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Splitter Usage

Frequent Visitor

Splitter Usage

Hello,


Here on the forum I read the “Xfinity Internet Connection Troubleshooting Tips” posted by Nerdburg (Expert). It’s very informative, but it triggered a question about splitter usage. The section titled “Check the quality/status of all splitters” says the following: “Typically, there will be one main splitter installed at the location where the main cable line enters the home. One port will feed the cable modem directly and the other port will feed everything else.”


For the past 8 years I have been using 5 out ports on a 6-way splitter in our basement. A Comcast line is connected to the IN port of the splitter. One out port is a line running directly to a cable modem.  4 ports are running directly to 4 different TV cable boxes.  One port is unused. The signal and performance has been excellent for 8 years and I think it still is.  However, I’m currently attempting to diagnose an intermittent dropped internet connection issue so I have been checking everything that I can and will be checking the splitter to see if it could be the cause.  I don’t know why the splitter would be bad, but nonetheless.

 

So, what is the better of the 2 scenarios below?


1. Continue using a 6-way splitter just as I have been? (after verifying that the current splitter is not defective of course)


2. Use 2 splitters? Connect the Comcast line IN to a 2-way splitter. Connect one out port to the cable modem, connect the other out port to a 4-way splitter. Then the 4-way splitter will be connected to the 4 TV cable boxes.


So does #2 sound like a bit much? Or would it actually give the cable modem a stronger signal since that line would be coming from a 2-split of the Comcast line rather than a 6-split?  However, then I imagine the 4 TV boxes would get a lesser signal due to being on a second splitter.


An additional note that may be important: 15 years ago Comcast installed the cable in my house from the outside pole at the street. The line from the pole comes into the house through the attic and Comcast ran it down to the basement where the splitter is.  I’m not sure if the line coming into the basement is direct from the pole or if they split it at some point after entering the attic. They put the splitter in the basement and that splitter feeds everything in the house.  So I would assume it’s a direct connection from the pole, but I can’t confirm at this point.


Thank you for any information that can be provided.

Diamond Problem Solver

Re: Splitter Usage

An even better suggestion than number 2 is a no loss amp. Everything in the house is pretty equal and you gain signal that is lost through the splitter(s).

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Valued Contributor

Re: Splitter Usage

As long as your levels are within spec the 6-way you currently have would be the ideal setup.  You typically want to only use an amp as a last resort due to the noise it will add to the line.  Without seeing your levels though it is hard to pinpoint a possible source for the modem dropping off.  If your aerial drop hasn't been replaced in awhile though I wouldn't be surprised if the squirrels have nibbled on it a bit over the years.  Have you noticed any tiling at all on any of the TVs?

Expert

Re: Splitter Usage


@Ronny_Cordova wrote:

 You typically want to only use an amp as a last resort due to the noise it will add to the line.  


FWIW, amps don't really "add" noise per se. The noise that their internal electronics produces is tiny / nominal. What amps will do however is to amplify any noise that may or may not exist on the line. Think of it as being *garbage in = even more garbage out*. They are indeed a viable solution in many cases.



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Frequent Visitor

Re: Splitter Usage

Hello,

 

The 6-way splitter has always been perfect for my situation and I never noticed any issue over the past 8 years. I don’t believe that’s the issue, but I guess I need to rule it out completely to be sure.

 

For the internet I have the 60 Mbps plan and every time I do the Comcast internet speed test on the website my results always show above 60. So the speed I’m getting is correct and then some. That’s even with the modem and 4 cable boxes connected to the 6-way splitter. I still need to pull up the modem log and see what that looks like.


At the end of June I started experiencing random internet drops in which one drop could last anywhere from 15 minutes to many hours. I replaced the modem with a brand new one, but the drops still occurred. The internet connection returns on its own eventually without any intervention from me. Initially I would power cycle the modem, but that had no effect on the connection whatsoever. So when the connection goes down I just leave everything alone and eventually the connection comes back and all status lights on the modem return to normal. The strangest thing of all is that I can go 1-2 weeks without noticing any dropped connection. That’s why I don’t believe the issue is the modem, or the line connected to the modem, or the splitter, or the stand alone router. If any of these were faulty I would probably have issues all day long every day. But that’s not the case. I did connect a different coax cable to the modem so I could rule that line out.


As to the TVs, I haven’t noticed any tiling. Recently the only issue I have is when I’m watching recordings on my Comcast issued DVR, I experience occasional freezing up and skipping during playback. That could be a DVR issue though. It is 7 years old.  So I don’t know if that freezing up would be related to the internet issue.

Expert

Re: Splitter Usage


@VanCleef1 wrote:

 

I still need to pull up the modem log and see what that looks like.


Besides the RF error / event log entries, also post the signal stat figures. 
Please post the *Downstream Power Level*, the *Upstream Power Level*, and the *SNR* (Signal to Noise Ratio) numbers.

What is the exact make and model number of the modem ?




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Frequent Visitor

Re: Splitter Usage

Hello,

Attached are 4 PDFs  that show the status info I pulled today 8/3/19 on my Arris Internet and Voice Modem TM822R.  I'm not currently using the phone connections.  I pulled this status report after I noticed the Upstream light on the front of the modem had changed to solid amber.   Early this morning it was solid green.  I have seen this happen a few times over the past 5 weeks.  Looks like there are a number of issues on the report.  However, it appears the modem has been Online without a dropped connection for over 4 days.  Not sure why the status is only showing 1 Upstream channel when there should be 4.  How do I know if the firmware is the current version?  Also, I wanted to mention that I do have a separate stand-alone Asus router connected to the modem.

I'm going to power cycle the modem now and that will probably restore the Upstream to solid green.

So what does all this info tell us?

Frequent Visitor

Re: Splitter Usage

Also please note that my modem is brand new.  I was experiencing a dropped internet connection on my old Arris modem also.  But the stats above are from the new modem TM822R.

Expert

Re: Splitter Usage

The signal stats are way out of spec !

 

That can cause random disconnects, spontaneous re-booting of the modem, speed problems,  latency problems, and the un-bonding of bonded channels.

In a self troubleshooting effort to try to obtain better connectivity / more wiggle room, check to see if there are there any excess/unneeded coax cable splitters in the line leading to the modem that can be eliminated/re-configured. Any splitters that remain should be high quality and cable rated for 5-1002 MHz, bi-directional, and no gold colored garbage types like GE, RadioShack, RCA, Philips, Leviton, Magnavox, and Rocketfish from big box stores like Home Depot, Lowes, Target, Wal-Mart etc. Splitters should be swapped with known to be good / new ones to test

If there aren't any unneeded splitters that can be eliminated and if your coax wiring setup can't be reconfigured so that there is a single two way splitter connected directly off of the drop from the street/pole with one port feeding the modem and the other port feeding the rest of the house/equipment with additional splits as needed, and you've checked all the wiring and fittings for integrity and tightness and refresh them by taking them apart then check for and clean off any corrosion / oxidation on the center wire and put them back together again, then perhaps it's best to book a tech visit to investigate and correct.



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Frequent Visitor

Re: Splitter Usage

Just replaced a coax splitter.  Now have a 2 way splitter to split the Comcast line.  One port is going directly to the modem and other port is going to another splitter which feeds the TVs in the house.  I hooked the modem directly to the computer.  I don't have the router connected.  See attached.  Does the status look any better?  The internet speed was good before and it's even better now.  I have the 60 Mbps plan and just tested with results of 73.

 

Expert

Re: Splitter Usage

It's much better but the downstream is still a little on the weak side but is in spec. The bottom line is live with it for awhile and see what happens.


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