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Old 10-23-2006, 08:30 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 110
Default My internet doesn't work at night!

Hi all, I have had SBC/ATT DSL for 3 years, but for the last 10 nights, my internet has not been working (but it works in the day). The ATT tech just came out today and his meter shows that my line outside is nice and clean, but when he checked my modem line in the house, there is a 62% loss! He said that even though my service is the DSL Pro (1.5-3.0 Mbps), my service is capped at 2.0 because of this noise. The outside line is clean enough to get 6.0 Mbps.

For a charge he could hook up a 2nd line to start w/ a clean signal; however, I wanted to wait and ask you guys.

A few questions:
  • Is there any software (preferably free) that can 'analyze' or meter my network? If there is this 62% loss, I want to hook up my modem to different jacks to see if it improves using different wires.
  • Any suggestions on things to check out along my line? I have a new townhouse with a junction panel in the closet and I have the modem plugged in to one of the phone jacks

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Old 10-23-2006, 09:25 PM   #2
Lemon law
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 20,991
Default My internet doesn't work at night!

By grim experience I have learned that the SBC/ATT official position is that the wires to your interface box are their responsibility---and the inside wiring is your responsibility.

But any bad jack or crushed wire in your inside wiring can tear the heck out of your connection speed.

But one way to check is to unplug any phone and modem device connected to any jack in the house---then go out to the interface box and unplug the short wire with a jack that goes to your inside wiring---then take any regular phone cord---cut it in the middle---and bare the two ends---and then plug the phone plug end into your inside wiring---and then see if you have any continuity---using the ohm meter---in theory---your resistance should be infinite---if its not---you have a short somewhere---with the bare wires you cut being very handy for that test.---but to take that ohm test you have to make sure there is no outside line applied voltage --which that to the sbc wiring side provides.---and you may also wish to check the interface box itself---its ATT's baby but it can be bad.

If you have such a short---then you can try various things to isolate where the short is---but you may have to cut and then reconnect wiring to the jacks in the process. And if the short is inside the walls---you have a nightmare---you can also test what phone devices have what resistance using the test cable you made--if you have a corded or coordless phone with a very low resistance---under 25,000 ohms on hook---it may be giving you problems.

At least its a place to start---you can do the simple stuff---the harder stuff may need a pro.

But going back---you say the connection speed drops at night---or does it just totally vanish? Since there is nothing in theory with wiring that goes to sleep after dark---and wiring itself can't see light, that lead me to suspect not light but actually changing temperature as being the culprit---because outside heat tend to drop at night---as things chill--they contract--often making a good connection bad. And far more likely to be in ATT lines than inside your house. But you then have to have some proof or a tech at your house when its happening--or been there--done that---ATT will not believe you.

But if you are a typical ATT customer--there are many splices between your house and the central switch---any bad splice can cause problems. Sometimes asking the tech to try another set of wires at the outside pedistal can get around the problem if they are lucky enough to find a pair of wires not affected.

For now, just investigate your inside wiring---and see what you find---then go from there.---you might get lucky and find it fast.
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Old 10-24-2006, 11:32 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 110
Default My internet doesn't work at night!

Thanks Lemon Law for the thorough response. ATT Customer Service said they see a continuous problem on my line for the last several months. When ATT's tech came out yesterday, he read a clean signal at the box on the outside of the townhouse, but a 62% loss at my plug inside my house where the DSL modem was. The phone line comes into a junction box in my closet, where it splits up the line to a panel with different phone jacks. I took off this panel and found an add'l phone jack in the back, so I plugged the modem into that one and now I have internet at night!! When I move the modem line back to the old jack, I get no internet.

So something inside that splitter panel is screwed up and seriously degrading my signal. I went to DSLReports.com and ran the speed test a few times w/ the new plug. I am consistently getting 1647/423 Kbps down/up. I will have to wait until morning to try the old jack I was using and compare the speed. ATT said they capped me at 2.0 Kbps but I am signed up for 3.0. Hopefully, I can call and ask if my quality is good enough to bump me up a little more.

Is there another way I can try to check my line quality or data rate besides doing the DSLReports speed test?

Thanks again for your help.
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Old 10-25-2006, 09:20 AM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 2,430
Default My internet doesn't work at night!

If I'm understanding this correctly, it sounds like you have a bad wire pair between your distribution box and the old jack. Is it possible to run new wire to your jack? You could also try running it on the 2nd pair and see if that helps anything. If none of this makes sense to you, I'd recommend hiring an electrician to test things out for you.
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Old 10-25-2006, 10:42 AM   #5
Lemon law
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Default My internet doesn't work at night!

Well, sounds like JuantTabonia has most of his problems solved as is---and if its no longer broke don't fix it---but he also may have jumped past a bad filter---after all, dsl works at cycles higher than 2000 Hertz and above---and regular phones that work at all frequencies and must be filtered out so they don't interphere with the dsl part.

But still don't understand why there should be a difference between night and day.

But in terms of measuring how clean the dsl line is or measuring signal streagth, I am sure the phone company has the special equipment--or such devices could be purchased at
pretty high prices----but that dsl speed test is also a practical and very cheap meter----but don't regard one modem speed test as reliable---its the average reading that matters.
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