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REIN help needed (was 5dB of excess noise suddenly vanishes)

Community Veteran
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Registered: 14-07-2009

REIN help needed (was 5dB of excess noise suddenly vanishes)

Woke up this morning to find that the speed of my broadband connection, normally in the mid 9000's, had dropped to the low 7000's after a resync in the middle of the night.  I restarted the router - no good.  I had to go out so I set Routerstats going to keep an eye on things.  At 9:50 the noise margin leapt by 5dB (from 6dB to 11dB) without a loss of sync.  Now I have restarted my router and I'm back up to normal speeds.  My wife was at home at 9:50 but cannot recall any electrical event then.  And I know this has not happened before in the last few years because I keep a close eye on my broadband speed.  So what on earth could cause this, 5dB of abnormal excess noise on the line which suddenly vanishes like a switch being flicked off?
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Community Veteran
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: 5dB of excess noise suddenly vanishes

Oh dear, I spoke too soon.  I went out again and the problem came back - for a while.
Around 10 and around 11 the computer went to sleep for a while, i have stopped that now.  I restarted it at 10:10 (causing a step increase in download speed which has remained constant thereafter).  Around 10:30 the problem came back for about 10 minutes and then, mostly, went away again.  I cannot find any BT vans in my area, could it be something going on at the telephone exchange?
Next time it happens I will cut the power to my house and let the router run on the UPS to prove it is not my doing. 
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: 5dB of excess noise suddenly vanishes

REIN problems from nearby electrical equipment seem quite common at the moment.
Community Veteran
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Re: 5dB of excess noise suddenly vanishes

Okay, back in the middle of another event.  I turned off my power at the mains leaving only my answering machine, cordless phone and router running on the UPS.  Unfortunately the router re-synced at the lower rate because of the excess noise but at least that proves that it is nothing in my house (unless the cordless phone or answering machine have suddenly gone erratically haywire).  I suppose it could be the modem in the router also, I'll try another one as soon as I get the time.
Plusnet, could something strange be going on at my telephone exchange?  Are you even able to check?
 
Plusnet Alumni (retired) chrispurvey
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Registered: 13-07-2012

Re: 5dB of excess noise suddenly vanishes - and then comes back!

I've checked your connection and it looks OK(apart from the lower sync rate) is there any interference on your phone line? We're unable to check your phone line and there's no major problems reported with your exchange.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: 5dB of excess noise suddenly vanishes - and then comes back!

I have run the quiet line test.  With a corded phone I hear a faint purring sound, a bit like a very distant motorcycle.  This can't be heard on the cordless phone that I usually use and it is nothing like the pops and crackles I get when another junction is about to fail.
The excess noise stayed around all afternoon and then there was a step-function improvement at 16:17.  I've told my computer not to go to sleep so I'll just leave Routerstats running to see if a pattern emerges.  I have to get batteries for my radio before I can go noise-hunting with that.
Community Veteran
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Re: 5dB of excess noise suddenly vanishes - and then comes back!

Another event late in the evening then good ever since.  It is very disconcerting when something like this comes along.  Until I had a line fault in July, my router had managed a 3dB target noise margin for about two years.  Now the noise level is bouncing up and down like a Kangaroo.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) chrispurvey
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Re: 5dB of excess noise suddenly vanishes - and then comes back!

It would be worth getting your phone line checked over with your provider failing that using your radio to sniff out any interference would be the next step.
If all comes back OK then we can certainly go down the faults process to investigate this.
Community Veteran
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Re: 5dB of excess noise suddenly vanishes - and then comes back!

Thanks, Chris.  No noise last night but it came back on at 10:30 and has been on all day since, except for two short breaks this afternoon.
deathtrap
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Re: 5dB of excess noise suddenly vanishes - and then comes back!

When i used  have ADSL  i used to monitor my connection using router stats, I used to get a drop in snr during week days  during office hours  but rarely would cause a disconnect even when target margin set to 3db and on fast-path, But some times would get a lot of packet loss , regardless of  target margin or fast path or not, it was still evident, I was convinced that it was REIN or similar interference local to me,that was the cause , Until i was fortunate enough to get talking with a BTOR SFI engineer who was fixing a voice fault on my line, He told me that the sources of the problem where more likely to be somewhere along the E side pair , I too have had a feint buzz or hum audible on the line, i was told probably electrical induction  
So maybe the e side runs close to a mains sub STN , that could explain some of the issues i had, as businesses use more power during hours of business so maybe had something to do with power draw I guess i'll never know,
But the engineer did say that finding and fixing electrical induction problems where not something that Openreach actively spend a lot of time on, due to the nature of the problem, and costs involved re locating the E side cables away from electrical cables
Community Veteran
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Re: 5dB of excess noise suddenly vanishes - and then comes back!

Whatever the cause, it has only been present for two days.  I'm quite suspicious of my neighbours next-door-but-one, who moved in about that time.
Chris, I ran an automated test with my telephone provider but no fault was found.  I suspect that an engineer would not take kindly to being called out for the very slight audible noise on the line so I don't see that there is much more that I can do there.  I'll keep an eye on things over the weekend then seek further help if the problem is still here on Monday.   
deathtrap
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Re: 5dB of excess noise suddenly vanishes - and then comes back!

Bear in mind if you did request an engineer's visit and in the engineers opinion there was no fault with the line it could cost you the £130 fee or whatever your provider charge for such a visit,
One engineer may listen to the line and say  i can hear it ,agree there's a fault, and try swapping the d or e side pairs or both  in a bid to improve things, or there is a real danger that  you may get an engineer who claims that he can't even hear this noise, and writes a right when tested  report out , Of course you could still challenge any charges raised with your SP  who may decide to either waive the charge or with your consent arrange another engineer's visit, which would be subject to the same T&c's regarding charges for non faults or faulty equipment/wiring  your side of the master socket ect
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Re: 5dB of excess noise suddenly vanishes - and then comes back!

Deathtrap, thanks, I agree completely.  There isn't enough of a fault to raise this as a telephone fault whereas the broadband fault is very manifest.
When the noise is absent I can pick up Capital Gold at 630kHz on my MW radio.  When the noise is 'on' all I hear is 'static'.  But this is all over the house and outside in the street at varying levels.  I had to walk 100m to the bottom of the road before it seemed to fade away.  I suppose I could tour my locale and try to find where the problem is and is not but it is quite difficult because large very localised variations make it hard to see the bigger picture.  Anyone have any hints and tips? 
Community Veteran
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Re: 5dB of excess noise suddenly vanishes - and then comes back!

My line is currently coping reasonably well with some interference (on closer inspection of the graphs I suspect there are multiple sources unless the strength varies), with a 1db drop in ds noise margin and up to about 5000 FEC per second. I had no luck locating the source, but fortunately no longer really need to.
It might be worth checking what sources of interference are still present when the problem is not, to rule them out. Depending on your neighbours, I wonder if you'd get further not mentioning broadband or Internet, and concentrate on your inability to listen to Capital Gold or other MW radio stations.
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: 5dB of excess noise suddenly vanishes - and then comes back!

I have been touring my locale with a radio.  Although there are hotspots of interference at some distance from my house, the problem is concentrated in the vicinity of my house, my next-door-neighbours house and the house next door to them.  The people in this latter house moved in last week so it is very likely to be them.  I did broach my problem very briefly with the new neighbours but I don't think they understood.  Ejs, you are probably right that bad MW radio reception should be my first line of attack.  But suppose it turns out to be, hypothetically, a £1000 plasma TV?  Can something be done to fix it?  Do those wraparound magnets that act as chokes do any good?