Solving Network Problems – Bad Cable…

April 15th, 2008 by steve

The network at my office has been giving me fits since I moved in. It’s a brand new building with brand new wiring. I was excited to put my computers and router into the offices and get to work.

But from day one I had trouble with my networking. It would work great then run extremely slow. I played with MTU. I complained to my DSL provider. I flashed routers. I replaced routers. I ran DD-WRT firmware. Nothing fixed it… until I thought of something called RFI.

RFI, as every ham radio operator knows, is Radio Frequency Interference. Computers make lots of it. When I moved into my new building, I was walking past a trash pile left by the elevator installation people. There were networking cables (used in the elevator, I would assume) wrapped and packaged laying on the heap. I thought, “These would work great in the office.” What I didn’t think about was the fact that they were ribbon cable — completely unshielded.

Well — you know the rest. I replaced them with shielded cat-5 cable and the networking problems disappeared.

Sometimes being a Scotsman has its problems.

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