Computers & Electronics

should I worry? Cable internet signal degradation across multiple couplings

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  • Feb 7th, 2017 2:22 pm
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Nov 23, 2008
5020 posts
1623 upvotes

should I worry? Cable internet signal degradation across multiple couplings

I was just wondering if this is a concern, or not at all because its all digital anyways.
My cable internet comes in at the basement. Then it connects to one wire through a male-male coupling. Then, it that cable connects to another male-male coupling, before it finally gets to the cable modem.
So, there's like 4 connections before it gets to the modem. can this affect the internet reliability or stability in any way?
would a signal booster along the way help at all?
5 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
33721 posts
7359 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
These couplings you're referring to, I am assuming they are used to extend the length of the cable and not to divide the cable

If that's the case, then you're fine and you don't need a booster.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
27311 posts
13015 upvotes
Every splice still introduces signal loss.
Why are you splicing a bunch of cables together? Can you replace them with one cable?

Also none of this is necessary if you don't have signal issues.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Dec 12, 2009
20398 posts
8430 upvotes
Toronto
It should not be a big deal as long as good quality compression fittings are used. The amount of connectors, splitters and cabling between the box on the side of the house and my cable modem is scary. I still get signal to noise ratio that is near 40. Signal strength rarely dips to -5 dB because Rogers is able to manipulate the strength of the incoming signal. The only thing that suffers irreparable degradation is return path impedance. If only the cable modem was smart enough to adjust its output...
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
19421 posts
5481 upvotes
Toronto
Yes, every coupler introduces signal loss and noise. As death_hawk says, if you're linking a whole bunch of short cables together this way, that is not a good idea. Ideally, it should be a single continuous good quality cable.

However, if the signal is within normal parameters, then it's fine. However, if it is borderline, then yes, most definitely it can affect both TV and internet. A signal booster can help in certain situations, but be aware that signal boosters not only amplify the signal, they also amplify the noise. If you don't need a signal booster then don't install one.

Probably the best thing you can do here is post your line stats from the modem. Ideally signal levels should be around 0 dBmV but moderate deviation from that (eg. between -10 to +10) is OK, with a high signal-to-noise ratio of say 35 dB or higher. Transmit/Upstream power should be between around 35 dBmV to around 50 dBmV.

BTW, we're assuming you are NOT referring to a cable splitter, like this:

Image

Those introduce a 3.5 dB loss at every split.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Nov 23, 2008
5020 posts
1623 upvotes
EugW wrote: Yes, every coupler introduces signal loss and noise. As death_hawk says, if you're linking a whole bunch of short cables together this way, that is not a good idea. Ideally, it should be a single continuous good quality cable.

However, if the signal is within normal parameters, then it's fine. However, if it is borderline, then yes, most definitely it can affect both TV and internet. A signal booster can help in certain situations, but be aware that signal boosters not only amplify the signal, they also amplify the noise. If you don't need a signal booster then don't install one.

Probably the best thing you can do here is post your line stats from the modem. Ideally signal levels should be around 0 dBmV but moderate deviation from that (eg. between -10 to +10) is OK, with a high signal-to-noise ratio of say 35 dB or higher. Transmit/Upstream power should be between around 35 dBmV to around 50 dBmV.

BTW, we're assuming you are NOT referring to a cable splitter, like this:

Image

Those introduce a 3.5 dB loss at every split.
Right, not a splitter like in the picture

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