Friday, November 06, 2009

DSL drama and Bizarre Happy-Ending!


Sorry about that. But it's 4AM, an ungodly hour to scream in real life.  I just can't contain my excitement right now so I'm having trouble sleeping.  So....Here's what happened (Warning: lengthy nerd talk ensues):

DSL Drama
So the past few days, I've been having a shitty unstable DSL connection that would crap out ONLY at night.  My DSL has had random periods of solid connection, but spurts of disconnecting for many years now and I have never been able to resolve it completely.  The only thing I've noticed is that it always happens at night. 

So I call the support rep a few times, and every time they keep telling me: "Sir your line seems fine"  "please check your filters blah blah"  "reset modem, reset router, reset computer" (reset this <^>(-_-)<^>!!!) and we could never figure the damned problem.  On Monday, support guru "John" tells me I should probably switch out the modem and see what happens.

By now, my patience has worn thin, so I head to Best Buy the next day and buy a complete set of Modem and Router.  I never buy electronics from retail stores, but I was fed up and needed a solution QUICK.  Luckily Angel's cousin was working there and I got a discount to lessen the pain :)  It was a nice router though, because it had NAS support (Network Attached Storage) so that I could access a USB harddrive from anywhere in my house (and maybe outside my house too!)  I was so happy.   I plug everything in that night, and man everything was so snappy, solid connection, cool features = BLISS.  I've never had a network up and running by just plugging things in.  This was a great sign, and money does buy happiness haha.

The Belkin N+ router, the answer to all my prayers?

So this setup is running great until Wednesday, when the guys were over after we went to the Exploratorium.  We exhausted our burritos, boxing, and Mario Kart and got bored as hell, so...let's just look at stuff online! (SCREEEECH!) Internet is dead again.  wtf.  I just dropped 100+ on a new network and it conks out on me.  I'm just floored.  Morgan tells me about his similar DSL problems, and said it was due to worn out rubber around the phone lines outside his house.  Hey! maybe that's it!  I call Sonic again, so that I could have them send a guy over, but they are assuring me that there's nothing wrong with the line.  At that time, the DSL is working again so I just hangup and give up for the day. 

Then God said, "Let there be Light" and there was light, but my DSL got the died.

Today, I finally found the problem to all my white hairs and pimple outbreaks.  I turn on the ultra-bright Halogens in my room downstairs before I went to sleep, cus they're right next to my bed.  That way I can turn them off with my foot once my head hits the pillow.  Internet Dies. (oh here we go again).

Then a crazy idea pops into my head: "what if the lights are causing the DSL blackout?"
I turn off the halogens. YouTube Loads.
Turn on the halogens. YouTube freezes.
Halogens Off....  Hilarious cat video.

...oh my god.

The halogen lights were like death rays to my DSL connection.  Like an EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) just like in The Matrix! or Starcraft!

haha reminds me of the light switch Friends episode:

Fast forward to 3:20 for relevancy

Retrospective Reflection and Research

  • Felt like I wasted my 100+ on the new network, but hey, this new router is pretty cool so I'm gonna keep it.  Still happy! Plus, my old modem was borrowed 10 years ago from a friend.
  • Parents tell me this DSL problem started happening again only a few days ago.  The room that I'm sleeping in now used to be used as storage.  I used to sleep in the top bunk of my brother's room until I got fed up with his 5:30AM alarm clock that he doesn't hear until 7AM!!?  So I cleared out this storage room, set up my bed, and unknowingly turned on the Death Rays. 
  • DSL gets flaky not just b4 I sleep, but also around 7:30PM (dinner time).  We also use Halogens with dimmer switches in our kitchen. 
  • But how do these Halogen dimmer lights affect the DSL?  It took me so many years to find out because the lights were never in the same room as the modem or router!
The Answer: Science
Here's what I found researching online:

Some DSL modems are overly sensitive to RFI (radio frequency interference). Lighting dimmer switches and/or electronic (non-magnetic) power supplies for halogen lighting are a common source of such interference. The result can be a degradation of DSL performance or even a complete loss of DSL sync, even when the source of the interference is not in close proximity to the DSL modem (because the interference can be not only radiated, but also conducted through building wiring).

Old phone lines? nope.  Moisture at night affecting the external phone lines? nope.

Who woulda thunk it?

As Bill Nye the science guy says it: Science Rules.

So... if you guys have erratic behavior with your DSL, it could be your lights!


Cora L. said...

OMG. Do you realize that this is a lab write-up? LOL!!! You have an objective, materials, the hypothesis, the steps, and then the conclusion. You even drew out the diagrams. I think you get an A!

And I miss watching Friends. That show was so great.

Fishy said...

Pew pEw peW

AtenZ said...

Holy Crap! I'm gonna plagiarize this! gonna use this for a science lab if we have to do one. haha

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