Bi-Di Splitter" on Amazon

 
Cable Entry --> Motorola 484095 +15dB Amp --> POE Filter --> Holland 4-way
 
    --> LivingRoom --> RCA 2 way
        --> Actiontec
        --> Other 2-way
            --> Tivo Premiere (Old model, no moca)
            --> Cable Modem
 
    --> Loft --> RCA 2 way
        --> Actiontec
        --> Tivo HD
 
    --> Bedroom --> RCA 2 way
        --> Actiontec
        --> Tivo HD
 
    --> Termination Cap (normally connected to other rooms, minimizing while debugging)
 
 

My Router is a WNDR3700v2 with openwrt 12.09-rc1, uplink to cable modem, with a LAN port connected to the LivingRoom Actiontec. I have another WNDR3700v2 in the Loft (wifi extender, also makes it easy to iperf just the coax link). All three Actiontecs are MI424WR (rev G). When all is connected, coax links are all above 200 (and iperf reports 130+). I have my router setup to collect/graph ping statistics to all three Actiontecs. Every 30 minutes or so, the Actiontec(s) lose the coax link for a minute or more. If I power down the Bedroom Actiontec (power only, still wired in), then the coax link between livingroom/loft is rock solid. I haven't tried unplugging a different one and/or swapping devices yet, maybe this weekend when the family can't moan :)

Any ideas?

wr0ngway

join:2013-04-07
East Weymouth, MA

So, the connection is rock solid when any two of my actiontecs are powered on (all three stay wired into the coax), but once the third one is powered on, it becomes less reliable - maybe out for a minute every 30 minutes or so. Anyone else with multiple actiontecs doing long term ping monitoring of the connection - is this normal? Any help appreciated, thanks.



More Fiber
Premium,MVM
join:2005-09-26
West Chester, PA
kudos:31

Please post your MOCA LAN stats.
»Verizon Online FiOS FAQ »How to check MOCA stats?


wr0ngway

join:2013-04-07
East Weymouth, MA

Click for full size
2 devices working from coaxlr
Click for full size
3 devices working from coaxlr
Click for full size
3 devices, coaxbr ping failing, from coaxlr
Click for full size
3 devices, coaxbr ping failing, from coaxloft
Sorry for the slow response, the family only has so much patience, so I can only do it when they aren't around

I have three devices, coaxlr (livingroom), coaxloft (loft), and coaxbr (bedroom). The coaxlr and coaxloft have been connected all week without issue, coaxbr was wired in but powered off.

The first snapshot of coax stats comes from coaxlr when only 2 devices (coaxlr, coaxloft) were powered on.

I power on coaxbr.

The second stats comes from coaxlr, whilst all three devices are working (pingable)

I wait

The third stats comes from coaxlr when pinging coaxbr consistently fails. The pings start off 100% successful, and degrade over time, so the image is once I can no longer get a single ping through.

The fourth stats comes from coaxloft as another viewpoint of coaxbr being consistently unpingable.

Note that the failure scenario is not always the same, sometimes none of the actiontecs are reachable from any other. However, with any 2 actiontecs connected and powered on, the connection is rock solid. Once I power on the third, things are ok for a while (30m or so), but always end up degrading.

Also, as you can see from the stats, the actiontec thinks it still has a coax connection. Weird, right?

These are all Actiontec MI424WR-GEN2 (Rev G), non-verizon branded (bought from ebay from b-ysell4less, seems like a decent guy, sells a lot of these, only mention as an aid in searching), and have firmware 30.0.16.13.

I've seen others with similar configurations report similar problems, so I'm wondering if its just an issue with this Rev G - does anyone have multiple of these devices working together by themselves?

Not sure if this matters, but I am also unable to keep the "Broadband connection (Ethernet)" in a disabled state. It always seems to return after a reboot even though I have the Enabled flag unchecked in "Advanced -> System Settings -> Auto WAN Detection"


More Fiber
Premium,MVM
join:2005-09-26
West Chester, PA
kudos:31

Those stats look good. No indication of a problem with your coax connection. Not sure what to suggest at this point.
--
There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary and those who don't.


Badonkadonk
Premium
join:2000-12-17
Naperville, IL
kudos:5

As OP mentioned, I've also seen reports of non-Verizon G units having issues. Maybe it's simply that?
--
Really, Obammy? 18% tax rate and you criticised Romney??? Jackass.


Ostracus

join:2011-09-05
Henderson, KY

Maybe. Course much like me, one may be a bum unit. BTW I got my non-Verizon units from the same seller. Small world.


Badonkadonk
Premium
join:2000-12-17
Naperville, IL
kudos:5

That guys sold a LOT of units from what I can gather reading various forums and from Google searches.
--
Really, Obammy? 18% tax rate and you criticised Romney??? Jackass.


wr0ngway

join:2013-04-07
East Weymouth, MA
reply to Ostracus

I don't think its a bum unit since I have a solid moca connection for any 2 of the 3 connected (or if it is, I can't figure out a way to tell which one without buying a fourth, hopefully good, unit). Its just the presence of the third device that causes the flakiness

I have a friend that has a ECB2200 that he isn't using, maybe I'll try swap that in and see what happens.


wr0ngway

join:2013-04-07
East Weymouth, MA

So swapping out one of the units (coaxbr) with a ECB2200, and I now have a rock solid connection across all 3 endpoints. Either I got lucky w.r.t. swapping out a bum unit, or there is just some weird firmware bug in these Rev Gs which only exhibits itself with 3 (or more?) units.


Badonkadonk
Premium
join:2000-12-17
Naperville, IL
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Dish Network

I personally think there's something going on with the non-Verizon G units (don't know if it's hardware or software). Too many complaints out there. For that reason I stayed away from the rev G and got a Verizon rev. I a month or so ago. It works fine with my mix of C, D, and E units.
--
Really, Obammy? 18% tax rate and you criticised Romney??? Jackass.