Forum Thread

cable modem losing sync every night

Calvy 4,271 374 August 8, 2010 at 02:46 PM
Hey all,

I'm just looking for some tips here I guess. I've got Charter HSI+, which is a 16Mbps connection. Works great when it works. When it doesn't, good freaking luck getting help from Charter (you probably know this already if you are a Charter customer)

So my modem all of a sudden started losing sync every night around 9:00pm and continuing to lose sync, resync, then lose again every 15 minutes or so until roughly 4am. After that point, I get a good 12 hours of uptime as verified by my cable modem logs, but then as night comes the next day, same behaviour.

I've had 3 Charter "technicians" out so far to fix the problem. The first one said although my signal levels were acceptable, he'd like to see them better. So he replaced some coax in my house feeding my cable modem. No signal improvement was seen, so he had someone adjust the amps. Problem wasn't resolved, so I bought me a new modem hoping for luck there. Same thing happened.

So a 2nd tech was sent out, who claimed it was probably because the system didn't have my new MAC address. Ok I guess, I let him go. Sure enough, no change in reliability.

3rd tech came out, I gave him the story, told him feel free to check all signals, but they were fine. He pointed to a splice in my overhead line as the problem, and had a higher up tech come out the next day to fix that. I was hopeful this time, but saw no help.

So I'm stuck at roughly a month now of this crap service. I can't even browse the internet with my cable modem during the nights. I'll click links and pages will just stop loading. I'll be watching video and the streams just die. It's ridiculous.

I really don't know what to do at this point, and it's becoming clear that no one in Charter Tech support does either. I have no other options for a fast broadband pipe like this, so i really would like to see the issue resolved rather than switch to another provider. DSL only gets me to 3Mbps in my area, and Uverse isn't here yet.

So I post this in hopes that maybe, just maybe, someone out there has a clue on what could be going on, or what I could say to the cable company to motivate them to find the problem already. I'm tired of guys coming over to replace splices and coax in my house when that is CLEARLY not the problem.

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Joined Feb 2006
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#2
I had this problem last year. Our internet felt like it was dial-up. I am not kidding you the homepage of slickdeals would take like 4 minutes to load completely. After dealing with it for multiple days I called our cable provider. They sent a technician out who was a complete idiot and unhooked my cable amplifier that wasn't even feeding to the modem and stole it, I didn't see him pocket it. It was a $40 amp. Anyway, he said that he didn't know what the problem was and to call back if it was like that in a week still. Also, ours would lose signal every few hours but wasn't consistent with a certain time period.

It was still like that so I called again, the tech didn't know either. I had to deal with it for about 3 weeks before they finally sent someone to take care of it outside. I would suggest it is possibly an outside problem but you said it was consistent with having problems at night so I don't see how that would be the problem but I don't know.
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Joined Jun 2005
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#3
from what you are saying the problem will only show up at night. So i guess you need to think about what the possible difference could be? My DVR does updates at night. power could be differtent if you l live in a 'green' area where wind/solar are used?

Biggest thing is to talk to your nearest neighbor on the same side of the street that also have cable and see if they have the same issue? With the late night and self fix they may not even know it is happening. If theirs is fine then the issue is between you box in the backyard and your computer. have a tech come out as late in the day as possible (should not be an issue since they are always late ) abd hook up your modem to the box in your backyard using a coax cable then a different power location and see if the problem still exists. if it exists there then your issueis behind the box. if it goes away then you know the issues is between the box and where your cable modem used to be!

you just need to narrow down the where it happens then the what will come
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#4
The problem is most likely the line running between the house and the pole, especially if it runs through the air. If the line does run through the air the middle copper line may have developed cracks from the wind whipping it around. at least this was our problem back when we had cable.

To eliminate your house wiring, when it starts dropping out, take it outside and connect it directly to the incoming line and see if it still drops out or not.

What level of neighborhood do you live in - ghetto or upscale?
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Last edited by greenmeansgoooo August 8, 2010 at 04:44 PM
#5
Post your modem info for us 192.168.100.1
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#6
Did Charter upgrade to DOCSIS 3.0 in your area? When Charter upgraded to it in my area I started having something somewhat similar.

Basically the new system uses a larger spectrum, making it more susceptible to interference. Interference from someones house who has too many splitters, an old TV, split wires, etc. And it could be that someone in your neighborhood happens to turn on that old TV every night at 9pm before they goto bed and turn it off sometime late at night.

That is just a possibility of what happened/still happens with me. I just got lucky and got a smart tech one of the countless times. Sad part is, there's nothing to solve it. Maybe just bring it up one of the times and they might be impressed. lol
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#7
I'll get modem log info for you. Sadly everytime the connection resets, the modem logs reset, and my date usually gets reset to Jan 1 1970 or whatever the standard unix time uses at the begin date. This is a Motorola Surfboard SB6120 I bought new from amazon. I didn't realize my area was now DOCSIS 3.0, but wish I had as when I installed this new modem my speeds went from 7Mbps to 17Mbps. I'm real happy with that, I just wish I could keep it stable.

So, I'm leaning toward 2 possibilities now

1) the drop from the pole to my house. Honestly, it's been replaced already once about 4 years ago. But it's a possibility wind damaged it I guess. I live in St Louis, and we do get some pretty intense wind storms from time to time

2) The DOCSIS upgrade must have been done somewhat recently, but I don't know when. Maybe this is the problem and it just brought the signal problems out of the woodworks.

I don't live in a ritzy neighborhood, but it's not the ghetto. It is an old neighborhood though, all the lines are overhead, and most of them are very old. My phone lines were really old copper until recently when AT&T replaced them in prep for Uverse. I just wish they'd turn my area up already!

Also, i don't subscribe to anything but internet from Charter. So my cable drop connect to the box on my house, and from there the line goes into my house and directly to the cable modem. I really don't think moving things outside are going to show any improvement.

I don't think i'm going to be able to get a tech out at 9pm to watch the thing die on me though. So that may not be an option.
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#8
it could also be the connection where they tap into the main line that is overhead form pole to pole,.with your overhead line that goes to the house. we once had a corroded connection and another time we had a squirrel-chewed cable and broken copper line inside the screw on connection.
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#9
Well if you want to keep wasting time with Charter and their techs, keep calling them out everyday until they fix it. Or... DIY.

I'd move the equipment to the service entrance before it comes into the house and see if the signal drops. Then you can eliminate ALL of the inside wiring and have the techs check/test every meter of wire all the way back to the plant.

If it's an inside problem, move the equipment to the nearest jack to the service entrance and repeat until you get back to your original location. Probably a bad modem or splitter. There should not be any splitters before the modem.
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#10
I would have said it is a bad modem if it didn't happen at the relative same time all the time. I also don't understand how it could be faulty wires if it only happens at a set time. It has to be on their end if it is constantly during specific hours.
My father was having similar issues with his Comcast HSI and after 5 days of calling and a tech coming out my dad talked to one of the neighbors and said oh comcast is doing work down the block for the past week. The following day they finished up working on whatever they were doing and the problem went away.
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#11
i'd also like to see the modem info. not the log info, but the downstream receive power, upstream transmit power and downstream signal to noise ratio. would like the upstream SNR as well, but only charter could give you that.

preferably, post what those levels are when the service is working, and then pull up the page and refresh every 30 seconds or so and post how the numbers trend up to a modem reset.
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#12
What type of temperature swings are you having between day and night?

Is it getting really warm during the day?

Reason being is that the cable plant swells and contracts based upon heat.

I wonder if there is a spotty connection that is making contact during the day when the plant is warm and expanded and then at night it opens a gap when the cable contracts just a bit...bulb

Can you get charter to run their tests @ night to see if there is a difference?

~~~~
Old buddy worked for the phone co... had a lady that every full moon would say her phone would go on the fritz...

Every day they checked the line it was fine....so...my buddy tracked the dates and times and called in to the board op to run a test...had to twist their arm as she was not complaining about it being out of service at that moment....well...surprise, surprise, their WAS a fault on the line....

A bunch of frogs were hopping up trying to escape the man hole to get to the full moon over head...they were big frogs/toads? and had the splice case bouncing into some water in the man hole which was causing the problem...weird, but true!
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#13
Quote from .DC. View Post :
What type of temperature swings are you having between day and night?

Is it getting really warm during the day?

Reason being is that the cable plant swells and contracts based upon heat.

I wonder if there is a spotty connection that is making contact during the day when the plant is warm and expanded and then at night it opens a gap when the cable contracts just a bit...bulb

Can you get charter to run their tests @ night to see if there is a difference?

~~~~
Old buddy worked for the phone co... had a lady that every full moon would say her phone would go on the fritz...

Every day they checked the line it was fine....so...my buddy tracked the dates and times and called in to the board op to run a test...had to twist their arm as she was not complaining about it being out of service at that moment....well...surprise, surprise, their WAS a fault on the line....

A bunch of frogs were hopping up trying to escape the man hole to get to the full moon over head...they were big frogs/toads? and had the splice case bouncing into some water in the man hole which was causing the problem...weird, but true!
We have rats chewing threw our fiber / copper cables, but I've NEVER heard of frogs being an issue. lol, that is crazy.
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#14
Quote from .DC. View Post :
What type of temperature swings are you having between day and night?

Is it getting really warm during the day?

Reason being is that the cable plant swells and contracts based upon heat.

I wonder if there is a spotty connection that is making contact during the day when the plant is warm and expanded and then at night it opens a gap when the cable contracts just a bit...bulb

Can you get charter to run their tests @ night to see if there is a difference?
this is why I say that it is probably the line between the pole and house.
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#15
Quote from PerfectPoo View Post :
We have rats chewing threw our fiber / copper cables, but I've NEVER heard of frogs being an issue. lol, that is crazy.
Shawn said there was hundreds of them jumping from the splice case to the edge of the man hole...thing was just bouncing like a trampolineEEK!LMAO
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