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Advice on correct splitter / IDing cables for MOCA 2.5 setup

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oddhack

Occasional Visitor
Another MOCA newb in search of feedback. I'm migrating from Xfinity (cable) to AT&T 1 Gig Fiber - then planned to move to Sonic 10 Gig within a year - and fiber is going to be coming into a part of the house far removed from my office. It's not practical to run an ethernet cable from the entry point to my office; it's a rental and the owner does not want me doing any work whatsoever. WiFi 6E performance through two rooms and 1+ walls with wireless backhaul sounds disappointing, so MOCA 2.5 may be the answer.

Considering a pair of goCoax MA2500D adapters into the house cable from the room with the fiber entry point into the office, whence onto my ethernet LAN. The existing cable setup can be seen in attached photo. I expect the black cable going into the Antronix CMC2004H splitter is the Xfinity upstream. I'm not sure which cables I need, but presumably some testing with a laptop at the utility closet to my office, and then to the room with the entry point, can establish that if the cables themselves are good. Once I've established MOCA connectivity I would disconnect the upstream cable at the splitter to avoid signal leakage.

My main questions are:

- Am I missing something important?
- The cable appears to be RG-6/U - will that support MOCA 2.5 at full throughput?
- For my use case, it would make sense to directly connect the cable from the entry point room to the office cable in the utility closet and bypass the splitter entirely, since I have no need to route ethernet elsewhere at present, and no use for the rest of the house cable once I have connectivity to the office. Presumably a generic RG6 cable-cable connector would do for this?
- If direct connection wouldn't work, is the Antronix CMC2004H adequate to MOCA 2.5?
- Since I will be disconnecting the Xfinity upstream and there will be no possibility of leakage / interference outside the house, is there any point to installing a filter?

Thanks!
 

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N.b. while there is also a CAT5 patch panel here, there are actually no outlets for the phone/CAT5 wiring anywhere in the house. Presumably all those wires on the left are dangling somewhere inside the walls that nobody will ever know, since there is zero documentation of anything happening in this box.
 
Another MOCA newb in search of feedback. I'm migrating from Xfinity (cable) to AT&T 1 Gig Fiber - then planned to move to Sonic 10 Gig within a year - and fiber is going to be coming into a part of the house far removed from my office. It's not practical to run an ethernet cable from the entry point to my office; it's a rental and the owner does not want me doing any work whatsoever. WiFi 6E performance through two rooms and 1+ walls with wireless backhaul sounds disappointing, so MOCA 2.5 may be the answer.

Considering a pair of goCoax MA2500D adapters into the house cable from the room with the fiber entry point into the office, whence onto my ethernet LAN. The existing cable setup can be seen in attached photo. I expect the black cable going into the Antronix CMC2004H splitter is the Xfinity upstream. I'm not sure which cables I need, but presumably some testing with a laptop at the utility closet to my office, and then to the room with the entry point, can establish that if the cables themselves are good. Once I've established MOCA connectivity I would disconnect the upstream cable at the splitter to avoid signal leakage.

My main questions are:

- Am I missing something important?

I recently added a MoCA2.5 AiMesh backhaul... the kit I bought includes a couple MoCA 2-way splitters that are rated for the full range of MoCA frequencies.

- The cable appears to be RG-6/U - will that support MOCA 2.5 at full throughput?

Mine runs fine over a RG-59 and RG-6 combination of segments. No errors reported in the master adapter webUI. RG-6 will work for you... I would try to only use the existing coax segments you have to use and leave as much of the existing coax out of the network to minimize unseen cabling trouble... your existing splitters and amp(?) may not be MoCA-rated.

- For my use case, it would make sense to directly connect the cable from the entry point room to the office cable in the utility closet and bypass the splitter entirely, since I have no need to route ethernet elsewhere at present, and no use for the rest of the house cable once I have connectivity to the office. Presumably a generic RG6 cable-cable connector would do for this?

Yes, keep your MoCa cabling as simple and direct as possile. And use MoCa-rated coax splitters and use as few as possible to minimize insertion losses... -0.5dB per coupler, -3.5 or -7.0 for splitter outputs, etc.

- If direct connection wouldn't work, is the Antronix CMC2004H adequate to MOCA 2.5?

That one may not be MoCA-rated for all of the MoCA2.5 frequencies. I solved this issue by getting the kit with the 2-way MoCA-rated splitters included... plus I preferred the Screenbeam/Actiontec adapters and Support documentation.

BTW, that's a weird/suspicious Antronix ecommerce site on shopify.com.

- Since I will be disconnecting the Xfinity upstream and there will be no possibility of leakage / interference outside the house, is there any point to installing a filter?

Thanks!

I would use a filter defensively, if possible, to prevent any possiblity of your LAN leaking out, even if not currently physically connected. Depending on layout and access, you may never know when someone with access might decide to connect up cables... you would want to defend against this... if possible.

OE
 
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...

BTW, that's a weird/suspicious Antronix ecommerce site on shopify.com

I'm not sure, but Xfinity may have installed that in 2018 when I moved in. There's some sort of unused cable panel on the wall behind it that looks original (2007 vintage).
I would use a filter defensively, if possible, to prevent any possiblity of your LAN leaking out, even if not currently physically connected. Depending on layout and access, you may never know when someone with access might decide to connect up cables... you would want to defend against this... if possible.

If I disconnect the upstream at the splitter a bad actor would have to break into the house to gain access to the cable network, at which point I'd have even bigger problems :)

Thanks for the helpful post!
 
I'm not sure, but Xfinity may have installed that in 2018 when I moved in. There's some sort of unused cable panel on the wall behind it that looks original (2007 vintage).

With MoCA, I would keep it simple, direct, and use MoCA-rated coax elements.

If I disconnect the upstream at the splitter a bad actor would have to break into the house to gain access to the cable network, at which point I'd have even bigger problems :)

Physical security is good!

Regarding your panel pic... avoid wrapping up cables in a knot. Cables have a minimum bend radius to avoid distorting their transmission characteristics... for instance, crushing/distorting the dielectric material and distance between the two concentric coax conductors is not good for cable performance... one more reason to keep unnecessary, in-wall/hidden coax out of your network.

OE
 
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Regarding your panel pic... avoid wrapping up cables in a knot. Cables have a minimum bend radius to avoid distorting their transmission characteristics... for instance, crushing/distorting the dielectric material and distance between the two concentric coax conductors is not good for cable performance... one more reason to keep unnecessary, in-wall/hidden coax out of your network.
Definitely. Had I been consulted when they were building this place a lot of things would have been done differently, but this is how it came when I moved in (or after the Xfinity installer got through with it, in any event).

BTW I think the tightly-looped blue cables are unused Cat5, so at least they are not doing active harm :)
 
I take the ethernet port from my ATT fiber direct into a gocoax moca 2.5 modem, across a direct RG6 coax to another gocoax and then ethernet into the ATT router.
if you can do the same, i would suggest doing so.
Some of the ATT onts may be combined with the router from what i have heard. In that case, you will have to locate the router/ont at the demarc point which is likely to be very close to that wiring panel. Sometimes you can get the ATT installer to work with you on the location. If that is the case ( i would ask for a split system, but it is up to the installer and supplies), then you will run ethernet cable from a lan port on the att router to the moca modem attached to your coax, coax, attch moca modem and connect ethernet cable to either another router, a switch, a computer or an Access Point.
If you have to distribute moca signals over other coax legs, then that splitter will have to be replaces with moca2 certified splitter of whatever number of ports you need to connect. You can get same size and just cap off unused ports with 75 ohm caps.
 
I take the ethernet port from my ATT fiber direct into a gocoax moca 2.5 modem, across a direct RG6 coax to another gocoax and then ethernet into the ATT router.
if you can do the same, i would suggest doing so.
Thanks, great suggestion! I'd prefer to have as little hardware in the room with the entry point as possible and this is perfect.
Some of the ATT onts may be combined with the router from what i have heard. In that case, you will have to locate the router/ont at the demarc point which is likely to be very close to that wiring panel.
Unfortunately the wiring closet is in the center of the house and the demarc will be on an outside wall near where all the utility lines drop from the poles to the house, so modem->adapter->coax->closet->coax->adapter->router appears to be the shortest viable path.
 
If you have to use a splitter with no connection to the outside world or even with to a coax provider, you want the moca poe filter on the inlet port to keep the moca signal in good shape and if connected to cable co, then to prevent leakage and disruption of their signals. DOCCIS 3 does not use the same bands. 3.1 or higher can/ will and there will be interference if the 3.1 higher bands are in use. You would have to shift your moca modems to the highest 2-3 moca bands and thus loose 2 bands ( 1Gbit/ s of bandwidth).
 
If you have to use a splitter with no connection to the outside world or even with to a coax provider, you want the moca poe filter on the inlet port to keep the moca signal in good shape and if connected to cable co, then to prevent leakage and disruption of their signals. DOCCIS 3 does not use the same bands. 3.1 or higher can/ will and there will be interference if the 3.1 higher bands are in use. You would have to shift your moca modems to the highest 2-3 moca bands and thus loose 2 bands ( 1Gbit/ s of bandwidth).
I'm not following the terminology - by "inlet port" do you mean the "in" port of the splitter, which would otherwise just be open, with the runs to individual rooms of the house going to the various out ports of the splitter? But hopefully I can do this without even the splitter since I only need a single cable path. Very simple use case compared to other folks posting here.
 
If direct connection wouldn't work,
No reason it shouldn't. You'll just want a direct-connect between the fiber ONT and your router's Ethernet WAN port ... no splitters or filters, just 3 GHz F-81 barrel connectors, where needed, to join coax lines.



One caveat: Since you seem to be extending your WAN over the coax, to leave open the option for using MoCA for LAN connectivity down the road, you might consider using a pair of Frontier FCA252 MoCA 2.5 adapters (w/ 2.5 GbE network port) to effect the WAN link. The key bit is that the FCA252 adapter has an option to operate at the non-standard 400-900 MHz frequency range, allowing separate full throughput MoCA 2.5 networks for both the WAN and LAN.

Example diagram (of potential future setup):

FCA252-25GW MoCA WAN - Copy.png

More info in a parallel thread, here. Additional info on the Frontier FCA252 adapter in a reddit commen, here.

Of course, you could just use retail MoCA 2.5 adapters for now, and grab a pair of FCA252 adapters only if/when you need the dual MoCA networks on the shared coax. (One plus of the FCA252 is cost; but at the cost of having any support -- and I don't know what the return policy is.)
 
N.b. while there is also a CAT5 patch panel here, there are actually no outlets for the phone/CAT5 wiring anywhere in the house. Presumably all those wires on the left are dangling somewhere inside the walls that nobody will ever know, since there is zero documentation of anything happening in this box.
I can accept that there aren't any jacks installed, but find it difficult to believe that the cables aren't just sitting in the outlet boxes, hidden behind the wallplates ... sitting in the dark, wondering if anyone will ever come rescue them. Have you opened any/all of the non-power wallplates in search of the Cat5+ cables?

The direct MoCA connection is a good solution short-term, given the ease with which it could be implemented; but I'd think that you'd want to be 100% sure that the Cat5+ lines are fully AWOL before writing them off ... given your declarations Re: ISP speed increases. (MoCA 2.5 max shared throughput is 2500 Mbps, so 1.25 Gbps symmetrical, at best.)



N.b. while there is also a CAT5 patch panel here,
FWIW, that's not a patch panel, but a 11-output 4-line telephone distribution panel. You'll want to replace that with a sufficiently-sized patch panel or RJ45 data module, to which you'd re-terminate all the Cat5+ lines, and add a network switch and RJ45 telephone distribution module (example) to allow more flexible assignment of in-room jacks for either networking or phone service. (Discovery and installation of in-room Cat5+ RJ45 jacks assumed as a prerequisite.)

Related:
 
Of course, you could just use retail MoCA 2.5 adapters for now, and grab a pair of FCA252 adapters only if/when you need the dual MoCA networks on the shared coax. (One plus of the FCA252 is cost; but at the cost of having any support -- and I don't know what the return policy is.)
Thanks! The exact details of my setup will depend on whether the AT&T router allows IP passthrough or not. I'd like to avoid double-NATing (never got above 300 Mbps on the Comcast 1 Gig line despite all hardware components being 1G+ capable, unless I disabled NAT on the Asus TM-AC1900 router, which I'll still be using for the time being). Should find out tomorrow when the installer is scheduled to come. Or at least I'll find out if AT&T's scheduling can be believed.

I did not realize the Frontier units were so cheap on Ebay, and that's a good option if the goCoax do not work out for some reason. They do not appear to be available on Newegg or Amazon, so I'm guessing most of the Ebay sales come from surplus-to-requirements Frontier customer installations.
 
I can accept that there aren't any jacks installed, but find it difficult to believe that the cables aren't just sitting in the outlet boxes, hidden behind the wallplates ... sitting in the dark, wondering if anyone will ever come rescue them. Have you opened any/all of the non-power wallplates in search of the Cat5+ cables?
You're likely correct. The only non-power wallplates are single-outlet cable and I have not looked.
FWIW, that's not a patch panel, but a 11-output 4-line telephone distribution panel. You'll want to replace that with a sufficiently-sized patch panel or RJ45 data module, to which you'd re-terminate all the Cat5+ lines, and add a network switch and RJ45 telephone distribution module (example) to allow more flexible assignment of in-room jacks for either networking or phone service. (Discovery and installation of in-room Cat5+ RJ45 jacks assumed as a prerequisite.)
Thanks, that's helpful. Alas, this sounds sufficiently complex for a software guy that I doubt I'm up for it(*). Fortunately my needs are simple, and MOCA 2.5 from the modem to the office will meet them for a long time to come. If/when I move from AT&T to Sonic, they provide best-effort performance to their customers, not speed tiers. Most of their "10G" customers are sitting on LANs and mesh networks and devices that are nowhere near 10G capable. I only have one device that even has a 2.5G ethernet port :) But anything approaching even 1G up/down on fiber will be a vast improvement over the delivered speeds of 330 Mbps down / 30 Mbps up I've had to live with on Xfinity.

(*) Thoughtfully, the utility closet has neither lights nor power outlets, so installing a switch there would be an adventure *far* beyond my electrical knowledge.
 
You're likely correct. The only non-power wallplates are single-outlet cable and I have not looked.
Almost certainly the case, then; maybe even a couple lines per box depending on the number of coax wallplates you have. (11+ Cat5+ lines minimum running in-wall to the rooms)


Thanks, that's helpful. Alas, this sounds sufficiently complex for a software guy that I doubt I'm up for it(*).
It may seem daunting, but it's really paint-by-numbers simple using RJ45 keystone jacks. They come with a color legend for punching the wires down.


(*) Thoughtfully, the utility closet has neither lights nor power outlets, so installing a switch there would be an adventure *far* beyond my electrical knowledge.
Not actually a roadblock, since getting the Cat5+ lines properly terminated for data would allow use of POE (Power Over Ethernet) to power a switch remotely, ideally from a location having a UPS battery backup.


Fortunately my needs are simple, and MOCA 2.5 from the modem to the office will meet them for a long time to come.
The whole Cat5+ rework project could probably be done for about the cost of a single MoCA 2.5 adapter, certainly less than a pair; but however shallow the learning curve, it won't be as simple as the direct-connect MoCA link over unused coax.

p.s. If a gamer, the direct Ethernet connectivity avoids the finite added lag of the MoCA link.
 
The whole Cat5+ rework project could probably be done for about the cost of a single MoCA 2.5 adapter, certainly less than a pair; but however shallow the learning curve, it won't be as simple as the direct-connect MoCA link over unused coax.
I'm sure it would be a great learning experience, but given lack of skills/tools and the owner's resistance to me doing any work (does not even want me changing a toilet flush handle or light bulb in the ceiling, though I've ignored that), it's unlikely.
 
I'm sure it would be a great learning experience, but given lack of skills/tools and the owner's resistance to me doing any work (does not even want me changing a toilet flush handle or light bulb in the ceiling, though I've ignored that), it's unlikely.
I'd say you could just lay the plan out for the owner to handle, but fear they'd bump your rent immediately after the network upgrade; and it doesn't sound like someone who'd readily see the value added by the "easier to ask forgiveness" upgrade.
 

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