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Old 10-18-2014, 08:59 AM   #1
atmuscarella
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Non-TiVo Network Question

Hello All,

This morning I found that my TiVo no longer had a network connection after doing a little testing I found that everything in my AV rack area except my Denon Receiver (Pandora worked on on the Denon Receiver) had network issues including a HTPC. My AV area was served by 2 Gigabit Trendnet green switches (one 5 port and one 8 port) all the lights were on and indicating everything was working. I have another 8 port Gigabit Trendnet green switch I keep for backup tried it and same results (actually at that point even the Denon receiver stopped working). Long story short after much more testing of everything put in an older 5 port Netgear GB switch and everything connect to it worked fine, tried each of the 3 Trendnet switches again and nothing worked when connect to them.

Anyone have any ideas what happened? The Trendnet swiches had been in place for at least a year, I tested the spare switch in the past and it worked then, and I have changed nothing on my network in weeks.

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Last edited by atmuscarella; 10-18-2014 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 10-18-2014, 06:47 PM   #2
unitron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atmuscarella View Post
Hello All,

This morning I found that my TiVo no longer had a network connection after doing a little testing I found that everything in my AV rack area except my Denon Receiver (Pandora worked on on the Denon Receiver) had network issues including a HTPC. My AV area was served by 2 Gigabit Trendnet green switches (one 5 port and one 8 port) all the lights were on and indicating everything was working. I have another 8 port Gigabit Trendnet green switch I keep for backup tried it and same results (actually at that point even the Denon receiver stopped working). Long story short after much more testing of everything put in an older 5 port Netgear GB switch and everything connect to it worked fine, tried each of the 3 Trendnet switches again and nothing worked when connect to them.

Anyone have any ideas what happened? The Trendnet swiches had been in place for at least a year, I tested the spare switch in the past and it worked then, and I have changed nothing on my network in weeks.

It seems odd that 2 same brand units would fail simultaneously and a third unit of that brand would also suddenly no longer work, but a different brand would.


What is upstream of all this and are you doing fixed IP or DHCP?

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Old 10-20-2014, 07:01 AM   #3
atmuscarella
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Hello again.

I have done some more testing and thought I would post the results. My AV area connects to my DSL modem/router via a 75 foot crossover cable I installed in 2006 when I connected my Series 2 TiVo directly to my computer (was still using dial-up at the time).

This crossover cable no longer works when plugged directly into any of my Trendnet switches however if I plug the crossover cable into my Netgear or D-Link switches it works fine and the Trendnet switches work fine if they are then plugged into one of those switches. Also tried the Trendnet switches in my Office which is served by a 50 foot straight threw cable to my DSL modem/router and all the Trendnet switches worked fine.

I guess I should plain on replacing the cable to my AV area but just ended up moving switches around for now.

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Old 10-21-2014, 12:56 AM   #4
Worf
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Looks like the auto-cross behavior of the switches might be busted (it's part of the spec for GigE). Or more likely, the wall warts are gone.

Most cheap networking gear fail because the ultracheap wall warts they come with go out of spec and gives bad power to the device which causes all sorts of problems.

If you want to keep those things, you might want to buy replacement wall warts. They're almost always switching power supplies and caps in them go bad quite often (like TiVo power supplies!).

No need to replace the cable - you just need to reterminate one end to go from cross to straight.

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Old 10-21-2014, 08:23 AM   #5
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I can't say I've ever had a power supply go bad with the four dozen+ gigabit switches I've used over the last ten+ years at home. WIth Linksys, Netgear, Dlink, and newer version Dlink GigE switches. But I've certainly seen them die with a few other devices over the years.

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Old 10-21-2014, 05:19 PM   #6
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I had a power supply go bad on a router which caused some strange problems.

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Old 10-22-2014, 06:18 AM   #7
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I can't say I've ever had a power supply go bad with the four dozen+ gigabit switches I've used over the last ten+ years at home. WIth Linksys, Netgear, Dlink, and newer version Dlink GigE switches. But I've certainly seen them die with a few other devices over the years.
I had never had one fail either but over the last couple years I've had 2 Dlink GigE power adapters fail. Not total failure as the switch still had lights but low voltage/current under load.

Scott

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Old 10-23-2014, 12:53 AM   #8
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That's usually how they fail. They don't die, they either have extremely dirty extremely noisy power (i.e., it glitches the system with noise), or it fails to produce enough power.

The power adapters are cheap, and under no load they probably measure just fine. Put them under a real load and they can perform terrible. However, tolerances are such that even though your 12V regulated adapter has degraded down to 9V or so, it's still enough for the LDOs and DC-DC converters to operate, in general. SO it appears to work. But start putting them under load and even those regulators may shut down briefly because the input supply dips from the demand, causing all sorts of havoc because the power interruption isn't long enough to force a reset and normal operation, but enough to glitch the system.

If the power adapters are getting noticably hotter, well, there you go.

And yes, the failure mode is often "it doesn't produce what it says on the label". They rarely go completely kaput. At that point, it's up to how well designed the product is (I'd say the adapters are generally good for 1-2 years before they start failing).

Yes, digital logic is surprisingly touchy, too. Especially consumer gear built to a price. My old PC always crashed under specific heavy loads after a while - it just locked up completely. I went into the BIOS and boosted the CPU voltage by a mere 50mV, and the system became rock solid.

In the average case, it's probably fine. But when power demands spike suddenly, boom, chips get left in weird and complex states. Heck, when your switch gets a broadcast packet that causes it to blink all the LEDs might be enough to put the system over the edge because the sudden blink causes voltage spiles and dips.

Just so you know, those adapters typically cost around $3 in bulk. You can figure out the quality of the parts you're getting when it's $3 in bulk, including the manufacturer's margins.

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