Today I had an interesting issue. Well it started a couple of days ago where the Joey’s in the house were losing connection with their linked Dish Network Hopper devices. I kept rebooting the Dish Network Hopper in each room, but still the problem persisted. Then the other day I started having internet connection issues. What I noticed was my Internet Gateway Router was rebooting on it’s on, and was NOT giving out any new DHCP leases to machines on my network. So I Started to wonder if the two things could be related. What I found was that YES in fact they are! Below is a diagram of the installation I have where each Dish Network Hopper is hard-wired to the internet. The picture only shows one, but they both are as well.
What I learned was that neither Dish Network Hopper was getting a DHCP address on the LAN and thus no Internet connectivity. I thought the loss of internet was preventing them to call home removing access. Instead what I learned was that the MoCA connection ACTUALLY allows each Joey to get its OWN DHCP address on the LAN via the hopper. I can prove this by looking at the network DHCP connections in the gateway router below.
What we see here is that the LAN DHCP has given out IP addresses to the Dish Network Hopper itself, as well as the Hopper MoCA connection. In turn we see IP Addresses on the LAN to the Joey MoCA connections! Interesting to say the least! This tells me that although the Joey’s and Dish Network Hopper all use the new MoCA connections, there is some level of connectivity on that MoCA link using a standard IP Address.
The really cool part is you can actually PING all these IP addresses including the Joey’s even though they are NOT directly connected to any ethernet connection. So if you are following what I am saying Joey’s get an IP over the Coax, via MoCA, through the Dish Network Hopper ethernet connections. We know this is true since the only cable connected to a Joey is the Coax. Cool right? Well sort of, unless you lose your DHCP/Internet Gateway device!
Now what happened was when I lost my gateway device and NOTHING was getting DHCP addresses not only was my computer internet access wonky, but the whole home DVR stuff stopped working. Now I know it was not because there was no internet access, it was because there was no DHCP server on the network giving out addresses. I was surprised to see that MoCA and Dish Network Hopper whole home DVR connectivity does seem to have a dependency on LAN connections.
What makes me more curious is what if you had no internet access and thus no DHCP server in your house? I think Dish Network states internet access is a requirement for the Dish Network Hopper to work. None of the diagrams show wiring WITHOUT a Router and internet access. I think this is true because any Internet gateway router will act as a DHCP server in the home. In turn it will ensure that the MoCA devices all get LAN IP addresses. My best guess is that you cannot have the Dish Network Hopper system without a router and thus a DHCP server. I do think internet needed for call home, on demand DISH Online access. However knowing now that the REAL requirement is the fact the devices are all getting LAN address to communicate to each other from that router was quite interesting.
So if you ever have issues with your router affecting your internet access, and you have the Dish Network Hopper whole home DVR, you might see Joey and Hopper connection issues as well. Don’t get too jacked up over it, just know that like all technology there is always some dependencies in between you need to know about. I hope you found this useful and interesting, I know I did! I still maintain the Dish Network Hopper setup is the coolest technology for Whole Home DVR. You can now pull DVR recordings from Hopper to Hopper so I would not trade it in for the world. It’s just interesting when you learn how a cool new technology like MoCA works and still uses some traditional network connectivity inside it.