MadSci Network: Astronomy

Re: how can I prevent solar activity from affecting my cable service?

Date: Fri Mar 24 21:34:57 2000
Posted By: David Taylor, Staff, programming, Testronics
Area of science: Astronomy
ID: 952920520.As


My cable (and computer link thru cable) have been affected the past five 
days by what I am told by my provider are "sun spots".  

Two neighbors, whose houses face different directions from mine, aren't 

My next door neighbor, whose house faces the same direction as mine, is 

All of us receive service from the same cable pole.

During a short, heavy rain yesterday my service returned to normal briefly.

I am perplexed why this is occurring this year but hasn't in past years.  
Can I prevent the interference in any way?


The facing of your house is rather unlikely to influence your reception 

If one attempts to charitably give the cable company the benefit of a 
doubt, the sun is near the high point in it's eleven-year solar cycle. 
There will be more periods of genuine solar interference than usual. 
Updates on current solar activity can be found at . 

"A typical flare reaches its maximum brightness in a few minutes, and takes 
at least an hour to die away." (Patrick Moore's A-Z of Astronomy, [Flares, 
Solar] entry). I believe that flares lasting more than several days will be 

When in good condition, coaxial cables that are used by cable TV companies 
should be rather resistant to outside radio noise, including solar noise. 
TV cables usually have an amplifier every several houses to restore signal 
strength. This amplifier is a prime suspect for your reception problem. A 
more distant suspect would be coaxial cable damage.

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