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DrStrange
Technically feasible
Premium
join:2001-07-23
West Hartford, CT
kudos:1

Squirrel 1, CAT5E 0

This is an update to a thread from March:
»A cautionary tale: NEVER ASSUME!

I just spent several hours troubleshooting what initially looked like a gradual line failure in the aftermath of the severe weather we had several weeks ago. Noise margins dropped, impulse noise was detected, and sync started dropping. By this time, I was hearing static on the POTS line to the point where the phone was unusable.

I tested at the NID and got sync and normal stats. I narrowed the problem down to the whole house filter, the inside POTS wiring, or the home run on the data side of the filter. When I disconnected the filter, I got dial-tone. When I had the filter in line, the voice line was drowned in static. To rule out the splitter, I tested at the data terminals with a surface mount phone jack, some alligator clips and a cheap wired phone. The data side of the splitter had normal dial-tone.

The problem was therefore in the home run. I began to check along the length of the home run. It follows the phone wiring up one side of the house, then angles up and goes through an attic vent. From the vent, it runs through the attic and feeds down to the computer room.

When I got to the attic vent, I found the problem. A screen and the CAT5E had been chewed through by a squirrel. I figured this out while I was cleaning an old bird's nest out of the area between the screen and a homemade plastic weather cover I had in place over the vent.

All of a sudden, a squirrel popped in through the hole in the screen and was staring at me on the other side of the thick plastic. Since I was holding a can of compressed air at the time, my reflex action was to whack the squirrel with the can. The squirrel retreated quickly.

I replaced the CAT5E, doubled up the screens in the vent, and sprayed the whole area with Black Flag Ant & Roach Killer.

Hopefully, this will deter squirrels and birds. Otherwise, I'll have to resort to the cayenne/Vaseline mixture I discovered in this thread:
»Re: !@#$% Squirrel



Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18

Sorry to hear that. Damn Squirrels.

I had a chipmunk get under the hood of my son's car and he decided to eat the wires to one of the fuel injectors under the plenum of all places. The car (a v-6) ran like it had a dead cylinder from burnt valves, broken valve springs, or carboned up rings will do, but it was simply not getting fuel. The little SOB would sneak under the hood at night and was building a mobile nest with the underhood insulation and he had stored acorns all over the place like a mobile food bank. LOL. You could see him in the yard staring at the car during the day at times. Caught the little SOB (and few of his kin) with a couple of these and relocated his furry butt 8 miles away in the woods with his relatives.

What a pain.
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?



interlync

join:2002-07-30
Chicago, IL
reply to DrStrange

We've seen this a lot lately. Maybe this down economy is affecting the rodent population as well.

We recommend trying moth balls in the area where you think these varmints are getting in. Seems rodents and other animals hate the scent of moth balls. Doesn't always work, but might be a cheap fix for "chronic cable chew" issues.



DrStrange
Technically feasible
Premium
join:2001-07-23
West Hartford, CT
kudos:1
reply to DrStrange

Thanks for the info. I think what's happening is that people and businesses are scrimping on non-essential maintenance due to the economy, which makes for increased opportunity for rodent and/or bird intrusion/infestation. In my case it was a combination of business and family issues which delayed repair of the screens on the attic vents.

I think I've corrected the issue that was allowing the squirrel access [doubled-up screen seems to have done the trick]. I'm looking in on it once every few weeks, but I don't see any sign of a repeat performance as yet. If I start seeing things get squirrelly again, I have an ample supply of cayenne in the kitchen cupboard for the cayenne-Vaseline mixture [which probably smells better, at least to humans, than mothballs ].

My concern is that the squirrel will attempt to return when the weather cover goes back on the vent [probably late next month], but that double screen may be enough of a deterrent to send it elsewhere.