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Comcast Signal Strength Low, Need Booster


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#1 Chopdoc

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 07:53 PM

So I was having some trouble with my cable modem. After trouble shooting it I called Comcast. They reported my signal low. I unplugged my TV card and the signal returned to normal. I am only running one digital cable box, one TV on cable, thet TV card on cable, and cable internet. I would think there would be enough signal but I am in an apartment...so I guess in this case I just don't have enough. Comcast said I don't need much boost, like 1-3 db which seemed odd to me. My question is this: I have never installed a signal booster where there was a cable modem involved. Comcast said there would be a $20 charge plus the equipment charge to come and do it, which seems silly for such a simple thing. I want to know how to do this with a cable modem in the formula. I assume that I want a splitter before the amplifier so that my signal goes to the cable modem without going through the amplifier....but I am not sure....I am not even sure why I am thinking that. My question is this: Can anybody recommend a specific booster? Can anybody recommend a way of wiring this? I have already played around with the splitters and cables, they are all fine. It really does seem to be a signal problem.

#2 Shadow4173

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 08:54 PM

The only signal booster that I've come across is from Motorola. I'm guessing that it hooks up in-line with the cabling, like a splitter.

#3 stormy13

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 08:55 PM

Not too sure about adding a signal booster (at least going into a cable modem). Most things that I have seen regarding using one is that it is not a good idea. The reason being is that the booster, while helping the incoming signal, usually impedes the upload signal. You don't say exacyly how you have everyting wired up. From the sounds of it you only have the one line coming into your apartment (ideally there should be two drops, one for the tv and one for the modem). If you want to try using a signal booster, maybe try putting it on the line that goes to your tv and tv card, and leave a straight line to the cable modem (from the splitter that comes into the apartmant). That way it leaves the modem alone (and hopefully the signal will be ok).

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#4 Chopdoc

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 09:05 PM

Not too sure about adding a signal booster (at least going into a cable modem). Most things that I have seen regarding using one is that it is not a good idea. The reason being is that the booster, while helping the incoming signal, usually impedes the upload signal.

You don't say exacyly how you have everyting wired up. From the sounds of it you only have the one line coming into your apartment (ideally there should be two drops, one for the tv and one for the modem).

If you want to try using a signal booster, maybe try putting it on the line that goes to your tv and tv card, and leave a straight line to the cable modem (from the splitter that comes into the apartmant). That way it leaves the modem alone (and hopefully the signal will be ok).

There is only one cable drop in my apartment. There is a splitter that feeds signal to the bedroom where I have a TV.

In the livingroom I have a digital cable box, a TV card, and a cable modem. These are all fed from a 3 way splitter.

I know that ideally there should be two drops...but that wasn't up to me.

As it stands I believe I should split the signal so that I feed the cable modem without passing throught the booster, and then the TV signal would pass through the booster to my TV cardand digital cable box.

That would mean I would have the cable modem and the bedroom without amplkification.

I don't really see how I could amplify the bedroom along with the livingroom as the splitter for that is in the wall. I could do it I guess, but it wouldn't be neat at all as I would have a loop out of the wall to amplify the bedroom.

#5 Shadow4173

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 09:22 PM

Motorola's signal booster is listed at $99 on their web site. Its geared more for attaching to the cable wire coming out of the wall. It looks like it acts as a 2 way splitter as well (going by the picture). I know that my girlfriend's mother had to have a signal booster put in, due to having 4 tv's running in the house along with a cable modem. Not sure if there was a charge for installation, but the booster looks like a little gray box with green lights. Another thought, if you have a Motorola cable modem, you can check what the signal strength is for the modem itself. If the upstream power level is under 50 (mid 40s is normal) there's no problem with that particular cable feed.

#6 Guest_mackphaeder_*

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Posted 02 April 2005 - 11:38 PM

If you are using a 3-way splitter the hi speed cable connection should be the 1st leg of the splitter signal loss is 3.5db and 7db on the others. This might help

#7 Chopdoc

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 12:20 AM

If you are using a 3-way splitter the hi speed cable connection should be the 1st leg of the splitter signal loss is 3.5db and 7db on the others. This might help

Thanks, they are on the correct connection.

#8 youngone

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 01:19 AM

dont know why they are charging you for that since its their problem i use brighthouse as my cable provider and i also get my internet from them using roadrunner and i dont have any lost of signal and i only have one drop but i did have a similar probelem they said my levels were to high so they had to bring me a new modem so i suggest you tell them to come test your lines


i have all of this hooked to one drop in my place

1x Dvr (its like tivo but better)
1x cable box (on my cable connection this line comes out the main spliter into another spliter so my cable box and dvr are on the same line)
1x cable modem
1x Wintv capture card (also plugged into my cable)
1x and my router that supports my desktop, wireless contion on laptop, and my server

router and cable modem
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One drop with a 3 way spliter
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cable line going directly into compter to wintv card
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#9 Chopdoc

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 01:33 AM

That's the same three way splitter I have. Actually, it's not their problem. They only installed the digital cable box, if they had installed the rest, then it would be their problem...but I would have paid for the additional installations. As it is, I installed the rest so it is my problem. They are happy to help but there will be a service charge plus parts. I did end up having them here to check the signal actually. The signal is more than strong enough to support what they installed, which is just the digital box and the cable modem.

#10 AdamMAXIS

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 01:56 AM

I think I have like 4 boosters in my house.. We have split the line at least 15 times..

#11 lilbill08

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 02:43 AM

They say it is bad to amplify a cable line for the PC. :huh: Radio shack has them for $20... we have one, it works perfect. When we got comcast broadband, they gave us a dedicated line for the PC. If it's through out the whole house, anything should be good at about 0-15 dB I think (correct me if I am wrong)... the guy said after 15 it makes things all koo-koo. :) EDIT: Oh yeah, apartments don't usually let you have multiple lines. :P I think trying the aplifier out would be a good idea. I was thinking you should amplify one device, but it wouldn't take the load off the others.

Edited by lilbill08, 03 April 2005 - 02:47 AM.


#12 Shadow4173

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 10:18 AM

lilbill, just to let you know, there are upstream and downstream db levels. Downstream db levels should be under 15, but the closer to 0db the better. Upstream db levels should not be over 50db. Once over 50db upstream, that's when cable modems don't connect and tv picture signal quality goes down. This info comes directly from a Charter cable tech. (gotta give credit to someone else for info)

#13 youngone

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 11:47 AM

That's the same three way splitter I have.

Actually, it's not their problem.

They only installed the digital cable box, if they had installed the rest, then it would be their problem...but I would have paid for the additional installations. As it is, I installed the rest so it is my problem. They are happy to help but there will be a service charge plus parts.


I did end up having them here to check the signal actually. The signal is more than strong enough to support what they installed, which is just the digital box and the cable modem.

the funny thing is brighthouse my cable provider only set up my cable modem and cable boxes i only had 1x 2way spliter i added the rest of my stuff later cause i didnt add that capture card and wireles router to my rig until i upgraded my pc

#14 Chopdoc

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Posted 03 April 2005 - 01:42 PM

Comcast will only support what they installed. They will be happy to help you straighten out other things but they will charge. So whether they install it or help you with it later, they will get paid....unless you just do it yourself. I have been stuck working on the servers and network all weekend...so I didn't get out to get a booster yet. :(

#15 Ripsney

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 01:10 AM

As I work for Comcast I can tell you how to fix this. You said you have four lines? One going to the bed room, one to the cable modem, one to a cable card and one to a digital box. One splitter is in the wall and there is a three way outside the wall to feed everthing else. What we would do is take the wall plate off, remove the two way and pull the line feeding the bed room and master feed outside the wall. Now take the master feed and plug it into a a new two way, connect the line going to the Cable modem to one port on the two way and jumper the other port going to a new three way, then feed the bed room and the Cable card and the digital box. For the lines going into the wall we would use one of those wall plates that can do cable, phone or cat5. We just wouldn't put the plugin adaptors on. If you do it this way you will not need a booster.




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