Tech 3011


 1. From my experience, you will never be presecuted for being caught hooked up illegally the first time.  In fact, I had to catch someone constantly, usually over a period of a whole year before the company would even take notice of their repetitive theft.  Note: I was not working in a "big city" area though, like Detroit or Chicago.  I do not support the theft of any product or service.

 2. You will not get shocked from a cable in your house.  If you do get shocked, you have a problem with your house ground, or electrical wiring in your house.  Note: You can get shocked by hard-line cable.  This is usually at the pole or found in hook-up boxes, known as peds or pedistals, at apartments, hotels, motels, or mansions.  The shock should not have enough voltage to kill or seriously harm anyone.

 3. Bad tv pictures, slow internet speeds, and noise in your cable phone system, is usually related to a cable wire or connection problem.  Although it is quite possible that it may be a network or hard-line problem,(line problem)  I have found on the job, that the largest percentage is related to problems at the house.  These days, all the major cable companys want to charge you a service charge for coming to your house, and fixing a problem, but if the problem is the outside wire to the pole, (drop cable) or the connection at the pole, then you should be able to argue that the service charge should be waived.  Any technician will back you on this, and usually will be honest as to the cause of the problem.  So check the connections in your house, at your tv, cable box, modem, phone modem,(emta) and make sure they are tight.  You do not want to over-tighten them though, because that causes problems as well.

 4. Slow internet speeds or intermittant connection problems may be due to the following: the cable hooked up to your cable modem may not be hooked up to the first splitter.  You can usually hook it up to two "two-way" splitters and it should be ok, provided that all connectors are tight.  You must always remember to hook up two-way splitters correctly when you are doing it yourself.  Even after working in cable many years, I have caught myself and other technicians hooking up two-way splitters incorrectly.  Note: To hook up correctly, you should look at the face of the splitter and notice the "in" and "out" markings on it.  In is the cable coming from the wall, floor, or outside.  "Outs" go to tv/s, cablebox, modem, or another splitter. (if it's in your basement or outside your home)

 5. The above picture is a three-way splitter.  Although your cable company may or may not be using these types of splitters anymore, (Comcast is not) there are still many of them out there from being installed in the passed.  In my opinion, it is silly to discontinue the above splitter, due to the many instances that I've found uses for them.  This splitter has one output port that only reduces cable-signal by 3.5dbmv, (like a two-way splitter) and the other two output ports, reduce it by 7dbmv. (don't worry about dbmv, it is just a signal measurement term, just think of it like volts or amps, even though its way different)  This becomes handy when you want to send a little more signal down one of the three cables hooked up to the outputs.  This is necessary if you are needing to send more signal to your cable modem, phone modem, or another splitter.  Anyways, some genius sitting at a desk, while us technicians were utilizing these helpful splitters, decided to do away with them.  If you have a technician at your house, and you see him remove one, ask him for it.  Technically it is your equipment, since it is in your house.  You might want to put it away, and may one day find a use for it.  I personally kept using three-way splitters until I ran out, or re-used them when I found them.  Make sure the ones you use and keep are kind of heavy, and say at least 1000Mhz on them. (1Ghz or 2Ghz are good too)  Gold ones don't usually mean they are better.

 6. Problems with cable services may also be due to animals.  It is instinctive for animals to bite.  Squirrels chew on cables whenever they get a chance. (if you see one looking like he is enjoying a meal at the pole, he may be chewing on your cable!)  I have even had customers tell me they have seen rabbits chew on their cableline, where it comes up from the ground, at the house, in an uderground utility area.  I have been to many service calls where the family dog chewed and pulled the cable away from the house, and even bit clean through it causing their cable to go out.  Most of  the time, the cable was just installed recently, and still had human scent on it.  Cats will even chew on a cable, but most of them will not continue to chew until it causes a problem, probably because they usually have a short attention span.  Even though most of these damages were done outside, not all of the above damages will be fixed by the cable co. free of charge.  If your house pet is suspected to be at fault, you more than likely will have to pay the company's service fee.  

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