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Connection drops frequently... REIN?

Timmymac
Grafter
Posts: 35
Registered: 08-10-2015

Connection drops frequently... REIN?

Hi all,
I'm finding that my connection drops in and out all evening/weekend.  I *think* it's remaining connected most of the time while I'm at work.  It feels like it drops when I start using it heavily but I appreciate that this could also tie in with the electrics in the house being on.  I bought a new modem/router a bit back and I'm getting the same behaviour.
Here's the stats...  (they don't mean much to me but I promise I'll read about them one day!)

Any thoughts?
Cheers,
Tim
82 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 471
Thanks: 35
Fixes: 2
Registered: 26-09-2015

Re: Connection drops frequently... REIN?

First off you need to confirm if it is actually dropping, or whether there's something else like congestion slowing you right down.   When you say it drops, do you see changes on the router, lights for example?   Interference might show as variable noise margin, with the line dropping if it reduces too much, do you see varying figures?   8.1dB looks quite healthy.
Edit - have you checked equipment and connections at your end?  Ideally have the microfilter straight into the BT test socket behind the master socket lower front cover, really you want to take as much of your stuff out of the equation and confirm the issue still persists.
Timmymac
Grafter
Posts: 35
Registered: 08-10-2015

Re: Connection drops frequently... REIN?

Sorry, yes...  left a few details out. My bad. The router shows disconnected (I notice about a minute before the router does though).  It often wont connect again afterwards. On reconnection attempt, lights would suggest loss of sync but a reboot usually cures it.
Occasionally I notice no throughput and have to manually disconnect but often find the same - that it wont reconnect without a reboot.  Pretty confident there's nothing maxing out the bandwidth on these occasions either though.
Do/should all households have the BT NTE5 type socket?  Mine doesn't look like it has a removable faceplate but I can take it apart and see what's inside?
Tim
Ed:
SNR Margin
:
6.0 6.3 db
Line Attenuation
:
31.9 16.6 db
Data Rate
:
9615 980 kbps
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,100
Thanks: 437
Fixes: 21
Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Connection drops frequently... REIN?

Hi Tim, if you haven't got a removable lower front plate, it won't be an NTE5a. Do you have any other hard wired extension phone sockets? If you have none, then the lack of an NTE5a isn't an immediate issue.
Have you tried a Quiet Line Test 17070 option 2 when your problems occur? If there is some audible noise it's likely that you have an intermittent phone line fault which will be causing the drops, and a faulty phone line will mess up the broadband, so you'd need to report a phone fault (Intermittent noisy line) rather than a broadband fault.
Timmymac
Grafter
Posts: 35
Registered: 08-10-2015

Re: Connection drops frequently... REIN?

I haven't tried that test but I will at the next opportunity.
I have another phone socket but I'm using the one where the line comes in to the house. It's marked 'MS' anyway!
I'll report back from the line test - probably this evening.
Thanks again,
Tim
Community Veteran
Posts: 471
Thanks: 35
Fixes: 2
Registered: 26-09-2015

Re: Connection drops frequently... REIN?

Is there anything plugged into the other socket?  It will need a microfilter if there is.  Ideally you want to try with only the router connected (via a filter of course).  If the fault only clears by rebooting the router, that makes me suspect the router as well.  It should reconnect after a line issue without needing a reboot. 
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 11,090
Thanks: 2,449
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Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Connection drops frequently... REIN?

Quote from: aesmith
8.1dB looks quite healthy.

I'd suggest that 8.1dB looks somewhat Unhealthy.
It suggests either that the target SNRM is 9dB (somewhat higher than normal) and that there is some noise present or, the target SNRM is 6dB and that the noise which was then present (at the time of the last resynch) was absent at the time of reporting the figures.
If the target is 9dB then the reason for this needs to be identified and addressed if the best possible speed for this line is to be attained.  AO's suggestions are steps in the right direction.  Simple things first - is the line noisy?  Is the router plugged into the master socket, are there any phone extensions - regardless of them not being used.
cedlor
Grafter
Posts: 685
Thanks: 2
Registered: 02-04-2015

Re: Connection drops frequently... REIN?

Quote from: Timmymac
I
. It's marked 'MS' anyway!

Do you mean it has a MS logo or someone has written MS on it?
Next time you have the router disconnected perhaps take a picture of the back (inside showing the wires)
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,100
Thanks: 437
Fixes: 21
Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Connection drops frequently... REIN?

Quote from: aesmith
.......... If the fault only clears by rebooting the router, that makes me suspect the router as well.  It should reconnect after a line issue without needing a reboot.   

Ahem, not quite true I'm afraid. If the broadband has dropped due to a bad connection, then resyncing with lots of noise on the line (the bad connection won't always clear quickly or cleanly) can often be problematic. It could well be coincidental that the sync is regained after a reboot, and it would probably have resynced if just left a bit longer.
Random rebooting of a modem/router when you already have a dropping connection is a really bad idea. It will make the exchange automatic DLM think the problem is much worse and raise the Target SNRM or band the speed more quickly (net result in either case is a slower connection).
This so far has all the hallmarks of a) a bad connection, compounded by b) older internal wiring which is probably not twisted pair and will result in larger SNRM swings between dusk and dawn.
As cedlor suggested, next time you are powered down, a picture of the wiring would be good, as well as the front of the socket to positively identify it. Do you use/need that extension socket under normal circumstances?
Timmymac
Grafter
Posts: 35
Registered: 08-10-2015

Re: Connection drops frequently... REIN?

Hi all,
Firstly, thanks for your time and significant knowhow. The SNR stuff is still a bit of a mystery to me. Here are the latest stats:
SNR Margin
:
7.1 6.5 db
Line Attenuation
:
31.9 16.6 db
Data Rate
:
9739 979 kbps
I've not yet done the 17070 test as I've just got in and all seems to be well.
Here are a couple of photos of the socket itself.  It's not easy to see but it just looks like two wires from the line coming in and 2 going out to the only other socket in the house. There is a phone plugged in at the second socket, about 7meters away and using a filter. I've had the phone unplugged for a few hours in the past with no improvement but could happily leave it off for a couple of days. We don't use it much.


Tim
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,100
Thanks: 437
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Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Connection drops frequently... REIN?

Hi Tim,
As far as the wiring goes, this actually looks a lot better than I was anticipating. We have the correct standard of incoming BT cable and the extension wiring appears to be the right standard - if you could just confirm (picture not too clear) that's a Blue+white trace wire on terminal 2 and a White+blue trace on terminal 5 going to the extension.
Also the terminals on that master look as though they are screw terminals (instead of IDC) - not to worry - this will in fact help with checking (but it's not an official BT master socket).
If you can manage without the extension socket for now, the best way to proceed would be in daylight hours, power off the modem/router. Unscrew each wire from the terminals, and leave the extension wires disconnected. Make sure each wire from the BT incoming cable is clean and shiny and reconnect the incoming cable to terminals 2(white) & 5(orange). - Plug the phone into the filter at the master socket. Check that the line is free of noise (Quiet Line Test) and then power up the modem/router and post the new stats.
Leave things like that for a while and see how it goes and whether noise appears. In a few days, if all seems well, then ensure the wires for the extension are clean and shiny, power off the modem/router (leave it off for now). Check the connections at the extension socket are sound and clean. Reconnect the extension wiring. Move your phone back to the extension and check for noise. If there is noise, swap the filter at the extension and check again. If all is well, power up the modem/router and post stats.
HTH. btw out of curiosity, what's that choc block connector that's sat on top of the master socket?
Timmymac
Grafter
Posts: 35
Registered: 08-10-2015

Re: Connection drops frequently... REIN?

Quote from: Anotherone
if you could just confirm (picture not too clear) that's a Blue+white trace wire on terminal 2 and a White+blue trace on terminal 5 going to the extension.
Also the terminals on that master look as though they are screw terminals (instead of IDC) - not to worry - this will in fact help with checking (but it's not an official BT master socket).

As you describe. There is a third, white wire attached to T3 from the extension. The incoming line is just orange to to T2, white to T5. They are indeed screw terminals.
Quote from: Anotherone
If you can manage without the extension socket for now, the best way to proceed would be in daylight hours, power off the modem/router. Unscrew each wire from the terminals, and leave the extension wires disconnected. Make sure each wire from the BT incoming cable is clean and shiny and reconnect the incoming cable to terminals 2(white) & 5(orange). - Plug the phone into the filter at the master socket. Check that the line is free of noise (Quiet Line Test) and then power up the modem/router and post the new stats.

Will do this tomorrow. Wedding to attend today. Thanks again for your advice.
Quote from: Anotherone
HTH. btw out of curiosity, what's that choc block connector that's sat on top of the master socket?

It's just that. An emergency, unused choc block waiting for its time to come. However, as you've asked about him, I think I should put the rest of my cards on the table (I'm not guilty of this):

Tim

Also, this morning's stats look different. The SNRM was actually around 9 about 30 mins ago. (I read a little bit but it's still a stretch for my tiny mind)

Edit:
I was going to say forget that, I'd left the cover off and it's better now....

...but it's back down at 4 now.

2.9...

3.5...

I've not disconnected the extension yet. Did just try the quiet line test and there's a fairly faint Rice Crispies sound (thanks Kellogs). The only phone I have is a wireless one which I've never used at another address, so can't really isolate that from the problem.
cedlor
Grafter
Posts: 685
Thanks: 2
Registered: 02-04-2015

Re: Connection drops frequently... REIN?

AAAAAAAAARGGGG!!!!!
Well someone is certainly guilty  . Here we are worrying about an extension cable and the phone cable and router are mounted in what is probably the worst possible place.
Timmymac
Grafter
Posts: 35
Registered: 08-10-2015

Re: Connection drops frequently... REIN?

The router is actually on the floor...  that's a switch that seems to be working ok somehow.
So, the question is...  do I talk to my landlord about moving the master socket?  Crazy
How far away is far enough?  I've probably got about 3' to play with.
cedlor
Grafter
Posts: 685
Thanks: 2
Registered: 02-04-2015

Re: Connection drops frequently... REIN?

Oh- never read the text below the picture or perhaps the edit was not done who knows.
Anyway a switch box eh - only read the netgear and thought it was a router - must go to specsavers!
What is the purpose of the switchbox?  perhaps we need a bigger picture of where the wires go.

What speed does btw test say  and what spped does PN have - see link below