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Disconnections and Inconclusive Tests

saguaro
Grafter
Posts: 78
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎26-01-2011

Disconnections and Inconclusive Tests

My internet has been acting up again, and I'm confused by the results of various things I've tried. Perhaps someone here can suggest something, or at least be a sounding board while I think it through.
My line has a history of being fine (continuously synced for weeks on end at a decent speed) for a few months and then getting  a spate of disconnections and periods of being in sync but struggling to connect to the internet, which usually go away on their own after a few days. Sometimes I come on here to moan about it: the one time I got as far as reporting a fault the problem miraculously cleared up the minute the line was put on test.
I have an old-fashioned master socket (the kind with a T symbol and no test socket), which is placed in the living room such that to use a modem in it I have to trail a power cord across or through the kitchen doorway. As that's not a viable arrangement, I normally run the router off the hardwired extension in the bedroom, which it shares with a cordless phone. I discovered early on that the ADSL works better with an extra filter between the phone and the filter that plugs into the extension and feeds the router. I keep a crummy cheap corded phone (£5 phone plugged into a £10 filter) in the living room socket, mostly for the convenience of doing quiet-line tests. Usually this all works fine. However ...
This week the dropouts started again, and got steadily worse until on Thursday I was only getting a few minutes of connectivity every hour or two. Sometimes, but not always (once out of three tests) I could hear faint rustling noises on the quiet-line test. I turned the modem off overnight, and it was no better in the morning. On Friday afternoon I bit the bullet and set up the spare router (the Thomson I got when the connection was set up five years ago) in the living room socket and disconnected everything (the Asus router I usually use and the cordless phone) from the extension. The Thomson connected about as fast as it ever does, and basically stayed connected, with brief disconnections every hour or two, for the rest of the day. At bedtime I plugged the bedroom phone back in, and lo and behold in the morning I had no internet connection again. I disconnected the phone again. The Thomson still seemed to be struggling to connect, but after I turned it off and let it rest for half an hour it synced up happily and has been fine for about seven hours now.
I'm now wondering if the main problem this time is actually that one of the filters on the bedroom setup (the ones that were packaged with the original Thomson router and have been in continuous use for nearly five years) has gone bad. The occasional disconnections while connected to the main socket yesterday suggest that the line is not entirely happy anyway, but that could be the old trouble that usually resolves itself.  So I guess my next step is to go shopping for a couple of new filters, unless anyone has any better ideas. Unfortunately the one that came with the Asus router seems to be a dud, so I don't have any spares. Or maybe it's all  a huge coincidence and the line has just miraculously recovered again. I'll probably plug the phone back in tonight and see what happens.
Stats below, for what they're worth. I was syncing slightly faster than that before the latest round of trouble.


Link Information

Uptime: 0 days, 6:37:18
DSL Type: G.992.5 annex A
Maximum Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 24,909 / 16,916
Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 828 / 14,336
Data Transferred (Sent/Received) [MB/MB]: 20.17 / 100.12
Output Power (Up/Down) [dBm]: 12.5 / 16.5
Line Attenuation (Up/Down) [dB]: 10.0 / 18.5
SN Margin (Up/Down) [dB]: 16.5 / 7.5
Vendor ID (Local/Remote): TMMB / TSTC
Loss of Framing (Local/Remote): 0 / 0
Loss of Signal (Local/Remote): 3 / 0
Loss of Power (Local/Remote): 0 / 0
Loss of Link (Remote): 0
Error Seconds (Local/Remote): 13 / 0
FEC Errors (Up/Down): 38,844 / 25,537
CRC Errors (Up/Down): 45,669 / 64
HEC Errors (Up/Down): 2,544,759 / 1,116
27 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,536
Thanks: 251
Fixes: 69
Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: Disconnections and Inconclusive Tests

It sounds like you have a good handle on the issue so far.
Quote
I discovered early on that the ADSL works better with an extra filter between the phone and the filter that plugs into the extension and feeds the router.

Fair enough if it's made the ADSL perform better but connecting one filter into the other (even via an extension) can and will cause issues. I'm not 100% sure that's what you're doing based on your description but I'd eliminate that next if it is the case
Apart from that I'd definitely try replacing the filter(s)
Here's a view of your connections/disconnections over the past week in case that helps:
<img src="http://community.plus.net/visualradius/generated/image14543313087930.png"/>
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
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Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: Disconnections and Inconclusive Tests

Evidence please
As far as I am aware double filtering the phone side (not the router side) has no deleterious effects on the broadband and can improve things in certain circumstances
saguaro
Grafter
Posts: 78
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎26-01-2011

Re: Disconnections and Inconclusive Tests

Thanks to both of you.
The graph only covers the time when I've been using the Thomson -- it dropped briefly again just now. On Saturday night I reconnected the bedroom phone, using just one filter and leaving the powered-down Asus completely out of things. This had no noticeable effect -- the line stayed up until, weirdly, the time I came home and switched on the  computers on Sunday evening. So that filter appears to be working, anyway. I just swapped it out for the other one; if things don't deteriorate in the next few hours we can probably rule out either of the filters as the cause.
Yes, in the normal setup the extra filter is on the phone side, and it really does seem to help -- as soon as I put it in, a month or so after the initial setup, I went from dropouts every few hours to staying connected for weeks on end. And I have no choice about using the extension unless I need to test something -- I really don't like having that power cord across the kitchen door! (Rented flat, so there's nothing I can do about the way it's wired.)

... Aha. The line dropped again while I was typing that. I'll pick up another filter this afternoon, but it does seem as if there may be external factors too. I wish the Thomson had more memory than a goldfish -- it's hard to tell how many times it's dropped if I go away for a while.
cedlor
Grafter
Posts: 687
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Registered: ‎02-04-2015

Re: Disconnections and Inconclusive Tests

No electric socket in the living room?
Perhaps next time router is off post pictures of the Phone sockets and take the front plates  off and post pictures of the wiring.
saguaro
Grafter
Posts: 78
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎26-01-2011

Re: Disconnections and Inconclusive Tests

No electric socket on the length of wall where the phone jack is, between two doorways -- the one to the entrance hall and the one to the kitchen.  It probably wasn't an issue in the 1960s. Also it's very awkwardly placed in a tight corner behind a heavy table, and it's not the sort with a faceplate that the consumer is meant to take off. It's an LJU just like the one in the Master Socket Guide, but with a dotted-T symbol instead of the figure with a bugle. http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/master-socket-guide.shtml. The photo isn't great, but it's the best I can do without moving a lot of furniture.The extension socket looks identical, except that it's on the end of a long cable that comes out of the floor inside the built-in wardrobe and is long enough to go around two sides of the room -- presumably it was attached to the wall at some point, and I suspect it was put in at the same time as the master socket.  (Actually, I'm not sure the living room socket really qualifies as a 'master' at all -- this is in a 1960s block of flats. In which case it's rather a moot point which socket I use.)
mav:quote
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎10-06-2010

Re: Disconnections and Inconclusive Tests

The microfilter in the top picture may not be the best quality. It'll probably be cheaper and you'll be more likely to find good quality ones online, even with the delivery cost.
You'll probably need to open the other socket. You could disconnect all the wires except for the ones on terminals 2 and 5 in that extension socket, but it's not really necessary and probably won't achieve anything. Disconnecting them, the bell wire on 3 in particular, at the master socket is probably what will improve things.
saguaro
Grafter
Posts: 78
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎26-01-2011

Re: Disconnections and Inconclusive Tests

Quote from: ejs
The microfilter in the top picture may not be the best quality. It'll probably be cheaper and you'll be more likely to find good quality ones online, even with the delivery cost.

Sigh. I just bought two more of those from Maplin this afternoon. The one that's on the bedroom phone now certainly doesn't seem to have improved anything much. Sad
Quote from: ejs
You'll probably need to open the other socket. You could disconnect all the wires except for the ones on terminals 2 and 5 in that extension socket, but it's not really necessary and probably won't achieve anything. Disconnecting them, the bell wire on 3 in particular, at the master socket is probably what will improve things.

I'll hold that in reserve for when I get desperate. I don't want to disconnect the extension by mistake! And certainly I don't want to disconnect it on purpose; I'd really rather live with occasional dropouts than run on the living-room socket permanently. Tomorrow I'm going to try going back to the original setup; if it gets radically worse at least that would suggest that there really is a problem with either the bedroom wiring or the Asus router, and the latter I can check by swapping the routers over. If not, then I'm back to my original notion of something external and intermittent.
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎10-06-2010

Re: Disconnections and Inconclusive Tests

Removing the ring wire was what I was suggesting, as described here: http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/socket.htm
cedlor
Grafter
Posts: 687
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Registered: ‎02-04-2015

Re: Disconnections and Inconclusive Tests

If the socket in the picture is the one in the living room then it is just an extension.  (or perhaps you have star wiring)
Are there 2 wires going into the other box? As EJS says  a look inside that would be good.
Can you find where the cable comes into the house/flat from the pole? or maybe its an underground.
Eitherway is there some sort of junction box as well as the two sockets
saguaro
Grafter
Posts: 78
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎26-01-2011

Re: Disconnections and Inconclusive Tests

The one that's opened up in the photo is the bedroom one; the living room one is the thing behind a table leg. It could well be star wiring, though. It's not at all obvious where the cable comes in -- no visible junction box, and the wall with the 'main' socket is almost in the middle of the flat; the only visible wire leading to/from it disappears under the floor by the corner of the door from the living room into the hall. I'll have a look around outside the building in the morning.
mav:quote
saguaro
Grafter
Posts: 78
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Registered: ‎26-01-2011

Re: Disconnections and Inconclusive Tests

This gets sillier. This afternoon I tried switching off the Thomson router, which had been happy for nearly a day at that point, and reconnecting and powering up the Asus on the bedroom connection. It synced but struggled to connect to the internet, so I went back to the Thomson in the living room -- and that wouldn't connect either! I left it off for half an hour and it synced up and claimed to have internet (internet light blinking away happily) but the computers didn't believe it, and when I tried the 'check internet connectivity' button it said there wasn't any. So I disconnected in the router interface, and on the second attempt it authenticated and let me back on line -- two hours after the initial attempt. And this was with nothing connected to the bedroom extension again. Does the system not like it when I abruptly switch routers like that?
As for the external wiring, I found a rather tatty BT junction box outside at the bottom of the communal staircase, with wires leading off in various directions, but I couldn't trace the one to my flat -- my best guess is that it goes up the outside wall to first-floor level and then disappears somewhere into the walls or under the floor.
Community Veteran
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Re: Disconnections and Inconclusive Tests

It was unfortunate timing disconnecting this afternoon, because there was a big outage affecting BT and other ISPs who use BTWholesale:
https://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,148288.0.html
saguaro
Grafter
Posts: 78
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎26-01-2011

Re: Disconnections and Inconclusive Tests

Ah. Yes, I just noticed that on the BBC website and wondered if there was a correlation. Nice to know that it's not just me for once.
hottroc
Grafter
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎05-08-2012

Re: Disconnections and Inconclusive Tests

It's not just you, I've been having identical symptoms as your original post. But it seems to be getting more stable now. This, dear friend, is in my opinion not a problem at your end, particularly if you have ruled most things out by swapping them. Rather it is more likely an issue at either your phone exchange or PlusNet. Most likely your phone exchange, but when I say that it could be anywhere between your property and the actual main exchange.
Have you considered raising a fault at faults.plus.net ? I raised a fault a couple of months ago and they found a problem at the exchange and it was fixed and fine for a while. But a few weeks later the problems started again so maybe they only did a temporary fix. I'm keeping an eye on mine for now.