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Cox cable mini box: overheating?

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I use a cox cable mini box to get cable television to my Asus pg279 via HDMI. Sometimes certain channels feature distorted video and audio and no amount of hard resets restore functionality (yet that's all Cox cable's "technical support" can suggest other that resets on their end). On cool nights and days though, all the channels seem to work perfectly. I've noticed the cox cable mini boxes get hot, but could they be overheating?
 
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I've noticed the cox cable mini boxes get hot, but could they be overheating?
To answer your question Yes it could wll be overheating

I'd sit a fan on top of it blowing cool air into it if it stops misbehaving then it was overheating if it doesn't then it's a hardware capability problem and would rewuire Cox to update their device with better internals than they currently supply
 
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I also have Cox and one of their mini-boxes. It stays pretty warm all the time. I would not, however, call it "hot". Without actual numbers, "Hot" is a subjective word. "Hot", in terms of electronics, means to me I can smell "that" smell of overheated electronics, or I cannot keep my hand on it indefinitely without it becoming very uncomfortable, or I would not want my little grandkids to put their hands on it.

The fact you say "boxes" - suggesting we are talking about more than one - would suggest to me they are not "over" heating since the odds of more than one failing at the same time would be pretty low - but not impossible.

Are you really saying this distorted video and audio is happening with more than one box?

Have you tried a different TV set?

Are you absolutely sure the coax cable to the mini-box in good repair and securely fastened? And have you swapped HDMI cables?

You say cool nights are not a problem. This suggests your home is not air conditioned. Did you have these boxes last year at this time? Any problems then? Or is this a new problem?

I agree that blowing a desk fan onto the box should reveal if heat is a problem.

How close is your nearest Cox store? If not too far away, just take it back and tell them you want a different one because that one keeps outputting distorted video. I have never had a problem exchanging devices. I have had to do it 3 times over the years with my Cox main cable box/DVR and a couple times to get new remotes - typically in and out in less than 5 minutes.
 
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@Bill_Bright
Yes it happens on all the Cox mini boxes (three separate boxes) but the audio/video distortion isn't on the same channels. All the boxes get warm to the touch.

When they problems are happening though power cycling the box for 60 secs. doesn't seem to make any difference so maybe they aren't overheating.
 
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I assume you also have a standard cable box. Does it do it there?

Have you checked your neighbors to see if they see the same thing? This will tell you if the whole neighborhood or just you.

Check the "drop" (cable coming into the house). If any splitters out there, they may be bad due to weathering/corrosion.

Note that splitters divide the signal strength too. So you need to make sure you have quality splitters as well as good connectors on each cable.

The better splitters have a 5 to 2400MHz bandpass spec too.
 
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@Bill_Bright
There are lots of splitters, practically every room in the house (incl. the kitchen) has a coax cable connection. They all worked fine back in the days of analog cable.

What's strange is that it's a hit and miss proposition whether or not certain channels will work and which channels work varies by room.

For example, AMC worked fine last night, but today, it's problematic, but it is slightly warmer now.

I don't think a fan would make any difference blowing on the plastic cover of the mini-boxes either.

We don't have any standard cable boxes, only the cox mini-boxes. I'm guessing it's because the mini-boxes have the DAC's to work with old cable televisions (of which there are still two left).
 
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If they have usb on them you can use that to power a fan, I did that way back in the day with my old dsl box which got hot to the touch, newer stuff has better heatsinks inside to deal with heat issues. Issue could be that connection is split between many devices, can you do a diagram of your setup with ms paint?
 
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I don't think a fan would make any difference blowing on the plastic cover of the mini-boxes either.

Since you are talking about this problem appearing with 3 different mini-boxes, and now you say "warm" instead of "hot", I don't believe this is a heat problem, therefore I don't see how the fans would help.

Analog went away a long time ago. That tells me your current splitters are old, and most likely only 1000MHz (or less). Analog also had a stronger signal strength and was more tolerant of deviations.

Splitters don't actually wear out, but they do corrode over time, get full of dust and dirt (and kitchen grease). And the connectors can work loose. Plus, high definition requires more bandwidth.

If your house was wired a long time ago, it may use RG-59 coaxial cable. That was fine back then. And is still fine for short runs. But RG-6 is much better.

I think you should get a pad and pencil and map out your cable network.

Are you using Cox for your Internet too?

I have one 2-way splitter on the coax coming into the house. One side goes to my modem. The other feeds all the TVs in the house. You want to use the minimum number of splits and splitters from there. Note that unused splits still sap signal strength. So, for example, if you have a 3 way splitter going to the bedrooms but only have two mini-boxes feeding off that splitter, the signal strength is still being divided 3 ways even though one split is unused.

I always make my own cables too. This requires a set of "quality" crimpers and some good F-Type coax connectors. Cheap crimpers will cost you more in the long run, and contribute greatly to high blood pressure and hair loss.

The advantage to making your own is if you need a 12 foot cable, you don't have to buy a 25 foot factory made cable.

I would start insisting Cox send a tech out to the house too. They need to measure the signal strength entering your home. If the drop goes back many years that cable should be replaced too. These days they use much better connectors and splitters (if needed) on the outside of the home too.

I had two unfortunate events that ended up being blessings in disguise. The first was a severe storm that came through. I live in Tornado Alley. This storm took out 1000s of trees and tree branches including a big one that took out my power and cable cables. I had no power for 5 days but that's a different issue. When cox came to restore my cable, they put in a whole new cable, leaving me enough slack inside the house to come directly into my middle bedroom/office closet. This means I have a straight run, no splices or splitters until it gets to this centrally located closet. That's a very good thing.

And right about the same time as that storm, my 30 year-old basement ceiling collapsed. I was furious - until I realized I could see all the floor joists for the main level upstairs. So I wired my house for cable and Ethernet - then put up a new ceiling.

Anyway, my point is, if your cabling is old, and especially uses RG-59, and if planning to stay in that house for a few more years, rewiring may be worth it. At the very least take care of the splitters.
 
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Over the last 20 years I've had a few overheat. Not really uncommon.
 
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Yes, but 3 separate devices suddenly over heating and displaying the exact same symptoms would, however, be very uncommon.
 

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I use a cox cable mini box to get cable television to my Asus pg279 via HDMI. Sometimes certain channels feature distorted video and audio and no amount of hard resets restore functionality (yet that's all Cox cable's "technical support" can suggest other that resets on their end). On cool nights and days though, all the channels seem to work perfectly. I've noticed the cox cable mini boxes get hot, but could they be overheating?

Yes, put a heatsink with fan on them using thermal tape

Since you are talking about this problem appearing with 3 different mini-boxes, and now you say "warm" instead of "hot", I don't believe this is a heat problem, therefore I don't see how the fans would help.

Analog went away a long time ago. That tells me your current splitters are old, and most likely only 1000MHz (or less). Analog also had a stronger signal strength and was more tolerant of deviations.

Splitters don't actually wear out, but they do corrode over time, get full of dust and dirt (and kitchen grease). And the connectors can work loose. Plus, high definition requires more bandwidth.

If your house was wired a long time ago, it may use RG-59 coaxial cable. That was fine back then. And is still fine for short runs. But RG-6 is much better.

I think you should get a pad and pencil and map out your cable network.

Are you using Cox for your Internet too?

I have one 2-way splitter on the coax coming into the house. One side goes to my modem. The other feeds all the TVs in the house. You want to use the minimum number of splits and splitters from there. Note that unused splits still sap signal strength. So, for example, if you have a 3 way splitter going to the bedrooms but only have two mini-boxes feeding off that splitter, the signal strength is still being divided 3 ways even though one split is unused.

I always make my own cables too. This requires a set of "quality" crimpers and some good F-Type coax connectors. Cheap crimpers will cost you more in the long run, and contribute greatly to high blood pressure and hair loss.

The advantage to making your own is if you need a 12 foot cable, you don't have to buy a 25 foot factory made cable.

I would start insisting Cox send a tech out to the house too. They need to measure the signal strength entering your home. If the drop goes back many years that cable should be replaced too. These days they use much better connectors and splitters (if needed) on the outside of the home too.

I had two unfortunate events that ended up being blessings in disguise. The first was a severe storm that came through. I live in Tornado Alley. This storm took out 1000s of trees and tree branches including a big one that took out my power and cable cables. I had no power for 5 days but that's a different issue. When cox came to restore my cable, they put in a whole new cable, leaving me enough slack inside the house to come directly into my middle bedroom/office closet. This means I have a straight run, no splices or splitters until it gets to this centrally located closet. That's a very good thing.

And right about the same time as that storm, my 30 year-old basement ceiling collapsed. I was furious - until I realized I could see all the floor joists for the main level upstairs. So I wired my house for cable and Ethernet - then put up a new ceiling.

Anyway, my point is, if your cabling is old, and especially uses RG-59, and if planning to stay in that house for a few more years, rewiring may be worth it. At the very least take care of the splitters.
Needs RG 6.

I do recall comcast having their tri play using a splitter l, if the modem knocked out or if a box knocked out it would cause problems for the rest especially foreign voltage from bad hdmi ports, same for AT&T
 
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The station (AMC) that was unwatchable earlier this afternoon has now completely cleared up and the ambient temps are the same. Could it be something other than the internal cabling or the mini cable box overheating?
 
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Check the cables on the outside of the building, esp those in direct sunlight. Check for loose fittings or exposed shielding. Both of those can lead to water messing with the physics in/of the cable. Generally notice the condition of the connections...are they shiny and have seals, or tarnished/oxidized, or look cheap? Look for unterminated cable ends or uncapped splitter ports. These can let RF into the system and make the tuners work extra hard trying to demod the channel.
 

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Check the cables on the outside of the building, esp those in direct sunlight. Check for loose fittings or exposed shielding. Both of those can lead to water messing with the physics in/of the cable. Generally notice the condition of the connections...are they shiny and have seals, or tarnished/oxidized, or look cheap? Look for unterminated cable ends or uncapped splitter ports. These can let RF into the system and make the tuners work extra hard trying to demod the channel.
The amount of improperly installed F connector fittings on Coaxial cable to include not tight, ticked me off about managers who installed Uverse services back in 2006(when they were techs), I worked for them in 2013, quit after 1 year of their bullshit

There are encapsulation devices that drown the ends in dielectric grease even, same with rubber sleeves.
 
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Check the cables on the outside of the building, esp those in direct sunlight. Check for loose fittings or exposed shielding. Both of those can lead to water messing with the physics in/of the cable. Generally notice the condition of the connections...are they shiny and have seals, or tarnished/oxidized, or look cheap? Look for unterminated cable ends or uncapped splitter ports. These can let RF into the system and make the tuners work extra hard trying to demod the channel.
If this was the issue then why does the problem come and go intermittently? Wouldn't it be consistently and always problematic?
 

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If this was the issue then why does the problem come and go intermittently? Wouldn't it be consistently and always problematic?
No
 
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The station (AMC) that was unwatchable earlier this afternoon has now completely cleared up and the ambient temps are the same. Could it be something other than the internal cabling or the mini cable box overheating?
I asked if your neighbors are having the problems too - did you check?
The amount of improperly installed F connector fittings on Coaxial cable to include not tight, ticked me
Another reason to make your own cables - or at least install your own terminations (connectors).

I have to say, however, that 2 years ago I had a problem with my DVR/cable box. A Cox tech came out and re-terminated the cable into the box. I was surprised at the quality of the connector used - it what top quality. And then he tested the cable for signal strength/loss. I commented on this and he agreed, saying they finally learned their lesson. That is, it is cheaper in the long run to use quality connectors and do proper testing the first time around than having to send a tech out again. No duh! It didn't fix my problem (I needed a new box) but still nice to know I have a good cable and signal.

If this was the issue then why does the problem come and go intermittently? Wouldn't it be consistently and always problematic?
Not necessarily. Symptoms of faulty cables and connections often first appear as intermittent problems that eventually result in total failure as the connection further deteriorates. A loose connection on the exterior of the house, for example, may result in worse problems when it is windy and/or rainy outside that then clear up after the storm passes and the connector dries out. Even things like the expansion and contraction of matter due to rising and falling air temperatures can result in intermittent problems.
 
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I doubt overheating would cause the video signals to be distorted, it would probably just turn itself off. My guess is that it's something else.
 

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put a house hold fan blowing on it and see if the problem goes away, if it does maybe get a PC fan and attach a USB cable to it and hook it up to a hub.
 
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It is not "it". There are 3 of them. How likely is it that 3 separate devices in 3 different parts of the house would all fail at the same time with the same symptoms due to heat?
 
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Why is it only certain channels though? The channels don't correspond to certain frequencies that are more affected by the deteriorating cable are they?
I think I'm going to call Cox cable and get them to come out and check the cabling. It'll be a 1970's nightmare I'm sure.
 
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Why is it only certain channels though? The channels don't correspond to certain frequencies that are more affected by the deteriorating cable are they?
Cable characteristics absolutely do affect frequencies. That's one reason in radio electronics, antenna cables are often called transmission lines. And waveguides, which are ridged, use specific sizes and bends and turns have to be at precise angles, correlating exactly to the frequency or more accurately, the wavelength.

You say deteriorating cables - unless there is physical damage to the actual cable (rodent damage, kinks, cut insulation, etc), it more likely is problems with the connectors, as well as the number and quality of the splitters.

Is it always the exact same channels?
 

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I asked if your neighbors are having the problems too - did you check?

Another reason to make your own cables - or at least install your own terminations (connectors).

I have to say, however, that 2 years ago I had a problem with my DVR/cable box. A Cox tech came out and re-terminated the cable into the box. I was surprised at the quality of the connector used - it what top quality. And then he tested the cable for signal strength/loss. I commented on this and he agreed, saying they finally learned their lesson. That is, it is cheaper in the long run to use quality connectors and do proper testing the first time around than having to send a tech out again. No duh! It didn't fix my problem (I needed a new box) but still nice to know I have a good cable and signal.


Not necessarily. Symptoms of faulty cables and connections often first appear as intermittent problems that eventually result in total failure as the connection further deteriorates. A loose connection on the exterior of the house, for example, may result in worse problems when it is windy and/or rainy outside that then clear up after the storm passes and the connector dries out. Even things like the expansion and contraction of matter due to rising and falling air temperatures can result in intermittent problems.

Bill, I was repairing the techs screw up.

Cable characteristics absolutely do affect frequencies. That's one reason in radio electronics, antenna cables are often called transmission lines. And waveguides, which are ridged, use specific sizes and bends and turns have to be at precise angles, correlating exactly to the frequency or more accurately, the wavelength.

You say deteriorating cables - unless there is physical damage to the actual cable (rodent damage, kinks, cut insulation, etc), it more likely is problems with the connectors, as well as the number and quality of the splitters.

Is it always the exact same channels?

I remember Channel 11 in Houston would always give my grandfather fits on Uverse, had nothing to do with his service but the output from the station itself.
 
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Bill, I was repairing the techs screw up.
I gathered and totally believe that!

I remember Channel 11 in Houston would always give my grandfather fits on Uverse, had nothing to do with his service but the output from the station itself.
I expect the satellite feeds the cable providers get from all the stations come in a different levels. But I would hope :rolleyes: they equalize them before dumping those channels on to their cable networks.
 
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Cable characteristics absolutely do affect frequencies. That's one reason in radio electronics, antenna cables are often called transmission lines. And waveguides, which are ridged, use specific sizes and bends and turns have to be at precise angles, correlating exactly to the frequency or more accurately, the wavelength.

You say deteriorating cables - unless there is physical damage to the actual cable (rodent damage, kinks, cut insulation, etc), it more likely is problems with the connectors, as well as the number and quality of the splitters.

Is it always the exact same channels?
Yes it is always the exact same channels WRT the room (AMC is problematic in my room depending on time of day), but the channels affected differ in different rooms (in my room channel 310 always works, but downstairs it never does).
 
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