Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Cable Guy

The Cable Guy Came
No, His Name Wasn't Larry
Everything Works Now

I'd been having intermittent Internet outages caused by my cable modem. After I went through TeleHell to get a live technician, he eventually set up an in-house technician to come out.

The tech came today. Nice guy, contracted out by BrightHouse to service cable equipped homes.

He did a signal test on the cable line which runs to my modem. It was at a -2. Now, I thought -2 sounded horrible, but he assured me that the cable modems are rated to work well at signal strengths of -7 to +7. He also told me the sporadic outages were likely due to the modem overheating.

I don't know anything about it. I suppose he was telling me the truth and not feeding me a line. When my modem was not on the fritz, it worked fantastically well. But, I can see the overheating thing. I am online way more than I should be. Also, it is pretty dusty down where the modem sits, though the modem itself had very little dust on it, or in it, when I blew it out with compressed air.

There was, however, a HUGE sticker with esoteric scribbling on it which the previous cable guy had placed over a significant portion of the air vents/heat sink on one side of the modem. I had removed that the other day, at the urging of a good friend, and only had the cable modem crap out on me once since.

Anyhow, I also mentioned that the digital signal to the tv set-top box occasionally was distorted, resulting in staticy pictures, skipping frames, or garbled sound.

He replaced a splitter piece with a new, better one. And he also replaced a length of cable which had a barrel connector (a splice, basically). The Brighthouse guy who installed my digital service less than year ago apparently spliced a R59 cable into an R6 cable. (I didn't know the significance of that either ... cable man enlightened me).

The R59 cable is pretty thin, extremely flexible, with less wiring inside, resulting a poorer signal and increased chance of kinked and broken lines inside the sheath. He was pretty shocked that someone would use that kind of cable to carry a digital signal and wondered that we did not have even more problems than I described.

Cable man cut an new, single length piece of R6, a much thicker, less flexible line, and installed that. He also exchanged some hardware components out in the main box outside.

Everything seemed fine when he left, no troubles since in the hour he's been gone.

Hopefully, everything stays working with no distortion or outages.

Time will tell.

Found out he plays Everquest, the original version, since 1999. So we discussed online gaming for a while as he worked. I used to play EQ, then played NWN Neverwinter Nights), followed by GW (Guild Wars), leading up to my current obsession with WoW (World of Warcraft). We agreed to disagree on which was the better MMORPG (Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Game).

Speaking of which, my new Blood Elf Priest is feeling lonely. I think I'll get her some exercise slaying evil critters or something. ~.^

1 comment:

Rodrigo said...

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