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Planned ActionTec MoCa install - a few questions before buying

Discussion in 'MoCA, HomePlug, HPNA' started by DRRyan, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. DRRyan

    DRRyan New Around Here

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    Hello. Just joined.

    Advance apologies for long preamble to my question, but I feel the information is significant.

    I've been trying for years to get reliable WiFi extended through a log home with concrete floors built sideways down a hill so there are four levels. Ethernet over power (Netgear & Comtrend) has been tried and is not stable - devices lose each other. The home is not occupied for much of the year, so reliability is needed for a few WiFi cameras. There is no CAT 5 or 6 in the walls. Drilling through floors or log walls has been denied by the owner. There are no unfinished basement or attic spaces. There are RG6 CATV wires, all originating from a single point, that could be used as long as I can keep TV in two locations working with the existing Spectrum cable. No MoCa network in place that I can tell. There's no coax out from the cable modem. No whole house DVR, etc - just basic cable with set top boxes.

    Internet arrives by coax, plugs into a cable modem and then by patch cable to an owned router. From that router we've tried WiFi repeaters, various brands of ethernet over power (not mixed), and most recently a mesh network. None have worked well.

    I understand the need for a POE filter and would place it behind the cable modem (on Spectrum side). I understand the need to use MoCa 2.0 compatible splitters. I understand that there may be sub-standard crimp on F-connectors behind wall plates that may need to be replaced.

    I plan to put WCB6200Q02 Extenders in as many as 5 locations depending on the coverage I get as I build the network. WiFi does not travel very far in this house (some interior log walls) and does not go up or down at all. I don't care that each may have their own SSIDs.

    Is this a correct understanding of the right way to connect and wire a basic single location (the RG6 shown between the ECB6200 and WCB6200 is the coax already in the walls)?
    [​IMG]

    Does this provide a basic cable TV connection at this location in addition to the Ethernet?

    If I extend this setup by adding a second end point, is this one way of accomplishing that?

    [​IMG]

    A couple more questions about this:
    - Would both locations be able to receive cable TV?
    - Depending on the right most splitter (2,3,4,8 port), how many more WCB6200Q02's be added using a single ECB6200? Is raw speed (ignoring any traffic load) impacted by the number of WCB6200's?
    - Is there any advantage to using multiple ECB6200's at the router location?

    Thanks in advance for your assistance.
    DRRyan
     
  2. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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  3. CrystalLattice

    CrystalLattice Regular Contributor

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    Much easier to beam in wireless from the outside, & use extenders or distributed wireless(dws) where necessary. Ditch the cable tv, use Netflix/amazon/slingtv. lower bills. In the early days of wifi we beamed it throughout an entire small town!
     
  4. DRRyan

    DRRyan New Around Here

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    I'll presume you are not suggesting that the home be ringed by access points and are assuming the presence of infrastructure that doesn't exist. This home is in the mountains. There is no wireless ISP. Cell service is available if one stands on the south side of the home.
     
  5. CrystalLattice

    CrystalLattice Regular Contributor

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    I'm not making any presumptions, only helping. Beam the wifi either from the inside or the outside, it's all doable with wireless. catv is basically a dead tech. a $10 used router with Openwrt, the switch of your choice, & the ap's of your choice, located where you want is more than sufficient
     
  6. DRRyan

    DRRyan New Around Here

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    Let me bring this back to my questions, based on the diagrams above.

    - Are there any advantages to using more than one ECB6200 at the router location? Ignoring cost, disadvantages?
    - Depending on the right most splitter port count (2,3,4,8 port), how many more WCB6200Q02's can be added using a single ECB6200?
    - Will raw speed (ignoring any traffic load) be impacted by the number of WCB6200's?
    - Would both locations in the second diagram be able to receive cable TV (whether or not you consider such technology to be dead)?

    Thanks.
     
  7. krkaufman

    krkaufman Senior Member

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    I'll second this recommendation.

    That provides for an all-in-one MoCA/Wi-Fi extender solution, but you could also pair a MoCA adapter with some other wireless extender or mesh product ... if they offered improved wireless throughput/coverage.

    Another reason to consider the adapter/extender combo alternative is that the WCB6200Q lacks a TV/STB Out RF pass-through port, which your designs rely upon.

    WCB6200Q.jpg

    The need for a "PoE" MoCA filter depends on the setup and whether MoCA signals could escape the premise. Consider your first example; MoCA will only be present on the coax line between the "IN" ports of the MoCA adapters and so no "PoE" MoCA filter would be *required* on the incoming cable line.

    e.g.
    Config1 annotated.JPG

    That said, a "PoE" MoCA filter at the point-of-entry can still be helpful to keep neighboring(?) MoCA signals out of your premise, or to prevent accidental backdoor access to a LAN were a cable provider to unexpectedly enable MoCA bridging in a provider-supplied gateway having the functionality.

    Theoretically, you'd enable TURBO mode connections between each pair of adapters, bumping the max throughput from 800 Mbps up to 1000 Mbps for the bonded MoCA 2.0 ECB6200 adapters, and eliminating contention for the MoCA pipe. The disadvantage would be a more expensive, complex setup, with many more potential points of failure. (edit: On the other hand, loss of the main MoCA bridge in the top-down approach would wipe out the entire network, where failure of a MoCA adapter in the TURBO peer-to-peer setup would only affect the one segment.)

    e.g.
    kalex1114 MoCA p2p alt.png

    As just mentioned, with just two MoCA 2.0 nodes present, TURBO mode, where some overhead is avoided, is a possibility. I don't believe overall network rates are affected by the addition of additional nodes beyond three, assuming all node paths stay well within the loss limit (57 dB).

    You'd likely want to tweak the splitter setup to prioritize the cable signal getting where it needs to, but MoCA 2.0 has a max of 16 nodes. You may want/need less per MoCA segment depending on the network load expected.

    It's an unconventional setup, but yes. (Assuming the RF pass-through port issue is resolved using alternative tech.)


    There's a lot of ways to skin the cat. Speaking of which, the dogs are yapping at me for their walk.

    If budget's not an issue, you've just gotta do the TURBO peer-to-peer setup, simply because I want to know how it works out.
     
  8. krkaufman

    krkaufman Senior Member

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    In the paired adapters TURBO setup, I'm not sure that you wouldn't want a MoCA filter installed on the TV/STB Out RF pass-through port of the modem/router-side adapter if multiple adapters are connecting to the incoming cable feed. You'd want to review the specs for the adapter but you may want to play it safe and have a MoCA filter on this port to ensure that NO MoCA signals are leaking between the devices and affecting their ability to establish a TURBO connection.
     
  9. degrub

    degrub Very Senior Member

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    Is the STB/TV Out port bidirectional ?
    All of the actiontec diagrams i can find show it to be output only with the cable + moca coming in on the coax input port.
    Might want to confirm the setup with actiontec support.
     
    krkaufman likes this.
  10. DRRyan

    DRRyan New Around Here

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    Thanks to all! Some interesting things to consider. In no particular order -
    Bidirectional STB/TV port - I've sent a message to ActionTec
    Turbo connection or fewer points of failure? - This home is either a 16 hour drive or $1000+ airfare from me. Fewer points of failure is attractive.
    POE filter at entry makes more sense for protection from future shenanigans by cable provider
    I won't come anywhere near 16 nodes, so a single ECB6200 is where I'll start
    No STB/TV out on WCB6200 - I missed on that one. I guess that location gets an external access point connected to another ECB6200 if port is bidirectional.

    I plan to install all this later in December. I'll post my results back after that.
     
  11. krkaufman

    krkaufman Senior Member

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    Good point.

    It's supposed to just be a diplexer, but better safe than sorry. (Though Actiontec Support may caution away from the approach simply because it's unconventional/non-standard.)
     
  12. degrub

    degrub Very Senior Member

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    What is physically in place now starting from the spectrum demarcation point ?
    Is there a splitter connected to all of the house cables or are the only ones connected those with a stb/tv on the other end ?

    Is the spectrum modem doccis 3 or 3.1 ?
    Is this “digital” catv ?
    Do the stbs need to talk to it , e.g. is the modem already running moca 1 or 1.1 or 2.0 or are they independent ? You may need to look up the modem model or talk with spectrum.

    If so, then this is going to get complicated.
    Otherwise.....

    Assuming this is analog cable tv, I believe you will want all of the “coax in” ports tied together at a single multiport moca 2 splitter just downstream of the first splitter in your first sketch. A moca poe block goes between those two splitters. Then at any of the ecb6200s that need to provide stb/tv signal, just connect the stb or tv to the stb/tv out port on the ecb6200.

    The multiport moca 2 splitter may need to be amplified as you will be adding signal loss to the catv feed. Or you may have to amplify the catv signal feeding the moca 2 splitter since moca modems have plenty of budget.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  13. degrub

    degrub Very Senior Member

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    It’s a band pass filter since it only passes signal below 1005 MHz. Implicit moca 2 poe block for the higher channels.
    I don’t remember if it is reverse blocking though.
     
  14. krkaufman

    krkaufman Senior Member

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    Right, and the other band-pass filter in the built-in diplexer is passing the upper (MoCA) frequencies to/from the MoCA circuitry.
     
  15. krkaufman

    krkaufman Senior Member

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    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  16. CrystalLattice

    CrystalLattice Regular Contributor

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  17. krkaufman

    krkaufman Senior Member

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    What does this mean?!? MoCA and cable TV *generally*, and by design, work quite well together.

    edit: p.s. ... though the linked thread does highlight the concern stated earlier regarding additional points of failure. What's the trade-off between potential hiccups with an electronic device and adding smart plugs to enable remote power controls?
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  18. krkaufman

    krkaufman Senior Member

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    FYI... I just stumbled across this comment from "Admin" over on the Actiontec site, under a Q&A associated with the ECB6200 (link):

    No, you do not connect the antenna to the TV/STB out port since it is an out port for Televisions or Set-Top boxes only.​

    Though a later post doesn't give me much confidence in Admin's acumen:

    The "TV/STB Out" port passes audio and video signals from a service provider to the Television or SetTop Box. It does not pass DVR controls, on-demand or pay per view signals.
    ...
    Inserting a MoCA 2.0 splitter should not affect your audio/video signal.​