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MoCA Network Setup Questions

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chillz

Registered
Joined
Aug 29, 2008
Location
Toronto
I'm hoping to improve my home network by using MoCA adapters. I have 4 existing coax lines running from the basement to 4 separate rooms -- the living room, office and 2 bedrooms. Instead of getting 8 MoCA adapters, this is what I'm hoping to do:

Solution 1 - Find a MoCA switch I can plug in my coax lines into, and have an adapter at the opposite end of each cable (1 MoCA switch + 4 MoCA adapters)

OR

Solution 2 - Basically creating a rudimentary switch by using a single MoCA adapter plugged into my router and attaching a 4-way coax splitter. And like the previous solution, plug in my 4 coax cables to the splitter, and attach an adapter at the other end of each line (1 splitter and 5 MoCA adapters)

Solution 2 seems to be the more plausible option -- I don't think a MoCA switch even exists as I can't find any information on such an item anywhere. And theoretically, Solution 2 should work. But I haven't found any content online where someone has actually tried this. Has anyone done this before? Or is my only option buying 8 adapters?
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
I ran a MoCA network through my house a number of years ago...check out the link in my signature.

For best bandwidth, you will have to replace your splitters with MoCA rated frequency splitters. Typical cable TV splitters go up to about 1 GHz in bandwidth...MoCA operates at frequencies over 1 GHz.

Also, you will want to put a PoE (Point of Entry) MoCA filter where the cable exists your house. This will keep your MoCA network inside your house.

You can get these devices readily off Amazon.

THIS is a really great article from the MoCA Alliance on how to setup a MoCA network. Pay close attention to pages 15-17...discusses what to do if you have a cable signal amplifier and the CORRECT way to connect MoCA nodes off a splitter. Basically, you connect MoCA devices on the OUTPUT of a splitter...and don't connect one on the input and one on the output. Connecting on the output balances the forward and return losses of the RF signal. If you connect a MoCA node on the input and one on the output of the splitter, your forward and return losses will be different...causing you to have less than maximum MoCA performance.

Good luck - and feel free to ask questions here...I will do my best to remember what I did. (I have since run all Ethernet lines through the house...but the MoCA ran great for 3+ years.)
 
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OP
chillz

chillz

Registered
Joined
Aug 29, 2008
Location
Toronto
@JrClocker thank you for your insight!

As for the filter, I have one installed -- it was installed by my cable TV and internet provider when I first switch to them. Is this good enough, or should I get a MoCA-specific one? And is there any particular brand I should get, or are they all relatively the same?

I'm a visual learner, but I'm still confused by what I've read and seen online. There are several videos in which the person used a splitter, and sometimes more. A couple of videos I saw showed the person using a splitter with one cable going to the modem, and the other going to a MoCA adapter which then plugs into their wireless router. I'm not sure if this is a correct installation. Now I understand that everything on this network is bi-directional, but I question how not having a direct connection to the wireless router works in this scenario. Or is this setup actually correct? Here's a link to one of the better vids (better as in clearer video quality, not necessarily the setup). And here's a diagram of how I think they did their setup:

Diagram 1.jpg

I know the video I linked showed them using a single unit that was both PoE MoCA filter and splitter, but I separated them in this diagram for the sake of clarity.

Now my VERY basic understanding of MoCA is that you need a MoCA adapter at both ends of a coax line to essentially make it an ethernet line. So I pictured my setup should be like this:

Diagram 2.jpg

Is this how it should be, or is this overkill? Because if the setup in the first diagram works, then I'd prefer do that rather than this second one.

I've also seen Coax/RJ45 connectors like this one, but I'm not sure they work like I think they do. If they do, then I'm wondering if I could do a setup like this:

Diagram 3.jpg

I've already ordered a pair of adapters, but aside from converting 1 coax line, I can't really test out my other theories. Anyhow, any and all help would be greatly appreciated! Cheers!
 
OP
chillz

chillz

Registered
Joined
Aug 29, 2008
Location
Toronto
Had someone really simplify things down for me when it comes to the actual setup (thankfully). I was right to question why there was no connection between the modem and router in Diagram 1. I showed it to a friend, who then got his acquaintance to take a look and surprisingly he was able to walk me through it all.. AND pointed out that there has to be a connection between the router and modem for the system to work. But aside from that, the network is exactly how he has his own setup.

Unfortunately I forgot to ask him about filter and splitter brands. I found 2 filters on Amazon, but I'm not sure what to look out for specifically. There's this one for $20 CAD, and this one at half the price. As for splitters, there are only a handful that offer 6-way or more splits at 5-2300Mhz. And a lot of those don't even mention MoCA, although plenty of reviewers mention using these unverified splitters with their internet and have seen major uplifts in upload and download speeds.

I want to get this up and running in the next week or so. I'll hold off buying more adapters, but I will need to choose what filter and splitter to pick up by next week. Again, any help would be great! Cheers!!
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Your last picture I don't think will work. The impedance of a Ethernet cable is very different than the impedance of a coax cable. I don't think you can pass Ethernet data back and forth.

A MoCA adapter, in it's basic terms, converts Ethernet cabling to Coax. So, if you want to use your existing coax cabling to pass an Ethernet signal, you need one on each end....basically:

EthA <--> MoCA Adapter <--> Coax Cable <--> MoCA Adapter <--> EthB

In this scenario, from the network view, the MoCA adapters are invisible and just look like an Ethernet cable...EthA and EthB are both "ends" of the cable.

Now, MoCA has a cool feature where you can connect multiple MoCA adapters, and they kind of act like an old fashion network hub (not switch) at the Coax layer:

EthA <--> MoCA Adapter <--> Coax Cable <--> MoCA Adapter <--> Eth1
.....................................^
.....................................|
.....................................+----> MoCA Adapter <--> Eth2


In this scenario, I didn't feel like drawing a splitter, but you have to connect the 3 MoCA adapters shown on the OUTPUT of a splitter. From the network view, the MoCA adapters are still invisible and just look like an Ethernet cable...However, EthA can talk to Eth1 and Eth2, Eth1 can talk to EthA and Eth2, and Eth2 can talk to Eth1 and Etha...BUT, they all share the same bandwidth of the MoCA adapter family you purchased (1 Gbps, 2.5 Gbps, etc.) if they talk at the same time.

Your middle picture will work...and it gives the most bandwidth to the MoCA connected Ethernet devices AS LONG AS the coax cables are separate and do not connect to each other through a splitter.

A more economical approach for your middle picture is to just have 1 MoCA adapter coming out of your router (get rid of the other two...i.e. the one on the left and right), and connect the MoCA adapters from the router, wireless router, PC, and Fire TV cube on the OUTPUT legs of a 1:4 MoCA rated splitter. The 4 MoCA devices will "see" each other and pass along the Ethernet data. Your router will see 3 Ethernet connected devices (it would be the same as connecting a hub (not switch) to your router and connecting the Wireless router, PC, and Fire TV cube into the hub)

All 4 Ethernet devices will share the maximum bandwidth of whatever MoCA family you purchased. If you purchased a 2.5 Gbps family, you will have a maximum of 2.5 Gbps amongst all 4 connections that can go through the MoCA network. I doubt you will ever see this limitation...when I was using 1 Gbps MoCA devices.

Hope this helps.


Edit: Here's a picture showing the connections described above:

MoCA.jpg
 
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OP
chillz

chillz

Registered
Joined
Aug 29, 2008
Location
Toronto
So I had the right idea all along lol -- Solution 2 in my initial post. My use of "switch" was incorrect and may have caused confusion. My bad.

Anyhow, your picture clarifies things explicitly so thank you for that. That's exactly the setup I'll be doing. My only headache now is picking a splitter. Trying to find one that states "MoCA 2.5" is impossible. I found this one from GE which mentions a 5-2500MHz signal range, and can be used for high-speed cable internet. Unfortunately it doesn't mention MoCA. This one by Cable Matters is really the only one that says it can be used in MoCA networks, and has a signal range of 5-2450MHz. Everything else I could find is overpriced, involves import/shipping fees, or has low signal range.

I think I'll go with the Cable Matters splitter seeing as how they have all the info I was looking for on the Cable Matters webstore. As I'm typing this, I went ahead and ordered the splitter along with this PoE filter. I only have 500Mbps internet, so this filter should be fine. Thanks again for all your help, @JrClocker! I'll post on my progress soon, Cheers!
 
OP
chillz

chillz

Registered
Joined
Aug 29, 2008
Location
Toronto
Got my MoCA network up and running! I'll post pics shortly. Quick question though:

I'm currently running 2 WiFi routers -- one in the living room and another in one of the 2nd floor bedrooms. I'm looking to add a 3rd in the master bedroom on the top floor. Can I have all 3 with the same name and password, or should they each be unique?

I do have some overlap, which is great as I don't see any dead spots between my living room and 2nd floor. Just not sure if the connected devices will continually switch between routers and cause any stuttering if they're all the same access name and pw.

Thanks in advance!
 

wagex

Chapstick Eating Premium Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Depends on the routers, some routers play nice with same ssid/pw usually some kind of mesh system or has a handler running in the background (tp link Omada, ubiquity controller ect) on a server that helps manage the connections. you're going to run into issues if the routers dont support a mesh or handoff system if anything moves from one room to the other it will hold onto the original signal it connected to and will absolutely not connect to the new one until you disconnect and re-connect or it completely loses signal from the first one... it will literally hold onto the weakest signal it can from it to avoid dropping the connection.

to save any routing issues you might have, any routers that are plugged into the main router and are just being used for wifi, disable dhcp and the firewall on those devices and it will save you headache if you intend on doing any kind of networking (port forwaring ect). This will more or less take the router and make it a switch/access point with no routing features.
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
I would use access points versus various wireless routers.

I use Unifi access points...same SSID for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz for all 3 access points. They transition between 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and then hand me off to the next access point...seamlessly...
 
OP
chillz

chillz

Registered
Joined
Aug 29, 2008
Location
Toronto
Everything's working great! I'm using the same SSIDs and having no issues. I still have to clean up the cabling in my living room and upstairs, but that'll be for another day. I'm also still undecided if I want to wall-mount my routers or not. Aside from that, I'm glad I set this MoCA network up.

Here's a pic of my cabling in the basement. I removed all the old phone lines and hardware, along with anything else installed by my old service providers. And while I was at it, I cleaned up my wiring as well. Looks so much better!

Thanks for all the help with this little project of mine. I very much appreciate all the awesome feedback and information. Cheers!
 

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JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Glad it worked out for you!

If you have a PoE switch, you can power the MoCA adapters with a PoE splitter. I did this, and it saved an extra A/C power brick for each MoCA adapter. Also, if you put a UPS on the PoE switch, your network will stay up for a little while when power goes out.

MoCA is a great alternative to running cable. However, as you found out, it's far from "plug and play" and requires a bit of "techie-ness" to get it setup. I ran mine for about 3 years before I bit the bullet and had the house wired with all CAT 6A.

Good luck!