Problems with Cisco STA1520, possibly, 6 flashing lights

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by GengisKhan, May 2, 2018.

  1. Sonya Noble

    Sonya Noble New Member

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    Jun 9, 2018

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    I think I may have solved my problem. I switched out the power cord and so far no more black tv screen with 6 blinking lights on TA.
     
  2. Sonya Noble

    Sonya Noble New Member

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    Jun 9, 2018
    Well I thought the new power cord fixed it, but no. Every few minutes I lose picture and get the 6 blinking lights. Then it comes back on after a minute. I hate cox cable! I didn’t have to use a TA with Xfinity!!!!
     
  3. Sonya Noble

    Sonya Noble New Member

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    Jun 9, 2018
    Does TiVo ever respond on these boards? I guess I’m going to have to dump them if I do t get an answer soon.
     
  4. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    8,971
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    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    FYI, This forum is not affiliated with TiVo. Also the kind of problem you're having is caused by your cable company and the equipment it supplies you, so can't be solved by TiVo. Tuning Adapters have been a problem for a lot of people. Although the best advice to be had is supplied by this forum, not all problems are solved.

    Unfortunately cable operators have very little incentive to solve TiVo-related problems and it's rare to find a cable support person who knows how to solve them.

    Be sure to read post #2 in this thread as to what causes 6-blinks-pause.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
  5. CopRock

    CopRock Member

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    Jul 13, 2014

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    Did you ever get any resolution from this??

    I have been dealing with this similar issues with T/A and cable card since the transfer between Time Warner to Spectrum {NYC} was finalized around the first two weeks of February. Even with multiple tech visits and trips to one of their stores [in NYC] for new cable cards/or tuning adapters I still have missing channels & some come in SD instead of HD[different ones if I only use just a cable card vs. with T/A]

    One of the techs verbally said that Spectrum doesn't like Tivos [and other type of devices] and I would gladly take a cable box if it was the same price per month as the setup I have now since my 6 tuner cable box in the living room has WAY better picture quality than the Roamio which relegated to the bedroom and a smaller 32" tv
    //I do miss the commercial skip :[ //

    edit: I've been a customer since 1989 when it was known as Manhattan Cable TV and reading thru other threads I wonder if the problem is my 'old' TWC package,
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  6. GengisKhan

    GengisKhan New Member

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    Jul 13, 2002
    Well the original problem was fixed back at the end of May. At the time I didn't find out what the issue was. It all just started working one day. However, I spoke to a Spectrum tech last week and he researched the issue and said that the line people had found three filters out in the field and removing them fixed the issue. I have absolutely no idea if that is true or not.

    I no longer trust anything that Spectrum tells me.

    To cut a long story short - the problem is back again, more or less. Instead of a reset and 6 blinks when I switch to an SDV channel - I just don't get any signal. They have "fixed" the problem 4-5 times now since it started happening on December 20th about a month ago.

    This is the sequence of events.

    1. I lose SDV channels
    2. Rebooting the TA and Tivo does not help.
    3. Call Spectrum support who point out that the RDC is out of range and they schedule a tech
    4. Tech comes out tests the signal strength using a meter and says everything is OK. They completely ignore that the diagnostics page shows the RDC is out of range.
    5. They schedule a line tech to do some tests in the field. (I have no idea what they do if anything - as they never contact me)
    6. The day after the line tech comes out - after rebooting just the TA it all works.
    7. Less than 36 hours later at 8pm at night (I am pretty sure of that time) it breaks again - Go back to 1 and repeat.

    I have tried 4 different TAs in the last few weeks.

    The very last tech who came out claimed that he was in quality control. He said that since his meter is showing everything is fine he is not going to schedule a line tech and implied it was the Tivo because "they have been having lots of problems with Tivos"! I asked for an escalation and was told he is the escalation.

    I called tech support again and they are sending a replacement cable card even though the tech is 100% sure that is not issue.

    No idea what to do next. At the moment I'm using the Spectrum app to watch the missing channels.

    I get the impression that Spectrum are trying to get rid of their Tivo customers.
     
  7. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    Spectrum has no business incentive to encourage TiVo use. Hundreds if not thousands of similar war stories posted on this forum over the last 10+ years illustrate this. The RDC signal is generated in your TA and sent back into the cable system to request SDV channels. I suspect the techs don't even know how to check that and the problem is something in the cable system is blocking those signals.

    Your experience is one of the worst I've heard of and at this point I would be considering cutting the cable and selling my TiVo. Get a Fire TV or Roku and subscribe to PS Vue or a similar streaming service to get your cable channels and DVR functionality. I have been nursing a Spectrum TA for ten years now. It has always been a PITA and it if gets worse I am prepared to do what I just suggested. On the other hand Spectrum internet has been excellent with no caps. Note that you don't save much by cutting the cord -- you just get away from TA and other frustrations.
     
  8. Teeps

    Teeps Well-Known Member

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    Aug 16, 2001
    Torrance,Cal...
    File a complaint with the FCC.
    Believe me they (fcc and in my case time warner) do respond.
    FCC followed up with phone call as well as timewarner, they called twice, to make sure the problem was fixed and I was happy.
     
  9. GengisKhan

    GengisKhan New Member

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    Jul 13, 2002
    That's a good idea - I guess I'll have to wait until the Government reopens first though:(
     
  10. GengisKhan

    GengisKhan New Member

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    Jul 13, 2002
    Yes Spectrum Internet has been great. Otherwise they have been the worst company I have ever had the misfortune to do business with in my entire life. Every single tech I talk to tells a different story and each one insists that they are right and everyone else is wrong. I keep getting promises that a supervisor will call me back and that never happens. I don't understand why they don't seem to even want to try and fix it. It must be costing them a fortune sending out all these techs.

    I'm seriously thinking of following your advice. The biggest obstacle at the moment is my wife who really doesn't like learning new interfaces.
     
    Teeps likes this.
  11. gmacted

    gmacted Member

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    Sep 27, 2013
    When I have issues with my Spectrum provided tuning adapter(STA1520), the following is the process I go through to get the TiVo and the tuning adapter to function properly...

    1) Disconnect the USB cable from the tuning adapter.
    2) Unplug the power cord from the tuning adapter.
    3) Unplug the power cord from the TiVo.
    4) Plug the power cord into the TiVo and the tuning adapter. The TiVo will begin it's boot process. The tuning adapter will begin it's boot process and the front panel LED will slowly flash at a constant rate.
    5) The TiVo will boot normally and I will be able to watch non-SDV (Switched Digital Video) channels.
    6) After a period of time (this process can take up to an hour), the tuning adapter front panel will stop flashing and will be "on" (constant on with no flashing).
    7) Plug the USB cable into the tuning adapter. The TiVo will display a message on the screen that a tuning adapter has been detected. Select "Continue".
    8) The tuning adapter should now be connected. Go to "TiVo Central" --> "Remote, CableCARD, & Devices". The setting "Tuning Adapter" should be "[Tuning adapter in use]".

    If this does not solve your problem I would not hesitate to file a complaint with the FCC. I had to file a complaint in 2018 and it really was amazing how quickly they responded.
     
    Teeps and kpeters59 like this.
  12. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    That's my process also, except I rarely have to power-cycle or restart the TiVo, and it never takes anything close to an hour for me. I would add that as a final check you should look near the bottom of DVR Diagnostics to see that "Channel List Received" is "Yes". If it isn't then you will soon have trouble tuning channels. Usually cycling the USB connector will correct this but you may have to repeat the entire process in some cases.
     
  13. gmacted

    gmacted Member

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    Sep 27, 2013
    I have attached a document that I have had for many years that explains what the blink code mean for the Cisco STA1520 tuning adapter.

    Cisco_STA1520_Tuning_Adapter_Blink_codes.jpg
     
    kpeters59 likes this.
  14. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    8,971
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    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    The chart is misleading in regard to 6-blinks-pause. By far the most common cause of that pattern is simply that the USB cable is not connected.

    Also the description for 8-blinks-pause is obscure. It simply means the TA has lost authorization. Authorization must be refreshed every month or so, or it expires. You can see the exact date/time when it expires, down to the very second, in the PowerKEY Information section of TA diagnostics, in the Sub Expires item. When you reach that time the TA stops functioning.

    I have a feeling of deja vu about this. (I think we have been through this before.) It would be helpful if you could append the above two clarifications when you post this chart. They apply to the two most frequently encountered error codes.
     
  15. gmacted

    gmacted Member

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    Sep 27, 2013
    I did not create this chart and to be honest I do not remember where I got it. I cannot also speak to its accuracy.

    I have only needed to refer to it a couple of times over the past few years and it has proved useful for me. I am just attempting to share information.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  16. Teeps

    Teeps Well-Known Member

    2,151
    83
    Aug 16, 2001
    Torrance,Cal...
    You are not alone my friend...
     
  17. GengisKhan

    GengisKhan New Member

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    Jul 13, 2002
    Further update.

    I got the cable card in the mail but the sdv channels started working again before I received it, so I just left it uninstalled.

    This morning they were out again with the TA in B'Cast Only mode. I called tech support for help activating the card. As expected the replacement cable card didn't help. Worked with the tech on the phone to try and get it working again. Multiple reboots and TA switch outs later he admitted defeat and decided to schedule a tech. I think this will be the 7th or 8th since December 20th.

    However, while on the phone he suggested that the Tuner signal was too high - with the valid range being -7 to +7. It was actually right at the end of that range +7 and he was going to get the tech to lower it. All the previous techs visiting the house have said it was spot on.

    After I hung up I checked the strengths again. This is what I saw:

    Tuner +8
    FDC +2
    RDC +44

    So I decided to play around with some attenuators on the coax in to the TA. At 3dB I got this:

    Tuner +5
    FDC 0
    RDC +44

    At 6dB:

    Tuner +2
    RDC -3
    FDC +46

    and suddenly it is all working again! I'm really hoping that has fixed the issue and it's not just some coincidence.

    So, it makes me wonder if the problem all along has been the Tuner strength has been set too high. I'm going to monitor it over the next few days and weeks to be sure.

    I looked back at all the screen shots I have taken of that screen and the lowest I see the tuner previously is +5.
     
  18. GengisKhan

    GengisKhan New Member

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    Jul 13, 2002
    Well the plot thickens. About an hour ago I lost all SDV channels - getting the V53 error on every one. all the normal broadcast channels had a signal strength of 95-97%, the SDV were all at 100%. I rebooted the TA and it's all working again.
     
  19. SrLANGuy

    SrLANGuy Member

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    11
    Dec 26, 2001
    I'm in the St. Louis area with Charter Spectrum and a TiVo Roamio Pro which I've had for almost 5 years now. In the summer of 2018, I noticed that I was unable to tune into some of the channels I was paying for. It didn't take long to determine it was the SDV channels, but it wasn't consistently a problem. Then in late 2018, it got to where I lost all SDV channels. I went to the Charter Spectrum office and got a replacement Tuning Adapter (since I was pretty sure that was the problem). The old and new Tuning Adapters were both the Motorola MTR700. It took a little bit, but I got everything working and thought the issue was resolved. But then a few days ago, I noticed I was having problems again with SDV channels. I tried disconnecting the USB cable for a bit and plugging it back in, but it still wasn't working. When I finally got it working, I sat down to watch TV and after a few minutes, the TiVo suddenly went dead and then started booting up again.

    I'm wondering if all these Tuning Adapter and SDV channel issues aren't being caused by some of the recent TiVo software updates. For a while, it seemed that every time there was test of the Emergency Broadcasting System, my TiVo would reboot.
     
  20. GengisKhan

    GengisKhan New Member

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    Jul 13, 2002
    Final update - I hope.

    After adding the 6dB attenuator to the TA line and getting the SDV channels back - I started to get occasional v53 errors from the Tivo. My guess is the v53 errors where previously masked by losing the SDV channels altogether.

    So later that evening I tried adding an attenuator to the line from the splitter to the Tivo. The setup is really simple - coax from cable company goes to a splitter, one end goes to TA, the other goes to the Tivo. I experimented with various sizes and found that a 15dB brought the signal strength down from 99-100 to 87-92 and the SNR down from 43 to about 34-35.

    It's been almost a week now like this without any problems. So either adding the attenuators worked or Spectrum coincidentally fixed it.

    I suspect that Spectrum did something to the signal strength around the 20th December that caused all this. I think I'll take screenshots of all the relevant screens and archive them. That way, if this happens again in 6 months or so - I'll have a reference and may just be able to bring everything back in range without bothering them.
     

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