Network Cable Unplugged

Discussion in 'DMX, E1.31 & Networking' started by JimWright, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. JimWright

    JimWright New Elf

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    I have found through discussions with others, that I am not the only one that has had a problem with the E1.31 network interface. As an initial setup for the following discussion, I am using LOR S3 software on a Windows 7 x64 machine and have installed a second network card that will only carry traffic for my lighting network. The following is my attempt to help with a very nagging problem that some have faced. This explanation is based only on the problems that I had and the way in which I resolved those problems. I do not hold myself as a expert in Windows or in networking. This is what worked for me.
    1. After setting up my new network card and configuring everything (my "E1.31" network and all software) properly; everything worked fine for a week or two. Then I started having problems with the network. It would just quit working. I would have to reboot the computer and then everything would work again for a little while. As time passed (in hours and days, not weeks) the problem continued to get worse. It finally got to the point that the E1.31 network would not work at all. Everything seemed to work, no error messages were generated from any software, but there was no data being sent to the controllers.
    2. I spent a lot of time trying to track down the problem. It turned out that, if, in Windows, I would go to Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Change Adapter Settings and look at the information for the network in question, Windows would report “Network Cable Unplugged” or words to that effect. I tried everything that I could think of to correct this error notification, including un-installing and re-installing the NIC. There was nothing wrong with the cable or the systems that it was connected to. Early on, I could right click on the controller in question and “disable” and then “enable” the card/network, and the card/network would start to function again. That did not last long however. After a few times doing this, Windows refused to re-enable the card. Windows would look like it was re-enableing the card, but it wouldn’t and the status would remain “Network Cable Unplugged”.
    3. I next Googled “Windows 7 network cable unplugged” and got back way over 200,000 hits. Obviously, I was not the only one with this particular problem. In looking through the problems and the responses, two things soon became clear. First, no one knew exactly what the problem was or had a good solution. Some “experts” blamed Windows; some blamed the RealTek drivers or chipset; some didn’t know what the problem was. Second, every reported problem that I read was talking about a problem with a RealTek NIC. No one else had an issue with any other manufacturer’s card. I checked and, yes, in order to save some money, I had bought the cheapest NIC that I could find; and it was based on the RealTek chipset and drivers.
    4. The solution now seemed obvious. Change to a different NIC, from another manufacturer. I bought an “Intel” NIC and installed it. To date, I have not had one problem with my E1.31 lighting network since I installed the new, non-RealTek NIC.

    I just thought that I would pass this information along in case it might help someone else with a networking problem.
    Jim
     
  2. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    Very interesting, glad you worked out that hairy issue. Thanks for sharing this so others can be aware
     
  3. jcmarksafb

    jcmarksafb Hello from Christopher Creek Arizona

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    Thanks for the heads up. It might explain some of the problems I'm having. Thanks for taking the time to share that with us.
     
  4. 924aussie

    924aussie Full Time Elf

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    In my day it was .... if its not 3com dont use it ... ;)


    Alan ( Over 30 years in IT )
     
  5. anon

    anon Apprentice Elf

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    In a similar vein I had problems with a network cable when trying to set up my new ECG-P12R. Things would work fine then turned pear-shape.


    It turned out be a network cable (came packaged with a network switch a while back), and found only after a lost night or two trying to work out what was going on.


    It's always these small issues that shouldn't be issues at all that take up half the time!

    Perhaps the moral is if there are issues, suspect everything and methodically test and swap out components until the fault is found.
     
  6. kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    This is especially true when you've made your own cables.

    Definately a good idea to suspect anything - don't make any assumptions about things. Even if they worked in the past, doesn't mean that they haven't developed a fault since.
     
  7. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    When reading the initial post it makes me wonder whether it is a card related issue or a problem with memory leakage with the comm listener which will be driving the network card. In early December I think it was there was a bunch of lor releases form 3.7.0 to 3.7.2, 3.8.0 to 3.8.2 and 3.9.0 to 3.9.2 and maybe some older ones. What these addressed in particular was the memory leakage issue that the comm listener had. It was caching EVERYTHING that passed through. If you were pumping out enough data and using a .0 release it may be the comm listener taking out the card. Just a thought.
     
  8. BradsXmasLights

    BradsXmasLights WiFi Interactive

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    From my experience I'd say Realtek NICs are more sensitive to flaky network connections/cabling. So whilst changing the card may appear to fix the problem, the original issue may still exist. Any really bad kinks in the twisted pair "twists" may also induce weird issues like this too. Without a professional cable tester ($$$) to certify the cable frequency response/spec this will be almost impossible to verify.
     
  9. ScottyJ

    ScottyJ New Elf

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