Cable Modem Issues

Discussion in 'Networking and Internet' started by Hummingbird, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. Hummingbird

    Hummingbird VIP Member

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    Hey, all! We've had WOW cable internet for more than 5 years now and have loved it. A couple of times a year we would have to unplug/reset the cable modem and router if we'd lose service or something but never any big problems.

    Over the past 6 months or so we've had to do this resetting more and more frequently. Over the past couple of months, the resetting often doesn't work and we have to do it multiple times or just reset everything and not even attempt to get online for a couple hours for it to figure things out.

    I called WOW the last time it happened and their phone guy said our modem was receiving packets slowly or something and that it wasn't a WOW issue. He said that he could send one of their techs out, but if it turned out to be the modem we'd be charged $40 for the tech visit since it wasn't their problem.

    Well it did it again last night. Took me an hour and half and a half dozen complete resets and then finally I just gave up for like an hour and everything came back up. Just wondering if this does sound like a cable modem problem to you guys. The Motorola cable modem is ours - not WOW's - and we've had it around 5 years or so. Our Linksys wireless router we've had for probably 3 years. Any way to test where the problem is? Should we just buy a new modem? Any tips are appreciated! THANKS!!

    Cynthia :)
     
    Hummingbird, Mar 25, 2010
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  2. Hummingbird

    Core in pounce mode Moderator

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    You could get one from Walmart or something and return it if it doesn't work any better than the one you have now.

    A lot of ISPs also let you rent one for a small monthly fee. Normally I don't think it's worth renting them, because in a little over half a year you've already spent the modem's retail price on the rental fees, but if your ISP is ballsy enough to charge for tech visits in case they deem the problem to be with your modem, it may be worth considering. After all, if the modem is theirs, how can they charge you for checking it? Something to think about...

    Lastly, there is a great deal of difference in the technical expertise among these techs that get sent out. I had a lot of problems with my connection last year, which started out of the blue and got progressively worse. I had downtimes of hours to days at a time. They sent out techs again and again. They were eager to blame the modem, which I had bought myself, because they didn't know what the heck was going on. However, going through the modem's logs, and familiarizing myself with the terms used in those logs, I was convinced the issue was not with the modem.

    Finally, when I kept calling them frequently enough, I was told to call a different number and to ask them to "push a trouble call" or something to that effect; they sent out a guy the same afternoon, and he seemed to know what he was doing. He determined that some upgrades that had been done in the area had changed something (I dunno what) somewhere (not with my modem/system) and he had to recalibrate the signal. Once he did that, I've had zero issues since.
     
    Core, Mar 25, 2010
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  3. Hummingbird

    Zeus Moderator

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    One way you could be sure it is the modem is to remove the router from the equation and hook directly into the modem.

    And as a side note, I rent my modem from my cable company. It is $5 a month and when I have internet issues they send someone out and it doesn't cost me a thing. That is why I rent my modem b/c service around here sucks so I am saving atleast $100 a year in tech visit costs :)
     
    Zeus, Mar 25, 2010
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  4. Hummingbird

    Hummingbird VIP Member

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    Great - thanks, guys . . . yeah I know the 'tech' people don't know much - they basically just read a script. The next time I have problems I'll unplug the router and see if I still have the issues. Next step is a new but returnable modem.

    Thanks!

    Cynthia :)
     
    Hummingbird, Mar 25, 2010
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  5. Hummingbird

    clifford VIP Member

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    I would be interested in knowing what has to be calibrated. Would also like to know if these calibrations would cause 6 dropouts in one hour while other hours have non. It is pretty frequent, the dropouts occur every day atleast once.
     
    clifford, Mar 25, 2010
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  6. Hummingbird

    Zeus Moderator

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    As a former cable technician, maybe I can shed some light...The signal when measured at your modem has to fall between certain frequencies and be a certain strength or your internet is screwey. He woud have to go to the closest signal repeater and measure the input. If the input is within range then there is the one that needs calibrating. If that input is out of range, then he moves onto the next repeater closer to the signal source and measures that input. Rinse and repeat until he finds the repeater whose input is within range but it's output is out of range and that is the culprit that needs calibrated.

    And yes it could cause dropouts to some people while others see none because it all depends on which repeater(s) is/are causing the problems.

    It really is as big of a pain in the rear as it sounds, especially when more than 1 repeater is in need of calibration. I spent an entire 14 hour day one time doing nothing but tracing out signal routes because 2 repeaters needed calibrating. A lot of time techs don't like doing this because they (atleast where I worked, WE) get paid based on the work you do. I got $12 for calibrating a repeater so in a 14hr day I made $24 :(

    But on the up side, you get a $10 bonus to each job number that someone calls and requests you specifically, so when you put forth that kind of effort to make sure they are working right, and hand them a business card, you tend to get a lot of referral job numbers :)
     
    Zeus, Mar 25, 2010
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  7. Hummingbird

    Core in pounce mode Moderator

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    Thanks for clearing that up Zeus, I had wondered what it really was he needed to calibrate.
     
    Core, Mar 26, 2010
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