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Suggestions from experience: Cable-based Internet: dropped service after splitting

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  • Suggestions from experience: Cable-based Internet: dropped service after splitting

    I've used DSL in the past, because it was more reliable (from experience) than Cable-based Internet, but recently, phone line quality degraded, with intermittent static, and noise impacting voice calls, and forcing service interruptions.

    As a result, I switched over to cable-based Internet service.

    I had cable service for TV with a cable-box several years ago, but dropped it when costs jumped. When I "cut the cable" I saved around $100/month.

    In buying *just* Internet service, I find that several digital channels are available and are transmitted "in the clear" without encryption.

    I decided to try hooking up my Win TV PVR-350, and PCHDTV cards and TV with my 4-way splitter, and see if I could get and record these "in the clear" channels with a MythTV setup.

    The 4-way splitter was about 10 years old, was one of those "gold" splitters, and I had a small collection of "slip-on" 70-ohm "coax" cables of variable length. All cables were older, and most were of the "gold" type.

    After connecting everything up, I noticed my Cable Modem was starting to drop service from twice a day to every few hours.

    After some searching online, I found that the error reported by the modem in its log was likely a result of power vs. signal, and there were suggestions multiple splitters could be to blame.

    In order to experiment, I decided to buy new cables (one 1foot, another 6 foot) and a 2-way splitter, choosing to get the minimum length of 75-ohm cable, which was of better quality, and chose to ONLY use the coax cables that you "screwed-down", and bought a new 2-way splitter.

    After connecting cable to the splitter, then to the TV and cable modem, there were not drops in service.

    After this, I bought another new 4-way splitter, and all new cables, choosing higher quality, screw-down cables of the shortest length I could manage to use.

    The first out of the first splitter still went to the cable modem, but the second went to the "in" of the 4-way splitter, and then all new cables were screwed into the new splitter and each device.

    This process required use of a wrench to tighten each cable to each splitter, not just using my fingers to make them finger-tight.

    After total replacement of all cables and splitters, placement of the cable modem as first in splitter, and tightly attaching only screw-down coax with short runs (most runs were 1 foot, and 2 were 6 feet) my cable modem service is as reliable as when it was new, and all my devices get very good quality signal.

    I mention this for anyone else out there looking at similar problems.

    Seriously consider replacing all cables and splitters with new ones, that use "screw-down" connections and higher quality 75-ohm cables.

    The new splitters and new cables will likely require a wrench to tighten down, and this is a good thing; the tighter to connection, the better the contact, and the better your chances as less signal loss.

    This also suggests that disconnecting cables from splitters after first being attached will make it easier to attach them to new cables, but as a result, will mean a less-effective connection. So, be careful to avoid disconnecting and re-connecting cables to and from splitters too often, as this wears-down the metal. Try to do it once, and leave it.

    Hope this helps someone else.

    What have you done to improve your Internet service on cable, DSL, or other?

  • #2
    Re: Suggestions from experience: Cable-based Internet: dropped service after splittin

    Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
    What have you done to improve your Internet service on cable, DSL, or other?

    Seriously though, good information. I can't tell you how many times I've been troubleshooting something and decided to try to replace the physical media, then BAM, problem solved. Congrats on your refurbished signals :)
    Aut disce aut discede