One of the drawbacks of living outside of city limits in Iowa… Internet connectivity is an issue. Century Link (formerly Qwest) is the telco for the area and our ISP. The service has never been stable, or even close. If good fortune was smiling upon us, it would stay connected for 6 hours or so. I think it was more normal to get 15-90 minutes of internets at a time. A tech did look at our connection, and things have improved, but it’s still not great.

I wanted to test the house wiring before blaming the ISP or the house. Luckily CenturyLink has a support page on exactly this topic. http://qwest.centurylink.com/internethelp/wired-dmarc.html

Unplugged the house and plugged directly into the line feeding the house.

And compare the signal levels from inside to outside…

The only change I was able to find was the estimated loop length doubled. I have no idea what this means.

A full screenshot of the modem status from earlier in the day. The signal definitely does fluctuate through the day.

Better log its behavior to see if it gives any clues as to why it’s so terrible.

Instead of figuring out logging disconnections for myself, I remembered a post I had seen a while. While I modified it slightly, it’s almost exactly a copy of http://blog.thelifeofkenneth.com/2010/12/track-changing-public-ip-addresses-with.html

The connection is so unstable that I might miss a new IP if I were to run it on the hour, so I have it running every minute.

Data from Aug 3, 2012

---- Public IP Address Log ---- Fri Aug 3 00:06:01 CDT 2012 % Fri Aug 3 00:14:01 CDT 2012 % 97.119.60.227 Fri Aug 3 00:19:01 CDT 2012 % Fri Aug 3 00:22:01 CDT 2012 % 97.119.71.187 Fri Aug 3 00:24:01 CDT 2012 % Fri Aug 3 01:15:01 CDT 2012 % 97.119.58.160 Fri Aug 3 01:53:01 CDT 2012 % 97.119.70.121 Fri Aug 3 01:54:01 CDT 2012 % 97.119.65.81 Fri Aug 3 01:55:01 CDT 2012 % 97.119.68.169 Fri Aug 3 01:57:01 CDT 2012 % Fri Aug 3 10:09:01 CDT 2012 % 97.119.69.225 Fri Aug 3 10:11:01 CDT 2012 % Fri Aug 3 11:00:01 CDT 2012 % 97.119.57.95 Fri Aug 3 11:13:01 CDT 2012 % Fri Aug 3 11:24:01 CDT 2012 % 97.119.70.198

I’m starting with the assumption that line conditions aren’t going to change as quickly as IP. I’ve modified my cable modem monitoring to scrape the data from the ZyXEL PK5000Z DSL modem/router. http://www.ragingcomputer.com/2011/11/cable-modem-monitoring-w-perl

I’ve formatted the output to a table.

Date | Time | Broadband Status |
ISP Status |
Down SNR |
Up SNR |
Down Atten- uation |
Up Atten- uation |
Down Pwr |
Up Pwr |

08/03/2012 | 00:00:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 21 | 7 | 45 | 31 | 18 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 00:15:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 17 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 14 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 00:30:02 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 00:45:02 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 01:00:01 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 01:15:01 | CONNECTING | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 01:30:02 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 13 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 18 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 01:45:02 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 16 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 18 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 02:00:01 | CONNECTING | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 02:15:01 | CONNECTING | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 02:30:01 | CONNECTING | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 02:45:01 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 03:00:01 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 03:15:01 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 03:30:01 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 03:45:01 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 04:00:01 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 04:15:01 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 04:30:02 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 04:45:01 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 05:00:01 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 05:15:01 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 05:30:01 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 05:45:02 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 06:00:01 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 06:15:02 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 06:30:01 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 06:45:02 | CONNECTING | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 07:00:01 | CONNECTING | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 07:15:01 | CONNECTING | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 07:30:02 | CONNECTING | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 07:45:01 | CONNECTING | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 08:00:01 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 08:15:01 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 08:30:01 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 08:45:01 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 09:00:01 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 09:15:01 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 09:30:01 | CONNECTING | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 09:45:01 | CONNECTING | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 10:00:01 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 10:15:01 | CONNECTING | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 10:30:01 | CONNECTING | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 10:45:01 | CONNECTING | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 11:00:01 | NOT CONNECTED | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 11:15:01 | CONNECTING | NOT CONNECTED | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A |

08/03/2012 | 11:30:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 20 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 11:45:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 21 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 12:00:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 12:15:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 12:30:02 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 12:45:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 13:00:02 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 13:15:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 13:30:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 13:45:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 14:00:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 14:15:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 14:30:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 14:45:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 15:00:02 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 15:15:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 15:30:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 15:45:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 16:00:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 16:15:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 16:30:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 16:45:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 17:00:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 17:15:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 17:30:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 17:45:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 18:00:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 18:15:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 18:30:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 18:45:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 19:00:02 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 19:15:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 19:30:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 19:45:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 20:00:02 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 20:15:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 20:30:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 20:45:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 21:00:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 21:15:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 21:30:02 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 21:45:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 22:00:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 22:15:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 22:30:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 22:45:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 23:00:02 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 23:15:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 23:30:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |

08/03/2012 | 23:45:01 | CONNECTED | CONNECTED | 22 | 6 | 48 | 31 | 15 | 12 |