PreEqualization Analyzer: Features
A bad connector or damaged cable can cause micro-reflections and ingress in your cable plant. Most diagnostics applications don’t identify problems like that. In fact, symptoms like bad SNR or high power levels are actually hidden from most diagnostics software when pre-eq is enabled in the CMTS. This means you often have to wait for customers to call and complain to even know you have an issue.
PreEqualization Analyzer is a Proactive Network Maintenance (PNM) tool that lets you clearly see which devices are being impacted by upstream impairments like micro-reflections and group delay, the severity of the problem, and the approximate location of the fault that’s causing the issue. And, you can see the issue before service is ever impacted for the subscriber. That lets you proactively fix the problem as part of your routine.
Business Intelligence Dashboard
Our business intelligence dashboard places key summary data on one screen so you can quickly see the health of your cable plant. For example, you can view your worst performing modems and nodes, and devices that have the worst downstream spectrum performance, helping you prioritize which issues to address first. You can also keep an eye on plant performance trends with charts that show historical online and offline modem counts, and changes in modem health over time. You can easily customize the display of widgets that appear on the dashboard and their placement.
Interactive Mapping: Detailed View
With our interactive mapping display you can see the performance of all of your modems at a glance. Three threshold levels (green, yellow and red) show degrees of impairments. You can filter the map to show only modems at a particular impairment level, only those that are partially impaired, or only modems that are full-band capture capable.
If you have strand maps for your cable plant in a compatible digital format, they can be overlaid to on top of our detailed PNM map. For example, we can display layers such as your active devices, your passive devices, and your cable runs. This, combined with TDR and vTDR data, makes it even easier to determine where the fault is that’s causing the upstream issue.
We automatically geolocate your devices in our system if the format of the subscriber’s address allows for that. If an address cannot be geocoded, your technician can geolocate a device with pinpoint accuracy while at the customer premises using our mobile PNM app.
Most noise in the upstream cable plant is introduced at the home or at the drop. With PreEqualization Analyzer you can see which devices you should target first, right from the office or your mobile device. Our Intermittent Modem Report uses a sophisticated algorithm that shows you which devices are likely being impacted by nearby noise. As that noise enters your return path it accumulates and can impact everyone on that upstream. With PreEqualization Analyzer you can plan your maintenance to methodically address those ingress issues, improving the overall quality of your service.
When viewing a device in a table or on the map you can drill-in to see more details such as the modem vendor, software version, MAC Address, port, digital tap response, in-channel frequency response, micro reflection levels, group delay, TDR, and VTDR. You can also see if the modem is associated with a correlation group, which is when the application identifies a common impairment affecting multiple modems (see below). In addition, you can view the history of the modem to see past performance.
See Common Upstream Impairments
PreEqualization Analyzer automatically identifies groups of modems that are likely being impacted by the same upstream or downstream impairment. The devices are clearly identified on the map, allowing you to see which subscribers are impacted and which nearby devices are not part of the identified group. In the upstream the application calculates the length of the echo cavity of micro-reflections that are impacting multiple modems. This information provides you the data you need to more easily find the source of the problem. And, for DOCSIS 3.1 compatible devices, our RxMER correlation looks at low RxMER on the OFDM channel and displays on the map nearby devices with similar RxMER per subcarrier data.
See Common Downstream Impairments
PreEqualization Analyzer also looks at all of your modems that support full-band-capture and correlates clusters of modems that have a similar downstream spectrum response, such as nearby devices experiencing a common suck-out or standing wave. This reduces truck rolls and wasted time in the field by confirming that an issue is in the outside plant, and cannot be resolved at a subscriber’s home. You can also easily click from modem to modem in the correlation group map to compare the downstream spectrum for each device. It’s like doing a virtual sweep right from your PC or phone, no matter where you are.
Full Band Capture Spectrum Analysis
SpectraVizion displays a list of all devices experiencing downstream spectrum issues. You can drill-in to view a capture of the full spectrum from that day for any device that supports spectrum capture. Click again to see captures from previous days. You can also rescan the modem at any time to capture the current spectrum and see if anything has changed.
Upstream Spectrum Analysis
Our Upstream Analyzer displays the upstream spectrum from your CMTS in real time from anywhere. You can view the live spectrum passing through the CMTS on a PC or mobile device. There are settings for Live. Max Hold and Min Hold, and with one click you can view ingress under the cable modem. You can also view a history of the upstream spectrum over time. Best of all, there’s no expensive equipment or complicated cabling to set-up. All you need is your CMTS.
DOCSIS 3.1 OFDM Capacity Planning
PreEqualization Analyzer can also help you determine which parts of your HFC plant can support OFDM channels even before they are deployed and the order of modulation that could be attained. In essence, you are prequalifying your plant by determining what sections of the plant are ready for immediate DOCSIS 3.1 deployment and what sections will need improvement first. This is done by leveraging full band capture data from your existing DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1 modems. You can also display on the map what subscriber devices can immediately support a given OFDM modulation level based on estimated RF performance. These features will allow you to plan for DOCSIS 3.1 more efficiently by giving you a better idea of the level of effort and plant upgrades that will be needed in order to deploy OFDM.
Cable Modem Installer and Birth Certificates
With our Cable Modem Installer and Birth Certificate feature, your installer can make sure the cable modem meets your criteria before leaving the subscriber’s home—and you have a permanent history of that install. When your technician runs the Cable Modem Installer it automatically checks key upstream, downstream and PNM readings. The test clearly shows where a device passes or fails so that any issues can be addressed by the technician before they leave the home; or, if need be, handed off to another technician if the problem is further out in the plant. That definitely beats having to roll a truck a week later to a newly dissatisfied customer.
The Cable Modem Installer can be run multiple times from any location. Each time it is run it generates a Birth Certificate, which includes the last test results and readings, the tech’s name and a timestamp. This provides you with a record of each installation attempt, allowing you to track overall installation success. This also keeps your installers accountable, including any contractors you may employ, and it can show you where there may be a need for additional training.
If you see an outage or an opportunity to do some proactive maintenance, you can send a work order to the nearest available technician, which is pushed to their mobile device. Through the app they can log all work performed – making notes, adding pictures if needed, and closing it out. You can check the status of the work order at any time so you have up-to-the-minute information on what has been completed and which technicians are available.
The Nimble PNM Mobile app was created specifically to sync with the PreEqualization Analyzer desktop application. Download and install the app on your mobile device and get fast and easy access to PreEqualization Analyzer from the field. You can manage your proactive network maintenance activities directly from the app anywhere and anytime. At the touch of the screen, you’ll have access to key PreEqualization Analyzer features including device screens, correlation groups, Cable Modem Installer, Work Orders, SpectraVizion downstream spectrum capture, and Upstream Analyzer (licensed separately). Nimble PNM is available for both Android and iOS devices on Google Play and the App Store.
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