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Weird Problem on WLAN with Thomson v8

kjpetrie
Rising Star
Posts: 136
Thanks: 21
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎19-12-2010

Weird Problem on WLAN with Thomson v8

Over the last few days I have noticed a weird problem affecting accessing the Internet from my laptop over the wireless LAN using the PN-supplied Thomson V8. If I attempt to download anything from the Internet the router lights all go out, except for the power light which turns red. After about a minute it will go through its boot up sequence and eventually reconnect, only to die again immediately if I access the Internet from the laptop.
I get a reliable fast connection using my desktop machine, with is connected to Ethernet port 1, and I can also get a reliable connection between the two machines through the router. In fact, at the moment I am typing this on my laptop over a remote desktop connection to my other machine, as that's the only way I can 'access' the Internet from the laptop, though strictly speaking it is the desktop machine accessing the net over the wired connection.
The router is set to its factory defaults except that I have upgraded the firmware (to 8.2.7.8 ), in case this was the problem caused by the old firmware, and I did see a brief change last night, but the problem has returned today.
So, any idea what could be going on here? Everything seems to work except when I try to connect via the WLAN to the Internet, when I get something more spectacular than a mere failure to connect.
Or should I just conclude the router is faulty and return it?
9 REPLIES
SiMania
Grafter
Posts: 142
Registered: ‎24-09-2007

Re: Weird Problem on WLAN with Thomson v8

Personally I'd throw the router in the bin and buy one fit for purpose.
I have a 3COM router that I've had for a few years, it has done its job but recently has stopped responding overnight and occasionally during the day meaning I had to manually restart, these disconnections ended up reducing my line speed so I decided to ask plusnet for a new router as I've been with them for nearly 8 years.
Router arrived quickly (thomson 585 vCool, I immediately upgraded firmware, setup encryption, got all my devices talking to them (I work in IT and am a bit geeky so there are 12 devices that connect to the router at some point).
The first thing I noticed was poor download speeds via bittorrent, a bit of tweaking got them a bit quicker but browsing the internet from other devices was really slow, when the torrent client wasn't running they were fine.
One night I was copying files from my Mac to PS3 via http and the network ground to a halt for all other wirelessly connected devices, loading google home page took at least a minute and using any flash based browsing was impossible.
Today I bit the bullet and put the 3COM router back in its place, torrents are flying, PS3 can download files and we can still browse at the same time.
I'll probably get another 3COM or decent router to replace the failing one but will never in my life subject my poor wireless devices to the thomson 585 v 8.  
jojopillo
Grafter
Posts: 9,786
Registered: ‎16-06-2010

Re: Weird Problem on WLAN with Thomson v8

Hi kjpetrie,
Some useful tips can be found through here for wireless issues.
Jojo Smiley
kjpetrie
Rising Star
Posts: 136
Thanks: 21
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎19-12-2010

Re: Weird Problem on WLAN with Thomson v8

Thanks Jojo,
I've already tried everything suggested there and the problem isn't with the wireless as such - I can set up and use a Wireless LAN between my laptop and my wired desktop and that works well. I can also access the Internet from the wired machine and that works well. I can even use my laptop via the wireless as a thin client to my desktop and remotely use the desktop to surf and that works well. It is only when I try to download anything directly from the Internet using the wireless that the router allows a few kBs through and then reboots. Any page with graphics on it will trigger a reboot of the router, but only when viewed wirelessly.
The only thought I can come up with is either there's a bug in the firmware (but then I'd expect to see others with the problem) or the power regulators inside the router cannot meet the demand of heavy wireless use and Internet access simultaneously, and a temporary power loss occurs internally that triggers the reboot.
I have tested the external power supply with a passive 47 ohm load and verified that it maintains 21.7v into that load, which seems reasonable for a nominal 22v 545ma supply, so it's not that. I suspect a hardware fault inside the router itself.
jojopillo
Grafter
Posts: 9,786
Registered: ‎16-06-2010

Re: Weird Problem on WLAN with Thomson v8

HI kjpetrie,
That doesn't seem too clever then. I have ordered a new router for you and have sent you an email to confirm this.
Jojo Smiley
kjpetrie
Rising Star
Posts: 136
Thanks: 21
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎19-12-2010

Re: Weird Problem on WLAN with Thomson v8

Thanks.
kjpetrie
Rising Star
Posts: 136
Thanks: 21
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎19-12-2010

Re: Weird Problem on WLAN with Thomson v8

Well, the new router gives exactly the same problem, so I suppose we can eliminate faulty hardware. I also noticed the problem occurred when my neighbours switched their networks on, giving me competition from three other networks at one point.
Sadly, changing the channel made no difference, at least from 1-6, I lost patience at that point as I was losing line speed with every reboot and it seems unlikely simple interference could cause a reboot. I suspect it's a susceptibility to RFI inside the device rather than interference with the WLAN itself, and switching through 6 channels should have made a difference.
Let's face the reality. PN Value is a bargain-basement service which works surprisingly well for the price, but the free modem router with such a service is hardly likely to be brilliant under adverse conditions, and what I'm getting looks like the norm for the hardware supplied. If I need to use the wireless when my neighbours are around I suppose I'll have to invest in something better, such as a good quality wireless cable router to plug into one of the ethernet ports.
So the new router can go back in the bag and at least I know what to expect in future. Thanks for trying to help.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,887
Thanks: 128
Fixes: 24
Registered: ‎14-07-2009

Re: Weird Problem on WLAN with Thomson v8

Surely if you don't like the router you need to completely replace it with a better router with its own built-in modem?  And wireless channels tend to overlap so working you way up from 1 to 6 then giving up is not the best strategy.  But any router that requires a reboot if you change the wireless channel is a bit ropey.
kjpetrie
Rising Star
Posts: 136
Thanks: 21
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎19-12-2010

Re: Weird Problem on WLAN with Thomson v8

The wired part works well enough, including the modem part, so why waste money duplicating what I already have when I could spend the extra on better quality wireless?
Are you saying my channel changes weren't effective because I didn't reboot, or were you referring to the reboots triggered by the fault?
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,887
Thanks: 128
Fixes: 24
Registered: ‎14-07-2009

Re: Weird Problem on WLAN with Thomson v8

Your channel changes weren't effective because you should have tried something like 1, 4, 7, 10,13 then fine-tuned on the best result if necessary.  Or use a program like inSSIDer to map out what channels are in use locally. 
I thought you implied you were rebooting after every channel change, which should be unnecessary but seems to be required on some inferior routers.  But reading again I think you just mean that  testing of your wireless connection to access the internet causes your router to reboot
If your device has an RFI problem then I would have thought it would be RFI down the mains or RFI down the phone line.  I once saw a computer where the (faulty) power supply gave out so much RFI that the router would lose sync as soon as you turned it on, even though the router was at the opposite end of the house.  I cannot see the difference between using your laptop to access your LAN (which you say is problem free) and using it to access the internet.  Have you tried
  • Running your laptop on battery without the mains adaptor?

  • Running your laptop with a Linux boot disc that would allow you to use your wireless adaptor without any of the usual software your laptop runs

  • Taking your router to a friend's house, entering their user name and password and using it in place of their usual router then seeing if your laptop will still kill it.