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Signal strength too strong (*only late night/early morning)

New Poster

Signal strength too strong (*only late night/early morning)

I'd like some input re: how to address a signal strength issue that now only occurs very late at night thru early in the morning. 

 

After having no signal strength problems at all (since initiating Comcast service a couple years ago), we recently started having a recurring issue where the DVR response would start slowing down in the evening (meaning that if you pressed the Xfinity button, either nothing would happen or the menu would appear on the screen very slowly - then if you pressed "recordings", once more, the list of recordings would appear very slowly - if you pressed fast forword or rewind, same thing - either nothing would happen or it would be a delayed response) and eventually the DVR would stop working and the pop-up message would appear ("There seems to be a problem...please unplug your DVR from power and then re-connect...).  Disconnecting the DVR from power did not resolve the issue, and when the "final shut-down" occurred, we would also lose our Comcast WiFi and phone service.

 

On Nov. 1st, a Comcast technician diagnosed the issue as the signal strength being too strong, and he removed an amplifier that was at the splitter in our attic (which initially completely solved the problem). 

 

However, now the problem is happening again, but only very late at night (after midnight) and/or very early in the morning (we notice it around 5 AM).  Obviously, we can't have a technician diagnose the current issue when it's happening, so I wanted to check if there is a piece of equipment available that will modulate, buffer, etc., the signal strength (to prevent the signal from becoming too strong) - since I assume our issue is directly related to there being fewer people using the Comcast service during the late night/early morning hours, so during that time-frame our house is receiving too much signal (does this make sense?).

 

Related input - there is a "community" Comcast amplifier (in a box outside next to the street) a couple house down from us.

 

Please advise - thanks.

Regular Contributor

Re: Signal strength too strong (*only late night/early morning)

If you're clever, you can discover the 'secret' code to access the diagnostic screen of the DVR (whatever model it might be) and actually see the signal levels.  Then you can know for sure if they've changed so dramatically.  I'm skeptical...

 

-KP

Official Employee

Re: Signal strength too strong (*only late night/early morning)


TimSRQ wrote:

I'd like some input re: how to address a signal strength issue that now only occurs very late at night thru early in the morning. 

 

After having no signal strength problems at all (since initiating Comcast service a couple years ago), we recently started having a recurring issue where the DVR response would start slowing down in the evening (meaning that if you pressed the Xfinity button, either nothing would happen or the menu would appear on the screen very slowly - then if you pressed "recordings", once more, the list of recordings would appear very slowly - if you pressed fast forword or rewind, same thing - either nothing would happen or it would be a delayed response) and eventually the DVR would stop working and the pop-up message would appear ("There seems to be a problem...please unplug your DVR from power and then re-connect...).  Disconnecting the DVR from power did not resolve the issue, and when the "final shut-down" occurred, we would also lose our Comcast WiFi and phone service.

 

On Nov. 1st, a Comcast technician diagnosed the issue as the signal strength being too strong, and he removed an amplifier that was at the splitter in our attic (which initially completely solved the problem). 

 

However, now the problem is happening again, but only very late at night (after midnight) and/or very early in the morning (we notice it around 5 AM).  Obviously, we can't have a technician diagnose the current issue when it's happening, so I wanted to check if there is a piece of equipment available that will modulate, buffer, etc., the signal strength (to prevent the signal from becoming too strong) - since I assume our issue is directly related to there being fewer people using the Comcast service during the late night/early morning hours, so during that time-frame our house is receiving too much signal (does this make sense?).

 

Related input - there is a "community" Comcast amplifier (in a box outside next to the street) a couple house down from us.

 

Please advise - thanks.


You do have signal strength issues ( a little high by 4 or 5 db) that a tech could easily "knock down" with simulators or attenuators. But there are a couple of other things that are actually causing the errors that you see. There's an ongoing maintainance ticket opened for Upstream SNR (signal to noise) in your node. Also, your equipment has downstream SNR issues which usually means there's something wrong with the cable somewhere between the pedestal outside and the equipment. Have another tech out.


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New Poster

Re: Signal strength too strong (*only late night/early morning)


ComcastAndrew wrote:

TimSRQ wrote:

I'd like some input re: how to address a signal strength issue that now only occurs very late at night thru early in the morning. 

 

After having no signal strength problems at all (since initiating Comcast service a couple years ago), we recently started having a recurring issue where the DVR response would start slowing down in the evening (meaning that if you pressed the Xfinity button, either nothing would happen or the menu would appear on the screen very slowly - then if you pressed "recordings", once more, the list of recordings would appear very slowly - if you pressed fast forword or rewind, same thing - either nothing would happen or it would be a delayed response) and eventually the DVR would stop working and the pop-up message would appear ("There seems to be a problem...please unplug your DVR from power and then re-connect...).  Disconnecting the DVR from power did not resolve the issue, and when the "final shut-down" occurred, we would also lose our Comcast WiFi and phone service.

 

On Nov. 1st, a Comcast technician diagnosed the issue as the signal strength being too strong, and he removed an amplifier that was at the splitter in our attic (which initially completely solved the problem). 

 

However, now the problem is happening again, but only very late at night (after midnight) and/or very early in the morning (we notice it around 5 AM).  Obviously, we can't have a technician diagnose the current issue when it's happening, so I wanted to check if there is a piece of equipment available that will modulate, buffer, etc., the signal strength (to prevent the signal from becoming too strong) - since I assume our issue is directly related to there being fewer people using the Comcast service during the late night/early morning hours, so during that time-frame our house is receiving too much signal (does this make sense?).

 

Related input - there is a "community" Comcast amplifier (in a box outside next to the street) a couple house down from us.

 

Please advise - thanks.


You do have signal strength issues ( a little high by 4 or 5 db) that a tech could easily "knock down" with simulators or attenuators. But there are a couple of other things that are actually causing the errors that you see. There's an ongoing maintainance ticket opened for Upstream SNR (signal to noise) in your node. Also, your equipment has downstream SNR issues which usually means there's something wrong with the cable somewhere between the pedestal outside and the equipment. Have another tech out.


Thanks a bunch for that detailed input (it appears that my user name here must be linked to my Comcast account) - if your test was done at the time of your post, that should have been within the typical timeframe window where this signal strength problem occurs (it gets progressively worse from about midnight on) - and an additional fyi that I do have another tech visit scheduled (today).

 

Although I honestly don't completely understand the technical aspect of your input (re: the specifics of the upstream and downstream SNR issues) and I will have the tech go through these with me - my main question is why this problem only occurs very late at night thru early morning (during "normal hours", we have no problems whatsoever).

 

And some additional information that may be relevant here - our house is in an isolated location on a cul-de-sac (large/one acre lots with the adjacent houses on only one side of the street, and our subdivision ends at our lot) - so I was wondering if the fact that we're at the "end of a line" may be why we get the excess signal strength (during the hours when most other near-by Comcast customers are not using their services).

 

Can you provide any additional input re: the late-night-only and end-of-the-line parameters?

 

Thanks again

Official Employee

Re: Signal strength too strong (*only late night/early morning)

Living at the end of line has its detriments. You're subjected to any interference from anyone in front of you but for being at the end of line your signal is strong. Weather can impact as well, as it gets colder at night. Were you affected by Irma at all? There is a node issue happening still, have your tech check Watchtower and they will see it and get into the right hands if it's not already.


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New Poster

Re: Signal strength too strong (*only late night/early morning)

OK - here's the update from yesterday's tech visit (unfortunately, I didn't see your response before the tech arrived, so I didn't mention your Watchtower recommendation). 

 

The signal coming into our house (just after 3 PM) measured at +24 - which he said was extremely high (typical range should be - 8 to +8).  He installed an attenuator at the connection fitting where the cable enters our house, and that reduced the signal down to about +14 (which he said was on the high end of the acceptable range).  He then checked the signal strength at the splitter in our attic, and the reading to the DVR was good.  He also ran the overall diagnostics check, and all readings were good (other than the cable to our DVR showing a noise issue - I believe it was about 4.5, which he said did warrant attention, but should not cause any serious issues).

 

However, the problems we've been experiencing were even worse last night (starting earlier - around 9 PM).  The TV picture started just randomly going blank (with the sound remaining on) for short periods of time (approx. a minute or so), the XBox Live connection was going on and off, and when I checked the DVR late in the evening (after being on XBox for a couple hours), there was no response at all when pressing buttons on the remote (and both the internet WiFi and the phone were not working).  This morning - same thing until exactly at 7:30 AM (when the TV rebooted).

 

It is very obvious that there is a seriously negative factor that happens every night (I assume re: the signal strength), so we need to know what is happening from the cable feed outside of our house that keeps knocking everything out.  And quite honestly, my patience is getting pretty thin at this point - since two solid/knowledgeable technicians have "addressed the issue", tested everything and found the signal strengths and related diagnostics to be (at least relatively) OK, and then the extremely serious problem just returns (the first time it took a week or so, and this time it was immediate).

 

Re: your comment about the weather, we are in SW Florida, so the night-time temps are not cold at all (in the 60's), but obviously are lower than they were a month or so ago (but only by 10 or 15 degrees).  And we did have a significant impact from Irma - we were without our Comcast services for 11 days - apparently due to an issue related to FPL power to our node (since we only lost power at our house for one day after Irma).

 

I am calling Comcast again today and will bring up the Watchtower/node factors - please let me know if you have any additional input based on what transpired yesterday.

Official Employee

Re: Signal strength too strong (*only late night/early morning)

I’ve escalated it to a colleague to help you out.

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New Poster

Re: Signal strength too strong (*only late night/early morning)

Thanks - I really appreciate your assistance (and will provide an update once the issue is resolved).

Official Employee

Re: Signal strength too strong (*only late night/early morning)

Hi, TimSRQ - Apologies for your experience, I pulled up your account information and RF signals are definitely out of range. I see you talked to an agent today, who submit a request to the local Tech Ops team to investigate the issue. I don't want to schedule another appointment and don't get any answers, where we can actually get a direct response from Tech Ops supervisors. I will keep an eye on this request and will let you know when we get an update asap. 


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Official Employee

Re: Signal strength too strong (*only late night/early morning)

Hi, TimSRQ - How was your last tech visit? Any changes?


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