Adjustable attenuator ?

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  #1  
Old 12-28-17, 11:03 PM
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Adjustable attenuator ?

Is there such a thing? I'm having problems with my garage TV feed. It comes off a 2 way splitter from the main drop. The other 4 connections in the house have no problems at all coming off that 2 way into a 4 way with the longest run being about 100ft or so. At least I think thats the way it is...it could be everything is coming off a 5 way I've tried a bunch of different ways, but this seemed to work best for the modem at the end of that long run.

So, during Nascar season, I started having bad reception in the garage when they switched from Fox Sports to NBC Sports (ch 37 to ch 43) not sure of actual freqs. Blamed it on NBC at first...but happened with all programming and neighbors don't have an issue.

First I switched the little mini-boxes we had to get when they went encrypted on all channels...no change.
Then I tried reducing connections, splitters etc...no change
Then I tried adding in stuff (terminated splitters, barrel connectors, longer length of RG-6, etc) to reduce the signal...that finally worked, but it messed with some other channels, so when Nascar was over, I had to re-configure...again.

I really don't feel like calling for service and paying $90, but was thinking if I just had a variable attenuator of some sort it might be simple to tune the system. No, I don't have a signal strength meter, nor do I have access to one. I doubt even the cheap brands are really cheap. Quick search on Ebay showed that.

I know the channels don't exactly correspond with frequency. What I mean is that as you go up in channel...the freqs can go up for a while...then jump to a different range completely. At least I think so...may be way off on that. Probably irrelevant
for my issue anyway.

Oh, all my cables and connectors are quality...not cheap push on stuff or RG-59 cable. At least from the wall to the device in the house and all the way from the drop for the garage.

Suggestions?
 
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Old 12-29-17, 04:17 AM
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Well, Vic, since you are on cable I don't know of anything that I can honestly suggest. Here is a page of RF attenuators but they are really for antennae not cable. https://www.solidsignal.com/search.asp?q=attenuator

Further, I don't know that OTA frequencies versus virtual channel assignments are the same on a cable network so maybe that would be of little use. If you decide to dump the cable there are lots of sites to help with antenna suggestions.
 
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Old 12-29-17, 04:20 AM
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It might have something to do with NBC's signal. Our cable channels are crystal clear except for the local NBC station. Sometimes you can loosen and retighten the connection and get it to clear up but it's only temporary. Could it be that their signal is weaker ??
 
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Old 12-29-17, 08:29 AM
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Ya know Mark...it does seem like just messing with the connections can help sometimes. I figured they were doing it on purpose cause they are elitists and just hate rednecks...lol. But it seems to affect different channels at certain times. I may have to call and at least have them check the drop after I make some detailed notes of when and which things are bad. Pretty sure they don't charge for that. I know once the tech shows up , they probably won't mind checking the garage. Not a single problem anywhere inside the house is what stymies me.

Yeah Joel, I have an outside antenna for when cable really bites the big one. They had a fire at some sort of switching station a few months back, took out 3 major cell carriers and cable for 16 hrs. You'd have thought it was the Apocalypse, the way people reacted. Our OTA isn't bad, but the majority of my interest is on cable only channels. Also thats the only real hi speed internet in town, so I'm kinda stuck. If I dropped TV, the data bill goes up, so it's not that big of a savings.
 
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Old 12-29-17, 09:08 AM
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I figured they were doing it on purpose
maybe they know you
 
  #6  
Old 12-29-17, 09:25 AM
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Could be your interface box.

I had an issue a couple of months ago where the quality of several of my adjacent HD channels for the major networks went down (dropouts, pixellating, etc.) After troubleshooting I finally had a tech come to check and he had to replace the interface box with a new one. The old box was about 7 years old.

I am on Verizon FiOS. since the problem was with their equipment there was no charge for the service call and new box.
 

Last edited by 2john02458; 12-29-17 at 09:28 AM. Reason: add'l info
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Old 12-29-17, 09:45 AM
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Thx John, but as I said, I swapped the boxes with no change (other than forgetting which remote was paired with which box..that took me a bit to realize...lol). It just seems odd that the problems seem to travel. Chan 34 (indicated) might be fine for 2 weeks, then one night it will pixelate and have signal dropout during a show a I like. Same happens with 95 sometimes...everything can chug along fine for days, then get crappy for a night.

A tech isn't going to come out at 9PM. I doubt they have any sort of data recorder either. I called their tech service one night when it was particularly irritating, and supposedly they said my signal was just fine...though I don't know how they can pin it down to one house. Not like it's my modem they are pinging.
 
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Old 12-29-17, 09:49 AM
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Oh, I wasn't thinking right. We don't really have an NIB for cable. It just runs from the pole to the house to a splitter. I've got one main cable box and 3 of the mini-boxes, but that's just for the encryption. It was nice before, as long as it was a digital ready TV you were good to go. If you had no need for On-Demand or Premium channels, no box required.
 
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Old 12-29-17, 01:50 PM
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Yeah, it was when Comcast decided to encrypt ALL their channels AND used the same remote control code on all their decryption boxes that I decided to go to an antenna. Even with the problems I have I won't be going back to cable. Rather doubt that I will ever go to Frontier (ISP) for television either. I watch too much television as it is.
 
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