Anyone a MoCa expert?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Dan203, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I currently have a setup where I have a Bolt in my upstairs office with MoCa + Ethernet enabled so that it bridges to my Ethernet network including my internet connection. In my living room I have one of my Roamio Pro's also set to Ethernt + MoCa which bridges to a switch that feeds another Roamio, my Ooma, my XBox and my Wii U via Ethernet. Then in the dining room I have a Mini connected directly to the coax and set to use MoCa. It all works fine.

    I have an Actiontec MoCa adapter (ECB2500C) that I use to use in the upstairs office before I got the Bolt. I was trying to use it in place of the Mini in the dining room so that I could hook up my Xbox in there. (don't get a great wifi signal down there) However it wouldn't sync. If I unplug the Bolt it will sync to the Roamio's MoCa, but as soon as I boot up the Bolt the coax light goes dark and starts an blinking like once every couple of seconds. As I said the Mini works fine in there so I don't think it's a signal issue.

    Any ideas as to what would cause that? According to the Bolt's MoCa details page it's using a 1.1 network and channel 15, both of which should be compatible with the Actiontec adapter.

    I looked at the support page for this adapter and there doesn't seem to be any firmware updates available.
     
  2. tatergator1

    tatergator1 Well-Known Member

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    Which device is creating the MoCA network?

    If I understand your current setup, originally, the ECB2500C was in the office and was creating the MoCA network, since you mention your home internet connection is also in the office; the Roamio and Mini were clients. Now, the Bolt is there,and presumably creating the MoCA network since it sounds like the ECB2500C was taken completely out of the setup for a period of time. Now, when you try to add the ECB2500C back in to the MoCA network where the Mini is, the ECB2500C won't sync, unless you kill power to the Bolt, and then the ECB2500C will connect to the Roamio.

    How are the Roamio and Bolt configured for networking? Did you select 'Settings & Messages' > 'Network Settings' > 'Change Network Settings.' Then choose 'Use this DVR to create a MoCA network.' for either box? It seems like the Bolt and the ECB2500C are setup to create a MoCA network and when both are connected, that conflict is causing problems.
     
  3. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Both the Roamio and the Bolt have the Ethernet + MoCa setting turned on. I need bridging in all rooms.

    Does MoCa need to "create" a network? I thought all devices acted as peers with no one device being in charge of the network?

    Edit: On a TiVo the only way to have MoCa bridging enabled is to select the option "use this device to create a MoCa network".
     
  4. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Well-Known Member

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    I was going to say the same thing.... Possibly a conflicting moca network coming from one Tivo or another. There can only be 1 device creating the network.

    The Tivo connected by ethernet to the router uses the "create a moca network" option to make that Tivo the host.

    The other Tivo (Pro?) should be a plain "moca" client. The device connected to the Tivo ethernet port should just work. (It changes to moca+ethernet once a device is connected.) Selecting "create a moca network" isn't necessary.

    Some switches/APs are problematic. If configured or wired incorrectly, the Tivo might get an IP from the AP instead of the moca network, and then creates a second moca network instead of the other way around.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015
  5. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    If you select just MoCa on the TiVo it complains that you have to disconnect the Ethernet cable to proceed.
     
  6. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Also if one device has to create the network then how do two of those Actiontec adapters work together? They don't appear to have any setting on them to designate them as a host or client.

    I thought MoCa was a mesh network style system where no one device was the host?
     
  7. BigJimOutlaw

    BigJimOutlaw Well-Known Member

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    The device connected to the router is the defacto host, since that is the bridge creating the network. Some adapters do have host/client switches, but not most.

    What is the switch that you have connected to the Pro that is causing the nag message, and how is it wired to the Pro? They can be problematic sometimes and might have some settings configured incorrectly as well. "Dumb" switches work best, while APs and routers in AP mode are trickier.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015
  8. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    This isn't the case. A MoCA-connected TiVo DVR will enable bridging to its Ethernet port as soon as an active Ethernet device is connected.

    Give it a try... With the ECB2500C disconnected from the coax (or powered-off) and your BOLT powered-up and creating the MoCA network on your coax lines...

    Temporarily disconnect your Roamio Pro from that isolated* Ethernet switch (* i.e. otherwise disconnected from your router-connected LAN), and reconfigure the Roamio Pro to "Connect using Moca"... and then check its Network Status page. You should only see "MoCA" as the connection type, and the Pro should be networking with the BOLT and Internet just fine.

    Next, connect that isolated switch back to the Pro's Ethernet port and then check the Pro's Network Status page. You should now see "Ethernet + MoCA," and you should be able to go to one of your devices attached beyond the Pro and verify their network connectivity.

    The MoCA bridging-capable TiVo DVRs can automatically enable MoCA-to-Ethernet bridging if you connect their Ethernet ports to another Ethernet device -- just DON'T wire them back to your LAN, as you'll create problems.


    Seeing "Ethernet + MoCA" on the Network Status screen doesn't indicate whether the DVR was configured to "Connect using MoCA" or create the MoCA network. It's just an indicator that MoCA bridging is active.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015
  9. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Go ahead and disconnect the Ethernet cable... just to get through that configuration step. You can reconnect the Ethernet cable after you've verified that the Pro is properly networking, via MoCA, with your BOLT and the Internet. (see my just previous post)

    edit: p.s. I wanted to add... Don't be concerned about having to disconnect that cable going forward. It's only necessary during that configuration step. Reboot the Roamio Pro (when convenient) and you'll see it comes back up with the "Ethernet + MoCA" status, and everything working fine. (theoretically!!)
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015
  10. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    All that said, if the MoCA adapter is still putting up a fuss after the Roamio Pro has been properly reconfigured, you have a couple options I can think of:
    • Factory reset the MoCA adapter;
    • When convenient, power-down all the MoCA-connected devices and your router, wait a few, then power the router back up, then the BOLT, and finally the Pro and MoCA adapter.

    Hope something above sticks to the wall for ya...
     
  11. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I did some more testing and it turns out it's a signal issue. Apparently the Mini is better at pulling in a weak signal then the Actiontec adapter. With everything up and running I moved the Actiontec adapter into another room, which is a little closer to the Bolt, wire feet wise, and the coax light popped right on. I still have some sh*tty RG59 cable running between the two floors that I've been meaning to replace. Maybe this is a good excuse to finally do that.
     
  12. snerd

    snerd Well-Known Member

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    Pages 9-12 of this document gives a good overview of how MoCA devices interact.

    Brief summary: one MoCA device is dynamically designated as Network Controller. The NC provides timing control and acts as a scheduler to decide when MoCA devices are allowed to transmit, so that only one device ever tries to transmit at any given time. This prevents data collisions on the network so that maximum throughput is achieved. Experiments by TCF members have verified that the NC status can shift to different devices when changes are made to the network. I don't know all the details of how the NC is assigned.

    Another function of the NC is to prioritize data flow for QoS (Quality of Service) purposes. MoCA supports three levels of QoS: high for voice, medium for video streaming, and low/best-effort for everything else. MoCA devices send requests to the NC to reserve bandwidth based on video resolution and possibly based on the quality of the channel.

    Part of the PHY overhead is used for probe messages that are exchanged between a transmit node and receive node in order to measure the channel and adapt to the varying SNR within the 50MHz channel (for MoCA 1.1). The 50MHz channel is subdivided into 224 independent bands so that the bit rate within each sub-band can be varied independently from 8-bits per symbol down to 1 bit per symbol, depending on SNR. 256QAM, 128QAM, 64QAM etc are used as needed, and the profile for encoding adapts to changes in the quality of the channel. This is the mechanism that allows MoCA to "punch through" weak splitters and crappy cable. MoCA allows roughly 50dB of attenuation in the channel before bandwidth becomes seriously degraded.

    I don't know exactly how the details described above change for MoCA 2.0, other than using 100MHz channels and allowing two 100MHz channels to bond for higher bandwidth.
     
  13. snerd

    snerd Well-Known Member

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    Can't hurt to switch over to RG6, but don't be surprised if it doesn't make a noticeable difference in signal strength. RG6 is better, but not by a huge margin, even for 100-ft runs.

    If you don't have a PoE filter in place, adding one will give a much greater boost to MoCA signals strength than almost anything else you can change.

    Also, since you've moved the ECB2500C to a new location, be sure to add a 75-ohm termination to the "TV/STB out" port if it is not connected to other equipment. This will help to ensure the integrity of video signals throughout the coax. Some experiments that I performed last week suggest that the path between the "Coax In" port and the "TV/STB out" port is essentially equivalent to a MoCA PoE filter and has lower insertion loss than a 2-way splitter, so proper termination of the TV/STB port is especially important.
     
  14. HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

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    Paradise...
  15. ClearToLand

    ClearToLand Old !*#$% Tinkerer!

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    "Blog in danger of being cancelled - domain not renewed" - Just in case someone wants to preserve a copy...
     
  16. HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

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    Yes, but if you click on the actual tabs it goes to the linked "https:" sites just fine.
     
  17. ClearToLand

    ClearToLand Old !*#$% Tinkerer!

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    Yes I understand that. I didn't get the message when I clicked on my copied LINK so maybe you haven't seen it, or I'm not communicating clearly enough. The best I can relate it to is if someone posts a LINK to lets say a subscription-based website like the NY Times, IIRC. If you don't have a subscription, you see the actual page greyed out in the background and a popup box asking you to subscribe.

    I'm saying that I believe that the entire blog will be deleted within a few days if the domain is not renewed. Maybe another 'First Time' viewer will capture the screen and post it. I'm guessing it stored a cookie on my laptop and that's why I don't see it anymore.
     
  18. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    The issue appears to be that they simply haven't kept-up with payments on the mocablog.com and mocablog.net domains; the blog, itself, is not in any danger. You can review the message by clearing your browser cache, so the related cookie noting your previous visit can be flushed; or just use an alternate browser or identity.


    Note that here's what you'll see if you go directly to mocablog.com or mocablog.net:
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
  19. ClearToLand

    ClearToLand Old !*#$% Tinkerer!

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    Thanks! :)

    I didn't see / remember that last line and didn't want to lose access to what @HarperVision thought was a good MoCA FAQ.
     
  20. epstewart

    epstewart Member

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    Good advice for the OP!
     

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