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Paultergeist

join:2012-08-11

[CA] Newbie needs some basic education -- help is appreciated!

Greetings!

First of all, let me apologize for my lack of knowledge. I am not an IT professional. My wife has a small home office-based business which relies heavily upon the Internet. Cox is the only high-speed ISP in our geographical area. Because of numerous and recurring Internet issues, mu wife's business has taken some (legitamate) criticism, and I am trying to jump in to understanding our Internet connectivity here at our home.

I am going to summarize what is a history of Internet and TV issues over many years. Often, things work, some times, things do not. When I have called Cox tech support during those times that things are not working, Cox tech support personnel always blame our computer, our router, or our software. After hiring an IT professional to come to my home on several occasions and essentially "duking it out" with the Cox tech support personnel, we are arriving at the conclusion that the problem is one of an over-subscribed Internet service in my area. I am observing -- during times when things are not working -- 0 up-load speeds and "lost packets" during ping tests, etc. Eventually, things seems to start working again, but not due to any actions on my part......I assume other users are simply logging off.....?

Some questions, please:

1. We currently have a Cox "at Home" bundled Internet and TV service. It has been suggested that we would have a more stable Internet service if we upgraded to a "business" Internet service. Despite many phone calls, I have been unable to get any information that seems to establish whether business internet service will be any more stable than residential Internet service?

2. Based on my own experiements, disconnecting TV (splitters) from the coaxial cable seems to sometimes improve performance. I am thinking of ONLY having Internet on the cable, and getting TV via satellite. Cox, on e other hand, is claiming that the signal might well be too strong if I remove the TV from the cable service. I think this is a lie, but I just thought I should ask: is there any validity to Cox's THREAT that my already-spotting Internet will be WORSE if I discontinue TV service?

3. Cox wanted to bundle a new business telephone service. I was okay with this idea until I saw the telephone modem. Hang on -- if my Internet is already spotty -- why would anyone put their phone on said Internet? Cox says my refusal to move forward is groundless, but I am not so sure. Is it appropriate to out VoIP if the Internet is already having problems?

4. What is the standard regarding running the coaxial cable? Installer wanted to drill a hole right through my Bolivian Rosewood hardwood floors. He said that was all they did. I pointed to the outlet box -- used already for internet and the phone wires -- already installed in the wall above the baseboard molding. He said he did not have the right drill bit, nor the time. I sent him away. I should point out that the idea was to run a fresh cable under the house because -- of course -- blaming the cable for the problem is another common tech support tactic.

Sorry for the rant. I guess I have to learn about this stuff whether I want to or not. Thanks for any help.



digiblur
Premium
join:2002-06-03
Louisiana

Re: [CA] Newbie needs some basic education -- help is appreciate

When you browse to »192.168.100.1 on your network, what are you modem signals? Post them if you can.
--

SouthWest Louisiana PC Users Group »www.swlapcug.com


Paultergeist

join:2012-08-11

All the columns read as "done," except for the Modem status which says "operational."

I hope I am answering your question? Thanks for any help.....


XIII

join:2010-06-16
Scottsdale, AZ
reply to Paultergeist

1. You will get faster response times for service calls, in AZ thats a tech to your place in 4 hours or less, though you can get a faster response time at a higher cost. They call you when there are going to have planned downtime that will affect you, also if there is an outage they will call you and tell you an eta for repair, and other nice things, some vary by market area.

There are some other instances where there are benefits but you will most likely not see them since this is for you home.

2. Need levels as digiblur stated, do with and without splitter within a few minutes of eachother.

3. both you and Cox can be right, comes down to the cause of your problems, if its an amp issue then you are right, modem, they are right, and you could both be right.

4. Depends on tech, and local policies, Cox techs are more willing to work with you than sub contractors (at least here in AZ).

I would recommend sending a PM to CoxTech1 and/or escalating your issue to your local GM office. If you have had a certain amount of SERVICE calls in the last few months, then the next one is supposed to require a supervisor to come out and they usually find problems, they can touch stuff that other techs cant, but depending on the cause, they cant touch it and have to call someone else out, and they fix it.
--
»FreeDNS.afraid.org - Free DNS dynamic DNS subdomain and domain hosting


XIII

join:2010-06-16
Scottsdale, AZ
reply to Paultergeist

What is the model of your modem? Sounds like a Motorola, select signal level on either the left or the right.
--
»FreeDNS.afraid.org - Free DNS dynamic DNS subdomain and domain hosting


Paultergeist

join:2012-08-11
reply to Paultergeist

The modem is a Motorola "SURFboard" Model SB6180.

I am not sure if I answered digiblur's question about signals.....


XIII

join:2010-06-16
Scottsdale, AZ

You did not, go here:

»192.168.100.1/cmSignal.htm

For downstream post SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio) and Power Level
For upstream post Power Level
--
»FreeDNS.afraid.org - Free DNS dynamic DNS subdomain and domain hosting


lilstone87

join:2009-04-09
Portsmouth, VA
kudos:3

Uh if he is trying to get signal levels for all channel's on the Motorola SB6180, going here would be the correct address for all signal levels.
»192.168.100.1/RgConnect.asp


Paultergeist

join:2012-08-11
reply to Paultergeist

As I think more and more about this, I guess one of the best things that perhaps I can get out of some of this dialog is to determine whether to go with Cox residential or Cox business (for Internet service). Oddly, business vs. residential over at Cox are two entirely different departments, different phone numbers, differnent contract plans, different salespeople, etc.....neither department seems to be able to articulate to me how they are different from the other. Thus far, the major issues I can detect are:

Business guarantees 4 hour tech-support turn-around time.

Business has a static IP address.

Other an that, my current residential service -- when it is working -- has a speed (as reported by "Speednet") that is faster than the "up to" speeds listed for many of the business Internet services. There seems to be some sort of generalized opinion that the business service may be more stable, or may operate better during time that the cable node is under high demand, but I have yet to find anything definitive regarding this.....

I appreciate the continued discourse......


XIII

join:2010-06-16
Scottsdale, AZ

You could still have the same problems.

I gave you the wrong link for the signal levels, follow lilstone87's link
--
»FreeDNS.afraid.org - Free DNS dynamic DNS subdomain and domain hosting


Paultergeist

join:2012-08-11
reply to Paultergeist

Okay, some data:

Downstream:

Channel Power SNL
1 1.8 dBmV 39.5 dB
2 3.4 dBmV 41.3 dB
3 3.4 dBmV 41.6 dB
4 3.1 dBmV 38.9 dB
5 3.0 dBmV 41.2 dB
6 2.0 dBmV 39.5 dB
7 1.5 dBmV 38.4 dB
8 0.5 dBmV 38.7 dB


Paultergeist

join:2012-08-11
reply to Paultergeist

For upstream, Channel 1 (locked) shows 44.0 dBmV, with Channels 2-4 all at zero (not locked)


Paultergeist

join:2012-08-11
reply to Paultergeist

That did not copy-n-paste very well......Let me try again:

Channel Power SNL
1 1.8 dBmV 39.5 dB
2 3.4 dBmV 41.3 dB
3 3.4 dBmV 41.6 dB
4 3.1 dBmV 38.9 dB
5 3.0 dBmV 41.2 dB
6 2.0 dBmV 39.5 dB
7 1.5 dBmV 38.4 dB
8 0.5 dBmV 38.7 dB

I wish I could just capture the screen shot, but that did not seem to work. These numbers keep changing a bit from one moment to the next....


Paultergeist

join:2012-08-11
reply to Paultergeist

Weird, I deliberately put lots of spaces between those data columns, in an effort to make an easy-to-read table......but my post seems to compress all of the information in each row, making things hard to read.....I guess I am really struggling with even some simple issues here........


lilstone87

join:2009-04-09
Portsmouth, VA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Cox HSI

Signal levels look fine to me, your bonding 8 downstream channels, and only locked onto one upstream channel. Which means your area is simply not upstream bonding yet. As for signal levels changing one second to another, the modem constantly updates signal level readings.


XIII

join:2010-06-16
Scottsdale, AZ
reply to Paultergeist

They are readable.

I would say that its not the modem because your signals are good and they will change, but an issue with your cable or the ped (where the cable to your house comes from), once they find the issue it should be fixed within a day, I would request a supervisor come out and look at your house.
--
»FreeDNS.afraid.org - Free DNS dynamic DNS subdomain and domain hosting


Paultergeist

join:2012-08-11
reply to Paultergeist

Thanks to everyone for the guidance thus far.

Okay, signal levels look good at this time. The intefnet is working fine at the moment, but if history is any judge, there will be issues again in the future. Question: suppose I repeat this signal level test at some point in the future WHEN the Internet access is not functioning properly -- what are the okay/not-okay parameters?

How much of an issue is it that upstream signal is not yet binder in my area?

Is it logical for me -- in the interest of prioritizing Internet connectivity -- to disconnect all TV sources from that coaxial cable? Cox obviously does not want me to do that (less money for them), but I am willing to get TV via other pathways IF there is a benefit with respect to integrity of my Internet connectivity. My instinct was to use a single cable with as few junctions as possible (and no "splitters"). Is my thought process sound? Is getting rid of TV signals sharing that coaxial cable a step towards better performance of Internet?

Thanks for the continued guidance.


Paultergeist

join:2012-08-11
reply to Paultergeist

Sorry......darn iPad has that auto-correct spelling thing.....

I meant to say that the up-loading was not yet "bonded" in my area......trying to understand the implications of these factors.....


XIII

join:2010-06-16
Scottsdale, AZ

1 edit
reply to Paultergeist

Since this is a D3 modem you want -10 +10 for downstream power and SNR should be 35-45
Upstream you want the power level to be 40-50 (give or take)

If the levels are the same as what you posted theres a good chance its a Cox issue

As for disconnecting the TV, not really necessary.

Bonding is not a factor its the reliability of your services. Some areas have bonding others do not, I had 8x4 for a few months, no I have 8x3, bonding is mostly used for congestion and faster speeds, think of bonding as a highway, the more lanes (channels) the less traffic per lane
--
»FreeDNS.afraid.org - Free DNS dynamic DNS subdomain and domain hosting


Paultergeist

join:2012-08-11
reply to Paultergeist

First off, I want to say a quick "thank you" to everyone for their helpful replies. I realize that I am an absolute novice at any of this stuff, and it probably takes some patience to communicate in really basic terms so that I can understand, but I do appreciate it.

I spent a bunch of time under the house yesterday, running a new quad-shielded RG6 cable for an alternative run directly from demarcation point (on house) to modem. I do not think that the cable was ever the problem, but this gives me something else to try, as well as answers the question if the tech support folks start blaming the cable run itself.

This thread will probably get buried pretty soon, but a last question pops into mind: regarding packet loss. If packets are getting lost, is that a pretty good indication of a problem within the ISP side of the fence, as opposed to my equipment and/or wiring?

Thanks again for all the help.



bbeesley
VIP
join:2003-08-07
Richardson, TX
kudos:5

said by Paultergeist:

If packets are getting lost, is that a pretty good indication of a problem within the ISP side of the fence, as opposed to my equipment and/or wiring?

Not necessarily. Cabling problems in the home are actually the most common cause of problems

damaged/kinked cables, loose or improperly installed fittings, and unterminated connections cause impedance mismatches that allow for ingress and microreflections - more colloquially known as "noise"

Noise in the cable plant whether in the home or outside will cause the modem and CMTS to have to resend packets that cannot be mathematically corrected and this can manifest as IP packet loss.

The techs should be able to troubleshoot this both with centrally located analysis tools (for Cox these are Edgehealth and Proviso) and the DSAM's that the techs should be carrying that identify uncorrectable errors, T3 and T4 counts and other data that can help identify and isolate the sources of noise.

Paultergeist

join:2012-08-11
reply to lilstone87

Just trying to understand the source of this address-link?

What is this link called?

Was it specific to the SB6180 Motorola modem?


lilstone87

join:2009-04-09
Portsmouth, VA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Cox HSI

said by Paultergeist:

Just trying to understand the source of this address-link?

What is this link called?

Was it specific to the SB6180 Motorola modem?

Well that link is for the 6180 as it has two signal pages, and the main motorola signal page link. For the 6180 will only show signal info, for the main downstream, and upstream channel it locks onto. Anyways if you just type or click this link, this is mostly default link to most modem's. Also once you go to this link »192.168.100.1/, if you look on the left side you will see tabs you can click on, like "Status, Signal, Connect, Log".

Paultergeist

join:2012-08-11
reply to Paultergeist

Thanks very much! I'm learning a little bit as I go.....