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Tuning Adapter reboot?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Surrealone, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    I'm still suspicious of a low signal problem. I think the limits the "call center" guy gave you are somewhat optimistic. BTW is that the national center, at 866-532-2598 ? Your FDC is low enough to be questionable IMHO. I suspect there are occasional droops that cause your TA to drop out. Also your Tuner level is kind of low -- -2 to +2 dBm is more typical.

    Go into DVR diagnostics for a few different channels and note the Signal Strength and SNR. While you're there check RS errors. Are they zero? Signal strength should be 80 or above for most channels.
     
  2. rcoates777

    rcoates777 New Member

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    Jun 28, 2005
    Pinehurst, NC
    Yes, that is the telephone # that I used.

    I will check the other numbers and report back later. Do YOU have a tuning adapter?

    I have read (someplace) that some people hook up their TA & TiVo in parallel rather than in series. This would involve a 3-way splitter rather than my current 2-way. (I've got modem/telephony on the other leg). I would NOT think that would help my signal strength but something else to try if all else fails.
     
  3. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Oh yeah, I have a TA, bless its evil soul! I learned what I know as a defense mechanism. I've never had the frequent random disconnects that you're having. I do lose some or all of my SDV channels every 2 to 4 weeks and have to power-cycle the TA and restart my TiVo. For the first year I had my TA, it lost authorization (stopped working) every month requiring me to call in and have them authorize it again. Authorization was supposed to happen automatically but they didn't have that working. There was never any cogent explanation of the problem -- it just got fixed somehow.

    Which makes me think: Look in TA diagnostics ... PowerKEY Information ... 3rd page ... Sub Expires. This gives you the exact date and time your authorization expires.
     
  4. rcoates777

    rcoates777 New Member

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    Jun 28, 2005
    Pinehurst, NC
    I had another reboot last night - almost 24 hours after the previous one.

    The TA diagnostics still show the following values fairly consistently:
    Tuner -8 dBmV
    FDC -6 dBmV
    RDC 42 dBmV

    My subscription is due to expire: 0105.022800 - not exactly sure how to interpret that date.

    Channel signal strengths are in the 75 to 100 range
    SNRs were 33 - 36 for the few I sampled

    I saw RS uncorrected = 367 and corrected = 225. I think these may be kept on a per channel basis.

    If time permits I am thinking of disconnecting the coax into the TA (the ultimate in low signal) and seeing if it causes the disconnect problems that I am seeing. I do think that you are correct in that the problems are coming from a temporary low signal.

    And thanks for your help!
     
  5. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Your TA sub expires date is 1/05 at 2:28 am. For my system the times are in local time. Ironically, when I checked my sub expire date it was 20 minutes past midnight tonight (1208002000) which is alarming and not typical for my system. I may have a problem to deal with it appears. Usually this date is 20 to 30 days in the future when things are working right -- as in your case.

    I should have mentioned that when your sub expires, the TA light will blink a repeated 8-blink-pause sequence. I've watched this start in the past at exactly the time, to the second, indicated by the sub expires date.

    Your DVR diagnostic numbers don't look bad -- fairly typical. I rarely see RS error counts greater than zero on a cable channel but the numbers you see, assuming they aren't climbing rapidly, don't indicate a major problem.
     
  6. rcoates777

    rcoates777 New Member

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    Jun 28, 2005
    Pinehurst, NC
    Since it's a slow day here & I have nothing scheduled to record I thought I'd try a couple of things.

    1) I undid the coax input to the TA. Naturally I lost the picture (and got "searching for signal" msg.) But when I plugged it back in a minute later everything was fine. I got no "Tuning Adapter Connected" messages and no TA reboots. There were a lot of RS errors (both corrected and uncorrected) from the TiVo diagnostics as would be expected. No blinking green light.

    2) I unplugged the USB cable between the TA and TiVo. I got a "Tuning Adapter Missing" message. The green light on the TA started to blink but no discernible pattern. When I plugged it back in the blinking stopped and everything was fine. The TA did not reboot.

    Given the fact that physically unplugging the coax did not cause a TA reboot I am thinking that my reboots are not related to low signal or sporadic dropouts.
     
  7. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    That seems logical. That your TWC system is sending spurious reboot signals would not surprise me at all. They can send a signal that reboots your TA.

    BTW, the normal TA blink sequence when the USB is disconnected is a repeated 6-blink-pause sequence. That exhausts my knowledge about blink sequences.

    Good luck. I would hammer on TWC support. Have you asked for Tier 3 support at your local TWC? Tell them their system is sending spurious TA reboot signals and request to speak to someone who knows what that means.

    Also, are you getting loss of service credits? In my system they won't give such credit unless you let them schedule a service call (whether it makes sense or not). If my TA does lose auth tonight I'm immediately going to set up a service call because of that policy. If they somehow get my TA re-auth'ed quickly I'll cancel the truck roll.
     
  8. rcoates777

    rcoates777 New Member

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    Jun 28, 2005
    Pinehurst, NC
    dlfl -

    Yup, I agree that there are some reboot hits being sent from the TWC headend. I'm guessing that normally these reboot requests are targeted to a particular MAC address. If I get a new TA it'll have a different address so maybe it won't be affected. But I also bet there there is a broadcast mode where every TA on the line gets the reboot.

    I wish I had the knowledge and equipment to put some sort of sniffer on the line to log this activity. But I don't.

    Do you have any idea how big an area a headend covers or how many customers would be connected?

    I did confirm that I also get the 6-blink sequence that you describe when I unplug the USB cable. When I get the reboot problem it just blinks on/off for about 90 seconds.

    Trying to be respectful here but most of the local TWC techs have very little TiVo experience. The first 3 guys showed up without a cable card despite my being very specific about that being required. I did run into a guy in the local office who knew his stuff so somehow I'm going to have to find out how to get in touch with him. I'm not familiar with Tier 3 support or even service credits. I need an annoyance credit !

    But at least I have more confidence since my recent experiments that it is not a signal strength issue.

    Good luck with your subscription expiration!
     
  9. rcoates777

    rcoates777 New Member

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    Jun 28, 2005
    Pinehurst, NC
    My TA continues to reboot - about once a day - sometimes more, sometimes less. Yesterday (Mon.) it happened twice. Normally I don't see any real pattern but last night's reboot was at 11:07 PM and on Friday it was also at exactly 11:07 PM. Hmmmmm. That could be a coincidence but maybe not. I'll start logging the seconds also in addition to just HH:MM.

    I still feel that the reboots are caused by an explicit command from the TWC headend - just hard to prove. Since (I believe) the TA only receives inputs from the modem's coax (not the TiVo's) and the USB cable from the TiVo I would like to disconnect both of those for an extended period and see if the TA stays up. But I'm not willing to lose all my ability to record.

    My strategy is as follows - feel free to chime in:

    • contact the local TWC supervisor who knows his stuff
    • swap TA boxes - hoping that with a different MAC address this problem will clear up (or if it is some internal reboot associated with that box)
     
  10. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Both your planned elements are worthwhile but especially contacting the supervisor who knows his stuff. If you have direct access to such a person, you are WAY ahead of the normal customer!

    Sadly, the technicians that are sent to your house usually don't have the knowledge or instrumentation to debug infrequent signals that may be your problem.
     
  11. rcoates777

    rcoates777 New Member

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    Jun 28, 2005
    Pinehurst, NC
    DLFL -

    Would that I had direct access to the supervisor with whom I met once at the local TWC office but I don't. I do have good rapport with one of the counter women at the local office. I am going to try to get her to get me a number for him and barring that my plan is to write a note to him and have her pass it to him when he's in the office.

    Even the phone # for the local office usually has me talking to someone in the Philippines.

    I wish I had the special direct # of the CableCard/TA hotline that the techs use that would allow me to "jump the queue" rather than be on hold forever.

    So what do you think of the fact that my TA rebooted at the exact same time as it did 2 days before?
     
  12. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    I have the same thoughts as you. Your whole problem is new territory to me.

    I usually get a Philippines CSR when I call about an internet problem but not for cable TV issues.

    Do you have the TWC national cable card help desk number?
    866-532-2598
    Don't hesitate to call them -- they talk directly to customers. For some systems they can actually look at your account and send signals.
     
  13. rcoates777

    rcoates777 New Member

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    Jun 28, 2005
    Pinehurst, NC
    I am trying to be pragmatic about getting my TA reboot issues resolved. There are threads on this going back years that have never reached a satisfactory conclusion. It seems like if Cisco or a cable company or TiVo put somebody on this they could figure it out in a couple of days.

    The biggest annoyance for me is having the TA reboot during a recording and having that recording terminate prematurely.

    Most of the channels that I watch in central NC are NOT SDV. So I can get along most of the time without the TA. But IF the TA reboots it will terminate any current show(s) being recorded. It is also a pain if you are watching a prerecorded show and a reboot occurs since you have to manually position back to the point where your viewing was interrupted.

    My current MO is to leave the USB cable disconnected except for when I need to watch an SDV channel. There are only 2 that I watch and not all that often. When a TA reboot occurs the TiVo will not be aware of it with the USB cable unplugged.

    Not elegant but it does provide some peace of mind in that it prevents interruption of shows being recorded.
     
  14. rcoates777

    rcoates777 New Member

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    Jun 28, 2005
    Pinehurst, NC
    So far my plan of leaving the USB cable unplugged (except for when I need to watch one of my few SDV channels) seems to be a viable workaround. I have verified a few points:

    • the TA will still reboot even with the USB cable unplugged. That tells me that the cause of the reboot is not the TiVo
    • a recording will be stopped whenever the USB connection is lost OR reestablished. (This loss & reestablishment occurs during the TA reboot.) The recording will NOT automatically resume.
    • the reestablishment of the USB connection does not prevent future recordings from taking place
    • with the USB unplugged one cannot get into the TA diagnostics to check the last TA reboot date/time
     
  15. rcoates777

    rcoates777 New Member

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    Jun 28, 2005
    Pinehurst, NC
    I had an interesting episode recently. I could not get the Guide info to clear no matter what I did. I could navigate within it just fine but when I hit CLEAR it would just stay there. I tried everything short of pulling the plug.

    I didn't want to spend 10 minutes rebooting so I plugged in my TA (normally unplugged - see earlier posts) and got the Tuning Adapter Connected msg and the Guide info cleared.

    So the TA is providing me a benefit after all.
     
  16. stepbill

    stepbill New Member

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    Dec 4, 2013
    Aberdeen, NC
    Just curious if you can use your tivo without the tuning adapter. I don't really really watch the channels that you need the adapter for. I live in Aberdeen, right next door.
     
  17. rcoates777

    rcoates777 New Member

    105
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    Jun 28, 2005
    Pinehurst, NC
    Bill -

    Yes, you can use your TiVo without the tuning adapter and you will get all the regular channels just fine. I often leave the connection (USB) between the TiVo and TA unplugged unless I need to watch a show on one of the 2 or 3 channels that requires it. If it is connected and the TA reboots in the middle of something you are recording then the recording stops - even if it's a channel not requiring the TA. And if you are watching a prerecorded show and the TA reboots you have to restart your show from the beginning and FF to the point of interruption.

    Good luck!

    Bob
     
  18. Andy D

    Andy D New Member

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    Feb 1, 2008
    I have 2 Cisco TA's on 2 Premieres sitting right next to each other. It seens that once very3 to 4 weeks on or the other TA's will just go into a blink mode and require a PO reboot. So fr I have not had both need a reboot at be same time.

    From reading this I guess there no real solution. The timer option would not work for me a I often record shows in the middle of the night while I sleep. Cisco or Charter needs to find a permenant solution so these things do not need to be rebooted.

    Andy
     
  19. rcoates777

    rcoates777 New Member

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    Jun 28, 2005
    Pinehurst, NC
    I replaced my TA and (knock wood) this seems to have resolved my frequent TA reboot issues. I really didn't think that would help.

    While I was out of town my wife signed us up for $3/mo. Showtime offer from TWC. Good deal except that we get no picture! Calling TWC CS results in their sending out some signal which does nothing. I'm assuming that the signal they send is to the cable card and that this is supposed to enable the reception of this premium channel. Would the cable card hot line perhaps yield better results?
     
  20. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    I would have called the national desk before even posting. This sounds like an account provisioning issue, i.e., they haven't entered the correct channel authorizations at the head end (translated: central office). If that's the problem no amount of sending signals or truck rolls will fix it. Just the right few keystrokes is what is needed.
     

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