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Posted Jul 20, 2013
7:48:32 PM
My computer itself is causing router interference!!!

I've been a U-verse customer for nearly 5 years now, and unfortunately it has geen a work in progress since the beginning. To make a long story short, after many, many, many tech visits, an assortment of new routers, etc., my outside line is clean, and my inside line is clean. The TV service is working reliably now, but the one sore spot that remains is internet connectivity. I pay for the 18 megabit service, but rarely do I get more than 6-4 reliably, and it would often gyrate so wildly that my wirelessly-connected devices (1 MacBook, 2 iPhones, 1 iPad & 2 Apple TVs) would continually drop their connections. The last service techician spent over 5 hours at my house running every test he could think of, but still no joy. 

 

Out of total frustration, I began exploring this forum looking for answers. After reading this thread by SomeJoe7777

http://forums.att.com/t5/Receivers-Battery-Backup/Tracking-Down-Line-Interference/td-p/2654177

And seeing how such issues could be related to some sort of RF interference, I finally decided to do try some trouble shooting on my own.

 

I go to my breaker box & shut the whole house down. Since the router has a battery backup, it stays powered up. I pull up speedtest.net on my macbook (already wirelessly connected to the router) it shows 17 megabit max download. Aha. The game is afoot. 

 

I methodically turn on every breaker, one by one, retesting again every step of the way. In the end, I isolated the interference to the room that is my home office, which contains the U-verse equiment, my computer (an iMac hard wired to the router by ethernet) and assorted peripherals. I disconnected all the peripherals, ditched the surge protector, plugged the computer directly into the outlet, and the interference remained. Then I shut off the iMac and tested again with the macbook. The test showed I was once again getting maximum speed.

 

Also reading how situations like this could be the result of "dirty power", electricity somehow feeding back into the line (the same line the router was using), I got an extension cord and connected the computer to one of my garage outlets. The result was the same. The iMac itself seemed to be what was interfering with the U-verse router. When I put the computer to sleep, full power. When I woke up it, interference. 

 

So my problem is, and my request for help is, where do I go from here? My iMac is a 3-year-old 27 Inch 2.66 GHz Core i5 that runs just fine, so I wasn't looking to replace it, but I'm at a loss as how to resolve this issue. Would requesting that my router be relocated to another part of the house even help? Is there some way to shield the iMac from the router in such a way as to resolve the problem? 

 

It's late on a Saturday night, so I haven't had a chance to even pose this to AT&T techincal support, but I'm guessing if I explained this situation, they'd end up telling me its my problem, not theirs. Anyone have any ideas?

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Jul 22, 2013 5:48:53 PM
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SOLUTION FOUND!

 

Chaulk this one up to a testing oversight/failure. I didn't really look for a software-related issue in troubleshooting this problem. I was so focused on the hardware that I wasn't seeing the forest through the trees.

 

Today I went to Altex Electronics in search of the Isobar surge protector. I know from experience that there is usually at least one seriously smart tech guy working at these stores, moreso than you would find at an Apple Store, Geek Squad, etc. I decided to pick his brain about my issue.

 

I ran down everything the techs did, everything I did, and how I narrowed it down to the computer itself. He thought about it, and half a beat later he asked, "do you use any sort of cloud storage?" 

 

Crap.

 

I knew exactly what he was thinking. I use a service called BackBlaze which backs up all my files to a cloud storage space for a small monthly fee. I had recently upgraded the managment software to 2.0, and kept its default settings, which turned out to be the mistake. Backblaze will literally take over your upload bandwith, which in this case, it was. It was taking over so much that it was literally choking out my download bandwith. 

 

I swear, these guys at Altex are doing God's work, because they talked me out of a $60 sale and gave me a solution. I went home, reset BackBlaze's upload parameters to only transferring in the dead of night and bingo. Max download speed. 

 

So, a little embarrassing on my part. I really appeciate all the suggestions everyone gave, because in the end, it did ultimately lead me to someone who could help. You guys are doing God's work too! At least I got to contribute one more possibility to add to the myriad of possible problems these installations can face, so I guess I made my little contribution as well.

 

Once again, thanks for all the helpful suggestions. I'm closing this one out! :smileyhappy: 

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My computer itself is causing router interference!!!

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Jul 20, 2013 8:21:26 PM
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How are you connected PC to RG, hardwired or wireless?
If hardwired can you disconnect Ethernet cable from RG and run test (possible voltage on cable)
If wireless purchase a 50 phone cord for test purpose, move RG 40-50 ft plug in and see if solves problem, if does may either do cat wiring job yourself
or request tech dispatch move equipment order $149 labor plus $55 for each wire that would need to be ran to new location.

If problem not resolved using test cable then suspect either monitor RF issue (grounding) or faulty electrical ground, or att ground potential is different from electrical ground.

But in a word, yes your equipment your home your problem, who fixes and how much are the next questions.

*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s position, strategies or opinions.

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Jul 20, 2013 8:28:15 PM
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ACE - Expert

Try a TrippLite Isobar surge protector, stops AC induced noise which is what the iMac is causing:

http://www.tripplite.com/en/products/product-series.cfm?txtSeriesID=825

 

Good luck :smileywink:

 

Chris


Please NO SD stretch-o-vision or 480 SD HD Channels
Need Help? 1-800-288-2020, After he gets acct info, press # a bunch of times, get a menu from Mr. Voice recognition
Your Results May Vary, In My Humble Opinion
I Call It Like I See It, Simply a U-verse user, nothing more

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Jul 20, 2013 8:29:49 PM
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I would bet that the switch mode power supply in the computer is failing and generating the electrical noise. What other connections do you have on the iMac (Telephone, Network) etc that maybe connected to the U-VERSE RG or telephone line.

 

Try the following:

 

1. Vefity that you electrical receptacle is wired correctly. You can get a tester form Home-Depot or Lowes. These testers will check form proper ground and netural connections.

 

 

2. Trying inserting a noise and surge suppresor into the electrical circuit and plug only your computer into it.

 

3. Have a Electrical Contractore check your ground and netural connection coming into your house and at your breaker box. Years ago I had a flickering power issues with my lights that was traced to a "bad ground" connection. This appeared after a extremenly bad dry spell.

 

Other questions:

 

Have you used the UV Realtime application? If so what is your distance from the VRAD that is reported? What is the profife that you are configuyred to use?  What does UV Realtime report for communication errors.

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Jul 21, 2013 12:04:47 PM
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Guys, 

 

Thanks for all the feedback! Since its a Sunday, I'm a bit limited in what steps I can take. I went to Radio Shack, Lowe's & Home Depot in search of a Isobar class surge protector, but none of them carried one. Unfortunately Altec Electronics, which I'd bet real money has them, is closed today. I ended up getting a Belkin Home Theater surge protector from Home Depot that claimed power filtration, but when I tested it, it didn't do the trick. This is the one:

 

http://www.belkin.com/us/BSQ1200-06-Belkin/p/P-BSQ1200-06

 

My next step is to take the surge protector back and get myself 50 ft. of phone cord & a electrical testing kit to try those two possibilites.

 

Robert asked if I used the UV Realtime app, which I have, but of course the results are Greek to me. I have taken some screenshots in the hopes that some of you more tech savvy folks might be able to glean more specifics that I can't see. For some reason I don't have the option to upload images into posts. Possibly due to my membership level? At any rate, I don't have the necessary button on my editor bar. HOWEVER, I did post my Stats, Error Table & Bitloading charts to my a public gallery under my name, so if you could please, please click on my name & look at my gallery, the screenshots are there. 

 

Once again, thank you for all the feedback. After all these years I finally see light at the end of the tunnel!

 

 

 

 

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Jul 21, 2013 2:50:26 PM
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Well, here is the result of my most recent testing. I bought a recepticle tester from Lowe's, and by its reading it appears that the outlet in question is wired correctly. I also bought 50 ft. of telephone wire and relocated the RG 50 ft. away from the imac. Once again, as long as the imac was on & active, the interference remained. 

 

So, its looking like the iMac is the sole culprit. My question is, will an Isobar surge protector actually make any difference, or should I have the iMac taken in and have it examined and potentially fixed?

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Jul 21, 2013 3:46:46 PM
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Was the iMac still connected via CAT5 to your network when you moved the RG 50' away from the iMac?  Was it connected via wireless?  Was it not connected to your network at all, and just plugged in?

 

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Jul 21, 2013 4:37:42 PM
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When I moved the RG, I detached the ethernet cable to the iMac & enabled it's Wi-Fi connection in its place. I connected the 50ft. telephone wire to the cat 5 outlet the U-verse guys installed at the iMac's physical location and ran it to the back bedroom and reconnected the RG there. A service tech had come out 2 weeks ago in an attempt to fix the situation, and at that time he says he replaced my cat 3 wiring with cat 5 within the house. 

 

The thing is, if my iMac's power supply is emmitting an RF signal that is interfering with the modem, it's giving me absolutely NO indication (the iMac) that this is in any sort of distress. It still operates & performs perfectly, as expected. And, according to the FCC, any electronic equipment that isn't a radio receiver but acts like one is considered defective. There are Ham radio operators living next door to U-verse customers, blasting out RF frequences at high power all over the place, and aren't disrupting their service. So what's going on in my case? Can this equipment really be this sensitive, or is there still some legacy stuff within my connection that is the achille's heel?

 

I've seen computer power supplies go out. Odd behaviors become apparent. The RF emmitted by this computer & others are a known quantity to the manufacturers of this router. I just get the feeling there is something the AT&T techs missed.

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Jul 21, 2013 5:35:27 PM
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GinTexas wrote:

Guys, 

 

Thanks for all the feedback! Since its a Sunday, I'm a bit limited in what steps I can take. I went to Radio Shack, Lowe's & Home Depot in search of a Isobar class surge protector, but none of them carried one. Unfortunately Altec Electronics, which I'd bet real money has them, is closed today. I ended up getting a Belkin Home Theater surge protector from Home Depot that claimed power filtration, but when I tested it, it didn't do the trick. This is the one:

 

http://www.belkin.com/us/BSQ1200-06-Belkin/p/P-BSQ1200-06

 

My next step is to take the surge protector back and get myself 50 ft. of phone cord & a electrical testing kit to try those two possibilites.

 

Robert asked if I used the UV Realtime app, which I have, but of course the results are Greek to me. I have taken some screenshots in the hopes that some of you more tech savvy folks might be able to glean more specifics that I can't see. For some reason I don't have the option to upload images into posts. Possibly due to my membership level? At any rate, I don't have the necessary button on my editor bar. HOWEVER, I did post my Stats, Error Table & Bitloading charts to my a public gallery under my name, so if you could please, please click on my name & look at my gallery, the screenshots are there. 

 

Once again, thank you for all the feedback. After all these years I finally see light at the end of the tunnel!

 


If you're talking about Altex Computers and Electronics in San Antonio, TX (3 stores), it is a Tripp-Lite reseller according to their website.

 

Stores in SA, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas-Carrollton, Fort Worth-Arlington, Houston and Waco.

http://www.altex.com/contactus.aspx :smileywink:

 

Chris


Please NO SD stretch-o-vision or 480 SD HD Channels
Need Help? 1-800-288-2020, After he gets acct info, press # a bunch of times, get a menu from Mr. Voice recognition
Your Results May Vary, In My Humble Opinion
I Call It Like I See It, Simply a U-verse user, nothing more

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: My computer itself is causing router interference!!!

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Jul 22, 2013 5:48:53 PM
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SOLUTION FOUND!

 

Chaulk this one up to a testing oversight/failure. I didn't really look for a software-related issue in troubleshooting this problem. I was so focused on the hardware that I wasn't seeing the forest through the trees.

 

Today I went to Altex Electronics in search of the Isobar surge protector. I know from experience that there is usually at least one seriously smart tech guy working at these stores, moreso than you would find at an Apple Store, Geek Squad, etc. I decided to pick his brain about my issue.

 

I ran down everything the techs did, everything I did, and how I narrowed it down to the computer itself. He thought about it, and half a beat later he asked, "do you use any sort of cloud storage?" 

 

Crap.

 

I knew exactly what he was thinking. I use a service called BackBlaze which backs up all my files to a cloud storage space for a small monthly fee. I had recently upgraded the managment software to 2.0, and kept its default settings, which turned out to be the mistake. Backblaze will literally take over your upload bandwith, which in this case, it was. It was taking over so much that it was literally choking out my download bandwith. 

 

I swear, these guys at Altex are doing God's work, because they talked me out of a $60 sale and gave me a solution. I went home, reset BackBlaze's upload parameters to only transferring in the dead of night and bingo. Max download speed. 

 

So, a little embarrassing on my part. I really appeciate all the suggestions everyone gave, because in the end, it did ultimately lead me to someone who could help. You guys are doing God's work too! At least I got to contribute one more possibility to add to the myriad of possible problems these installations can face, so I guess I made my little contribution as well.

 

Once again, thanks for all the helpful suggestions. I'm closing this one out! :smileyhappy: 

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Aug 9, 2013 2:19:11 PM
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Hey there!  I just thought I would add one more suggestion to this great post! 

 

Check out this helpful information!  Troubleshoot slow speeds

 

~Delia


Rethink Possible

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