Problem solved: undervolted PS for modem


Posts: 325   +13
hey y'all-
i had a modem connectivity problem that had an easy answer, and I thought I would post a note just to keep us all thinking creatively --

My computer DSL connection was iff-y, then died. I figured out that the power supply for the 2wire modem was dead - I did this by process-of-elimination, and by [don't try this at home] sticking my tongue on the power tip of the power supply - at 6 volts, you should feel a little buzz - no buzz = dead power supply.

So I head of to Radio Shack [Go, Lance!]. They don't have a 6 volt ps. They do have a 'multi-power adapter' that includes 6 volt in the range of selectable voltage by a switch.

It costs more than a plain 6 volt power adapter should, but I want to read Techspot, so I pay the extra money for a multi-adapter rather than find one off the web and wait for shipping.

Multi-adapter had wrong polarity, and this was not switchable, so I had to cut and reverse the wiring [don't try this at home unless you know what you are doing - wrong polarity will smoke and kill whatever low -voltage thingie yo uplug in, including DSL modem.]

Prob Solved.

Months, later, I get modem problems. I think it is a wireless connectivity problem, because whenever I try to hit the web by wireless, the modem freaks out.

Somehow, days later, it occurs to me: power could be wrong. sure enough, one of my preschoolers had somehow pushed the power adapter voltage slector switch from 6 volt to 5 volt -- so when the desktop and the laptop were both trying to pull data through the 2wire modem, it was just enough power drain to make the modem shut off.

So, if you have connectivity problems, as always, check the classic "is it plugged in? Is it turned on?" intervention first - check for a dead power adapter on your modem.

And if you have to improvise and use a multi-voltage power supply adapter, you might want to glue or tape the voltage selector button in place.