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7 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 114810 4-Mar-2013 12:52
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Hi all,

My house has a single wire coming from the Telecom demarc point to a single telephone point in my 'server closet'. Plugged into that is a in-line filter (i.e. the kind supplied with most ADSL modems that has a plug for DSL and a telephone jack). Plugged into the telephone jack is a cable that runs to a patch panel and threads itself through four of the jacks (jacks 20 - 24). The ADSL modem is then plugged into the ADSL plug on the filter. The rest of my house is wired with cat 6 cabling I run recently which all terminates in the closet, running to a patch panel and then to a switch (where necessary), and there is only one phone patched into one of the phone jacks (obviously not running into the switch).

I have two questions:
1) Is this a suitable setup, or should I install a proper master filter?
2) The only cabling I have not changed is the cable running from the demarc to the phone socket in the closet. It looks relatively old but I have no particular reason to replace it. Would you recommend replacing it, and if so what with - should I run just a cat 6 cable, or should I future proof with a cable for fibre as well?

Separately, I've noted the following details from my modem (which is providing ADSL2+):

SNR Margin: 106 down / 124 up
Attenuation: 95 down / 26 up
Attainable Rate: 23056 down / 1048 up
Rate: 19990 down / 1000 up

I live slightly outside Palmerston North in what would be classed as a rural area. According to the Chorus Service Availability Tool I am in what is an exchange area with Rural Broadband Initiative available. Do these figures look appropriate? Attenuation / SNR seem high to me, but I'm not well enough informed to be certain.

Your feedback would be hugely appreciated!
Thanks,
Jonathan Giles

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  Reply # 774254 4-Mar-2013 13:03
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I suspect your modem stats are out by a factor of 10 (i.e. they measure 0.1dB), in which case you must be almost right on top of the exchange - they are excellent.

Technically, you have a very similar setup to a proper master filter, in that all the phone wiring is isolated on one side, and you have a direct line to your modem. However, the plug in filters are generally of lesser quality, and you have a number of plug in connections, and an unknown quantity as the cable from the demarc.

Best practise would be a new run of cat 5 or 6 to the demarc, install a proper master filter with the correct crimp connectors. Having said that, your line stats are very good, and unless you are looking at a move to VDSL, it is unlikely you would get much real world improvement, unless you are having specific problems you are trying to address.



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 774256 4-Mar-2013 13:15
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Thanks for the quick response.

In regards to the SNR margin and attenuation figures, yes, they both have "(0.1 db)" written beside them, so I assume you're right. It is interesting to hear that the figures are considered excellent - I was expecting to be told they are terrible :-)

To answer your points:
1) I do occasionally (i.e. once an hour) notice that my DNS (I believe) becomes non-responsive, leading the browser to simply spin as it tries to resolve a domain name. My reason for this theory is that things like Skype and my music streaming (from The Rock website) continues to work fine during this time. I don't know how to narrow down this issue (I've tried both my ISPs DNS and the Google DNS servers), but both show the same symptoms. I've also tried two different modems and again it is the same with both. Any pointers would be appreciated! I should note that these issues do tend to appear concurrently with 'kernel intrusions' in my modems log.

2) I do look forward to switching to vDSL when my contract with my current ISP is up (which I believe is ~July this year). Am I correct in understanding that at that point a master filter would be absolutely required? It looks like these filters go for for around $30 - $40, and I've wired the rest of my house so I'm not adverse to doing this. I will need to do more research into how to wire the cat 5/6 into the demarc (that is, which wires to use (blue pair?), and how to run that into the filter - which I presume can be something like this: https://www.cablesdirect.co.nz/www/pdfs/xdslmaster.pdf ) Again, any pointers would be appreciated!

Thanks again,
Jonathan Giles

 
 
 
 




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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 774264 4-Mar-2013 13:25
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From a quick bit of research it looks like I should run a cat5/6 cable from the demarc by wiring up the blue/white pair to the telecom cable. I should then wire that up to the blue/white pair on the filter and run the green/white and orange/white to their respective points.

-- Jonathan

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  Reply # 774265 4-Mar-2013 13:27
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jogiles: From a quick bit of research it looks like I should run a cat5/6 cable from the demarc by wiring up the blue/white pair to the telecom cable. I should then wire that up to the blue/white pair on the filter and run the green/white and orange/white to their respective points.

-- Jonathan

Yep, that's right, Pretty easy to do if you have access to the demarc and confidence with the cabling (like it sounds you do).

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  Reply # 774266 4-Mar-2013 13:32
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Looks like you are on to it with the cabling side of things!

As for the periodic DNS issue, what modem are you using? If it's a cheapie given away by an ISP, some of them are not so good at DNS relay, so this might be the issue. Depending on the modem, some can turn this on and off. If the modem assigns your computer an IP address via DHCP, does it assign itself as the DNS server, or pass your ISP's addresses through? You can probably rule this out by manually putting your ISP's DNS servers in to your computer, so it doesn't use your modem as a DNS server.

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  Reply # 774268 4-Mar-2013 13:36
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Hi, if your current line consists of the components you say, ie a single line from the demarc that splits at no point, and the wires used in that line are infact a pair (not a split pair) and you have just the one outlet and your using a micro filter at that point to feed both the phone and modem and the line goes onward from there, then I would suggest a master filter will not make any difference.

You noted line stats look pretty good, as for the DNS dropping out, doubt a master filter will help.

Cyril

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  Reply # 774271 4-Mar-2013 13:45
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I did one like this a while ago; and although not a significant difference; we did get a bit more speed out of the upstream, and a reduction of errors.

If you think you can wire this in yourself, then I say worthwhile spending the few bucks on a master filter; but you would want to way up cost vs actual benefit if you got someone else in to do it.





Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend from $150 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
I install - Naked DSL, DSL Master Splitters, VoIP, data cabling and general computer support for home and small business.
Rural Broadband RBI installer for Ultimate Broadband and Full Flavour

 

Need help in Auckland, Waikato or BoP? Click my email button, or email me direct: [my user name] at geekzonemail dot com




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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 774280 4-Mar-2013 13:54
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Thanks everyone for your feedback, it has been really useful. I will definitely wire in a new cat 6 cable from the demarc and put in a proper filter, but given your feedback I won't do it as a matter of urgency (I'll probably do it in conjunction with a shift to vDSL in the middle of the year).

Thanks!
Jonathan Giles

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  Reply # 774290 4-Mar-2013 14:21
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Good plan.

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  Reply # 774320 4-Mar-2013 14:53
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jogiles: From a quick bit of research it looks like I should run a cat5/6 cable from the demarc

-- Jonathan


When you say the existing cable looks old, what colours are the pairs inside it? In the late 90s Telecom internal cable used the same Blue with White as one pair, and Orange with White as the second pair as Cat 5 made by the same factory. The pairs themselves weren't twisted in the sheath so will not be full Cat 5 but close enough.



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  Reply # 774338 4-Mar-2013 15:31
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Here is a photo of the demarc cabling (apologies for the size, geek zone has rather small size limits):



Funnily enough a Chorus guy was just here working on that demarc point and he said the cabling was fine, and if we wanted we could run two pairs down to it to have one for adsl and one for phone, although I'm guessing what he really meant was to simply install a filter there (which I would rather do inside my server closet).

I'm still not totally convinced the wire is the best it could be, but I'm not sure there is much value in replacing it either.

-- Jonathan

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  Reply # 774342 4-Mar-2013 15:36
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I would suggest that the current cable in the house (unless its been treated badly and cut up) is better performance than the few hundred meters of cable running down the street, based on that see my comments earlier.

But please note your setup is an exception, most houses have all sorts of splits and taps and god knows what, and a master filter is then a real boost.

Cyril

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