Plant Powering challenges and future


This is episode 68 of Get Your Tech On, our show on All Things DOCSIS.  I’m Brady Volpe, Founder of The Volpe Firm and Nimble This.

Listen in on the conversation with Brady Volpe as he explores what is system powering. How system power is impacted in the age of Remote-PHY (DAA) and more. Innovative ways to use powering with PNM. Challenges with system powering –  issues involved with it, especially when migrating to R-PHY. With John Downey CMTS Technical Leader at Cisco and special guest Rob Anderson – Director, Product Management, EnerSys, formerly Alpha Technologies. Join in the discuss live and ask powering questions for the network.

In our Power Hour of Cable on All Things DOCSIS join us and drop your comments into the chat. Real world experiences discussed.


    • Plant Powering
    • What is plant powering?
    • Any active device on the HFC network needs power
    • Broadband UPS
    • 110 or 240 Volt
    • Over coaxial cable – 90 volts AC
    • Why not higher 110?
      • The reason for 90 volts is regulatory volt
      • 90 volts you can use your own technicians anything over you need a licensed electrician
      • We are 89.8 volts
      • Not a true sign wave
      • Quasi square wave
      • Line isolation needed – from lighting hit
      • Fold Back
      • RF choke will burn up
    • Do we have 90 volts running into homes?
      • No – doesn’t have volts coming into home
      • Power blocking taps
      • Volts is just for devices
      • Of course Volts are dangerous
      • Line techs are trained to work on gear safely
      • Keep equipment from getting shorts – discussion
      • Telecos are doing DC
      • B+ test point = Battery
    • Watts the Problem?
    • Can PNM be used to detect power leakage into the coax system?
      • Cable modem built in power supplies
      • Provide telemetry to cable operators
      • The cable Modem can send information in advance to let system operator know to roll truck with generator before depletion of battery
      • Triangulate information


    • Overused power draw – leakage
      • Examples –
      • Look at power history
      • The output power had risen
      • Result – Lasers were going out
      • Set alarms – AC power dips
    • Fluctuations in main line power network are also looked at
      • Discussion
        • Mini built in spectrum analyzer that looks:
        • Phase shift, brown outs etc
    • Powering assessment monitoring network
    • High Speed cable modem distributed throughout the network in power supply – what other advantages?
      • 4G LTE co-located with power supplies
      • Cameras etc
      • Gateway product
    • CBRS / 5G – 3.5 GHz
      • Powering and back haul lenses
    • Water in Hardline questions?
      • Current draw history
      • AC circuit eli the wave form
    • DAA – node plus zero – powering issues
    • Creative lessons?
      • R-PHY[2] nodes / devices
      • They draw more power
        • 80 / 90 power analog nodes
        • 150 / 170 power R-PHY nodes
      • You no longer need coax to power the device
      • Use existing coax as a power extension cable
      • No coax available run short extensions
      • Upgrade power supplies
      • One big power supply is better then several little ones
      • Last resort will add new power supplies – do to cost
      • Need to think about powering to DAA[3] or R-PHY nodes
      • 200 watts – EPON or Edge compute device[4] – add new elements into the network
      • MAC-PHY[5] more powering at the node
    • 200 watt device issues
    • Are you seeing Battery back up with Solar?
      • No not really – not efficient enough
    • Power inserters
      • Use power inserters
      • Causing artifacts- AM radio
      • AM signal getting into via the power supply
      • Below 5 megahertz- use power inserter
    • DOCSIS Transponders
      • Make sure modem has proper padding downstream +/- 5 and upstream 45 transmit


    • Power inserters
    • Always use power inserter?  Yes
    • Flexible solution tap
    • Question from Chat room
    • CableLabs and SCTE merger?
    • VoIP[7] – making a comeback
    • CBRS and 5G deployments – wireless
    • Apple event was 5G

Next Podcast – Special series on Cloud Native Series Part 3

End Podcast

Thank you for your time today. This was a great episode.  Our next regular Episode[8] 69 December 18th

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