Author Topic: Rantlet re my parents' broadband  (Read 4715 times)

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« on: July 19, 2008, 04:36:39 pm »
I class myself as semi-literate re matters computing; I can cope with things I need on my Windoze machines and partner & I set up BT Broadband with success after Much Swearing some three years ago, since which there have only been problems when some particularly incompetent home insulation droids leant their ladder on some phone wiring.
I am a sad individual who actually does RTFM. Sometimes this gives a Small Clue to the otherwise clueless.
Dad's Broadband was OK until he fell out with broadband provider #1 cos he wouldn't pay a bill without a detailed invoice. He had had a good wireless network originally.  Dad has alway used a Computer ExpertTM at considerable expense, to sort out his technology.
Computer ExpertTM was then enlisted to help set up BB with provider #2. This has never been satisfactory, in particular, the wireless connection to Mum's laptop was either never established or tended to break within three minutes.
Computer ExpertTM suggested that Mum's laptop was faulty and should be returned to retailer. (Mum's laptop is nearly identical to mine; I bought it a few months ago so she could learn a few useful tricks before she lost her marbles, patience, humour and mobility.)
He also set up laptop on router on short ethernet cable in dining room, telling her to disconnect DECT phone. This converted pleasant reception room into hazardous Spaghetti Junction of tripwires and equipment.
I visited parents yesterday and it struck me that nobody had put microfilters on the phone sockets. Young Nephew (16) used Mum's laptop to source and supply more microfilters (2 for£5), while Dad slept.
I suspect router will work OK upstairs (not near Master Socket but better placed for disseminating The Rays). Our BT Hub is on an extension upstairs and works fine.
I am unimpressed that Computer ExpertTM did not spot need for microfilters...

Valiant

  • aka Sam
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Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2008, 04:40:57 pm »
Most computers experts arent.
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you.

Support Equilibrium

Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2008, 05:16:20 pm »
Anybody claiming to be an expert in anything usually isn't.

I have a little saying:

An ex is a has been, a spirt is a drip under pressure!

Microfilters very important AFAIK.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2008, 05:34:10 pm »
Anybody claiming to be an expert in anything usually isn't.

Microfilters very important AFAIK.

Yeah, even I knew that, after setting up our own system.
At 2 for £5, they won't bankrupt my folks, who have paid their expert several hundreds of pounds To be fair, he has worked at their place for very many days but still not managed to get the system to work.

Mum feels she's been cheated out of much of the laptop's use.

bobajobrob

Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2008, 05:58:30 pm »
The microfilters are a schoolboy error. As for the wireless dropping out, it's usually just a case of change the wireless channel then check all the settings, maybe update the drivers. A couple of hours at most, a few minutes at least. The expert sounds like a muppet. At least he managed to install a cat5 cable...

Mrs Pingu

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Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2008, 06:55:57 pm »
who have paid their expert several hundreds of pounds[/size] To be fair, he has worked at their place for very many days but still not managed to get the system to work.
Is this so called 'expert' getting paid by the hour??? Hmmm?
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2008, 07:49:22 pm »
I think he was paid by the hour.
The Cat 5 cable was two metres long and supplied with the router. Using it to connect a router to a computer does not (usually) require a PhD.

Gandalf

  • Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty
Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2008, 03:53:12 pm »
I remember when I attended my first ever Broadband fault about 8 years ago.  When I turned up and mentioned to the snotty, condescending EU that I had already carried out a remote test and there did not appear to be a line problem, I got the full ' It can't be a problem with my setup, I'm an IT professional'. 

Imagine my delight when I plugged the ethernet cable into the correct port and all was well  ::-)

toekneep

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Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2008, 04:08:12 pm »
Micro filters are like about no. 1 on the list to check. I have done several installations where the customer has insisted there are no other phones on the system while I have insisted that there must be. In every case it has ended with the customer saying something like, "oh, I;ve just remembered there might be a phone in the study/attic/garage/etc. etc. It is nice to be proved right but tedious arguing with them at the time.

Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2008, 04:13:55 pm »
You don't necessarily have to have obvious microfilters, so don't assume because they aren't clearly fitted that there aren't any installed.  My father has a microfilter integrated into the master socket, since the house wiring was a bit iffy, and without isolating it from the broadband at the first opportunity, the ADSL wouldn't work reliably.  However, this is a relatively unusual setup, and most people do just have individual microfilters plugged into each socket.
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

Gandalf

  • Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty
Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2008, 04:39:35 pm »
You don't necessarily have to have obvious microfilters, so don't assume because they aren't clearly fitted that there aren't any installed.  My father has a microfilter integrated into the master socket, since the house wiring was a bit iffy, and without isolating it from the broadband at the first opportunity, the ADSL wouldn't work reliably.  However, this is a relatively unusual setup, and most people do just have individual microfilters plugged into each socket.

If someone has the setup you describe which is a Service Specific Frontplate or SSFP, it's either one that was installed before the micro filters were available or it has been fitted to eliminate faulty extn wiring.

Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2008, 04:40:50 pm »
A small point of note a few months ago there there was a new noise on the phone line after some investigation it came down to a suspect micro filter.  Changed the filter and the noise vanished.   :thumbsup:

Apprently the filters do have an operational life,  This is reduced by heat.  The one in question lived in the airing cupboard.  The replacement is now moved!

Geoff
Only those that dare to go too far, know how far they can go.   T S Elliot

Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2008, 05:04:59 pm »
A microfilter is generally just going to be some passive components, an airing cupboard may not necessarily be the most benign of locations, but it's just more likely that a component just decided to give up the ghost.  A passive filter is amongst one of the more rugged electronic devices in your house, pretty much everything else is more likely to fail.  One of these failing is likely to be a fairly unusual event.
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2008, 05:12:26 pm »
I have had some microfilters fail at my place and will advise my parents to get some spares 'just in case'. Methinks the one attached to the phone in their kitchen is quite likely to be attacked by variation in the heat and humidity there.

Gandalf

  • Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty
Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2008, 05:18:45 pm »
A microfilter is generally just going to be some passive components, an airing cupboard may not necessarily be the most benign of locations, but it's just more likely that a component just decided to give up the ghost.  A passive filter is amongst one of the more rugged electronic devices in your house, pretty much everything else is more likely to fail.  One of these failing is likely to be a fairly unusual event.

I'm afraid I beg to differ old bean, I see dodgy microfilters daily and in the seven years I have had Broadband I have had to change mine several times.   I actually found 4 in one EU's premises.

Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2008, 05:21:15 pm »
Our broadband connection suddenly starting playing up and dropping regularly despite 3 years uninterrupted service.   I was advised that the router modem must have failed.   I replaced the microfilter.   Stability restored.

Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2008, 05:27:03 pm »
I think he was paid by the hour.
The Cat 5 cable was two metres long and supplied with the router. Using it to connect a router to a computer does not (usually) require a PhD.

I resent this. (Dr.) ScumOfTheRoad

By the way, regarding microfilters they are only needed on those telephone socket which have a telephone handset. IF you are connecting your broadband router to a telephone socket without a handset then don't use a microfilter. I get a better signal that way - and indeed wouldn't get a connection at all on an extension socket in my house.






Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2008, 05:36:55 pm »

By the way, regarding microfilters they are only needed on those telephone socket which have a telephone handset. IF you are connecting your broadband router to a telephone socket without a handset then don't use a microfilter. I get a better signal that way - and indeed wouldn't get a connection at all on an extension socket in my house.


That is at odds with my experience.   I cannot explain why but I have had to use a filter on both the main socket which has a handset only attached, and the extension socket which only has the router modem attached.   Missing either out causes much disruption to the service.

Like I say, I cannot explain why because I have no knowledge of how these things work.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2008, 05:54:41 pm »
I certainly did not mean to upset you, sorry.
The point I was making is that there were no microfilters anywhere where there were phone handsets, despite some having been supplied by provider #2.

Please can you please explain why you can't connect broadband to your extensions? I'd like to learn a bit about these things.

Dad's broadband was initially connected to an upstairs extension (when he had supplier #1) and seemed to work fine.

My broadband is connected to an extension in David's room, the wiring to which literally goes all around the house, having entered the house here



It functions fine with the various online tests, so it's difficult to get the engineers to appreciate there could be a potential problem...

Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2008, 06:04:25 pm »
Put very briefly, with ADSL (ie broadband for most people), the digital side of the system is at a frequency much higher than audio.  The audio band is essentially from 0 to 4 kHz (4000 cycles per second).  Anything higher than that is likely to be the broadband part.  The microfilters just block that part of the signal out so that it doesn't make noise on the audio (ie telephone), they also to an extent block the audio devices from interfering with the digital signal as well.

The microfilters which have a connection for the telephone and the router really only filter the audio side, the router side is just connected directly to the phone line, it acts as a convenient splitter, but is generally passive otherwise.

As I mentioned earlier, you can do this at the master socket, so no extensions need any sort of filter, since they are all filtered at the master socket, this also tends to make for a more reliable ADSL connection, since the house wiring has little or no effect on the ADSL.  The downside is that the router has to be situated near to the master socket, since it will not work anywhere else.
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2008, 06:19:41 pm »
Thanks.
It is very unlikely my parents' master socket is filtered. It still has an old (clicky cyclometer style) usage meter wired in, which is very old kit AFAIK.
I think putting the router near the master socket is impractical for their household.
Dad's study and desktop computer is on the top floor, they sleep on the middle floor and guests are mostly entertained downstairs. My parents are in their 70s and I want to minimise trailing wiring, as well as being able to surf on laptops downstairs on in the garden.

Mrs Pingu

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Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2008, 06:27:02 pm »
HM, we've got filters on both the master and the extension, and the router is plugged into the extension. All works fine.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2008, 06:29:50 pm »
HM, we've got filters on both the master and the extension, and the router is plugged into the extension. All works fine.

Thanks.
That's what I plan to do chez parents and what works fine here.

I think it's far more important that they don't have unnecessary trailing wires than that their connection is ultrafast.

Dad does not (to the best of my knowledge) download porn videos or play anything faster than chess.

Gandalf

  • Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty
Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2008, 07:42:41 pm »
I certainly did not mean to upset you, sorry.
The point I was making is that there were no microfilters anywhere where there were phone handsets, despite some having been supplied by provider #2.

Please can you please explain why you can't connect broadband to your extensions? I'd like to learn a bit about these things.

Dad's broadband was initially connected to an upstairs extension (when he had supplier #1) and seemed to work fine.

My broadband is connected to an extension in David's room, the wiring to which literally goes all around the house, having entered the house here



It functions fine with the various online tests, so it's difficult to get the engineers to appreciate there could be a potential problem...

That BT66 with the lid missing needs sorting, given the visible corrosion on the terminals I wouldn't be surprised is you had a HR on it as well and/or insulation faults when it rains.

That's not all either, some muppet has used internal 6 wire to run the lead-in, which would be regarded as a 'critical defect' and would never survive a quality audit.

The bit about only needing microfilters in sockets with a 'phone in them is only partially true.  Anything plugged in needs to be filtered, the one people usually forget is the Sky TV  box.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Rantlet re my parents' broadband
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2008, 08:23:42 pm »
The photo posted upthread was taken on 15 March 2007.
The junction box serves Old Man Next Door (cable going off to left) as well as us (cable going upwards).

Given that:
1) 'It seems to work OK'
2) Testing it online shows no fault
3) A BT engineer on a paid call-out showed no interest in this when we tried to point this out, when investigating my broadband in October 2005

How do I persuade BT it needs attention?