Cable Coax Signal Tester

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Ed O'Brien, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. Ed O'Brien

    Ed O'Brien Auditioning

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    My Tivo keeps missing programs because the cable signal to it is dropping. I want to figure out if the cable signal getting to the Tivo is weak or strong. Is there a tester that I can purchase for this?
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Your cable company can do it for you.

    However, I’ve heard that the majority of service calls cable companies make, the problem turns out to be bad cabling: Connections that aren’t tight, cables with poorly-terminated F connectors, etc. So check them all before you call.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

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    Have had this problem. On several occasions I've had my cable service provider (Cox) out to fix bad signal levels. They tested the levels at the street and then at the entrance to the house. In my case all problems were outside the house and they (eventually after much hassle) fixed it. They'll test inside but they may charge for it and they won't fix anything inside without charging for it.
     
  4. Ed O'Brien

    Ed O'Brien Auditioning

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    You've had this problem with your tivo?

    Is there any place that sells these testers?
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    The testers are expensive in the $1,000 range. And you need some training and know what frequency the different channels are on.

    In one case, I had several channels that started looking bad, but others were perfect. The CATV guy came out and tested 7 different frequencies and confirmed that some were good, others were marginal. He also knew what the good signal levels were and what was not.

    He back-traced to the top of a pole behind my house where a short jumper wire feeding my house had been chewed upon by the local rodents. It's kind of amazing that this damage affected some frequencies more than others.

    One thing you can do as Wayne suggested - back trace your CATV coax. Test every break in the cable by un-screwing the connectors and looking at the center wire. It should be bright in color and not dull-brown. Cut and replace any ends that are brown, or have a loose, poorly fitting connector.

    Tighten every connector by hand, then another 1/4 turn with pliers or a wrench. Loose connectors are the number one source of poor signal quality.

    Then, if you still have problems, call the CATV guys out and they will repeat what you did, but go out into the street as well.

    It could also be a problem with an amplifier that tends to exist every few blocks.
     

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