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New Can you redesign inside?
i.e. run a leg from the outside 2 way splitter straight to the modem, then use an active splitter on the other leg to pick up the disconnected cable?

Things are getting very fickle with signal strengths. We have the inverse problem in winter: in cold weather, Comcast's signal exceeds the upper limit and while our modem is OK with that, their TV set top box is not.

You would need to get your hands on a Time Domain Reflectometry tester to sort out where the dud connection(s) are.
New Probably.
I like your idea of using the 2nd leg of the external splitter as a dedicated line to the 4-way amplifier, keeping the network alone on the other dedicated half. That should be easy to rig up (a coax cable is already there - the analog cable was originally 2 coax lines). As long as the existing cable isn't too degraded, it should be a pretty easy fix.

But something's definitely not right outside. On coming back from the walk with Sophie, the network had stopped working again... I had to reboot the modem again and reset the router...

Would one of these Fluke TS-54-TDR jobbies help in my case? It's about $487 at Provantage. That would be painful, but within the realm of possibilities, and if it saves me from pulling my hair out or wasting another few weekends, it would be worth it. It's a lot better than $10k!! But if it really wouldn't help diagnose the problems, I have better uses for $500... :-/

After I cut the grass, I'll see about getting up on a ladder and working on the cables...


New I had access to one through work
A portable jobbie like the Osborne 1 was portable...

Any TDR should be able to show you the impedance changes on the cable. The TS-54 you mention is geared towards telephone use. It may no do much good if you need to get down to measuring actual signal strengths.
New Thanks.
I downloaded the Arris/Motorola Surfboard 6141 manual and will look at what it thinks is going on when I get a chance. With any luck, there will be some useful signal level numbers...


New If Cox is anything like Comcast...
The Surfboard 1500 made the readings available but Comcast reprograms it as soon as it connects to the cable. From that point on, bye-bye readings. (SNMP to the cable side is blocked out as well.)
New Seems to be working here.
The log started working around 4:30 PM today - before that the date is Jan 1, 1970. There was a big line of thunderstorms that came through this afternoon...

Everything seems normal and accessible in the modem - it says I've got 0 to -1 dBmV down, 57 dBmV up.

I assume the next time it crashes, I won't be able to access any sensible information...

We'll see. At least I can try to look at some numbers now!

New Bingo.
It wasn't as hard as I feared to get to the outside splitter. I ran the upstairs leg back down to the main wiring point, put the 4-way splitter amplifier on it, kept the modem on the non-amplified leg, and we have Internet and TV simultaneously again.


(Part of the leg going to the upstairs was on a splitter that had a coax cable ripped away, so who knows what that was doing to the signal.)

Of course, I found a couple of ~ 1/2" gaps where the siding and trim has moved away from the house that will probably have to be fixed by some siding people, so there's that... :-/


New Yay! indeed, plus one I forgot
Check all splitters, including the outside one and make sure they say they'll go up to 1GHz. The ones that do not state that are likely to attenuate the upper reaches of the band and that is where the modem signal lives.
New Woot!
"Unterminated" coax causes frequency dependent reflections back to the splitter and beyond. So, yeah, it doesn't help! :)

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

-- Isaac Asimov
     Our home network is driving me nuts... - (Another Scott) - (16)
         If I bypass a 4-way splitter amplifier, the network works... - (Another Scott) - (11)
             You might need to make a service call. - (a6l6e6x) - (1)
                 I know, but that's always a pain. - (Another Scott)
             Can you redesign inside? - (scoenye) - (8)
                 Probably. - (Another Scott) - (4)
                     I had access to one through work - (scoenye) - (3)
                         Thanks. - (Another Scott) - (2)
                             If Cox is anything like Comcast... - (scoenye) - (1)
                                 Seems to be working here. - (Another Scott)
                 Bingo. - (Another Scott) - (2)
                     Yay! indeed, plus one I forgot - (scoenye)
                     Woot! - (a6l6e6x)
         over the years I have had this issue - (boxley) - (3)
             Of course, it crapped out again this afternoon. - (Another Scott) - (2)
                 They repair guy came out today. - (Another Scott) - (1)
                     Cringers Fossed for ya! :) -NT - (a6l6e6x)

LRPD Who Must Be Obeyed.
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