nullstream weblog - Well There's Your Problem...

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Well There's Your Problem...


June 19, 2008 09:15 PM PST

...right there:

I went outside and followed my Ethernet cable from my modem to the living room, where the internets stopped working a couple days ago. My WiFi, 360, XBMC and TiVo had all been interrupted by what I discovered last night was a bad link between my network routers.

As you can see in the picture - it appears the cable was chewed on? It's been installed for years, and actually was tucked under the ledge you see.

So how should I go about repairing it? Short term I'll just bridge the wireless network. 100Mbit is really nice though. Re-wiring will be a big pain and unsightly. I could solder the connections and heat-shrink tube it, but I can't find the materials for htat. Have you seen some crimping or splicing hardware I can use here? It doesn't have to be waterproof really - duct tape should solve that.

Update: Found some telephone line splicers. They work for solid copper lines, from 26 to 22 AWG, so perfect for the 24 AWG Cat5 cable. These cost about $4 at the hardware store, which was about the cheapest and quickest solution I could find. You basically put in two wires and then squeeze with pliers and a metal contact with two slots is crushed down on the wires. I wrapped everything in duct tape, and at least this solution works better than bridged WiFi. We'll see how well it does with COD4. Pictures after the break...


Comments (7)

J, June 19, 2008 11:11 PM:

I bridged the routers wirelessly, but they're too far for a strong signal. I boosted the DB of the signal from 42 to 70 and although it made the connection stronger, it still dropped as often. Tried to play some COD4 online, but the lag was too bad.

John, June 20, 2008 10:10 AM:

Just strip and twist the wires together and solder them. Tape them individually with electrical tape, then tape the whole mess.

The bigger question is how to keep them from getting chewed on again. I have the same problem with my deck lighting. A year ago I went through and spliced and repaired all the wiring, put in new bulbs and everything. It was great for about 3 months and then half of it stopped working. I have all manner of animals that live under my deck and I can't convince them that wires are not food.

Klisch, June 20, 2008 10:38 AM:

I live in an apartment.

David, June 21, 2008 01:36 PM:

If that's Cat5 cable, it probably won't be after
you repair it. I'm sure it will still work,
but you might get some mysterious network failures
and poor throughput.

J, June 21, 2008 09:37 PM:

I've updated the post with pictures of my fix. My repair kept the pairs relatively twisted. The contacts shouldn't be worse than going to jack, into patch panel and then out to jack again, which is a typical enterprise configuration.

John, June 22, 2008 12:16 AM:

And the results of the COD4 test?

Ian, June 23, 2008 11:43 AM:

This is a bit off topic, but since you mention it, the default signal setting on your router should already be optimal (at least for the stock antenna). Mostly, that setting is valuable when you want to lower your signal strength.

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