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Broadband off, on, off, on, off, on.....

MisteryT
Dabbler
Posts: 16
Registered: 16-07-2012

Broadband off, on, off, on, off, on.....

A couple of months ago our broadband started having this problem where it switches off and on in a kind of pattern every half hour. This continued for maybe a few hours and then would be OK for hours and even days. The fault is probably best illustrated by looking at a routerstats capture of the noise level (see attached). It seems to go off for about ten minutes then it goes on for two short intervals then it goes on for ten minutes and the cycle repeats. Then eventually it stops this nonsense and is fine for hours or days then starts again.
I raised a fault with plusnet and we've checked microfilters replaced, had the BT guy out, etc, etc. Finally it was suggested that I get a new router and try that for 7 days to see if the fault recurs within those 7 days. Well, during the time when I was asking around to see if anyone had a spare router I could borrow, the problem disappeared. Now after a month it has come back. I don't think it is likely that the router is the cause of the fault because I get the same connection/ disconnection pattern when I use an old USB modem to connect.
Anyway, the reason I am posting is to ask has anyone seen this kind of thing before and what was the cause? Broadband carrier keeps going on and off with the pattern shown in the attached image. No pattern as to when the fault sessions occur, time of day, weather conditions, not related to domestic boiler, cooker, fridge, phone use, TV or any other electrical equipment I can think of in the house. It just seems like such a characteristic pattern to me that there must be a specific cause.
Hopefully someone will immediately recognise the cause or else it's back to checking microfilters, etc, again  Cheesy
Nick.
33 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Broadband off, on, off, on, off, on.....

Quote
Anyway, the reason I am posting is to ask has anyone seen this kind of thing before and what was the cause?

I've dealt with a number of faults like this in the past yes, however they tend not to be caused by the same factors.
As you've done some good work to eliminate the router, filters etc and also considered nearby electrical equipment I'd still keep an open mind but this sounds like an interference issue to me (sometimes referred to as REIN)
Such faults are more normally caused by interference in or near the home but I have dealt with a case where the interference was being caused by faulty exchange equipment.
<img src="http://ccgi.psmith12.plus.com/visradius/generated/image13424360106351.png" />
From that graph we can clearly see where the problem has worsened over the weekend, did you change anything at around 08:00 yesterday morning?
To move things forward I'd just need you to log another fault first: https://portal.plus.net/apps/kbdfaults but do reply after that as I'm happy to pick this one up for you.
Adam
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 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Broadband off, on, off, on, off, on.....

Adam, is there any chance you could post the actual Radius log for 0825 to 0942? Unfortunately because there seem to be so many disconnects showing in the OP's post, the graphical Radius representation is too cramped to show each disconnect and the duration.
Quote from: MisteryT
.......... No pattern as to when the fault sessions occur, time of day, weather conditions, not related to domestic boiler, cooker, fridge, phone use, TV or any other electrical equipment I can think of in the house.  ..........

Is that an assumption because the pattern doesn't fit what you normally expect from such equipment, or have your turned off the power to each of those items when the problem is occurring?
If it's an assumption, it would be best to eliminate them categorically by turning off the power at the socket/spur switch. eg. a faulty thermostat, loose connection, etc. could arc at irregular intervals - not saying it is that, just an example that comes to mind.
Edit: There appears to be 18 disconnects showing on the Noise Margin graph, and 15 of them are in less than an hour interval. I would have expected DLM to have raised the Target SNRM or Banded the speed by now. Has that happened?
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Re: Broadband off, on, off, on, off, on.....

I could but I'm afraid that won't be any clearer as there are that many disconnections. From my point of view the disconnections are frequent but random in their frequency and duration so I see no real pattern emerging, some connections over the last 24 hours or so are as short as 6 seconds, the longer ones are around 25 minutes.
I'm confident that we'll need supplier intervention to get this one sorted.
Adam.
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 Adam Walker
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MisteryT
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Posts: 16
Registered: 16-07-2012

Re: Broadband off, on, off, on, off, on.....

Quote from: Anotherone
Is that an assumption because the pattern doesn't fit what you normally expect from such equipment, or have your turned off the power to each of those items when the problem is occurring?
If it's an assumption, it would be best to eliminate them categorically by turning off the power at the socket/spur switch. eg. a faulty thermostat, loose connection, etc. could arc at irregular intervals - not saying it is that, just an example that comes to mind.

No, I've actually turned off the power to the cooker, turned the thermostat right down and up, unplugged the power supply for the phone, etc. I've even taken the batteries out a wireless thermometer I've got in the garden just in case. Nothing seems to make any difference. I'm might try turning off the main power switch and monitor the connection with my USB modem connected to the laptop to completely rule out any mains powered equipment in the house, next time the fault comes up.
Quote from: Anotherone
Edit: There appears to be 18 disconnects showing on the Noise Margin graph, and 15 of them are in less than an hour interval. I would have expected DLM to have raised the Target SNRM or Banded the speed by now. Has that happened?

No, my speed seems OK but it did go down to about 0.5meg eventually when it happened a month ago. When the broadband carrier is on there are no problems at all.
MisteryT
Dabbler
Posts: 16
Registered: 16-07-2012

Re: Broadband off, on, off, on, off, on.....

Thanks for replying Adam, I have raised another fault and added a reference to the last fault number in the comments section.
Quote from: _Adam_Walker_
From that graph we can clearly see where the problem has worsened over the weekend, did you change anything at around 08:00 yesterday morning?

Nope, I was out of the house at that time and I can't think of anything that could have happened in the house that might have affected the broadband. The only change I can think of since this whole thing started was I got a message from plusnet saying that my exchange equipment was being upgraded for up to 20mb service within 5 weeks and the problem probably started within those 5 weeks. That might have nothing to do with it of course.
By the way, the broadband light on my Thomson TG585 goes out when disconnected. I mention this because when I raised another fault the troubleshooter asked if the light was flashing or on but did not give the option of "out".
Thanks again,
Nick.
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Re: Broadband off, on, off, on, off, on.....

I assume you have checked that the phone is still working during these periods of disconnects, and that there are no crackling or other noises audible on the line and you have no problems with incoming or outgoing calls?
Does the Routerstats sync speed graph correlate exactly with the noise margin graph?
Quote from: _Adam_Walker_
I could but I'm afraid that won't be any clearer as there are that many disconnections. From my point of view the disconnections are frequent but random in their frequency and duration so I see no real pattern emerging, some connections over the last 24 hours or so are as short as 6 seconds, the longer ones are around 25 minutes.

Sorry Adam, are you saying that one can't read the times for the start and end of a disconnection from the log itself? Your response implies you can, exactly what I would expect. I was specific about the time interval - that covered by the OP's noise margin graph, not the last 24 hours.
It isn't just patterns one is looking for, it's correlation with what the OP is seeing as well. Such information is like pieces in a jigsaw and can all help to form the bigger picture, eliminate some things, and suggest further investigation of others.
Quote from: MisteryT
......... I'm might try turning off the main power switch and monitor the connection with my USB modem connected to the laptop to completely rule out any mains powered equipment in the house, next time the fault comes up.

That's probably a sensible approach once you've eliminated other possibilities including obvious phone line faults.
I have resorted to tactics like that myself in the past.
I do suspect work at the exchange may have something to do with this now that you've mentioned it.
taras
Grafter
Posts: 226
Registered: 22-08-2008

Re: Broadband off, on, off, on, off, on.....

I would suggest doing the mains power off sooner than later as it will indicate if the interference is in your home or not.
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Re: Broadband off, on, off, on, off, on.....

Quote
Sorry Adam, are you saying that one can't read the times for the start and end of a disconnection from the log itself?

Not at all,  we can do that but it takes too long to sanitize the raw data to be honest, removing IPs and other sensitive details etc. We can see the essentials we need to see for our own investigations but as mentioned the durations and the frequencies of the connections are random, each one is a different length and I'm certain that no pattern can be derived from it.
Adam.
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 Adam Walker
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Re: Broadband off, on, off, on, off, on.....

Precisely, but a disconnect of 6 seconds is not likley to be the OP's sync dropping. A re-sync that quick just won't happen unless something very odd it going on with the line card. That's much more likely to be just a PPP drop for some reason and I guess it wasn't between 0825 & 0942.
MisteryT
Dabbler
Posts: 16
Registered: 16-07-2012

Re: Broadband off, on, off, on, off, on.....

Quote from: Anotherone
I assume you have checked that the phone is still working during these periods of disconnects, and that there are no crackling or other noises audible on the line and you have no problems with incoming or outgoing calls?
Does the Routerstats sync speed graph correlate exactly with the noise margin graph?

I haven't noticed any problems with the phone, no clicking or other noises during connection/disconnection. The sync speed does correlate with the noise graph, as far as I can see- see attached. It seems to sync to various random speeds during each connection. I would have expected it to keep going down everytime it disconnects (although I don't really know how it works to tell the truth).
Nick.
MisteryT
Dabbler
Posts: 16
Registered: 16-07-2012

Re: Broadband off, on, off, on, off, on.....

Quote from: taras
I would suggest doing the mains power off sooner than later as it will indicate if the interference is in your home or not.

Yes, although one frustrating thing about this is that it is intermittent and I can't predict when it's going to next happen Cheesy. Obviously there's no point switching off the power when there's no problem.
Nick.
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Re: Broadband off, on, off, on, off, on.....

Hi Nick,
Cheers for the time on the phone! That's the fault now logged with our suppliers. I'll come back to you to confirm the visit tomorrow.
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 Adam Walker
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Re: Broadband off, on, off, on, off, on.....

@MysteryT
That's perfect correlation there on the two graphs, Nick. What sample rate are you using by the way? The variations in speed each time will depend on the precise noise that the modem/router is seeing at the point it is negotiating with the DSLAM.
Was the behaviour virtually identical with the USB modem, ie. different speeds, variable durations of a similar length or was there anything you spotted that was different?
MisteryT
Dabbler
Posts: 16
Registered: 16-07-2012

Re: Broadband off, on, off, on, off, on.....

Quote from: _Adam_Walker_
Hi Nick,
Cheers for the time on the phone! That's the fault now logged with our suppliers. I'll come back to you to confirm the visit tomorrow.

Thank you for the fast customer service  Smiley  I realise it might take a while to get to the bottom of this but it will be interesting to see what the cause finally turns out to be.
Nick.