[SOLVED] Unsolvable ping spikes? High number of corrected packets?

Dec 23, 2019
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Hey guys, I recently made a huge post about some PingPlotter results I had that showed packet loss on my connection. I noticed this issue about 6 months ago when I was unable to play any video games as my ping spikes and the entire game will lag and be completely unplayable every 5-15 seconds. I also noticed that loading webpages will take a long time and sometimes will crash or not respond.

At this point I have had about 5 tech visits and even had one today but all they do is mess with my power and S/N levels and none of these visits have resolved my problem. It seems like they don't know what I'm talking about and as long as my internet works at all they can't be bothered to fix it. That's why I am posting here as I may be able to point them in the right direction or just do it myself.

I noticed that my modem is showing extremely high levels of corrected packets with the results shown below being only 40 minutes after my modem was powered on.

View: https://imgur.com/a/DRe0E0h


I understand that this issue is probably caused by some sort of noise so every single cable/amplifier/splitter has been replaced but to no avail. If someone has had any experience with this issue or any suggestions at all it would be much appreciated as I am going insane trying to fix this issue and have spent hundreds of hours troubleshooting/talking to Cox support at this point...
 

Wacabletech06

Prominent
Jul 4, 2019
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These are all the errors currently on my modems event log:
The logs dated 1970 you can ignore, this is while the modem is rebooting and is normal to occur. The other logs T3, T4 on 12/30 is an issue with the cable system somehow.

At this point, let them substitute one of their modems for a month, if it goes away, they were correct, if not, they were wrong, they should credit the charge back to you, and you can resume using your modem, but call for a service call again and make them straighten this out. Keep calling someone will want to avoid the repeats eventually. Do not schedule end of the day appointments. Sooner is better for difficult to find issues.

Also for your own pretest, can you
ping 192.168.100.1 -t
at a cmd windows.

Then when the issue occurs, CTRL+C and see if you have any packet loss on your side of the network.
Also, open a second cmd window and ping the second hop in a tracert to www.google.com, with -t again check both and see if either is losing packets when it happens.

Here is the best advice I can give for an actual cable tech to help find the issues if you feel yours does not know what they are doing.

Fact: 4 times the frequency loses roughly twice the signal on a GOOD piece of cable you can verify by reading Arris cable technicians pocket guide RD24 item 6.1.1 (https://www.arris.com/globalassets/resources/other/cable-technician-pocket-guide.pdf , under Cable, Taps, Plug-ins, Passives ). This is the easiest way to test a single piece of coax to tell if its good. You find 2 carriers that are roughly 4 times the frequency [ie 100 and 400 Mhz or 50 and 200 etc... depending on what your spectrum has in use, in my FFO its 111 and 441 which is close enough to 444.], take level at the beginning and end of the cable for both carriers, do the math for the two carriers and see if the second [higher freq] has roughly twice the loss of the first [lower frequency] carrier. So check the drop and the modem outlet bare minimum this way. Note this is not precise so if you get 2.1db and 4.5db loss don't worry about it aslong as its under a full db off, consider it good. Personally, I round off to the nearest .5 db, and never have questions, but experience is the best teacher on how to use this. This used to be known as the 2/13 test in the analog days.

While at the ground block for the drop check , do an ingress scan of the entire spectrum [both return[US]and forward [DS] of the house side wires and make sure its clean, if no, find it and fix it.

Lastly locate the channel noted for having lower [34.5] SNR and correctable errors, but on your meter, and see what it says for MER and BER. MER is SNR as far as the cable world is concerned and BER is correctable and uncorrectable errors, leave it for about 5 minutes and see what it does.. If you meter says its substantially better on SNR and no BER(1.0e-9), then suggest the customer let you show them your modem works correct by having them lease it for a month, after that they can decide to keep leasing it, or buy their own. Your company stands to make rental cost off this and should be willing to HELP you do this. If this does not improve service offer them a simple credit for the rental for the month and return their owned modem as the active device.
 

Wacabletech06

Prominent
Jul 4, 2019
69
5
565
5
  1. Is this a house you live in, and if so do you own it or rent it?
  2. You said splitters and amps, like there are multiple of each, can you describe your coax network for the home?
Info:. Correctable and uncorrectable errors cannot be 100% avoided unless you live in a lab with the node, fiber, cmts, etc all housed within a single building where mother nature never touches it. The real world runs different than theoretical labs. That said, you have a lot of errors ina short time which is not normal. Some modems have bad software, and will log bogus errors, are you still having actual service issues or are you staring at a gui and want it to look nicer?

If you have another visit, all active outlets in the home need to be reachable, no pianos in front of them, large furniture, etc.. It's a cable tech not a interior design team or a furniture handler. That is your responsibility to take care of before they get there and if they can't get to it they can't look at it, and they can't fix it. Damaged cables can interfere with good cables from anywhere in the house to anywhere in the house and even neighbors homes. Dead wires, no one needs to touch as long as your sure they are dead. And no its not their job to know your house, that's the owners job. There is no standard, or blueprint that explains a house's wiring they keep on hand. This is why the fewer active outlets in a house the better for reliability. When in doubt, rewire used outlets to a single distribution point and abandon all others.

Also, is your drop underground or aerial. IE can you see it coming from a pole to your house? If not, is there a tube it comes up through or does it come straight out of the ground [usually near the power meter]?

I will advise you better after more info is presented but the way telecom works, is a call within a set time [31 days for my company] counts against a tech for not finding the issue. So keep calling if nothing else.

However, house wires, modems, ethernet cables, computers are all your property and you will be charged to diagnose them as the issue. multiple visits could mean multiple charges so ask the tech each visit to be sure. Once you start getting charged, its time to seek alternative help to avoid hundreds of dollars in calls. Generally there are multiple issues in a house. I never fix one thing, its tighten the fitting behind the plate here, replace that wire there, remove unused noise making wires you do not use, etc and then my subs are usually happy. Sometimes things are intermittent or happen when the techs are not there, these are hard to find because there is nothing to trace, like taking your car to a mechanic and telling him normally there is a squeak but its not there now. He can only guess where it came from: could be belt, pully, radio, fan hitting something, whistle from water seal, metal scraping metal inside or outside block, not even from your car, etc....

Power matter. MAKE SURE the PSU and the MODEM match thier output and input, the modem will say something like input 12VDC 1.0 AMP, and the PSU will say the SAME thing on its output or YOU HAVE THE WRONG ONE. This is way more common in houses than you think. People dont change the PSU when they change the modem, get it confused with speakers, routers, other electronic devices. Just because it fits does not mean it is the correct one and yes it matters. Wrong voltage is either over clocking or under clocking the processors inside. Wrong amperage [less only] means it can't run everything and some things will not run at all, maybe its led lights, maybe is modulator]. More amps than needed is not an issue except that PSU probably goes to a different device that is not powered properly. They are usually exact matches from PSU output to modem input specifications. You may need a magnifying glass or smart phone camera to snap a pic and zoom in to read the text.
 
Last edited:
Dec 23, 2019
14
1
15
0
  1. Is this a house you live in, and if so do you own it or rent it?
  2. You said splitters and amps, like there are multiple of each, can you describe your coax network for the home?
Info:. Correctable and uncorrectable errors cannot be 100% avoided unless you live in a lab with the node, fiber, cmts, etc all housed within a single building where mother nature never touches it. The real world runs different than theoretical labs. That said, you have a lot of errors ina short time which is not normal. Some modems have bad software, and will log bogus errors, are you still having actual service issues or are you staring at a gui and want it to look nicer?

If you have another visit, all active outlets in the home need to be reachable, no pianos in front of them, large furniture, etc.. It's a cable tech not a interior design team or a furniture handler. That is your responsibility to take care of before they get there and if they can't get to it they can't look at it, and they can't fix it. Damaged cables can interfere with good cables from anywhere in the house to anywhere in the house and even neighbors homes. Dead wires, no one needs to touch as long as your sure they are dead. And no its not their job to know your house, that's the owners job. There is no standard, or blueprint that explains a house's wiring they keep on hand. This is why the fewer active outlets in a house the better for reliability. When in doubt, rewire used outlets to a single distribution point and abandon all others.

Also, is your drop underground or aerial. IE can you see it coming from a pole to your house? If not, is there a tube it comes up through or does it come straight out of the ground [usually near the power meter]?

I will advise you better after more info is presented but the way telecom works, is a call within a set time [31 days for my company] counts against a tech for not finding the issue. So keep calling if nothing else.

However, house wires, modems, ethernet cables, computers are all your property and you will be charged to diagnose them as the issue. multiple visits could mean multiple charges so ask the tech each visit to be sure. Once you start getting charged, its time to seek alternative help to avoid hundreds of dollars in calls. Generally there are multiple issues in a house. I never fix one thing, its tighten the fitting behind the plate here, replace that wire there, remove unused noise making wires you do not use, etc and then my subs are usually happy. Sometimes things are intermittent or happen when the techs are not there, these are hard to find because there is nothing to trace, like taking your car to a mechanic and telling him normally there is a squeak but its not there now. He can only guess where it came from: could be belt, pully, radio, fan hitting something, whistle from water seal, metal scraping metal inside or outside block, not even from your car, etc....

Power matter. MAKE SURE the PSU and the MODEM match thier output and input, the modem will say something like input 12VDC 1.0 AMP, and the PSU will say the SAME thing on its output or YOU HAVE THE WRONG ONE. This is way more common in houses than you think. People dont change the PSU when they change the modem, get it confused with speakers, routers, other electronic devices. Just because it fits does not mean it is the correct one and yes it matters. Wrong voltage is either over clocking or under clocking the processors inside. Wrong amperage [less only] means it can't run everything and some things will not run at all, maybe its led lights, maybe is modulator]. More amps than needed is not an issue except that PSU probably goes to a different device that is not powered properly. They are usually exact matches from PSU output to modem input specifications. You may need a magnifying glass or smart phone camera to snap a pic and zoom in to read the text.
I am having actual service issues, the ping is spiking +20-100+ms every 5-10 seconds which is causing slow loading webpages and playing any online game not possible at all. It's not my house but my parents own it. all outlets are accessible to the techs. The wires are underground and come out of the ground near the meter on the side of the house.

When the tech's came today they removed an amplifier that was on the line as they said the signal was coming in to strong and from what I can see it looks like there is a 3-way splitter which then one of the cables goes into a 4 way splitter where the modem is then connected to. The power supply connected to the modem is the correct spec one for that modem.
 
Why did you let the tech leave without fixing the issue? I had a problem like this and eventually just disconnected the line and got another service. I spent far too much in bad service with them and they weren't fixing it.
 

Wacabletech06

Prominent
Jul 4, 2019
69
5
565
5
I am having actual service issues, the ping is spiking +20-100+ms every 5-10 seconds which is causing slow loading webpages and playing any online game not possible at all. It's not my house but my parents own it. all outlets are accessible to the techs. The wires are underground and come out of the ground near the meter on the side of the house.

When the tech's came today they removed an amplifier that was on the line as they said the signal was coming in to strong and from what I can see it looks like there is a 3-way splitter which then one of the cables goes into a 4 way splitter where the modem is then connected to. The power supply connected to the modem is the correct spec one for that modem.
So now you have no amplifiers and just a 3 way to a 4 way. I am going to guess it is a unbalanced 3 way with 3.5 leg feeding the 4 way making it basically 10.5 db loss from passives to your modem.

So its straight out of the ground with no pvc conduit around it. This is probably a 20+ year old drop, which may not be an issue, but should be checked using cable math and a signal level meter a the tap and ground block.

Can you post any errors logged by the modem since they left? Your MER's are still dropping to 34, while that is what the DOCSIS standard requires, I would think something is wrong there.

Depending on how determined and handy you are, get a universal screw driver [because every outlet will switch from flat head to Phillips and back for some unknown reason] and a 7/16" open ended wrench.

Remove each plate in the house and disconnect the fitting from the back of the plate, examine it, it needs to look similar to this:

https://showmecables-static.scdn3.secure.raxcdn.com/media/catalog/product/cache/e4d64343b1bc593f1c5348fe05efa4a6/p/r/profressional-series-rg6-f-type-coax-cable-25-122-006-1.jpg

These are compression fittings, with the insulator foam filling the hole at the bottom, with a straight stinger not exceeding 1/8" past the edge of the fitting. This is a good fitting visually [nothing beats a meter saying signal is good off of it], anything else, is not. if it looks like

this [retail crimp on with weather seal]
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61Gt3cx-a1L._AC_SY450_.jpg

or this [crimp on]
https://www.summitsource.com/Assets/ProductImages/CAB945.jpg

they are old or bad installation generally done by DIY or electricians using the cheapest parts they can get away with. Cable changed, so did the fittings. If you can see silver/copper mesh hanging out the back of the fitting, that means they did not use the proper tool to prep the wire, and the fitting needs to be replaced by someone with the correct tools. The foam insulator should look white, not clear or translucent, if it is not white the wire is old and what we call solid polyethylene insulator, which is more durable but has been found to inhibit signal transmission and thus increases attenuation of the signals and is considered bad due to this.

You'll also note in the second pic the foam insulator does not fill the hole, the stinger is too long, and not straight, its arced, ever so slightly, usually from being too long and hitting something inside the F81s when tightened on them. This will change the impedance of the cable and the behavior of it. Speaking of impedance, all cable should be 75 Ohms for TV, 50 Ohms is not for TV. Save 50 Ohm CABLE for a CB, marine, or ham radio, etc.. WE do not want your fittings looking like this.

With your levels, it is hard to advice you to run a temp outlet, since as soon as you bypass 2 splitters, your signals will be too high for that modem unless there is still a hidden amp in the house.
 
Dec 23, 2019
14
1
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Why did you let the tech leave without fixing the issue? I had a problem like this and eventually just disconnected the line and got another service. I spent far too much in bad service with them and they weren't fixing it.
The tech wasn't listening to anything I said... I showed him the high number of corrected packets and told him I think this is where the issue is coming from. The issue is that no one seems to understand what I mean when I say I have high latency/ping spikes. He even said to me if you aren't dropping a certain percentage of packets we don't have to do anything about it. He then showed me some app they use to make sure the power levels are correct and he said when I came they were all red and now they are all green so that's as much as I can do. Oh and they also didn't connect my cable back properly so I had no cable on my television which I then had to go fix myself. If they aren't able to connect a cable properly and broke more then they fixed I do not have much confidence they will be able to fix an issue in which they don't have an app telling them what to do.
 
Dec 23, 2019
14
1
15
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So now you have no amplifiers and just a 3 way to a 4 way. I am going to guess it is a unbalanced 3 way with 3.5 leg feeding the 4 way making it basically 10.5 db loss from passives to your modem.

So its straight out of the ground with no pvc conduit around it. This is probably a 20+ year old drop, which may not be an issue, but should be checked using cable math and a signal level meter a the tap and ground block.

Can you post any errors logged by the modem since they left? Your MER's are still dropping to 34, while that is what the DOCSIS standard requires, I would think something is wrong there.

Depending on how determined and handy you are, get a universal screw driver [because every outlet will switch from flat head to Phillips and back for some unknown reason] and a 7/16" open ended wrench.

Remove each plate in the house and disconnect the fitting from the back of the plate, examine it, it needs to look similar to this:

https://showmecables-static.scdn3.secure.raxcdn.com/media/catalog/product/cache/e4d64343b1bc593f1c5348fe05efa4a6/p/r/profressional-series-rg6-f-type-coax-cable-25-122-006-1.jpg

These are compression fittings, with the insulator foam filling the hole at the bottom, with a straight stinger not exceeding 1/8" past the edge of the fitting. This is a good fitting visually [nothing beats a meter saying signal is good off of it], anything else, is not. if it looks like

this [retail crimp on with weather seal]
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61Gt3cx-a1L._AC_SY450_.jpg

or this [crimp on]
https://www.summitsource.com/Assets/ProductImages/CAB945.jpg

they are old or bad installation generally done by DIY or electricians using the cheapest parts they can get away with. Cable changed, so did the fittings. If you can see silver/copper mesh hanging out the back of the fitting, that means they did not use the proper tool to prep the wire, and the fitting needs to be replaced by someone with the correct tools. The foam insulator should look white, not clear or translucent, if it is not white the wire is old and what we call solid polyethylene insulator, which is more durable but has been found to inhibit signal transmission and thus increases attenuation of the signals and is considered bad due to this.

You'll also note in the second pic the foam insulator does not fill the hole, the stinger is too long, and not straight, its arced, ever so slightly, usually from being too long and hitting something inside the F81s when tightened on them. This will change the impedance of the cable and the behavior of it. Speaking of impedance, all cable should be 75 Ohms for TV, 50 Ohms is not for TV. Save 50 Ohm CABLE for a CB, marine, or ham radio, etc.. WE do not want your fittings looking like this.

With your levels, it is hard to advice you to run a temp outlet, since as soon as you bypass 2 splitters, your signals will be too high for that modem unless there is still a hidden amp in the house.
These are all the errors currently on my modems event log:

View: https://imgur.com/a/lmnua3V


The weird thing I forgot to mention is that we have never had any issues before with internet ever in this house (nearly 20 years) some shoddy wifi at times but nothing to this scale. And I understand what you're saying for the connections but it's a bit over my head since I'm more of an electronics than an electrician kind of guy lol but I'll have one of my electrician friends take a look at what you said and come over and take a look. I am also having a tech come over again in a couple of hours so I have my fingers crossed! I'm sure they won't want to spend all their time on new years eve troubleshooting my issue though
 
Dec 23, 2019
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Update: Tech came out, couldn't figure out the issue and kept saying that it must be my router even though I explained at least 10 times that this issue occurs even when a computer is plugged straight into the modem. He then called his suprervisor and after he got off the phone said I need to try a new router/modem combo even though I again informed him that I replaced both the modem and router and the issue still persisted. Then he said it must be my wifi in which point I gave up and decided to mess around with it myself. I then realized that the channels have a very low S/N ratio and tried to fix the issue to no avail so it looks like I'll have to call yet another tech out, probably a supervisor at this point, to try to fix my S/N ratio
 

Wacabletech06

Prominent
Jul 4, 2019
69
5
565
5
These are all the errors currently on my modems event log:
The logs dated 1970 you can ignore, this is while the modem is rebooting and is normal to occur. The other logs T3, T4 on 12/30 is an issue with the cable system somehow.

At this point, let them substitute one of their modems for a month, if it goes away, they were correct, if not, they were wrong, they should credit the charge back to you, and you can resume using your modem, but call for a service call again and make them straighten this out. Keep calling someone will want to avoid the repeats eventually. Do not schedule end of the day appointments. Sooner is better for difficult to find issues.

Also for your own pretest, can you
ping 192.168.100.1 -t
at a cmd windows.

Then when the issue occurs, CTRL+C and see if you have any packet loss on your side of the network.
Also, open a second cmd window and ping the second hop in a tracert to www.google.com, with -t again check both and see if either is losing packets when it happens.

Here is the best advice I can give for an actual cable tech to help find the issues if you feel yours does not know what they are doing.

Fact: 4 times the frequency loses roughly twice the signal on a GOOD piece of cable you can verify by reading Arris cable technicians pocket guide RD24 item 6.1.1 (https://www.arris.com/globalassets/resources/other/cable-technician-pocket-guide.pdf , under Cable, Taps, Plug-ins, Passives ). This is the easiest way to test a single piece of coax to tell if its good. You find 2 carriers that are roughly 4 times the frequency [ie 100 and 400 Mhz or 50 and 200 etc... depending on what your spectrum has in use, in my FFO its 111 and 441 which is close enough to 444.], take level at the beginning and end of the cable for both carriers, do the math for the two carriers and see if the second [higher freq] has roughly twice the loss of the first [lower frequency] carrier. So check the drop and the modem outlet bare minimum this way. Note this is not precise so if you get 2.1db and 4.5db loss don't worry about it aslong as its under a full db off, consider it good. Personally, I round off to the nearest .5 db, and never have questions, but experience is the best teacher on how to use this. This used to be known as the 2/13 test in the analog days.

While at the ground block for the drop check , do an ingress scan of the entire spectrum [both return[US]and forward [DS] of the house side wires and make sure its clean, if no, find it and fix it.

Lastly locate the channel noted for having lower [34.5] SNR and correctable errors, but on your meter, and see what it says for MER and BER. MER is SNR as far as the cable world is concerned and BER is correctable and uncorrectable errors, leave it for about 5 minutes and see what it does.. If you meter says its substantially better on SNR and no BER(1.0e-9), then suggest the customer let you show them your modem works correct by having them lease it for a month, after that they can decide to keep leasing it, or buy their own. Your company stands to make rental cost off this and should be willing to HELP you do this. If this does not improve service offer them a simple credit for the rental for the month and return their owned modem as the active device.
 

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