Problem with my broadband

Discussion in 'Broadband' started by Jonathan Mack, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. I'll describe my setup first, then the problem.

    I get my broadband from Plusnet and it comes down the phone wire to a master socket in the hall. I've replaced the front of my master socket with a dual faceplate from Clarity which has two sockets, one for phone and one for modem cable (smaller socket).

    This means I don't need filters as it's done at the socket. I have a cable going from the back of the faceplate up to my bedroom where the computer is.. There's a socket there with another small socket into which the cable to my router goes. The router is connected to the computer via a Cat 5 cable. It's all be working fine for years.

    I now suddenly find I can't access the internet on my computer and I can't access via wi-fi on my tablet or mobile.

    The lights on the router all look OK.

    I've taken the router downstairs and plugged it into the small socket on the master faceplace and it works fine. I therefore concluded that the problem is somewhere between the faceplate and my router.

    I've re-made the IDC connections in the cables that link the master socket to the socket upstairs (the cable has not been nibbled by animals!), I knowthe flex from router to socket is OK and I've swapped the Cat 5 cable.

    I'm left thinking the problem must be in the faceplate or the "module" or whatever it's called into which the cable upstairs is attached in the socketthere?
    Jonathan Mack, Jan 1, 2015
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  2. Jonathan Mack

    Graham. Guest

    With the router upstairs you should still be able to log into the
    routers local web interface and see some line stats etc.

    If you unplug the line, do the lights change in any way?
    Graham., Jan 1, 2015
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  3. Jonathan Mack

    Roger Mills Guest

    When you say that the lights on the router look ok, do you mean that all
    the usual ones - power, broadband, internet, wireless, etc. are all lit?
    If so, I don't understand why you have a problem because it looks as
    though everything is ok. PlusNet do occasionally have problems with some
    of their gateways which prevent you from doing anything on line even
    though you are connected - but this is invariably cured by disconnecting
    and re-connecting. But this doesn't seem to be your problem.

    As someone else has said, if you connect your computer to the router
    with an ethernet cable, you should be able to talk to the router and
    check its status even if there's no internet connection. Are you
    familiar with doing that? [Point your browser at and then
    log on using username = admin and password = router serial number (see
    the label on the bottom of the router)]

    If you then click on 'Broadband Connection' in the menu on the left, it
    should display two panels showing the state of the DSL Connection and of
    the Internet session.

    Have a look at those and tell us what they say.
    Please reply to Newsgroup. Whilst email address is valid, it is seldom
    Roger Mills, Jan 2, 2015
  4. Thanks for those responses gents

    Just after I'd posted my query I took the router downstairs to plug it intothe master socket and I fitted an old USB Wi-Fi adaptor into the computer - so I can now go online on my computer but I'm connected to the router viaWi-Fi rather than via a Cat 5 cable.

    As for logging into the router, I am familiar with that process although I've not done it lately. I did however go to a command prompt and type ping 8..8.8.8 to which the response was that it timed out and said "no response" or words to that effect.

    Now when I do my pinging exercise I get a successful result - but I guess that's what we'd expect as I can now access the internet.
    Jonathan Mack, Jan 2, 2015
  5. Jonathan Mack

    Graham J Guest

    Logging into the router is absolutely the very first diagnostic test you
    should try. You should learn how to do this so that it is second-nature.

    You should also have a long Ethernet cable so you can connect to the
    router even when it is downstairs (temporarily, obviously) - this will
    avoid any probem if the WiFi is not working.

    The router will show you:

    a) whether it has sync - it should show the upload and download speeds,
    SNR margin, and loop attenuation. It may also show error rates.

    b) whether it has authenticated successfully with the ISP - it should
    show the public IP address currently allocated, and give an indication
    of how long the connection has been up.

    You should be able to relate the lights on the router to the status
    reported by the router's internal web page. Sometimes there are icons
    beside the lights - learn what these mean. There may be some
    documentation that came with the router ...

    If you tell us the make and model of the router that will help us.

    From your initial description it seems that the connection between the
    back of the filtered faceplate and the socket in the bedroom is probably
    faulty. So we need to know more about this.

    Looking at the back of the filtered faceplate: how many connectors are
    there, and how are they labelled? Which of these connectors are used by
    the wire leading to the bedroom?

    In the bedroom, please describe the socket which receives the wire from
    the filtered faceplate. Does it have a rectanguler connector into which
    you could plug a standard BT phone? Or does it have some other sort of
    socket? If it has a standard BT phone connector can you plug a wired
    phone into it, and make & receive calls?

    You describe another component as "another small socket". Is this a
    separate item, or is it part of the socket in the bedroom? Does it have
    anything written on in?

    Was any of the wiring leading to the bedroom, and the sockets there -
    was any of this installed by an Openreach engineer? If not, who
    installed it?
    Graham J, Jan 2, 2015
  6. Jonathan Mack

    Murmansk Guest

    Hi Graham

    Your efforts here are much appreciated

    I took the router back upstairs with a view to doing the tests, set it all up again and what would you know, it works fine now!

    It'll probably carry one working for another four years now!

    I did the original wiring myself using a socket like this

    and I fitted the cables using a proper £10 tool not the usual 50p disposable plastic one!

    I'll see how it goes for now and go back to doing the tests if it misbehaves again, and thanks again for your help
    Murmansk, Jan 2, 2015
  7. Jonathan Mack

    Graham J Guest

    Well, that is a novel way of doing it!

    What you haven't told us about is the cable running from the back of the
    faceplate filter to this socket in your picture, and which cores in this
    cable were wired to which connections in the faceplate filter.

    Nor have you told us anything about the adapter you used between this
    RJ45 socket and the wire from the router.

    Having said all that, you could simplify things (and therefore make
    everything more reliable), as discussed below:

    1) Note that the cable from your router terminates in a RJ11 plug.

    2) Normally the RJ11 plugs directly into the "router" socket of the
    fitered faceplate. But this socket will actually take a standard RJ45
    plug. It may not look like it, and many people here will accuse me of
    lying; but every one of these faceplate filters I've ever seen will in
    fact take a RJ45 plug.

    3) It follows that you can carry the signal from the "router" socket of
    the fitered faceplate using a standard RJ45 extension cable. You can
    make one of these up, provide you have both special tools. You already
    have the punchdown tool for the module you've pictured; but you will
    need the tool for fitting the patch cable into the RJ45 plug. So remove
    your cable from the back of the faceplate filter and fit the RJ45 plug
    to it. For your installation you should use solid core cable (i.e. not
    stranded) since this is the only type that will work correctly in the
    punchdown blocks at the back of your RJ45 module. If you have used
    stranded cable that may account for your intermittent problem. You
    should connect all 8 cores - that way you can test the cable with any of
    the standard testers.

    4) Reassemble the faceplate filter onto the BT backplate, and plug your
    newly made extension into its "router" socket. At the bedroom end the
    RJ45 module now carries exactly the same signal as the socket on the
    faceplate filter, and it therefore follows that you can plug the RJ11
    connector directly into it.

    You can achieve the same effect without using any special tools. Simply
    buy a ready-made (and therefore tested) patch cable of the required
    length and install it between the faceplate filter and the bedroom.
    Also buy a back-to-back RJ45 connector like the one here:

    (The URL is long and wraps the lines, so copy it into a text editor to
    reassemble it.)

    Use this between the RJ45 plug on the extension, and the RJ11 from the
    Graham J, Jan 2, 2015
  8. Jonathan Mack

    Murmansk Guest

    Murmansk, Jan 2, 2015
  9. Jonathan Mack

    Murmansk Guest

    Nor have you told us anything about the adapter you used between this
    RJ45 socket and the wire from the router. <

    It goes straight into the socket - no adaptor needed!
    Murmansk, Jan 2, 2015
  10. Jonathan Mack

    Graham J Guest

    But you wrote:

    "There's a socket there with another small socket into which the cable
    to my router goes."

    I took that to mean two separate sockets!

    However, what you have is virtually what I described.
    Graham J, Jan 2, 2015
  11. Jonathan Mack

    Graham J Guest

    But the RJ45 outlet in this picture is not the same as in:

    although I accept that it is functionally equivalent.

    The description in the link does not state whether the Category 5e cable
    is flex or solid.

    When you wired it, did you use two wires from the same twisted pair
    within the cable? This is essential to maintain the noise immunity.

    It really would be worth monitoring the router's web page, and comparing
    the performance when connected directly to the filtered faceplate versus
    when connected to the extension. There should be no difference - same
    speed, SNR margin, and error counts. When connected to the bedroom
    extension if there is a marked difference the extension could be faulty
    or not wired correctly, and that would cause the intermittent behaviour.
    Graham J, Jan 2, 2015
  12. Jonathan Mack

    Murmansk Guest

    I agree that doesn't read well!

    Yes, I've used the two cables from one twisted pair.

    I tried a speedtest on the normal current arrangement and when it was downstairs plugged into the socket (and using Wi-Fi) and got the same speeds (16mbps) on each so that's good enough for me
    Murmansk, Jan 2, 2015
  13. Jonathan Mack

    Roger Mills Guest

    Glad it's working again. I think there's a very high probability that
    your wiring has been ok all along, and that the problem you suffered was
    simply down to a temporary issue with one of PlusNet's gateways.

    It's always better to do some diagnostics before tearing the system
    apart. Looking at the router status would have been my first port of call.
    Please reply to Newsgroup. Whilst email address is valid, it is seldom
    Roger Mills, Jan 2, 2015
  14. Jonathan Mack

    Martin Brown Guest

    I have never had Wifi fail on a router. Even my most ancient one is
    still going. I have had plenty of physical ethernet ports fail though
    from a combination of physical wear and tear and manufacturing/design
    defects in certain older routers in the 10/100 base era.

    Generally if you can see your WiFi SSID you would be very unlucky not to
    get into it if you can remember the PW. The only caveat is that local
    interference with neighbours could compromise bandwidth tests.
    One odd state that mine gets into from time to time is an insanely bad
    SNR in the deep diagnostics hidden behind dire warnings of "here be
    dragons" but still claiming all OK at the consumer summary level.

    Only a complete hard reboot or power cycle will get it out of its zombie
    state the user level disconnect and reconnect buttons go through the
    motions but still end up with a useless noise margin.
    Unfortunately sometimes it fibs in that you are apparently on the net
    but all packets are dropped into the great bit bucket in the sky.
    The router lights are the least reliable of the lot. The only thing they
    really show is gross errors like physical disconnection.
    Martin Brown, Jan 5, 2015
  15. Jonathan Mack

    Graham J Guest

    Martin Brown wrote:

    You have been lucky. However most WiFi failures are caused by the user,
    which is why I suggest avoiding WiFi when testing. I've only ever seen
    one Ethernet port failure, when lightning struck a line connected to
    adjacent equipment.
    This sort of problem defeats most non-technical users.
    Probably this is the router's response to noise.
    Sometimes it's necessary to leave the router disconnected for about 30
    minutes - to clear what I have heard described as a "Stale Session". A
    good ISP will understand this and clear it for you.
    I've only ever seen this with customers using TalkTalk (see my recent
    post on 21/12/2014 10:38)
    Yes, I agree, but as a quick indication of total loss of sync, quite useful.
    Graham J, Jan 5, 2015
  16. Normally if you have one of those double faceplaces with a filter in it
    on your master socket then the RJ11 on the double faceplace is the ONE
    AND ONLY place you can connect your DSL modem.

    You say the extension socket you've been using for the modem is
    connected into the back of the master socket. It must be connected in
    some non standard way.

    Are any other devices (in addition to the modem) connected in the same
    non standard way?

    If so they still need filters.
    Brian Gregory, Jan 7, 2015
  17. Jonathan Mack

    Roger Mills Guest

    Absolute rubbish! Most filtered faceplates I've seen have got two
    distinct sets of IDC connectors on the back - unfiltered ones directly
    connected to the incoming pair, to facilitate a digital extension - and
    filtered ones for telephone extension wiring.

    Provided the OP used the unfiltered connections for his extension to the
    remote RJ11 socket, that's fine.
    Please reply to Newsgroup. Whilst email address is valid, it is seldom
    Roger Mills, Jan 7, 2015
  18. Jonathan Mack

    Andy Burns Guest

    Yes and no ...

    For *STANDARD* faceplate filters supplied by OpenReach, the only
    unfiltered outlet is the RJ11 on the front, however it is fairly common
    to fit *NONSTANDARD* faceplates (clarity, solwise, adslnation etc) which
    have an unfiltered connection on the back for router extensions as well
    as a filtered connection for phone extensions.
    Andy Burns, Jan 7, 2015
  19. Jonathan Mack

    Graham J Guest

    The difficulty here is that the OP was very short on consistent and
    credible detail, despite my having asked specifically.
    Graham J, Jan 7, 2015
  20. Regardless of the above, given that ADSL and VDSL effectively rely on
    shortwave radio frequencies being sent along cabling intended for
    speech quality audio, it's probably best to simplify the wiring as
    much as possible before the modem.

    Roderick Stewart, Jan 7, 2015
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