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BT Cabling problem?

Posts: 2
Registered: 01-08-2007

BT Cabling problem?

I am new to Broadband and to PlusNet and am generally very happy with both. However I have my system set to manually log on and every now and again the initial logon fails. If I run the modem diagnostics it shows all passes except for the PPP layer, which shows FAIL. I understand that this is normally caused by the wrong username being input, but in this case that is input automatically by the software.
The Plusnet tech support guys have suggested uninstalling and reinstalling the modem drivers, which does work for a time. They also put me in touch with the Binatone tech support team who suggested I may have a problem with old cabling from the BT access popint in the road across my front garden and into the house and then on to the PC. This they feel could cause enough of a signal loss to give occasional problems especially when everything was not optimal.
My system is running XP Professional, with the modem being connected via a USB hub (although the problem was there before I installed the hub).
Anyone got any thoughts before I go to the expense of getting BT involved.

BT Cabling problem?

One major question here. Do you disconnect manualy, or does the connection drop? (hence your need to manualy redial).

If it is a manual disconnect, then I don't see the cable issue being in the equasion.

ADSL requires that a whole chain of events occur, to allow the computer/modem to then authenticate with PlusNet. The authentication stage (the part yours is failing on) is the least prone to see issues being caused by bad cabling.

Bad cabling would normaly account for a whole host of other symptoms at the same time, even if scatter amongst random times. You would have noticed these by now and reported them.

Authentication works by contacting BT Radius servers. These forward them onto PlusNet in turn. A bit like a daisy chain.

You could do with writting down on paper the exact times and dates (to the second in preferance) that this authentication failures happen. Once you have these, ask support the following.

As them to look in the Radius logs at the times your have logged, what the reason for disconnection, or authorisation failure was.

This may help shed some light on why this happens. You may even find that they didn't see an attempt at all.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

BT Cabling problem?

I can't see how Binatone Tech Support can diagnose a problem in the BT wiring just because the PPP layer fails sometimes. At the point when the PPP layer is activated, the modem must have synched with the exchange so it would be unliklely to be a BT fault - but again this is just a guess.

Are you sure it is the modem not synching that is the problem. When it fails what do the lights show on the modem itself?

There can be many reasons why connections fail.

Are you connected to the master socket or an extension socket? If extension try the master socket .

Do you have any other phones connected (including 56K modems, faxes, sky digiboxes etc). If so they must all be connected via a ADSL filter/splitter. Also try with all other phones disconnected. If you have more than 4 phones connected to sockets this can sometimes cause sync problems as the REN number many be above 4 (add up the ren numbers on all the phones you have).

Also check out the following tutorials:

ADSL: Wiring and Filters

ADSL: Trouble Shooting
Posts: 2
Registered: 01-08-2007

BT Cabling Problem

Thanks for the comments so far.
To answer some of the questions.
I disconnect manually, the connection very very rarely drops. I agree it might be worth taking an accurate note of the times I have problems.
The lights on the modem show normal operation when the problem occurs and as I said if you run the modem diagnostics all tests except for one show Pass.
The system is connected to the master socket, with one main phone also running off that socket. This phone is a cordless answerphone. There is another cordless extension upstairs which also is wired from the master socket. All phones are connected withg an ADSL line splitter in place.
Will have a look at the tutorials.
One additional piece of information I received this afternoon which I am not sure is relevant. Talking to a neighbour across the road he also has problems logging on to Broadband, usually with the message Server Not Found. His BT Exchange lines would be in the same connection box as mine.

BT Cabling problem?

I might be reading the original post wrongly, but if the manual login has failed then surely the diagnostics of the Binatone will fail as well.

Not so long ago, I signed up for Broadband & got the Binatone 3 LED USB modem. Occasionally it would fail to login on PC power up, almost as if things hadn't finished loading.

Although it was a minor annoyance, it was part of the reason I went for a Router.

If you're getting decent download speeds, your line is not noisy, and you can use the phone without cutting the connection off, then I doubt that you have line fault or a filter/splitter fault.

I would try booting the PC up and waiting a couple of minutes before you try to manually connect - just to see if this helps the diagnosis.