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Interference from Cable TV Leakage - HELP?

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mtindor

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So I just get my PAR filter to take out the local TV channel 9 signal that has been overloading my scanner. Now that this is mostly taken care of, I have discovered a new problem...

My local cable company appears to have some leakage. I'm guessing it is their interference and not mine (i.e. not inside wiring causing the problem). On the cable TV channels from 14 through 22 that are in use on my cable system, there is significant intereference being presented to my scanners. I suspected this was the case when I first noticed it on my PRO-97 walking around the house. But, now I notice it on my PSR-500 (which is hooked to an outside antenna (a Ringo ARX-2B 144-148 mhz amateur radio ant) using LMR400. In large swaths all across the VHF band (air / public safety / etc) there are areas where I have multiple bars on the signal meter of interference (it's just like an unmodulated signal) - and of course at the center freq of the audio for each of those active channels i hear the actual audio (somewhat distorted since the scanner is FM and the audio is WFM).

I'm wondering if anybody else has ever encountered this problem, and if so what have you done to resolve it. Is the cable company required to remedy this problem (assuming it's leakage outside of my house)? I'm going to unplug the cable from the outside box and put a terminator on it and then listen - to see if i'm still seeing the problem after my house cable wiring is unhooked.

Just wondering if I just have teo live with it or if there shoudl be NO discernable signal external of their cabling. I've always understood that it is a closed system and that _any_ leakage that can be detected from a distance is something that the cable company is _obligated_ to fix.

So, anybody wanna bite on this question?

Mike
 

timjude

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You can report them to the fcc and they will have to correct the problem..Call the cable company explain the situation and if they fail to take action just advise them they will be hearing from Riley hollingsworth..
 

mtindor

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hoser147 said:
Looks like your going about figuring it out the right way.......
I hope so man. If it isn't one thing it's another. First the overload from strong signals, then cable system leakage (whether it by my fault or theirs), and then the ongoing problem I have hear living in a subdivision with numerous high tension lines around and of course many poles and transformers (this subdivision was built in the 70s). I gave up HF amateur radio activity and VHF packet activity yeras ago because of the damned power company apparatus' generating signficant interference (even as far up as on TV channels 2-6 and even up to 145 mhz).

I think I'll be a dead man before this area is interference free :)

Mike
 

mtindor

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timjude said:
You can report them to the fcc and they will have to correct the problem..Call the cable company explain the situation and if they fail to take action just advise them they will be hearing from Riley hollingsworth..
Ya know, for 12 years I would have been all about threatening them with FCC interaction - but now I actually subscribe to the cable system :)

Uh oh, I just thought of something. I subscribed to this cable system last year. I had never noticed the cable leakage in previous years. So perhaps this is something that has only happened since they wired up _my_ house. They have a distribution block outside splitting out 3 different pieces of cable. I sure hope it ends up being on their end because I don't feel like paying them to install new cable in my house and I don't feel like doing it mysefl either :)

Mike
 

XTS3000

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Call the cable Co. and tell them you have a cable leak. Last time I called even the operator knew what I was talking about and had a tech out within 3 hours!!!!

I was stunned , could never get service like that for anyother problem.
 

jimvm

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Cable RFI

The local Comcast trucks have a 1/4 wave whip tuned for around 117 MHz and use a AM
receiver to cruse the neighborhoods. This frequency used to be called the 'cukoo' channel,
one for A cable and another freq. for the B cable. I have not been able to find this cukoo
frequency and called Comcast and asked where it is. The customer service rep did not
know what I was talking about.
 

mtindor

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jimvm said:
The local Comcast trucks have a 1/4 wave whip tuned for around 117 MHz and use a AM
receiver to cruse the neighborhoods. This frequency used to be called the 'cukoo' channel,
one for A cable and another freq. for the B cable. I have not been able to find this cukoo
frequency and called Comcast and asked where it is. The customer service rep did not
know what I was talking about.
The rep didn't know what you were referring to? I guess it was a customer rep who coined the name 'cuckoo' figuring that the person asking must have gone cuckoo heh. Well, unfortunately I'm dealing with a mom-n-pop cable shop. Their internet guy is definitely a more than capable installer/technician - but he probably woudln't be the one sent out for interference issues and I'm not sure if the hillbilly that is would know what to do. I will pursue that avenue though, as soon as I do some testing internally to verify that it is not MY wiring causing hte problem.

Thanks for the suggestion. If somebody does come out, I'll ask them about any 'cuckoo' frequencies and see if they don't look at me as if I were cuckoo rofl.

Mike
 

gmclam

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jimvm said:
The local Comcast trucks have a 1/4 wave whip tuned for around 117 MHz and use a AM receiver to cruse the neighborhoods. This frequency used to be called the 'cukoo' channel, one for A cable and another freq. for the B cable. I have not been able to find this cukoo frequency and called Comcast and asked where it is. The customer service rep did not know what I was talking about.
Front office reps don't know the techie stuff. Just connect the cable into the antenna input of your scanner and do a search for it/them.

Regarding cable leakage; make sure that all of your cables are good. Especially those from cable box to recorder to TV, from splitters, etc. And I always terminate any unconnected OUTPUTS. This means, for example, if you have a 4 way splitter, but only 3 ports are connected to something, that you should have a 75 ohm terminator on the 4th port. The typical causes of leakage are: unterminated ports, bad connectors, damaged cables.
 

ind224

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cable engineers?

I called Brighthouse locally to try and buy some node C band dishes and junk they have had laying around for 10 plus years. Spoke with the headend engineer and he said I could submit a bid.

Called back to get a tech to let me in the locked gate site so I could inspect the dishes/orthros and got no response. Called back and tried to sweeten the deal and show I was a good guy by telling them of a possible illegal feed and a feed just hanging down in the alley with no terminator.

They don't care.

Side note, when I complained to IPL about AC noise in my receivers they swept and replaced a bad line section near my back yard in less than a week. 40 year old infrastructure will do that.
 

kb2vxa

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Well Mike assuming you are a ham and use that 2M Ringo you're clobbering the heck out of channel 18. Your neighbors won't be interested in any sort of explanation about cable leakage, you have an antenna, antenna equals interference, get rid of it and get off my TV.

Now be a nice guy and help everybody out here, tune your HT to 145.25 and walk around the neighborhood looking for the leak(s). A licensed Amateur experiencing interference to his favorite repeater pulls a little more weight with the cable company and the FCC when he has pole numbers as documentation. Yup, excessive radiation and interference to licensed radio services is still illegal and interference to the aero band is worse than frowned upon if you get my drift.
 

mtindor

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kb2vxa said:
Well Mike assuming you are a ham and use that 2M Ringo you're clobbering the heck out of channel 18. Your neighbors won't be interested in any sort of explanation about cable leakage, you have an antenna, antenna equals interference, get rid of it and get off my TV.

Now be a nice guy and help everybody out here, tune your HT to 145.25 and walk around the neighborhood looking for the leak(s). A licensed Amateur experiencing interference to his favorite repeater pulls a little more weight with the cable company and the FCC when he has pole numbers as documentation. Yup, excessive radiation and interference to licensed radio services is still illegal and interference to the aero band is worse than frowned upon if you get my drift.
Be a nice guy? I think not. 99.9% of the people in the world aren't worth a pot to piss in brother. The last thing I give a damn about is whether anything affects my neighbor's television. First of all, amateur radio went to hell in a handbasket. I have a 2m radio and a dual bander that I haven't used in about 9 years. The last thing I want to do is transmit on any amateur band at this point, at least above 30 mhz. So the neighbors won't be getting interference from me, at least not directly from 2m transmissions. If they have gotten interference from my HF operation, they'd probably have said something.. But I assure you that if I were interested in transmitting in the 2m band I most certainly wouldn't give two s**ts about what the neighbors think.

I'll isolate the problem (i.e. determine if it is internal to the house wiring past the demarc, or if it's external and the cable company's problem). Then I'll call the cable company. I'm sure they will show up. i'm unsure if they will readily fix it, but I am positive that when it gets to that point I'll be able to articulate to them the issue with the interference.

I'd venture to say that if I had to go around my neighborhood collecting pole #s (which in itself would be interesting since half the poles are in people's back yards with no back entrance into the yards), I'd have a dozen or more poles to report problems with.

I'll agree with you that if I present things in the right way, the fact that I'm an amateur would hold some weight... at least as far as the FCC goes. I doubt it would hold any weight with the cable guys [just think what Larry the Cable Guy might have to say heh].

Anyway, thanks for the suggestions. When I get time I'll deal with it and will yet ya know how it goes.

Mike
 

Zaratsu

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I guess you were the "cukoo" that day:lol::wink:


Have you tried capping any unusead cable outlets in your house?


I get spurious tv and even an a.m. radio station on f.m. in my place where they shouldnt be. I'll tell you though, if I'm going to the FCC for anything its because of the nighttime AMHD IBOC station 1.25 miles from me. entire a.m. broadcast band is hiss.


jimvm said:
The local Comcast trucks have a 1/4 wave whip tuned for around 117 MHz and use a AM
receiver to cruse the neighborhoods. This frequency used to be called the 'cukoo' channel,
one for A cable and another freq. for the B cable. I have not been able to find this cukoo
frequency and called Comcast and asked where it is. The customer service rep did not
know what I was talking about.
 

mtindor

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DanTSX said:
I guess you were the "cukoo" that day:lol::wink:


Have you tried capping any unusead cable outlets in your house?


I get spurious tv and even an a.m. radio station on f.m. in my place where they shouldnt be. I'll tell you though, if I'm going to the FCC for anything its because of the nighttime AMHD IBOC station 1.25 miles from me. entire a.m. broadcast band is hiss.
I guess I'm lucky - I have an AM station transmitter about 2 mi from my house, and at night I really can't even pull it in on my cheap clock radio. That's pretty amazing that at 1400 khz you c an run thousands of watts and not be copyable just a few miles away heh.

I'm going to cap the unused cable outlets. All of the cables were run manually by the cable company (no jacks installed in the wall - just cable fed in). I have 3 cable 'outlets' in the house - two of them are hooked to TVs and one of them goes nowhere. Now, the distribution block that they have outside I think has 5 or 6 ports, and the unused ports are terminated. So I'm going to terminate the cable in the house that isn't hooked to anything (but I seriously doubt this is the problem). Then if that doesn't fix it I'll just unplug the incoming cable from the pole where it goes into the distribution block and terminate it. That will rule out anything as far as the house wiring. Keep in mind I have my scanner hooked to an antenna that is up about 20 feet outside, and is about 40 feet from the pole where the cable company is dropping its lines to residences. I need to zoom in the camera to their setup on the pole nad see if there is anything unterminated up there.

Mike
 

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mtindor said:
Here's a 'short' answer to my question.

http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/cableleak.html

I'd still be interested in hearing about the experiences of others.

Mike
I see you have that nifty new GRE PSR-500. If it has the "close call" or whatever it's called feature, mabye turn it on next to the cable junction on the side of your house and around the inside near the jacks? Maybe it'll sniff it out for you?

Andy
 

mtindor

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kb2vxa said:
Mtindor, that attitude will get you far in this world, preferably as far away from me as is possible on one planet.
Not a problem. I'm entitled to my opinion of people, especially my neighbors. At any rate, this isn't the peace & love of the 60s. Criminals, deadbeats, and people who generally don't give a damn about their fellow man get no respect or love from me.

But let's not turn this thread into a diatribe about the state of people in America. We're talking about cable interference here.

Mike
 

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kb2vxa said:
Mtindor, that attitude will get you far in this world, preferably as far away from me as is possible on one planet.

Naw, just means he passed his 20wpm :D
 
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