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jeffsbaker

join:2005-10-13
Watsonville, CA

[Modem] DSL New Modem suggestions

Here is the scenario. It has been going on for 10 years. I have had AT&T (or SBC) DSL for 10 years. Every other month or sometimes once a week the Internet will run really bad and DSL will often disconnect. Of course, the modem can never reconnect by itself so I have to cycle on/off the modem. Sometimes this happens every hour for two days. Other days it will happen every 5 to 10 minutes! When I call AT&T tech support or send a message to AT&T direct they usually tell me that everything is all right on their end so it must be at my end. But then miraculously the next day the Internet is running better. It may run fine for two to three weeks and then the cycle starts all over again.

So plainly the problem is with AT&T’s end. But they rarely want to admit it or even look into it. Lately this problem is happening again. DSL is constantly turning off and I have to cycle on/off the modem. Also I am getting very slow speeds. I should be getting 6000 Kbps but instead I am getting 2816 Kbps or slower.

Anyway, to make a long story shorter here is what I am looking for:

I would like to find a modem that can reconnect by itself when DSL loses connection. I don't understand why every modem I have tried I have to manually re-power the modem. I am currently using a Motorola 2210-02. When it loses DSL it says "Reconnecting" but can never reconnect. Here is a list of the modems I have used over the years and they couldn't reconnect by themselves either:

Motorola 2210-02
Speedstream 4100 B
Speedstream 5861
SpeedStream 5360

Usually I have purchased a new modem because AT&T tech's have said, "There is nothing we can do, you should try a new modem."

I am thinking that it would be better to get a modem/router combo, rather than a stand-alone modem and hooking it to a router. Correct me if I am wrong.

So I was looking into possibly purchasing one of these three modem/routers:

Netgear DSL Gateway Model 7550
PACE DSL Gateway Model 4111N
TP-Link WL RT TD-W8960N 300M WL-N

For some reason I can't find very many reviews on the Netgear Westell 7550 or on the Pace gateway. But the TP-Link W8960 seems to have the best reviews on Amazon for a combo modem/router.

What do you think? What would you recommend?

davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:3
Stay away from the Netgear and Pace gateways you mentioned. Too many reported problems in those first year devices.
Get the Motorola DSL Modem Model 3360 »www.att.com/equipment/accessorie···dems.jsp and add your own router OR try the AT&T 2701HG-B 2Wire Wireless Gateway DSL Router Modem IF you can get one New In Box(NIB). If you can get a NIB AT&T Motorola 3347-02 Gateway even better.


d_l
Barsoom
Premium,MVM
join:2002-12-08
Reno, NV
kudos:7
reply to jeffsbaker
The tech's in Direct or the truck-roll techs suggested buying a new modem?

Rather than spending money on new modems in a quest for line stability, how much time have you spent trying to diagnose your problem here on DSLR?

Of the modem's you have used, the 4100b has the best diagnostic capabilities.

jeffsbaker

join:2005-10-13
Watsonville, CA
I forgot to mention that I also have used the Speedstream 5100 on the line.

I have been told by Direct, phone, and truck-roll techs at different times to try a new modem. That is why I tried new modems. I have also been trying to have the problem diagnosed on DSLR for at least four years.


d_l
Barsoom
Premium,MVM
join:2002-12-08
Reno, NV
kudos:7

1 recommendation

reply to jeffsbaker
We could take a look at your posted stats from the 4100b to see what the over all problem is.

You could check the the hybrid number even though it isn't as useful on a 4100b, but if it is a #3, then we know there isn't an inside wire bridged tap (or something acting like one). »SBC DSL FAQ »What do the hybrid numbers mean and what do they tell you about your line?

You could post the DMT graph from the DMT tool: »SBC DSL FAQ »How can I check for the maximum attainable sync speeds with a 5100b/4100 modem? to show what the used tone bins look like.

If you are only getting 2816 kbps because of high line attenuation, then no modem is going to help you.
--
TCE Weather

jeffsbaker

join:2005-10-13
Watsonville, CA
Well, as usually happens, DSL has been working fine for 3 days straight, from June 7 all the way through Saturday June 9. No disconnects and a speed of 6000 Kbps.

But today, Sunday June 10, DSL is going down every 5 minutes again and when it reconnects it only gets speeds of lower than 3000 Kbps.

Anyway, what I don't like is that when DSL goes down, none of the DSL modems I have had seem to be able to reconnect without me power cycling on/off the modem, or I can log into the modem and click reset and it does its 30 second power cycle. I was hoping there was a modem out there that could figure out how to do that by itself when DSL goes down.


David
I start new work on
Premium,VIP
join:2002-05-30
Granite City, IL
kudos:101
Reviews:
·DIRECTV
·AT&T Midwest
·magicjack.com
·Google Voice
reply to jeffsbaker
another problem he has (as I have been the tech working on it) his line's max rate jumps all over the place. Even when setting it to interleaved it hops all over. It can be fine at 6800kbps max then go as low as 2800kbps max in a brief second. Usually when I set one to interleaved it shouldn't hop all over the place like that. Granted, can still be external (another/different modem would probably confirm/deny my suspicions) but it hops all over.
--
If you have a topic in the direct forum please reply to it or a post of mine, I get a notification when you do this.
Koetting Ford, Granite City, illinois... YOU'RE FIRED!!


d_l
Barsoom
Premium,MVM
join:2002-12-08
Reno, NV
kudos:7
said by David:

Granted, can still be external (another/different modem would probably confirm/deny my suspicions) but it hops all over.

But if the sync problem occurred with all of those modems, it seems unlikely it is occurring at his modem and not on the line or at the card at the DSLAM.

Is the attenuation level jumping around at all at the disconnects? That could be difficult to catch in the act if it immediately disconnected the sync. Then if the DSLAM failed to run through its re-sync melody for some reason, his modem couldn't re-sync until it is power cycled.
--
TCE Weather


David
I start new work on
Premium,VIP
join:2002-05-30
Granite City, IL
kudos:101
I have seen 2210's with failing power supplies do this as well. TRying to sort it out.

scgops

join:2008-01-10
San Mateo, CA
reply to jeffsbaker
I've had similar issues with a Motorola 2210 and at least three different Speedstream modems over the last ten or so years.

The modems all run hot and burn up. They're intentionally designed to self-destruct and need to be replaced every 12 to 18 months.

More recently, I bought a 2Wire 2701HG from AT&T. That worked fine for 2 years before I started getting frequent red lights and connection drops. A Google search brought me to the conclusion that the problem was with the power supply. As it ages, the capacitors degrade until the unit is no longer getting enough watts of power. The voltage is enough to turn it on but the current is too low to keep the connection stable. There is information on the web (including fixya.com) showing how to replace the capacitors. Or you can buy replacement power supplies from AT&T for $10 or Amazon for $8.

I know that doesn't apply to the Speedstream modem you have right now. But the point is that Speedstream modems are designed to self-destruct and need frequent replacements. The 2Wire router isn't as bad but it does periodically need a new power supply.


d_l
Barsoom
Premium,MVM
join:2002-12-08
Reno, NV
kudos:7
quote:
scgops See Profile But the point is that Speedstream modems are designed to self-destruct and need frequent replacements
That isn't true for the 4100 and 4100b which were rated for 50K hours MTBF; however, if you put it over a heat source or block the air vents, that lifespan can be shortened considerably. I've been running a 4100 for at least six years.

emsvitil

join:2008-06-12
Inglewood, CA
I just fixed a 2wire 2701 power supply..

The capacitors were fine.............

The problem is that the circuit board isn't directly connected to the mains power (110v).

The circuit board is just pressed against two spring clips which are attached to the 110v prongs.

Heat cycles, dropping the power supply, etc; and you'll eventually get bad contacts.

I just soldered some wires onto the 110v prongs, then soldered those wires to the circuit board.

Power supply fixed.

jeffsbaker

join:2005-10-13
Watsonville, CA
Thanks for the comments. Well I had been switching between a Motorola and a couple Speedstream modems, but was having the same disconnect issue throughout the day and constant speed changes causing DSL to pause.

An AT&T tech came out and fooled with the wires and guess what? DSL started working fine at 6mbps. No line noise or anything. And this is using an old Speedstream 4100. It was working great for 30 days straight!

But now I am starting to get DSL issues again. The speed at the moment is 2944 Kbps and it fluctuates. Sometimes the modem says that the internet is working and the DSL and Internet light are green but I get no internet. And now about twice a day the DSL light is turning red again and I have to restart.

So basically about the same problems that have been happening for over 10 years with DSL.

Jeff


NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:12
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC
reply to scgops
said by scgops:

I've had similar issues with a Motorola 2210 and at least three different Speedstream modems over the last ten or so years.

The modems all run hot and burn up. They're intentionally designed to self-destruct and need to be replaced every 12 to 18 months.

Seriously? I know of three SpeedStream 4100 modems in operation for the last six to seven years without failing. And a Motorola 2210 in constant operation for at least four years without failure.

There is a known bad batch of the Motorola 2210, within a range of serial numbers; but most outside of that range seem reliable enough.
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum

jeffsbaker

join:2005-10-13
Watsonville, CA
Well, here is the thing Norman. Personally, I don't think any of my modems are bad. From the Speedstreams to the Motorolas. Recently AT&T came back out because DSL kept dropping and put in place a new Motorola 3360. Same thing, it will randomly work fine for a week and then constantly drop signal for a week.

But, no I don't think it is the modem. But AT&T uses the modems as a scapegoat. They want it to be something else besides lousy service to certain areas. I believe there are certain areas that AT&T just can't seem to figure out why it works sometimes and sometimes doesn't. So they blame, wiring, modems, etc. But after they supposedly fix it all, then it still doesn't work well.

But, the thing I'd like to overcome, since AT&T can't fix the problem, is find out if there is a modem that is better at connecting by itself after losing signal. The Motorola modems say "Connection in progress..." forever after losing the DSL signal and getting it back. It's like they get stuck and don't even try. But, if I power cycle the modem then it connects again. So I was wondering if there is a modem that would kind of do a soft power cycle by itself after losing signal rather than saying "Connection in progress...". I know this is a bigger issue than just my house because I am computer technician and I have seen it in other areas also. Also I have seen a neighborhood just down the street from the bad signal neighborhood that gets perfect DSL all the time.

Dv Jones

join:2004-02-22
San Francisco, CA
The modems and the power supplies do fail. My father's wireless modem (the WEP model) had a power supply with a failed capacitor. Symptoms were modem not booting consistently, dropped connections, etc.. I fixed the PS and it was back up and running fine. I also just had a Speedstream 4100 start to die out on me. It was dropping the connection randomly. Some troubleshooting revealed a problem with the processor itself; put cold on it and it locks up, put heat on it and it runs perfect until it cools back down. It's not the BGA soldering either.

The problems with speeds that seem to jump around or depend on time of day and don't go away when obtaining different IPs are usually line problems outside your residence. I've had this happen at least 3 times at my residence and the fix was always for a line tech to come out and cut off the various bridge taps on my line that are apparently run around the neighborhood.