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 Post subject: Time Warner Conspiracy
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 3:13 am 
8086
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Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 2:43 am
Posts: 6
I have been having trouble with my cable modem internet connection for about 2 years now across 3 different computers. Despite numerous (and I do mean numerous) calls to Time Warner nothing has been done about it. And let me tell you I am VERY upset. I turn to you guys as the experts and any advice you can give.

Here's my story: Everynight from about 11pm-10am my cable modem (a Motorola Surfboard 4200) has been blinking and going out. I have tried "resetting" and "unplugging" as suggested by the technicians. I have tried changing splitters (my own idea), I have tried changing cables (my own idea as well) and have even tried changing computers (3 times) and even updating with firmware. None of these have worked. I have harrassed Time Warner and told them to come out and help so many times that recently they told me that if I call them again they will have to charge me $50 for each visit.

Now, I pay $50 per month for this service and I think for that money I deserve it to have it work most of the time. I understand it not working maybe a couple of hours a week but EVERY night. This does not make sense. The frustration is that the cableman comes by when it is obviously working - during the day. The last visit I received I made it a point to videotape the modem going down at night and showed it to the cableman. He then proceeded to tell me that there was nothing he could do since it was working fine and could only fix it when it was down so he could see what the problem was. Beleive me, I had thoughts of binding this guy and holding him there until night when it goes down. But alas, I am not a violent person.

I do not know what it could be. I have thought of everything the past year and a half and cannot seem to come up with a solution. My cable comes in through the wall into a splitter that goes into my TV for cable viewing and into my cable modem - that's it. Simple. That's the way it was setup originally by the cable guy.

I have two questions: Why is this happening? and Why the HECK does this only happen at night?

The conspiracy side of my brain says this is Time Warner's way of cost cutting during the night when most people wont notice it. Am I right? Help please, please help. I am at my wit's end. The all-knowing experts at Maximum PC are my last hope. You guys are all powerfull. I have seen you guys in action in all the years I have subscribe to your magazine since it was "boot". I know you guys can help somehow. Please, be my "superman." Help!

Arnie
justavid@yahoo.com

BTW: It's 6:41am in the morning and it took me 4 hours to send this message through. I started and finished this post at 2am but had to keep trying to send it until it finally went through at 6:41am because my modem was constantly going down. Now you see my problem.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 5:31 am 
Smithfield
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Since you seem to be getting pretty desperate, have you considered another cable modem? They aren't *too* expensive and it *could* be to blame.

NOTE: I am not an expert but you said you've replaced everything, I'm just making a suggestion.


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 Post subject: That was one of the 1st things
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 5:54 am 
8086
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That was one of the first things the cable guys check when they get to my house - my cable modem has been checked more times than a pretty girl walking by a construction site.

That fact that it happens only at night is the puzzling thing. And noone has been able to provide a answer for that.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 6:24 am 
Smithfield
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Maybe its a dirty line coming to the house? Have you had a cable guy check that? IIRC my friend had some trouble with his cable until a cable guy found out that the cable leading to his house was old and a bit too long. Might be an expensive prospect but if you're desperete and nothing else has worked...


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 Post subject: Yeah
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 6:37 am 
8086
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Some time ago I replaced the standard Time Warner cable with more expensive cable. I did this despite the fact that my cable reception was fine. But that didn't help. I changed it back to the "authorized" Time Warner cable. So I know it is not the cable. And if it was the cable why would it only happen at night.

Right now my connection is actually working because it is day - now it's working. 2 hours ago was a different story. That is what puzzles me.

Thanks - I know it's been frustrating the heck out of me. Thanks for the help.


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 Post subject: Re: Yeah
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 3:51 pm 
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Flowbee wrote:
Some time ago I replaced the standard Time Warner cable with more expensive cable. I did this despite the fact that my cable reception was fine. But that didn't help. I changed it back to the "authorized" Time Warner cable. So I know it is not the cable. And if it was the cable why would it only happen at night.

Right now my connection is actually working because it is day - now it's working. 2 hours ago was a different story. That is what puzzles me.

Thanks - I know it's been frustrating the heck out of me. Thanks for the help.


I think Urs has actually been hitting it on the head...

I have (in a closet now) the similar low-end Motorola Cable Modem as you. Whether you use the official Time Warner - or another cable internet service - the lines coming into your house are the same - and a dirty line is still going to be a dirty line...

Most line noise actually comes bad connectors inside your house, bad splitters on the outside of your house - or bad cable running underground from your house connection to the main area cable box.

The other thing it could be is that if it happens at night - thats probably when others around you are getting on the internet, using their Cable TVs, etc... I've SEEN where that can cause problems....

My Modem would go out multiple times a day so I had the Cable company come out and had them run line signal strength tests on the lines (not line noise tests). It was on the "low end" of normal - This was tested from the outside - not on the inside of the house - so it couldn't be a problem with my indoor cabling...
They came out and replaced the line and that fixed my problems... Until I moved LOL

In Florida I had the same problem - the modem would normally drop at night and I had them come out and trade out line and it STILL didn't help. I finally gave up - and bought a new Netgear Cable Modem - I've liked Netgear for awhile so I thought I'd try their cable modem out as well.. Its made quite a difference...
I would still get some drops (once a week maybe), but I still blame the cable signal strength for that

Now I'm in Michigan and I haven't dropped but like twice in 5 months.... Same equipment (still my netgear cable modem) in three seperate Cable Internet Markets - so... Where does that tell ya the problem was :)

I think that Instigator actually does this type of work - or is at least familiar with it - hopefully he'll chime in and give you some suggestions on how to go about testing this stuff and resolving it...
Tuathal


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 Post subject: Thanks tua
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 8:39 pm 
8086
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Thanks tua. My problem is that my connection doesn't just drop at night - it actually closes. I get these pop messages on windows telling my my cable connection is unplugged. Which it isn't.

Right now it is happening, So I am waiting for it to come back on so that I may send this meesage - usually I have a 1:15 second window in between the "connection closing".

The other thing is that I live in a rural community. I have checked with my neighbors and I am the only one on this node - with Road Runner service, anyway. Even if I wasn't the only one I doubt these old folks (sorry, no offense) has been surfing the internet from 12am to 6am in the morning.

I hope this guy you mentioned can help me. Thanks tua.

BTW: I have googled this problem and several times in the past and the only thing that came close to my situation was one interesting post that had a comment on "node problems" that sounded somewhat similar to the problem I had. In this post the blame was placed on a street light that came on at night and interfered with the "node". I told this to the cable guy who came over once and he just laughed (yes he actually laughed) at me and said that that was "unlikely". ARGHHH!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 9:34 pm 
Sharptooth
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Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:43 am
Posts: 366
Location: Cowtown, Alberta, Canada
As i work for the local cable company in this city, what i suspect it is the Signal to nosie ratio is droping, and the modem goes off line

The RF signal on a modem is alot more sesitive, then your TV, infact the Tv operates at a higher freqence then the modem, the modem you speak of acctully, has to have the RF level between -11 and +11 of upstream signal and 45 to 55 for downstream, and the most important thing on a moterola modem is the Signal to noise ratio which should be at least +25 or you will get slower internet speeds and if it is too low it will drop offline.

i would also see if you can get a tereyon modem they have a much much larger spectrum of RF level, and will problem operate better with a fluctuationg signal,

I think you need a new line run from the box to your house, (Does the cable company probe the modem for info every couple hours we do) but i would also see if any of your neibours are seeing the same issue, and you know you can choose a different provder for internet, (hell i have even recommened it to customers that have had a service call everyday for 3 weeks)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2004 5:44 am 
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W00t
There was the type of response I was hoping would be posted...

Thats nice info... We may have to get you and IX to write something up that could be sticky :)

Tuathal


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2004 10:15 am 
Coppermine
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Location: MA
Man, I always come in late after all the smart people post the answers ;)

I really think you need to escalate the problem with the cable company. I have worked for an ISP for many years...your cable company has some smart people working there, you just have to get past the moronic tier 1 people ;)

Heck, we even had resourceful customers who would call our CEO directly because their dial service wasn't working correctly...and next thing there are like 4 of us dedicated to the problem ;)

Get someone in charge on the phone (not just a supervisor) and insist they send someone who actually knows what they doing out to house to check your signal to noise ratios..and have them bring different (new) CPE (modem).


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 Post subject: Thanks Nick
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:05 am 
8086
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Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 2:43 am
Posts: 6
Thanks Nick0Danger,
I am doing a status check on my modem as we speak. And here is what I get - I have to keep refreshing to get through. I hope I can get this through:

Downstream
Frequency: 663000000 Hz Locked
Signal to Noise Ratio: 16 dB
Power Level: -6 dBmV
(The Downstream Power Level reading is a snapshot taken at the time this page was requested. Please Reload/Refresh this Page for a new reading)

Upstream
Channel Id: 5
Frequency: 34000000 Hz Ranged
Power Level: 58 dBmV

At another refresh I got these numbers:

Downstream
Frequency: 387000000 Hz In Progress
Signal to Noise Ratio: 17 dB
Power Level: -7 dBmV
(The Downstream Power Level reading is a snapshot taken at the time this page was requested. Please Reload/Refresh this Page for a new reading)

Upstream
Channel Id: 5
Frequency: 0 Hz In Progress
Power Level: 0 dBmV




During the day when the modem is working properly these are the readings I get:

Downstream
Frequency: 567000000 Hz Locked
Signal to Noise Ratio: 36 dB
Power Level: -4 dBmV
(The Downstream Power Level reading is a snapshot taken at the time this page was requested. Please Reload/Refresh this Page for a new reading )

Upstream
Channel Id: 5
Frequency: 34000000 Hz Ranged
Power Level: 59 dBmV

Do these reading confirm your assessment?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:13 am 
Sharptooth
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Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:43 am
Posts: 366
Location: Cowtown, Alberta, Canada
yea the Signal to noise ratio is way to low, at night, my opion (and the company i work for) we would set you up with a tech that works nights and the second it goes out you call the Biz line and we send the tech till we figure out how to fix it. We have had to run seperate lines for tv and internet. and SNR problems generly are easy to fix this is my moterola modems reading. notice the signal to noise ration although it took 6 months for a line guy to come out, He was here yesterday, that SNR level was never higher then 25, and i would get random drops, has not happened since, so my professinoal opion is the SNR is way to low. Personally i get real mad at some of my fellow emploies that let levels like these go and not try and get a service call out, even if it is not a problem now it will be. As i said before if you are not happy with the service go else where.




Basic Properties
Modem Mac Address 00:0f:9f:57:12:be
Cable Modem Index 1851983
Modem State Registered
Modem Powered-on Time 5 days, 14:51:34
Software Image Filename SW-Motorola-SB5100-1.1-stable-signed.fw
Software Version SB5100-2.3.1.6-ENG03-d20off-NOSH
Standby Mode Disabled
Network Access Control Enabled
Maximum Number of CPEs 2
Downstream Channel Cable5/1/3-downstream
Upstream Channel Cable5/1/3-upstream1

RF Levels
Receive Level (dB) 7.6
Transmit Level (dB) 44.0
Downstream Signal/Noise Ratio (dB) <B>41.1 </b>
Upstream Signal/Noise Ratio (dB) 21.6

CPE Information
IP Address(es)
68.146.214.000

ARP Information (Cached for up to four hours)
Not Available

Service Flow Information
Provisioned Primary Upstream Bit Rate (bps) 1,024,000
Modem Registered Time 15:01:11 [54071 seconds]
Service ID 591
Flow Packets 15616
Flow Octets 2785638
Policed Delayed Packets 1658
Policed Dropped Packets 0
Provisioned Primary Downstream Bit Rate (bps) 5,120,000
Modem Registered Time 15:01:11 [54071 seconds]
Service ID 0
Flow Packets 22074
Flow Octets 12882512
Policed Delayed Packets 0
Policed Dropped Packets 0

Codewords Sent by Modem (counters are all independent of each other)
Without Error 25016
With Correctable Errors 144
With Uncorrectable Errors 0


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:14 am 
Sharptooth
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Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:43 am
Posts: 366
Location: Cowtown, Alberta, Canada
Ps have been very busy at work so i did not have time to post


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:21 am 
Smithfield
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What good would switching services do? I thought there were laws that required cable companies to lease out there equipment to other companies so that you didnt have 5 companies with seperate wiring. Wouldn't switching services (assuming thats even possible) likely just put her back on the same equipment?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 3:10 am 
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Mainly its that the smaller companies will have far better customer service and they will work more diligently for you.

I always try to give the smaller companies a shot at my cable internet first - and if they are not to be seen, or I don't like em - I'll look to Comcast, Charter, etc...

My experience has been that with 85%+ of the smaller companies I've worked with; my speeds at home have been higher, with less drops, and fewer service interruptions...

Tuathal


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 12:58 pm 
Sharptooth
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Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:43 am
Posts: 366
Location: Cowtown, Alberta, Canada
OH and there is UMMM let me think ADSL Gee people think


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 Post subject: I hate to sound like I am complaining
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2004 10:06 pm 
8086
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Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 2:43 am
Posts: 6
Nick0Danger,
I hate to sound like I was complaining. I wasnt. I actually have a concurrent dial-up connection that I had to get last year because of this problem that I have been having. Please forgive me. Other than that i do not have any other option. I live in a very rural community and I do not have access to DSL or ADSL. Time warner is the only high-speed option I have. I am hoping Verizon's "Fios" sercice makes it here. But for now Time Warner is the only thing I have.

I just wanted to get my money's worth and it's frustrating when noone seems to be willing to help me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 12:09 am 
Sharptooth
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Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 11:43 am
Posts: 366
Location: Cowtown, Alberta, Canada
sorry i was not aware of your situation, but yea defeinat line issue and that does not sound like complaining, belive me i know what complaining is


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 Post subject: Re: Thanks Nick
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 8:58 pm 
Willamette
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Location: config t
Flowbee wrote:
Power Level: 58 dBmV
Power Level: 59 dBmV


Doh, came to this a little late apparently. The above is your problem. Your return path signals are low. The modem your using actually acts as an amplifier, however with signals of 58-59 dbmv I am surprised it works at all.

Sounds like your modem dosen't have a dedicated line ran. What I mean is from the cable tap outside, your drop (line coming from pole or pedestal to your home) needs to be ran to a two way splitter. From that two way splitter, one leg of the splitter must run straight to the modem. The other leg must be a small jumper that feeds the other splitter(s).

Obviously you already know how to access http://192.168.100.1 to get those levels. However they can sometimes be 2-3 dbmv off.

Your ideal range is +2 and up on your lowend (55.25 mhz and up)-ch 2..
and +2 and up on your highend 117 (digital).

Return will work between 36 and 55 (However, 55 is borderline and modems generally kick off and on at or above this level).

Get a technician out there and simply have the line dedicated. Your not getting enough signal.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 2:16 am 
Smithfield
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What do you do for a living Instigator? :)


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