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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

2 replies on “X1 Set-Top Box Issues RDK-03004 & RDK-03033”

Please just take this down, there’s so much info here that’s downright wrong that it’s actually more harmful than helpful. I work for the company as a CommTech installing this equipment and troubleshooting it with service calls in customer houses so I’m fully qualified to be calling the Bad info what it is. I’ll go number by number for you with all the wrong info…

1. Yes the cable must be BONDED to the ground at the demarcation point, this is a NEC requirement and 100% about safety, This has absolutely nothing to do with the signal and the BS in that link is 99% BS in regards to the actual RF signal from the ISP.

2. With a MOCA “Filter” the device is actually preforming mostly a reflector but also as a “notch filter”. The MOCA signals must stay within the house because the customer equipment will communicate with other customers equipment nearby so a -70db “filter” is placed at the demarcation point to prevent this. You don’t want the neighbors adult oriented DVR content showing up on XiD box little Billy’s room … right?

3. The unity gain amplifier has a built in MOCA filter, an external filter is redundant, unnecessary, and will cause additional signal attenuation.

NO, the cable modem ***SHOULD NOT*** be connected to the passive VoIP port of the amplifier! In over 99% of instillations the amplifier is installed because the signal levels at the device location are to low to be functional, by placing the MODEM on the UNamplified port the modem is likely going to have downstream frequency levels way to low and/or upstream power levels way too high. That means the modem is either going to have way more problems than before or it’s not going to work at all… the completely wrong info and advice you have here you just broke it. The only 0.01% of cases which would have the modem on the VoIP port would be a customer WITH TELEPHONE SERVICE that also has a battery backup attached to the EMTA to provide functional power during an outage AND the signal levels are within specifications WITHOUT amplification, this is so rare it’s a unicorn because the EMTA would need placed in the same location as the amplifier to be functional.

4. MOCA on the gateway must be turned on for certain television devices to be functional, by turning it off the completely wrong info and advice you have here you just broke it. MOCA being turned on has the gateway becoming part of the mesh network which is used for the cable boxes to communicate and will increase the PHY rates between devices and can actually resolve signal problems with XiD boxes. Thus, this setting should be left alone because it was probably either turned on by the technician which installed the equipment or the gateway must have MOCA on for devices to function so leave it alone. It’s not harming anything and any indirect result you achieved after turning this off was in no way associated with it and a prime example of correlation doesn’t equal causation.

5. Terminations do NOT prevent signal loss, you don’t “lose signal” when the port isn’t terminated you have signal leakage… these are two completely different things. All non used ports need proper terminations but they don’t provide a “dummy load” in any fashion whatsoever! That would be a cable simulator and that’s a whole other conversation …

So what about that leakage you read about which gave you just enough Info to be dangerous? RF signal leakage comes in two forms, egress and ingress , which is signal escaping from the coax lines (egress) and RF signals entering the cable lines (ingress). While both of these are bad the only one that will effect the customer will be ingress, every single last device emitting RF will “leak” into the coax lines through the cable itself and un terminated ports which can, and will, cause signal problems. It can actually be severe enough that we place a “trap” or completely disconnect the problem customer lines to block the ingress from getting back into the cable plant and causing problems with other customers.

So yes, terminations are proper but they won’t increase signal levels by preventing leakage. Anyone that has a splitter with unused ports should likely just remove the splitter completely UNLESS it’s placed in the demarcation box or the cable installer specifically said the splitter was necessary. With certain locations, especially homes with only one single device, the signal strength can be to high and must be reduced so a splitter is used as a “pad” for the upstream and/or downstream levels.

So, in conclusion… this digital cable stuff is way more complicated than just weekend warrior DIY and a customer can create way more problems than solutions, especially if they land on your website and follow the bad advice you have here. If a customer is having problems then the customer needs to have a tech come assess and fix the problems… not make the situation worse.

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