Moca was working - now it’s not

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by Voting, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay TCF Club

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    What is this splitter? can you get us a picture?
     
  2. Voting

    Voting New Member

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    I tried the reset button - no joy. There is no IP address on the router for this. I suspect because it is wired in before the modem maybe?

    I will replace the ECB. The WCB3000N includes comments like this:

    "This piece of garbage was illegally sold by a unauthorized seller according to ActionTec customer service. It was specifically built for use by a specific ISP and not the general public. The recording on Actiontec's customer service number describes how, even it were to work for a short time, it WILL BE BLOCKED as soon as within the first hour of use. The seller's account should be banned from Amazon."

    So it looks like the second cheapest is the $60 Moto so I'll get that one. I will let you know in 2 days the results.

    I note the Tivo Bridge wasn't recommended on the list.
     
  3. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Yes, you can find a few such comments for the WCB3000N, along with most of the 1-star complaints relating to missing cables/accessories, but there are more comments stating the device works just fine, in a number of different setups. My money is literally on the “only works for Time-Warner” posts being confused. We shall see.

    Regardless, if you’re good with the $60 for the top-of-the-line adapter then that’s the way to go. Much more future-proof.
     
  4. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Wasn’t recommended on what list?*

    Unless it’s on sale for a steep discount, such as the $40 price point from several months ago, a TiVo Bridge doesn’t make sense owing to:
    • the Motorola MM1000 is $20 less retail;
    • ‘’ can provide double the effective throughput;
    • ‘’ includes a RF pass-through port.

    * edit: p.s. If referring to the alternatives linked above...
    ... the TiVo Bridge is included.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  5. tapokata

    tapokata Active Member

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    The ECB typically won't have an IP address that appears in your NAT pool. From the ethernet side, it's acting just like an unmanaged network switch, binding the MoCA traffic to any IP traffic as needed. The Minis need a LAN address to communicate with your internet service through you router, and to accept traffic from the non-MoCA TiVo Roamio (or for all traffic, if they are running in a standard fast ethernet mode). The MoCA devices, as part of a peer network, use the MAC address of the peer nodes for traffic control, and don't route any of the traffic from the Tivo to the Mini through the router. As an example, if your router has the option to display traffic usage by device, you will see IP based TiVo traffic- such as Amazon or Netflix, or service connections to the TiVo home planet, but you won't see any of the data being sent from the TiVo to the Mini, such as live or recorded broadcasts.
     
  6. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you've said the actual model# of your 'ECB'. Is it a 2500, or what?

    I've installed a pile of the 3000's. They work just fine. The WiFi throughput isn't the fastest I've seen, but the MoCA throughput works at expected speeds.

    -KP
     
  7. Voting

    Voting New Member

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    Yes, I have an ECB2500c. If I got a 3000, I would not use it for wifi - I would need to turn that off. I have a nice Mesh Wifi Network that I don't want to interfere with. It would be a MoCA adapter only. You mentioned it doesn't have RF pass through. What is that?

    I'm looking for the lowest cost device that will have the minimum number of problems. Since I'm trying to fix a problem, I don't want to pile onto it. Unfortunately, the lowest is the mixed review 3000 and the next one up is the "top of the line" moto. I didn't see anything in between.

    One other thought. This forum and the people on it are really awesome. Thanks in advance for all your help.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  8. tapokata

    tapokata Active Member

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    And to help fill in a few other gaps, what's the make and model of your modem and router? I was wondering if your using a MoCA capable DOCSIS modem, and if in the internet issues you were having, that function is now enabled?
     
  9. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Yes, the Wi-Fi would be disabled on the WCB3000N.

    Your ECB2500C has an STB Out/RF pass-through, a second coax port to which you can connect some other device just needing the sub-1 GHz signals. The WCB3000N has just the single coax port, and so a splitter would be required to connect both the WCB3000N and another device to the coax plant.
     
  10. tapokata

    tapokata Active Member

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    RF pass-through allows you to take a MoCA signal in, and pass the RF frequency out on another port. The 3000 only has a single port, so if you intend to use it as a bridge, you'll need a splitter to carry the traffic onward. The capability of the output depends on the device- some are designed so that you can attach a non-MoCA device or set top box without the need for a splitter.
     
  11. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried the Configuration utility?

    Configuration Utility V1.1

    If you move all 3 MoCA devices in to the same room, can you get it to all hook up?

    -KP
     
  12. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    According to the diagram, that's how it's currently connected:

    [​IMG]

    -KP
     
  13. Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin Active Member

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    Sorry to "hit and run", I've only skimmed this thread and not followed closely. But that RX (aka receive) power is simply BAD.

    The reason this device has 0 receive rate is because it's not getting a strong enough signal to be able to decode it. There's something wrong in the signal path to that device. Or maybe the receive circuitry in the device itself has malfunctioned. You should be able to figure out which device is which by the reported MAC addresses.

    The RX power on my MoCA devices is about -37 or -38 and they work fine. Every 3.5 db (roughly) loss is 1/2 the power. This is additive. So look how bad yours is:

    -37.0 --> -40.5 lose 1/2 power
    -40.5 --> -44.0 lose 1/2 power
    -44.0 --> -47.5 lose 1/2 power
    etc, you get the idea. MoCA is designed to work with big losses, but I think maybe your losses are greater than it was designed for. IIRC it allows for about 55 dB of loss, but that's probably starting with a reference of 0 dBm. So probably you need to get your RX signal up to about -55 dB or better. In power terms, your device is getting less than 1/1000 of the receive power that mine are. Decibel - Wikipedia

    I agree with a previous poster who said to bring everything physically together and get it working, then separate it back out.

    Also, here is a document that gives some MoCA setup hints. http://www.mocalliance.org/technology/Final_Best-Practices-for-Installation-of-MoCA_170516rev01.pdf

    I'm not an RF guy, so something not really obvious caught my eye in that document. Pg. 14:
    2.4.5 POE Filter

    A POE filter for MoCA Band D is a low pass filter which passes signals below 1 GHz and filters out signals above 1 GHz. ... A POE filter performs two functions. ... It reflects RF signals above 1 GHz back into the home network. This helps to increase the MoCA signal level available within the home network.


    In "transmission line" terms I think what's happening is the POE filter is a low-pass at about 1 GHz. The MoCA band is well above that. So this filter presents a strong "impedance mismatch" at MoCA frequencies. Thereby causing a MoCA transmit signal to be immediately reflected at the point of the filter. All to the better for receive devices. (any RF guy want to comment on my guess?)

    In plain English, a MoCA POE filter placed on the "street" side of that first splitter will help with MoCA levels. But it needs to be screwed right into the input of that first splitter. Don't have any coax in between the POE filter and the splitter. And certainly don't have any other POE filters in the actual path you want the MoCA signals to take.

    I'm not sure if POE in your picture means you already have a POE filter there, or whether that merely indicates your "point of entry".

    I hope that helps.



     
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  14. fcfc2

    fcfc2 Well-Known Member

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    I just wanted to point out that the only accurate part of that quote is, "It was specifically built for use by a specific ISP and not the general public." Everything else is just pure BS. The unit will not be blocked in an hour or ever. I believe the current Amazon units were sold to TWC, but there may be others from Verizon, or Brighthouse, or a few other providers. The real issue I believe is that Actiontec also sells and still has there own retail version of the same equipment except the retail versions are many multiples in terms of price and mostly use WPS or manual configuration for the wireless settings. The ones sold to specific ISP's had custom firmware which allowed them to "automatically" detect and copy the wireless settings on the ISP's gateway routers running MoCA.
    These customized versions when used on a different ISP than originally customized for, will not be automatically configured and often require either using the default settings or they must be manually configured, in which case they will work fine and will not be automatically BLOCKED. There is no law making it "illegal" to sell these new but old stock units.
    BTW Actiontec's primary customers are ISPs and they cater to them big time, their "retail" CSR's have been dead wrong on various issues, you will notice that many of their products are not even offered retail to the general public.
     
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  15. snerd

    snerd Well-Known Member

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    The PHY Rate is zero because the RX power is too low. This is *usually* an indication of a cabling issue, so the evidence is there if you know what to look for. Of course, this isn't a guarantee that the problem is in the cabling, but there is definitely some kind of hardware issue that is preventing the signal from getting through.

    The problem with "nothing has changed" in the RF world is that physical objects are changing all the time. Temperature changes cause things to expand or contract, which can result in connectors coming loose over an extended period of time. Oxidation causes metal connections to degrade. Inside of electronic components, with tiny wires that have cross-sectional dimensions of less than a micron, the flow of electrons actually moves metal atoms within the wires (this is called "metal migration") so that a tiny wire that carries too much current will eventually break or create a bridge that shorts to a neighboring wire. There are many other factors that cause electronics to slowly degrade as they age.

    Another way that a coax connector can go bad over time involves the white plastic insulation that separates the solid copper center conductor from the outer braided ground. Coax literally sucks. Over time, this insulation can get "sucked" back into the coax, leaving an air gap where there used to be plastic insulation. This causes an impedance mismatch that results in unwanted reflections that degrade the signal. I've seen this on my own coax, and it is one of the reasons that technicians automatically replace coax connectors whenever they make a service call. Any connector will eventually fail for one reason or another.

     
  16. snerd

    snerd Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the link, this document included some interesting information for extending MoCA networks beyond 16 nodes, and showed examples with coax runs of 1000 feet, as well as mentioning that some vendors allow coax beyond the 300 ft limit quoted in prior MoCA documents. This strongly suggests that the 300 ft limit is essentially due to attenuation limits rather than any kind of timing issues in the MoCA hardware. Good to know.

    RF guy replies: yup, that's basically how it works. Impedance changes always cause a partial reflection of any electromagnetic energy. The fraction of reflected power depends on how much the impedance changes. That is why you can see your reflection in a window or a computer monitor.​
     
  17. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Good advice. And don’t rule out replacing the “PoE” MoCA filter; it’s not impossible that it’s gone bad.
     
  18. tapokata

    tapokata Active Member

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    A 7/16", 20 inch/pound torque wrench, like so: https://www.amazon.com/Jonard-TWAF-...onard+TWAF-71620+Full+Head+Torque+Wrench&th=1 is a big help in tightening coax connectors on splitters, POE filters, F81 barrel connectors, and the like (note that this isn't for use on an RF connector to an electronic device, such as the back of a TiVo- a 10 inch/pound slip wrench is better suited for that purpose). The fixed torque setting is tighter than finger-tight, but not tight enough to crush the connection. Those out of sight connections will stay tight.
     
  19. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    There's a dang good chance that some corrosion has occurred on the cable near the ends. Particularly the outside connectors.

    Comcast (at least here in Houston) now requires all outdoor connections to be inside a weather box. They also teach their techs to snug up the connectors with an open end wrench.

    I'd still like to know what happens if all the MoCA devices are connected together in the same room.

    -KP
     
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  20. Voting

    Voting New Member

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    The problem is resolved and it wasn't the wiring.

    I replaced the Actiontec ECB2500c with a new MoCA adapter and all of the Tivos immediately started working. Sorry KP - I got the Moto one.

    All - this community is awesome and I wanted to thank you for everyone's efforts to resolve. Great job!

    P.S. Anyone want a non-working Actiontec ECB2500c?
     

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