Friday, February 19, 2016

Fixing Internet Dropouts (Timeouts)

Over the years I have observed countless instances, at countless computers, where internet simply hesitated or froze for a time.    Residents come to me all the time for help.    

It is terribly frustrating to be stopped dead in your tracks while dictating or communicating, for example, so I hear about dropouts a lot.   IT calls them timeouts.

With the process of elimination (replacing hardware devices), cabling finally got to be suspect in my case and others.  In connecting to cell towers, I never have these problems, and I don't need cables, so that situation points to cables.   Initial checks of my cabling with a simple multimeter showed no serious problems, however, although signal strength was outside normal limits.

At that point, Willow Valley called in its internet service provider SeniorTV, who came in with a more sophisticated (expensive!) cable tester.

Bingo!!   In testing, my cabling failed from wiring closet to my modem, a very short run!    There had been a 27 db loss in signal.   That was drastic.   The wiring will now be replaced, of course.

What happens is that the modem cannot push the signal over the bad cabling and quits.   The upstream signals do not get to the ISP.   

Now, this may very well affect other residents.

You can check this for your own system if you are using a standard Motorola SB6121 or SB6141 modem.   Just type into your browser search window.   Simple.  Then, tap on Signal and then tap on Log.   (Or click.)

If you see a log of errors and warnings, there is cabling related trouble.   If the upstream power level gets into the 50s, you have a problem.

You can also go to the command window in your OS (such as Windows) and type
ping to see ongoing detail.   

If you see trouble, IT here will soon have a proper cable tester to track down any problems and fix your cabling.  

Cabling problems probably exists much more widely than thought by IT (which I now suspect based on what I see and resident complaints), and will prevent you from making the most of internet.    

For more information about the intricacies of many cabling issues, click or tap to go to

No comments:

Post a Comment