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Connection drops - but only at night, why?

Chris3005
Grafter
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎14-10-2007

Connection drops - but only at night, why?

I'm getting about 20 dropped connections per night, spread between approx 5pm and 5am, with a tendency to more around 8pm. None at all during the day. I'm guessing it's a street light or similar and could do with some advice on how to stop it. It's not predictable enough for me to go out looking at the lamposts in case it happens. The houses next to us are both children's nurseries so there's no activity overnight. It doesn't seem to tie in with anything in our house like central heating, and it doesn't seem to be related to traffic volumes, either at our end or Plusnet.
Is interference from such sources picked up by the router or the phone wiring? If I shield the router in a metal box, say, will that help? (I'd just try it, but there's no space where the router is at present and I'll need to cut holes in the shelving to move it! )
In case it's useful it's a D-link 504 router, not wireless, I'm on Max and get 4600kbps sync consistently, S/N 3.5 dB, Aten 39dB. The problem's been pretty consistent since about the time the clocks went back - maybe before, but I was away.
Nothing in the set-up has changed for a year or two and the "night only" nature of the problem suggests it's external so I haven't done much digging there yet. Filters in all the right places - but maybe I should replace them? Not yet tried using the master socket directly, because the phone is in frequent use and the master socket is not easy to get at.
Thanks for any help.
Chris
9 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,576
Thanks: 3
Registered: ‎13-04-2007

Re: Connection drops - but only at night, why?

The best trick is to get a small MW radio tune it off channel and then walk about near the router phone and see if you here any noise. If you do you may be able to trace it that way.
It is most likely the phone wiring thats picking it up and this could be inside or outside. Is it the same time every day like a timer device going off in which case it would be identical times every day. Or is it in a time period which could be a tv, microwave, phone games machine etc?
Chris3005
Grafter
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎14-10-2007

Re: Connection drops - but only at night, why?

Thanks, that exactly the sort of answer I was hoping for, I'll try that.
It's different actual times, but the same approximate number of drops in the same time window. It's the midnight to 5am drops which suggest to me a street light, as there's nothing in use in our house, and no others within 60m. A security light triggered by a cat etc is one possibility.
paulby
Grafter
Posts: 1,619
Registered: ‎26-07-2007

Re: Connection drops - but only at night, why?

It may be worth trying a filtered face plate (such as this one from ADSL Nation) or getting your hands on an iPlate (which effectively disconnects the bell wire  - see this thread).
Both those options will prevent noise picked up by the bell wire from being transferred to your modem/router and will likely improve your situation if the cause is electrical interference.
Chris3005
Grafter
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎14-10-2007

Re: Connection drops - but only at night, why?

Thanks Paul - I'll look at that, but I'm not concerned about the bell wires as I snipped them a year or so back.
Chris
paulby
Grafter
Posts: 1,619
Registered: ‎26-07-2007

Re: Connection drops - but only at night, why?

If you've already snipped the wires then I think that you may have to bite the bullet and test at the master socket test socket to definitely rule out your own internal wiring.
If using the test socket solves the problem then you may have to think about where your internal wiring is routed.  The quality of the internal wiring can also have a considerable impact - are your extensions of the ready made variety or are they done with "proper" telephone cable?  The ready made types aren't the best for ADSL!
If the problem persists at the master socket then it may be worth raising a fault with PN to see if anything can be done.
puddy
Grafter
Posts: 1,571
Registered: ‎10-06-2007

Re: Connection drops - but only at night, why?

A BT i-plate deos more than just remove the bell wire.
BT never connected the bell wire when the house was new and they installed all the internal phone wiring (4 years ago)  the BT exchange is a cross the road from me and I sync at 8128. You will see the error rates are very low.
for the price I would go for the proper BT i-plate rather from a 3rd party supplier
here what I wrote
puddy
BT i socket update now been up for 23 days on the trot and I have noticed even on a perfect line like mine  (exchange a cross the road) it has made difference with much lower error counts.  My router is not plugged in to the master socket but I live in a new house (4year old) and all internal BT sockets were installed by BT

Router is a Speedtouch 716wl v5
Link Information
   

Uptime: 23 days, 23:23:50
Modulation: G.992.1 Annex A
Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 448 / 8,128
Data Transferred (Sent/Received) [GB/GB]: *GB/**GB
Output Power (Up/Down) [dBm]: 11.5 / 9.5
Line Attenuation (Up/Down) [dB]: 4.0 / 3.0
SN Margin (Up/Down) [dB]: 19.0 / 14.5
Vendor ID (Local/Remote): TMMB / ALCB
Loss of Framing (Local/Remote): 0 / 0
Loss of Signal (Local/Remote): 1 / 0
Loss of Power (Local/Remote): 0 / 0
Loss of Link (Remote): 0
Error Seconds (Local/Remote): 62 / 0
FEC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 0
CRC Errors (Up/Down): 6 / 45
HEC Errors (Up/Down): 4 / 28
paulby
Grafter
Posts: 1,619
Registered: ‎26-07-2007

Re: Connection drops - but only at night, why?

Quote
for the price I would go for the proper BT i-plate rather from a 3rd party supplier

The iPlate I linked to is a genuine BT part - AFAIK only BT make them at the moment - it's just sold by Broadband Buyer.
Also, as puddy says, it does do a bit more than just disconnect the ring wire - it'll also common mode filter the incoming phone line (i.e. it'll filter some noise out).
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,576
Thanks: 3
Registered: ‎13-04-2007

Re: Connection drops - but only at night, why?

If you sniped the bell wire did you do it at both ends? A lot snip it at the master socket but not at the end of the extension if you fail to do that it can still act as an antenna
Chris3005
Grafter
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎14-10-2007

Re: Connection drops - but only at night, why?

Thanks for all the advice - this is feedback for the community on what I found out.
Since my master socket is in a place where I can't easily put a PC, and where I don't really want to run all my ethernet cables to, I decided to go wireless, which would enable me to test from the master socket. I was passing a shop, so I went in and bought a Belkin wireless router. Set it up in place of the old D-link 504, to get the set-up right before taking it to the master socket. I had immense difficulty with the router (see below) and it went back to the shop, but the line drops stopped - even before I'd got to the master socket. My guess is, having done further research, that I was picking up AM radio interference at night and the quite old D-Link wasn't up to it -( no disrespect to D-Link it was built when broadband was 512kb).
Further research suggested the Solwise 600E was good at remaining stable in the face of interference - this is a 1 port router - so I now have one plugged into the master socket, with the phone extension now replaced by an ethernet cable, and an Engenius WAP and Gigabit switch where the old Dlink was. All sorted, no line drops at all.
My experience with the Belkin router, by the way, in case other people spend hours wondering what's happening - if I enabled the DMZ, all traffic went there, even responses to requests from other machines which NAT should have returned to them, ie, they effectively lost connection. It also cached DNS, but then served the IPs back in reverse order, ie, relay.plus.net became 107.8.159.212, effectively meaning no DNS.
Chris