Where to put PoE filter

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by sfscott, May 1, 2018.

  1. May 1, 2018 #1 of 19
    sfscott

    sfscott New Member

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    Some background. Like many, I have had recent issues with TiVo minis and just bought a Mini Vox which temporarily worked. The origin of the issue is that a while back, my system (a Roamio at the time) and Mini were on a Moca network and worked fine. Tivo pushed out software that broke the mini's ability to get live TV and play recordings.

    I switched to a wireless connection on the Roamio and then a Bolt and connected the mini using a ethernet over power line connection. That worked great for a while and now does not. I then tried to connect the bolt with ethernet over power line, but despite a strong connection, the bolt did not like that config.

    So...i want to go back to moca as a last chance to connect the mini. The bolt works fine on wifi, but for some reason the mini is stuck. The wifi bandwidth at the device is >275MB/sec and the cable speed at the router is 450MB/sec. But I guess that's not enough for TiVo to function.

    Comcast has provided me with an amplifier that has one input and several outputs...almost like a multi-port splitter. Where would y'all recommend putting the PoE filter in relation to the amp and the Tivo Moca bridge? One output is going to the currently unused moca bridge and the other to the cable modem.

    And once I have a coax going from amplifier into the moca bridge with an ethernet cable going from the bridge to a router, what additional hook-ups or configuration do I do on the bolt to get moca working?

    As an aside, I did order a POE filter and also had one. How can I tell if what I have is the right one?


    This crap should not be this hard in 2018.
     
  2. May 1, 2018 #2 of 19
    krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Can you provide a detailed description or diagram (however rough) of your setup, to illustrate the coax runs, device connections and connecting components (splitters, amps, etc)? See attached for some example diagrams, for inspiration...

    MoCA_diagram_eg1.jpg Neville MoCa Wiring Diagram.JPG MoCA - simple cable setup - basic.png


    Also, can you provide the brand and model # of the amplfier?

    You could post the model #s for review. But they should be labeled "PoE filter," "MoCA filter," "Whole Home filter," or similar, and possibly indicate a pass-through frequency range through 1002 MHz.

    Generally, though, the "PoE" MoCA filter is installed on the input of the first split encountered by the incoming cable signal -- typically on the input of a splitter in the cable junction box or some junction point in the basement, closet, etc. Some amps include a built-in "PoE" MoCA filter. >See here< for more on "PoE" MoCA filters.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  3. May 1, 2018 #3 of 19
    krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    p.s. Looking for the amp details to determine whether the amp is MoCA-friendly or not.

    Also, why did Comcast provide you with this amp? Were you having signal issues at your cable modem or BOLT, losing Internet connectivity or the BOLT unable to tune some channels? (An amp wouldn't be needed to enable MoCA networking, only if your devices requiring the cable signal, the modem and DVR, weren't seeing sufficient signal strength from the provider.)

    p.p.s. It would be good to include the modem & router model details, as well.
     
  4. May 1, 2018 #4 of 19
    sfscott

    sfscott New Member

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    A few answers...and pictures.

    First, my inside the house network (leaving off the dozens of WiFi devices)
    [​IMG]

    1) The amp is inside the home, before the modem and moca bridge. I can't remember why comcast felt we needed an amp but it had to do with their sense that the signal db was too low vs. our location and service levels. TV signal to the bolt and Internet wire speeds are fine. Amp is Commscope HomeConnect Subscriber Amplifier CSMAPDU5VP

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    2) The filter I have is labeled LPF-1002M7SGC. So I am guessing that the 1002 refers to 1002 Mhz and I should be ok.

    3) When reading the earlier responses, it occurred to me that I was considering putting the filter in the wrong place, i.e. before the amp. I think from what you are saying it should be outside where the cable feeds in from the street and is split before going into the house. In the attached photo, is the right spot for the filter upstream of the 1x2 split?

    [​IMG]

    4) How will I know if the filter is doing what it is supposed to do? My main mantra is do no harm to wifi since it's essential for our home offices. I have been having intermittent wifi issues, but I think that has been solved with a new modem.
    • Modem is an Arris Surfboard SB8200 32x8 Docsis 3.1. Bought and installed last week.
    • Router is an Eero gen1 configured as a gateway with 3 additional Eeros and one Eeero beacon in the house.
    • Moca Bridge is the Tivo/Actionec moca ECB6000 2.0 bridge that's on their website currently.
    [​IMG]
    • Modem feeds into Eero gateway. A powered 16-port ethernet switch is attached to the gateway for various wired devices. The ethernet port on the Tivo Actiontec moca bridge connects into this switch as does another powered switch that, along with a wireless device, is used by the Xfinity security system.

    Assuming that (a) I need to put the POE filter upstream of the 1x2 splitter outside, should I then be able to go to my bolt and set up the Tivo as a Client on the Moca network? If that works, is it the same on the Mini Vox, and will I need to do any magical sequence of power cycles, forced connections, etc?
     
  5. May 1, 2018 #5 of 19
    jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    Put the POE on the in port of the CSMAPDU5VP if that AMP services all the devices attached to your MoCa network. If all the devices on your MoCa network are serviced by the 4-way splitter on the outside of your house, then place the POE on the in port of the 4-way splitter. If all the devices on your MoCa network are serviced by the 2-way splitter, then put the POE on the in port of the 2-way splitter.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  6. May 1, 2018 #6 of 19
    krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Yes, correct. Installed on the input of the initial splitter (the 2-way, in your case)...

    sfscott current complete.png sfscott diagram.png
    ... though there are some other issues to consider:
    • The 4-way splitter in the outside junction box is connected to one output of the 2-way splitter, but do you know which room is connected to the other output of the 2-way? I would think you'd want this to be the room with the modem & MoCA adapter.
    • Depending on your preference, unused coax runs from the central junction box could be left disconnected, allowing you to downsize the secondary splitter and reduce the signal loss for the lines still connected. (If dormant run are left connected, it's recommended practice to cap the associated coax wall outlet port with a 75-ohm terminator. Similarly, any unused splitter or amp output ports should also be capped with 75-ohm terminators.)
    • You may want to upgrade the splitters to known-good MoCA-compatible models. Recommended are the Holland GHS-PRO-M (e.g.) and Verizon MoCA 2.0-rated models.
    • Given the amp is just a unity amp (same signal level output as received), it's not providing much benefit in terms of cable signal amplification where it is currently located, since it's only replacing a 2-way splitter (3.7 dB loss). I'd suggest checking whether a simple MoCA-compatible 2-way splitter in place of the amp still provides your cable modem with a sufficiently strong signal. (The SB8200 modem's UI should provide the ability to check your before & after signal levels, in case you want a more objective measure than whether the Internet connection drops after replacing the amp with a splitter.)
    • The bigger issue with the amp, due to its current location in the coax hierarchy, is that it will severely attenuate or block MoCA signals between the MoCA adapter and your MoCA devices in other rooms, since the amp isn't designed to pass MoCA signals between the input and output ports. Replacing the amp with a 2-way splitter would resolve this issue; otherwise, if you find the signal amplification is required, you'll need to consider moving the amp to its proper installation location, at the drop ... the outside cable box. Being correctly located at the drop would both eliminate the MoCA roadblock as well as improve the quality of the amplification, since the amp would be boosting a stronger input signal. (Your cable provider should have done this for you if you actually required a boosted signal. Amps are only supposed to be installed at the drop.)
    • Given the SB8200 is a DOCSIS 3.1 modem, you may want to install a MoCA filter on its input, for protection, to prevent interference from MoCA signals. Keep this in mind if the modem gets flaky and its reported cable signal levels seem otherwise within spec.

      edit: Another option would be using a different MoCA adapter as your main MoCA bridge, an adapter that has a second RF/STB Out pass-through port (e.g. Actiontec ECB6200, Motorola MM1000). Connecting the modem to the MoCA adapter’s RF pass-through port would protect the modem from MoCA signals, and, as an added benefit, the MoCA adapter could replace the associated amp/splitter (assuming strong enough signal at the modem remains).
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  7. May 1, 2018 #7 of 19
    krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    The amp isn't installed at the drop, so that would block MoCA from getting to the other rooms ... as opposed to the difficulty MoCA signals will already face trying to pass between the amp's input and output ports.

     
  8. May 1, 2018 #8 of 19
    krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Correct, once your coax plant has been MoCA'fied, you would configure each device as a MoCA client. And BOLT first is a very good idea since it's currently wireless.
     
  9. May 1, 2018 #9 of 19
    jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    Yup, edited my post to reflect that I did not know the cabling network in his home.
     
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  10. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    I installed the SB8200 last month since my feed is rolling out DC3.1. You know I like my toys. I replaced a SB6183. I get my 24x4 channels. One observation is on noise. The 6193 would get maybe a dozen total errors per month. It would reboot itself frequently with T4 errors. The 8200 gets thousands of errors per week. It doesn't reboot. I have no conclusions. I pay for, and get, 75Mbps/7Mbps 24/7. Both are good modems and have a built-in spectrum analyzer.
     
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  11. jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    What does the 2 way splitter feed other than the 4 way splitter?
    What does the 4-way splitter feed.
     
  12. jmbach

    jmbach der Neuerer

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    It would be possible to use the AMP where your 2 way splitter is now and feed power to it via an inserter and use that 2-way to split one of the out ports of the AMP. That would give you better signal overall.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  13. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    What’s the situation with DOCSIS 3.1 and overlap with MoCA frequencies? Is your provider still keeping everything below 1 GHz, safely away from MoCA?
     
  14. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    One way to help Wi-Fi is to get any devices that *can* be wired, wired, freeing-up wireless bandwidth. Once your MoCA setup is functioning, it can be used for networking more than just your TiVos (e.g. linking the eero satellites?) — another reason to consider the bonded/extended MoCA 2.0 MM1000 or ECB6200 units.

    edit: Related, possibly also of interest: Extending wired connectivity at a MoCA-client TiVo DVR

    p.s. FYI... more MoCA adapter options.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  15. sfscott

    sfscott New Member

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    Appreciate all the advice.

    I don’t know which pieces of coax feed which parts of the house or are unused. As mentioned, MoCA for TiVo worked fine until TiVo pushed out new code and then said the answer to everything was a filter.

    Comcast installed that amp and I’m dangerously presuming that they did so for and at that location for a reason. There isn’t any power at the drop.

    Another thing I’m confused by is the labeling on the commscope device that says MoCA. Is that suggesting that it’s designed to not interfere with MoCA?

    I’m looking for the simplest path forward. If that’s a truck roll, I can do that provided that I can get someone to agree that supporting TiVo on a MoCA network is within their domain.

    Otherwise, is the first best choice to put the filter before the 1x2 and then if that doesn’t work get new splitters for outside?

    I don’t want to spend more money on hardware and start breaking things. The fallback is a set top box in place of the Mini.

    Any explanations as to why connecting the bolt and, in turn, the mini via Ethernet over powerline isn’t working?

    Again, up until a few weeks ago the bolt on Wi-Fi and the mini on powerline worked fine.
     
  16. sfscott

    sfscott New Member

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    Update. Put the filter on above the 1x2.

    Wi-Fi works at acceptable loss vs wire speed (still getting 150mb/sec).

    Went to TiVo to set up via Moca. Left channel set to auto and no encryption. Get a message saying Moca is not active, check settings and error code 53.

    This should not be so hard. What next?
     
  17. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Though a recent update did cause some networking issues, it's also possible that your MoCA setup was borderline and it crossed the border, perhaps coincidentally around the time of the update. Do you have any documentation of your MoCA stats before things went South on you? And however awful TiVo Support can be nowadays, it's not a certainty that they're wrong about the MoCA filter. Absent a MoCA filter, a new MoCA network fired-up by a neighbor could cause issues inside your own, putting aside the performance benefits of having a "PoE" MoCA filter properly installed.

    A few recent, similar examples of MoCA setups breaking-down ... resolved by installing the "PoE" MoCA filter:
    Of course, with the amp located where it is (I don't know when it was added), simply adding a "PoE" MoCA filter likely won't be enough to establish MoCA connectivity between your rooms.

    You wouldn't have to frame the issue as "supporting TiVo on a MoCA network." Your primary issue is that Comcast improperly installed an amp downstream of your drop. IF Comcast determines that your signal needs amplification, they need to ensure the amplifier is installed at the drop, so that all the coax runs are downstream of the amp. Once the amp is properly installed, it will be easy enough to test whether MoCA works through the Comcast-supplied amp or not, and replace it with a known-good MoCA Bypass amp, if not.

    Also, powering the amp installed in the outside cable box won't be an issue; the amp can be remotely powered via what's called a power inserter, per @jmbach's earlier comment:

    But amp relocation aside...

    The 1st thing you should do is check the cable signal strength reported by your cable modem, with the modem still connecting through the amp.

    Then the 2nd thing you should do, when you can afford an Internet and TV outage, is replace the amplifier with a 2-way splitter to determine if the amp is even needed. Yes, perhaps...
    .... but I suspect their reason was laziness. I don't put much faith in the technical chops of a cable tech who installs an amp downstream, in this day and age. Bottom line is... that amp cannot remain in that location if you want reliable MoCA connectivity from the MoCA adapter to your BOLT and Mini.

    If the modem can't sync through the 2-way splitter or checking the modem's signal levels indicates it is now out-of-spec, then you can put the amp back in place, and then you'll need to pursue having the amplifier moved to the drop location.

    Of course, this is all now just recycling what was already posted previously, here.

    p.s. Re:
    It's not unknowable, and the information would aid in ensuring the best possible signal is delivered where needed. (edit: Absent coax line testers, some people use their cable modem to help identify their coax lines, by moving the modem to each wall outlet and seeing which cable enables the modem to sync. A second person can save time, though some creatively use video conferencing on a couple mobile devices to monitor the modem status lights remotely. Obviously the process would disrupt all services.)
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  18. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    As just posted, it's not surprising that MoCA's not working with the amp located where it is, even with the "PoE" MoCA filter properly installed.

    As for next, aside from what was just posted you can perform a simple direct-connect test using the Mini to verify basic MoCA functionality between the Mini and the MoCA adapter:
    1. Temporarily move the Mini to the MoCA adapter location. (You'll need at least an HDMI monitor to be able to configure the Mini; audio is optional.)

    2. Direct-connect the Mini via coax to the MoCA adapter's coax "IN" port (disconnecting the MoCA adapter from the coax plant), and then configure the Mini as a MoCA client.

    3. Verify the Mini's network functionality, at least its ability to connect to the TiVo service, and Internet app streaming. (BOLT connectivity isn't guaranteed while the BOLT remains networked via wireless.)
    If the Mini can MoCA-connect to the adapter, then the roadblock must lie somewhere on the coax between the adapter and Mini location (hint: the amp); if the Mini fails even with the direct-connect, then something's awry with MoCA in the Mini or adapter.


    p.s. You haven't mentioned or I missed the info... are you running Encore/TE3/20.* or Hydra/TE4/21.* software on your TiVo boxes? (Hydra has had serious Mini connectivity issues.)
     
  19. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Honestly, I have no clue. I get all my information from DSLReports. My cable company has a pretty active thread.
     
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