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axeman61

join:2010-08-05

DSL light blinking on SS 5360 modem... do I need a new one?

I need help, but I already posted on another forum, so I'll just copy and paste my two posts from that forum:
Post 1:
I got the internet cut back on yesterday after we paid the bill, and now the DSL light on my modem will start nodding out after about an hour of surfing. It'll blink off, then slowly blink back on, like when the modem is first turned on. It'll just keep doing this. It becomes unbearable and I have to turn it off again to "reset" it. I was having little blink offs before here and there before today, but they never really interrupted my surfing. The light would always come back on and stay on. They only hurt online gaming where a game I had would be dropped because of the little outages. Both these connections are wired.

I've had a technician come to my house months ago, and he checked the lines of the house and concluded that the modem might be bad. I've been through 4 service reps at AT&T today trying to get to the root of this problem. They had varying responses though. The last one noted that my modem signal is weak, and now once again, I have a tech coming down soon for a second opinion. Maybe I DO need a new modem, but my old one has never acted out this much before today. I'm starting to think maybe there's a problem outside of the modem.

Modem: Speedstream 5360. As this is a modem without an internal "interface," I have to connect through one of those network connections you can set up in WinXP.
Model #: 060-5360-002 (It says "Part No." next to this number on the modem; let me know if this isn't the actual model number)
I got it in the early 2000s.
Connection: Wired, with no router. I switch ethernet cords for online gaming.
Connection speed: 2.19 Mb/s download and 0.59 Mb/s upload. I just tested it at speedtest.net, and this is wrong. I'm supposed to be getting at least 3 Mb/s for Download.
OS: Win XP w/Service Pack 3
Network Adapter: Intel PRO/100 VE Network Connection

Here's the result of me running the command of IPCONFIG /ALL:
Windows IP Configuration

Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : 9be473ff
Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . :
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Unknown
IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Intel(R) PRO/100 VE Network Connection
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-11-11-9E-90-C8
Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration IP Address. . . : 169.254.210.71
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.0.0
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :

PPP adapter ATT DSL:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : WAN (PPP/SLIP) Interface
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-53-45-00-00-00
Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No
IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 76.226.124.2
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.255
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 76.226.124.2
DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . . : 68.94.156.1
68.94.157.1
NetBIOS over Tcpip. . . . . . . . : Disabled

Thanks in advance for helping me, you guys, and let me know if you need to know anything extra.
Also, if it turns out that I DO have to get a new modem, are there any cheap ones you guys can recommend that will still work better than a close to 10 year old Speedstream 5360? My MAXIMUM budget here is 40 bucks.
--end of post 1--
I'd C & P post 2, but it just says I canceled my meet with the tech after finding out it would cost 60 bucks off the bat if they isolate the problem to my modem. I realized that a new modem is probably in my best interest. At this point, I'm looking for recommendations or possible fixes to my situation if there are any.

Also, when trying to connect to the internet in "glitch-mode" with the wavering DSL light, I got these 2 error messages:

718
The connection was terminated because the remote computer did not respond in a timely manner.

678
The remote computer did not respond.

If they mean anything, let me know.



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1 edit

download5360FAQ.zip 73,177 bytes
5360FAQ.pdf
  

5360 Modem front

5360 LED Chart
If the other LEDs are solid green (except for ACT which can be off or blinking green randomly) and the DSL LED is flashing/blinking then that means your 5360 ADSL Modem is working correctly and it cannot find any DSL signal to connect to. That means your DSL isn't working and it is time to call your ISP to report loss of DSL Sync.
said by 5360 FAQ :
6.) What condition should the 5360’s LED be in when it is ready to connect to the Internet?

The PWR, DSL, and ENET LED’s should all be solid green. The ACT LED should be off or blinking green.
--
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axeman61

join:2010-08-05
reply to axeman61

When the DSL light gimps out, the enet light is blinking too. Not much, but enough to notice. Does that mean anything?

Should I ask about that specifically? DSL sync? I've already called tech support at AT&T 5 times about this. I've heard sync mentioned on one tech call. I didn't know what they meant though. They said it was consistent. I might call back.



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said by axeman61:

When the DSL light gimps out, the enet light is blinking too. Not much, but enough to notice. Does that mean anything?
Your PC is sending Ethernet traffic to the Modem Ethernet LAN port which makes the otherwise solid Green "ENET" LED flash/blink as the traffic comes and goes on the PC Ethernet Port through the Modem. This is explained in the LED chart previously posted (Solid Green ENET LED = "Ethernet port connected to LAN" as it is a hardware level always on when connection when the Ethernet Cable is plugged in at both ends) and is considered completely normal operation.

said by axeman61:

Should I ask about that specifically? DSL sync? I've already called tech support at AT&T 5 times about this.
You call and tell them that you have no DSL Sync when the DSL LED is flashing. You simply report what is happening as it is not normal operation. The DSL LED should be on solid and should only go to blinking on rare occasions like when there is scheduled maintenance on the DSL Remote you connect to or when there is a rare DSL outage in your area. It shouldn't go out every day or several times a day and that indicates there is a problem with the DSL service or the wiring supplying the DSL service. Normal DSL is up 99% of the time.

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

axeman61

join:2010-08-05
reply to axeman61

The wiring? As in, house wires and/or CAT wires? The technician I got down here earlier tested the lines in the house and concluded they were good, but said the modem was the problem. TBH, I didn't believe him. I always knew the blinks I had here and there were suspicious, but they were indeed rare, and only became more frequent/more of an issue when I was gaming online with my PS3 (even then, that might have just been the games I was playing). I'm going to call ATT again about this.



Doctor Olds
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said by axeman61:

The wiring? As in, house wires and/or CAT wires?
Both, all the wiring that carries the DSL signal to the Modem from the NID (Network Interface Demarcation) and to the NID from the DSLAM at the Central Office (CO). That means the inside and outside telephone cabling.

»AT&T Southeast Forum FAQ »I am loosing synch. How do I troubleshoot and correct the problem?

»AT&T Southeast Forum FAQ »I have poor synch (or no synch at all) with the DSLAM. What can I do?

»AT&T Southeast Forum FAQ »I'm not getting the advertised DSL speeds. What's wrong? What can I do?
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axeman61

join:2010-08-05
reply to axeman61

I've scheduled a meet with a technician on Thursday after a tech support call to them eventually led to the revelation that perhaps it is the line and their problem (meaning no charge to me).

However, I placed that call AFTER ordering a new modem:

»www.amazon.com/Actiontec-GT701D-···2&sr=8-3

I'm going to try that modem out, and if the problem still persists, I already have a tech coming. I'm hoping I can still count on you guys for some assistance if things get crappy. Thanks so far, by the way.

While I'm thinking on it, is there a safe way I can test for line trouble at my house right now? I don't want to mess with whatever equipment they installed outside.



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Click for full size
You can test all of the inside wiring by running a separate UTP extension line direct to the NID (using the test jack) as that bypasses all inside wiring. Then see if the connection improves or not.
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axeman61

join:2010-08-05

1 edit
reply to axeman61

Forgive my noobishness here, but I don't know what you mean by NID, and I KNOW I haven't seen any devices like what's in those pictures around the house.

Are you, by any chance, saying I should unplug all the other phone jacks and run the modem straight into the jack I use for DSL with no filter? And see if things work better then?

If you are, I tried that over the phone twice with tech support. Once, the signal seemed to be fine, and the second time I actually tried it got me my latest technician visit on Thursday. They said something might be wrong with the line. That's why I'm waiting on the modem to get here before the tech visit. If things are screwed up then, at least I'll know it wasn't the modem.



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A NID is located outside in most cases where the telephone line connects to your residence. If not there then in the basement on the other side of the wall where the wire goes into the residence.
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axeman61

join:2010-08-05

1 edit
reply to axeman61

So, the tech came today. He fixed what he said were problems on the outside line and stuff on the inside. I believe he did his best to remedy these problems, because my modem seems consistent in speed and stability right now... when I surf online on my PC. I haven't had a hiccup yet. However, playing on Playstation Network is a whole different story. I can barely keep a connection on there. It keeps logging me off. I called tech support yet again, and I eventually got to someone who said that the sync was off and they could send someone down again. Now I've got another tech coming out Saturday (stuff to do tomorrow).
EDIT: Looks like I spoke too soon. I just had a blinkout right now surfing online. The modem came back from it swinging though.
Also, something strange happened: When I made my call to Support, I did it while trying to connect to PSN, so I can maybe make the guy on the other end see the problem. But... the connection went through, and I was able to get off 3 games in Uncharted 2. As soon as the call was done and the tech was scheduled to come out again, things started going sideways again. That HAS to be a symptom of something. All while I was having these problems over the last week, the internet would act it's best when I was on the phone with tech support. What does that mean, if anything?



Doctor Olds
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Is the connection better or worse when the telephone is ringing? Also try taking the phone off of the hook and then try playing the PS Network and/or using the internet connection.

Read these two FAQs for additional help:

»EarthLink DSL FAQ »My DSL only works when I pick up the phone or while I use the phone?

»EarthLink DSL FAQ »My DSL disconnects when I answer the phone or when the phone rings.
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?


axeman61

join:2010-08-05

1 edit
reply to axeman61

Ok, now I can conclusively say that someone on the phone makes the internet connection better. Just now, my internet was acting like crap until someone called my mom.

Testing further, I'm seeing that it even works when the phone is just in talk mode (these are cordless phones). I don't need another person on the line.

I already have a tech coming tomorrow (today, depending on when you read this). Do you think their repairs will cost me anything? Them checking and fixing both the inside and outside problems last time were free.



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said by axeman61:

Ok, now I can conclusively say that someone on the phone makes the internet connection better. Just now, my internet was acting like crap until someone called my mom.

Testing further, I'm seeing that it even works when the phone is just in talk mode (these are cordless phones). I don't need another person on the line.
Then you can look at this FAQ again and see what it says.

»AT&T Midwest/Ameritech FAQ »DSL works only with phone off-hook, known as High Open
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axeman61

join:2010-08-05

1 edit
reply to axeman61

Tech came today. He did tests on the inside wiring and gathered that my problem wasn't in the house. I demonstrated the phone thing to him, and he said that could be a "dirty open" (tee hee). However, after trying to rewire everything at a pole on my street, testing my NID, and working on the big phone box (don't know how to describe it) who knows where, these problems still persisted. He even tried things out with a Westell modem he had on his truck (he let me keep it). Same problems. The saddest part: he asked me about the filters. I described them. Since the previous tech had isolated my DSL to only the jack I was using it for, and used a whole-house filter down there, I didn't need filters on the phones any more. I took them out and tried the phones. Still getting a dial tone. We plugged the Westell in again. Things seemed to be working great. So great, in fact, that I switched back to the Actiontec and things were still working (no returns, hooray!). We tried the phone test, and it made no difference with things. I was surfing good, and when I swapped out ethernet cords to play on the Playstation Network, things went off without a hitch... for a few matches on Uncharted. Then it was back to square 1 with the problems. And it was almost worse than before. The internet is REALLY kicking me off at night time. It's amazing I can even post this.
Both techs I had this week said that since I'm far away from the DSL office, I'm really on the fringe of the 6 Mbit connection I'm getting. Maybe I wasn't meant to handle that connection. They recommended going back to the 3 Mbit connection. Do you guys think I should do that? I'm running out of options and patience here with school starting up. I have to get books online. I don't know what caused things to wig out all of a sudden, but I do know these techs have at least tried their hardest to help. Is there ANYTHING else I can try? I'm thinking of switching back on Monday. The FAQ mentioned calling the phone side of tech support, and try to soft pedal "static on the line" into a metallic loop test. Would that even work with all the tech support calls I've put in and the techs I've already had down here?



Doctor Olds
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If you have not already done so, I'd make contact in the AT&T Direct Forum and ask for help.
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axeman61

join:2010-08-05
reply to axeman61

I think I'm going to downgrade. I made the post in the direct forum, and stay optimistic, but I think I'm going to at least try the lower speed for a day and see what happens.

I just remembered that there was ONE call in my initial batch of calls to tech support where I was on the home phone and the internet still started to wig out after we'd been on close to 2 hours. This means that even with the phone trick active, I'd probably still be getting cut off after a while.

I don't know what spurred my connection to act this way after almost a year, but I do know 3Mbits wasn't so bad all around. Sure, I can't download a file to my computer as fast, but online gaming wasn't that glitchy and I was always on.

So I'm going to try this downgrade on Monday and see if things become more stable. If they do, I'll stay that way and be happy with the 10 buck cut in the bill. If not, I'll be back.

Either way, I want to thank you for your monumental help, Doctor Olds.


axeman61

join:2010-08-05
reply to axeman61

OK, I'm really sorry to double post, but there's been a new development.

I WAS ready to just downgrade and see what happens. In fact, I might still do that after all this is over.
After seeing a tech at the NID yesterday, today I got the spine and litany of extension cords to actually go to the NID, open it, and plug my modem into it to see if the signal drops as bad out there as it does in the house. The short answer is "no." The long one is that at first it seemed as wonky, but then it got "accustomed" to the signal out there and stayed solid. This is still the Actiontec GT710D we're talking about. The first three lights (power, DSL, and internet) stayed solid for as long as I could look at them, with the internet light having a "normal" blink every second signaling activity. I was only able to test for a maximum of 30 minutes though, so I don't know for sure if the connection would have dropped regardless. Plugging into the NID bypasses all internal wiring, doesn't it?

My question is, what does this mean for me? The NID SEEMS to be getting a consistent signal. However, both the techs I've had down here said the internal wiring in my house wasn't the problem. Maybe they were wrong? I've read up on this, and it seems like if the NID isn't goofing, the problem is in the house. Again, I wasn't out there long enough to be 100% sure, but it is enough to make me question things. If I call tech support, can they "penalize" me if I bring that up?



Doctor Olds
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said by axeman61:

After seeing a tech at the NID yesterday, today I got the spine and litany of extension cords to actually go to the NID, open it, and plug my modem into it to see if the signal drops as bad out there as it does in the house. The short answer is "no." The long one is that at first it seemed as wonky, but then it got "accustomed" to the signal out there and stayed solid. This is still the Actiontec GT710D we're talking about. The first three lights (power, DSL, and internet) stayed solid for as long as I could look at them, with the internet light having a "normal" blink every second signaling activity. I was only able to test for a maximum of 30 minutes though, so I don't know for sure if the connection would have dropped regardless. Plugging into the NID bypasses all internal wiring, doesn't it?

My question is, what does this mean for me? The NID SEEMS to be getting a consistent signal. However, both the techs I've had down here said the internal wiring in my house wasn't the problem. Maybe they were wrong? I've read up on this, and it seems like if the NID isn't goofing, the problem is in the house. Again, I wasn't out there long enough to be 100% sure, but it is enough to make me question things. If I call tech support, can they "penalize" me if I bring that up?
Correct. The NID is direct back to the CO where the DSLAM is and it is how you bypass all internal wiring by using the test jack inside.

I don't think they would penalize you, you are simply wanting what you are paying for. A stable DSL service in exchange for a stable monthly payment.
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?

axeman61

join:2010-08-05

1 edit
reply to axeman61

I'll try to call tech support tomorrow before calling whatever department can change my DSL service and talk about this.

Should I call from my cell phone (which won't trigger the phone trick)? And at which point should I bring up my NID testing?

I must add that over the weekend, the connection got REALLY bad access-wise. It won't let me on if I don't do the phone thing first. That's why I was willing to do the NID thing in the first place. I'm just so confused right now.



Doctor Olds
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I'd suggest working with the Direct Forum techs and layout your concerns as you have done here. Then you can see what they may be able to determine. Also, I'd suggest trying a long phone cord (UTP - not the flat 4 wire, but twisted pair) so that the Modem is at the PC so that the cord can go to the closest window above/near the NID and then drop outside and hook direct to the NID. You can then try testing for loss like that for 24 to 48 hours. You can have a line splitter/DSL filter so that the Modem can share one phone.
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?


axeman61

join:2010-08-05
reply to axeman61

Upon telling ATT of the NID thing, I got them to run another test on the line and they sent a tech out today. He, too, said I might just be too far out and need to downgrade.

So, I caved and did it. It should go through tomorrow. 3 Mbps wasn't so bad; it's just that at the time I got 6Mbps, I had gotten so many deals grandfathered in over my ATT history that it was only 10 bucks more a month at the time. It was good while it lasted, but if this fixes things after all the stuff those techs did, so be it.

If it doesn't... all the anger I've suppressed in dealing with ATT's tech support will melt this city.


axeman61

join:2010-08-05
reply to axeman61

No one's replied in my Direct thread yet.

Aaaaaaand.... the downgrade only half worked. It's still early, but I'm speedtesting, and my connection is showing results of less than half the speed I was getting just yesterday. It's looking like the downgrade went though.

The stability I got from this isn't what I was expecting. The blinkouts occur less frequently, and the service will pop back up in a minute without me having to do the phone trick. I can surf more regularly than I could, and that's a good START. But for me to have nuked the DSL price I had to get half the speed I was getting at basically that same price, I expected the end to my problems.This just knocked them down a mighty mite. If I went on PSN with this connect, I'll still be getting kicked off left and right.

I knew I shouldn't have backed down. Maybe this needs to time to stabilize or something. I don't know. One thing I'm thinking though:
I live in Flint, MI. Does anyone know if there's a better DSL provider than ATT here? After this past week and a half, I'm seriously thinking of switching over. As of right now I'm on a 3 Mbps package and it costs 35 a month. That's for connection reference.



Doctor Olds
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If or when a line has a intermittent high open fault, changing (if possible) to another DSL provider still leaves you with a intermittent high open line that needs repair/replacement. So that really doesn't address the copper loop issue. If the loop isn't stable, the DSL will never be stable. Even lowering the speed does not correct the underlying line issue.

Give the Direct Forum a few days to respond as they sometimes get a backlog of help requests over the weekend and that takes a few days to catch up with.
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?


axeman61

join:2010-08-05

3 edits
reply to axeman61

Got another tech coming out tomorrow after reporting the problem to AT&T.

This entire situation sucks. Before I upgraded to the 6Meg, discounts over the years had us paying 26 bucks for the 3Meg. Now we'll be paying 35. I got a modem that, while nice, I didn't have to get, and I could end up paying something if this tech does find fault in the wiring.

The ONLY good thing about this situation is that I had plenty of time to deal with all this stuff. Even if my internet is more stable than before the problem after this, I don't know if it'll feel like it was worth it. So many hours invested into this.

Edit: Tech came today. Right after I set up the meet, he called and said it was possible to meet today. I still don't get how that works. With all the info I gave him on previous tech meets and my NID test, he went down and played with the wires. He basically said he didn't know what it was and to wait it out for a while. Since he WAS the technician scheduled to come tomorrow, he gave me his cellphone number to call him and get him back down here.
I mentioned the "high open"/"dirty open" thing to him, and he said if it was that, I would have heard static in the line (there never was any). He didn't do that much downstairs; most of his work was testing the line outside and looking at things in the computer room like all the other techs. I still feel that inside wiring is the problem, but what if it isn't? What could it possibly be after all this?


axeman61

join:2010-08-05
reply to axeman61

I had set up another tech meet with the guy from yesterday, but he passed on my ticket to another guy who came by and made drastic changes: he installed a splitter at the NID, and drilled a hole in my wall to make another phone jack dedicated solely to DSL. Things are FAR more stable than yesterday, but I still occasionally get blinkouts. I get knocked off of Playstation Network every other game, but that's almost normal. I heard this "homerun" was supposed to bypass all internal wiring and fix most problems. With all the stuff that's happened in the house over the past week and a half*, am I supposed to give this time to "settle", or is something wrong? The guy said to call the previous tech if things act up.

*that stuff, for review:
-Techs tinkering with the "main" phone wires downstairs.
-The installation of a whole house filter (that may be a splitter) downstairs, which may have isolated the DSL before (this new isolation gives my modem direct feed to the NID though).



Doctor Olds
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A Home Run is a permanent way of bypassing all inside wiring as seen in the image above. The Whole House Splitter isolates/separates the DSL signal from the rest of the inside wiring. If the loss of sync/loss of connection problems continue after the Home Run with Splitter is installed then it isn't the inside wiring anymore as it is on permanent bypass.
--
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axeman61

join:2010-08-05
reply to axeman61

Forgot to update this. They did a couple things at the C. Office:

-Switched my port on their router
-Changed my Tie Pairs (?)

The second one seems to have done the trick.

Things seem very stable now. More than even before I got this problem. I'm going to call them tomorrow to see if anything else needs to be done. If not, I'll try to use my old Actiontec modem (they had me hook up a 2 wire for better trouble shooting). If nothing's wrong, I'll kind of mark this as solved and edit the first post with everything that happened.