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Before posting about drop out issues

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 7:13 am
by James D
Before posting about drop out issues please read through the below steps.


The First Step

1. Identify the light on the modem that tells you when your modem is connected to the ADSL service. Sometimes this is called LINK, LNK, SYNC or WAN, depending on the modem type.

2. Note the state of the light when your modem IS connected to the internet. In most cases the light will be steady and not flashing

3. Note the state of the light when your modem drops out. Does the light start flashing? If it does, you have a loss of signal, so go to the next section called: 'What to do if your modem drops out with a loss of signal'.

4. If it doesn't flash, then go to the section called: 'What to do if your modem drops out and there is no loss of signal'

What to do if your modem drops out with a loss of signal

* Check that you have dial tone on the line the ADSL service is installed on. If you don't have dial tone, see no dial tone

* Are there multiple phone lines at the premises? Make sure each device, other than the ADSL modem, has a filter correctly installed

* Check that there is no filter directly between the wall socket and the ADSL modem. Do you have a filter installed on the ADSL modem? The filter is for any phone or fax and NOT for the modem. Remove the filter from the modem

* Check that the filter is correctly installed (please see the Hardware Installation Guide to confirm) and installed on any additional telephony devices

* Check that the ADSL line to the modem is firmly installed

* Turn off modem, wait 15 minutes, then turn it on

* Check if the phone cable is not damaged in any form, try a different or known good cable if you can

* Check that your modem is working correctly and is not over heating. If your ADSL modem is shut away in a cupboard or drawer, it may overheat. Check your modem manual for the correct operation of your ADSL modem.

* Check for any recent work done on ADSL enabled phone line (patching of cables etc). Replace any new cables with known good cables.

* Check if the ADSL enabled line is currently active (i.e. paid for)

* Do an 'isolation test'

No Dial Tone

No dial tone means the phone line itself is not working.

In this case there is nothing Exetel can do to help you until your phone line has been fixed. The phone line must be working before any ADSL problems can be investigated.

You will need to call your telephone service provider and report a fault. ADSL problems can only be fixed once the phone line itself is working.

Isolation Test

This is a very important test for drop outs. The reason for this is that filters or equipment etc on the phone line can cause the fault. Many customers advise that they have completed the isolation test only to have a tech sent to field and find that it is their equipment that is at fault. In these cases the customers have been charged a $220 incorrect call out fee.

In over 95% of cases, drop outs are caused by some local interference on the line. This could be something like a fax machine that doesn't have a filter, a second phone, a back-to-base alarm system or Foxtel digital. All of these can cause intermittent drop outs or even stop the ADSL service from working at all.

The isolation test is a very necessary part of figuring out why your ADSL service is not working properly. If you don't do the isolation test, Exetel will not be able to properly diagnose the problem, and you may also incur charges for an incorrect call out if a technician is sent and finds the problem to be local to you.

To do an isolation test; remove all devices from the ADSL line except the ADSL modem. Connect the ADSL modem to the line using a short cable that you know works. The best cable to use is either the one that came with your modem, or the one you used to connect from the wall socket to your phone hand set.

If the modem does not drop out when it is the only device attached, then the problem is interference caused by one or more of the other devices.

You can either put an ADSL filter on the device(s) or remove the device(s) permanently to fix the problem.

What to do if your modem drops out and there is no loss of signal

* If your service has been working in the past, the most likely cause is some problem with your computer or the connection between your computer and the modem. Check that you can access the modem setup from your computer. If not, check the cables and connections.

* Check the modem settings. Sometimes modems lose the settings and need to be reconfigured.

* If you have a wireless modem, check that the signal to your computer is good. Move the modem or the computer until you have a 'very high' or 'excellent' signal reading.

* If you have several computers connecting to your wireless modem, check that they are all using the same wireless standard. One computer is using 802.11a and another is using 802.11g for example, can cause loss of wireless access from time to time. Setting all computers to the slowest connection speed will usually fix the problem.

The Last Step

Please visit the following forums for further information on drop out issues:



Re: Before posting about drop out issues

Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:27 pm
by Bonkoh
I'd like to add,

I have an Exetel ADSL 1 (T8-120) connection and I'm using a 2Wire 2701HGV-W modem and had been experiencing continual drop outs showing a flashing red DSL light on the modem. This was happening every few minutes and seemed to be related to surges in download/upload loading. The modem is being used in wireless mode with multiple devices linked and no hard wired connections.

My specs:
Protocol: G.DMT Annex A
Downstream Rate: 3936 kbps
Upstream Rate: 384 kbps
Current Noise Margin: 6.0 dB (Downstream) 23.0 dB (Upstream)
Current Attenuation: 50.0 dB (Downstream) 14.0 dB (Upstream)
Current Output Power: 19.3 dBm (Downstream) 9.2 dBm (Upstream)

I found what so far seems to be a fix after reading a post on the Whirlpool forum.
My Drop outs where very frequent and were always relating to the DSL Light flashing red every 5 – 8 minutes. Didn't need much data to go through the network either, just a couple of pages of or and it would fail again.

I have been on many calls with (IP removed) to try and get this resolved. I have tried everything to fix it but with no luck. HOWEVER, today i noticed a comment on a thread that suggests that one should never run their modem on 802.11b/g and try switching to 802.11b only. I thought to try this and when I did this the drop out issues completely stopped.

I have been surfing away for the afternoon; have run testing with 2 people using different laptops, (vista and mac) and tried everything to recreate a drop out. We just can’t seem to get it to happen now. I am VERY HAPPY. I have not had one drop out yet. Now while I'm saying it might be early, i would normally have had about 15 or 20 drop outs by now and can say that I have had 0 ZERO!!!

Here is how to change your wireless mode to 802.11b to stop the 2wire 2701hgv W from dropping out on a ADSL 2 connection.

Open your preferred web browser and go to
Click on the home network tab at the top of the page.
On the right hand side you will see 'wireless settings', click on the edit settings button.
Scroll down until you see additional settings.
Change the wireless mode to 802.11b
Click Save.
When the page refreshes, you can close the browser.

If you are using a 2Wire 2701HGV-W modem, give this a try before lodging a support ticket, it worked for me.

Re: Before posting about drop out issues

Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:03 pm
by CoreyPlover
I can't think of why a wireless protocol (802.11b or 802.11g) could possibly impact on dropouts with your ADSL connection in the general case. I'd probably put this down to a flaw or firmware glitch in your particular modem.

Re: Before posting about drop out issues

Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:46 pm
by Bonkoh
CoreyPlover, to be questioning something that you don't understand when someone is telling others it works is rather cynical. I don't understand a lot of things but I just accept that they work even though it might be beyond my comprehension. If you can see potential damage caused by what I have posted then point it out, otherwise don't be cynical, let people try it and see if it fixes their problems.

I can assure everyone I wouldn't be posting this here if it didn't work. It takes about a minute to do. It can be undone just as easily. It works for ADSL1 and ADSL2.

I'm not a technician but I do try to solve issues before resorting to the online/phone help resources (mainly because I get sick to death of repeating the story multiple times and going round in circles) and in this case I have followed the very same instructions I posted above and since then not a single red DSL light crash has happened. Last thing I want is to be told to go buy another modem when it only took a quick setting change to fix the issue. Do Exetel tech support have all the answers for the 2Wire modems? I searched the whole forum using the term "2Wire" and found nothing to cover the problem I was having.

I tried to source a firmware upgrade but 2wire has now been merged into another company so support service is not about to improve for a carry over product that is now obsolete and besides, even when 2Wire WERE in full flight, they make products to sell under licence. Their products were not sold in shops. They offered no upgrades. Telstra have the key to upgrades and I'm no longer a Telstra customer so no option there.

Besides, who wants to reset it back to the Telstra settings anyway? They sold loads of these VoIP equipped modems with VoIP hobbled and if you tampered with the settings and enabled VoIP they refused tech support. Seems to me they expect you to pay the cost for the added features of VoIP in their provided device but refuse to let you use it after you paid for it.

Now if it is a faulty modem so be it, I'm happy to live with it because it still works and it has far outlasted every other ADSL modem I have owned and its cost me nothing to make the fix, it worked. I now have uninterrupted ADSL operation.

if anyone else is experiencing the same red flashing DSL light on their 2wire modem, just try doing what I posted.

Re: Before posting about drop out issues

Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:50 am
by jokiin
Bonkoh wrote:CoreyPlover, to be questioning something that you don't understand when someone is telling others it works is rather cynical..
I don't believe he was questioning the fact that this worked for you, just making a statement that there is no technical reason why it should work to fix the problem as there is no connection between wireless and sync, most likely a software problem as he suggested, as long as it works for you then that's all that really matters :)

Re: Before posting about drop out issues

Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:05 am
by CoreyPlover
As Dazzled points out, my comments are "in the general case" and since this is a "general ADSL drop out" thread I am simply pointing out that, most of the time, loss of sync will be caused by reasons that are unrelated to the 802.11b/g wireless setting.

As you point out, it is a setting that does no harm (though it will reduce throughput speeds in some cases, particular when you have multiple wireless connections) and one that can be easily reverted, so people are welcome to add it to the list of things to try if they wish to resolve drop out issues. But I would regard it as having a low probability of resolution. 95% of the time, drop outs are caused by faulty filters or phone line issues and the majority of the remaining issues are caused by a faulty or glitchy modem.

Re: Before posting about drop out issues

Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:56 pm
by Bonkoh
Right, I hear your comment but would like to update...

It's been over a week of satisfactory connection with zero dropouts now. I call that a success. The problem only surfaced after changing from my original 1.5mb Exetel ADSL1 plan to the current 8mb Exetel ADSL1 plan. I have no idea if the problem is slowing things down but in my world I'd rather have something that works at a slower speed than something that fails constantly and is unreliable. It's running a bit quicker than it did on the 1.5mb connection and the distance from the exchange is also a factor. I don't think it really can go much quicker on ADSL1 connection.

As for other options, as I explained, any upgrades for the particular modem are impossible. The choice was to try the above fix or just give up and throw the 3wire in the bin and buying a new modem. I should also point out that I'm stuck in a rural setting where Exetel only provide ADSL1 through the local exchange even though ADSL2 is available, so it's pointless even trying to worry about speed when I have an Exetel connection.