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Modem Problem?

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Modem Problem?

Postby Bwis53 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:39 pm

Do modems die all at once or can they start to act up before? I've had to restart mine three times this past week.
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Re: Modem Problem?

Postby Detritus » Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:33 pm

Bwis53 wrote:Do modems die all at once or can they start to act up before? I've had to restart mine three times this past week.

I've never heard of a mass die-off of modems, although once in the 1970s an entire herd of terminals died when zombies choked the pipe.
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Re: Modem Problem?

Postby snoqueen » Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:13 pm

Of course Detritus is right, but here's my two cents:

Modems can die gradually, like say a lawn.

They'll come back to life, work badly, not start at all, and then resurrect themselves repeatedly. When mine did this I finally called TDS (after restarting the thing two or three times a day), TDS said my modem was unbelievably old (well, they'd sent it to me years before) and sent me a new one.

After that, no more problems.
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Re: Modem Problem?

Postby Dust Mite Rodeo » Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:33 pm

Quite the coincidence. My TDS DSL modem (Actiontec) has just developed a failure mode where it doesn't want to restart if you cycle the power using the switch on the back. The work-around is to yank out the power cord and plug it back in with the switch on. This is eerily similar to problem my Panasonic camera has developed (need to pull battery and ram it back in). I wonder if they don't build pre-determined croakage into these things.
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Re: Modem Problem?

Postby Bwis53 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:53 pm

Thanks all. I've got TDS DSL. When my modem died last year they sent me a new one. While I was waiting I used an old ATT modem. Looks like I've gotta quit being lazy and try out the TDS modem I just packed away new.
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Re: Modem Problem?

Postby snoqueen » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:13 pm

If you have trouble, you may want to call their tech support and have them walk you through the setup of the new modem, since it sounds like you're not a tech wizard (no insult intended). They're helpful.

Incidentally, the TDS one I replaced was an old Actiontec. They're using something different these days. They seemed to find it bizarre I'd hung on to the Actiontec for so long, but if it was working, who cares?
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Re: Modem Problem?

Postby green union terrace chair » Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:03 pm

Do not discount possible lightning strike. A small surge in voltage can damage more sensitive electronics while leaving others unscathed (so the only thing you might have noticed is this failing modem).
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Re: Modem Problem?

Postby Petro » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:22 am

snoqueen wrote:Incidentally, the TDS one I replaced was an old Actiontec. They're using something different these days. They seemed to find it bizarre I'd hung on to the Actiontec for so long, but if it was working, who cares?


They were still issuing new Actiontec modems last year, so it's weird that they'd act like it's odd that you had one.

Then again, my experiences with TDS first-line tech support don't leave me thinking that they're especially experienced, talented or otherwise informed.

Slightly related: I'm canceling my TDS service today after a couple years of using them. Charter's offering me twice the bandwidth (and delivering on it - I spent the weekend testing at various times of day) for less than half the cost. ($30 vs. ~$70 for 30mb vs 15mb).

The real clincher was the POTS line that TDS insists you have, so they can hit you with an extra $11 in fees. (Most of those going straight to TDS, mind you.) TDS offered to match Charter's rate, but the extra taxes and fees attached to that phone line from TDS still leave you spending >$40 each month.
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Re: Modem Problem?

Postby snoqueen » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:02 am

That's all interesting and I'm reading it thoughtfully. But what happens when you have a billing issue or service issue? The reason I stick with TDS is they've been available and helpful on both, while Charter has a reputation for being about as customer-friendly as the Vatican. And I don't care for Charter's first-year bargain rates followed by some huge unspecified price jump, though maybe that isn't the deal you signed up for.

I have to take back what I said about the old Actiontec and the new modem. The old one was the size of a small phone book, the new one more like a package of sardines. They're both Actiontec, just totally different models -- I just went and checked on the bottom. The top says something different.
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Re: Modem Problem?

Postby Petro » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:48 am

snoqueen wrote:That's all interesting and I'm reading it thoughtfully. But what happens when you have a billing issue or service issue? The reason I stick with TDS is they've been available and helpful on both, while Charter has a reputation for being about as customer-friendly as the Vatican. And I don't care for Charter's first-year bargain rates followed by some huge unspecified price jump, though maybe that isn't the deal you signed up for.


That's certainly a gamble that I'm making. I'd previously had Charter when I lived on the east side and had nothing but problems. The techs were sympathetic, but they insisted that the infrastructure was poor enough in that area that my cable performance would never be reliable.

That's what pushed me to DSL in the first place, really. I'd always had a cable modem in the cities where I'd previously resided.

As far as service issues, TDS isn't that great - at least in my own personal experience. I had a weird issue with the wiring in my place that took 9 months and more than a half-dozen service calls to finally resolve. (It was an intermittent issue that'd cause my service to constantly drop, so I'd fight with TDS until I was sick of dealing with their incompetence and then give up and live with the problem for a few months - until it irritated me enough that'd I wade back in for another round with TDS tech support.)

If all else fails and Charter drops the ball, I can always go back to TDS. If nothing else they'll give me another year of promotional pricing.

FWIW, Charter's rates only rise to $44.99 after the first year. No contract. That's still less than I've been paying TDS for the last two years, and only one of those years has been free of problems.
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Re: Modem Problem?

Postby rabble » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:04 pm

I know everybody's answered that question just fine but I'll jump in anyway and say that modems are made of mostly transistors, capacitors, and resistors with a few other components that turn them into modems and all of those can slowly over time go out of tolerance. Which is another way of saying anything electronic will usually start to get wonky first, and then fail instead of just failing all at once.

For the latter it usually means a blown fuse or broken connection some place.

Okay I admit that's the way it was when I repaired circuit boards in the 80s but I'm pretty sure that's still the way it is.
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