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  1. #1
    Question About Maximum Cable or Wire Distance & Router
    PGB1's Avatar
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    Question About Maximum Cable or Wire Distance & Router
    Hi Everyone!

    In our home, we have to rent a modem from the cable company (wowway) because we have their telephone service. We're going to ditch the telephone service in favor of Ooma. Therefore, we can now buy our own cable modem & router. For best coverage, the ideal place for the wireless router is about 35 feet from where the cable enters our house.

    As it is now, there is a RG-6 going from the cable entrance to the modem/router. (About 35 feet).

    During various service calls for poor speeds, one technician would move the router to the cable's house entrance & run a Cat 5e to the modem, saying it is better to have a longer cat 5e & shorter RG-6. The next person would move the router back, saying it is better to have a longer RG-6 & shorter cat 5e. It has been switched back and forth many times over the last many years. We see no difference, but don't know what we're to check, so our observations are quite void!

    The Plan-
    We will have a separate router, placed where the whole house can get signal. (35 feet from the cable entrance). The router can go there or at the cable entrance.
    Ethernet to the router wil be the Ooma device, the printer and I occasionally connect my laptop by ethernet when WiFi is slow.

    We don't have television on the cable. Only internet & phone.
    As of now, there is a cable splice outside at the grounding block & there is one F-splice at the entrance to our home and a 35 foot RG-6 to the modem/router.
    (If the modem goes at the house entrance, that f-splice can leave.)

    The cat 5e cables from the modem/router are short to the printer (3 feet) and desk (8 feet). The rest of our house is serviced by WiFi. (Two laptops, one streaming television & one connected treadmill that uploads only)

    My question is-
    It is better to have a long RG-6 and short cat 5e to the router or short cable and longer cat 5e?

    Thanks Very Much for your advice & telling me what the 'real deal' is on cable & wire lengths.

    Enjoy Today!
    Paul
    Last edited by PGB1; 01-22-2019 at 12:06 PM. Reason: I can't type!

  2. #2
    Question About Maximum Cable or Wire Distance & Router
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    How will you be getting internet into your house? As far as I know Ooma needs internet access to function, or do they provide that now?
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  3. #3
    Question About Maximum Cable or Wire Distance & Router
    chscag's Avatar
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    @Paul:

    Most techs agree that CAT5e maximum length is 100 meters (328 feet) while RG-6 should be limited to around 150 feet. The problem with those limits is that they will vary with the frequency of the signal that's being carried. The higher the frequency, the shorter the length should be.

    That's why nowadays, Fiber Optic is preferred. Just install FO throughout your home and you'll be okay.... $$$$

  4. #4
    Question About Maximum Cable or Wire Distance & Router
    PGB1's Avatar
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    Thanks Bob & Chscag for taking time to reply.
    I apologize Bob that I didn't explain well. We're keeping the internet portion of the phone/internet service and just ditching the ISP's phone & rental modem/router. Ooma's "Telo" device will use that existing internet service to do its job. It gets connected to our soon-to-be-purchased modem & separate router.

    Thanks Chscag for the length information. I'm concluding that running cat 5e would be better than cable, if it matters in this short of a distance. (Plus I get rid of one f-coupler in the RG-6, which I'm sure must provide some dB loss.)

    When I'm a rich guy & we're living in a palatial mansion on an estate, we'll do the fiber optic. (Oops- I meant to say "We'll have someone do the fiber optic for us".) But that might be a month or two away.

    Thanks Again Guys!
    Paul

  5. #5
    Question About Maximum Cable or Wire Distance & Router
    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Charlie is Spot on. I was going to post 300' as that is approximately what the max is between Switch to Switch, Router to Switch.

  6. #6
    Question About Maximum Cable or Wire Distance & Router
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    @Paul:

    That's why nowadays, Fiber Optic is preferred. Just install FO throughout your home and you'll be okay.... $$$$
    Hey Charlie, How many 10 gallon hats do I have to trade in to get you guys to fund fiber lines to my place? Don't know if it's available here yet but I'm sure that if the pockets were deep enough . . .
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  7. #7
    Question About Maximum Cable or Wire Distance & Router
    chscag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
    Hey Charlie, How many 10 gallon hats do I have to trade in to get you guys to fund fiber lines to my place? Don't know if it's available here yet but I'm sure that if the pockets were deep enough . . .
    LOL. We now have several providers here in the DFW area boasting of FO installations. But the way these cable providers operate make common thieves look like amateurs. Like the old "Flim Flam" man or "Snake Oil" peddlers, once they get you hooked, they raise prices. And they all say the same thing. "Well, your price was an introductory one, and now that your introductory time is up, our regular price is $$$". I don't know how many hours I've wasted on the phone arguing with my cable provider customer service.

  8. #8
    Question About Maximum Cable or Wire Distance & Router
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    LOL. We now have several providers here in the DFW area boasting of FO installations. But the way these cable providers operate make common thieves look like amateurs. Like the old "Flim Flam" man or "Snake Oil" peddlers, once they get you hooked, they raise prices. And they all say the same thing. "Well, your price was an introductory one, and now that your introductory time is up, our regular price is $$$". I don't know how many hours I've wasted on the phone arguing with my cable provider customer service.
    Last year some time we dropped an enitre tier of channels plus all th Showtime /HBO channels. We realized that 90% of the channels in that tier we rarely watched. In fact, the only two that we missed were Turner Classic Movies and the Military channels (that's where they put all the content that was on History before it got taken over by aliens, Pawn Stars, and the like).

    I was on the phone twice on two different days bcause the guy kept trying to get me to keep the tier of channels and just drop the Showtime/HBO package. That would have save me the grand total of about $10.00 per month. The ssupport guy on the other end accidentally convinced us we didn't need the channels. He deactivated them before we actually confirmed that's what we wanted to do. We had them, went out to dinner, and when we came back they were gone. Finally went into the local office and had things done in under a half hour with no argument.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  9. #9
    Question About Maximum Cable or Wire Distance & Router
    PGB1's Avatar
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    I sure agree with you guys about cable companies being very difficult to deal with!
    When recently shopping for a new ISP (internet only), we first got the very, very hard sell to get us to include television and phone. It is nearly impossible to get them to quote only internet.

    Then, the push for a contract comes. One of them (Comcast Infinity) read the terms super quickly. I caught something about our price NOT being guaranteed during the contract period. But an early termination fee (three hundred and some dollars) does apply. When questioned, the guy finally admitted that our price can, indeed, rise during the contract and we could not escape without paying the termination fee. Did they learn that from the 1980's adjustable rate mortgages people?

    AT&T has been digging up our neighborhood for months to install fiber optic, but we can't get the service without television (and a contract). And it is expensive! Maybe if we sign up they will fix the trench they made on our lawn?

    The only ISP we found thats "guarantees" speed is wowway. It's who we have now. They guarantee speed plus or minus 10 Mbs. But, if it stays below that limit, we would have to pay $50.00 for a service call. We have had them for a few years and the speed is usually consistent, so that's in their favor. But when it rains or snows heavily, the service slows. A technician said squirrels ate the jacket on another line on the pole splitter- one going to the street behind us- so water gets in. But have they fixed it? Nope- not until I pay for another service call (or the neighbor does). Oh well, such is life...

    You mentioned, Slyduyde, about missing channels when you ditch packages. There may be hope!

    We needed a new TV set and it came with something that we'd heard of, but didn't understand, called "Roku" built in. We discovered, quite by accident, that lots of the channels that we had when we had cable tv are on Roku for free- but we had to hunt around a bit to find some of them. (Until we found the "search" box in Roku)

    On some, the episode is delayed for one day, or sometimes they are available one minute after the live broadcast show ends. And some of the particular shows are scattered around. For instance Modern Marvels show is on some obscure channel, rather than History. (I apologize, but I can't remember the channel name, but Roku will search it out by typing "Modern Marvels".) The Pawn Shop Rude People show and all the tow truck and other goofy shows are still showing on History's list. I don't know if those episodes are delayed or live when watching for free. (They're not my cup of tea, so I didn't try)

    So far, any Turner Classic Movie my wife wanted to see is somewhere on Roku. Unfortunately so are Lifetime & Hallmark movies. The commercials are really short, usually 1 minute or less for all, and all of them are at the beginning of the show.

    Another 'free' source for some are channels that Roku lists as being available free only if you have a cable subscription with that channel. I think they call them "Watch Anywhere" channels. We don't have cable tv, but our ISP is also a cable tv provider. So I clicked some of the subscription required channels to see if the TV would blow up or something.
    Roku popped up a box with a link to our ISP & all I had to then was to log into our ISP account on a computer and a code number was waiting for me. Next was to enter the code in Roku and we now get the channel free. (Without having to enter code numbers again in subsequent days.) If I can somehow get CNBC live ticker for my wife and the Disney for me we'd be all set!

    Roku is a rather clunky way to watch TV, but most of it is completely free. Maybe Roku or one of the other streaming services will help you get some of the channels that used to cost you money for free! (You can pay for certain channels or services, but that's not in our plans.)

    Thanks Again All for explaining about cable and CAT5 distances.
    Since it is in service already to our current rental modem/router, I think I'll try using the 35 foot RG-6 cable to the pending new modem, placing it next to the router. If we have speed problems, I'll switch to CAT5 for the long run and move the modem close to the cable entrance to the house. Once Ooma is done porting our phone number I can buy our own modem & router- ditching the ISP rental box.

    Enjoy Today & Thanks Again!
    Paul

  10. #10
    Question About Maximum Cable or Wire Distance & Router
    Slydude's Avatar
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    Thanks for that tip. We have both Roku and the Apple TV 3 box. I have not spent much time lately exploring the Roku box but you're right about some of the content being on obscure channels.

    Two things that I find a bit annnoying about this situation are:
    1. At least on the Apple side anyway some of the apps associated withsome channels do sdk for the name of your cable provider as you mentioned. In my case though if I go several days without checking in with those channels we have to re-enter a different code. I don't know if all providers do this but my provider makes this whole process a bigger pain than itn needs to be.
    2. How much of the current content is available varies by channel. Even if you have somethign like Netflix or Hulu.
    3. One thing that is improving things a bit is that there are some apps that will search across multiple services/viewing apps to find the content you're looking for. Maybe I can convince SWMBO to get the ATV 4.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
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  11. #11
    Question About Maximum Cable or Wire Distance & Router
    PGB1's Avatar
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    1. At least on the Apple side anyway some of the apps associated withsome channels do sdk for the name of your cable provider as you mentioned. In my case though if I go several days without checking in with those channels we have to re-enter a different code. I don't know if all providers do this but my provider makes this whole process a bigger pain than itn needs to be.
    I haven't had one of the 'cable subscriber only' channels ask for a new passcode yet, but now I won't be surprised when one does. Thanks for the warning! (Wonder if they will figure out that we don't have cable tv & kick us to the curb?)


    3. One thing that is improving things a bit is that there are some apps that will search across multiple services/viewing apps to find the content you're looking for.
    I did notice that the Roku search function searches across all (I think it's all) the channels & services they have. For example when I looked for McHale's Navy (educational tv at its finest), it showed availability on pay Hulu, a Sling channel (neither of which we subscribe to) and a couple of other pay services. It also showed two free over-the-air networks, neither of which we receive.

    Maybe I can convince SWMBO to get the ATV 4
    I'll bet my wife would love one of those! They're pretty amazing.

    So far, I like watching TV for free. Initially to try it out, we bought a flat screen tv rather than converter boxes for our 1980's CRT TV sets. I made a fractal antenna out of an oatmeal box and some trace tape- cheap skate that I can be. Depending on which set it's hooked to, we get as many as 69 over-the-air channels. (Some of the same content repeats across channels, but there's no monthly invoice.)

    I'll be thrilled when Ooma ports our home phone number and I can ditch the rental modem/router and ISP phone service. That'll save $20.00 (+) a month vs Ooma and our own hardware. A rather short pay-off period. (Two tv sets took 1-1/2 months of no cable tv cost to be paid off. I guess we should have done this years ago.)

    The Next Step is to figure out which modem and which router will be best value for the money & still do the task at hand for us. Lots to explore & learn!

    Paul

  12. #12
    Question About Maximum Cable or Wire Distance & Router
    Slydude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGB1 View Post
    I haven't had one of the 'cable subscriber only' channels ask for a new passcode yet, but now I won't be surprised when one does. Thanks for the warning! (Wonder if they will figure out that we don't have cable tv & kick us to the curb?)

    Paul
    I'm working out the circumstances that cause this to happen. At this point I haven't spent a lot of time working out the pattern but two possibilities come to mind:
    1. This is a pattern unique to some providers and thus does not affect everyone, or
    2. When I go into one of these apps to watch a show I enter the code and watch that show. Several weeks may go by before I go back to that same app to watch another show in that app depending upon my schedule. It's possible that this happens because of the amount of time that elapses between when I check in and watch a show and when I go back several days/weeks late.

    BTW If you have an iPhone/iPad there is an app in the App Store that searches across content providers. I think that is also available on the ATV 4.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  13. #13
    Question About Maximum Cable or Wire Distance & Router
    PGB1's Avatar
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    So far, we've been lucky about not having to sign back in. (so far...) Last evening I got to watch the Modern Marvels episode about shovels <I'm easily entertained> without signing back in. And I timed commercials. For a 1-hour-if-broadcast show, there only were 3 breaks that totaled 1 minute and 15 seconds of commercials. I liked that part!

    I do notice that, for the channels that I originally had to sign into with my ISP account, each has the ISP logo on the screen during the show. It's in the upper-right, above the normal station ID bug. Gotta get their advertising in, I guess.

    Thanks for the tip about the app. I'll be sure top let my wife know about the app for her iPad that lets one search across content providers. Roku's pretty good about doing that, but searches only their "channels". They tend to skip over-the-air networks. (At least from my short time playing around with it.)

    Enjoy Today!
    Paul
    Last edited by PGB1; 01-31-2019 at 10:25 AM. Reason: Punctuation was today's mess-up

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