If you're talking 15-20 feet from the ONT, then my advice is to get another piece of high quality terminated coax and run directly from the ONT to the STB to see if the problem goes away. If so, then you know where the problem lies. 15-20ft is nothing over a good piece of coax.
lasagna is right. It costs less than 5 bucks for a cable of that length. If it can be replaced easily (not in a crawlspace or something) then go for it. Takes care of the connectors at the same time. My methods are probably too analytical for most folks. It's just that I do system troubleshooting for a business sideline and I hate to "shotgun" or do replacement methodology. I would much rather find the exact cause so there's no doubt about the fix. Probably not practical for these applications.
08-11-2010 04:47 PM - edited 08-11-2010 05:04 PM
Good idea. I should be able to do that sometime this weekend. I may have underestimated on the length, but it can't be too much more than 20 feet.
I will have to run the coax through a crawl space for a permanent fix.
I think it might run you a bit more than 5 bucks, probably more like 20 bucks for about 25 feet of pre-terminated cable at just about any big box electronics store. Just make sure you get cable rated for "digital coax" (key phrase here being "RG6"). Check any splitters as well ... if you have one (to split for the router and STB?), you might want to pick one of them up as well as they're pretty cheap (you're looking for something rated to bi-directionally pass at least 5-1000mhz).
Do yourself a favor and run the coax from the ONT to the STB across the floor before you pull it thru the crawlspace and stuff -- no sense going to all that work if there's something else going on (and if you're careful with the packaging, you could probably even return the cable if that's not the root source of the problem).
I'm like GaryDoug and usually want to take things apart and put them together again just to figure out exactly what's wrong -- but sometimes it's more time efficient and inexpensive enough to just replace suspect parts outright (this is why my Saturday morning projects always seem to turn into entire weekend endeavors).
Yes, I plan to do exactly that---install the new coax temporarily to see if that makes a difference. Due to the sporadic nature of the problem, it may take several days with this temporary setup to convince me that the problem has been eliminated. If it turns out to fix the problem, I'll ask Verizon to install the permanent cable, since I lack the proper tools for the job. I assume you need some sort of compression tool for the terminal fitting.
You mean in the wall jack? Typically, no tools are needed. The jack is usually just a coupler mounted on a faceplate. If you have cable that's already terminated and can fish it to the jack location, it should just be a matter of removing the faceplate from the outlet in the wall and screwing the cable into the back.
08-11-2010 07:25 PM - edited 08-11-2010 07:38 PM
Do you have a local Home Depot? If so, buy it there. A 15 foot cable is $6.88, and a 25 foot one is $8.97. Both are made by GE (in China I'm sure). And both have the terminals installed. You have a choice of black or white, if that matters. I think Lowes has the same ones.
In case you're interested in what cable really costs, I recently bought a 1000' spool of double-shield RG6 for $40. Thats 4 cents per foot. Of course I have to install the terminals (at about 85 cents each).
08-11-2010 07:51 PM - edited 08-11-2010 07:55 PM
Good point GaryDoug ... HomeDepot, Lowes, etc. all have better prices on these common cables and parts. I should have thought of that -- I was just in HomeDepot today at lunch to pickup some bolts for a home repair project I'm working on.
08-12-2010 05:02 PM - edited 08-12-2010 05:03 PM
Unfortunately I don't have a wall jack. The cable runs through the crawl space and up through the floor and connects directly to my TV. The existing hole through the floor is just big enough for the cable without the terminator.
So if the new cable fixes the problem, for a permanent solution I'll need to remove the connector on one end, fish the cable back up through the floor behind the TV, then reinstall the connector.
I'll be making a trip to Home Depot this weekend.
Thanks again for all of the suggestions.
If you decide to replace it.
What I would do is: 1. Cut off the existing cable connector and remove the cable 2. Drill out the hole to allow the connector to pass 3. Feed the new cable with connector through the hole.
Alternatively : Buy a screw-on connector at Radio Shack (about 4 bucks for a pack of 2). Not as good as a crimp one but should be ok if you don't stress it too often. Even if you do, it's still reusable. A good crimper costs at least 30 bucks.