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nesincg
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Joined: Jul 14, 2005
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 12:33 am    Post subject: RT31P2 phone port dead after storm. Reply with quote Back to top

Problem:
Ok, I canít be the only person that lives in the southeast and is having these problems. Mother nature just blew my 3rd RT31P2 router today, the day it arrived. The problem Iím having is whenever a lightning storm passes nearby, the phone ports on the router will stop working but otherwise the router functions normally. Line1 will blink on for a half second then off. Line1 and 2 will blink on for a second and then off. This sequence repeats every 10 seconds or so. This means it is dead.

Background:
For those of you who donít live in the southeast, let me tell you about the weather. It is nice a lot of the year, even in the summer. I can give you the forecast from now until the end of August. Partly cloudy, high 93, chance of thunderstorms. Some weeks are worse than others. These last few have been terrible.

Details:
I had Vonage for 2 weeks and was preaching to everyone I knew how cool it was. I was so surprised by how great it worked. Then we had a summer storm and phone1 stopped working. After over an hour with India, we got phone2 working as my primary line. This worked for about another week until our next set of storms passed the neighborhood.

Then the second phone line went dead. Another hour on my cell phone with 4 people and the router phone line was dead. Lights flashed as previously mentioned.

A new router was sent to me. It worked for about 4 days until the next storm, dead. Same set of flashing lights. Another two hours as I was luckily finally able to get a guy named Chris that seems to what he is doing. But now Iím out of cell phone minutes and we are doing this over email.

They send me a new router after several DAYS of troubleshooting. It arrived today and worked fine. I went to the store this evening. Before I left the weather was fine. When I was there, a storm passed overhead. I got back and the modem is doing the same flashing lights. Phone1 blinks, then phone1 and 2 blink, repeats every 10 seconds.

My conclusion:
This model router (RT31P2) is way too susceptible to electrical charges in the air. It is junk. Everything is on a surge protector. None of the storms that caused this were any kind of a direct hit to the house. One of the storms was weak and didnít even rain. I have dozens of electrical equipment plugged in (4 computers, printers, cable boxes, TVs, etc) and none of these received any damage. On the latest router, I even installed a phone surge protector in between the router and any other connection.

I have the router hooked up to the phone lines in the house, but Iím pretty sure that isnít the problem. I unhooked the phone wires outside the house. Ironically, the same day a dead limb fell on the phone line and it severed it. There is no way and outside surge comes through the phone line.

Here are the things Iíve done so far on the router:
Router Reset
Modem, the router reset
Router factory default reset
Hold down reset button reset
Hold down reset button, turn off, then release and turn on reset
Hold down reset button, turn off, then on, then release button reset (whatever they told me to do, I did)

Solution:
Iím open to any thoughts or miracle solutions.
Up the minutes on my cell phone and give up on Vonage?

Others?
I'd love to hear from any others having this problem.

My expertise level:
Pretty good. Iíve installed a few networks so I understand the setup and why stuff works.
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VonageTPA
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Joined: Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 1715
Location: Florida (usually)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Living in the lightning capital of the western hemisphere, I've learned a thing or two about lightning and I'd suggest you check your grounding. What equipment do you have connected & how is it connected to the RT31P2? You say you've disconnected the outside wiring, but what is the status of the ground on there? If it's still connected and isn't bonded to the house's electrical ground, there's your problem. I've seen more equipment damaged due to multiple grounds than no ground at all.
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dabones
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Joined: Jan 31, 2005
Posts: 508
Location: London, ON (519) & Columbia, SC (803)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

we had a storm up here in Ontario yesterday, major lightning show, I had unplugged my computer and everything, anyways, last night aftewr the weather calmed down, i plugged everything iun, the router re-booted, and line 1 is lit solid, I had a dial tone, coudl call out, but when I called in to Vonage, it would ring once and hang up, I tried from my parents house and from my own cell phone, now this morning, when I call it rigns and rings and goes to voicemail, but my Vonage phone doesa not ring at all, and when I pick it up, there is just werid static, no dial tone anymore.. light is still on, I tried re-booting everything before I came to work, just talked to wife (on MSN) and she says it's still not working..

I'll try and call Vonage tonight.. anyone else in the Southern Ontario area get knocked out last night by the storm??

_________________
Using Vonage (RT31P2) since Jan 05
on Rogers Cable -- 1M/256K

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Trowski
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Joined: May 16, 2005
Posts: 1389
Location: Putnam, CT

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Well I can tell you we are currently getting CLOBBERED here in FL by a storm just had a VERY close strike, enough to dim the lights..and I am still up so far...
Will keep updated if I am still around! Very Happy

UPDATE-HOLY MOLY!
Storm has passed, and was one of the more intense ones I have seen here in a while. Extremely frequent and VERY close strikes, multiple surges going through the lines. But I have to say my RT3 was a champ. Mulitple surges were going through the lines, and almost lost power 5-6 times. The phone lights on the RT went out 3 times, but after 20 seconds or so both lines were back on and working..

Conclusion-I have not had an issue with the RT and weather, even through the hurricanes (Jeanne and Francis) last year..I would really have to point to the internal wiring in the house.
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dabones
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Joined: Jan 31, 2005
Posts: 508
Location: London, ON (519) & Columbia, SC (803)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I just got off the phoen with Tech Support, only had to wait baout 5 mins too.. Smile hehe .. the guy had me go throught hte usual stuff, but I told him I did that already, I asked hium about changing phone ports, so he did that and it now works fine.. ..

so I dont' know what happened, but I am going to be checking grounds on my phone lines before plugging the house back in..

it was weird, cuz my phone line 1 was lit solid, and my registration status was Online, but even when I picked up the phone it would still say Idle..

_________________
Using Vonage (RT31P2) since Jan 05
on Rogers Cable -- 1M/256K

** Notice, GrandCentral.com has been purchased by google.. they are now 'invite only' .. PM me if you would like an invite..
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Trowski
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Joined: May 16, 2005
Posts: 1389
Location: Putnam, CT

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Must be that Canuck voice transfer.... Very Happy Just kidding...

Well if it was a grounding issue it would have most likely fried the router completely...Not just knock out one phone port..but then again I could be wrong..
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nesincg
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

VonageTPA wrote:
but what is the status of the ground on there? If it's still connected and isn't bonded to the house's electrical ground, there's your problem..


You may be on to something. Can you explain in more detail? Is there a way to test? I have a real old house. If the phone line is not grounded in the house or to anything, then a charge could build up?

We had a lightning storm this afternoon that lasted 3 hours. I'm sure it would have taken out a router had it worked.

I have cable modem
10/100 to router with phone ports
10/100 to wireless hub
all are plugged into surge protector.

phone line runs through surge protector before plugging into router (but only on the last blow, so this isn't the problem)
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Trowski
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Location: Putnam, CT

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Nesincg, where are you located?
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VonageTPA
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Joined: Jul 11, 2005
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Location: Florida (usually)

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

"Real old house"... you might have the opposite problem of what you think it is.. The key with lightning damage is to determine what happened & why. To put it in simple terms.... lightning & power surges are lazy. It gets into the house/electrical system from somewhere & leaves from somewhere else. While it's virtually impossible to totally eliminate all avenues for lightning to get into your house, giving it a good way out is the desirable thing to do.

If lightning & surges are damaging equipment, it's usually because the equipment provided a better path to ground than the electrical system did, at least from the lightning's prospective. You mentioned that you have an old house, in which case I'd suspect the house's grounding system to be questionable. I'm assuming you mean "southeastern" United States and not England, 'though this would apply, just different voltages & plugs. Does the house have 3-prong outlets? Did it originally have 2-prong (ungrounded)?

As far as checking things out, unless you're aware of electrical wiring, you'll have an idea of what you need to check out... otherwise, I wouldn't recommend playing around with it too much. If the house is older than 50 yrs, you might want to pick up one of these: http://216.245.175.12/AVCAT/images%2Fproducts%2Fdetail%2FCT120_detail.jpg

It'll at least confirm if there's something resembling a ground wire connected to the right place, etc. You can pick one up for ~$5 at most hardware stores.

Another thing you can do is look at the phone network interface box outside. It should have a ground wire running from it to a grounding rod (preferably the same one that the house's electrical system is on). If it's on its own and it's not tied into the house, you can come up with the following scenero (which does happen, btw)... Lightning will strike the ground nearby, but not at your house... that current travels through the ground. Let's say you have two grounding rods, one for phone, one for power and they're 12 feet apart. Copper wire is (almost always) more conductive than soil, so as this lightning current is travelling through the ground, it's going to take the path of least resistance... which would be the copper instead of the soil. So, it zips along the electrical system. In the process, anything that provides a decent connection to ground gets a piece of the action.

When the grounding system's working correctly, these type of surges are "unappealing" to the lightning surge b/c it's a virtual dead-end, and with only one ground point, the copper wiring doesn't hprovide an alternatve path for the lightning, so it continues through the soil and goes on its merry way. BUT, all it takes is a dodgy ground somewhere in the system to change that. Lately I've hit a bunch of bad cable amplifiers which were leaking voltage on the cable line (hitting 60vAC on the CATV line isn't fun) and

This is a VERY simplistic way of looking at it, but I hope it'll give you an idea of what might have happened and where to start looking.

Trowski believe it or not, grounding issues won't totally kill equipment. I have a video switcher on my workbench which was in a TV facility with a nearby lightning strike... blew out the port on which the tower camera was connected to, but the rest of the unit is fine (including the card).
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nesincg
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Trowski wrote:
Nesincg, where are you located?

JAX
Talkin
College Football
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
Krystals
and lightning

I'm pretty good with electrical stuff and have a voltmeter. I have three prong outlets in this part of the house and they are grounded. I'm not sure if that really matters all that much as the router does not have a three prong connection. It uses the neutral, also a ground.

I checked my service box for the phone and there is no ground at all. See, none of these are a result of any direct strike to the house. I'm thinking a static charge builds up in the system and goes out any way it can. Is it possible to ground my phone line? Which one do you ground? If this where newer lines I would imagine the striped one.

My other thought is: As you spoke about the lightning, I was thinking about the phone line that used to be attached to a phone pole. It is now laying on the ground outside due to a large dead limb.This is disconnected from the system but perhaps it is enough to spark the gap from where I disconnected it. All this leads to a big charge in the line that goes out through my router..

Thanks all for the help.
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