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Running coaxial cable through surge protector = ??

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by hat, Apr 1, 2011.

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  1. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    I had some trouble with my internet lately (shut off due to non-payment... supposed to automatically come out of the bank account but it didn't for whatever reason). I paid them with my debit card over the phone, and they came out to turn it back on the same day. Some guy came, messed with the box outside, and then left. The modem went from having a blinking receive light to a solid receive light and a blinking send light. The internet still didn't work, but I figured maybe it needed some time to sort itself out. After an hour it didn't so I called again, and they set up an appointment for some guy to come out and fix it this morning. He came in, looked at my setup and said "it's cause you're running it through here" (I had a coaxial coming from the wall into my surge protector, then another coming from the surge protector to the modem). I proceeded to tell him I've never had any issues with it before, and he said it can screw with the signal. He set it up with a wire coming from the wall directly to the modem, and as expected it still didn't work. He said "I'm gonna check something outside", and came back in shortly after. He said it started working before he even did anything out there.

    It seems to me that he was trying to cover up his spotty work (especially if he was the same guy who was here in the first place to turn it back on yesterday), but now I'm left wondering: can running coaxial through a surge protector really cause problems?
     
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  2. ktr

    ktr

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    "Some guy came, messed with the box outside, and then left."

    He most likely installed a filter.
     
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  3. toastem2004

    toastem2004

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    it can, but i haven't personaly experienced it yet. It has to due with the frequencies the signals are carried at. I do know that some of my older coax splitters cant be used anymore cause they are only 5mhz-900mhz and cable internet at my location is at 1720mhz, so i had to get new splitters that are good till 2200mhz. Also the only other issue i cant think of is if the protector does any "noise filtering" on the coax line. not sure how that would exactly affect it, but it certainly may in some way, perhaps someone else can expand on that portion.
     
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  4. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    It can, but if it didn't before, it probably won't now.
     
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  5. timta2

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    Running coax through the surge protector will cause signal loss (a few DB) and depending on the quality, different types of interference from connected equipment if it's not being filtered correctly. If you already have marginal signal strength these things can really put a damper on signal quality.

    When I used to do service calls (while working for one of Florida's biggest custom A/V companies) I would often run into this. People would be amazed at how much better the signal quality was after removing the coax from the surge protector and in some cases it rectified all of the problems. It was usually the most low budget or old units that had these problems.

    In my opinion it's more important to make sure the cable system is properly grounded than surge protected. You would be amazed by the number of systems that aren't grounded by the entry point to the residence.

    It's possible that you were just on the edge of adequate signal and his connections outside were poorly made.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
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  6. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    ^^ This is sound advice, Hat.
    If you can drain off the surge before it ever gets near the equipment, it is superior to trying to let a surge protector deal with it.

    If you are REALLY worried about it, convert the signal to optical (fiber) and then back.
    A surge cannot get through fiber optic cable.
    I did this when networking outdoor, mobile MRI units to our main network back when I worked for GE.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
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  7. Arctucas

    Arctucas

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    @hat,

    By chance is it Wide Open West (WOW)?
     
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  8. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    I have no idea what frequency my connection comes in at.

    I'd hope not. I don't know how to check for good grounding, and I'm not sure what I could do about it if I found the grounding to be poor...

    Nope.
     
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  9. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    Sounds like a shady guy trying to get you charged for some thing that was not in house. Added changed a splitter or lowered the power though or just side the box what ever happened make sure you don't end up paying for it.
     
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  10. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    I wasn't presented with any additional charges.
     
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  11. CrAsHnBuRnXp

    CrAsHnBuRnXp

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    That doesnt mean it wont show up on your next bill or the one after that. Just keep an eye out for anything suspicious.
     
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  12. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    Well, I have it coming back through the surge protector. No issues.
     
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  13. ktr

    ktr

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    The guy removed the filter, though claimed he didn't do anything. That is why you always watch what these people do. They are shady, because they make commission on these "customer's fault" issues.

    When a cable company disconnect someone, they either cut the cable, or install a filter (w/ tamper proof jacks) to prevent you from tamping their network (because it is shared). All the filter does is block a certain frequency that is required for digital internet signal. The tech installs the filter at the demarc or at the street's cable hub.
     
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  14. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    Yeah, I'd like to think that using a surge protector wouldn't be the cause for screwing up my networking... that seems pretty far out there.
     
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  15. crazyeyesreaper

    crazyeyesreaper Chief Broken Rig

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    yea its a filter my cable company had one in my box as well when they put in a new drop it screwed everything up so knowing how it worked I simply broke the plastic housing and physically removed it called them up told them they were morons they cut my bill in half for 2 months and i just installed the filter on the old family tv which caused the feedback, problem solved everyone happy. its a filter, i had the same issues getting my cable internet working till i finally did the damn job the jackass was paid to do but failed to do.
     
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  16. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    Yeah, I'd rather not break into stuff... especially since I live in an apt complex.
     
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  17. AthlonX2

    AthlonX2 HyperVtX™

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    @hat do you get your service from TWC?
     
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  18. overclocking101

    overclocking101

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    the cable guys here are just as retarded. sad really.
     
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  19. westom

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    The cable guy was right on about that protector. That protector exists only because advertising promotes something that is contrary to well proven science. And a majority will be victims of the myths and lies that promoted that protector.

    Protection is always about where energy dissipates. Anyone who recommends a protector must also tell you where the hundreds of thousands of joules dissipate. That protector is how many hundred joules? How does a surge's hundreds of thousands of joules magically disappear? Does not have to. Those who make themselves victims of advertising will even become angry rather than admit to ignoring important numbers.

    timta2 has defined what is well understood. That post say best what probably happened. Why was the signal lower? Could also be other reasons. But if you use a plug-in protector anywhere inside the house, then you are also foolishly letting scammers steal money from your pocket. And sometimes makes electronics easier to damage.

    A majority are easily manipulated by advertising. Many will even become angry while denying this well understood science. A protection always means a short (ie 'less than 10 foot'') connection to earth. Cable needs no protector. A wire does more than any protector could ever do. As was well understood over 100 years ago. Your cable installer would have confirmed a 'less than 10 foot' connection to single point earth ground. A majority do not understand this science due to contrary information promoted only by advertising - without any numbers.
     
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  20. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    Nope.

    Eh?
     
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  21. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    It doesn't have to absorb a damn lightening bolt. Just a surge. Are we really going to go through this again Westom?
     
  22. westom

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    The cable guy was spot on. I don't know how well proven science can be explained any easier. If you bought a surge protector for the cable, then you all but begged to be scammed. It does nothing useful, will degrade cable signals, and sometimes can make adjacent appliance damage easier. That (which has been well understood for over 100 years) is unknown to a majority so easily educated only by advertising and hearsay.

    The cable guy was correct about that pathetic protector. Remove it. Learn why the protector manufacturer does not even claim protection from any typically destructive surges.
     
  23. ktr

    ktr

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    I guess you never lived in an area with a lot of lighting strikes. I know so many people who's modem, cable box, & NIC all fizzled out because of a power surge. It is not a gimmick and it should not interfere with the cable signal because all it is doing is grounding the line. It does not degrade the signal or tamper the frequency.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011
  24. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    You know I already schooled you once on lightening strikes and how they work. Do you want to be embarrassed again?
     
  25. westom

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    Protection means that all surges - including lightning - cause no damage. One can foolishly spend $60 per appliance for protectors that don't protect from destructive surges. Or one can spend about $1 so that all surges (including lightning) do no damage. What is done everywhere that direct lightning strikes cause no damage? A short connection to single point ground is installed. As has been the only solution for over 100 years.

    One can connect that cable protector to make surge damage easier and to degrade cable signals (obvious, seen by others here, and is what cable companies also state). Or one can inspect a cable's earth ground so that the best surge protection exists - even from direct lightning strikes.

    What always exists to have direct lightning strikes without damage? A best single point earth ground. So that hundreds of thousands of joules remains outside a building. So that energy does not go hunting destructively for earth via electronics.

    Protectors adjacent to electronics are not protection. Do not claim protection. And are routinely defined even in IEEE papers as a reason for appliance damage. Not only does that protector degrade cable signals. It also does not claim protection from typically destructive surges.

    Lightning without damage is always about where energy must dissipate. How does near zero joules in a plug-in protector block or absorb that energy? It doesn't. It does not even claim to. Just another reason why cable companies recommend not wasting money on ineffective protectors.
     

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