dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
3963
share rss forum feed

royhandy

join:2012-11-05
USA

1 edit

[Rant] [LONG]A Tale of Three Truck Rolls

Canceled my first truck roll because the issue resolved itself.

11/23/2012 Tech comes out after I called CS because upload tests were incredibly low (.3 to .7) and pages were loading very slowly. Smokeping showed a lot of packet loss and phone tech said 4% packet loss. This tech told me he had three calls in my neighborhood and asked if the problem had cleared up on 11/21 in the evening. I told him that the problem had resolved itself without any intervention on my part. He said that that was what my first neighbor had told him as well. Obviously the issue was in Comcast's system. He leaves and evertything is good for a few days.

11/27/2012 Called CS in the morning because of very slow speeds. CS is concerned about my upstream levels (which were the same as they were when I called the first and second times). They are 54dbm and 52dbm. She asks why I canceled the truck on 11/23. She is surprised to hear that a tech actually showed up since it is in the system as canceled. She had me reboot everything and the issue appeared to be resolved. Upstream is still high, though, so she schedules a tech.

I start up another smokeping and again, it shows what I consider unacceptable packet loss.

Tech comes out in the afternoon. First thing he does is tell me that my connections are "sucked down" and "leaky". Packets are like water leaking from my connectors, he says. He tells me that he could see packet loss as he drove to my home. I don't know how. Maybe he was running pathping to my IP as he drove down the road. Or maybe he thinks I'm an idiot and I believe he actually saw packets falling out of the cable. Who knows?

He disconnects the cable that runs to my modem from the 3 way splitter that was installed maybe two weeks ago by a different Comcast tech. (A different truck roll to fix a brand new broken DTA.) I figure he's gonna hook his tester to the connector and run some diags. Nope. In the blink of an eye, he reaches into his tool bag, grabs something, and snips off the connector. That cable is three weeks old, max. He puts on a new connector and reattaches it to the splitter. He then asks where my modem is. I take him to my desk and he initially grabs my external hard drive. Just as I'm about to inform him of his error, he figures out that that device isn't the modem and disconnects the cable from my SB6120 which, I think, is pretty distinctive looking what with its five LED indicators on the front and everything. Snip! There goes that connector. Does his thing and reconnects it.

He asks me where the white cable at the splitter goes. I tell him it goes to the TV hanging on the wall. He then goes over to that general area and looks for the cable. After about 30 seconds of watching him try to figure out where the cable is located I tell him it is connected to the back of the wall-mounted TV. He goes over and supposedly tightens the connector on the back of my TV because "it was loose and acting like an antenna and backfeeding signal into the cable". I guess I can buy that. Maybe when I disconnected the DTA that blocks HD signals from my TV I failed to tighten it up.

Never touched the cable that goes to my TV upstairs.

He then goes outside and is gone for about 10 minutes. When he comes back in, he tells me he replaced my grounding block because it had water in it. He asks me to run some speed tests. They are the same as before. He tells me the next step, if the problem resurfaces, is to replace all the cable in my house which they will charge for and leaves.

Upstream values? 54dbm and 52dbm.

11/30/2012:
Crew arrives 4.5 hours early for 1700 appointment since they don't want to work in the dark. Understandable. They run a new aerial drop. They tell my wife that there was definitely a problem with the cable they replaced. Line quality tests still show terrible packet loss on Line Quality tests beyond the basic level.


medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4

Re: [Rant] [LONG]A Tale of Two Truck Rolls

post your stats here...

how old is the house wiring?



AnonMan

@comcast.net
reply to royhandy

Just call again and complain for another roll.

This time when a person comes out, ask them what the signal level is on the line outside your house out of the ground block.

Your US level is a bit too high and could cause the connection issue but doubtful that is the specific issue.

If after that not fixed you can contact corporate. I did this and got my areas maint supervisor cell number now and they jump through hopes to resolve my issues, including my modem being on perm monitor to alert them anytime it goes down or has a signal swing.

I agree it sucks, I went through similar, 3-4 truck rolls etc. My issue turned out to be a bad amp at the tap and another customer feeding noise into the system.


wTheOnew

join:2012-03-09

said by AnonMan :

If after that not fixed you can contact corporate.

How do you contact corporate? Or, anyone at corporate that actually cares and doesn't just wan't to get you to go away...


DrDrew
That others may surf
Premium
join:2009-01-28
SoCal
kudos:16

1 edit
reply to royhandy

Frequently cable techs have "leakage detectors" in their trucks and they're tasked with fixing any "leaks" they detect and find at the locations they visit.
»instruments.trilithic.com/catego···ent.html
»www.comsonics.com/products/
»www.wavetracker.com/

Loose connectors, damaged cable, and improperly install connectors are the main culprits of the leaks.
»www.scte-chesapeakechapter.org/i···s_va.pdf
»cable.doit.wisc.edu/resources/ca···inar.pdf
»www.arrl.org/cable-television-interference

Any spot where the cable "leaks" also allows outside signals in, which is ingress. Ingress can directly impact 2-way modem communications, especially the upstream signals.
»www.cedmagazine.com/articles/199···urn-path

Cable companies are required by the FCC to track and fix the leaks:
»www.fcc.gov/guides/cable-signal-leakage

So what the tech did may not have fixed your high upstream levels or packet loss, but he may not have been able to, the problem could be elsewhere or beyond him. The tech probably detected leaks and went after fixing those.... other customers leaks in the area may be contributing to the issues.

Either way, call back, let Comcast know your problem is still occuring.
--
If it's important, back it up... twice. Even 99.999% availability isn't enough sometimes.

royhandy

join:2012-11-05
USA
reply to medbuyer

Two cables are more than 8 years old. Those are the cable that runs into my house from outside and the cable that runs up to my upstairs television. The cable that feeds my modem (and which was snipped at both ends by the tech) is less than three weeks old. The white cable that runs to my downstairs television is about 11 months old.

Upstream was 54dBmV and 52dBmV. Downstream were all -3dBmV and -2dBmV with S/N of 37dB.

I should note that when the DTA tech replaced my splitter the downstream increased from -6dBmV to -3dBmV. I'm pretty sure that was a good move.

edit: removed "probably" The cables are definitely more than 8 years old.


mario02423

join:2004-06-09
Berwyn, IL
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to wTheOnew

said by wTheOnew:

said by AnonMan :

If after that not fixed you can contact corporate.

How do you contact corporate? Or, anyone at corporate that actually cares and doesn't just wan't to get you to go away...

I didn't believe it until I tried it, but an email to "we_can_help@comcast.com" and "we_can_help@cable.comcast.com" will do the trick. (Note, I don't know which email works, but I've always sent my complaint to both.) You should include your name, contact number, time to call, account number, and a description of your problem. You'll get a call within 24 business hours from a representative with "Corporate Escalation."

Cheers!


ncherry
Premium
join:2003-07-13
Monroe Township, NJ
reply to royhandy

I had a similar sounding problem, loss of connectivity (mainly when it got too hot or too cold, eventually it kept getting worse and temps. didn't matter). My power was at the extremes (52- 54db) and it always seemed to work when the techs were checking. They replaced parts, chopped wire and nothing got better. I even went as far as rewiring my inside wiring. I manage to get the upstream power down to 48db but still the same results. Turned out that a piece of equipment on one of the poles was going bad (folks couldn't order PPV, then Comcast figured it out). When they fixed that, then the problem stopped. The local techs said they knew about many folks having problems (check with your neighbors who have cable) but couldn't resolve it. Unfortunately for me so many folks got tired of the problem and moved to FIOS so I couldn't ask them (Comcast lost 60% of our block because of the service issues).

I can't tell you why the techs can't figure out the problem but it seems to me that someone (Comcast) is not properly monitoring their equipment and doesn't have the systems/tools in place to help pin-point the problem.
--
Neil Cherry
Linux Home Automation
Linux HA Blog
Author: Linux Smart Homes For Dummies


rendrenner

join:2005-09-03
Grandville, MI
reply to royhandy

If the tech replaced the ground block and told you that there was water in the line, then just changing a fitting would not fix too much. Either the drop needs to be replaced or the line from the ground block to the inside needs to be replaced. Is your drop aerial or underground? Aerial drops can get water in them anytime there is a open spot in the jacket. Squirrel chews, tree rubs etc... If the water made it to the block then it needs to be replaced.

As DrDrew was mentioning about the leakage, that's most likely what was the tech was referring to as far as seeing packet loss as he was driving down the street. Either a misstatement or misunderstanding in the terminology.

All the fittings he changed, or tightened, ( you'd be surprised how much just a half turn of a fitting can fix) may have helped part of the leakage, but I'd bet if water is in the drop there is a cut somewhere else allowing leakage as well. Water is also going to cause corrosion in the fittings and block which will kill your low end( where the return is).

When you set up the new appointment, specifically request them to change your drop and or the cable feeding inside.


royhandy

join:2012-11-05
USA

I probably misunderstood what the tech meant. I didn't realize they had mobile leakage detectors. That's pretty cool. Thanks DrDrew!

It's an aerial drop. I hope they don't charge too much for the cable to the splitter.

»/r3/smokepi···6c97a.KS

The Grand Canyon on the left is when he disconnected the cable modem yesterday. Chomolungma on the right is a horrendous lag spike that hit me this afternoon.



nerdburg
Premium
join:2009-08-20
Schuylkill Haven, PA
kudos:1
reply to rendrenner

said by rendrenner:

If the tech replaced the ground block and told you that there was water in the line, then just changing a fitting would not fix too much. Either the drop needs to be replaced or the line from the ground block to the inside needs to be replaced.

DING DING DING! We have a winner folks!

royhandy

join:2012-11-05
USA
reply to royhandy

Guy at Comcast's CS forums also suggests that I call out a truck. I'm going to do that when I get home. I'm guessing a new aerial drop will significantly improve my downstream signals as well. Can't wait!



ropeguru
Premium
join:2001-01-25
Mechanicsville, VA
reply to royhandy

Could you imagine the reduction in techs and reduced calls if the techs would do their jobs correctly the first time?


royhandy

join:2012-11-05
USA

1 edit

Well, I've been the tech (different industry) who cleans up other guys' screw-ups (not that this was a screw-up) and who gets to take over in the middle of a job so I know that sort of thing can be (IS!) a pain in the butt. I'll just take my $20 credit and order another tech. Hopefully they'll fix it, whatever "it" is.

I'm guessing that the water in the ground block didn't come from the line that actually goes into my house (since it feeds a lower point and water doesn't generally run uphill), so if that needs replaced due to water intrusion I'll be sure to let them know that their gear caused the line failure and that I don't expect to be charged for the work.


rendrenner

join:2005-09-03
Grandville, MI

said by royhandy:

I'm guessing that the water in the ground block didn't come from the line that actually goes into my house (since it feeds a lower point and water doesn't generally run uphill), so if that needs replaced due to water intrusion I'll be sure to let them know that their gear caused the line failure and that I don't expect to be charged for the work.

Its quite possile that the water could flow through the ground block and intrude into the feed line. The dielectric I've seen act like a sponge and soak water up a line. I've had so much water in a line before that when disconnecting from the GB, it actually drips out steadily.

Depending on the market, if the tech has a Symbol phone, they may be able to throw you some combination of free premium channels for 3 months as part of the CSG. The channels will fall off after 3 months with no need to call in to remove to avoid a auto charge. Why not score the $20 and some free Dexter.

royhandy

join:2012-11-05
USA

Well, however the water got in there it had to come from outside. I don't touch utility equipment except for once when I was troubleshooting with VZ and they asked me to connect a phone to the NID. Hell, I don't even know what the ground block looks like but I assume it's some sort of box since it had water "in" it.



telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15

said by royhandy:

Hell, I don't even know what the ground block looks like but I assume it's some sort of box since it had water "in" it.

See: »Cable Modems and Wiring Issues »What is a ground block?
and a close-up photo: »/r0/download/1···lock.JPG

royhandy

join:2012-11-05
USA

1 edit

Awesome! I have seen that. It's right by my NID.

edit: No wonder water can get "in" it!


medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4

said by royhandy:

Awesome! I have seen that. It's right by my NID.

edit: No wonder water can get "in" it!

I use dielectric grease on my outside cable connections...this way, no moisture or water can get in...

rendrenner

join:2005-09-03
Grandville, MI
reply to telcodad

yeah that up close photo of a ground block is a total fail. There should be rubber booties on those fittings, or at least aquatight fitting with the booties already attached.

»www.techtoolsupply.com/ProductDe···6XLWS_50

water can get in the cable this way, or through a cut in the cable. Any fitting outside should have some type of weather seal on it to protect it from rain, snow, sprinklers, dryer vent exhaust.. etc


medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4
reply to royhandy

I use this for all my F-connectors..PPC EX6XL

»www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=···of-50%29

coupled with this for outside connections..weather seal ring boot

»www.summitsource.com/weather-sea···229.html


royhandy

join:2012-11-05
USA

1 edit
reply to royhandy

Comcast is coming out tomorrow to replace the aerial drop.

I went and looked at the ground block. It's held in place with one screw. I didn't really look to see if they cleaned off the end of the copper wire but that's probably not that important. There is a piece of rubber at the middle of the block on my house.

BTW, they told me that any upstream reading less than 56dBmV is within spec.


Cablejim1087

join:2012-09-21
Bath, ME

Modem levels should always be below 50. If the drop is bad then your levels and issues will probably be resolved. Ask others in your neighborhod if they rehaving issues.


rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to royhandy

Telcodads close up picture is ppc fittings, Very important to NOT use dioelectric grease or rubber boots with them. They have o rings for moisture management and need to breath to a certain extent. Outside fittings develope a natural vacuum and if sealed to tight moisture just gets trapped and builds up over time.


royhandy

join:2012-11-05
USA

Don't worry...I don't touch utility gear unless it's the NID and even then only when VZ tells me to.


iaflyer

join:2001-03-29
Ann Arbor, MI
reply to royhandy

I had a similar problem to the OP - in fact, the story is almost the same as mine. What got it fixed for me was calling each day when the packet loss was high - they could see it on their end and would schedule a truck roll. The results would be like the OPs - replace connectors, etc. One thing I did was use a program (can't remember, been years) that showed packet loss and logged it over the entire day - I would print out the results so the tech could see that it wasn't a random problem or that the speed was just a little slow.

Finally it got escalated within Comcast (not by my doing) and they scheduled a bucket-truck to replace a line on the pole. A day or two later it I saw it on the street and all was fixed.


royhandy

join:2012-11-05
USA
reply to royhandy

Wife just called. There are two trucks outside my house.

When I called last night they offered me 1430 to 1630 and I said that I wouldn't be home until later. The CS rep then offered me 1700 to 1900 since it's better if I'm home. Now they're starting before 1300.



telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15

said by royhandy:

Wife just called. There are two trucks outside my house.

When I called last night they offered me 1430 to 1630 and I said that I wouldn't be home until later. The CS rep then offered me 1700 to 1900 since it's better if I'm home. Now they're starting before 1300.

Maybe those times were for the CSR's timezone (India?).

royhandy

join:2012-11-05
USA

2 edits
reply to royhandy

And here is a link to the Line Quality test I just ran:

»/pingtest/b886···/2966971

edit: They came early because they didn't want to work in the dark and they told my wife that there was definitely a problem with the line they replaced.

Downstream sigs are now -1dBmV across the board which is good. Upstream sigs are now 52dBmV on both channels.


rendrenner

join:2005-09-03
Grandville, MI
reply to rody_44

said by rody_44:

Telcodads close up picture is ppc fittings, Very important to NOT use dioelectric grease or rubber boots with them. They have o rings for moisture management and need to breath to a certain extent. Outside fittings develope a natural vacuum and if sealed to tight moisture just gets trapped and builds up over time.

What?!?!
Dont use rubber boots? O-rings in them? Where? There is no O ring on the threaded end of a PPC fitting. Why does PPC sell a fitting with the boot already attached to the fitting? Why do Comcast standards and training state the booties be used on all outside fittings? New standards state that the aquatight fitting be used. Uverse and satellite installers use fittings with the rubber boots as well.. Their standards are wrong as well too?