X1 Set-Top Box Issues RDK-03004 & RDK-03033

Excellent Comment from one of my previous post:
http://jermsmit.com/x1-error-code-rdk-03004-unable-to-connect-to-xfinity/

Sharing the information below.  Thanks dude for sharing.

 

Equipment List:

1. Cable Modem -> Xfinity TG1682G internet cable modem (https://tinyurl.com/y7vmfwr9)
2. Main DVR Unit -> Xfinity PX0113ANM main cable box (https://tinyurl.com/ybqa3m6y)
3. Remote Units -> 2 Xfinity PXD01ANI receivers (https://tinyurl.com/y97fawjj)
4. Amplifier -> Commscope CSAPDU5VP 5 port Subscriber Amplifier (https://tinyurl.com/y6vdnuhn)
5. MoCa Filter -> PPC MoCA Ground Block PoE Filter, Combo Wave (https://tinyurl.com/ybhb496l)

Situation:

Xfinity internet was disconnecting frequently, and the main Xfinity cable box (PX013ANM) was rebooting. Basically, service was going in and out.  Neighbors were not having any issues.  Called Comcast a number of times.  Sometimes they customer service representative could ping (i.e. see) the devices, other times they could not.

Complicating Factors

Internet was consistently dropping.  Great performance, then nothing. Reboot the modem, work for a period, then same issue would repeat.

All of a sudden main cable DVR unit would reboot multiple times per day.

Cable would begin randomly freezing on remote units.  I would reboot the remote units, and they would time out, not connect, and display the error: rdk-03036.

I’ll jump to the solution so I don’t bore you to sleep….

Solution:

After hours (possibly days) of internet research, hair pulling, and deep, deep soul searching, I figured out the issue and now (knock on wood) have a speed demon, high-performance Xfinity network.

1.  Make sure your cable line is GROUNDED.  This is important.  My cable line is grounded using the MoCa filter which is explained in #2 below.  Grounding the line really important.  Proper grounding reduces noise/static in the cable line which allows the data to perform better.  Here is a link explaining the situation: https://tinyurl.com/6k3hqb.  Safety note: You also want to ground the line in the rare situation that the cable line outside gets hit by lightning, sending that dangerous current into your house destroying everything in its path (all electronics and possible your home)

2. Make sure you have a MoCa filter (see equipment list above) installed on your cable line BEFORE any amplifier or splitter.  This is very important – also, make sure the directional arrow on the filter points into the house as if data were flowing into your home.  NOTE: My MoCa filter is also the ground point.  I’ll explain this MoCa pain in the a$$ down below.

3. If you are using the Commscope amplifier, it is really important on where you connect your devices.  On my Commscope 5 port, there are four active ports (Out 1 -> Out 4), and one passive port (-4dB VoIP Out).   There is also the line IN port (this is where you connect the cable line coming into the house {assuming the MoCa filter is on the other end connect to the main line from the outside cable}), and the Power In port.

– The cable modem MUST be connect to the VoIP Out passive port.  This is defined as “passive”  since the amplifier does not send any power to it (i.e. amplification).  The main purpose is that if your power goes out, and your cable modem has a backup-battery, the phones will still work (i.e. land lines).
– The rest of your cable devices (main DVR, and remote boxes) should be connected to 1, 2, 3, and 4.  I’m only using 1, 2, 3.  My Main DVR is connected to Port number 1.  Also, if you have an open port, you should cap it with an F-Type terminator -> (aka dummy load) https://tinyurl.com/ydxybeog

4. Make sure the MoCa communications settings on the Cable Modem/Router is DISABLED!.  Using a browser on your home network, go to 10.0.0.1 and login as the Admin.  (Note: the default password is “password”).  Select Communications, find MoCa and disable it.

5. Unplug all your devices, wait a few minutes and plug them back in.  Once they are all up and running, use the Xfinity My Account app on your mobile device, and send a REFRESH single to your system.

If all goes to plan, everything should come back to life.  If you still have issues, check the following:

1. Make sure you limit splitters on your cable network.  If you have any, and require splitting, please make sure they are high-quality.  Also, if you have a one to four, or one to two splitter, and you are not using all the connectors, the ports need to be capped with an f-type male terminator.  Otherwise, you lose signal.

2. If you are having internet issues and are using a downstream router, make sure all your Ethernet cables are high quality.  I had some old cables where the ends did not fit well, and that was causing internet problems.

3.  If you are still having cable issues on the remote boxes, go to the main DVR, grab the remote and perform the following procedure:

– Press and hold the EXIT button for five seconds
– Click the down arrow twice
– Hit the number 2 button

You should be presented with the diagnostics menu. Arrow to the MoCa Diagnostics section and confirm that the MoCa Link Status is set to LinkOn (not NoLink).  If this is set to NoLink, then your cable will not work on the remote boxes. Check to make sure the MoCa filter is installed correctly. Also, make sure MoCa is disabled on the cable modem router page.

*** MoCa PITA (Pain in the A$$) ***

So, I learned a lot about MoCa during this exercise.  Multimedia Over Coax Alliance (“MoCa”) is the data communications method used by the Xfinity devices to communicate.  The remote devices do nothing more than connect to the main DVR for processing. When you are watching cable on a TV connect to a remote PXD unit, all the interaction (guides, internet apps, DVR viewing) is being served by the main DVR unit in the home. All the data is being controlled by MoCa.  If you don’t have the MoCa filter connected to your cable line coming into the house, you can get MoCa traffic into your home network which causes congestion and conflict.  Hence, there is so much traffic that the devices can’t connect to the right host – your main DVR.  By installing the filter, outside MoCa traffic is left outside.

In theory, the MoCa configuration on your Comcast router should not impact the performance of your cable devices.  However, when I had it on, I had internet and cable problems.  By making sure the filter was installed correctly, and MoCa was OFF on the router, the system worked perfectly.

I hope this helps and saves at least one person some time and headaches.

submitted by frustrated xfinity (comcast) customer

OpenVPN Access Server on Ubuntu

I recently retired my OpenVPN Turnkey appliance and needed to get my VPN solution up and running again. I decided to go with installing OpenVPN Access Server on a clean install of Ubuntu Server to create a stable and light weight Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access my network.

I chose to go with OpenVPN AS because its using the OpenVPN I know and trust, but it also has the value added feature of an administrative server used for user and access management.

Setup is straight forward after a few small prerequisites are established.

Requirements:

  • Ubuntu Server – Running the latest version and updates. I am using 16.04.2-as my base
  • Root or possibly sudo access

Software:

Download the latest release of the OpenVPN AS Server
https://openvpn.net/index.php/access-server/download-openvpn-as-sw.html

The direct Ubuntu installs here

 

The following steps can be used to download and install:

  1. Download the install package: wget http://swupdate.openvpn.org/as/openvpn-as-2.1.9-Ubuntu16.amd_64.deb
  2. Install the downloaded package: dpkg -i openvpn-as-2.1.9-Ubuntu16.amd_64.deb
  3. Change the password for the openvpn user: passwd openvpn

When the installation has completed, the Access Server web UIs will be available here:
Admin UI: https://<yourip>:943/admin
Client UI: https://<yourip>:943/

 

And just like that you now can take better control over your privacy, security.

Note: I did not go over the configuration of OpenVPN AS, I may do this in another post. I just wanted to run though the steps of getting this software installed.

Some say…

Some say there are two great days in a person’s life: the day you were born and the day you discover why. I want to encourage you to seek what you were put on this earth to do. Then pursue it.  – #jermsmit #jermfit

Largest FREE Microsoft eBook Giveaway! 

FREE MICROSOFT EBOOK GIVEAWAY extravaganza!

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/mssmallbiz/2017/07/11/largest-free-microsoft-ebook-giveaway-im-giving-away-millions-of-free-microsoft-ebooks-again-including-windows-10-office-365-office-2016-power-bi-azure-windows-8-1-office-2013-sharepo/

Ubuntu Linux for Windows 10 Released On Windows App Store

We can now get Ubuntu Linux for Windows 10 from the Windows App Store. Hows that for an amazing new feature. Simply open the Windows store and search for “Ubuntu”. I would be remiss if i didn’t mention that Windows Insiders Members get first go at this new application.

Also to note that this is not a full version of the Linux Operating System “Ubuntu”. This application is mainly utilizing terminal via bash with included gui-less utilities such as  ssh, git, apt, etc…

  • Navigate to Control Panel > Program and Features
  • Select Turn Windows features on or off
  • Select Windows Subsystems for Linux and Click OK
  • Reboot