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mogad0r
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Message 1 of 9

Home Hub 5 stops, then partly restarts a day later exactly when I call BT helpline

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I've joined this Community in the hope of getting a better response than I seem to get directly from BT. I have had a BT Home Hub 5 for many years. It's normally used with three Windows 10 laptops, two Apple i-phones, one Samsung mobile phone and two Internet radios - all connected by wi-fi.


I've been in this house since 1981 (pre internet) and have had several incidents of noisy phone lines and poor broadband caused by rainwater in the junction box down the road. This current issue seems different.


Late afternoon on 2018 November 13 HH5 ceased operating and was found to be flashing its orange light. Attempts to re-start after switching off repeatedly gave the sequence of green light, about 15 flashes of green light, blue light for a few seconds, brighter blue light for a few seconds, then continuous flashing orange light. At no time since this this happened did the normal several wi-fi signals expected from the Hub re-appear. It was left off for a day in case the problem might be elsewhere 'down the line' and perhaps corrected.


A reserve wi-fi dongle, working on a non-BT 4G service was brought into use and it kept the domestic system going apart from the two Roberts Streamtime internet radios which displayed 'wireless driver error' when setting up the new source and 'Error 1000E' when asked to connect. Roberts Radio appear to have no list of error codes to assist diagnosis. I was advised to do a factory reset but I did not try this. Perhaps this new 'network' was too much for the radios to handle, there seems to be no way of pruning the list.


The following day I had a hospital appointment for a TOE, a procedure in which I was able to watch my heart beating real-time in '3D' display with coloured overlay of blood flow via an ultrasonic scanner in my stomach - a little light relief from the stress of losing broadband.


Then that evening a call was made to BT Broadband Helpline, which involved keying-in the home telephone number. The call was answered iin Dublin and almost immediately the steady blue light appeared on the Hub suggested all was well. Perhaps this was just an almighty coincidence, but I told the BT guy that I would see what was happening and call again later.


I could not find the wi-fi SSID which I had set up on the Hub long ago, but the 'auxilliary' services such as BYWifi-with-FON, BTWifi-X, BT HUB5-xxxx (mine), my dongle, BT Hub5-yyyy and devolo-409 (presumably  neighbours). I found that I could log into FON and use it, but presumably at much lower bit rate than I was paying for a full broadband service.


I tried calling the BT Helpline again but it went to India. There was no way I could explain all this but I was reminded that I could get things re-started by selecting the Hub's wi-fi address and entering the ten-digit access code on the back of the Hub. This process was partially successful. Using this code we could get the phones and internet radios working on wi-fi, but whichever of three laptops we tried would always keep bringing up the Home Hub 'Start-up' page together with a link to a download which would assist setting up the Hub. However this link did not work (neither did it when accessed through the 4G dongle) so I could go no further.  Whatever I keyed into the browser it kept reverting to this start-up page, as if some further action were needed by me (or perhaps by BT?) to re-start normal access to the internet.


So we are hobbling along on one cylinder with the BT Hub which we continue to use as it's the only way we can use the internet radios, as well as being one way of using wifi on phones, and we are using the 4G dongle for general broadband access.


I don't see much chance of getting a solution to 're-starting' my Home Hub 5 to  its full potential by calling a call centre in India but, at age 74, I'd like to restore the service which I had before, but without too much stress along the way. I've no way of knowing whether this is a hardware fault, in which case I would happily pay for a new Home Hub 5 of the same type (I don't want to have to learn anything new). But I wonder whether it's perhaps that BT were trying to update the software and made a mess of it without me ever knowing? [I have similar anxiety about an all-electric car (Renault Zoe) where the software can be updated over-air without my knowledge]


Has anyone any ideas how I can get back to browsing the internet with laptops on the current BT Home Hub 5 as the 'customer and prime user' as I have been doing for many years without problem? Is there some vital step in the (manual) set-up procedure that I haven't noticed? Are there  any useful diagnostic tests I can do? Am I obliged by contract to use the BT modem/router? I use a TeleWell modem in Finland unrelated to the ISP (Telia-Sonera), can I do the same in the UK?

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Message 2 of 9

Re: Home Hub 5 stops, then partly restarts a day later exactly when I call BT helpline

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have you checked for line noise.  Dial 17070 option 2 should be silent and best with a corded phone

have you tried factory reset of the hub by pressing the recessed button on back and hold fir 20/30 seconds until hub lights flash

you can use any compatible modem/router or a separate modem and router. Your choice



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Message 3 of 9

Re: Home Hub 5 stops, then partly restarts a day later exactly when I call BT helpline

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Try a factory reset of the home hub.

http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/11386/%7E/how-do-i-reset-my-bt-hub-to-its-factory-set...

Then turn Smart Setup off, that is often the cause of problems

http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/44328/~/switching-smart-setup-on-and-off-on-the-bt-ho...

 
Also try separating and renaming the SSIDs.

http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/44798/related/1

If you decide to try a different router, that BT cannot control, then read the solution to this thread.

https://community.bt.com/t5/Home-setup-Wi-Fi-network/HELP-HH6-blue-light-but-no-internet/td-p/188242...

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mogad0r
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Message 4 of 9

Re: Home Hub 5 stops, then partly restarts a day later exactly when I call BT helpline

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Many thanks imjolly and Keith_Beddow for your very prompt replies. This is the first time I've tried to
get help this way since the late 90s in the days of dial-up, it's good to know that there are helpful people out there. I work as a volunteer with Citizens Advice, but our training doess not deal with issues like this!
 
I've tried testing for line noise - no problem here, but it used to happen frequently until a few years ago.
But things would always recover when the noise was cleared. A good way of clearing it was often to call your own number from elsewhere or mobile and the ringing voltage would do the trick.
 
I'm aware of factory reset but not willing to disturb the fragile status quo until early next year when my life will, I hope, be less stressed. I assume that the access codes stuck on the back of the box will not be altered by a factory reset? I don't want to lose internet radio, which I can still get only by using the default/start-up modem ID and wireless password on HH5 as the Roberts Radios will not accept the entry of yet another network (unless, perhaps, after a factory reset which again I am reluctant to try now). It's all a bit like the Brexit options ...
 
When I try any of the links kindly presented by KB I find they all lead to -
192.168.1.254/pc-step1.html
"Welcome to BT
Get online with Smart Setup
You are now successfully connected to your BT Home Hub.
We're going to guide you through a few simple steps to finish getting you set up and online."
with [Get Started] leading to [Download] and then -
"Hmmm... cannot reach this page
Try this
Make sure that you’ve got the right web address: http://pbttbc.bt.motive.com:3081"
... which seems not to exist.
 
I seem to have found the set-up options in plain English in the 'My BT' area and I'll work carefully
through the possibilities, including altering the main SSID and password to what I used until the blue light first went to flashing orange.
 
I like the idea of setting up a compatible modem router independent of BT products. In the early days BT actually provided a list of compatible modems, but I guess they don't now, for obvious reasons. Is there any report on compatible modems which I can access?
 
So unless I find or get a flash of inspiration I'll probably hobble along through the festive season.
It seems rather unfair that my modem/router is still working at my expense for other BT subscribers lurking outside my window when I can only use it myself as another FON subscriber at perhaps 5% of normal speed.
 
 
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mogad0r
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Message 5 of 9

Re: Home Hub 5 stops, then partly restarts a day later exactly when I call BT helpline

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Many thanks imjolly and Keith_Beddow for your very prompt replies. This is the first time I've tried to
get help this way since the late 90s in the days of dial-up, it's good to know that there are helpful people out there. I work as a volunteer with Citizens Advice, but our training doess not deal with issues like this!
 
I've tried testing for line noise - no problem here, but it used to happen frequently until a few years ago.
But things would always recover when the noise was cleared. A good way of clearing it was often to call your own number from elsewhere or mobile and the ringing AC voltage would do the trick.
 
I'm aware of factory reset but not willing to disturb the fragile status quo until early next year when my life will, I hope, be less stressed. I assume that the access codes stuck on the back of the box will not be altered by a factory reset? I don't want to lose internet radio, which I can still get only by using the default/start-up modem ID and wireless password on HH5 as the Roberts Radios will not accept the entry of yet another network (unless, perhaps, after a factory reset which again I am reluctant to try now). It's all a bit like the Brexit options ...
 
When I try any of the links kindly presented by KB I find they all lead to =
192.168.1.254/pc-step1.html
"Welcome to BT
Get online with Smart Setup
You are now successfully connected to your BT Home Hub.
We're going to guide you through a few simple steps to finish getting you set up and online."
with [Get Started] leading to [Download] and then -

"Hmmm... cannot reach this page
Try this
Make sure that you’ve got the right web address: http://pbttbc.bt.motive.com:3081"
... which seems not to exist.
 
I seem to have found the set-up options in plain English in the 'My BT' area and I'll work carefully
through the possibilities, including altering the main SSID and password to what I used until the blue light first went to flashing orange.
 
I like the idea of setting up a compatible modem router independent of BT products. In the early days BT actually provided a list of compatible modems, but I guess they don't now, for obvious reasons. Is there any report on compatible modems which I can access?
 
So unless I find or get a flash of inspiration I'll probably hobble along through the festive season.
It seems rather unfair that my modem/router is still working at my expense for other BT subscribers lurking outside my window when I can only use it myself as another FON subscriber. And it seems weird that I am 'allowed' to browse through BT sites but none other.
 
 
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Message 6 of 9

Re: Home Hub 5 stops, then partly restarts a day later exactly when I call BT helpline

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You need to disable smart setup.

http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/44328/~/switching-smart-setup-on-and-off-on-the-bt-ho...

If you are looking for a compatible modem/router combination, try The TP-Link TD-W9970.

It costs less than £40 locally, from places like Argos, or online from stores like Amazon, and may well sort your problem out, as its very stable.

If you are worried about the wireless SSID and password change, you can set the TP Link one, to the same as the home hub.

You are right about noise faults being cleared by ringing you phone, which some people do not use any more.

You may find this interesting Why do I need a landline phone?

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mogad0r
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Message 7 of 9

Re: Home Hub 5 stops, then partly restarts a day later exactly when I call BT helpline

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Again thanks for prompt response, and for link (which I can use when browsing via the Huawei 4G dongle) to access BT Help. I was pleased to get an E-mail alerting me to your posting, a useful service.

I'll follow these instructions as soon as I have ensured continuity of broadband for the internet radios, perhaps via the TP-link device (thanks for the recommendation). I feel I'm walking along a cliff edge, or even striding edge, at the moment (as is the country!) so I'm taking things slowly. I'm very much a belt and braces person.

Trying to think about this all, without any knowledge of protocols etc. (I wrote the specification of teletext/Ceefax in 1972 when things were much simpler, perhaps before your time) I can't work out whether the HH5 is interfering with settings inside my browser (Edge) or whether it's intercepting most or all my instructions intended to go to the world outside and converting them to the HH5 start-up page. But I suppose I don't really need to know.

Thanks again for reducing my stress level. I'll add a message (if then still possible) to report when this issue is resolved one way or another, by this may not be until early next year.

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mogad0r
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Message 8 of 9

Re: Home Hub 5 stops, then partly restarts a day later exactly when I call BT helpline

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After spending a day clearing gutters I plucked up courage to follow your advice and turn off Smart Start-up by following the link you supplied. I did not even dare a Factory Reset first. All is now well with HH5, I can browse again without forever being diverted to Start-up page. I was surprised that there was no interruption to internet radio via this Hub when I clicked 'Apply'.
Thank you for sharing your expertise, and for your quick responses.
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Message 9 of 9

Re: Home Hub 5 stops, then partly restarts a day later exactly when I call BT helpline

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Excellent Smiley Happy

Smart Setup caused lots of problems, and in my opinion, should be removed from the home hubs.