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power noise causing disconnects?


power noise causing disconnects?

I wonder if this situation has happened to anyone else.


I got u-verse internet only in late June, and everything was wonderful until a few weeks ago. We started getting disconnects in the evening, where the gateway would lose the dsl signal and have to go through the whole startup process, often several times in a short span (10 minutes). After many contacts with customer service, which often resulted in misinformation being passed on, we had a couple outside techs come, because the line tests they did on the phone showed " a LOT of errors". After a few visits from the outside people, where they didn't always seem to do what they had claimed, we had an inside guy come. Supposedly, the only real remaining issue is a "power noise" error on the line, which the tech suggested might be because the house (I rent the upstairs) isn't grounded correctly.


SO my question is, for those of you that understand anything about this (I don't really, and nobody has of course been too forthcoming with actual explanations of what they throw at me), is this "power noise" issue something that should be causing such drastic problems? For the record, I have both an isobar and an APC batter backup/conditioner, neither of which made a difference when I plugged the gateway into them, according to the tech. My worry is that AT&T may be sort of passing the buck off to the landlord. I am skeptical for a few reasons:

1) This problem didn't start until a few weeks ago, and I am not aware of any major electrical work happening in the house recently.

2) All those other errors that may or may not have been actually fixed really had absolutely no effect on my signal problems, but ONLY the power noise issue? IS that plausible?

3) There was a pretty bad track record with the outside techs doing what they were supposed to, according to the person I would talk to when I had to call back.

4) There was still some issue of a bridge tap or something that wasn't totally removed when the inside guy came-I don't know it that would have any effects or not.

5) If the error is really related to power usage in the house or something, I am confused as to why it is also a problem in the middle of the night when I am awake often (I have a 6-week old) and of course why it never happened for the first couple months.


Basically, this interruption problem makes it virtually impossible to watch say, netflix in the evening, or video chat with my in-laws (they love that baby!) and it makes paying for this service seem pointless to the point I am considering switching to cable. Am I being unreasonable in my skepticism of ATT here? I just hesitate to trust them based on the inanity I've had to deal with talking to customer service at times. And of course, saying to the landlord "make an electrician come check the house because ATT said my dsl problem was related to the wiring" isn't really the strongest position. And if I have to pay for that, it might be cheaper to switch to cable, if it's not so finicky anyway.


Any thoughts? I'm pretty stuck, and I sure do appreciate any help that's offered.


Message 1 of 7

Re: power noise causing disconnects?

Download U-Verse Realtime from, install it, run it and post screenshots of the IP/Profile, Bitloading, and Coax/HPNA tabs. This should give us some information on your line and its capabilities, and if there are any problems that need to be looked at.

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Message 2 of 7

Re: power noise causing disconnects?

So I tried running it, and all it tells me is that it can't connect to my Router. It has the correct ip address listed for it, and I don't see any way to change any settings to allow it to connect. the web interface on the router works just fine, so I have no idea how to make it work. Any ideas? Thanks again!

Message 3 of 7

Re: power noise causing disconnects?

Power line noise, and other radio or electrical noise, both radiated and carried on copper can cause frame/packet loss, which causes anything from "fuzzy spots" to screen freezing.


I don't know where you're located, but in some areas, with the season changes, "new" devices com online (heaters, furnaces, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, sump pumps, heat pumps ...).


To make thing uglier, it doesn't have to be IN your house ... it can be at a neighbor's house that shares the same power transformer. It can be things like (and these are true, actually identified sources): Treadmills / workout machines with variable speed moters, any other variable speed device, lamp dimmers, dusk/dawn sensors, aquarium heaters (or any other bi-metallic strip thermostats), heat pads, noisy power supplies to things like TVs, toys, or computer peripherals, and last but certainly not least (these things are sux delux) CFL  bulbs (not all, but enough to be a pain), streetlights (dusk/dawn sensor, dying lamps, bad ballasts or starters) and loose, old, and/or defective hardware on the power poles, some can be blocks away from your house.


If you want to help locate it, keep an AM radio nearby, tuned off-channel. When you suspect noise (i.e., when you lose sync on the RG) turn the radio on, hold it in front of your body, and start moving around. By shielding the rdio with your body, the noise will be stronger in the direction you're facing.  Start in the area near the RG, and work out from there.


You can also go down to the circuit breaker box and see if the noise is present there to give you some kind of "zone of influence" to work with. Move around your yard, walk along the power lines ... if you get noise out there, you can call the power company, or ask AT&T to call the power company-they have equipment to track that kind of noise and pinpoint it.


If you suspect a streetlight, you can call (or you can ask AT&T to call) the municipality to investigate and fix it.


If it's your neighbors, you're not entirely on your own, but you would likely be the best person to talk to your neighbors.


And of course, run Joe's program; it'll give you a good indication of the "when" and the specific level of effect.



Employee Contributor*
*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.
Message 4 of 7

Re: power noise causing disconnects?

Have them check for a faulty power transformer from the local utility company. also have them check for proper grounds on all the poles where the transformers are.


Dusk to dawn lights can be detrimental to Digital signal from your house, neighbors house or even street light.


It also may not be power company noise.  I wonder if a new  HICAP circuit has been installed within the bundle, that may be interfering.


The only way to know for sure, is to get the people with the meters on the line and find out what frequencies are present.  Obviously 60 Hz is power, any other needs to be investigated for its source.


Another question I would ask -- do any of your neighbors have UVERSE, and if so are any of them having trouble?  If it is electrical influence from outside, I bet you it is not only yours that is having problems....

Message 5 of 7

Re: power noise causing disconnects?


celloguy wrote:

So I tried running it, and all it tells me is that it can't connect to my Router. It has the correct ip address listed for it, and I don't see any way to change any settings to allow it to connect. the web interface on the router works just fine, so I have no idea how to make it work. Any ideas? Thanks again!


Do you have a 2Wire 3800HGV-B, 3600HGV, or 3801HGV router?  Since you're internet only, if you are connected to an IPDSLAM, you might have a Motorola 2210 modem instead.  U-Verse Realtime will only work with the 2Wire products.


If you have the Motorola modem, I'm unfamiliar with those, so I don't know how to tell you to pull up the error counts or line statistics.


Follow the other poster's suggestions and look for the interfering device, if you find it and either disconnect it or have it worked on you might solve the problem.


Message 6 of 7

Re: power noise causing disconnects?

I will try the whole search and destroy thing this weekend when I get a chance, thanks. I do in fact have a 2-wire, but it is a 2701HGV-B. I suppose this might not be compatible with the program, oh well. Thanks for all the advice (even if some is a bit beyond me...)!

Message 7 of 7
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