Extension Cord Slowing Connection?
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Thread: Extension Cord Slowing Connection?

  1. #1
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    Question Extension Cord Slowing Connection?

    Does anyone here know how a faulty extension cord could slow down an internet connection?

    My problem: I have an extension cord, which, when used to bring power to my modem and router, which are located in the laundry room at the phone demarcation point, slows my connection to a crawl. On DSL I'm normally getting around 1.7 Mbps. With this stupid orange extension cord I might manage 50k if I'm lucky. I know it's not grounded properly, but I don't see what difference that would make as the ground wire does not normally carry a charge that could create an EM field. When I use a different extension cord, I'm back up to my normal speed again. I'm thinking it might be the shielding, maybe because the apparently faulty one is of a thicker guage, or maybe the longer cord has more length to create an EM field? I'm just guessing here though... This phenomenon has me baffled; I've never seen anything like it. Although I can solve the problem with a different cord, it's kinda too short, and I'm gonna be racking my brain with it until I find an answer. Has anyone seen this problem before?
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  2. #2
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    How close is the extension cord to your equipment? Try either changing extensions cords or moving the trouble one far away from your equipment as possible. You could even try using shielded network cable.

    I'm having trouble picturing how your setup is. If you have the extension cord running from the laundry room to where your modem and router are (in another room or whatever) or is the modem and router in the laundry room with the extension cord?

  3. #3
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    It's probably due to the faulty ground. Network equipment (i believe) uses the ground to determine off state over a piece of media. This is why it is important that all equimpent be proberly grounded.

    Example

    Lets say we have two buildings, building a and building b. If we have say a typical cat 5 cable running between these two buildings and the ground is diffrent, electtricity will flow from the more neg. building to the less neg. building. I believe this is how it works.

    This could be why your extention cord is slowing your connection. Hope this helps. Its been a while since I have studied this so if anyone wants to set me straigt, please go right ahead.

    DeafLamb

  4. #4
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    I guess I should have clarified. The extension cord is used to bring power to the surge bar, which distributes it to the modem and router. When the surge bar used to connect the router and modem is plugged in via this orange extension cord, the connection slows to stupid slow. When I unplug the surge bar and replace the extension cord with a different one, now powering the equipment with a different cord, I'm back to my usual super ludicrous speed. It doesn't matter how far away the slack cord is lying. It's obviously a bad extension cord causing the problem, but why? Using a different cord, I'm even getting more bandwidth than my ISP advertises.

    Yes, I know I've already solved the problem, but I haven't answered the question. Why is this happening? Hopefully an answer to this question will help me sometime later setting up a different network.
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  5. #5
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    i've never really thought about why an extension cord could cause your slow speed, usually if something like that is bad i'll just replace it rather than sit there and mess with a bad cable. If it wasn't grounder properly, then that may very well be your problem.


    The extension cord that works perfectly....is it the same kind of extension cord as the orange one, as in wire gauge, length, thinkness, etc....?

    *EDIT*
    in regards to your speed...how close are you to the phone company's Central Office?

    The closer to the CO you are, the faster your speed is. The opposite holds true as well.
    *END EDIT*

  6. #6
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    IMHO

    Your extension is not properly earthed............I have no idea why it produces the slowdown, other than it is not working properly?

    IMHO again, I do not think that EMF fields are involved......I have done a bit there.... so just go with what works and forget the rest. Just remember it could be a problem source in the future?...and replace the kit if it happens.

    Good Luck
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  7. #7
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    It must be the lack of grounding, since I have eliminated all other possibilities once EM fields are ruled out. It's just strange that *nobody* seems to understand why. I have asked several professors, experts in the field of telecommunications, and nobody knows why. So far Deaflamb's suggestion seems the most plausible: network equipment uses the ground to distinguish between its electrical and logical components. This is just bugging me because I don't know why.
    Government is like fire - a handy servant, but a dangerous master - George Washington
    Government is not reason, it is not eloquence - it is force. - George Washington.

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  8. #8
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    Deaflambs explanation is correct. Network equipment uses the ground to determine the state of the media. Also with a faulty extension, the transmission media would seem to be dirty bcos of the noise generated by the faulty extension..

    If your extension cord is not grounded properly, the equipment cannot properly determine the ground and thus will not know how stable the transmission media is. Also the noise will mean that the transmision media is not clean and less likely to be able to take high throughput. The network equipment will then determine roughly what the optimum speed to transmit is and then transmit at that speed. with the faulty extension, the ground is not stable and the added noise will lead it to think it should transmitat a slower speed to prevent tooo much packet loss leading to retansmission that will slow down the speed even more.

    I hope this explanation helps clear your doubts. I know what its like to know how to solve the problem but dont know the explanation behind the problem and the solution.

  9. #9
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    It's starting to make more sense now... I'll have to pencil out some diagrams maybe. Thanks for the help. Maybe with some more searching I can find a better online source.
    Government is like fire - a handy servant, but a dangerous master - George Washington
    Government is not reason, it is not eloquence - it is force. - George Washington.

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  10. #10
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    In Audio equipment, as can also be the case in communication equipment "Earth Loops" will create "Noise" normaly apparent as HUM.. in this case here the Niose/Hum is created by the two devices creating there earth current path via the POTS .. this interference is causes packets to be dropped.. hence the slow down

    best I can do at this time.. you have the solution, and a rough expalination..

    Cheers
    "Consumer technology now exceeds the average persons ability to comprehend how to use it..give up hope of them being able to understand how it works." - Me http://www.cybercrypt.co.nr

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