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Old 11-03-2013, 03:02 AM   #1
flar
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MoCA issues

I have been using my Roamio Pro + Mini so far with the Pro acting as an ethernet to MoCA adapter and the Mini using its built-in Moca and it has been working great, but the entire system is connected to the internet via powerline and that is not the greatest connection.

Here is a loose diagram of my current system (and yes, I do have a MoCA POE filter at the entry point to the house):

Den: router -> powerline
LR: powerline -> AV switch -> Pro -> MoCA
downstairs: MoCA -> Mini
downstairs: powerline -> other devices

So, I saw this Motorola MoCA adapter kit at BB with a pair of adapters, a 1-port for the router end, and a 4-port for the remote end. I thought this could be an upgrade from my current powerline based system. My plan was to get rid of powerline entirely and use MoCA as the backbone, with the 4-port MoCA adapter downstairs feeding the mini and the other devices there, the Pro in my LR AV cabinet bridging the AV switch to the internet via its built-in MoCA, and the single-port MoCA adapter in the kit being used to connect my router to the MoCA like this:

Den: router -> MoCA 1-port adapter
LR: MoCA -> Pro -> AV switch
downstairs: MoCA 4-port adapter -> Mini + other devices

The first stage went pretty well, I connected the router to MoCA, disconnected the powerline in the LR, and rebooted the Pro for good measure and it was able to connect to the TiVo service. I connected a laptop to the LR AV switch and saw about double the throughput that the powerline was giving me, but the ping times went from 2-3ms to 3-5ms. Not perfect, but the extra throughput is a good thing.

The second stage was to connect the 4-port MoCA downstairs and get all those devices hooked up to it. Here is where I ran into problems. I hooked up the MoCA adapter and did some tests with just my laptop before I hooked up any of the other devices. I measured uplink speed and it was great - as fast as the LR and much faster than powerline had been giving me down there. I then measured downlink speed and it was at the same excellent high rate. For 2 seconds, then it disconnected. Every download test I ran gave the same great rate, but only for 2 seconds (though uplink ran fine).

So, where might my problems lie? Is the Pro trying to drive the MoCA perhaps instead of just listening in passively and causing a loop or feedback? Is this what happens when I have bad splitters in the walls (but consider that the uplink is fine, only the downlink drops and always gives a good rate for the first second or two)? I didn't put a MoCA filter on the cable modem, but I didn't have one before when it was working with just the Mini on MoCA - and I'm not sure how that would cause this problem (the speed tests I was running were entirely local to my home network).
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Old 11-03-2013, 04:15 AM   #2
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I'd make sure any/all splitters between the devices are adequate -- at least 1000 MHz (1 GHz), but ideally higher. It wouldn't hurt to replace them if they're old too.

As long as the Tivo is on "MoCA" but not creating its own network, it should be ok.

Don't have much other than that off the top of my head. Here's a link to the troubleshoot page for this particular moca kit. Maybe a factory reset will flush something out too:

http://moto.force.com/consumers/arti...RelatedArticle
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Old 11-03-2013, 04:32 AM   #3
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Thanks for finding that troubleshooting FAQ, the URLs they include in the box take you to a page that only seems to deal with Moto X phones, very disappointing support for what is essentially a new product.

I plan to check the splitters at some point, but does it make sense that they would only cause problems in one direction? Also, the Mini->Pro MoCA was working fine before inserting the new adapters and the video I would have been watching on the Mini would have been in the "download" direction that is now having trouble.

If I were running the TiVo in pure "just connect via MoCA", then I would be surprised if it was trying to create its own network, but I'm trying to get it to be the "MoCA adapter" for the AV switch in the LR so I have it on "make a MoCA to Ethernet bridge" mode. I'm hoping that makes a bidirectional bridge without trying to control things on the coax that it isn't supposed to control. But, that seems to be the most likely point of failure for the symptoms I'm seeing unless someone else here is using a Plus or Pro in this same configuration?

I'm pretty sure that on the MoCA side of this equation all adapters act in peer mode with none of them trying to be a "MoCA master" of any sort, but perhaps the TiVo is attempting to do some network routing thinking that it is the only link between the two networks and that is gumming up the network packets? (For instance, attempting to do NAT, or sending an ack for a packet it thinks it is responsible for bridging?)
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:08 AM   #4
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OK, I've pretty much confirmed that the Pro is causing some interference. I switched the Pro to use WiFi and now the MoCA to the downstairs is working fine and fairly snappy.

The networking on the Roamios seems a bit off. Twice this evening I switched it to WiFi and it still said "Ethernet" in the network status. After the first time I had to restart the TiVo and it came back up in MoCA bridge mode so it didn't seem to remember the switch to WiFi.

And now I'm pretty sure it is not set up to act as a "reverse MoCA bridge" like I'm trying to use it. That's unfortunate for my setup as I'll probably still need powerline unless I can find a way to get it to behave as a bridging client on a MoCA network.
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:53 AM   #5
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If you selected "use this DVR to create a MoCA Network" option in the settings, that's potentially what's gumming things up. (Can't quite tell if that's what you did from your post.) Being a moca-to-ethernet bridge is automatic for the Pro when it's a moca client.

If the Pro is in moca client mode and still causing interference, try going into Network Settings > MoCA Settings and change the moca channel, or disable moca outright. Reboot, etc. Then try it again as a moca client.

For whatever reason, some rare occasions do pop up here where the Tivo's MoCA jams an existing network, even if it's a client. Don't quite know what's going on. It's almost as if it keeps trying to be the host even after changing it.

I've only seen this 2-3x before on the boards here, and they didn't follow through to let us know if they got the Tivo to stop doing that once it starts. So if you manage to figure it out by trying the above steps, or something else, let us know.

Last edited by BigJimOutlaw : 11-03-2013 at 07:09 AM.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJimOutlaw View Post
If you selected "use this DVR to create a MoCA Network" option in the settings, that's potentially what's gumming things up. (Can't quite tell if that's what you did from your post.) Being a moca-to-ethernet bridge is automatic for the Pro when it's a moca client.
That is the way it was originally before I bought the new adapters.

Am I understanding you correctly that even if I have it set to "use MoCA", but not set as "use this DVR to create a MoCA network" then it will still bridge the MoCA traffic to its ethernet peers? In other words, there are 2 MoCA modes for it:

- MoCA bridge: it manages a MoCA network and bridges MoCA clients on that network onto its ethernet. Enabled via "Use this DVR to create a MoCA network".

- MoCA client: it just communicates via MoCA, but as a side effect it also conveys traffic back and forth between the MoCA network and the ethernet network. Enabled by just choosing "Connect via MoCA"

I'm not sure how it would handle packets any differently in those 2 modes as I tried to understand/describe them, though. Isn't "bridging" just passing packets back and forth between two unconnected networks?

Quote:
If the Pro is in moca client mode and still causing interference, try going into Network Settings > MoCA Settings and change the moca channel, or disable moca outright. Reboot, etc. Then try it again as a moca client.
I don't think I successfully tried it in such a mode, but I actually wanted to do that at one point and wasn't sure how to disable the bridge feature. I'll try seeing if I can figure out how to disable it and try again as a MoCA client when I have some more time to fiddle with it.

Quote:
For whatever reason, some rare occasions do pop up here where the Tivo's MoCA jams an existing network, even if it's a client.
In other words, even if I do succeed in the above, the future is looking grim for my goals...?
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flar View Post
That is the way it was originally before I bought the new adapters.

Am I understanding you correctly that even if I have it set to "use MoCA", but not set as "use this DVR to create a MoCA network" then it will still bridge the MoCA traffic to its ethernet peers? In other words, there are 2 MoCA modes for it:

- MoCA bridge: it manages a MoCA network and bridges MoCA clients on that network onto its ethernet. Enabled via "Use this DVR to create a MoCA network".

- MoCA client: it just communicates via MoCA, but as a side effect it also conveys traffic back and forth between the MoCA network and the ethernet network. Enabled by just choosing "Connect via MoCA"
Yep. It bridges in either direction... As a moca-to-ethernet bridge (moca client mode -- connect other toys to the Tivo's ethernet port), or ethernet-to-moca bridge (moca host mode, powers other moca devices -- requires ethernet port connection to router).

Quote:
I'm not sure how it would handle packets any differently in those 2 modes as I tried to understand/describe them, though. Isn't "bridging" just passing packets back and forth between two unconnected networks?
Not sure I follow. But the bottom line is that there can only be 1 host in a moca network, and that should be the adapter connected to the router. Everything else is a client. (The bridging is just a side perk to the Plus/Pro.) It just kind of seems like the Tivo is still competing for moca supremacy here. Could be a bug, or just a bad setting somewhere.

Quote:
I don't think I successfully tried it in such a mode, but I actually wanted to do that at one point and wasn't sure how to disable the bridge feature. I'll try seeing if I can figure out how to disable it and try again as a MoCA client when I have some more time to fiddle with it.

In other words, even if I do succeed in the above, the future is looking grim for my goals...?
I just meant that apparently the Tivo sometimes keeps acting like it's trying to be a host even after telling it not to be a host anymore. So maybe when the moca is temporarily disabled altogether, then rebooted, hopefully that'll slap it into place. Then (also hopefully) it can be re-enabled as a client without jamming the coax with its own competing signal anymore.

I should also probably confirm to be sure -- the ethernet port on the Roamio isn't still connecting back to the router in some way is it? If so, that needs to be disconnected. That would cause it try to be a moca host. When it's a moca client, the Pro will handle the dhcp of devices/switches connected to its ethernet port.

Last edited by BigJimOutlaw : 11-03-2013 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 11-03-2013, 03:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJimOutlaw View Post
I just meant that apparently the Tivo sometimes keeps acting like it's trying to be a host even after telling it not to be a host anymore. So maybe when the moca is temporarily disabled altogether, then rebooted, hopefully that'll slap it into place. Then (also hopefully) it can be re-enabled as a client without jamming the coax with its own competing signal anymore.
I'd settle for the Pro to be honest about how it is connected. I cannot get it to say anything other than connected via ethernet even though I've set it up for wireless 5 or 6 times. I've even done a test connection and verified that the lights are not blinking on the switch and it still says that MoCA is down, none of the wireless settings have any values and the status says ethernet. Why is this box so obsessed with ethernet? As a last resort I'll climb in behind it and pull its ethernet cord, but that's a big hassle for something so basic that they can't seem to get right.

(I'm also concerned that others have pointed out that, once enabled, the wireless never turns off - I really don't want the extra RF transmissions if all of this MoCA client setup fails...but how do you know when it never shows proper status?)

Quote:
I should also probably confirm to be sure -- the ethernet port on the Roamio isn't still connecting back to the router in some way is it? If so, that needs to be disconnected. That would cause it try to be a moca host. When it's a moca client, the Pro will handle the dhcp of devices/switches connected to its ethernet port.
I pulled the cable that connected the AV switch to the powerline so I don't see how it could find another route to the router. All of the other devices in the AV cabinet are simple clients. Some of them do have both wifi and ethernet, but I doubt they'd be trying to bridge anything.
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:51 PM   #9
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I live in a 4-br ranch with an unfinished basement used as workshop and storage space. Also comms lives down there. Ethernet anywhere I care to punch a hole in the floor. I am blessed.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:32 PM   #10
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Hmm, I have the setup with powerline ethernet from router to Roamio Pro that flar described in his first post, but I can't get the XL/4 downstairs to recognize it when I set it up as a MoCA bridge (nor can I get the reverse setup to work.) TiVo CS said that the powerline device was the problem, wouldn't work; although flar's experience seems to invalidate that statement (at least with his hardware).

Is it possible, as CS said, that the powerline filters out some two-way communication that is foiling my MoCA connection attempts?

UPDATE: I'm using Cox Cable in Las Vegas. Though they claimed that the Tuning Adapter passed MoCA (and it may well do so), my MoCA only worked after wiring around the TA using a splitter (just a 1K splitter, by the way.) So my setup is now similar to flar's original:

Office (downstairs): Cable Modem > Router > Powerline
Theater (upstairs): Powerline > switch > XL/4 as MoCA bridge > Cable in/out in wall
Game Room (downstairs): Cable in/out wall > splitter > Roamio Pro as MoCA client [splitter also feeds TA with USB connected to Roamio]

Last edited by boblinds : 11-06-2013 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:32 PM   #11
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I can get the Premiere 4 to see the Pro and connect, but get thrown out (maybe due to cable card problem?). I cannot get the Pro to actually see the Premiere 4 or connect. It's listed on the menu with an exclamation point buy it. One of the options when I try to connect is "I don't own it anymore."

I'm so tried of messing with Tivo today that I could cry.

Edit: I finally figured out what was giving me the headache- an amplifier.

Last edited by sheshechic : 11-07-2013 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:44 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by flar View Post
I'd settle for the Pro to be honest about how it is connected. I cannot get it to say anything other than connected via ethernet even though I've set it up for wireless 5 or 6 times. I've even done a test connection and verified that the lights are not blinking on the switch and it still says that MoCA is down, none of the wireless settings have any values and the status says ethernet. Why is this box so obsessed with ethernet? As a last resort I'll climb in behind it and pull its ethernet cord, but that's a big hassle for something so basic that they can't seem to get right.

(I'm also concerned that others have pointed out that, once enabled, the wireless never turns off - I really don't want the extra RF transmissions if all of this MoCA client setup fails...but how do you know when it never shows proper status?)



I pulled the cable that connected the AV switch to the powerline so I don't see how it could find another route to the router. All of the other devices in the AV cabinet are simple clients. Some of them do have both wifi and ethernet, but I doubt they'd be trying to bridge anything.
How's it going with your setup? You never said what kind of switch you have. Is it managed or unmanaged? Does it have a dedicated ethernet input port? Did you do any testing without the switch being involved?
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:58 PM   #13
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How's it going with your setup? You never said what kind of switch you have. Is it managed or unmanaged? Does it have a dedicated ethernet input port? Did you do any testing without the switch being involved?
It's sitting in barely functioning disarray waiting for me to have the time to move furniture and crawl around behind the AV cabinet to get access to the ethernet cables for full testing.

And I won't have time for it this weekend either...
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:32 PM   #14
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I finally had a chance to sort through it all today.

I started by getting behind the AV cabinet and pulling the coax and ethernet cables out of the Roamio Pro. I then configured it for WiFi and made a test connection just to make sure that it was not set for either ethernet or MoCa, but I left it (coax and ethernet) unplugged.

Then I set up a basic MoCa network using the 2 Motorola adapters from the office to the lower level. That worked fine and the connection was completely stable, showing about 70Mbps steady on a network test running for 15 minutes or so. The devices down there also acted fine (though the Samsung TV was a bit finicky about whether the internet was available).

I then went back to the AV cabinet and plugged the coax back into the Roamio, but not the ethernet. I was then able to get it on the MoCa network. Or, at least that was what the menus said and it was able to connect and it was able to feed the RoamioMini downstairs (which was connected via ethernet-to-Motorola-MoCa adapter, not using its own internal MoCa). You never know given the Roamio's tendency to leave unconfigured interfaces up and running, but the experiment with the Roamio leaves me believing it is actually using the MoCa.

After I repeated tests to make sure that the downstairs was still working fine and living with it for a couple of hours I then went back and plugged the ethernet into the back of the Roamio to feed the other devices in the AV cabinet. At this point, the network panel started saying that it was using "MoCA + ethernet" even though I hadn't told it to bridge. I'm hoping that doesn't mean it will start trying to take over the MoCa network, but all my testing showed that the MoCa to the downstairs is still working fine.

So, it looks like everything is up and running, but the shady steps I had to take to set it up leave me worried that things might revert at some point so I'm going to keep an eye on it. I also worry that if I take some of the devices off line and add them back that the Roamio might take a temporary lack of MoCa host to mean it should start taking over again so I will probably unplug things and restart routers and modems and adapters at some point to test if the links are stable for a simulated power failure.
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Last edited by flar : 04-28-2014 at 06:03 AM. Reason: I accidentally called the downstairs box "Roamio" instead of "Mini"...
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:27 PM   #15
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Thank you Flar. I did exactly as you did and it worked. I am so grateful to you for posting your steps.
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