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Guru
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Message 1 of 8

Line Crackle ... we all know the end result.

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Hi guys

I don't frequent the forum often now ... but an interesting story worthy of note, to share my experiences.

I've had first class, uninterupted fibre broadband for about 16 months, up until two weeks ago. I'm on a 50mbit line profile and virtually no interleave with g.inp invoked by DLM.  It was flying to almost being taken for granted.

My wife reported to me that the broadband had dropped, and frankly I didn't believe her, but she was right.

I immediately picked up the landline and dialled a quiet line test ... you know my findings, crackling like a good'un.

I shot into the study and put up my linestats to see the router had dropped to dslam in my logfile. And as I was sitting watching the router re-initiated a handshake to the dslam once more. It came back as before, good profiles both paths, snr's at optimum 3 for down (g.inp) and 6 for up. A mere glitch?   Maybe the hot temperatures were causing a problem, but then nah, why should they?

I watched the connection with interest whilst doing a series of quiet line tests ... nothing, all fine, line deathly quiet.

Then after about ten minutes bang ... line crackled badly, almost burst noise, then followed by a swishing sound and at the same time I watched the noise margin on the upstream path start to climb ... 6, 7.5, 9, 12 and the linespeed eroding until it dropped the connection at 1 mbit upstream. The big irony is that the all important downstream path was totally unaffected and stuck it out synced at 55mbits with a 3db margin.  Seemed odd.

It did this behaviour every day about two or three times but did miss the occasional day, and it always seemed to happen during the high heat of the day. A red herring? ...  I couldn't understand that one.

I was careful to get my linespeed where it should be well before midnight, as I didn't want DLM to start punishing the connection, so I did a reset around 22.00  to make sure it was healthy for the daily 24hourly mux report to DLM.

After a while DLM did start to see the problem and knocked off g.inp ... ok so no biggy but at least I'd got the bulk of my line profile still, and the occasional drop and associated upstream bandwidth loss, I could deal with that.

I pondered all my connections, checked everything ... nothing had changed. Why was it doing it? .... had to be a line problem.

I contacted our learned friendly moderators on this forum for some quick help using the usual channels, and immediately got a date for an Openreach line engineer to visit.

As it goes, you never know just who'll you'll get, and I asked my engineer whether he was broadband trained, even though I wanted him to fully test the metallic paths. His remit was for that alone, sobeit.

I explained I'd had a new dropwire twelve months previous, and had stripped out all extension stuff and had the latest SSFP fitted.  Great he said ... lets have a look.   He applied his JDSU meter and we both watched as it went through its tests and were gobsmacked when everything came back green, all tests passed with flying colours.

He looked at me in dis-belief and questioned me as to what did I expect him to do next.  We had both agreed all the cable from my house to the pole was new, and he knew that all of the underground cable was less than two years old all the way to the street dslam (msan) cabinet.

I said that we'd seen Openreach in the cabinet on several occasions and he said maybe someone had disturbed something, so he went to look, and I made a brew while he went down the road to check.  Ten minutes later he came in and said no reason to think anything had been disturbed, the cabinet was very tidy ... but then showed me two crimps which he'd replaced. The same crimps that connect the copper pair over to the fibre patch panel. It might be something he said.

The crimps (photo below) show copper oxide discolouring inside the "sealed" plastic moulding, clearly under varying levels of heat and moisture ... possibly causing line breach, or in my case high resistance and crackle.

Once they were replaced the connection came back in with increased bandwidth on the upstream path and slightly less than normal downstream bandwidth ... mainly because DLM had knocked off g.inp and my interleave levels hadn't come down yet ... but time would sort that.

I'm left wondering whether BTo should be using gel filled connectors and crimps for ALL copper path connections, clearly it had caused mine to go bad, on what the engineer described (and so did his JDSU) a perfect line.

So for now it's looking good, and getting back in shape, I'm just thankfull Mark the Openreach Engineer had the presence of mind to check those crimps!

Fingers crossed for now, although I'm pretty confident we found the culprit.

KUDOS to Mark from Openreach, Dan from the Mods Team for making things possible ... and Sean for having such a great team.

Fibre Broadband is great ... but line crackle is your worst enemy.    Roll on FTTP for all, if it ever happens!

I've also included a pic of my linestats for the last 24hours, since the Openreach visit.  I'll cope with 4 or 5 errors upstream and none downstream!

IMG_1291-min(1).JPGGreen Death !

Capture.JPG

7 REPLIES 7
Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 2 of 8

Re: Line Crackle ... we all know the end result.

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Great post Roger

definitely something to bear in mind for others with line crackle



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Guru
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Message 3 of 8

Re: Line Crackle ... we all know the end result.

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@imjollywrote:

Great post Roger

definitely something to bear in mind for others with line crackle


Indeed ... there's maybe a moral to the story. BTo engineers work with fixed protocols and work related tools, including their JDSU. It's good to see them take the "box off the head" and not just give in and leave. He was well within his rights to do so ... having seen and uploaded the electronic line report. Happy Days! ... ps hope your well. 🙂
CJT80
Expert
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Message 4 of 8

Re: Line Crackle ... we all know the end result.

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@RogerB

Great to hear things have been fixed.  Did you give him some nice feedback via the OR Engineer Feedback form? :smileyhappy:

Kind Regards
CJT80
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pompey1898
Expert
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Message 5 of 8

Re: Line Crackle ... we all know the end result.

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Hi @RogerB, @imjolly

As others have said, a great post.  I wonder how many other people, without your expertise, are suffering a similar problem. 

I have been suffering near daily disconnects and the BT ( yes BT ) engineer ran a very brief test on a hand held device ( a bit like an iPad ) and declared everything fine.   Makes me wonder but then I am a technical numpty.

Distinguished Guru
Distinguished Guru
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Message 6 of 8

Re: Line Crackle ... we all know the end result.

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@pompey1898 wrote:

Hi @RogerB, @imjolly

As others have said, a great post.  I wonder how many other people, without your expertise, are suffering a similar problem. 

I have been suffering near daily disconnects and the BT ( yes BT ) engineer ran a very brief test on a hand held device ( a bit like an iPad ) and declared everything fine.   Makes me wonder but then I am a technical numpty.


BT (yes BT) don't have engineers. They do use Cube who will only check everything is connected correctly. They cannot touch your line or cabinet.

 

Nice post and good outcome Roger.

pompey1898
Expert
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Message 7 of 8

Re: Line Crackle ... we all know the end result.

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Hi @pippincp,

Having read numerous times on here that BT don't have engineers I queried this with the engineer when he arrived.

His response was to give me a business card with the BT logo on it.  He claimed that there had been a recent change and BT were sending out engineers in the first instance before passing anything on to Openreach.

Now, wether this is true, or normal BT B*****T, I don't know.  I am only quoting exactly what happened when he visited. 

I was happy that everything was installed and working correctly when OR engineer spent several hours, over 3 days, here solving a phone & BB fault.

See :- https://community.bt.com/t5/Landline/How-can-my-Brodband-work-when-I-have-no-dial-tone-on-my-phone/t...

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Guru
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Message 8 of 8

Re: Line Crackle ... we all know the end result.

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A quick update to my own case as outlined above ... line has run for over a week since the BTo visit, no problems.

It's actually running 3mbits faster downstream than before and about 1mbit faster upstream ... and g.inp is back on and we're on fastpath again.

All's good that ends well ... I won't be forgetting about those crimps!

🙂

 

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