Solution: Bolt/Mini over MoCA with OTA and Cable Internet

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by milnak, Nov 18, 2016.

  1. milnak

    milnak New Member

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    Nov 15, 2016
    With many thanks to the threads here, I got this working at home. TiVo's instructions online are completely incorrect, and the following worked fine for me.

    Here's the wiring diagram:
    [​IMG]

    The parts I used are:
    • Tivo bridge, Bolt, Mini -- all from Tivo
    • Wireless router -- Asus rt ac66u
    • Cable modem -- Motorola SB6120 (I believe)
    • Splitter -- Ideal 2.4Ghz 2 way (from Home Depot), and a BAMF 2-Way Coax Cable Splitter Bi-Directional MoCA 5-2300MHz (from Amazon) [any 2.4Ghz should work fine should work fine]
    • Diplexer -- Holland Dishpro DPD2 Satellite Diplexer (2amp)
    • OTA Antenna -- Channel Master CM-4221HD HDTV UHF Antenna
    And lots of coax cable with compression fittings from Home Depot.

    Incredibly it worked. One thing I *did* have to do was to set the Mini Moca setting to AUTOMATIC. It was defaulting to channel 15 and as such couldn't find the Bolt receiver.

    Hope this helps others out!

    Jeff
     
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  2. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Well done; and thanks for posting the success story.

    Only thing you might look at is adding a PoE MoCA filter on the input to your main splitter, to secure and strengthen your MoCA network. (Regulations stipulate you add a MoCA filter on the UHF/VHF port of your diplexer, as well, to prevent MoCA signals emanating from your antenna.)

    "Why?" ... See this TiVo link: https://www.tivo.com/assets/popups/popup_moca_poe.html

    "How?" ... See this PDF document from TiVo: https://www.tivo.com/assets/pdfs/mytivo/POE_Instructions_Web.pdf
     
  3. milnak

    milnak New Member

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    Nov 15, 2016
    From what I've read PoE filters aren't needed when using a diplexer. Furthermore, my cable modem already has MoCA rejection, and adding a PoE filter would make it so I couldn't connect. (I meant to add those notes above as well). If you know differently, let me know.
     
  4. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    I've typically viewed the diplexer doing most of what a MoCA filter would in terms of keeping the MoCA signals from emanating from an antenna connected to the UHV/VHF port of the diplexer; however, I used the qualifying "regulations stipulate" because of the 70+ dB rejection requirement for MoCA and OTA antennas you see in TiVo documentation, likely associated with FCC regulations to keep the airwaves clear. A typical 40+dB MoCA filter on the VHF/UHF port should be sufficient to meet this 70+dB requirement.

    As for your modem having "MoCA rejection," that simply means your modem won't become unstable if/when MoCA becomes active on your coax lines. The PoE MoCA filter -- that is, a MoCA filter installed at your cable provider's point-of-entry to your home -- serves an entirely different purpose, as highlighted in the above "Why?" link. ('gist: To secure your MoCA network inside your home, and to strengthen the MoCA network by efficiently reflecting the MoCA signal back onto your coax lines.)

    You're tuning from OTA antenna, not cable TV, so it's not a factor for you, but a situation similar to what you're highlighting in regards to your modem is a regular concern for those TiVo cable TV customers unfortunate enough to have a cable provider using Switched Digital Video (SDV). The tuning adapter (TA) device required for a TiVo to support SDV typically requires a "prophylactic" MoCA filter installed on its coax input to prevent MoCA signals from interfering with the TA's operation. (more)

    edit: p.s. As an exercise, you could check your MoCA stats before and after installing a MoCA filter at your PoE, to see what, if any, difference is made.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2016
  5. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Just to be clear, this is not the case. Though some people have reported issues with their cable modem going out when a MoCA filter was installed at their PoE, the cause would likely be a bad filter -- or a newly active or strengthened MoCA network affecting a MoCA-ignorant modem negatively. A functioning MoCA filter properly installed at the PoE should not have any negative effect on Internet connectivity (aside from the outage during the filter's installation), providing the modem has been checked for MoCA compatibility and adequately protected, if needed.
     
  6. Maike13

    Maike13 New Member

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    May 30, 2017
    I'm looking to set up a MoCA network that will be identical to this except I'll have a 4-way splitter instead of 2-way (and POE filters as suggested). I'm planning to use an Actiontec ECB6200 Bonded MoCA 2.0 Network adapter rather than the Tivo version, as I already have a couple of these. Since these have a "TV/STB Out" port I believe i can omit the 2-way splitter connected to the Tivo bridge and cable modem and connect the Actiontec adapter "Coax In" to the first 2-way splitter and the Actiontec adapter "TV/STB Out" to the cable modem. Is this correct?

    Will I need a pre-amplifier at the antenna and/or a distribution amplifier at the 4-way splitter? The COAX runs will be approximately 15' from antenna to the first splitter, and approximately 60' from the 4-way splitter to the furthest Tivo Mini/TV.

    My Arris SB6183 cable modem documentation has no mention of MoCA, so I'm concerned it may be "MoCA ignorant". If MoCA affects it negatively, are there any remedies, other than buying a different modem?
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
  7. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    In retrospect, I'm not entirely sure why the OP fed the diplexer's IN/OUT port into that 2-way splitter, rather than using the diplexer to only feed the antenna signal to the BOLT's coax run. It's unclear from the original diagram where, exactly, the various components are located... whether in a central junction box or in a remote room location.

    As an alternative see the attached diagram, allowing for multiple MoCA-connected Minis and a stronger antenna signal delivered to the DVR...

    cable-antenna MoCA mix.jpg
     
  8. jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    The PoE when properly installed keeps the MoCa signals within your house. Otherwise you have essentially created a potential open network that your neighbors can attach to.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  9. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    It really depends on where you are relative to the transmitters and the signal level pulled-in by your antenna. So maybe? You might be able to get an idea by checking one of the antenna lookup sites (antennaweb.org, tvfool, ...).

    A pre-amp might be needed, but I'd think you'd only need a distribution amp if you're looking to deliver the raw OTA signal to more than one location. If you're just looking to get the signal to the BOLT, the above diplexer-enabled bypass around the splitters should be sufficient (in combination with the pre-amp, if needed).


    There are 3 2-way splitters in the OP's diagram, so you need to be more specific in terms of which 2-way would be replaced by the 4-way.

    If you don't need an amp, you'd want to stick with the initial 2-way splitter to deliver the best signal possible to the modem.

    If I'm understanding you, your 4-way might take the place of the N-way splitter in my previous post's diagram.

    Yes, that's the generally recommended approach, though the Actiontec comments you cited over on AVSForum have me freshly concerned about the pass-band on the MoCA adapter's internal diplexers.

    You can try it both ways -- via the pass-through or using a MoCA-compatible splitter -- and check/compare your modem's signal levels and Internet speeds in each configuration.

    The SB6183 supposedly has a built-in MoCA "immunity filter," so it should be fine.

    You'll just need the "PoE" MoCA filters for the cable and antenna lines as described above.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
  10. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    The ECB6200 User Manual states the pass-band for the TV/STB Out port is 5-1002 MHz, so it's the same range required for DOCSIS 3.0 and below cable modem operation.
     
  11. Maike13

    Maike13 New Member

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    May 30, 2017
    Wow. Thanks for taking the time for such detailed replies.

    Yes, I was referring to the N-way splitter location.
    I checked on the TV signal strength at my location and it looks like a pre-amp will be required.
    Can you confirm the need for a PoE filter on the antenna line. Your modified diagram only shows one on the cable line, but you mention PoE filters on both lines, above.
     
  12. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    From above...

    'gist: It's up to you.
     
  13. Maike13

    Maike13 New Member

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    May 30, 2017
    I came across some splitters listed as "w/ Coax Network Support". Is this just marketing hype, or do these actually work better for a MoCA network? Here are the specs for one of these:
    General Info
    Cable Type: Coaxial
    Color: Black
    Connection Type: ANSI/SCTE 01 Compliant ECT F-port
    Type: Signal Splitter
    Surge Protected: 6 kV ring wave surges per IEEE specification C62.41 Category A3
    Listing Agencies/Third Party Certifications
    UN SPSC: 32101529
    Dimensions
    Depth (Metric): 15.3 mm
    Depth (US): 0.60"
    Length (Metric): 84.9 mm
    Length (US): 3.3"
    Width (Metric): 45.1 mm
    Width (US): 1.8 in
    Technical Information
    Frequency: 5 MHz - 1525 MHz
    OhmValue: 75 Ohm Nominal impedance
    Operating Temperature (Celsius): -40°C to 60°C
    Supported Standards: Exceeds ANSI/SCTE 143 specifications for corrosion, 1000 hours
    Typical Insertion Loss:
    Freq(MHz) Typical(dB)
    5 - 40 3.4/ 6.8
    41 - 200 3.6/ 7.1
    201 - 550 3.8/ 7.4
    551 - 750 4.0/ 7.8
    751 - 1002 4.0/ 8.0
    1125 - 1325 7.5/13.0
    1326 - 1525 10.5/18.0
    Typical Return Loss:
    Input:
    Freq(MHz) Typical
    5 - 14 25 dB
    15 - 40 28 dB
    41 - 200 26 dB
    201 - 1002 22 dB
    Output:
    Freq(MHz) Typical
    5 - 14 25 dB
    15 - 40 38 dB
    41 - 200 30 dB
    201 - 1002 22 dB
     
  14. Rooke123

    Rooke123 New Member

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    Dec 13, 2017
    Hello krkaufman,
    Thank you for your valuable post.
    My setup is: 1-BOLT and 1-MINI. Want to connect using MoCA. Signal source is OTA. Modem/Router is in different room then BOLT and MINI. Ethernet available to BOLT. While Mini (in another room) only has coax available. Internet is on separate coax by itself.
    I have few questions trying to understand your diagram, and general concepts-
    1. It seems that Internet coax needs to be looped into coax with BOLT and MINI?
    2. In place of Roamio OTA (in your diagram), where I have BOLT VOX (with built-in MoCA). So coax from diplexer can directly go to BOLT? And Ethernet from Router always stays connected to BOLT?
    3. What is the need of MoCA adapter next to Cable Modem/Router, when BOLT already has built-in MoCA running on the same network?
    What I am trying to understand is, there is always a need of 2 MoCA adapters in such setup?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  15. m.s

    m.s Active Member

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    Mar 8, 2007
    Piece of carp. Over 7 db down (10.5-3.4) at MoCA frequencies? Calling that a "5 MHz - 1525 MHz" splitter is deliberately misleading, and that's being charitable. For a 2-way splitter, 3.5 dB is considered the standard loss (it will always be over 3 dB). Frequency range is usually spec'd at -3 dB points (so 6.5 dB loss total). That's a standard 5-1000 MHz splitter marketed as a polished turd.

    Here's a real MoCA splitter datasheet. 2.5 db down at the high end. And another. 2.2 db down.
     
  16. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Not in your case. The main bridging MoCA device just needs an Ethernet connection to the router's LAN and access to the shared coax plant. And as you've suggested, your Ethernet-connected BOLT will perform this function, rather than the MoCA adapter pictured at the cable/modem in the diagram.

    Bottom line: Your cable Internet coax line(!) can (should) remain isolated from the rest of your coax.

    Yes, the BOLT will be responsible for MoCA bridging duties, so its Ethernet connection to the router is required.

    And, correct, the BOLT's built-in MoCA hardware and its Ethernet connection remove the need for *both* of the MoCA adapters in that diagram (as well as eliminating the need to link the Internet and OTA coax segments), so the diplexer IN/OUT port would connect directly to the BOLT.


    Hopefully answered above. (i.e. You won't need ANY standalone MoCA adapters in your setup, owing to the Ethernet-connected BOLT.)

    Given your setup differences from the diagram, you would move the "PoE" MoCA filter to the input of the N-way splitter feeding your shared MoCA-infested coax, and install a 75-ohm terminator on the filter, since no coax should be connected to the input.

    edit: p.s. For example:

    cable-antenna MoCA mix (stripped).png
    Though note that the diplexer could be eliminated, as well, if you were to remove the 75-ohm terminator from the "PoE" MoCA filter and just connect the antenna to the N-way splitter's input. It all depends on how much signal strength you can afford to lose enroute to the BOLT. If you have too many shared coax runs to feed from the main OTA splitter, you could just use a 2-way splitter at the top level and then an appropriately-sized splitter for the runs not requiring the OTA antenna signal, a more traditional configuration. See Option 2 in the attached diagram:

    antenna routing options x4.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  17. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    That is... unless you'd like to extend wired network connections to any other locations in the house that have coax outlets, in which case you'd use a MoCA adapter at the remote location to provide the connectivity to the BOLT's MoCA bridge (aka access point).
     
  18. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

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    New Mexico...
    You have the ideal situation for a super simple MoCA implementation. ALL you need is a POE filter on the antenna lead, and a simple 2-way splitter to connect that antenna coax to both the Mini and the Bolt. Enable the Bolt as a MoCA bridge and you are DONE. Anything else would seem to be a pointless waste of money and unnecessary complexity to me.
     
  19. Rooke123

    Rooke123 New Member

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    Dec 13, 2017
    Thank you for the confirmation.

    Makes perfect sense.

    Wow.. this is amazing. I am greatly appreciative of your efforts.
    In fact, I might go the option 2 route, as the (indoor) antenna for OTA is going to sit close to BOLT. The longest coax run will be then from first 2-way splitter (next to antenna/BOLT) to the coax hub for the house (n-way splitter) and then output of n-way splitter to MINI in 2nd room. Will find out if this is (short) enough.

    That makes sense as well.

    Again, cannot thank you enough for your expert feedback and suggestions. Will sure update here if anything else comes up.
     
  20. Rooke123

    Rooke123 New Member

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    Dec 13, 2017
    Thank you as well for the confirmation. Trying to keep this simple and easy.
    Great community, and I am very thankful.
     

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