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Posted: 10/11/2004 2:54:59 PM EST
The cable guy put an attenuator on one of the lines going into my house ( I have a 3 way splitter) and it is messing up the signal to that TV. Two question:
1. What the heck is an attentuator?
2. Why did he put it on my line?

No one told me they were putting it on, I just started having trouble with the signal and when I went out to check it, I found the attenuator on the line.

It is marked as follows attentuator FAM-16, 16DB.



Thanks for the help.
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 2:59:25 PM EST
An attenuator "attenuates" or reduces the signal strength. If it were me, I'd remove it. It might be better to call them and complain and have them remove it. I wonder why they would think it's necessary to reduce your signal strength?
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 3:03:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/11/2004 3:06:48 PM EST by Boomholzer]
what gus said,

FYI: 16dB is lowering the signal power by over a factor of 5.

3dB attenuation = 1/2 reduction in signal power.

I have no idea why one would add that big of a slug.


The three way splitter will also naturally have a lower power signal to each branch, any unused ports off that three way should be terminated.

You will not damage anything from removing it, give it a try.
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 3:19:20 PM EST
They could have hot levels coming into the home from the cable plant and the desired affect was to drop the RF levels to the ideal range prior to entering the home. Could be a bad attenuator or bad fittings causing the trouble with your picture. Call the Company back, have them fix it.
What company out of curiousity?
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 3:26:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By MFS1589:
They could have hot levels coming into the home from the cable plant and the desired affect was to drop the RF levels to the ideal range prior to entering the home. Could be a bad attenuator or bad fittings causing the trouble with your picture. Call the Company back, have them fix it.
What company out of curiousity?





More likely a bad cable TV tech. 16db is a hell of a reduction, considering he was happy with the picture quality before they cut him back. Sounds like my old incompetent cable company at work!! I'm sure glad I switched to satellite.
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 4:51:20 PM EST
Again what gus said.

16dB!

I've had techs installs these attenuators for ill reasons in other fields. Once, a tech installed a 6dB attenuator opposite a supposed weak branch after a splitter. When I asked why, the tech responded that his solution would add 6dB of power to the other (weak) port of the splitter.

He then went on to prove me wrong spouting that it must be so per the Conservation of Power Law.

Right on!
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 7:09:33 PM EST
If the signal being delivered to your house was too hot, it might make sense to put an attenuator on the INPUT side of your splitter, but I can't imagine any reason why the cable guy would put 16 dB of attenuation on just one of the OUTPUTS from the splitter. As Boomholzer suggested, remove it and see if the picture improves.

BTW, a weak signal usually makes the picture look grainy (has 'snow' in it), while a too strong signal usually makes the picture have wavy lines in it.
Link Posted: 10/11/2004 7:27:24 PM EST
Job security.

He wants you to call him back out to fix your "fuzzy picture".

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