Intermittent drop outs coinciding with modem errors. What is happening here?

Jklaz
Jklaz Posts: 5 Spectator

Today has been a great example of what usually happens. I work form home, and I was in a meeting. The connection drops, even though the wifi connection is stable. My iphone alerts me "wifiname is connected but with no internet access. Would you like to try 5g?". I log onto my hardwired desktop and confirm there is no internet access. I log into my router, which monitors the connection and logs when there are dropouts, and can see 100% packet loss. I then log into the modem, and see in the event log that a T-3 timeout happened about the same time I lost connection. The connection comes back in a few minutes.

I have been living in this home (new construction) with Spectrum service for 15 months. I didn't have problems for the first 9-10 months, but the last 6 or so this happens at least once a day. The whole time, I have run my own equipment. My equipment has not changed (Arris s33). I do not have a reason personally that the service quality should have degraded.

I have called in, but get stuck talking to a robot that tells me to reboot my modem. When I get in contact with a rep, I've been told they can't help because I run my own equipment. This issue is not only annoying, but it gets in the way of my job, and of course Spectrum is my only internet option here so it is expensive (104.99 for gigabit down, like 40 up).

What is possibly going on here? Rebooting stuff doesn't help.. the coax connections are all solid.. please someone have some insight on this.

Comments

  • James_M
    James_M Posts: 4,243 ADMIN

    Hi & welcome!

    Sorry for any service issues. I was able to locate your account using your registration information. Since you are using your own equipment, it can be difficult to determine if the root of the issue is the equipment or the signal. Your modem has been online for 28 days, so restarting the modem is always a good first troubleshooting step, and usually resolves most issues.

    If the issue continues, then we suggest having a service call to determine if the cause is a signal issue. Despite being new construction, issues can arise at any time, including coax damage or water damage that can impact signal quality.

    Thanks for the question!

  • RAIST515O
    RAIST515O Posts: 10 Participant
    edited August 23

    Very common culprit is compromised cables or loose/corroded connections. Sometimes a failing splitter or someone leaving a line disconnected causes issues too. The latter is pretty common--apartment pre-wired with more than one cable hookup and at least one has no device and no terminating cap, allowing stray signals to creep in and adding unwanted noise to the line.

    If you can get to the signal stats page of your modem, you may be able to spot some signs of excess noise. One common symptom is that it will steadily increase the upstream power level trying to compensate. Eventually it gets too high and gives up, forcing a reboot.

    if you notice that the downstream stats have a significant shift (more than 2 point variance between consecutively numbered channels throughout the day), may indicate different potential issues depending on specific details about how bad it is and for which stat is impacted.

    Either is a good sign that the lines and such need to be inspected, possible some form of repair/replacement may be in order. If it is inside the building, Spectrum may not be able to help, but if it is outside they may be able to do something about it--though it may require another crew depending on what they find.

  • catchtwentytwo
    catchtwentytwo Posts: 117 Contributor

    During construction a screw or nail may have penetrated a coaxial cable. Not bad enough to sever it but over time it could cause issues.

  • Jklaz
    Jklaz Posts: 5 Spectator

    I rebooted my modem the night of 8/22, and have had multiple t-3 timeouts and my internet dropping since then. Two of them happened just now, back to back, and I was without internet for a few minutes. What would you recommend I do from a support stand point?

  • James_M
    James_M Posts: 4,243 ADMIN

    Does the issue also occur when you are connected directly to the modem with an ethernet cable?

  • Jklaz
    Jklaz Posts: 5 Spectator

    So my network is setup like this:

    • Spectrum cable comes to the side of the house and connects to 1 of 2 ports on a splitter (Spectrum's splitter)
    • Coax line goes from the other port on the splitter directly into the modem in the network closet

    I don't have a ton of wires outside connected to a large splitter or anything. The way I see it, theres only 4 potential points of failure here. The modem, the line from the modem to the splitter, the splitter, or Spectrums line.

    Another t-3 timeout and drop just happened as I had the modem's status page pulled up. Upstream power for all 4 channels is between 40.3-42.8 dBmV. The downstream channel powers all showed between 0-3 dBmV, with no consecutive channels having a change of more than 1. The SNR/MER all are between 40-42 dB, with no consecutive channels having a change of more than 1.

    The modem also tends to show a lot of event code 16, 24 for my OFDM PLC channel.

    Are these values normal? Do you have any ideas how to eliminate different pieces of equipment? Its dropped 3 times already since I've been online working today. I appreciate the detailed response.

  • James_M
    James_M Posts: 4,243 ADMIN

    With your current configuration, the best way to rule out an equipment issue would be to try using a Spectrum issued modem (provided free with service) and test to replicate the issue using the different modem. You can always go back to using your own modem at any time. You can also set up a service call to have the signals and connections inspected.

  • Jklaz
    Jklaz Posts: 5 Spectator

    What is the best way I could get a Spectrum modem for testing? Call and request one? I returned my original one.

  • James_M
    James_M Posts: 4,243 ADMIN

    The easiest way to get a Spectrum modem would be to visit a local store and have one added to your account. Let us know how it goes!

  • RAIST515O
    RAIST515O Posts: 10 Participant
    edited August 26
    • Spectrum cable comes to the side of the house and connects to 1 of 2 ports on a splitter (Spectrum's splitter)

    Just want to clarify if this is actually a splitter (one connection port to two or more) or a barrel connector (only one connector to one connector).

    If it is indeed a splitter with only one cable connected to the other side, leaving an open port (no termination cap)--then that is a definite no-no. If there is another cable attached, then wherever that cable runs should either have a device connected or a termination cap. Open ports/cables can make a line noisier, leading to weird signaling issues.

  • Jklaz
    Jklaz Posts: 5 Spectator

    Picked up a Spectrum modem today. Called and activated with a very helpful rep who also spoke with me about troubleshooting where my issue could be. We'll see if the issue persists!


    You are correct - its just a 1 in, 1 out. None of the ports are open. Sorry for the bad description I'm no network engineer no matter how much I dabble in the home network hobby lol