FTTP installation questions.

ron swanson

Active Member
What's the cable that is connected from hub to switch, if that is also lit up gigabit then that should not be a bottleneck either

I'll try and give you a run down as best I can:

The white box openreach installed
Cable to Wan (Red port on smart hub 2)
The cable in question is then plugged into the Yellow ethernet port marked 1.
This cable then runs all the way around the house into the annex where it is plugged into the switch in port one.
Port 2 is connected to the AP
Port 3 is connected to the Sky Q mini.

Wifi speeds on the smart hub are between 140mg and 150.

Having just had a look on BT forums there seems to be a suggestion that putting a switch between the white box and the homehub and cabling from there might help. I would still need the second switch in the annex for Sky and the AP. Would 2 switches cause any issues do you think?

Apologies for not saying earlier but thanks for the info.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
How short of a distance would you consider short because this is a really long cable, I'm not sure exactly how long meters wise but it's definitely not what I would consider a short distance.

How would I go about checking the wiring? Is it something that can be rewired easily?

I plugged this cable directly into the access point I'm using and it tops out at around 95 meg. If I plug the AP it directly into the home hub it tops out at around 140meg.
At this point I am thinking just order a new cable from Amazon and temporarily run it round the house to just test the connection between the two devices. If it fixes the problem then you know its the cable and you can route the new one neatly or if its not then its only a few quid to return it to Amazon and you know its not the cable.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Are you moving the actual AP into a different room to test though with a short lead though as that could well explain a 95 to 140 meg difference particularly if there is some channel interference.

Just moving an AP will actually potentially make a difference. You need to do a hardwired test.
 

ron swanson

Active Member
Are you moving the actual AP into a different room to test though with a short lead though as that could well explain a 95 to 140 meg difference particularly if there is some channel interference.

Just moving an AP will actually potentially make a difference. You need to do a hardwired test.

The AP was set up in the annex due to the distance from the house and lack of signal, it's connected to the hub via ethernet otherwise I wouldn't get any sort of signal.

The AP plugged directly into the home hub with a short cable was if memory serves 120 meg. Not sure if I made it clear in previous posts the cable from the house to the annex is really long probably 150 feet at least.

The drop in speed in the annex isn't the end of the world having just come off a 5meg connection, if in the future speed becomes an issue I might look at new cables etc but at the moment it's not something that I can remedy within the existing setup I'll probably leave it be for a while.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
I get why the AP is in the annex but I am not certain if you got was I was trying to say.

In short, the fact you have moved (albeit temporarily) the AP from the annex to the room with the home hub is enough to rule it out as a sound test of speed. (am assuming you physically moved into the other room).

WiFi is still generally only one thing can talk at a time so even if you are sat next to the router with your phone in both places, other devices\and or your neighbours can cause issues. You might want to do a channel scan in your annex to ensure you are not getting interference from your neighbours etc. It could also be connecting differently to 2.4 vs 5GHz which will account for a difference.

Wired ethernet is normally very consistent and as @mickevh 's helpful posts normally point does not vary in speed. It connects at a given speed, assuming the cable is not faulty which there is no reason to suspect that the Sky one is. Only one time in the years I have been on this forum have we had a cable issue that was unexplained after a swap. All the other ones have either been wired incorrectly or have some other physical issue.

Do you have a computer\laptop you can plug into the switch into the annex to test the hardwired connection?

Would 2 switches cause any issues do you think?

No, lots of networks have multiple switches. Normally, so long as only one cable connects them and there are no loops you are fine.
 

ron swanson

Active Member
I get why the AP is in the annex but I am not certain if you got was I was trying to say.

In short, the fact you have moved (albeit temporarily) the AP from the annex to the room with the home hub is enough to rule it out as a sound test of speed. (am assuming you physically moved into the other room).

WiFi is still generally only one thing can talk at a time so even if you are sat next to the router with your phone in both places, other devices\and or your neighbours can cause issues. You might want to do a channel scan in your annex to ensure you are not getting interference from your neighbours etc. It could also be connecting differently to 2.4 vs 5GHz which will account for a difference.

Wired ethernet is normally very consistent and as @mickevh 's helpful posts normally point does not vary in speed. It connects at a given speed, assuming the cable is not faulty which there is no reason to suspect that the Sky one is. Only one time in the years I have been on this forum have we had a cable issue that was unexplained after a swap. All the other ones have either been wired incorrectly or have some other physical issue.

Do you have a computer\laptop you can plug into the switch into the annex to test the hardwired connection?



No, lots of networks have multiple switches. Normally, so long as only one cable connects them and there are no loops you are fine.

Plugged my laptop into both directly into the cable running from the router to the annex and then through my switch both times the speedtest was giving me 90meg I ran the test on both setups 4 times and the results were more or less identical.

I'm sat here typing while using the AP wirelessly and it's giving me 90meg this way too.

It was something I saw on a BT forum earlier that the smart hubs aren't brilliant with ethernet connections and a switch can be a good buffer. I might try my switch this way at the weekend and see what happens.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Does Windows also say you are connected at a gigabit?

Yes adding another switch won't hurt but you still have to go through the Home Hub on the way to the Internet at some point :D
 

ron swanson

Active Member
Does Windows also say you are connected at a gigabit?

Yes adding another switch won't hurt but you still have to go through the Home Hub on the way to the Internet at some point :D

No when I hovered over it with the mouse it just said ethernet, I really should've double checked in the more detailed setting but I'm attempting to multitask (albeit not very well!)

I've still got my old TP-Link AC1200 that I used before. I'm starting to think it might be a better bet than the homehub if thats whats causing the ethernet issue.

Not sure if I mentioned it before or not but I'm not a massive fan of home hubs!

My old setup was the AC1200 and an RE305 extender and it carried a 5 meg signal perfectly via wifi to the annex and that was all we got in the house too!!
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Could it be the homehub?

If you tell us exactly which one, we can check the spec. It's highly unlikely though if it's a Smarthub. All the symptoms you describe are just screaming "cable fault" or "10/100 switch."

More modern BT HH's are all gigabit capable. Somewhat older ones only have a singles gigabit port and the rest are all 100mbps. Really old ones are 100mbps only.

I wouldn't (yet) waste time mucking about with alternate routers, it's unlikely that's where the problem is.

Has your ethernet switch actually got two LED's in each port...? If it's only got one, it may not be indicating the connection speed. Your switch datasheet says it's gigabit capable, but whether it reports the connection speed on it's indicator lamps is dependent on the model.

How is the suspect cable presented - is onto sockets or plugs...? If it's on plugs, take a close look at them and see how many wire cores are in there - is it 4 or 8...? And what colour are they and in what order (both ends.)

If you can move your AP, you could prove it: Take your AP and switch to wherever your HH is. Get some cables that are "known" good (for gigabit) and connect them all together. Temporarily give your AP a different SSID (so you can be sure you are connecting to it) and test again. If you exceed 95mbps, then it's more evidence your new cable is culpable.

And since ChuckMoutain has mentioned my usual paragraph on the subject of ethenet speeds, I'll include it - ethernet works at fixed rates, it's 10/100/1000 or nothing. It doesn't gradually "get slower" because of the cable length. If "something" (whether it's cable length, a fault or a mis-wire) means a gigabit link cannot come up, then ethernet will fall down to 100mbps and if that won't work it'll try 10mbps and if that won't work it gives up. (Though it's decade since I saw a 10mbps link apart from some really ancient printers and some eftpos tills that "only". had 10mbps NIC's in them.)
 
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ron swanson

Active Member
I plugged my laptop into the smart hub directly and got 140 meg I'm pretty sure as mentioned it's something to do with the cable.

Sorry for sounding a bit dense but I don't really know what you mean when you say sockets or plugs.

I've just had a look at the end of the ethernet in the annex and it's either 3 or 4 different colours. I will check the other end when I get the chance hopefully tomorrow.

White is the second one in looking at it top down left to right

White, blue and orange. The one on the left hand side of the white I'm not sure with but I want to say a purple sort of color but not 100% it's not a very thick wire.

To be fair the cable was installed to link a sky q and mini together because I was having dropouts it wasn't installed to network so to speak I sort of commandeered it for that purpose.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
To be fair the cable was installed to link a sky q and mini together because I was having dropouts it wasn't installed to network so to speak I sort of commandeered it for that purpose.

No, it was exactly for that purpose. Sky Q can use ethernet cabling instead of WiFi in case of connectivity issues. It has to support ethernet standards because it is ethernet, mine are all wired and go through various switches to get to each other.


My old setup was the AC1200 and an RE305 extender and it carried a 5 meg signal perfectly via wifi to the annex and that was all we got in the house too!!

It's dead easy to carry a 5 megabit signal practically and not lose bandwidth. That's because your actual WiFi will operate normally higher than. As soon as you start getting quicker Internet connection particularly with the fastest FTTP and Virgin Media 500Mb + services you run into bottlenecks in your internal network usually powerlines/WiFi and finally Ethernet in that order normally.

You can have what is known as port flapping whereby a switch will jump from 100 to 1000Mb and back again resulting in a reduction in speed. This can be a bad cable but is usually a termination issue and 90 times out of a hundred it will be a bad termination. 100Meg only needs 2 pairs and it can be any 2 pairs in a modern switch, 1000Meg needs all 4 pairs correctly wired.
 

ron swanson

Active Member
No, it was exactly for that purpose. Sky Q can use ethernet cabling instead of WiFi in case of connectivity issues. It has to support ethernet standards because it is ethernet, mine are all wired and go through various switches to get to each other.




It's dead easy to carry a 5 megabit signal practically and not lose bandwidth. That's because your actual WiFi will operate normally higher than. As soon as you start getting quicker Internet connection particularly with the fastest FTTP and Virgin Media 500Mb + services you run into bottlenecks in your internal network usually powerlines/WiFi and finally Ethernet in that order normally.

You can have what is known as port flapping whereby a switch will jump from 100 to 1000Mb and back again resulting in a reduction in speed. This can be a bad cable but is usually a termination issue and 90 times out of a hundred it will be a bad termination. 100Meg only needs 2 pairs and it can be any 2 pairs in a modern switch, 1000Meg needs all 4 pairs correctly wired.

I meant the cable wasn't installed with fast broadband in mind, sky got the engineer to come and install it to link the boxes together. This was done a while ago way before we were offered any sort of fast broadband.

If it's not something I can solve without replacing the cable then I'm more than happy with things as they are, we get full speed in the house which is the main thing. In the future I might look at replacing the cable but for now I am more than happy.
 

neilball

Well-known Member
I meant the cable wasn't installed with fast broadband in mind, sky got the engineer to come and install it to link the boxes together. This was done a while ago way before we were offered any sort of fast broadband.

If it's not something I can solve without replacing the cable then I'm more than happy with things as they are, we get full speed in the house which is the main thing. In the future I might look at replacing the cable but for now I am more than happy.
Before you go any further, do see if you can get a clear photo of either end of your long cable so we can see how it looks to be wired - if it really does only used four individual wires then you can plan to replace it with a fully wired 8-core version. But I have to say, in my 20+ years deploying ethernet cabling I’ve never come across anyone using 4 core Cat5, I’ve only ever seen Cat5e. I don’t even remember Cat5 being available from the suppliers, so the chances that a recent(ish) cable installation by Sky used a cable that was hardly common two decades ago seems slim, but then again we are talking about Sky!!
 

neilball

Well-known Member
And I forgot to add, the only cable that could be used to link your Sky Q boxes together is an ethernet cable, because that is the only “protocol” the boxes can use on their RJ45 connections. And ethernet is the same whether it’s connecting your Sky boxes, or used to connect your router to a remote switch. The only issue is whether it is actually a “proper” Catx cable rather than some cheap non-approved cable type - there is plenty of dodgy suppliers selling cable marked as Cat-something that is actually not anything of the sort. Proper Cat cable uses solid copper cores for example, and some of these other suppliers use copper clad aluminium or similar, which is not acceptable under the standards for anything marked with proper Cat certification.

I’m also not clear from your description of this is a pre-terminated cable of a given length, or a cable made up on sote by cutting a length off a drum or box and crimping on RJ45 connectors. If it’s site made then there is also the possibility that it’s had connectors badly crimped (which often results in a gigabit cable failing back to 100mb speed), or terminated with wires in wrong order etc.

So there are a couple of things to check before to consign yourself to the cable only being 100mb capable.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
I meant the cable wasn't installed with fast broadband in mind, sky got the engineer to come and install it to link the boxes together. This was done a while ago way before we were offered any sort of fast broadband.
Doesn’t really matter, the ones I have seen sky install are capable of running gigabit
 

ron swanson

Active Member
Thanks for the above ChuckMountain and neilball. really appreciate the input along with everyone who has taken time to reply to me.

The install was carried out 7 or 8 months ago.

My next questions are as follow, can I upload pictures with the attach file button? I wasn't home when the installation took place but the person who was seemed to think they made the cable in the van with a drum of wire.

Would a bad crimp job explain the dropouts I still received after wiring the boxes?

I'm not sure what would be needed to rectify a bad crimp is it something I could do myself?

I'll try and upload pictures tomorrow.
 

neilball

Well-known Member
Incorrect or poor termination is recoverable by literally cutting off the ends of the cable and re-terminating with new RJ45 plugs and the right tools. If you’ve never done this before then there are easier ways to get a reliable termination - maybe replace the plugs with a full punch-down module fitted onto a back box. It’s much easier for a novice to get a successful punch-down termination onto a module than crimp a RJ45 plug into the end of a cable.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Whilst you are inspecting the cable terminations, you might are to take a look into the linked site following for orientation. It's got a few diagrams of plugs, sockets, cable pin outs and colour schemes which might help you comprehend "what your are looking at" so to speak and understand what we mean when we're talking about "pairs" and so on...


As others have mentioned, if you upload some pictures, chances are someone here will recognise it - there's a few professional cabling engineers lurk in this forum.
 

ron swanson

Active Member
Appreciate the input.

Hopefully photos will load up just to make things more interestingly a little further down the cable it does actually say 5e and not cat 5 so clearly I need my eyes retesting!!

Hopefully they are clear enough to be of use.

Would a poor crimp possibly explain the fact I was experiencing dropouts when they sky boxes were connected?
 

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oneman

Well-known Member
Cable looks fully wires so Yes, it could be a poor crimp causing the problem.

As mentioned previously, can you get a long cable to test the connection between the devices.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Fifth image (20211014_141315.jpg) looks like it's mis-wired to me - looks like solid blue and solid green are next to each other on (respectively) pins 4 & 5. Though the image is a bit blurred and making it hard to see.

Check them again, the pin outs should be the same both ends and follow the order White/Orange - Orange - White/Green - Blue - White/Blue - Green - White/Brown - Brown.

If it is mis-wired, it'll need to be cut off an re-terminated correctly.

(And shame on the installer for not testing it properly, but we've all been there.) :D
 

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