Last night as I was leaving Nashville, as my laptop, wallet, belt, shoes and other personal belongings were in three plastic trays ready to be x-rayed, my cellphone started ringing¹. I reached into the machine, pulled out the cellphone and answered.
Helaine was calling. She had just returned from Atlantic City. The cable modem was out, again. Did I have a quick fix?
I couldn’t talk then, but I was so flustered I walked through the magnetometer still holding the phone! Beep!
There was nothing I could tell Helaine that would allow her to regain service. This has become a nagging problem, getting worse by the day. Luckily, the cable guy (how much must they hate Jim Carrey for that movie) was scheduled to be here this morning.
Helaine woke me when he got to the house. He was about 12 (OK – he was in his mid-20s) but seemed knowledgeable and confident. I have yet to meet the first Comcast employee who has disappointed me. That’s why, even though this problem persists, I have not been overly angry.
First stop was upstairs to my office. With Steffie gone, it is the only room in the house that looks like it’s been ransacked.
I fired up the PC and he looked at the diagnostic screens from the cable modem. As with toothaches, having the cable guy scheduled is normally enough to make the problem go away. Our signal was low, though acceptable.
I explained how this was an intermittent problem, seemingly weather related. He looked further. Then he went outside.
When I next saw him, he was up on the pole outside the house, tools in hand, crimping a connector on a piece of RG-8U cable.
The connector on the pole (15 years old) had signs of corrosion. He would replace that and then, run a totally separate line which would only serve my cable modem. He’d need to drill a hole in my basement wall, which was fine with me.
It didn’t take long. Pretty soon we were back upstairs take measurements. There was a huge improvement.
A cable modem is pretty much all or nothing. If it has enough signal, you’re going to get all the speed promised. If you don’t have enough signal, you get nothing.
But, as I said, this was an intermittent problem. The jury is still out.
¹ – No phone actually rings anymore. Mine plays the ABC Contemporary Network news logo from the 60s and 70s.