Signal Booster recommendations

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by Banana-Heads, Jan 19, 2018.

  1. Banana-Heads

    Banana-Heads Member

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    I have a MoCA system including PCT built in MoCA passive amp in attic, Tivo bridge, etc.

    Getting pixelation on main TV. Much worse on Mini. After months of trial and error, figured out I need a signal amplifier.

    A search in this forum really didn't provide any results that I could find. I'm looking at this one and was wondering if it is good enough or do you have a recommendation for a good amp. TIA.
     
  2. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    How are the signal levels on your Bolt?
     
  3. Banana-Heads

    Banana-Heads Member

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    I'm past troubleshooting. Just need a good amp.

    I've been working on this for months with attenuators, splitters etc. When connecting the cable directly to the Bolt, the signal is perfect. When adding a 3db splitter and going through the Spectrum tuning adapter, it drops the signal to the high 70s and some pixelation starts. An amp is the only thing that is going to fix this.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  4. ajwees41

    ajwees41 Well-Known Member

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    are you using the rf out on the tuning adapter, or splitting it one to the adapter and one to the bolt?
     
  5. m.s

    m.s Active Member

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    You're likely to cause yourself Moca problems if you get an inline amp which isn't made for Moca. I have no idea what you mean by "passive amp", do you mean passive return amp? If your cable distribution is starred from a central point, something like an Antronix MVRA-902B might work for you. Basically an 8 way splitter with enough forward and reverse amplification that the signal is the same as if there were no split (0 db fwd/rev gain). Don't go through the tuning adapter, add a two way split before it with one leg to the TA and the other to the Bolt.
     
  6. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    You may be done troubleshooting, but in my opinion, you do not have a clue about what is actually wrong or what is really going to fix it.

    If you are getting pixelation with the Bolt showing a signal level in the 70s, your problem is absolutely NOT a weak signal!

    In my personal experience with three different boxes, a Bolt will work perfectly with any CLEAN signal over 42%.
     
    JoeKustra likes this.
  7. Banana-Heads

    Banana-Heads Member

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    The PoE filter at the tuning adapter Line-In made the signal worse so it was removed. Making a direct connection to the tuning adapter without the splitter made the signal worse so the splitter was put back. The tuning adapter has been replaced twice. Attenuators made the signal worse. All cables were replaced with new ones, including outside. Lines checked. The HDMI cable at the mini was replaced. I have more than a clue and was just asking for a good rec for a booster. Which is moot now as I purchased one.

    Tivo Setup.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
  8. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    If you have a Bolt, why are you using a separate Bridge? But I guess that is a pointless question if you refuse to do any further troubleshooting . . .
     
  9. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    I'd have to do a deep dive into the archives to find it, but I'm fairly sure I've seen this diagram before and previously commented that it was helpful... but critically lacked the details on how the rooms connect to each other.

    That said, what *is* shown seems problematic in that you're using a drop amp (intended for installation at the cable provider drop location for the home) as a localized splitter/booster at the modem location, meaning:

    1. You're amplifying a degraded signal rather than the signal as received at the drop, which would improve the SNR.

    2. You have a built-in MoCA filter between your main bridging MoCA adapter and your MoCA clients. I'm surprised your MoCA is working at all.

    What device currently connects these three coax runs together? Could you move this PCT amp to your drop location, replacing the current device? The modem would retain its current amplification, though likely with improved SNR, the DVR's signal would be boosted, and a major impediment to your MoCA network would be removed.

    Also, I'd be interested in hearing your CURRENT MoCA stats, PHY rates and power estimates, to verify the built-in MoCA filter's effect. (MoCA stats are found in the Network Status dialog) It would be interesting if the MoCA gear is having to amplify its signal to the point where it's interfering with the TV signal.
     
  10. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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  11. Banana-Heads

    Banana-Heads Member

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    bolt.JPG
     
  12. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Yes, that's how a MoCA adapter would be connected to a modem/router setup to establish a MoCA network, but what was the intent of posting that image?

    p.s. One thing you'll notice NOT in that image is a MoCA filter on the input of the 2-way splitter connecting the modem and MoCA adapter -- which is effectively what your current setup has, as diagrammed anyway, in the form of the PCT-MAB-F19A amplifier with integrated MoCA filter.

    IMG_4059.JPG

    A MoCA filter at that location should be blocking any MoCA communication between the MoCA adapter and the rest of your coax plant.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
  13. Banana-Heads

    Banana-Heads Member

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    The drop amp is in the attic at the drop. Nothing is in between the bridge and clients.

    Will see if I can get stats and reply back.
     
  14. Banana-Heads

    Banana-Heads Member

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    In response to V7Goose's question
     
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  15. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    You see how that's not reflected in the diagram, right?
     
  16. Banana-Heads

    Banana-Heads Member

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    Yeah. See that. Should have put a separator then coax on other side to the bridge.
     
  17. fcfc2

    fcfc2 Well-Known Member

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    Totally agree with krkaufman but this diagram is unfortunately not clear on a number of issues which leads to guesses and speculation on what is going on and severely decreases the likely hood of successful troubleshooting.
    Questions to be answered....is the there only one line from the wiring closet going directly to the input of the already existing PCT MoCA friendly amp and are all the other coax feeds coming from the PCT unit? If not then the builtin MoCA filter will stop your MoCA network, dead.
    There are 2 primary issues, poor signal quality to the Bolt, which may itself have one of the "finicky" tuners, and MoCA problems which are usually the result of cabling and or splitters, i.e., the wrong types and too many cascaded splitters.

    PS. Trouble shooting can be a super, mother fxxxing, giant, PITA. A more complete, clearer diagram is more likely to get you a successful result.
     
  18. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    I expect they may have been confused by the diagram, thinking the BOLT was in the same room/location as the modem & router.
     
  19. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    That they aren't complaining about the MoCA network made me suspect something amiss with the diagram, as, as you state, the integrated MoCA filter should be blocking any MoCA communication.

    This is my fear.
     
  20. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    It does not need to be in the same room - it only needs a wired Ethernet connection to the same LAN, no matter how far away that might be. The OP still has not addressed that part of a simple question "why" (unless he is saying he is just using it because he saw it listed in some instructions he does not understand).

    BTW, his posts in that 3-month old thread specifically said he had cat5 to his Premier, so that certainly implies he could simply connect the Bolt in the same way and remove that superfluous equipment and unnecessary cable splits.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018

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